Monday, April 28, 2014

Leaving Neverland...

Hello Darlings,
I've missed you this past week, but you see, it wouldn't have done to have written till now: till at least this part of the story was completed. I will probably still talk a bit in riddles, "to protect the innocent" as the elusive "they" say. And please do not think for a moment that this is about me "consciously uncoupling" from my spouse. It is not.

Do you remember the story of Peter and Wendy? Everyone always focuses on Pan and the Lost Boys. Or the ineptitude of Hook. Or the magic and spiteful jealousy of Tink. Very little thought is paid to Wendy. She's not exactly the "princess" type. Yet, to me, she is very much a modern day heroine: a good girl who, though rash actions and good intentions, gets lost, yet is brave enough to leave Pan and Neverland.

Wendy has been in my thoughts for a while now.
Wendy is good and kind and honest and loyal.
She is a helper.
A nurturer.
A gifted storyteller.

By a modern phrases, Wendy might also be seen (at first) as naive, imaginative, impulsive, co-dependent, and disrespected.

Wendy gets to go on this grand adventure. An adventure that she in part created.
To a land that is not real.
But it doesn't turn out the way she pictured it would.
Good things at first, and then more and more misadventures.
To the point where it becomes intolerable to remain in Neverland.
Wendy, and her brothers, thankfully go home.

I like Wendy very much, primarily because she grows up to a point in the story where she says, "Enough!" and without drama or conflict, removes herself from Neverland. She is a classic tale of quiet recovery. Do we notice? Do we see?

Over these past 22 months, my life has undergone a dramatic transformation as the direct result of putting down my addiction (the food) and the working through and daily practicing of my spiritual "tools." A lot of facing my biggest fears and, in the process, growing up and becoming a responsible, authentic person. A person who sets boundaries. Someone who wants to be firmly in reality and not fantasy or delusion or make-believe when it comes to myself, in particular. No longer do I want to hold on to "Neverland" beliefs like "Oh, you're not fat." (I weighed nearly 300 pounds) or "You don't have an eating problem." (I could not control my eating/binging for any length of time).

I am not a Lost Boy (or Girl). I have no need for Pixie Dust. You do not need to be one of the lost either. We can be like the heroine Wendy: strong and brave and good and determined to grow up.
Turns out, growing up is a very good thing.
Erica Robinson

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Addict in me: being brave.

It was weigh day today and I gained weight.
And I'd had the stomach flu the day before, so I really shouldn't have gained weight.
But I had. 1.2# Boo. Hiss.
It was the first time in 21 months of faithfully doing my program that I had not lost weight.
It shook me.
What did I do wrong? What do I need to give up? What should I have done different, or better, or something...?

I knew I wasn't going to stop weighing and measuring my food. That would be disastrous! I'd end up pushing 300# again before I could say, "Jack Sprat".

It still was eating at me though.
And then her call came. This new friend of mine. Who does what I do. And gets it. She called to reassure me that it wasn't about the food. It was about other stuff going on. Things like stress or other things that I wasn't willing to let go of, so my body was in "protection" mode. Shore up the defenses mode. It was a relief to hear her kind and balanced words, because I don't want to be on a diet. Ever. Again. I don't "do" diets well. I'm always fatter at the start of a new diet than I was at the start of my last one, so I don't want to go there. Never.

And she's been doing this for eight years. So, she has some experience. And I listened. And I thought. And I got real quiet with myself and asked, "What am I afraid of?"
- surgery on Friday? Yes, a little.
- work stress? Yes, a little.
- upcoming son's wedding stuff? Yes, a little.
- upcoming son's graduation? Yes, but a very little.
- being too amazing if I'm really, truly me? Yes, a lot.
- losing all my friends because they can't stand me anymore? Yes, a lot.
- by no longer being a people pleaser, having to face the reality of unmasked lives? Uh-huh.
- by putting people outside my circle of trust who used to be there based on their behavior? Uh-huh.
- by wearing a wig everyday because I feel more "me", even when people give me odd looks. Or won't look. Or ask Hubbs questions they won't or don't or can't ask me? Yep.
- by becoming "all flame" in every sense of the word and not being consumed and burned up, but rather spreading joy and light and happiness and truth and goodness and it compounding and growing ever brighter and brighter? Yes.

Oh, well now that measly 18 oz doesn't seem like so much.
Now, I catch a glimpse of how much easier it was to numb out in the food and just be oblivious or slightly depressed that I wasn't reaching my potential.
But now, to not only say, "I want to reach my potential," but "I want to explode and count and matter and do what it takes to make that happen! So watch out world, I'm here and staying!" That is scary. Freaky scary.

But you know what I have learned about myself these past six months as I've been doing my 12-Step work? One of my character assets is that I am brave.

And it is true. I AM BRAVE.
So, respecting myself and my freaking out body, I'm going to take care of myself by staying abstinent and realizing that I can be brave and be me.

So, here are two of my favorite songs that beat with my heartbeat, "be brave", "have courage", and "face your fears, don't run away". The first is "The Misty Mountains Cold" (You'll need adobe flash to watch)

The second is a song that we sing in church from time to time. It is called, "Rejoice, O unwedded bride." (which is the chorus). This version is sung by Divna Ljubojevic. Whenever I hear it, a symphony of courage and praise goes off in my head.

Be Brave, Dear Ones, be brave. Life lived in fear is not what you are meant to live.
Erica Robinson