RE – A Mighty Prefix, Another Chance

A recent interaction with my husband has me sitting in a spot that is painful and uncomfortable, and also unknown.

I’m in uncharted territory. I’m not clamoring to get out. There’s something happening here and I just need to sit and watch.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not in a peaceful, pensive, in-control spot.

I’m panicked on the inside; in a state of complete confusion and bewilderment. I think this has been the catalyst of a very steep spiraling down of my mood.

I’ve landed right back at square one in terms of mood, eating disorder and overall emotional well-being.

But, I’m still here. And while the circumstances of the past may all be playing out again, I am not the same person going through them. I think I’m getting another chance.

The things I’m still holding, still resisting, will keep touching the nerves until the thorn has been eradicated.

Round two, here we go!

Even though I still feel like I’m in a very vulnerable place, my view point has definitely changed. The reactions still come, aggressively and shockingly angrily at times, but the time from spike back to plateau is not lasting as long. That’s how I know there has been change.

I saw my husband last week. I had given him an April 30th deadline for letting me know if he was going to go into treatment.

He responded on May 1st, via text, telling me that he would see the counselor one more time but that it had been almost a year since I left him and though a bit upset he felt encouraged that he’d made it a year on his own. He likes who he is, he just needs some fine-tuning.

I didn’t respond. I cried. It just sounded to me like he was okay with things and was moving on.

I felt rejected and dismissed.

I felt sad that his takeaway from the past year has been that, in some way, I just don’t like who he is. That there’s something ‘wrong’ with him. Not true.

I pondered this. There doesn’t seem to be any objective truth in either of our ‘sides’, only our own personal interpretation which drives our behaviors and actions.

I went over to the house later that day. I’m not sure it was a good idea or not but I was sad and wanted to see my dog.

I arrived and my husband was standing at the back door. He just looked at me, threw up his hands, said that he’d been drinking, and walked away.

I replied that it didn’t matter, I’d just come to see my dog.

Several minutes later we were in a heated discussion and he dropped a bombshell.

He told me that I am the reason he drinks.

I became irate. I screamed. I yelled. I threw things. I stomped. I slammed. I wanted to hit him. I didn’t.

I ran downstairs, ready to make a swift exit. My mind was rolling and I could see it – I wanted to run, drive, call all my friends and family, tell them all how he has betrayed me, tell them what he said to me. I wanted to tell everyone what a horrible monster he was.

But why?

I wanted to be right. But, I looked further down the road and knew that no consolation would make the pain more bearable. It would still be inside me, stirring the cauldron of self-pity, rejection, guilt, shame, betrayal, unworthiness.

I stood in the basement, alone and shaking, knowing that other than being right in the pain, any other action would only be a mask.

The pain was indescribable but I was still alive. It wasn’t killing me.

I took deep breaths. I could hear my husband upstairs, sobbing.

I know I am not the reason for his drinking. I may be a thorn in his side that hits his nerves, but I am only one of many.

I went upstairs. He thought I had left and, still sobbing, asked what I was still doing there. I shrugged. He hugged me.

I lightly returned the hug, feeling completely empty. I wasn’t filled with love but I didn’t have hate in my heart either. I just felt like we were two people who were hurt, doing the best we could, trying to protect ourselves from further pain.

After that episode, we lay in bed talking. I asked probing questions to which he was responding openly.

He dropped another bombshell which, for me, was worse than the first.

He told me that shortly before we were married he thought about leaving me. He wasn’t sure if this was really the life he wanted.

I was non-reactive and accepted his words as his truth. The tears were unstoppable though and they rolled, in streams, down my cheeks. He didn’t seem to be concerned about my tears.

I left shortly thereafter. My life, to this point, now felt like a complete untruth, a total charade. It was never real.

I don’t even know if he meant any of what he said that day or if it was his way of protecting himself from further pain and rejection. I think the latter is the case but I will never know.

My whole identity, though I question ever having one to begin with, has been shattered.

I know not what I was. I know not who I am. I know nothing beyond this breath.

A me I thought I was was never really real.

I think I have spent the past week in mourning.

And I don’t even feel a need to rebuild.

I am feeling overwhelmed by all the things sitting in my apartment right now. I don’t want anything. I want to throw it all away.

I’ve started packing.

My lease is up soon.

I don’t know where I will move. I may even move back home.

You see, the marriage isn’t even a thing to me right now. It was a game.

Nothing was real.

We’re just two people. We went looking for happiness in each other and blamed and pointed fingers when the other fell short.

It still hurts. I’m still letting go.

This dying to self thing, no wonder the gate is narrow.

Waving the White Flag

Past and future, fear and judgement. Yes, they have ruled my life for the majority of it. They continue to, too, yet I am more acutely aware of this than I ever have been before.

I recall that one of the hardest things I struggled with through treatment and into recovery of my eating disorder was giving up control.

I remembered the past and feared the future.

From the past, I remembered the excess weight. I remembered the words that cut like knives, “You are fat. No wonder you have no friends. You are ugly.”

There were also seemingly innocent words of wisdom shed my way. “You can be anything you want. Don’t ever settle. You are capable of doing anything.”

Two points of view that were completely contradictory and totally confusing. One said I was something to be shamed and the other said that I had complete control over who I was.

The sum of that equation was pretty clear.

If I was capable of being or doing anything, yet I was a disgusting shame, well, I clearly was doing a damn awful job at being the person I should be.

And so, from the past, rules were generated in order to create the perfect future. And every action forward spawned from a place of fearful memory. There was no presence or joy in any action anymore, everything simply became a means to an end which I never, ever was able to reach.

That was the struggle in recovery, to give up the memory and just be, but in many ways, recovery, for me, became more rules.

I was shown how ‘normal’ people ate and thought and acted and how ‘eating disordered’ people ate and thought and acted. I learned strategies for integrating ‘normal’ thought and behavior into my life and, with repetition of these, I managed to become ‘normal’. For a while.

Two years later, I now find myself in a phase of relapse.

I ask myself, “What happened?” And the question comes not from a place of blame but, truly, from a place of curiosity.

Food and eating disorders go hand in hand. But food is not the foe, not mine anyway.

To some degree, food issues and proper nutrition must be addressed, but to a greater degree, I believe, there is an underlying modus operandi that drives the choices I make.

My life underwent a significant and traumatic change almost a year ago and, well, in many ways I’ve tried to effort my way out of it. And in my effort I’ve not managed to do much of anything except push myself into a corner of fear and judgement and condemnation of my actions.

I give thought to the events of the past year and I can see when I started to unravel. I fell back to the past and began fearing the future outcome.

I instigated a huge, fundamental change in my life. It was driven by inspiration, this I know, because I knew in the deepest place in my heart that I was doing what needed to be done. But then the desired outcome, or what I thought would evolve from my actions, didn’t happen. In fact, nothing has happened the way I anticipated that it would.

I fell back to memories – “You are shameful. You are ugly.”

Yet, more memories tell me I have the ability to do anything, to make my life into something.

The equation fell short yet again.

Subconscious memories started replaying – shame, disgust, failure, bad, unworthy, stupid, fat, horrible.

I fell back into major depression. I didn’t want to look, I refused to look. And, the way out? The eating disorder. The food. It has been the doorway out of reality and into dreamland, to get me out of the pain of myself that I don’t want to face.

But that is exactly what I must do. Face it. Regardless of the circumstance, this is the Now.

I can hardly understand it myself because everything is a choice, isn’t it? And if it’s a choice, and I’ve relapsed into my addiction, then isn’t it my fault? And then doesn’t that mean I’m wrong, I’m bad, I’m a disgusting shame?

But, who says? Only my memories say so.

I believe the action of my eating disorder is a response to memories that are replaying in me. The eating disorder is not the problem. The memories that are replaying in me are what are causing the eating disorder.

It is in me. Whatever ‘it’ is, it is in me. I don’t know why, I cannot seek to know why anymore. IT is in me. This is true.

So then, is there a way out?

In a manner of speaking, I believe so. But it’s not in the denial of the eating disorder within. It’s in the acceptance of what is Now and loving every aspect of it.

I don’t understand it. Hardly at all. But I’ve tried fighting it. I’ve tried ignoring it. I’ve tried a million things. And the only thing I have left to do is surrender.

The bible says in Philippians 4:6, “Do not worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your mind in Christ Jesus.”

I hardly understand this either. But when effort is futile the easiest thing to do is trust the wisest words I know and just allow the peace of God to transcend the pain.

I surrender.

 

Humility

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

~ James 4:10

He pulled me out into the deepest center of the ocean, where the storm was the strongest. Then He let me go.

Why? Why would He do this? I wasn’t ready. I wish I could go back but it’s too late now.

He knew I was ready though. And He knew I wouldn’t drown.

I’m gasping for air but I haven’t drowned yet. I won’t.

But I still haven’t learned to let go completely.

As a child learning to swim, I first let go of the side of the pool for a mere second and grabbed back on. The seconds increased and eventually I learned that my body would float. I couldn’t drown. The inherent ability to stay afloat was in me. I would have to had forcibly held myself under if I wanted to drown.

Living is a lot like swimming. Yet as an adult the lesson is a harder one to learn.

It’s almost as if, at times, I am purposely holding myself under. Slowly though I’m learning to become childlike again, letting go of the external identity of how things should be and instead feeling the internal identity of how things are.

The eternal life preserver is reading and willing. Am I?

 

 

Oh No You Didn’t!

Um, yeah I did!

See the picture on this post? Those are the hands of a 40 year old woman mechanic!

Okay, so it’s a picture of my hand. And I’m not a mechanic. But, I just changed one of the headlight bulb’s in my car. ON MY OWN!

In six months I’m amazed at what I’ve done on my own.

  • I separated from my husband of 20 years
  • I made the decision to take charge of the direction of my life instead of letting someone else/others/societal expectations decide it for me
  • I moved out on my own – for the first time EVER in all of my 40 years
  • I signed up for a hydro account
  • I arranged rental insurance for my new place
  • I negotiated cable terms for a new cable contract
  • I bought furniture
  • I took my car in to get serviced and fixed
  • I bought winter tires for my car to ensure my own safety
  • I went to a conference by myself
  • I sought legal advice for myself
  • I went tree-top trekking and zip lining
  • I renewed my passport
  • I changed a light bulb in my car

And those are only some of the tangible things I’ve done.

Some of the intangibles include:

  • Taking ownership of my life
  • Growing in understanding of myself and my place in this world
  • Seeking out the things that make me happy and learning to follow my spirit within/listening to my divine inspiration
  • Finding value and worth and love from within

I cannot ever underestimate the power I hold to direct my own life. My thoughts are the only barrier to evolution and transcendence of self.

The question was not, “WHY CAN’T I change the light bulb in my car?” The question was, “HOW can I change the light bulb in my car?”

Question not the ability to do. Instead, look only at how it can be done!

Evolution of Change

It’s been two months since my last post. I wasn’t sure if I should come back. I thought maybe I should create a new blog and start fresh but, after much contemplation, I decided that this whole “journey” of mine is a continuum. To start a new blog would only serve to negate one part of my story, one part of my life, which isn’t separate from me at all, but is fully part of me.

I slipped and fell. Not literally, but figuratively and so very deeply emotionally.

I think if I were to ask an impartial party they would say it’s okay. Right now, I believe that too. But I feel some shame in what I’ve allowed to happen. Yes, some shame, but I also realize the tremendous amount of change that has occurred in my life over, most recently, the past six months, but also over the past two years, and I can’t really shame the progression of learning and self awareness and understanding that has transpired.

  • I am still separated from my husband. He continues to drink. I don’t think I thought this would be how things worked out. I’m starting to realize that I truly thought my leaving him would shake his world and stir some change. Well, it shook his world alright but he’s viewing this as a tragedy rather than an opportunity. He’s sad. He’s angry.
  • Six months into a separation and while this is totally what I wanted I’m feeling a little lost in who I am. Alone at 40? It’s only a plateau, I realize this, but it’s just a really, really uncomfortable part of the cliff on my climb to the next level of me.
  • I got lost in trying to identify a new me in the shadow of the loss of the old me as “wife”. The shift involved a dietary lifestyle in which I lost quite a bit of weight and started down a very dangerous, yet familiar, path. I’m on shaky ground, even now, but I am filled with more self-love and awareness and I know what I need to do to remedy this. This is the part that I feel shame about but am understanding that I still, realistically, am only two years recovered from an eating disorder. I have areas to work on still but I’m stronger in mind and spirit and self this time and can get back on track more easily. As Ralph Waldo Emerson so eloquently put it:

The glory is not in never falling but in rising every time you fall.

Yes, I have fallen but I see that each fall is an opportunity to learn and grow and when I rise a new me has been formed and I continue on my way until it’s time for greater change again. And this is the evolution of me.

Radioactive and Toxic

Every bone, every cell, every inch of my body is screaming bloody murder right now. I ache. I hurt. I think I smell. I’m seriously toxic!

“What the fuck are you doing to me?” “Why? Why are you doing this?” “Don’t you think you’ve taken this too far?” “Get real lady! Who’re you kidding? You can’t change yourself or anyone else!”

Screw you! That’s what I say to the conditioned thoughts and beliefs that are making every last ditch effort to hang on. I don’t believe them.

But, in the midst of a healing crisis, if that’s what I’m even in, the old paradigms are fucking LOUD!

Apart from all the other stuff that’s been going on in my life, the last few weeks have seen a dramatic shift in my diet and my Ashtanga Yoga practice.

I had an intense encounter with the Great Sage Marichi the other day. A few hours later, I was wickedly ill. A day and a half later I’m still feeling the ravaging effects and am wondering if they’re going to go away or if I’m just screwing up my body and my mind.

As much as I’m inclined to think that this is wrong, I just know there’s going to be deliverance on the other side. That’s why I keep going.

I’ve never felt anything like this and I can barely type or write logically right now. But I just know that if I, if we, if the world is ever going to encounter change we will all have to go through this – and then some. I’m probably only licking the surface of change. But I know that I don’t want to come this far and back off now. A breakthrough is coming. If I stop now because the ‘normal’ world tells me to, I’m allowing the old paradigms to rule.

Every possibility is absolutely possible! This change is possible! I know it! I can feel it!

But will I survive it?

Middle Ground

I re-entered the world (the human world) after my long meditative walk this morning with more vigor and enthusiasm than I ever have.

I did so with a full awareness and understanding that the peaceful states I enter during my walks are not something I need to hold on to with a death grip. No, the peace exists already, and always, at the core of my being and as sure as day follows night, it will return. To everything there is a season.

I have, in the past, attempted to maintain those states of bliss, post walk, only to find myself consumed by the thought of them as well as the guilt of not being able to make myself remain there.

An ounce of truth and knowledge awoke within me this morning. The even state of acceptance is where peace resides. Even in the mediocre and mundane routines I must perform, the peace is there. A bright awareness is there.

Joy and ecstasy are extreme states of being and every so often I experience them. And they feel so damn good I want them to stay. But once I enter into the realm of trying (to keep), exhaustion and weariness set in.

Fear and anger and loneliness are also extreme states of being, yet at the other end of the spectrum. And they feel so damn awful and I want them to go away. But again, once I enter into the realm of trying (to stop), exhaustion and weariness set in.

Acceptance and awareness of the equal and opposing forces of life will eventually place me, without effort, on the fulcrum of peace and balance.