I’m still here. It’s been a long time. I’m trying to get back to OA. Trying. I have a lot of catching up to do here and I think it will be cathartic. If you were ever interested, check back in.
I need a sign to let me know you’re here… July 12, 2010
Yesterday I went to see my aunt and had two signs that there is a higher power at work in my life. The first occurred on the trip in. I was having a beastly craving for the ORIGINAL focaccia in my life. Not this crap that panera and every pizza place tries to pass off. The original, at least for me, is produced in a Hoboken bakery, not far from where my aunt lives. Anyway, I used my tools; called my sponsor, meditated, made some hello calls, all to no avail.
My sponsor asked me how my relationship wiht my HP had been and I told her quite honestly that I hadn’t been putting much time or energy into it. Hadn’t been communicating from my side of the celestial phone lines. What I didn’t say is that I go through dry spells where I’m just not sure if one exists. It goes back to my view of the dead. Sometimes I can feel my dead relatives around me, in memories, songs on the radio etc. and sometimes I can’t. My grandma and my aunts I hooked into right away. Never with my mom. Anyway, I’m digressing.
So I get off the phone with my sponsor, I’ve renewed my commitment, but I’m still suffering from this mammoth craving. I then got cut off my a car on route 3 going about a million miles an hour, and I glimpse a bumper sticker in biblical font: Remember today’s blessings, forget today’s troubles. The moment I acknowledged this as the work of my HP the craving dissipated. It didn’t go away completely but it became much more manageable.
The second goes a bit like this…
For years I’ve been told I look like my mom, and I NEVER see it. She’s passed now, but the photos I have of her in no way remind me of myself. Well, my aunt found a photo of me and one of my mom, at somewhat similar ages and in similar poses. It’s undeniable. I look like my mom. Probably for the first time since she died I felt connected to her. Not through a song or even through the photographs but through my DNA. I carry a piece of her with me always.
“Time it was, and what a time it was, it was; A time of innocence, a time of confidences” July 5, 2010
The title of this blog comes from a Simon and Garfunkle song, “Bookends.” The whole song is about 4 lines long and says so much.
My last post encompassed the first half of my day on Saturday. Had I known what was in store for the rest of the day I would have waited to write!
After my meeting, my husband and I headed north on the parkway to go to my aunt’s 70th surprise birthday party. He and I had it meticulously planned out to be on time, and it included him sitting in the library for the 2 hours I was in my meeting. Getting up early on a day when he didn’t have too. He was a real sport about it.
We were nearly there when my brand new car began to sputter and stall. In the middle of the Parkway, going 70 miles per hour. This had happened once before and I had it serviced. They couldn’t find the problem, or replicate it, declared it a fluke, and sent me on my waranteed way. No such luck. And when I say brand new I mean I’ve owned it less than 5 weeks. It’s a 2010.
I nursed the car to the non-existant shoulder, shut the car off, struggled to get it started again, said a Novena, and continued on our way. Five minutes later it happened again. What ensued was 20 minutes of hold times and wait calls to find out my car could get towed to the nearest dealership, I could get a ride along if I wanted it, but I could not get a loaner. A rental car would be covered, but for some forsaken reason rental car companies close early on Saturdays.
This would be no issue, thought I. My whole family was headed to this party and we were very close. I started calling cell phones. They were either turned off or unanswered. What do we carry them for if not for an emergency? I did get a hold of one of my brothers who was able to swoop in and save the day. And boy, did I give the rest of my family hell. We all had a good laugh about it.
I arrived to the party late, but late enough not to ruin the surprise, and early enough to hit the appetizers. So much for an abstinent day. What was my pre-packed lunch wilted and spoiled in transit. I could have done better but I just plain didn’t. More on that another time.
The party was a catered barbeque, and it was beyond elegant, yet comfortably casual at the same time. I can’t say enough about what a justice my cousins C&M, A&N and P&M did for my Aunt. My only regret is that we don’t spend enough time with that side of the family, and so I feel I don’t really know them as well. I did find out that my cousin N is a talented photographer and I have a project in mind for hiring her! You’ll have to wait for Christmas to see the results.
The day ended very well, and while my car is in the shop, my home air conditioner is broken, and my first day of abstinence was a bust, I feel light and fluffy. My second day of abstinence was quite successful. I am in a good place, and actually happy to be here.
Where did the time go? Where it always goes! July 3, 2010
Ok, so it’s been a while. As usual when I pick up after some time away things are a bit choppy. Not because I’ve forgotten how to write but because I’ve lost my mind…or at least my connection to it. I don’t even know what the title to this post is.
Why have I picked up writing again today? Because I’ve picked up my abstinence again. That concept that gives me mental clarity and freedom from the food fogs and comas, the fiending over the next compulsive bite, and the mental anguish of self hatred. It also makes me stop isolating.
I went to my first OA meeting since March. It was an eye opener. I was so uncomfortable! Many people were happy to see me and had kind words, hugs, pats on the back. All I could hear was the voice screaming in my head for people to get away, to leave me alone, to stop invading my space. I concentrated on the clock. Thank goodness there are so many inspirational stories and riveting speakers because even though I only took in about a quarter, it was a jam-packed quarter.
I am headed to a family barbeque with my lunch packed in the trunk. I am taking no chances and will let my disease take no prisoners. I will be abstinant from compulsive over eating today, and it will NOT kill me.
My abstinence is 3 weighed and measured meals with nothing in between except coffee, tea and diet soda. In addition I abstain from refined sugar and white flour. I must call my food and any changes into my sponsor. Today, as an example, I will eat:
1 oz kashi cereal
4 oz 2% milke
4 oz cottage cheese
I bowl of salad greens (size doesn’t matter)
4 oz. of protein that I will find at the barbeque
1 c of grapes
2 tablespoons of fat (my salad dressing)
6 oz of chicken
4 oz of rice
2 cups of mixed vegetables
6 oz of yogurt.
I do not have to think about food for the rest of the day. Anyone plagued with a food compulsion knows what a gift that is!
Luggage I’d like the airport to lose! March 16, 2010
Vacations have a tendency to drive me insane. Somewhere in my psyche I don’t think I deserve them. I feel lazy for not working – for not cleaning – for not running that endless list of errands. I feel horrible spending the money, however little or much it may be. I feel bad for those who are not on vacation. By the time I get around to unpacking all that baggage it’s time to leave!
We didnt really do vacations in my family, we did guilt trips. All the apologies for too much money spent, too loud a car ride, too high a credit card bill. Being on one’s best behavior because “money doesn’t grow on trees” and “daddy almost lost his job asking for time off.” Apologizing to mom for all the laundry she was forced to do at the subpar facilities and the meals she had to cook in the room so we could afford to cram in one room and sleep on someone else’s dirty sheets.
My parents certainly didn’t do it on purpose – probably weren’t even conscious of the messages they were sending. They were providing the American Dream. Three days two nights in the Poconos or “Down the shore.” Sometimes longer. Sometimes shorter if someone got sick or was declared a public nuisance. At some point it became easier on all of us to do day trips. And wouldn’t you know that as we got older and schedules became impossible to match, we all began to miss those times together, hot, sweaty, guilt ridden, and someone “sitting on the hump” of our “five” passenger vehicle.
These days vacations are a different animal and I am learning to enjoy them – to look forward to them. They are mini luxuries spent with family. I watch the young ones buzz around in delight and I am thrilled to be a part of the memory. Walks become explorations not exercise. Meals become catch up times and acrobatic adventures. I’m torn between watching the action first hand and desperately trying to catch it all on film.
Even through writing this entry I’m seeing my history a little bit differently. I AM glad for all those vacations. Along with some of the errant sand that got into my “baggage” there are a lot of good memories – a lot of good laughs. A family with problems carries them with them, so of course our vacations would be a little off kilter…but they were fun. And they are missed. I’m grateful for the opportunity to create new memories to ADD to the old ones, not REPLACE them.
Grief and the married person January 12, 2010
Odd title for a post right? I’v e recently been grieving a pretty substantial loss and one thing that I’ve realized through this process is that my process has changed now that I am married. All of a sudden I can’t curl up in a ball and sob my heart out. When I do there’s someone there to comfort me, to try to make it stop hurting.
You would think this would be a good thing. Someone who, though he may not “get it” wants to be there, wants to understand, wants to take the hurt away. Here’s the thing though. I find that my grieving process is highly personal and I don’t WANT to be comforted.
More times than not over the last couple of days I’ve found myself biting my tongue so that I wouldn’t lash out in anger. Stop making funny faces so I smile, stop asking what you can do, just stop. Because here’s what happens…I start to feel bad and start to feel selfish. Like my feelings, or expression thereof, are hurting my partner and I don’t really have the right to make someone else miserable.
I end up getting sucked into this vortex of pretending I’m ok so that my partner isn’t impacted. Only I’m not ok and I already have to pretend at work, and with my family, and with my friends. So I want to come to my nice cozy home and be miserable. Only I can’t do that here either.
I’m sure that my situation is not unique. My mother used to rant and rave that she couldn’t even get any peace on the toilet. I can certainly vouch that that was true. Perhaps I’m too old, and no longer should expect the luxury of “wallowing.”
Ok, I take that back. I’m not now, nor have I been wallowing. I realized that I lost something that I cared about, and I’m sad. It’s been a couple of days. I don’t need the men in white coats.
Anyway, that’s all I want to say for now. I know it’s cryptic and many people will probably say “What the hell is she talking about, what did she lose.” The answer to that question is two fold…1) I just don’t want to talk specifics right now, so please don’t ask. 2) loss is loss and grief is grief. Whether I lost my favorite shoe or my best friend, the feelings are just as valid. Besides, I’m more interested in hearing if other people are having similar experiences than I am receiving comfort right now.
Letters to God #1 December 3, 2009
I just spent some time with your Episcopal Priest. Reverend C. I met with her because I’ve been going to her church for a few months now and I am starting to make some connections. I wanted to make sure that she is a woman of integrity before I become more attached. I believe that she is someone I can follow as a spiritual advisor. She says that I can speak directly to you, any time I want. My sponsor says I should write more, and that “God letters” are a good concept. So here goes nothin’!
Let me start by saying that I’ve always believed in you. I have no idea about that creation vs. evolution crap and as far as I’m concerned it doesn’t matter a whole lot, if I consider you as the Higher Power ultimately behind it all. It’s like asking if I got my package by FedEx or by US Post Office. The end result is that I got it and I got it because someone meant me to have it.
I guess the central questions for me have been why are we not close and why can I not trust you. Now don’t get me wrong. Intellectually I know that the burden for these things most likely falls on me. (Ok intellectually I know it’s ALL on me). And when I say “on me” I mean in the sense that you are not the one rejecting me. There’s something in me, be it because of my childhood experiences with my parents, my early church experiences, or subliminal messages in Beatles music (just kidding) that kept me from opening myself up to you. It’s pretty much a consensus that you’re ready, willing and able 24/7.
One thing I realized from talking to the Reverend tonight is that I’ve considered you too busy and myself too unworthy for you to hear my thoughts and prayers and worry about my burdens. Remember those times I felt “all alone” in the world and really considered or tried to make the world a better place by eliminating my stain upon it? It didn’t even OCCUR to me that you were out there. It wasn’t that I thought you were out there and didn’t care or were punishing me. I REALLY thought I was alone. That’s what’s changed in my life. I now KNOW I can never be alone. Not only do I have a fabulous family, not only do I know how to access a bazillion social service agencies, but I know that you’re there with my own personal league of angels: Nana, Grandpa, my aunts and uncles and cousins, who would never leave me alone for an instant.
So I guess this is how I’m going to try to make our relationship better. I’m going to let you get to know me, and I’m going to admit to myself on a daily basis that you’re out there. I hope eventually I can turn my will over to you. I want very badly to stay abstinent so that I can stay out of the food (and out of the fat clothes!) I’m a better person when I’m not in the food. I’m kinder, gentler, and I care about more than where the next meal is coming from.