Saturday, 25 April 2015

Detached Indifference!

Blog 24th to the 26th April 2015 I learnt a lesson this week. The lesson was: do not send emails when in an emotional state. Some battles are just not worth fighting or indeed even worth entering into the arena. I had to ask myself “Where in the general scheme of life’s events does this one come?” If only I had asked this before demonically pushing the send button then announcing triumphantly “That‘ll teach him” to the bemused staff team. Of course it didn’t teach him anything and he retaliated also trying to be big and clever. This could easily have developed into email tennis wars but fortunately I was called into a meeting, burning with self-righteous indignation, championing my inner child. It was only on refection that I suddenly thought “0h dear!” I went to my boss and explained what I had done “I sent an email when I was in an emotional state of mind”. She face- palmed, “Oh no, who to?” I knew it was wrong, I knew it was childish, non-professional and ultimately stupid. It didn’t even make me feel better. In fact I just felt a bit daft. The conclusion of this was that I had to go and see my boss’s boss (the big boss) I held my hands up and apologised before she even opened her mouth. Honesty is a simple tool. My task then was refection and resolution. I may have to work with the receiver of the email again and I have to be professional. My other rather big and strangely cathartic mistake was to copy-in the Director of the company. Another rather impulsive error on my part! I was instructed, rightly so, to apologise. All of this is a learning curve. It’ll turn into a positive experience in the long run. Prior to recovery I could never have looked at this incident in such a way. I would have fumed for days, evilly plotting revenge and figuratively stroking a white cat in a menacing fashion. The email receiver would have been sworn at and ridiculed and blame, oh so much blame, would have been apportioned. Thank God today it doesn’t have to be like that. I cannot carry resentments: they eat away at my very soul. I have to find the middle ground and remain calm. Wyn calls it “detached indifference”. I am powerless over people, places and things and one snotty-arsed email is not going to change anything, win an argument or score points. I can’t change other people but I can change the way I react to other people - be that face to face, over the telephone or via sarcastic emails. In the words of Disney’s Frozen “LET IT GO” Julie

The Miracle Will Happen One Day

Blog 13th to the 24th April 2015 It’s been almost two weeks since I last blogged. That sounds a little like it’s been two weeks since my last confession. Sometimes I feel I write my blog like a confession. A confession to myself that these things have happened and by typing them out it confirms the truth and makes it more real. Out of my head and on to the paper. My last blog was very desperate and dark; I was struggling big time and wanted to escape in food. It all seemed inevitable and helpless. I knew what to do, I had the tools of recovery, what I lacked was the willingness. Then something important happened in the form of an OA meeting. We read a story from lifeline which helped considerably. It was about a woman who was bulimic and was vomiting up to twenty times a day. I related to it, in the year before doing anything about my food addiction I had been in the same situation, my gastric band had been tightened to within an inch of its life on my orders and I was regurgitating up to ten times a day, sometimes more sometimes less. It was horrendous; at each meal I was anxious, I would sit there consciously aware that I would have to leave the table and throw up but desperately wanting to feed myself and unable to stop. I would leave the table throw up then return to the table to try and get more food down, invariably being disappointed and frustrated when I couldn’t and I would need to run to the toilet to throw up again. Eating out was a misery, I would insist on eating out then spend the whole experience running back and forth to the toilet. Owen would then get angry (understandably so) which would make me more nervous and it would happen more. I felt guilty as he had paid for the damn band which I perceived meant that he didn’t love me the way I was and wanted me thin. This was despite the fact that I had asked for the money for the operation. Owen didn’t understand my eating disorder, how could he? If I couldn’t get it or understand it what hope did he have? All he saw was that he had paid for an operation out of his grandmother’s inheritance and I was not even trying to stick to the recommended diet that the consultant and dietician had advised. I couldn’t stick to it because I was a compulsive overeater and food addict, but neither of us knew that back then. Owen would then look at me with disgust and anger and I picked up on this and ate more to comfort and reassure myself. It was hell, my physical health was suffering, and my teeth were (and still are) in a shocking state. The only foods I could keep down were chocolate, sweets cakes, biscuits; these trigger foods would slip down past the band with gay abandon. I was getting no nutritional value from foods and my weight remained the same. Looking back it was horrifically unhealthy and madness. When I ate with my mother my trips to the toilet were even more frequent as my fear of being criticised for eating too much became too stressful and I often couldn’t keep anything down. As we read that story in OA I was taken back and instead of beating myself up I listened and actually patted myself on the back. I had come a long way. OK I was not perfect a long way from it but I was making slow but steady progress. I was losing weight albeit slowly. I was eating mainly healthily, I was eating regularly, I had apart from on a few occasions abstained from eating my trigger foods. I did still over eat but it wasn’t through triggers. I had for the most part eaten in the right places. In fact I had much to be grateful for. I had coped. This was my primary addiction and it was not going to vanish in a few weeks. My preoccupation could still be there but it was manageable and it did pass. This is turning a negative around and making in into a positive. I could have wallowed in misery and pity but that would have taken me to the end of the road and a ‘sod it’ moment which would have taken me back into the food. I don’t want to go back into the food. I do not want that emotional attachment with food any more. It has taken too much of my life and now I need to learn to manage it and come alongside it. It can be my ally, it can show me where I don’t want to be, it can alert me to the fact that I am not spiritually or mentally healthy and that I need to take action - change or step up my recovery. Food can be my friend and motivator not my enemy. I may have been taking it a little too seriously, we do not live in a famine-torn country, I will not starve to death, and it is not a life or death situation if I do not get to eat a box of Krispy Crème donuts. I need balance and perspective. I also need to stop comparing or getting jealous of others in OA who get it. The important thing is to keep attending these recovery-oriented meetings. They are on their path I am on mine, we are different. I am different and unique; my experience is going to be very different to that of others. I am where I am supposed to be at the moment. I need to take it easy and have faith that the miracle will happen one day. Julie

Monday, 13 April 2015

A sense of hopelessness as nothing seems to be working.

Blog 12th of April 2015 I’m just not feeling it or getting it at the moment. It’s like I’m stuck, restless, irritable, I can’t put my finger on it, and a piece of the jigsaw is missing. I am not willing, there is a big wall in front of me and I’m not ready to surrender to it. I’m wishing all sorts of nonsense, angry that I can’t eat what I want to eat, sabotaging by doing things that I know are off plan. I deliberately ate a Chinese takeaway in front of the TV last night using the very pathetic and lame excuses (even for me) that Ninja Warrior was on! I find myself day dreaming about being able to eat what I want when I want and never gaining a pound. I am so obsessed by food. I just want to stuff my face and I’m getting madder and madder about it. My rational side is patiently explaining to me that I feel one hundred percent worse and the addict side is fighting back. I’ve even started buying bags of chocolate for other people. What the hell is that all about? I bought my mother enough chocolate to stun a small oxen for her birthday and my friend, whose just had a baby, half of Thornton’s. As I drove to see her the jury was still out on whether I would actually go through with giving her the box of Thornton’s Premium. My conscience batted with my addiction. In the end I thrust the box at her like a demented person, then regretted it all the way home. I took group yesterday then went to town to look for some sandals. I just wanted to feed myself. I managed to pass the new cookie dough ice cream stand in the New St David’s 2, but only just; I didn’t quite make it past the Pretzel stall and quickly bought and ate standing up a hot dog covered in cheese pastry pretzel. I chowed on it like a cave woman, devouring it, loving it, spurring myself on for more. What the hell is wrong with me? What am I running away from? I look at all the others in OA, the ones who have got it and I think how? I don’t understand it. I don’t take it seriously. I know alcohol drugs and smoking will kill me most probably after one binge if I went back to them. I’m healthily scared of them. I am not scared of food, I love it, I am obsessed by it, I crave it, I want it. I do not see it as a killer. I know it is but it would take years to eat myself to death. And when you talk in groups about relapse with a flapjack people, myself included, find it hilarious. I can’t seem to see the harm apart from when I look in the mirror and hate what I see I want to be willing, I want to take action. I’m stuck at this weight and I can’t seem to find that willingness to take it up a notch. There is quite a lot of change going on around me at the moment and change can bring fear. The Living Room is changing and that has scared me as a lot of the old gang are no longer attending and I miss them. Work is changing and the politics are as troubling as ever. Joe and Annie’s recoveries worry me, and Owen’s been out of sorts. I think another fear I have is the fear of becoming ill again and people losing patience with me as I am finding this recovery from eating disorder so difficult. I managed to surrender to drugs, smoking and alcohol. I know where they take me. I can’t go back. With eating I’m screaming, kicking, and fighting it all the way. I am not making this easy, I don’t know how to. I can’t seem to apply the tools, find the faith to help me. It’s hard to impose the positives at present. I am praying, I am asking my higher power but I seem to be fighting myself. Answers on a post card please? To compulsive over- eater, stuck and raring to binge. Julie