Posted by: innerpilgrimage | January 14, 2011

Immersion and 15 Months of Abstinence

      I am fine, still abstinent, working the program. Well, okay, working the food plan.

      Sometimes it feels like it does come down to that. And I almost busted abstinence because I have been noveling, yet again. I guess the stress makes me retreat, and time passes like sand through my fingers when I write.
      This book is significant, because it is the final book in the Chick Lit series I started in 2005. While I still have three more books to write–two of them parallel books which happen at the precise same time for two different main characters whose scenes will intersect throughout both books, though the scenes will be written from the other woman’s POV–the series is ended chronologically. From 1998 to 2018, two decades of life in this little town is exposed, like a big, long soap opera. I had fun writing the characters. Now I get to go through about 3,000 pages of fiction and make it flow throughout the series properly.
      Anyhoo, this last week I have neglected a lot of my OA and SLAA stuff. I wrote overnight at one point, staying up almost 48 hours to get some serious rough drafting in. When I write, I get immersed. Sometimes it’s impossible to sleep because the scene I break at is replaying in my head–getting refined even as I write it. I even had a scene I completely pulled out because it would be too much of a problem at that point, and I didn’t know how to resolve it without making more problems for side characters. But I moved the scene to a better location and it ended up working out for the best.
      What surprises me most is that I burned time like that, and now I have a week left to prepare for my trip to my older son’s birthday event.
      Traveling through my past today keeps getting more and more significant as I prepare to traverse a landscape which has surely changed dramatically since I last saw it. There is a world there which has changed just as I have. I’m not in my early 20s there–wallowing in the compulsive eating and romantic delusions which drove me to manipulate some wonderful people who could have been a part of my life today had I just not been worshipping the addiction and myself as the addiction’s avatar.
      I did something possibly stupid–found someone from that time on Facebook and IM’d the person. I apologized. I thanked the person for the decency I was shown. I’m not looking for any of them, as much as my heart wants to.
      If it is for me to find people from my past to make amends to, then I will have them before me at some point in my life . . . face-to-face. But first I have to get through my Fourth Step Inventory.
      Today, I got to see a Shakespeare play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. It was done well, despite a slow start. The post-intermission performances were rockstar. The staging of it (1930s, at a period film studio) was actually really creative. That’s such a risk, to update Shakespeare. It can go so wrong. Hell, I had a terrible time with the Industrial Revolution Ring Cycle by Wagner that came out a few decades ago. But this performance of Shakespeare hit it out of the ballpark by the end. Maybe because of all the color and shiny and the eventual slapstick comedy that really brought it home. Well done. I enjoyed it a lot.
      It’s funny that the director and one of the cities of my past is connected through an ex-boyfriend. First time I went to that city, I stayed with my then-boyfriend at his mother’s home. We sat on the couch watching a movie directed by the director of the production of “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” And as I open myself up to the physical journey of getting on the road and passing through the memories those places held for me . . . I feel fear. But I know that fear is simply the rooster’s crow to alert me that courage is preparing to rise over the horizon–if I turn my face toward it instead of hide from it. I am going to do this. Every day I get closer, I feel more sure that this is necessary–both to see places which will bring up memories I buried under mounds of food and which will bring me serenity that the world has changed with me in it. As it should have.
      I want the world to have changed, because it means that perhaps I have and still can.
      Well, it’s the fourteenth of the month, and through some random miracle, I am still food abstinent. Lots of strain recently, lots of things I wanted to hide from. Things I am not ready to write about here, but perhaps I will in future revelations. Or not.
      October 27, 2009: 267 lbs, by a doctor’s scale.
      November 30, 2009: 253 lbs. by a scale at a store.
      December 21, 2009: 246 lbs. by the scale I currently use.
      January 14, 2010: 232 lbs. by the scale I currently use.
      February 14, 2010: 221 lbs. by the scale I currently use.
      March 14, 2010: 214.4 lbs. by the scale I currently use.
      April 14, 2010: 201.8 lbs. by the scale I currently use.
      May 14, 2010: 195.6 lbs. by the scale I currently use.
      June 14, 2010: 191.8 lbs. by the scale I currently use. Confirmed by the doctor’s scale.
      July 14, 2010: 181.4 lbs. by the scale I currently use.
      August 14, 2010: 178.0 lbs. by the scale I currently use. I am at “goal weight”, within 5 lbs. up or down of 175 lbs.
      September 14, 2010: 180.0 lbs. by the scale I currently use.
      October 14, 2010: 170.6 lbs. by the scale I currently use.
      November 14, 2010: 164.8. lbs. by the scale I currently use.
      December 14, 2010: 164 lbs. by the scale I currently use.
      January 14, 2011: 159.0 lbs. by the scale I currently use.
            This week, I wept because my scale dropped me to 152 lbs., and I felt like I was going to die of my eating disorder. It turned out I was just not hungry while writing; my appetite returned once I was done. However, this is something I see as a potential issue. There is obsession within my writing, something I cannot control. It is unmanageable, and I hate that I force myself to eat on writing days.
      I hope there’s a connection between this isolation in the tower of my mind and the food. I am pretty sure there is. And I am pretty sure that isolating to keep people out (the social anorexia) is directly related to the writing.
      There are so many mysteries to be solved on this one, so many clues from my past (wreckage or not) that if I am willing to pick through them, I can’t help but grow.
      I am really bad at turning to people. I know the buzz term would be, “I have trust issues”, but if I simply excuse my behavior that way, I can never grow and learn.
      I want to be decent. I feel like I playacted decency, kindness, grace, gentility, sweetness, courage, loyalty, self-knowledge, self-confidence, and even non-judgmentalism. And as I look backward, I realize that maybe it doesn’t matter if I know or don’t know if I did back then. I will examine my clearest motives as events from the past unfold. But does it really matter, in the end?
      Today, I can choose to act with those traits. Today I can choose to actively do those things without trying to get something out of it. I can actively choose not to live within a dream, pretending that I would not some day have to face the consequences for my actions. Well, I see them lain before me, and I don’t fear them so much. I can live those traits honestly. I have real friends in this world, today, who are not part of how I used to live–addicts dancing around each other blending dreams and making chaos even as we thought we were ordering things in our lives.
      My name is Jess and I am a binge eater and food anorexic; I am an approval addict and social anorexic. The scales of my addiction seem to tip in one direction or another depending on what I am doing at any given time.
      I want off the scale, in more ways than one.


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