Coming to Terms With the Truth
Sunday, February 16, 2014
This has been a long time coming as I've been in complete denial. I can no longer pretend like I am anywhere close to where I used to be. In fact, I weighed in 10 pounds beyond my heaviest the other day. I don't have excuses, but there have been a lot of contributing factors that also deserve some recognition because they played a part in my journey.
First, I've been in therapy over a year now as I've been diagnosed with an eating disorder. It's the hardest work I've ever done and some of the revelations that have started to surface have triggered me into seeking numbness. I find myself in a precarious position now, however, because I've changed enough where my former behaviors (binging, restricting, compensating with exercise) no longer serve my needs now that I am aware of their role in the process. Amazing what awareness will do for someone. So with not relying on the old, and not having any new behaviors established, I find myself in this weird limbo. I have bad days. I have good days. And it's hard. And it's a solitary process.
Next, I am halfway through my master's degree program. I'm on the countdown. I have never appreciated my time and energy more in my life because balancing working full time and going to grad school full time isn't a joke. Here's another place of lack of balance. My Type A, Can't Ruin My 4.0 GPA, personality turns me into a little bit of a whackadoodle because my expectations of what I am to accomplish are really a little unreasonable. Working 40+ hours/week for work and then 20 hours a week for school, that's insane. I've found my limits by taking on this and I'm close to burnout. Even this brief respite of no classes the last two weeks hasn't afforded me any rest because I've been busy tending to the other pieces of my life that have gone largely ignored (cleaning my house, my bathroom, grocery shopping, laundry etc.) A lack of time, energy and motivation has wreaked havoc on my nutrition. I'll leave it there.
Next, we have the fact that my almost 14 year old cat was diagnosed with diabetes a couple months ago. So now, I have the routine of feeding and administering insulin shots twice a day. All that wouldn't be noteworthy, but I didn't mention the fact that he no longer likes his litter box and so I get to clean up his messes on a near daily basis not to mention that his almost 14 year old brother isn't taking to the new food well, so I get to clean up his messes as well. Daily. My steam cleaner has become my best friend.
Then we have men. Well, I don't have a man, but I did. A couple times this year, but they didn't work out. The first one, I learned to never date someone who just got out of a long term relationship. The second one, oh... that one hurts. It was great, but he ended up being too consumed with his life and I just faded into the background. Faded into the background until I said enough. I miss him.
Of course, exercise is non-existent. There isn't even any interest in the idea.
And all of that is the truth of where I am. I had to go out and buy a new pair of pants yesterday. A size bigger than it was. Not a proud moment. I found myself walking into a couple stores wondering what was the largest size they carried... I never thought I'd be there again, but here I am. Shame is the word that comes to mind.
When I think back on my journey, there have been two times in my life that I lost a significant amount of weight. The first was in my early 20's, the second in 2010. The common denominator between the two is that they were both done with complete rigidity, all-or-nothingness. On my first round, I ate vegan and lost 60 pounds in 4 months. On my second, I lost 60 pounds in 7 months by working out 1-2 hours/day, 6 days/week and restricting my calories to 1500-1800. Both worked, neither were sustainable for me.
As I find myself back at the starting point, I know that this time has to be different if I am going to have a different outcome. If I let go of the idea of rigidity (which is terrifying), the replacement concept is gentleness. I don't have any familiarity with that word. Gentle... slow...kind... these are words that I do not associate myself with as it's certainly not how I treat myself and conduct my life.
It's so foreign. But here's the thing, the one thing missing from this entire equation... this entire blog... is me. I'm missing. I am not involved in my own life because I am just doing things. Doing things as a way to be recognized. Doing things as a way to accomplish. Doing things as a way to be in the world. I am not BEING. I have created a life where there is no space for me to just BE.
It's pretty profound coming to this realization. It's painful. It punctuates the fact I've built walls to ensure I am not hurt. It reiterates that my way of being in the world is by doing... doing things for OTHERS, not myself. I'm never in the proverbial equation.
And so, there it is. A conglomeration of reasons why and how I ended up back to my starting weight. Here I am. Instead of following my instinct to make a plan and get out, sitting with these emotions is a more difficult alternative, but the road I never go down. Acknowledging the truth takes some of its haunting power away. Replacing the harshness and cruel behavior/thoughts I inflict on myself daily with just recognizing the moment... well, it's different. It's a heavy feeling, but not impossible to sit with. Who would have thought?
Thanks for reading and allowing me to process.