Posted by: innerpilgrimage | September 5, 2011

Simply Put, but Not Easy

      I consider the loving-kindness of a Higher Power working through me to start this journal of self-awareness to have had me establish it before the first time I walked in an OA door to be one of those quiet moments worthy of contemplation. September 23, 2009. September 23, 2009.

      So few days in my life were marked like that. Sure, the day I met my husband was auspicious in its timing–being connected to a holiday that only Greco-Roman history buffs seem to acknowledge (being as the Ides of March is the day Julius Caesar was murdered by the Roman Senate, where the ultimate betrayal of a man he trusted with his life led him to accept his fated death). September 23, 2009, has no value to any part of the culture at large (or even a small sect of it). But it’s here, it’s the day something guided me to a life of possibility that I cannot fathom could exist yet hoped for and even prayed for.
      I’ve gotten to a point where I’m just not really hitting resentments except on random occasions when an emotional trigger sideswipes me completely. I can, and do, still act out my character defects when I am inundated with so many triggers which I do not deal with the moment I am triggered.
      The anorexia is an interesting gift, I am finding. I started OA thinking that once I was thin, life would be perfect. I had an image of what my body would be. I had a “goal weight”. I had it all set up in my head, and I created a food plan (which I have adjusted yet still follow on a One-Day-At-A-Time basis). I decided to have a perfect body and perfect life wait for me at the rainbow’s end of OA.
      I was led right into active anorexia, instead.
      I am still abstinent, through the footwork my Higher Power has established and I have followed. I still look down at the scale and worry, “Am I too fat? Am I too thin? Will my still-firming extra skin stop firming up? Why does being size 6 cause me agony when it was the goal of my lifetime twenty years ago?” I struggle with this in form, identifying myself as my body. That’s not true, and I know it. I am not a brain and a body; I am a thriving soul which uses those to move through life, as life.
      The addiction is my ego telling me I need to be heard, need to be secure, need someone to tell me how to think and feel and act and look. The addiction is my ego; every mask I throw up between me and the world is tainted with it. I am an addict simply because I have a body and a brain. I will be an addict until the body stops and the brain shuts down. I hope to be an addict for another 50 or so years, until I’ve lived a full life of spiritual journeying in this world filled with friction–which is necessary for real and lasting growth. However, “being an addict” is not “being Me”.
      As I think I’ve written here before, I am a strong proponent of the theory of continued consciousness. I have faith (sensing it only in the calmness of Self instead of by sight, sound, smell, touch, or taste) that this is real. Yes, I do struggle with losing faith in that, but I have to ask myself, “Does it really matter? If I’m right, then the loving-kindness I show here will affect the next part of my consciousness’s journey. If I’m wrong, then the loving-kindness I show here will be humane and kind and affect humans who come after me.” It’s a good lesson about how being a decent human being has no real right-wrong argument to it.
      If I don’t do it, someone else will. That argument used to harm can also be used to heal. When it’s used to harm, it’s a rationalization. When it’s used to heal, it’s a call to unite with others to make the world a better place. One takes power by using force; one creates power by using love. It’s amazing how filled with paradoxes living a whole life can be. I can be motivated or inspired. One is a forced shove in a mental direction; one is a powerful guidance in a spiritual direction. One requires potentially angry determination; one is a gift of hopeful perseverence.
      Hm. Sorry about the aside just above this. It my or may not transition from the previous paragraph, but I just had to write it. So, there it is.
      In the “had to write” category, I spent the last week writing a novel. 135K words of a chick-litty metaphysical “romance”, which just got weird. Entertaining, but weird. No werewolves or vampires or zombies or other cryptozoids (I *love* that not-really-a-word-yet!), but people with psychic sensitivity abound (the main character is a psychic medium), and self-awareness is the order of the day with many of these characters. It’s got that Celestine Prophecy feel to it, though CP is an action-adventure and this is personal growth and romance of the chick-lit genre. It is about the main character’s journey, not about the relationship’s journey. But yes, it’s pretty weird. And, like every other MC (main character) in my novels, there’s a relationship happy ending. In some, it happens books later (part of the pitfalls of a series, but I love having main characters from other books make cameos), but it does happen. I like a happy (or at least sweet) ending, a reward for being willing to endure the pain of life-upheaval. They’re so rare in this world these days.
      So, yeah, I wrote 135K words in 6 days, did the quick-edit all day Saturday, and it’s ready to be queued up to have a serious edit and be slid in as the second-to-last book of the series. A quick-edit, for me, has to do with my writing style. See, I have an idea for the plot and the main character. Then? It writes itself. When things feel too smooth or too hard, I adjust the plot to pull back on the melodrama or inject it. Certain revelations come at the end of the book, which need to be injected in the early chapters to not cause the reader to say, “Where in the . . . that’s not only not in the first part, it conflicts with what’s said!” So, a quick edit shores up stuff and allows me 20-20 hindsight when I write foreshadowing.
      I rarely work from outlines. The only books I have a definite chapter-by-chapter outline are the sister-novels (the MCs aren’t sisters, but the two novels have intertwined plots on the precise same timeline from two separate points of view–some conversations will be cut-pasted from the other book (when the two MCs interact), with the perspective of that book’s main character affecting what action is focused on around the words. Definitely going to play with perceived tone-of-voice from the MC’s POV.
      Anyhoo, I’m back in the saddle after a month of violent life upheaval in real life. See, when I retreat to my literary town, where relationship chaos ensues, I am going there because I need an outlet for real-world pressures.
      For those people who are familiar with the Tarot, I am standing in the rubble of the Tower, picking my way out of it. Not picking up pieces. I’m not supposed to rebuild it. I’m supposed to move on, accept the lesson given, and walk into the open field of The Star, safe and comforted that I survived.
      And yeah, somehow that connection with my HP kept me from losing abstinence all of those days. I got really close on the low end, because I felt totally out-of-control (though control is an ego illusion–it’s why we give it over to an HP in the first three steps). So, yes, I was living day-to-day, consciously aware that I had a food plan minimum to maintain. Now that my spouse has returned, I am back to the comfortable outer edges again. Not sure what this means quite yet, but the awareness that something is happening always means to me that there is a spiritual truth on its way and that I am supposed to be working that challenge at this point in my life, one day at a time.
      Well, I guess that’s about it. Still abstinent and I wrote a novel while having a really hard time. I am comforted down to the depths of me that when I am faced with traumatic life upheaval, my food plan may get strained, but it will hold (for me). May every person walking into OA find his or her food plan be as powerful for them as mine has been for me. It’s a wonderful self-awareness tool, and I am thankful for that as I near 23 months of consecutive abstinence. This has been a gift I am humbly receiving every day. I am not fooling myself that I did this. I did the 100+ lbs. thing. That was me. This? This is a Higher Power in action.
     
      My name is Jess, and I am compulsive about food and toxic love. While I haven’t hit a meeting in a while (and have seen the results of not approaching others even as I journey alone), I am still very much a member of OA (Tradition Three: “The only requirement for OA membership is a desire to stop eating compulsively.”). I will always be a member of OA (and SLAA), because I am an addict as long as I am in this body and am using this brain to grow and learn. Life is definitely a gift–especially when it’s difficult–because it means I have a chance to evolve and grow. And if I sound a little weird? Well, I can’t control another person’s relationship with the Universe or their perceptions. It’s not my business to worry about others’ opinions of me (or even my own opinion of me). My business, and purpose, is to live as the most authentic me possible–whether or not I make mistakes along the way.

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