Thursday, June 27, 2013

Big Life Changes

I had an Al-anon slip right before went left for Colorado & wrote an angry letter to our daughter. I usually just sit with my feelings, feel them & move on, but I felt like I needed to say the things I did. Either way, it's in the past, I can't change it & she responded in a positive way, so I guess we'll work from there.

Our trip to Colorado was amazing. I got along with all of my in-laws, they were so happy to see us & we were thrilled to just be there & participating in family-type stuff. Our granddaughter is beautiful, flirty & already such a character. We did a lot of thinking on our drive out there, during the trip & on our way back. We decided that we have never liked living where we are, that we came here to help my mother deal with my grandmother (who passed away in 2008) and since my husband will have 20 years at his current employer in 2015 (after which he has maxed out his rate of pay for retirement, meaning he will earn whatever he is making in 2015 on his retirement), we will be leaving & moving back home. We have started to save all of our non-essential income (everything that doesn't get used for bills, gas & groceries), agreed we won't be buying anything non-essential & have cut way back on food costs in the hope that we can buy a home when we get there. We plan to make at least one trip out there before the move to house-hunt & job search (more like do interviews & so on, hopefully), so that we have a place to actually move into and income being generated after we get there. Our son will be going with us, as well.

We haven't told anyone here about our decision. We aren't sure how they'll take it & we don't want to deal with all of the anger & guilt trips that we're sure people will try to lay on us, so we'll just wait.

Other stuff.. religiously, I recently read an article that describes my beliefs perfectly:

“Secular Paganism is not a religion; it is an ethical view of the world, based on the belief that Nature is sacred and must be respected and treasured. Secular Pagans hold many of the same views about Nature that religious Pagans and many people of other religions do. Secular Pagans believe that we are a part of Nature, not her master. There are no particular religious views connected with Secular Paganism.” ~ Abby Willowroot

And for me, also explains the conflict I've been having within myself when I lead or participate in ritual. I'm just not feeling it, and I don't think I ever really did. I think I've been trying awfully hard to make myself feel it, but I'm just not succeeding & I feel like I've been living a lie.

I don't believe in "magick" or deities, I don't feel the energy in circles everyone else claims to feel or what they say they feel in stones & what have you. I know if a house is haunted or if something bad has happened somewhere, or if someone is a sketchy individual, but it doesn't take a religion to tell me that.

I'm tired of ritual and all of the going through the motions. I think I'm more a person who would prefer to mark the changing seasons in my own way, with a meal or changing the decor in my home or whatever. It's more personal & meaningful to me that way. So, I stepped down as High Priestess today, and I feel free finally.

Foodwise? I made it to about 40 days abstinent & then started gradually slipping away. I didn't have a solid food plan & wasn't paying attention to my old habits. I'm signed up with SparkPeople again, counting my calories and taking care of myself. Progress not perfection.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Two Steps Forward..

It hasn't been a great few days for me. I've let outside bullshit affect my inner peace. I don't feel that I had a slip, I just let some of my good behaviors & tools slide to the wayside for a couple of days. I didn't binge, or eat compulsively, I just didn't pay attention to my hunger/full signals & also ate some stuff that my body apparently doesn't do well with. It's strange that I never noticed it before, but I get a bad stomach ache when I eat beef.

Anyway. Stuff that went wrong. My daughter sent me a hateful letter early in the week. She usually acts this way when she's been back to drinking, so I have to assume that she's given in to the folks making pruno in the prison. I figured it was only a matter of time, honestly. That part of it doesn't bother me, it's her damned life. It bothers me when she tries to drag me into her manufactured drama. She has her self convinced that my best friend's daughter is talking about her & saying that her marriage will never last. She isn't saying anything, and is so wrapped up in her own life (with a 6 year old, a 2 year old & a baby due in September) that she barely remembers my daughter is married. This knowledge changes nothing in my daughter's mind, because she has convinced herself that it is otherwise & she can never be wrong.

She is also very angry that we'll be attending our niece's wedding in Colorado in June, because we didn't go to hers'. There were many reasons that we didn't go to her's, the first being that she had just disowned me and refused to invite me to it. When my husband told her he wasn't going because I wasn't invited, she waited two more weeks to grudgingly invite me to go. Next, was the fact that she had promised no less than four men that when she got out of rehab (which happened on November 1, 2012) she would marry them. (she married someone not included in this pool of men on January 21, 2013), so it rather seemed like her goal was to be married, not to find a life-partner. We also knew she was drinking & wanted no part in that.

I don't feel that I owe anyone an explanation for my actions, I did what I needed to in order to keep my emotions safe. We are going to our niece's wedding because we haven't done anything with my husband's family for 20 years & it's about time we do. We're also going to go & meet our brand new granddaughter while we're there.

There was an unrelated incident with someone else that made me very angry & upset, and I instantly derailed & stopped paying attention to my stomach. I appear to be back on track today, thankfully!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Food Obsession

I'm up & at it very early today; I think I've been awake since 4:00am. I had a very restless night, I guess there's just too much coming up & I have too much on my mind to just pass out like I usually do. I'm not stressed out or fixating on food or anyone else's addictions, so my programs are going well.. just thinking about what I need to get done for the trip we're making next week. I'm afraid the trip will be challenging for me, food-wise, but I'm determined to come up with some strategies to help me handle not being able to be in control of my food for a few days.

Anyway. I've noticed something over the past nearly 3 weeks, something that I'm very pleased with: food has started to become pretty unimportant to me. Yes, I get hungry and I eat when that happens, but I don't spend my entire meal obsessing over the next meal to come, how much I've eaten, feeling guilty, being ecstatic over the taste or any of the other crazy things that used to fill my head constantly about food & eating.

I don't feel guilty for throwing food away that I can't finish, I don't save it for later & I don't finish everything on my plate most of the time. And most of the time I am amazed that it takes so little to satisfy my hunger. I always thought I was starving & couldn't get enough to eat, so that I was getting second & third helpings. No wonder I had forgotten what hunger truly felt like, I couldn't even tell you what I had eaten during the day, I wasn't paying attention to it as I shoveled it compulsively into my mouth! Now I keep track of everything I eat as a part of my Action Plan, but as soon as I log it, I let it go. I don't sit around & tell myself I ate badly, or could have done better, or didn't eat enough. I know that none of those things are true.

Food is finally just fuel.

Monday, May 13, 2013


Today, I am 2 weeks abstinent. Many of the members of my home group made it seem that abstinence was almost impossible & I was afraid I wouldn't be able to achieve it. I also realize that I'm in the "honeymoon phase" of OA & could have a much harder time maintaining my abstinence later on, but I don't see the reality of working the program unless I am giving it 100%. If I'm not abstinent, then I'm not working my program, much like I believe that I can't be working my Al-Anon program if I'm still trying to control the actions of the alcoholics in my life or engaging in other co-dependent behaviors.

I heard someone tell me, the other day, that they were working their program other than the food part and I guess I don't understand that. This is a 12-step program for compulsive overeaters, it's all about "the food part," like AA is all about "the alcohol part." I feel like too many people think that abstinence, or striving to be abstinent or willingness to be abstinent is optional. I understand struggling, I understand that we slip & binge. Just don't tell me you're working your program when you're really back in the food. If you're struggling, ask me for help. If you're in the food, tell me, so I can tell you I'll be here for you when you need me. I can't be effective if you're not honest.

I'm sorry. I'm a little disappointed in that person. We were co-sponsoring & she was doing so well in the beginning & then she suddenly left me hanging. I know she's experiencing a lot of stress in her life and I know that the temptation to go back to our old ways is a strong one during times of immense turmoil. I'm thankful she's at least working her steps right now. I do hope that she'll go back to the beginning & start with #1.

I see no one in my home group who's recovery I want, I do want a sponsor, but I won't settle for one who doesn't have the type of recovery that I need in my life. For me, abstinence MUST be the foundation of my recovery.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Good Days

I was so tired last night when the day was done that I didn't come in here to write, but I was thinking about what I wanted to say.

People often say that this must be the hardest addiction of them all, because, we still have to use the stuff we're addicted to. A compulsive overeater can't just stop eating anymore than a "normal" person can. If you're an addict/alcoholic you stop using mind-altering substances, work your program & you're pretty much golden.

I'm faced with my addiction at least 3 times a day when I decide what I'm going to eat for each meal & how much. There are other times throughout the day when I catch myself reaching for something to snack on when 'm not at all hungry, and it's the strangest feeling in the world, now that I'm actually paying attention. I actually start to get a little adrenaline rush as I reach for that food, as I'm going after my fix. I haven't given into it, I've stopped myself each time with positive & decisive self-talk (when is also a strange feeling) & questioning my motives & what it is that I'm really after.

In the beginning of this journey to my new life & the new, healthy me (and I mean not only physically healthy, but mostly spiritually & mentally healthy) I sat down & did a lot of thinking about how I was going to manage to eat three times a day & remain abstinent. How, in God's name, was I going to stop eating compulsively? Was I going to eat only what I had to have to survive? Was my eating plan going to be cut & dry, with how many ounces of protein, serving of starches and such? Would I be able to even make it a week that way? How would I feed myself AND my family that way? Would I be able to identify my triggers?

All of this was, for me, a matter of changing my attitude about food - the way I think about it. An alcoholic knows that the next drink they take could be the one that kills them, this helps them in the times when they are struggling with their addiction. I had to tell myself that any food that I eat after I'm full or before I'm hungry is poison to me. I allow myself to eat the foods - those that aren't triggers - that I like, in moderation. I pay attention to my body & the signals it's telling me about hunger. I eat slowly, I often set my plate down & wait to see if I'm still hungry before proceeding (we eat in the living room, with no space for a kitchen table). The minute that I know I'm full, I take my plate into the kitchen & get rid of what's left on it. As soon as everyone else is done eating, the leftovers get put away. Lately, there seem to be an awful lot of leftovers, as my eating habits seem to be rubbing off on other members of my family.

Just a short time ago, I was stymied by the idea that anyone could survive on normal, healthy portions of food & worried that I would get too hungry if I gave up snacking. I would see that a serving of protein was 4 ounces & would seriously doubt that anyone eats that way. When I received my Newcomer's packet on my first day at OA and read "Dignity of Choice," which contains various choices in food plans I automatically chose the one that allowed the most per meal, because I was terrified of being hungry without a few snacks during the day. I followed that food plan for a couple of days & realized that was just too much food per meal for me, I was getting way too full.

My plan of eating is currently pretty simple; I eat three meals a day & a snack if I'm truly hungry in the evening, but it must be a moderate portion of something that I didn't get in my earlier meals (such as veggies, fruit or dairy). I only eat when I'm hungry. I eat slowly & pay attention to the signals my body is sending me about hunger & fullness & I stop when I'm no longer hungry. I do have some trigger foods & I'm avoiding them completely, other than that, I eat what the rest of my family eats. I sometimes eat full, normal portions of all of the food on my plate & sometimes I don't eat that much, it depends on my hunger level. I never eat to an uncomfortable level & I never stop while I still feel hungry. I'm so pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong that no one could live off of normal portion sizes & that I didn't need the huge portions I've been eating for most of my life!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Hi, I'm Dyane & I'm a Compulsive Overeater..

I've known for awhile, I had even bought the books for Overeaters Anonymous, but I had never worked up the courage to actually get myself to a meeting & say those words out loud. I started reading The Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous & "The Little Brown Book" over a year ago, and I found strength & comfort in them, but I couldn't find the courage to face my own demons & fears & just go to a meeting. I stopped reading 12 & 12 when I hit step 4, knowing I wasn't ready to start working that step, and figured there was no point in reading about it. Yes, just another way to deny myself the help I really needed while I "waited for someone who'd go with me."

In the meantime, my feelings and life careened out of control, my daughter went to prison (it's a long story, but comes down to unwillingness to get & stay sober) and my husband & I started attending Al-anon meetings. I started without him, but took our son-in-law with us, hoping it would give him the tools he'll need to be married to our daughter & not lose himself. I already knew I was losing whatever serenity I'd found while she was in rehab & needing help finding it & maintaining it. My husband & best friend started coming in the following weeks, and then we started having a second meeting during the week at another location & we started attending that one, too.

For the past several months, my husband & son had been attending an AA meeting together, and during one of those in the past few weeks my husband was asked to speak at the speaker meeting. He agreed & asked myself & my best friend to attend. We did, and him saying something I have heard many times (I was sick & tired of being sick & tired) brought my best friend to her psychological knees. She went home that night & cried for hours. We spoke about it a few days later & she said we had to start an OA group of our own, because she couldn't do this anymore - I stared at her & told her there was a meeting here in town already, on Saturday mornings & we agreed to go.

We've only gone to two meetings so far, but going and meeting other people who have the same problems I do & being accepted without judgment for what feels like the first time in my life has made a profound difference in my life & the way I am able to view food now. I'm taking time eating, something I'm starting to do without thinking, just like I wolfed my food down with no thought for most of my life. I'm stopping when I'm full instead of eating myself sick. It's not a lot, but it's a start & chance at a new life.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Better Today

I'm not nearly so angry today, and I actually managed to get quite a bit done around the house. I got the living room cleaned up so it could e vacuumed by my husband, then we got the Yule tree put up and decorated, all before he had to leave for work at 5:30.

I spent a lot of time searching for a missing gift in my bedroom and in the process the bedroom looks a bit better, too. I didn't find the gift, but everything else is wrapped & ready to go. I can't put them under the tree, because my daughter's cat (yes, THAT daughter) will pee on them. I don't know why I have to take care of the little beast after she never bothered to properly box train her, but I apparently do (I don't dislike cats.. ours is wonderful & sweet and never goes on the floors or anything else).

That's a bout it.. I stayed on program today, but I'm too tired to post what I ate today, so I'm going to go to bed, instead!