Traversing Middle Ground

I haven’t binged and purged for several months but the strong desire has returned.

Why do I want to? Because my body is so uncomfortable. I want to escape the body, though I can’t ever really. What I want is to escape the thought of my body because it is so painful. I suppose I want to escape the mind that despises the pain. The mind says the pain is intolerable. And so, if I binge I can shut the mind off and escape the pain. If I didn’t purge though, the body would be in worse pain so the purging must accompany the binge. But if I didn’t allow the purging I wouldn’t allow the binge but, I would be stuck in this mind, tortured by thoughts of pain without any release in sight. What would happen without release? I’d go crazy by the mind.

So?

Is escapism the only answer? Where is the real pain – is it in the body or the mind? Who conceives of this pain? Who makes it real? Is it even real?

It feels torturous to sit and watch it, feel it – but what is the alternative but to stay trapped in a cycle of behavior for the sake of avoidance? Neither option seems rather appealing to me – to sit in the face of a pain that never seems to go away or to be prisoner of a binge/purge cycle that also never seems to go away.

Is there another way?

Pain, in any form, is undesirable. If I didn’t fear the pain so much would it be so desire-less?

Again, what IS pain? Where did it come from?

All I can do is watch and work to make no decisions either way. The minute I do, I fall to either side. For now, I balance precariously on the fulcrum and weigh nothing.

 

The Next Step

So, I moved back in with my husband.

Some things have changed but there certainly haven’t been the dramatic changes that I first swore had to be made before I would even consider stepping foot back in the house.

But, there has been some change. Enough change that I’m willing to trust the process and see where things go. That’s what my heart told me to do. Move home.

I’ve only been home a week though and it hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park.

I still harbor anger and frustration and resentment and I wonder how to handle it. It’s a testament of faith to forgive and look beyond without feeling like I’m sacrificing myself. After all, I don’t believe true love is found in martyrdom either.

I find it an easier thing to overlook and look beyond and forgive others. I take very little personally and try to find the source of love in everyone.

It’s harder to do when I look at my husband. There exists this feeling of heavy expectation in marriage. “You are my wife and this is what you need to do for me.”

I don’t get marriage anymore – it feels like ownership – at least, at times, this one does.

I do believe though that a freedom in marriage, even this one, is possible but only when the expectation of fulfillment from the other is gone.

Operating from the Love of God as your only source of fulfillment relinquishes the unattainable worldly duty of the other.

There’s a difference between Love and Duty. Love springs forth automatically from the Source. Duty is obligation to rules, the absence of Love.

Each day I search my heart and hold not the past but only the present and in the only way possible, He will direct my path.

 

What’s Your Flavor?

My husband’s favorite ice cream is vanilla.

As luck would have it, that’s the very flavor that I have. I willingly serve it and it makes me happy to give it away. It brings me joy to see my husband experience such pleasure.

It’s no wonder he thinks there is nothing wrong with our marriage. He’s got a belly full of creamy vanilla ice cream.

On the flip side, my favorite is strawberry. The problem is that my husband only has chocolate and not only is that the only flavor he stocks, he is unwilling to stock anything else. It doesn’t matter that I want strawberry; he either can’t, or won’t, stock it. Either way, I’m left craving strawberry ice cream.

Don’t get me wrong, he serves a beautiful chocolate ice cream and sometimes it really hits the spot and I am satisfied. But, at the core of my being, I crave strawberry ice cream. The desire always returns and often with a fierce intensity.

I am sad.

It seems a little more understandable that he feels bad. He continues to offer the best he’s got but I keep asking for something different.

I’m starting to get a sense that in continuing to ask for something that someone can’t provide, I’m hurting us both.

He can never please me. And I can never be fully pleased.

I wish I could be happy with chocolate ice cream. I really do. I wish I didn’t want something different. But, the truth is I do and I can no longer ignore it.

I can no longer ignore the true essence that flows through me.

It’s neither right nor wrong. It just is.

Continuously returning to the chocolate ice cream vendor is never going to net me strawberry ice cream. This I now know.

 

The Hospitable Host of Fear

May 21, 2015 was the day it all started. That was the day my husband and I separated.

I sit this morning in contemplation and deep reverence for the year that has been.

I’ve been falling deeply and have hit an all time low. I am in the depths of a major depression like none other I have seen before and I have relapsed into the eating disorder.

I am grateful.

I initiated the separation due to my husband’s alcoholism and requested that he seek treatment. I would not return unless he sought treatment.

He has not sought treatment and he continues to drink.

Had he done as I’d asked I’m not sure I would have been forced to look so deeply at myself. I now wonder if this really had anything to do with him at all but more to do with me and my refusal to meet myself.

If my unhappiness was because of him then surely I would be in contented bliss as I live alone without him.

The truth is, the deep unhappiness is still in me.

His alcoholism was easy to blame as the source of my unhappiness because I was relying on him to fill my empty cup. Without him though, my cup is still empty.

So now who do I blame?

There is only one way to turn and that is inward.

I am not who I thought I was and without that, who am I?

I am terrified.

I often don’t want to look and feel great discomfort when I am alone.

The eating disorder is welcomed as the distractor of my mind. It prevents the great meeting from taking place. I can continue to identify, albeit falsely, with what I know from experience.

The truth is, I am none of it and all of it, all at once.

It’s not my cardinal sin, it’s a sign.

As Hebrews 13:2 states, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

As the great poet, Rumi, has suggested also in his wise poem The Guest House, my fear and depression are unexpected visitors who have been sent as a guide from beyond.

I am slowly, oh so slowly, starting to accept it all, neither as good or bad, but all from God.

There is no one to blame. Not even my husband.

 

Interview with Myself – #1

Q: How are you doing?

A: Not so good.

Q: Why not? What’s going on?

A: I feel lost and confused. I can’t control this thing that’s happening inside me. I feel like there’s this separate entity that I’m fighting. I don’t understand why this is happening to me.

Q: Is the entity really separate?

A: Yes, and no. It doesn’t feel like it’s truly me but it’s not really outside of me. It’s me but it’s not me. I mean, if it’s me but I don’t want to feel like this, then why would I do this to myself? Why would someone do this to themselves? If it’s not me, then who is it? There’s no one else here so it must be me. I can’t stand it. I want to crawl out of myself.

Q: Do you feel like you’re at fault?

A: Yes! I should be able to control myself. Why can’t I control it?

Q: Control what?

A: These feelings…

Q: What feelings? What do you feel?

[pause]

A: I feel nothing and everything. I feel anger,

Q: Anger?

A: Yes!

Q: At what or who?

A: At myself.

Q: Why?

A: Because of what I am.

Q: What are you?

A: Wrong. Gross. Inadequate. Empty. Different. Displaced. I don’t belong here. I don’t belong there. I can’t decide what’s right. I can’t decide what’s wrong. I can’t decide. I don’t understand who I am. I should be able to figure this out. Why can’t I figure this out?

Q: What are you trying to figure out?

A: Everything! I don’t understand why I don’t feel like I belong…anywhere. I’m out of place. I try this, I try that. I do this, I do that. I don’t feel any connection. I am without purpose.

Q: Do you need a purpose?

A: I feel like there’s a reason for me. But it continuously evades me. Deep, deep, deep down I feel like I am meant to do something but I don’t feel like me doing what I’m doing now. I feel like I’m anything but me. Everything feels wrong. I don’t belong here.

Q: Don’t belong where?

A: Here, right now. Here on earth. Here in this world. It’s so hard, it’s so tiring. I go to work and try to find joy and excitement. I try to put forth the effort. Drive harder! Push more! Climb and be! Those are the messages I get but that’s not what I want and so I don’t belong. I feel condemned for not ‘bettering’ myself. And I feel on the outside again. And then I feel like since we have control over our thoughts that if I could just think different thoughts and not let myself think that I’m on the outside then I shouldn’t be. But that doesn’t work either. I still feel like I’m not in the right place. But if not here, then where? I’m trying so hard to be of a world where I truly don’t belong. But then what am I to do? There’s no place for the likes of me in this world and that’s what happens to people like me – we get banished. It’s the folks living in squalor and who are homeless, just tossed aside because the world doesn’t know what to do with them. I want to quit my job but then how I do I survive? I can’t. And then so what do I do then? I follow my heart to leave a job that is so heart-wrenchingly wrong and then I get reprimanded. How could I be so irresponsible? You can’t just quit your job! How do you plan to survive? You’ve got to have a plan and set goals and plan and try and effort! But I don’t have any answers to what I’m supposed to do next. All I know is that I’m not where I need to be. But the world doesn’t support someone who up and quits a decent job. How could you? How could you leave a job with benefits and pension? You need to put in your time just like everyone else! Damn it! It doesn’t feel right to me. But I don’t know what I’m supposed to do! I don’t know what to do! And so I just try to keep going in a world where I don’t belong. But I just know I’m meant for more but if I am then why hasn’t the “what” come to me? I’m not allowing it. I’m resisting. And there I go doing something wrong again. And then I feel bad because maybe I’m not being grateful enough and if I would just be grateful then the whole world would become better for me. How can anything be wrong when you’re grateful? And then I’m at fault again. I’m wrong. It’s always me. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong.

[silence]

Q: Tell me about your eating disorder.

A: Sigh. I’ve relapsed.

Q: How do you feel about that?

A: Disappointed.

Q: Why do you think you relapsed?

A: Because it never really went away.

Q: What do you mean?

A: I don’t know.

Q: When did it start again?

A: January.

Q: You’ve reached out for help again and may be able to get back into a program.

A: Yes.

Q: How do you feel?

A: Grateful that someone is still willing to help me.

Q: Are you afraid?

A: Yes.

Q: Why?

A: It’s different this time.

Q: What’s different?

A: Me.

Q: Why?

[silence]

Q: It’s been suggested that mood, yours in particular, has a lot to do with behavior and that your mood is very low again. You stopped taking your medication in June and by November (and probably sooner) things were starting to go downhill again. Do you think your mood is a problem?

A: Yes. I think I make very different choices and have very different ideas when my mood is low.

Q: Your medication had a profound effect on your first episode of recovery from the eating disorder. Why did you stop?

A: Yes, I remember. For me, I remember changing my food/eating habits but still not being able to stop the binging and purging and then once I started the meds it’s like everything changed and I could control my choices. Before the meds I felt like everything was effort and once the meds kicked in I felt like I was in control of the choices. Things were still hard but it was like I had this magical ability to choose. I was such an advocate of the meds! I never thought I would be since I was so anti-medication but the change was like a switch was turned on (or off – whichever way you want to look at it) and the voice that was truly me could be heard again – I was in control. It felt instantaneous and the struggles were no longer uncontrollable but completely within my control. Choice was something I could make.

I stopped the meds because I was introduced to an idea that medication is not necessary, we are in complete control of our own reality. We can transcend anything with enough focus. All we need is focus. We are vibrational beings and that, with enough focus, I could raise my vibrational frequency and transcend to another plane of understanding and existence.

The problem here is two-fold.

First, I was introduced to this concept but misunderstood it entirely. And secondly, the concept as a whole still resonates deeply with me and I fear that in order to be helped I must give up what feels true to me and submit to the current modalities of treatment for my depression and eating disorder.

Q: Why do you think you misunderstood?

A: All I heard was “high” frequency and “low” frequency. High equates to good and low equates to bad. I found the element of separation, the way I always seem to do, that said I was less than and had something to achieve. I thought I was less than the person who introduced me to this idea of vibrational frequencies because he was vibrating at a very high frequency. Sadly, this person was not willing to entertain my mind of questions and thoughts and analysis in order to try and help me reason and figure this all out. I was quashed at every angle and just told to breathe and focus.

Q: How did that make you feel?

A: Dismissed.

Q: Who was this person?

A: I don’t know.

Q: What do you mean, “You don’t know.”?

A: In form he was my yoga teacher. In thought, I don’t know or understand the reason he came into my life. At times I hate him and wish I’d never, ever, ever met him. Part of me feels like he’s pure evil and part of me feels like he’s pure love. Part of me wonders if the things I encountered through him were even real, factual events. He and the circumstances of our encounters have had a profound effect on me but I find it very difficult to describe.  It’s surreal. I do feel like I had an awakening of some sort but can’t explain that further. I feel like I was completely blind before and when I had the awakening I was given a glimpse of something far beyond what I knew. But the vision has not been fully realized so I feel like I’m looking out with fuzzy eyes that can’t see anything but a blur and it’s driving me insane, this inability to see.

[silence]

Q: There’s unresolved energy here.

A: Yes.

Q: Do you know how to resolve it?

A: No. I have no answers. It just is and I hate how painful it is.

Q: Do you think this situation has anything to do with your low mood?

A: Not everything but something. I’m not sure I’ll ever understand it but I want to be free from it.

Q: Is it possible?

A: All things are possible.

Q: Do you believe that?

A: Yes. To the core my being.

Q: Then why do you feel so fearful and frustrated?

A: I’m wanting revelation.

Q: What if it doesn’t come?

A: It will.

Q: Then why do you feel so fearful and frustrated?

A: I’m afraid it won’t come. I’ll be wrong and crazy.

Q: So you have doubt?

[silence]

A: I don’t think I doubt so much as I’m impatient. Isn’t 40 years of pain enough time to wait?

Q: Who decides how long?

A: I know.

[silence]

A: I need to take a break.

 

Still Going

I still want to feel good.

I’m allowing everything to come. I watch it all and resist nothing.

A million times a day the waves of emotion – of pain, discouragement, negativity, hopelessness, uselessness, inadequacy, fear, loneliness, disgust, anger, resentment – they all wash over me.

Each time they come I let myself go limp and ride them out. And eventually,  miraculously, I float right back to the surface.

Yes, I’m tired. The body and mind are tired. But I’m still here.