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Posts: 1,300 1/22/13 12:34 P
Thank you for sharing again.
current weight: 204.0
Posts: 1,878 1/22/13 5:46 A
That spring several things happened at once. I got some materials about eating disorders from a mental health conference that mentioned recovery. I also weighed in over 200 lbs for the first time besides when I had been pregnant. And I recalled what sobriety meant from learning about AA in Health class. How could I get sober from food?
I found an online overheating fellowship but I wasn't very teachable at first. I did read the big book, but it seemed the application to overeating was contradictory. I followed my abstinence to the letter, but wasn't getting it. There was a list of characteristics of codependents that seemed to describe me, but my concept of codependent was tied up with enabling, and I didn't think it applied to me. So after several months I went back to conventional dieting at the new year.
I did lose quit a bit of weight at this time. I was "eating clean" and putting a lot of time in on fitness. I lost 26 pounds in 5 months. But I had started weighing myself every day, and after a big night out I put on 3 pounds. As hard as I was working, it was too much to take. The language of recovery flooded back to me. "restore me to sanity." I prayed. "I can't do this."
Looking back, I can't believe we decided just then to have another baby. I guess for me, I so much wanted more children and my husband worried about my mental health but he didn't understand any of the recovery stuff, but for him to finally agree to haver another baby, I just went along. In any case, we decided then but it took 4 months to actually happen but I started eating for 2 that whole time and regained almost 20 pounds.
So from 1996 to 2000 I believed in an ambulance God, there for me when needed but hopefully not needed. During this time there was a lesson at church about the 12 virgins, and I had decided in my mind that it meant something literal. The teacher at church said the foolish virgins followed a literal gospel, while the wise virgins gave their whole souls to God, which is why it was not possible for them to save the others (he did not knowingly contradict me, just God was setting me up). This idea so challenged me, I had to find an empty room and cry. I was not a wise virgin. How does one give their whole soul to God?
My next baby was really easy, cheerful and slept through the night right away. He was the sort that makes you think "this is great, I could have 5 of these." He was also very like me in many ways, including loving the pasta and breads. I began to worry that he was going to grow up an overeater. I began to realize I was really kind of dependent on bread. I don't want to say things that might trigger people, but I had this sensation, sometimes, that I would suffocate without it. I started waking up in the middle of the night, wanted to get something to eat. I didn't, but events were coming together. God was gathering the kindling.
I had an experience at the start of 2001, I was driving along thinking about mental illness, and what part is physical and what part is spiritual. As I turned the ideas around in my head I asked "What is my spirit like, apart from my body" and I was shown a being as pure as a baby and as bright as the sun, in conversation with divinity and eager to come to life. This spirit took on a body with inherited problems as well as gifts, in a family fraught with conflict but a lot of intelligence and love. This experience was the first time since my son died over 8 years earlier that I can say I knew joy. There had been moments of happiness and distraction from the existential horror of reality, but now I knew more was possible.
Oops, has it really been a month? Yes, yes it has.
So I had been doubting the existence, or at least the relevance of a Higher Power, and now I felt that presence in my life again. But I only understood it as a balm or a rescue.
I have to come out at this point and say that I am a Mormon, by way of talking about the hangups I had about the idea of God. One of the popular quotes from the Book of Mormon says "it is by grace we are saved, after all we can do." So at that time in my life I felt like God expected me to solve my own problems if possible. (I feel like this reading of that verse is taken out of context, now, but I bet that goes along with many people's notion of why Mormons are they way they are.) Along with this idea is our rejection of the doctrine of Original Sin, even though on closer inspection we do believe everyone sins, just they aren't born sinful. But yeah, these two ideas don't make a great foundation for a belief system. They belong in there, but no one wants a potato salad made with only mustard which is how over emphasis of these beliefs served me.
Thank you again for sharing. It brings back so many memories of my struggles.
current weight: 204.0
Posts: 1,878 5/29/12 12:34 P
I never used to like Star Trek before that, but I saw some while I was in the hospital. I tried to be like Spock and Data, and view emotion as irrelevant (though in both their cases, they were interested in and valued human emotions). This lasted me until I had my next child a few years later.
I was grateful to have a baby, but they are so demanding. And she wasn't a particularly bad baby, she just wanted to eat at 2 a.m. By the time she was two weeks old, I had come to the end of my ability to cope. One morning she woke up crying and I picked her up and didn't know what to do. I thought about throwing her out the window (we were in a basement apartment, so that would only have entailed her getting dirty.) But I realized I was at the end of my rope, and I for the first time in a couple of years I really prayed from my heart. And in some metaphysical sense, I let go of the rope, and God caught me. As I embraced my crying baby, I felt encircled in the arms of God's love.
At first I thought I was addicted to sugar and simple carbohydrates. And there's no doubt that they are one of the false gods that can drag me around like an ox by the nose. I followed all the rules to a T, I was good at following rules. But I was pretty baffled by the 12 traditions and the 30 in 30 questions. But I liked my sponsor. We were walking buddies. I don't know if she was just really laid back or if she was as confused as I was. I don't know what I would have done with me. My head was as hard as an oak tree.
When I was 22, my first child was born and then died within a week. We didn't know anything was wrong with him when he was born, but he had congestive heart failure due to aortic sthenosis. It was of a severity, that even today there is very little they can do for such cases. It was such a shock on top of my just having a baby, my brain chemistry kind of collapsed, and I wound up in a mental ward. I thought I was the Queen of England and all kinds of weird stuff.
After a few weeks, I became reoriented which was no fun because it meant I couldn't believe that my son was somehow not really dead or coming back to life in the foreseeable future. I guess it was like waking up in Kansas again. And for the next few years, I felt life should be black and white, no talking lions or dancing scarecrows. But hey, no witches or flying monkeys either.
My relationship to spiritual things was tenuous, since I didn't believe in weird stuff anymore. I kept going to church, but focused on the rules and held a skeptical eye to miracles and angels and that sort of thing.
Fitness Minutes: (96,697) Posts: 11,221 5/22/12 5:43 P
Tricia....Thanks for sharing! I found your insights very profound! My journey started in September 1990. I don't think there was any particular reason I found myself embracing sobriety other than the fact that I looked into the mirror one day and didn't recognize the woman staring back at me! I did not like what I saw...I was clearly dying and knew I had to do something! One thing led to another and I found A.A. Here I am.... almost 22 years later still finding comfort in living my life one Day At a Time. I've had to fall back on that concept a lot lately with the challenges that have been tossed my way....that and the serenity prayer...WOW do I ever use that a lot lately!!
Thanks again Tricia!!
Edited by: AWESOMECAROL55 at: 5/23/2012 (18:30)
" I DO NOT STOP FOR OBSTACLES....I DESTROY THEM!"
"Attitude is everything"
current weight: 120.2
Posts: 1,878 5/22/12 11:57 A
This season of the year was when I started my journey in 2001, and I've had many big moments along the years between Mother's Day and Memorial day. In Judaism, this is the season of Shavuot or first fruits, which was the occasion of the first disciples gathering on the day of Pentecost in Christianity.
I think there is something about the length of these days that fills me with hope and peace, when the world (the northern hemisphere, anyway) is full of light but not yet inhospitably hot. (Though I also love November, thankful for the bounty of the earth.)
In Judaism (I grew up with Jewish friends and later worked on the administrative staff of a Synagogue) they celebrate Shavuot by reading the book of Ruth, which I know in King James English as
"Entreat me not to leave thee...wherever though goest I will go..."
I have a friend who has said with some bitterness that we throw the word Love around until no agreement can be found on what it means. But I think Ruth's words to Naomi are a wonderful example of what love means to me.
There's even a song I did not like the first time I heard it, the one called "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol, where they allude to "those three words, I've said too much, but not enough." But one day I listened to the whole song, and the idea that he loves this girl the way a dog loves chasing a car finally touched me.
I grew up a very outwardly religious person. I've had to, in 12 step parlance, fire my old God and get a new one. But the one characteristic that has remained is Love.
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