Monday, August 30, 2010

Me and My Big Mouth

Remember how a few posts ago I wrote that I didn't want to identify myself as someone with an ED anymore?
I may not WANT to, but I think I just might HAVE to.
Because, my friends, I show all the classic symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder.
Well, as classic as a symptom can be of a disorder that's only been official for a few years.
No, I don't go through 3 different drive-throughs on my way home from work, eat it all in the car and then come home and make dinner.  I don't hide in a closet while I stuff myself with box after box of cookies.  But a BIG mistake I made when I was first bulimic (and then anorexic a few years later) was telling myself I didn't have a problem because I didn't act like the girls with EDs in a "Lifetime" movie.
Last night I ate until I felt sick, then wrote in my journal "What is wrong with me?"
Because, like so many other times, I couldn't seem to stop eating.  This is happening with alarming frequency.  And my weight keeps going up. I feel sick to my stomach quite often, and have other physical symptoms, as well. 
I have been avoiding following the steps laid out by Geneen Roth.  Or maybe I could say "resisting."  I don't know why.  I DO know that no diet plan is going to help. I do know that I am scared.  I know that I'm full of anxiety and am not sleeping well.
I also know that I am changing.  In most ways, for the better.  And this is scary, and maybe I'm using food as comfort for that.  Because, as you know, food is my crutch. 
I also know that I cannot live like this anymore.  Geneen tells us that we need to choose; do I want to lose weight, or do I want to reclaim my life?
 I want my life.
MY life.
It hasn't been mine in a long, LONG time.

I have been denying my feelings for as long as I can remember.
I told myself I found complete closure with my dad before he passed away, but that's not true.  I told myself I wasn't grieving, because he's in a better place.  He is, but I am also grieving.  Sometimes, despite our differences, I miss him so much it's a physical ache.  And I don't know who to talk to about it.
The other day, at one of my job interviews, the parents of one of the employees came in.  They were staying at a hotel nearby.  I wanted my dad so much in that moment.  I wanted him to come out and visit with my mom.  I don't want her to live in that big house all by herself. I want him to email me one of his stupid jokes, the ones I laughed at but pretended I didn't.
It will be 2 years at the end of September. It's hard to believe he's been gone that long.  I dream about him sometimes, and he's always with Tundra, our Malamute who died 7 years ago and LOVED Dad because he always gave him cookies and back rubs. My mom said she recently visited a beach they (she and my dad, not the dog, lol!) used to love, and there was a second set of footprints next to hers.  And Hubby woke up in the middle of the night a few months ago and swears he saw Dad walking down the hall to go check on the kids.  Which is something he did ALL the time when my brother and I were little, and again once the grandkids came along.
G-d knows we never had an easy relationship.  We butted heads hard and often.  But we also understood each other, and shared a lot of personality traits (hence the frequent head butting), and I DEFINITELY get my sense of humor from him.
I also get my insecurity and propensity to turn to food from him.  And I know that he'd hate it if he knew that.  Maybe he DOES know.  I'm sure he hates it and blames himself. But it's not his fault.  I am an adult now, and I take responsibility for my life.  The best thing I can do is fix this, so that my kids don't learn the behavior.  G-d knows they have enough to deal with.

It seems that much of my life over the past decade has been about changing patterns.  And I'm quite proud of that! I think it's part of my reason for being here. Ending destructive patterns that have sometimes gone on for generations.
No pressure or anything, lol!
I guess you could say that I'm the Harry Potter of my clan, and these patterns are our Voldemort. It's up to me to end them, once and for all.

So, it's time for me to put aside the shame.  I'm hardly alone in my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  They don't make me weak.  Having issues doesn't make me a lesser person.  In fact, seeing as I own up to my issues kinda makes me, well...strong.
And that is something I never thought I'd say about myself.

So here I go.  Facing this food thing head-on.  With strength, love, and compassion.
And pride.
Definitely pride.


Geosomin said...

Wow - it takes a lot of strength to look at things square in the eye like that. Good for can be scary.
I find my hardest issue with food is not using it to medicate eat and try and fix something wrong with me. When Mum died it was all I could do to not just eat my loss away. I find it hard to not use food like I used to to soothe me and try and make it all OK...even though I'd just end up ill instead. It's harder to face things and deal with is so much simpler...feeling things can hurt. It's part of the grieving and coping process and it is painful. But if you face things head will be stronger.

You can do it. I know you can. It will take time and it will be hard and you'll mess up, but don't give up. The fact that you can see things as they are is a great place to start.
Keep going...:)

azusmom said...

Thank you! You're words of encouragement (and experience) are SOOOO helpful!
(Hope you're feeling better, BTW.)

Charlotte said...

You are amazing. And strong. And beautiful. I'm so proud of you for confronting this! I can't imagine the pain of losing a parent (yet) but I'm sure it tests the limits of anyone's coping skills. Keep reading Geneen Roth. Keep being kind to yourself. You are going to come out the other side of this - and stronger for it! Love you, girl:)

azusmom said...

Love you too, Charlotte! And thank you, for everything!

Lexie said...

You are a really great writer. Reading this, it gives me hope to know I'm not the only one with these feelings. Thank you.