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Archive for June, 2009

Lord_of_the_Rings_1_by_Caissa

Charlotte, I hope you like the pic I found from DeviantArt to go with your appreciating you post!  I like LOTR as well.  😉  Thank you in participating in this lil idea I had!

For those of you just checking out the blog, in a previous post I invited commentors to write their own self-appreciating and self-acceptance posts that I will make into their own posts for them.  I will continue to post the self-acceptance comments as they come in (and as I get permission to make them into their own posts).  To give each post a nice amount of time in the sun, I will post only one or two a day, since I’m not being drowned in hundreds of them.  😉

Here is Charlotte’s:

Oh, thank you! Thank you, thank you! I so need this right now. I’ve been dumping on myself all day; earlier I looked myself in the mirror and said “I feel so ugly, lonely and gross today. Ugh.” I think sitting down and writing positive things about myself will help me feel better. And I give you permission to make a post out of my list! It’ll give me something positive to look at, and it could help other people. Okay, here it goes:

-I’m a grad student. I go to seminary, where I’m studying, training, and preparing to become a pastor. I’m part of a denomination that endorses women in pastoral ministry (as well as other types of ministry), and have lots of female friends that are on a similar path as me and keep me encouraged.

-I’m a musician. My bachelor’s degree is in church music. I sing, play the piano (sidenote: I really hope you get that piano someday!), and the flute. I also have a slight working knowledge of several other instruments. I participate in my church’s choir and orchestra, where great music ministry happens every week.

-I’m a survivor. In my 23 years, I’ve been through a lot of crappy stuff, like my parents divorce, being viciously bulllied for 5 years and having my self esteem trampled on, to more recently, being kicked out of my previous apartment at 2 a.m.

-My favorite color is purple, I’ve loved it ever since I was in fifth grade. In my apartment, I have a purple comforter set on my bed, and all my towels are purple. I have so many purple shirts, I could wear a new one every day of the week. When I gave my senior voice recital, I wore a fabulous purple dress, and had my ushers and hostesses wore purple. I’m wearing purple as I type this! Whenever my friends see something in purple that they think I’d like, they tell me about it or just go ahead and get it for me.

-I have a loud laugh, and I laugh at almost everything! There have been times where I’ve been out with my friends, laughed really loud, and people would look at us. But what’s cool is that some of those people would come up to me and tell me they love my laugh. Oh, and when I get to laughing really hard, I snort, lol. One time, a friend of mine told me that my laugh should be recorded and put inside greeting cards.

-I have difficulty maintaining eye contact with people. I think it started while I was being bullied by people in elementary school. I have to work very hard to maintain eye contact with someone for more than a few seconds. I feel an incessant need to look away at a wall or down at the floor. This problem gets worse when I’m talking to someone I really respect and admire, like the music minister at my church.

-I love crime dramas! I got hooked on Law & Order the summer after my sophomore year of high school, and it’s progressed ever since. The shows I watch on a regular basis are Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU (my favorite!), CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Without a Trace, and The Mentalist.

-I’ve had a crush on Matt Lauer since I was 12. He’s the reason why I’m such a news junkie. Speaking of news caster crushes, I also have a thing for Anderson Cooper. :) I also have a crush on Conan O’Brien. I know he’s not a news guy, but I thought I might as well throw that in too.

-I’m a night person; I’m at my most active and most creative in the late afternoon/evening.

-I love to read! I like deep thinky stuff like C.S. Lewis and St. Augustine of Hippo, fantasy stuff like The Lord of The Rings, and not so deep stuff like the Twilight series.

-My favorite eye color is blue. I myself have brown eyes, but I really hope my future husband has blue eyes.

-The first Broadway show I ever saw was The Phantom of The Opera. It was incredible!

-I like laying on my balcony late at night and listening to music.

-I am constantly tweaking with the music in my iTunes; adding and deleting music, and making new playliists.

-When I watch the news, I’m always checking out what the male newscasters are wearing. And I get really excited when they wear purple. :)

-I know Hebrew! Biblical Hebrew, that is (although it is pretty similar to modern day Hebrew). I’ve taken two semesters of it in seminary, and will be taking more. At some point I’ll also be learning Greek.

-A pair of jeans, a cute t-shirt, and flip flops (or my Chucks, depending on what time of year it is) is my favorite thing to wear. I also like tying a bandana around my head on occasion. I own lots bandanas in various colors, so I can cordinate with my outfits.

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Love_yourself_by_redhotkiedis33

I’m on a posting roll today.  😉  If you haven’t guessed already, I have my own laptop again and it’s helping the posting train get chugging again.  Whooo hooooo!  My wonder-hubby fixed up one of his old laptops for me, since it will be a while more before we can afford to get me a new one.  As long as this old one holds out, I am a happy girl.  I’d rather save the money I would spend on a new laptop and get a little piano when the bank account is looking less peckish.

This post was inspired from the Paying Attention to Myself post that I wrote… what… an hour ago?  Heh.  In order to foster more loving attention to me/from me, I decide to write a post that bullets out some things about me that I like, don’t like, that are weird and make me laugh… or whatever else.  I invite you to hit the comments with your own lists of self-appreciation, self-knowledge, self-acceptance and all that too!  I love to lend out the spotlight to those who would like it, if you mention in your comment that you would like your list to be it’s own post – I will make your list about you its own post and put a pretty picture with it and stuff.  If you’re shy, it’s cool.  I will only make posts out of those comments that give me permission to do so.  I also understand shyness very well.  😉  If I get lots of comments with permission to make them into their own posts with a pretty picture and all that, I will space them out as needed.  Right now, I’m thinking that the best way to do this is to give each commentor their own post in the spirit of fully lending the spotlight so that others can celebrate themselves!  Celebrate and comment away!  I want to hear about you.  🙂

Now… about me… stuff about me:

~ I love my green eyes.  Green like forests that I love… green like Ireland of my ancestory… and what is really neat is how green eyes are so rare.  According to Wiki, green eyes are the most rare found among humans.  92% of Icelanders have green eyes for some reason.  Most of the green eyed people in the US have Celtic or Germanic lineage (all from wiki again).

~ I am both German, Scandinavian and Celtic.  I suppose that explains the eyes, eh?

~ I love nerdy facts that I can link back to myself – like the eye thing.  😀

~ I can curse fluently in Hindi and often do under my breath.

~ I took piano lessons for years and years when I was a kid, but never learned timing.  It all worked out though, cuz I only wanted to play songs that I knew very well anyway.  If we buy a piano again, I want to learn timing.  I think the ritalin will make it possible for me this time.

~ I think my husband is a ridiculously hot man.  Sometimes I just wanna eat him with a spoon.  Yum!

~ When I was a little girl, my dream was to somehow magically become a medieval English princess, so I could wear all the lavish dresses and embroider all day – as the books I were reading at the time described.

~ My mother (who is originally from Chicago) used to punish me for speaking with a twang, so I learned to speak “city”… even though the people where I grew-up seemed to find it pretentious, arrogant… and kids made fun of me.

~ In highschool, I pretty much stopped speaking to my parents and developed a twang on purpose and in secret.  It did wonders for my social life (again, I grew up in a very rural and “rednecky” kinda place).

~ Nowadays, when I go back to my hometown, I start twanging without even thinking about it.  When I come back to Chicago, it can take me a day or so to lose my twang again – without any conscious effort.

~ I like being able to speak both “country” and “city.”  😀

~ I have no idea how people have favorite colors.  I like so many colors.  I don’t think I’ve EVER had a favorite color… except when I was four, and I was obsessed with pink.

~ I am 5’9″.  My mother is 5’3″.  I once had a boyfriend who told me that I was weird, because I grew to be as tall as my biological father.  “Not many women get as big as their fathers!”  He said this like it was a bad thing.  He was a jerk… prolly still is.

~ I regret that I majored in Finance.  I like math, but I hate the corporate environment.  If I had gone with my heart, I’d be a writer.

~ My childhood best friend and I used to take flashlights and Symphony chocolate bars into my house’s basement bombshelter and read scary stories to eachother.  I still remember how hugely dusty it smelled… but we loved it and neither of us had allergies, so it didn’t matter to us.

~ My great-grandmother was a nun.  Really.  She didn’t stay a nun forever, obviously… but still!

~ I spent all of my childhood and many adult years finding it extremely difficult to make or maintain eye contact.

~ If I get very bored, I find myself automatically messing with christmas songs to be about my cats…

~ I love kids and animals.

~ If I could have anything today… I’d have a huge farm for abandoned animals to find them homes and all that.

~ I prefer to always sleep diagonally across the bed at night.  Because of this, it is also my dream to some day have a king sized bed, so I can do this without bothering Mr. Agr.  😀

~ I miss the nights I would go lay on my parents’ roof and look at the stars.  On a clear night, to look into the sky and see nothing by sky and stars made me dizzy… it felt like I was falling into the sky.

~ If I could live in trackpants, I probably would.  They are so comfy!!

–AngryGrayRainbows

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Smug_by_DeceivingReflection

…and then there’s the thoughts they say outloud.  Do you ever just get tired of all of it?  I am so tired of it.

Yesterday, hubby and I were invited to see some friends.  In the time I last saw these people, I gained weight.  It’s obvious.  I was a little tired, so hubby went alone.  I’m an early -to-bed person anyway and by the time he was leaving it was already very near my bedtime.  But, the truth is that I was tired, but had I not on top of that tiredness not wanted to deal with other people’s reactions to my weight, I would’ve went.  It’s that simple.

I consider myself good (sometimes painfully so) at reading other people’s faces, body language and such.  I’m tired of the stolen looks, because someone wants to confirm just how much my body has changed.  I’m tired of the “what happened?” questions that assume some tragedy must’ve taken place for me to have gained two sizes worth of weight.  I’m tired of the advice that I DIDN’T EVEN ASK FOR.  I don’t need you to tell me to exercise and eat right.  *headdesk*  In this culture, seriously – how could ANYONE forget that mantra of weight loss.  Nevermind that there are lots of people who eat healthily and moderately and stay active and yet still manage to be fat.  Nevermind that I spent years starving myself and my metabolism has issues.  Nevermind the anti-depressants that are famous for causing changes in weight.

I spent a significant amount of time yesterday wondering if it is somehow wrong for me to stay home, simply cuz I don’t want to deal with the weight reactions, the unwanted advice, the weight talk and whatever.  The answer became clearer, when I asked myself what advice I’d give to someone else in the same situation.  Yeah, it’s perfectly okay.  I’m not advocating for some kind of hermitish extreme – just the occassional staying home, cuz I don’t always have the mental and emotional energy to deal with it.

Then I think… this sucks!  We need more fat people out there joyfully living life, so that people get USED to seeing us out there so that we’re not such anomalies when we leave the house being fat or having gained some weight or whatever it is that garners unwanted attention from friends and family.  It sucks that there is one more obstacle (and in my case a very painful and tiring one) to us getting out and living life.  Agh… it makes me so mad.

I’m an introvert anyway without putting this obstacle in my path.  Even as a fairly thin person, being around people was very tiring for me.  I feel overwhelmed by what I see underneath the surface of what people portray.  I see their insecurities, their frustrations, their smugness, their judgements… I see good things too, but it’s not the good things that tire me.  My therapist says I am very perceptive at reading body language, tone of voice, etc.  Sure, it comes in handy sometimes, but a lot of the time it is just a barrage of information I don’t want or need.  I’ve never learned to shut it off.  I suppose it could be somehow possible to shut it off in some way other than sleep.  Sleep is the only solution I have at the moment, as I’m not a fan of getting buzzed.  Who am I kidding?  Hah.  I have to get plastered to become that dulled.  With a buzz, I am as perceptive as ever… just less inhibited about telling other people what I think is going on behind their eyes.  Some of my close friends in high school told me that they were sure I was somehow magical.  It was never magic.  I’ve just spent an inordinate amount of time in my life observing people and learning to read them.  I’m sure being raised by a psychologist didn’t hurt either.

It just sucks that I wanted to see these friends and I didn’t go.  I’ve been thinking about visiting them for weeks now.  If it had been earlier in the day when we were invited, I would’ve had more energy to deal with all that I notice and I would’ve went.  While it is nice to know that I am not a total hermit and that I can tolerate interactions with people in lots of settings, I am also angry and sad that I missed out on last night and I wonder how many other things I have missed out on due to just not wanting to deal with the looks, the unwanted advice and all those nasty bits.

Sorting through these thoughts and feelings makes me want to take advantage of the energy I do have and the periods of time I am able to get out there and have fun without feeling overwhelmed by the behavior, thoughts and feelings of others.  A few ideas about how, when and where to get out and do stuff have occurred to me now that I have faced the mental block of the vague thought of “agh… I don’t even want to deal with it… meh.”

I also think that practicing some compassion in some new ways might help me as well.  Like… of course these people have auto-thoughts about my weigh and weight gain.  We all live in the US and we’re all drowned with weight and fat hype every day in a million different ways.  Heck, I have automatic thoughts all the time.  I just challenge them so that they cannot take root.  Maybe feeling some compassion for these folks rather than just getting annoyed would be more helpful… 😀  Yes, I think so.  I think I’ll spend some time practicing this today in visualization.  I’ve found that if I visualize a certain situation and then imagine in great detail what it would be like to react differently that it can help a lot in changing my reactions.  Any one else ever do that?

Thoughts?  Questions?  Comments?  Challenges?

–AngryGrayRainbows

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Glued_by_alokoi_photo

Years ago, I read the first half of “The Power of Now” by Eckart Tolle.  I ignored the really weird parts of his book (like how PMS is the result of male aggression vibes on women or something) and just read through his instructions for meditation.  It’s funny how brilliant things come in weird packages, because Tolle gave me most of the fundamentals I needed to even begin to know how to meditate.  Thich Nhat Hahn was also extremely informative without all the coo-coo banana stuff you get from Tolle.  Between the two of them, I have learned valuable skills on how to be more centered and how to be happy and not to take my thoughts literally, etc.

But, there was this one thing from “The Power of Now” that I never understood until this weekend.  Tolle recommends observing your quietness of mind and/or the thoughts that arise (in other words… your simply being…) by watching like a cat would watch for a mouse – to be so observant that you are ready to pounce on anything that arises, observe it and let it go.  Tolle explains that most thought will dissolve under the spotlight of observation and the way to quiet a mind is simply to observe it – to watch it without engaging it.  Merely notice what comes up…

I have four cats.  You’d think I’d understand the cat and mouse metaphor, but I never have.  I have ADD to the extent that I simply cannot relate to a cat waiting single-mindedly for a mouse.  Sure, now and then I get the ADD hyper-focus thing, but, for me, the hyper-awareness is rare.  I tend more towards inattentiveness, impulsiveness, spaciness and/or hyperactivity in various combinations depending on the weather or the alignment of the planets or who knows what.  Last week, I found a way to frame Tolle’s advice in a way that I can understand and relate to: I pay loving, compassionate and non-judging attention to myself.

To survive the accumulated wounds of decades of abuse and PTSD, I have had to learn a lot about compassion, especially for myself.  I’ve responded well to methods like reparenting that helped me learn how to treat myself like a worthy human being and allowed me to relive (via visualization) past traumas and respond to them differently in my mind, if nowhere else.  As simple as these things may sound, they were revolutionary to me.  Most of ya’all prolly wouldn’t believe how far I have come.

Back to the subject at hand, I imagine that what I think and feel are the most facinating, interesting things in the world… and, suddenly I am more centered, more calm, less of a super-spazz and, ironically, far better able to listen patiently to other people.  I’ve noticed that if I want to behave better in some way with people that a good first place to look is how I treat myself in these same situations.  For example, when I didn’t have compassion for myself, I had little compassion for anyone else either.  I generally had more compassion for other people than myself, but my ability to feel compassion for others increased the most when I started finding compassion for myself.  Apparently, this is another one of those reciprocal relationships, where if I listen to myself more fully, I suddenly find it far easier to listen to others.  It’s so strange how that works…

Have you noticed that reciprocal relationship in your own behavior?  It seems to be a pretty widespread phenomenon in my own mind.  I’ve always wondered how many others have this as well.  My guess has been that it is a common human trait.

–AngryGrayRainbows

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Toxic_Love_by_angelfluffIt’s around 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, and the only sounds I hear right now are birds chirping.

Nice.

My husband and little girl are both still sleeping, which is a good thing, because they appear to be sharing a nasty cold. Mr. Rounded has a fever, chills, sniffles and sneezes, while the superheroprincess doesn’t seem to have a fever, just sneezes and sniffles. I feel like my own getting a cold is inevitable, in spite of extra vitamin C and hand washing, there are just too many germs around for me not to run into them.

But I don’t have a cold yet. So, I’m happy about that.

What I want to write about, however briefly, is my mental health. Which, all things considered, isn’t too bad. It’s just that I feel… damaged. It’s like there’s a superfund site in my brain requiring massive, long-term clean up, and I don’t even know what type of hazmat suit to wear when cleaning it up. Plus, there’s only one of me, so it’s going to take a long time. And, where do I put the toxic waste?

The toxic waste is what my therapist, PhD Coachy, thinks needs to see the light of day. And it’s hard, since part of my coping has been to bury it far underground. Sure, the radioactive gunk causes all sorts of problems when it’s buried underground, instead of treated, but I’m invested in covering it up.

I had this very clear realization yesterday after my therapy session, while scheduling my next appointments and writing my co-pay check, I don’t like to be looked at because I’m afraid there’s something about the way I look that makes people want to hurt me.

Anyone around here ever feel that way?

It’s a terrible conundrum for an extrovert like me. Hey, look at me! See what I can do! Come be my friend! vs. stay the fuck away because somehow, there’s something about me that makes people want to hurt me. I’m this very interesting mix of open and closed, vulnerable and protected. My openness and ability to see beauty around me is something I really love about myself. And yet my protective defenses keep me locked down tight inside around some things. It’s getting in the way, and I want to keep working on it. There’s no good reason why the openness, perception of beauty, and love can only be outward facing.

So, blogging, and dancing, and therapy, and deep breathing, and taking risks at work, and having friends, and having a long-term relationship (not the first) and staying connected to my family, as difficult as that can be at times, all of these things are really good for the extroverted me. And also can be really scary.

It’s no wonder I have some pretty nasty protective barriers inside. All this barbed wire and electrified fencing around the toxic waste that I’ve contained, the hurt I’ve tried to manage by burying deep.

The problem is, it’s leaking. I’m having a hard time getting where I want to go. Reality sometimes can’t get through all of those barriers.

Example: I have some health stuff going on that being a bit smaller would help with. There are other options, but getting just a bit smaller feels like the least invasive treatment for what I’m dealing with. But I do feel attached to not losing weight, and really resistant to doing anything close to dieting. It’s a pain in the butt to be in this position. So I say to PhD Coachy, “If I tell you I’ve lost weight, I want you to say ‘awwwwwww,’ instead of ‘you look fantastic,’ or ‘congratulations.’ ” And he says, “First off, you already look fantastic.” And I can’t hear anything after that because I’ve gone into lock down mode, and inside, I’m hearing “Can’t be true” “He’s lying” “Don’t trust him” “It’s a trap” “Don’t believe it.” I can’t maintain eye contact. Earlier, PhD Coachy is encouraging me to talk about some of the peer abuse stuff, to relay some messages, and I really can’t access anything other than a few mixed memories, not the worst stuff. I mostly remember how it felt, more than things that happened. I remember feeling, on the playground in particular, things are never going to get better.

Now I’m sleepy.

I hope you have a great weekend.

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They_Disagree__by_city_in_surrender

I’ve been debating myself on whether or not to take-on that seeming “sacred cow” that is the twelve-steps.  On the very pro-12-step side of my family, they were very clear that I could be KILLING people (yes, killing them) by turning people off to “the program,” as they call it. 

The thing is, the years I spent in AA and OA (alcoholics anonymous and overeaters anonymous) were some of the worst years of my life, hands-down.  My alcoholic biological father kept at me that I was some kind of alcoholic, though most of the time I didn’t like alcohol.  I had spent some time in my early 20’s binge drinking and that was enough for him to label me.  Beyond that, he knew my weight went up and down (due to the eating disorder that he refused to acknowledge existed) and he also pressured me into OA. 

My biological father is quite a disgusting character.  When 9/11 happened, he lured me from New York with promises of paying for my university and some of my living expenses.  It started out okay, but slowly and surely, he attached strings to everything, before I hardly had any control over my own life anymore.  At the same time, he helped less and less with my uni and living expenses.  After I had been living near the bio-idiot in a whole new city and region of the country for nearly a year, I disclosed that I felt a horrible depression coming on and that I really, really, really, really didn’t want to become suicidal again.  I asked for help of some sort to make the madness stop.  So, bio-jerk got me a therapist.  The therapist, however, is awesome.  She has saved my life.  But, when I really started showing improvements to my mental and emotional health, the bio-idiot tied my going to 12-step meetings to his helping me pay for therapy (therapy in my case wasn’t cheap).  It felt like 12-steps were undoing all the good I had done in therapy already and was pulling me back into the depression I was just starting to get some small distance from. 

What were my problems with the 12-steps…?  I had lots…

I will start with their beginning creed.  Before every meeting, someone read this statement about how if you are willing to be honest with yourself that this method will work for you.  Period.  Only years later did I realize that the success rate for AA was something like 5%, which is the same as the people who spontaneously get sober without any kind of help.  It was beaten into my brain (and a vulnerable brain it was in those years…) that if I could just get it right that I would get better. 

In OA, there seemed to be this overwhelming fixation on this “no white flour/no sugar” diet that supposedly cured “food addiction.”  This was before I realized food isn’t addictive – period.  I realized that what really worked for me was working on the underlying issues (PTSD, abuse, ADD, depression, etc…) and intuitive eating… but, I couldn’t find support for this within OA.  I don’t know if any IE or HAES people were active in any of the meetings I went to.  The only talk I ever heard was of “unclean food behavior”, constant weigh-ins, food addiction and the no white flour/no sugar diet.  I was told by my own sponsors and several other people of influence from OA and AA that wanting to process my issues (like the decades of abuse I suffered) was something like mental masturbation and that I needed to just get a life and stop eating flour, sugar and all that…. then everything would be peachy keen.  *headdesk* 

People who left the group were described as “somewhere… I don’t know… out there…maybe dead!”  I never saw it assumed that someone might have found another path other than 12-steps and gotten better.  It was 12-steps or die. 

One thing that always rubbed me the wrong way was the nasty self-talk.  Meeting goers overwhelmingly talked about themselves as if they were bratty children who would try to get away with anything if it might over a millisecond of “fun.”  I  started to adopt this self-talk myself and descended further into self-hate and righteous self-bashing that was ultimately self-destructive.  I got to the point where I couldn’t stop crying due to the constant self-criticism and obsessive self-analysis. 

My therapist explained to me that sometimes the 12-steps REALLY, REALLY, REALLY don’t work for some people.  Some women who have never felt like they had any control in their lives do not react well to the creed that we are “powerless” over our problems and need to blindly follow direction to get better.  Heck, I’d been admitting powerlessness my whole life and blindly followed whoever since I was a little kid!  The 12-steps wasn’t something revolutionary to me… it was the same old crap. 

Other things that bug me about “the program”:

– it supposedly has no religious affiliation, but is chock full of god-talk and it was obviously and largely xtian god-talk. 

– it is said in one of their creeds that the steps are merely suggestions (implying that you don’t have to take them 100% literally carved in concrete), but I never found a single group (and I went to dozens of meetings in a huge metro area) that didn’t put enormous pressure on attendees to follow the steps AS-IS with little to no deviation. 

– the program seems to straight-up lie… and it doesn’t even try to lie subtley.  They say OA is not a diet program, but most of the people are on the no white flower/no sugar diet!  They say anyone who is capable and willing to be honest with themselves can succeed, but only 5% of people who go to AA meetings ever become lastingly sober.  Then there are the other hippocracies I’ve already listed above…  Not to mention the bit about theirs being a program of “attraction not promotion.”…. LOL… that might be the biggest lie of all.  12-step groups have lobbied for decades to become the default program forced on people who end up in jail or in psych wards with drug or alcohol problems.  If that isn’t promotion, I don’t know that is.  I simply cannot put my faith in a group that is based on so many lies that are fundamental to the whole program. 

If 12-steps has made you a happy and truly healthy person, then more power to you.  I am not claiming that it doesn’t work at all.  Maybe it does work for some.  My point is that contrary to popular and regularly reported creed – the program doesn’t work for a lot of people and this has nothing to do with those people being unwilling to work hard or be honest and all that.  I am sick and FREAKIN’ HUGELY TIRED of seeing people beat themselves down, because this program obviously isn’t a good fit for them, but they are so brainwashed into believing “it works if you work it” that they are afraid to give up… and ya know… maybe die “out there.”  At best, it might work, if you work it… but that doesn’t have the same emotionally feverish punch does it? 

I have more than one motivation for writing this post.  First off, it is cathartic.  I went through hell with the 12-step groups and a whole different kind of hell with my 12-step obsessed family members.  My stomach turns when I see the popular myths about 12-steps being perpetuated and the program being forced on people who might do a heck of a lot better with some other method(s).  Plus, just thinking about writing this post made me nauseas and made my heart pound… that usually means there is something to process and I’d rather face my fears (in this case, my fear of expressing my beliefs about 12-steps) than sit on them.  My mind goes right back to that memory of a scary AA old-timer screaming at me how I “kept my own counsel too much,” because I was following an IE/OO/HAES path which is self-loving and kind and stopped talking mean stuff about myself and how “deficient” I must be.  Sure, only one person got in my face and loud about it, but it’s not like it didn’t feel strongly to me like he wasn’t saying what most the other folks at meetings thought about where I was going with my recovery.  Meh. 

Lastly, I know there is a lot of resistance in our culture to thinking critically about the 12-steps and I know from experience how much pain this can cause.  Screw sacred cows.  I’ve learned that when something is seen as a sacred cow (like how thinness is the only way to be healthy – EVAR!) that this is a red flag to start figuring out what the hidden catches are and what motivations could be behind promoting an idea of “sacred cowness.” 

I will end this post with something really beautiful that I heard in an OA meeting years ago.  A woman in her (prolly) mid-twenties stood up and said that it is none of her business what her body looks like.  It was her business to live well and eat well and get active and stuff… but if she had a lot of back-fat, it was none of her business.  It was her body’s business… not her business to control and try to diet into perfection.  I wonder if that women stuck with OA for any long period… she sounded way too intuitive to me to want to stick with their diety nonsense…

–AngryGrayRainbows

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cuatro_by_Gismonda999

No joke.  I haven’t dieted in forever, but my weight has never seemed to settle… and it is ANNOYING the heck out of me!  Am I the only one going through this?

I try to be patient.  I know my body has it’s reasons for gaining and losing weight.  Anti-depressants have had a lot to do with it.  Last summer, one particular AD (anti-depressant) made me lose a lot of weight.  I quit that AD, because it made me nervous (and even a bit paranoid after I had been on it for a while) and it made my throat close painfully when I was anxious.  The throat closing thing has happened to me a lot on AD’s, especially when they are also anti-anxiety.  Now I’m on another AD… this one, has made me gain a lot of weight.  It also makes me constantly sleepy and some days I feel like I could sleep all day.  Recovering from the burn-out of my previous job (that was toxic and icky) has helped with the sleepiness some, but some days it is really hard to stay upright.  It’s a shame, cuz this particular AD works really well for me in every other respect than making me super-tired a lot of the time. 

The weight going up and down thing wouldn’t but me so much, if I wasn’t constantly seeming to need new clothes in some new smaller or larger size.  Agh, it is obnoxious and I don’t have the funds to buy myself a new wardrobe every time my body decides to switch things up.  I used to throw out clothes that didn’t fit.  It was the popular recommendation in the eating disorder community not to keep around your “thin” or “fat” clothes and I wanted to do things “right.”  I’ve realized this thing isn’t right for me.  Who knows what size I will be this winter or next summer!  I need all the sizes I can keep, cuz I’m sick of replacing what got thrown out. 

Today, I have a psychiatrist appointment.  I’m going to ask to be put on the lowest dose possible of the AD I’m on currently to see if that makes the sleepiness manageable.  I’m pretty sure the doc will be okay with that as I’m already on the 2nd smallest dose possible and my depression symptoms haven’t popped up in a significant way for a long time.  For some odd reason, my taking ADD meds seem to have more to do with how depressed I’m feeling anyway.  I am one of a minority (I am told) of people who get depression relief from ADD meds.  I will be the first to say that being able to think straight really does help me not be depressed.  Being able to complete a simple thought improves my quality of life GREATLY.  Why this would be a rare reaction to ADD meds, I have no idea… seems like common sense to me.  😉  Ah well… who knows…

Right now, our bathroom has six hampers in it, each of which are full to brimming with clothes.  We are lucky that we have a very large bathroom.  When we were both working full-time (and a lot of over-time to boot!), I couldn’t rationalize washing, drying and folding clothes that don’t fit me… nor was I going to throw clothes out that are too big or too small for me now, when I know darn well that my body could gain or lose a few sizes and I could end up regretting throwing that stuff out.  It is time to wash the clothes and I think I know what to do with them.  I will box and bag them and label them with sizes, so they will be available to me if my body changes in the future.  If I finally settle at some weight (and I mean really settle… like for more than a few months!), I will be more than happy to get rid of those things that don’t fit whether those clothes are bigger or smaller.  I don’t care.  I’m just tired of trying to find myself yet another waredrobe…

I also suspect that some of my weight fluxuations could have something to do with eating disorder recovery.  Who knows what I’ve done to my metabolism or what it needs to go through to heal and all that…

Has anyone else been here… ya know… practicing IE and HAES and eating well and what my body wants and all that, but still weight yoyoing? 

Honestly, it has taken me more than a little fortitude to be able to recognize (and post about) the fact that one’s weight going up and down is associated with all sorts of health problems, when my weight has been doing this my whole life.  My weight used to go up and down according to my eating disorder… but now, I’m living a really great life (and a healthy one!) and yet my weight is still all over the map.  I keep reminding myself that I’m doing the best I can and that no one could ask for more from me… and maybe if I post about my experiences, other people in similar boats will realize they’re not alone. 

Maybe I’ll luck out and stabilize this year or next year… it would be nice to be able to wear the same clothes two years in a row…

–AngryGrayRainbows

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