Posted by: innerpilgrimage | September 14, 2012

35 Months

      Well, I didn’t listen to that nagging voice in my ear seeking to get me to do a 2-year, 11-month repeat of the cake incident. As I’ve said before, on October 13, 2009, I started my abstinent food plan and relapsed that very night. It’s a really strong memory for me, realizing that I thought I could do it like a diet. This isn’t a diet–it’s a food plan for life. Well, this particular food plan may change depending on my activity level, but I know what to look for as a sign that something needs to change.

      I weighed in, and I’m in that 155-165 zone (at 163.6 lbs.). I still feel joy when I’m under 160 lbs. and disappointment when I am over it. Of course, like any feeling about my weight, it’s short-lived. Pushbutton glee that the anorexia could be winning. I delude myself into thinking that if I get thin enough, my life will get better. But that’s not really so, because I never have been happy with how I look. It would come to surgery, and that desire to be thin (knowing it would come to implants which would terrify me, since I hate the idea of foreign objects inside my body) is a sign that something needs to change.
      I feel frustrated that I get so angry about religion. It shouldn’t bother me, except that I look at the history. It’s rarely individuals who commit atrocities in the name of a deity or deities which are supposed to be benevolent. It takes a large group, a mob mentality, to turn rational and loving individuals into a wall of inhumanity. I fear the leaders who demand followers be angry under the banner of “righteous ire”. I wonder if they truly know what they are doing to decent people. If they know what they are doing to people who aren’t right in the head, who will listen and use that as an excuse to commit murder. The God of Abraham is, historically, a God which encourages slavery and murder (according to the books and the leaders of that organized religion). Even today, people will kill and terrorize others in the name of the God of Abraham. Most won’t, but those who do so often receive the silence of many of their faith and the cheering of others within it. I am afraid of those fringe people, and that desire to hide instead of accept that this is part of reality is a sign that something needs to change.
      Of course, these things need to change within me. I can’t change the external pressures on me to be a walking Photoshop-job to feel approval–which I erroneously label “love”, hence the toxicity of the “love addiction” I have. No one can ever be addicted to love, because love isn’t something one craves. It’s a need, like air. And love doesn’t hurt. It’s not delirious, either, but it most importantly does not hurt. Absence of a person? Of a situation? Of a place? That can hurt, because change means something material ended and life without that must begin. So, it’s grief. Love doesn’t die, even as passion and approval-because-of-external-reasons do. And I accept that desire to have things static, to keep things as I want them (though only during the happiest moments) is the purest form of addiction thinking I can think of. If addiction is the question? Acceptance is the answer. Non-acceptance of life as it comes–something we all must experience as living beings–is at the core of every binge or restriction I have ever had. Playacting, as it were. Insincerity toward reality, thinking I can pretend I’m doing the real work when I personally know I’m not. Bartering with reality is like trying to explain to a rock that it needs to be a bird. It’s not going to happen, because a rock is just a rock. If I want a rock to be a bird? I have to get out sculpting tools. But it will never, ever be a living bird, which is something I have to accept. It can be a rock in the shape of a bird–which could end up being something very nice added to the world because I decided I wanted a rock to become a living bird and accepted reality. I suppose that’s why artists are so special. They look at what is out there and do their best to translate certain qualities between mediums. Like alchemists, they will never make gold from that which is not gold already. However, they can give it the sense of gold and impart their perception of “gold” onto what isn’t gold.
      The things we cannot change, in other words, are what we learn serenity over in recovery.
      That serenity-acceptance, itself, changes us. It takes courage–the willingness to see the fear that we cannot change something, decide not to fear it, and eventually embrace it. That’s what we can change.
      To be able to see the deepest truth of the First Step is to call on the Serenity Prayer’s wisdom, itself. To accept that I cannot change things at their core, but I can change me at mine. How I perceive reality. What I can do to create, to impart those qualities on other things. As a writer, I turn paper and ink and the English alphabet into stories. I cannot change if people will accept those stories and buy them. I cannot change others’ acceptance or rejection of what I have spent thousands of hours of my life doing. However, I can change my perception. I can understand that I wrote them because I wanted to write. I can understand that I have the ability to write in English, I have a computer to translate them into data, I have a printer with ink cartridges and paper to turn that into a bound book to hand-edit. I have the ability to self-publish, and I have the ability to simply put them out into the world as yet one more reading option for people who like to read. Will they like to read what I wrote? Maybe. That, however, is out of my hands. What is in my hands is making it available by creating and disseminating it all. That’s the difference between writing and being a world-renowned author–balancing what I can be courageous enough to change and what I must be serene enough to accept. Internal versus external. Internal working in concert with external. If I don’t do my part (write, edit, publish), then there is no chance that anyone will ever see it whatsoever because I am trying to control the world by purposefully failing by choice in order not to fail by chance. Lamenting failure I choose and blaming it on others does not produce serenity. Accepting that I will 100% fail if I choose to hide what I create is serenity. And, if I don’t want to 100% fail at having my books read? I have to have the courage to put them out there–despite my fear that I will be among the majority of writers who don’t make a living at writing.
     
      So, back to abstinence. I had something I could not change without a food plan. I spent time deliberating over a realistic food plan, even as I wanted to go on a self-abusive diet. But I knew enough about me and diets to know they don’t work because I don’t want to self-abuse over food (which is why I also call myself an anorexic). And that food plan did change as I peeled back layers and found how deeply poisoned I am by non-acceptance and how much faith I have in trying to fool reality by making it appear like I am trying. Reality is reality; it has no way to be fooled because it has no conciousness save for the discrete living things which are part of that indivisible whole. Well, some people call that indivisible whole God and attribute a consciousness to it. That’s something I have to accept, because it is part of reality. Some people take that and abuse people with it; so people take that and are inspired to the highest noble qualities. The wisdom to know the difference between those people is a journey I am on, as well. I have to accept the bad with the good, or I will never, ever be able to appreciate the good of the individuals who are greater for what they believe.
     
      My name is Jess. I am addicted to food and toxic love–a binger and an anorexic. I wish this would stick, finally, but I suppose that’s part of doing it one day at a time. No such thing as “No bad days,” but how I act during the challenges creates a life where the bad days can be accepted with serenity as part of the process of evolution. And with acceptance? I change because I have the courage not to try to control it all out of my own fear that I will lose what makes me happy today.

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