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”I think he’s actually a very big cat, but most of him is invisible and in his head.” – Says hubby regarding how our little Grayson (the love-noceraus), all of 7lbs, manages to take over half of a queen-sized bed leaving his owners squished and sore fighting over what little part of the bed he left for us…

–AngryGrayRainbows

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baby step number two

I’ve already taken my first step to finding myself and that is in realizing and admitting that I lost or am losing my sense of self.

I’m taking a second step today.  I’m making a decision, I’m owning why I’m making said decision and I’m going to take full responsibility for it and stand behind it.

A few weeks ago (maybe about 3 months ago), my therapist suggested I attend EDA (Eating Disorders Anonymous) meetings.  

Before I went to the first meeting I went online and did all the research I could on EDA.  I was so impressed with the way it sounded because it sounded just like how I’ve been wanting to live.  EDA is a 12 step support group and it’s based on intuitive eating.   They stress that there be no rigidity around food.  They don’t preach food or exercise but instead, feelings and emotions or WHY you do what you do in terms of your eating behaviors.  

I went to a meeting on Monday night and as I walked out of the room at the end of the meeting, I made a conscious decision.  My decision is that I will not be returning to that EDA meeting.  The unfortunate thing is that there is no other meeting anywhere near my area.

Each meeting I’ve attended has left me feeling more unheard about my recovery than when I went in but I promised my therapist and my hubby that I would try it.  Monday night I realized I know what I want my recovery to look like and it isn’t what they’re doing.  The outline for EDA that is online is what I’m searching for but the group that meets calling themselves an EDA group is, in fact, not (or at least not in my opinion). 

A typical meeting would be to go in and have someone read aloud the steps and traditions of EDA and then the leader for that meeting reads from a devotional book. Then the meeting is opened to everyone.  There is no discussion…just random bits of information from everyone.  Monday night, one woman said she was having problems with planning her meals, the guy said he was having problems with portion control, one woman said she was abstaining from all sweets, sugared or non-sugared, one woman said she needs to exercise more.  When I wanted to speak, I talked about my loss of self (as I posted last time).  I bore my soul and let it all hang out.  No one else talked about emotions, feelings or whatever led them to being eating disordered.

Nope!  Not for me!  I tried.  Now, normally at this point I would considert myself a failure because I’m choosing not to continue going.  This time it’s different.  It’s my decision..my very own, for my own reasons.  When I told my hubby I wasn’t going back he didn’t say anything negative (not that it would’ve mattered if he had).  I told him why I felt the way I did and he completely supported me (surprise, right?).  He did, however, ask me if I was going to tell my sponsor and my therapist that I wasn’t going to go anymore.  I told him I was going to tell them both and it didn’t matter how they responded.  I have no reason to back off of my decision and every reason to stick behind it.  That meeting was/is toxic to my recovery and I’m not going to continue going.

I gotta tell ya…I’m pretty darn proud of myself at this point.  I’ve made a decision.  I’ve made a decision for the betterment of ME.  I’m taking full responsibility for it’s outcome.  How cool is this????  It may be a baby step but to me, it’s one hell of a baby step!

~sas

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 I wish I could say I had a happy and fun Thanksgiving but that just would not be the truth.  (Twistie, I should’ve taken you up on your offer!)

The Thanksgiving holiday always involves a family reunion on my husband’s side of the family.  For us, depending on who is hosting the reunion, it involves a lengthy drive of either 3, 7 or 8 hours (this year it was 7 hours).  Hubby and I got into an argument just prior to the trip and it was determined that I would stay home with the dog and he would go to the reunion alone (this was not necessarily a mutal decision between us).

I’ll be honest, this reunion is one of the most stressful times of the year for me.  If my husband were honest, he would agree.  We end up staying with his parents wherever they choose.  I love my in-laws dearly and I totally realize how lucky I am to have the in-laws I do, BUT, this once a year reunion is the most stress inducing, horrible weekend of the year!

The night before hubby was supposed to leave, my husband asked me to please go with him.  He said that the trailer we usually stay in would be available and we would be able to take the dog (our only child) with us.  I reluctantly agreed, knowing full well I would miserable the whole time.  This may seriously be the last year I subject myself to that.

My Thanksgiving was miserable and I’m the one responsible.  I should’ve stuck to my guns and stayed home as was decided earlier.

Because the in-laws live halfway between us and the destination family for this year, we left around noon on Thursday to spend some time with hubby’s parents on Thanksgiving and then we all left together on Friday morning.   I told my hubby I would like to stop at a restaurant somewhere along the way and eat a decent Thanksgiving lunch.  He told me that his parents were going to someone’s house for lunch and they would get us a couple of plates and bring them home.  We had to wait until we got to his parents to eat.  It was awful!  It was the one real meal I got to eat all day and it was disgusting.  I would’ve been better off going to McD’s and getting a quarter pounder with cheese.

The visit with family we only see once a year was tolerable, not enjoyable, just tolerable.  The biggest issue I have is the attitude my mother-in-law comes away with.  She talks about everyone!  No one is immune!  She’s a know it all and looks down on everyone. 

Along with that, this year my father-in-law is having health issues (he’s 76 years old and the only med he takes is one aspirin a day) and the m-i-l is making it worse by being mean and nasty to him.  She’s just hateful and cruel.  She’s bitter and I do understand some of it but instead of talking about the real issue and working through it, she would rather be angry and manipulative and down right mean.  There were a couple of times I just wanted to run and hide and not come out for the rest of the trip. 

I guess my question I’d love to have some input on is where do you draw the line?  Do you (people in general) do things like this reunion out of obligation, knowing that the in-laws won’t be around much longer, and be miserable to make them happy.  OR, do you do what’s best for you and stay home and away from all the drama?  The easy answer is to stay home away from the drama but “family” issues are always so guilt ridden for me.

I’d love discussion about this.  Share experiences you’ve had and what you’ve done.  You have the floor…….

~sas

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Has anyone participated in this type of therapy?  My therapist is wanting to start it with me tonight in my session.  I’m a bit anxious but also a little excited.  I’m hoping it will help with some of the issues I had as a child (and still deal with).  Then again, learning and doing something new is always a little scary to me.

Anyone with any experience with this that would like to share?

~sas

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We’ve been gone for so long that I thought I would give some background on what we’re about.  In a word….ACCEPTANCE.  Self-acceptance in every way.  Acceptance of your own looks, your body, your thought processes…just everything. 

We, especially as women, have been taught not to accept ourselves.  We’re too fat.  We’re too ugly.  Our ears aren’t just right.  We eat the wrong things.  We weigh too much.  We are too vocal, we’re not vocal enough.  We’re not tall enough or short enough.  Our feet are too big or too small.  We don’t clean house well enough.  We don’t make good enough grades.  IT’S NEVER FREAKIN’ ENOUGH!!!!

Now hear me out.  I said acceptance, not settling.  If you wish something about you was different, then by all means, change it.  But before you do any changing, accept yourself for who you are at that moment. 

One of my favorite illustrations is in the book Overcoming Overeating by Hirschmann and Munter.  I’m paraphrasing but it asks you to imagine you live on a planet where your weight would never change no matter what you did.  One day something happens and whatever weight you are when this happens, you stay that weight forever.  No changing it no matter what you try.   It asks that you think about what you might consider doing that you haven’t done before because of your weight…what are some risks you would take?  I’ve thought about this many times and there are a few things I would do (and some I’ve actually done, with reluctance).  I would wear shorts in public.  I would dance more.  I would be the social butterfly that my inner self really is.  Lastly, I would eat GREAT FOOD and drink GREAT DRINKS!

If you do this little exercise, I would love to see what you come up with.

Going back to my previous statement about accepting and not settling…I have accepted myself today, at this moment.  If I could never change I’d be ok with it.    A change I’ve been affecting for, let me see, this is my second week of doing it, is Intuitive Eating/Demand Feeding.  For about 5 years I have told everyone that this is the way to live and I’ve touted it’s benefits without really living it for myself.  I knew in my heart and mind that this is what my body wanted but my ED got in the way of the thought processes and actually doing it.

The basic premise of IE is to eat when you’re hungry, eat what you want and stop when you’re full.  There are different authors who go into other principles such as eating undistracted or carrying a food bag but I would say the main gist of it is to eat when hungry, eat what you want and stop when full.

Last week, my therapist suggested I start working a food plan.  I got with my EDA sponsor who is also a nutritionist and asked her if she would be able to help me with this.  Within two days of first talking about a food plan, I was in panic attack mode.  I was desperately searching for someone to hear me! (thank you AGR!)  Simply the words food plan sent me soaring into space!  I had no idea how badly it would affect me.  All I could think about was the old days when I had to keep a food journal, eat so many of each food group and get in certain amounts of foods.  I was panicking!!!  (even my husband who is ED’d saw my frustration and was worried about me)

I got a hold of my therapist and told her I needed a session right away and she saw within a couple of days (she’s always booked solid).  We talked and she understood where I was coming from and apologized for suggesting it.  She knows about my wanting to use the IE method and is very supportive of it.    After I spoke to her, I spoke to my sponsor and she agreed that she would not discuss food issues with me anymore – only the issues underlying what causes me to turn to food.  Whew!  What a relief.

The thing I’ve noticed in actually living IE is that the first thing you need to do to be able to initiate the process is to accept yourself.  You need to accept you for who you really are.  You need to accept that you, no one else, no weight loss group, no diet guru, no pill, knows you better than you do.  You need to trust and accept that your body knows when you’re hungry and when you’re full and, on top of that, it knows what it wants to eat.

Scary huh?  We’ve depended on other people to decide our worth, our way of dressing, our way of acting, our way of being AND OUR WAY OF EATING.  We’ve let other dictate who we are and have lost our own individuality!

So to end this post, I would say that we need to tell ourselves at least once a day that WE ARE ENOUGH.  We were always enough.  We’ll always be enough.  Changes may be made and that’s ok too – if it’s what WE want.  We don’t have to have validation from anyone else.

~sas

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Wow!  I didn’t know it had been so long since we had been here.  I hope everyone is doing well and that you’re treating yourself with the love and respect you deserve.

I’ve had my ups and downs but I would say I’m gaining on life a little more every day.

Where am I now?  Well, I’m deep in my recovery from an eating disorder called compulsive overeating/binge eating.  I’m also in recovery from another disorder called self-hate/self-loathing.  The eating disorder and the self-hate disorder are so closely entwined that it’s impossible to differentiate between the two.

What am I doing to jump start my recovery?  Well, there are several things. 

Since my last posting I’ve started with a new therapist who has been lovely to work with.  It’s well worth the two hour round trip I make to see her. 

I’ve joined an EDA (Eating Disorders Anonymous) 12 step group that meets once a week.  It’s been a nice experience but it’s not one of those things that I would miss if something happened to disband it (which will probably happen soon because there’s currently not enough attending the meetings).

I am keeping a personal blog as a journal and that is going great.

I went on a shopping trip and bought a few more comfortable fitting items.  I refuse to wear ill fitting clothing any more.

I use daily affirmations.

I’m getting stronger and using my boundaries in a healthy way.

I’m practicing the guidelines of intuitive eating/demand feeding.  My therapist has actually met Geneen Roth and has been to one of her seminars.  We both have a huge admiration for Ms. Roth.  I think this is probably the biggest baby step I’ve taken thus far.   For so long (years) I talked the talk of IE but never really practiced it but now I’m walking the walk too!  I’ve had some eye opening experiences with it….like, I’m not hungry the minute my foot hits the floor to get out of bed first thing in the morning.  Who knew?

My hope is that I’ll be here more often.  Six months is quite a while to be gone.  Take care everyone and love yourself!

~sas

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Gunshot.jpg Gunshot image by GoldMageAce

I experienced tragedy in the middle of May.  My life will never be the same again. 

A couple of my friends were murdered in a senseless and horrible way.  I was in shock for a couple of weeks and I still keep thinking I’ll see one of the two friends at any minute…like they are not gone.  My heart aches and will for a very long time.

I’ve coped as I always have…I’ve eaten.  I’ve been trying very hard to make sure I’m really hungry before I eat but I’ve also been keenly aware of when I’m eating to cope.  It really doesn’t matter at this point.

About a week prior to the murders, I finally found a therapist in my very long search for one.  My appointment is scheduled for tomorrow and it couldn’t have come at a better time.  On top of the stress from the tragedy, my workload has doubled and I’m not coping with that very well.  I had a meltdown at work yesterday and voiced my very harsh opinions to a supervisor – of course as always, nothing helps.

I took off work today because I felt like I needed a me day.  I slept until 2:30 this afternoon and I sat out on my back patio.  I did nothing and it really didn’t help because it just left me time to think about all that’s going on.

I’m afraid I’m going to lose it at the therapists office tomorrow and she’ll think I’m totally crazy.  I’m not crazy but I know I’m feeling helpless, hopeless and exhausted.  I’m also feeling desperate – desperate to be heard, desperate for a new job or help with my current one, desperate for one night’s sleep that’s uninterrupted with horrible thoughts of the tragedy or funny memories from when they were alive.

I could type forever but I’m going to close for now.  Think about me tomorrow as I go for my first therapy session.  If she doesn’t admit me to the nearest psych ward, maybe I’ll be able to give you an update tomorrow night.

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