Endings

My last shrink appointment was Thursday, so therapy has come to an end.   It was a good ending.  I told him why I thought I was done, that I wanted to come in person instead of just calling to cancel because I wanted him to know that I wasn’t quitting on me, just quitting therapy.  My recovery continues.

On a good note, he told that he read something about “mindful” eating becoming an acceptable thing in the treatment of eating disorders, that he never heard of “mindful” or “intuitive” eating until he had me for a patient and now he is hearing more and more about it.  Said something about it being good for people with “strong personalities”.   

Like me? Oh my… what negative things that implies?

No, it all good.  I do have a strong personality, but my strength is not in bad things.   It may sound wacky, but my strength is one of the truths about myself that I had to come to terms with because it is part of the me I tried to hide, shove down, and deny. 

“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” pops into my head. (It is a Bible verse, Phil. 4:16.)

It does NOT say “I can’t do a damn thing.  God has to carry me, tend to my every need, and tie my shoe laces.”  To me, that verse is about empowerment.  If you too weak or timid to deal with what comes your way, God will strengthen you. 

So why deny or hide internal strength when strength is a blessing?  I’m not talking about boastfulness or arrogance.  You can be humble and strong at the same time. 

Maybe that why I had such a problem with OA?

OA is a program that uses the AA twelve step program. They scratched out the word “alcohol” and replaced it with “food” and for some people, it does work.  Unfortunately, I cannot lie to myself to prove that I am not lying to myself.   I cannot pretend to be powerless over food, that I need devine intervention to rescue me from carrots, those evil and cunning tomatoes, or sneaky chocolates.  Sure, I could assign power to particular foods, my choice of foods to binge on, and at times I felt powerless in the midst of a binge while silently screaming at myself to stop, but food is not the problem.  Logic tells me that if I were as powerless over food as an alcoholic is to booze, where a bad chemical or whatever reaction to alcohol is going on, then it would be ALL food and not some.  Have you ever met an alcoholic who only had a problem with SOME but not all?  I haven’t… I’ve met alcoholics so lost in addiction they poured perfume in a tea cup, drank things obviously not intended for human consumption in their despiration.  If food were equivalent to booze, if all food were the problem.  I could buy into the OA program.  Of course, they getcha with a Catch-22 by saying if you cannot admit that you are powerless over food, you are incapable of being honest with yourself.  Maybe I am TOO honest with myself for OA?

Mindfulness and/or intuitive eating offers an alternative for people who, like me, cannot embrace OA.  I found it to be empowering.  I made peace with food (its just food) and more importantly, I made peace with myself.  I am losing weight, slower than would suit most people, partly because I still have bad days (not the end of the world, recovery is a process) and slow partly because I refuse to diet.  I can go out with friends and eat cheesecake in public without one drop of guilt, shame, or remorse. 

image

This photo was snapped to share with a friend in Illinois who had dropped a five for cheesecake in a greeting card, part thank you and part teaser, as she knows that the Mocha House makes THE BEST cheesecake in NE Ohio. 

The thing is… there is a big difference between enjoying a slice of cheesecake now and then and bingeing on cheesecake.

Binge behavior would be to buy or make a whole serves 12 or 24 size cheesecake (or two) pretending you are taking dessert to a party, then secretly eating it all yourself while hating yourself for doing so, feeling so much guilt and shame and out of control that you have to hide the evidence so no one else will know, followed by self punishment in the form of dieting or exercising to counteract the excess calories.  It is a horrid thing.  You may feel powerless, but that cheesecake (or whatever) has no power over your behavior unless you assign it imaginary power. 

I guess what I am saying is… dealing with why I binge and using the principles of intuitive or mindful eating to break the cycle has proven to work for me.  I can live a binge-free life now free of all the internal strife that goes along with binge eating disorder.  Some people find help in OA, but I would rather feel empowered than powerless.

UPDATE FROM PREVIOUS POSTS:

I blew off the “nbarnbees” email addresss (temporarily set up when I forgot my “barnbees” email password) and created a NEW email address that is rather dull (n4barnes) but it is something I can live with.  It may take me awhile to start get email and notifications at the new address as I have to figure out where all it needs updated, but in time, I will stop using the barnbees email, too.

Yes, I have been doing some serious thinking about  ending my use of the word barnbees.  I haven’t decided exactly how to do that, all I know is it just doesn’t feel like mine anymore.  

I really hate the idea of blowing off this blog… barnbees is not just the name on top, it’s the wordpress URL.

I have “Barnes: Artsy Things” pretty much just hanging out in limbo as I haven’t done much posting on that blog.  I launched it as a blog to show my art to friends & family who don’t need to read my rambles.  I could add a poetry category, move poems and art posted here over there before blowing this barnbees blog away… it will take time.

I think I’m done rambling on about eating disorders anyway.  It is becoming a non-issue, and that in itself is a very good thing.

RC #4

Reality Check day… OMGosh… it’s down again. I am safely below that “bad” number and edging on the next. The only thing to do is keep on going. What’s a little walk through fire now and then when the end results are worth it? Someday, there won’t be any “bad” numbers of poor distribution putting too much stress on old bones.

I have to admit that I am tickled by the number on the scales, even though weight loss is just a SIDE EFFECT of recovery, not the be all do all of anything.

By today’s number, I have lost a grand total of 73 pounds.

I have a hard time claiming that as I’m embarrassed about how fat I was considering how fat I still am. And it is not like a steady drop either. I had lost fifty pounds by my 50th birthday, gained some back, up and down repeatedly, so it has only been about thirty pounds since last Fall, when I started on this path of recovery.

I’m starting to think of binge eating disorder in past terms, catch myself using WAS instead of IS, but I will not consider myself fully recovered until the symptom of excess weight is gone. By then, the unseen symptons should be gone, too. It is really a mental thing more than physical, another reason not to focus on numbers. It’s not about vanity, it’s about sanity.

Instead of rewarding myself for good behavior again (kind of redundant when living binge-free has become the norm), I decided to start wearing a necklace my sister gave me when she returned from wandering years ago. It is a little circle of Black Hills gold, no bigger than a half inch, on a “used to be too short but fits fine now” delicate chain. She got it for me because she’s really into the meaning of circles and knew I liked Black Hills gold. I think it makes a nice symbol of recovery, a trinket to remind me that I am whole, unbroken, and dwell within a circle of peace and harmony, if that makes any sense.

In other words, it’s going to be okay. Thanks for reading!

RC #3

It’s #3 as I think it is the third time to write about doing a reality check, nice to have some kind of consistancy to title posts.

Losing a couple pounds this week eased my pain levels, so I eased up on dieting. I don’t like being hungry. Dieting is too much of a binge trigger without that ache to keep me in line.

Reality checks may be stepping on the scales as numbers can reveal things I don’t want to admit even to myself, but it is also in the jeans… black jeans purchased in 2004 before hopping a jet to visit a friend for the holidays, the same jeans boxed for years because they were too small to wear now fit loose in the legs. Even new capris purchased for this summer fit too loose. That drives me nuts! I can’t stand wearing baggy pants.

Most of all, reality is the slow process of recovery from binge eating disorder. And what is recovery?

Recovery is time passing, moments gathered into days fading into weeks. Months have passed.

Recovery is knowing recovery is possible. Someday, living with B.E.D. will be a thing of the past.

Recovery is awareness that bingeing is a negative reaction, an attempt to repress “unacceptable” raw emotions, and finding other ways to cope. It is “okay” to feel things, to express emotions, but it is “not okay” to harm yourself or others. Art is a blessing as it allows me to express anything without fear.

Recovery is eating intuitively, trusting myself to feed myself without fear of going beserk.

Recovery is the ability to enjoy the flavors, aromas, and textures of food without one iota of guilt.

Recovery is shedding layers of insecurities in all aspects of my life. (That one surprises me.)

Be glad my SD card died… my treat for good behavior this week was a pedicure. The photo snapped was like wow, scary old lady feet with toenails fancy painted black with white floral stickers, clear rhinestones, and silver glitter.

Hey, it is okay to be your own outrageous self. Truth be told, no one else really cares.