Posted by: innerpilgrimage | October 16, 2010

Giving it Back, Taking it Back, Giving it Back, Taking it Back . . .

      Ugh. After the joy-bunnies I had getting into the size 8 jeans, I took that gift from my Higher Power, set it squarely in my ego’s lap, and had an evening compulsively indulging my character defects. Thank HP it’s a new day.

      Still food abstinent. That seems to be the only part that goes well, though I think that my addict-self knows it will take a few days to beat me down into giving myself license to binge again. Ugh, I am so owned by my addiction when I’m not working recovery mindfully. Completely powerless over the addiction, I find my life quickly turns so unmanageable that I start to reason the “food cure” can fix it. Oh, it fixes it right good . . . making my life even more unmanageable.
      There’s a pattern to a slide for me, one that has gotten so freaking predictable that I almost wish it would change it up sometimes. However, it doesn’t need to be inconsistent–that same attack gets in without me even noticing until it’s under my skin and I have to ask my HP to help me extricate it.
      Yesterday’s example:
      So, I got into the size 8 jeans. This made me happy for all of, oh, two hours? Then I started looking up vintage sizes. I kid you not. Being a size 8 in the 80s had meaning! my addict mind tells me.
      Instead of enjoying that I am the same size I was in college, I got obsessive. How can I get to a REAL size 8? Which is, essentially, a size 4. What is a real size 8! How can the clothing industry DO this to me! Resentment . . . resentment . . . resentment. I told myself that I was a sixteen, not an eight. I am still outside of acceptably thin for myself. Not. Good. Enough.
      One might think I would see this and stop the crazy train at this point, right? Wrong. The husband comes home, I apologize for buying a pair of jeans, but that they are a Size 8, as if this has some sort of religious meaning (it does to me at this point). He did not react how I wanted him to. So I got mad at him for not reacting with a parade and streamers and a key to the city for Jess, the “now-size-eight-though-it-really-isn’t-because-vintage-is-the-only-true-sizing” size 8. Yeah, the crazy . . . it burns.
      After about 10 minutes of resenting him, the truth comes out–this is about (dunh, duhn dunnnn!) being thin enough for my parents. In mid-February. Which, since it’s not October 15, was not “today”.
      Right now, I’m actually giggling a bit because I got a heaping helping of that Ol’ Unmanageable Feelin’ and boy, did I run with it. Like a big rainbow-and-glitter streamer behind me.
      Well, I struggled to give over to my Higher Power last night, working on praying out the resentment toward my parents. I asked for them release from the bondage of pain and self-doubt. I asked for them grace. I asked for them happiness for their family (which I oddly feel apart from), success in financial ventures, and safety in their travels. Then I ended with something I actually had a twinge of wanting for them–for my Higher Power to give them everything I ask for myself from it.
      Maybe it’s because I feel sad for them because they are sick like I am. They have their own addictions they have struggled with since I’ve known them. Why wouldn’t I wish them a daily reprieve from the powerlessness and hopelessness and helplessness of addiction?
      Oh yeah. Because I resent the crap out of them! They somehow have a VIP pass all the way into the dead center of my psyche. Hell, the velvet rope is moved aside the minute their names are mentioned. They don’t even have to be there, and the whole of my inside shifts to prepare for their arrival. And, of course, when they’re not doing it themselves, I am their proxy. I do the damage for them.
      So, this is the duality that puts me in the one-person tug-of-war that is recovery and addiction, a Higher-Power driven life and an ego-driven life. A life of ordered peace and a life of chaotic unmanageability.
      Just like I clung to the hope that a program of spiritual, mental, and physical recovery would work for me in those first few weeks, white-knucking the first few months of abstinence, I am holding hard to the promise that if I pray for them, some day I will have genuine compassion for them. I do not want to resent them. I really don’t. I want this hatred to go away, because it eats me alive. It prepares me to do real and lasting harm to my parents. I stew in how I can make those two people suffer for the intended and unintended hurts of my childhood. I rely on my addiction to make my words cutting and bitter. I am preparing my venom, sharpening my claws and fangs, and I crave to see them emotionally bloodied and mentally hobbling away from that fight.
      And then I look at me, that snarling creature, cornered by my own mind. My own self-abuse. My own self-hatred that I will never be a “perfect size 6”, aka a modern size two. That is suicide; I would have to actively pursue anorexia nervosa to even get close to those measurements . . . and my natural bone structure keeps me from it eternally. I am physically healthy, my recovered self tries to reason, why can’t that be enough?
      Because I am a food addict. I am powerless over the pain that never being able to even near an unreasonable goal causes me. I am powerless against the rage at myself for being so tall and large-boned that I can’t do or be anything I want–like I was promised as a child. I am powerless over the “Fine, then I’ll go the other way!” bingeing to abuse a body that is just a body. It is a vehicle for me to move about this world. I live an unmanageable life–beating myself up because of Vintage sizing, beating myself up because I feel like I’m fooling myself, beating myself up because I’m not something enough–whatever that something happens to be at the moment. Not smart enough; not driven enough to succeed; not thin enough; not perfect enough.
      Ugh. Addiction is exhausting! I mean, I knew it was because I get tired when I give in to compulsive behaviors and character defects. I rage within, not accepting that which I cannot change–even as I give the knowledge lip service. I know I cannot change it; I say aloud I cannot change it; I try to change it anyway.
      HP, help me to pray for my parents today. Whether or not I feel it, help me to pray compassionately. Let me take some of that unconditional love you give me and toss it their way. Let the words I speak–asking for them to have peace and serenity, to be relieved of their own burdens–make their way into my own heart. HP, I have faith that, in your time (not mine), I will have compassion for them. That the footwork involved is turning my mind toward compassion for them in word (wishing good for my parents) and deed (the act of actually praying for them). I ask for the willingness to pray at all for people I resent so deeply. I ask for the willingness to forgive them for their part in our relationship, and I ask for the willingness to forgive myself in my part in our relationship. I accept that this is out of my control, that I cannot force myself to stop resenting them. I accept that the timing of the true compassion and forgiveness will be up to You, HP, not me. Just, please, let me be willing to pray for them, especially when I am indulging in my character defect of resentment, of choosing to re-feel the pain.
      My name is Jess, and I am a food addict. I am completely powerless over food and over my character defects. I know that my Higher Power can do anything, especially if I don’t limit it by demanding my Higher Power do what I want it to do when I want it to do it. I release this to my Higher Power, with the hope that relief from resentment–something that I have seen with others in my life–can happen with the two people who are the primary targets of my resentment.

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