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.


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.


A Voice in Darkness

Something wonderful is happening when you’re no longer looking at ‘problems’ as something painful that needs solving and instead start realizing they’re a beacon, a calling of the darkness to the light.

Within it comes a voice. “Can you see me here?”, it asks.

When the answer is yes, you see the Light and what you thought was a problem disappears from sight completely.

Subtle Lessons in Awareness

The thing with Awareness, you can’t search for it. It just finds you when you stop looking.

I used to start the music, set the timer, and begin the meditation. My eyes would close, I would open the door to my mind and, instead of welcoming in Awareness, I walked right past it into the forest of mind to find what I thought it was.

I went in search of Awareness but found madness instead.

The timer would ring signalling the end of my meditation. I’d feel frustration, sometimes more than when I’d started, at the obvious failure of my hunt.

Yet, I’ve now been taught that Awareness brings to me only what I need in any particular moment.

I didn’t think the light that I saw shining was the Great Awareness I was searching but I now know there are no levels to the magnitude of Awareness. It just is and will show itself to me when I give myself to It.

As I give, so shall I receive.

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.


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.


The Rabbit Hole

I’ve been spiraling down the rabbit hole for about five months now and I can’t do it any longer.

There are only two options at this point. I either continue going down, which will result in complete self-destruction or, I get the hell out.

I’m gonna ditch this hole.

I’ve started to see the separation so clearly – it’s happening all the time, day and night. With every turn of my head my mind goes to the dark side. But, at the same time, there’s this knowing in me, coursing deep within my veins, that says, “This isn’t right, man. This isn’t who you are.”

My mind and body are fierce defenders of this black alley. And I don’t really understand why they want to be there. But, God knows, I don’t want to be there – not anymore. It’s do or die time, literally.

I’m linking my chains together, one by one, and eventually the strong chain of light will be long enough to haul my ass out of this pit. I’m looking one way only…that’s up and out.

I can so ably see and catch the spin to negativity but  I know I’m pretty darn weak right now. I don’t have the strength to just jump out. So, I’m starting slow.

Today, when I caught every drop in mood, I identified it as the thing I don’t want. Then, I just kept saying what I do want – that I want to feel good. I want to feel good. And then when my mind would say, “Yeah, nice try, but you don’t feel good.”, I just spoke louder – I WANT TO FEEL GOOD.

If all I’m doing is looking towards what I do want then the momentum will build, over time I will become strong, and eventually the rabbit hole will be a barely memorable thing of the past.

I like rabbits. But they can have their hole back.

The Undercurrent of My Human Mind

I stand in front of the vending machine, mid-morning. My eyes dart back and forth between the whole wheat bagel with light cream cheese and the blueberry muffin.

I can’t decide. The thoughts and questioning roll in like thunder clouds.

Which would be the better choice? I like muffins. I’d rather have an oatmeal muffin though (but blueberry is my only option). I’m not sure I feel like a bagel. Maybe the bagel is healthier. The bagel is probably going to fill me up more. I wonder if I’ll feel too full. Will that be too many carbs today? I can only imagine the amount of sugar in either option. I wonder how much high fructose corn syrup is in the bagel and cream cheese. I really should stay away from the HFCS – that stuff is killing the world. Remember that documentary? You’re falling into the trap of the “big guy” feeding you this sugar crap. I’ve put so much effort into eating healthy. This is going to kill my healthy glow. I’m hungry though. These are my options. You really should have been more prepared than this. Why do you have to eat at all? Why can’t you just NOT eat? Ah, so little will-power. You’re such a needy person. Stop it! Focus! You need to eat! Try thinking about it. Which one would taste better to you? I can’t decide. The muffin looks small. Hmm. My eyes dart back and forth again and again and again. What should I eat? Oh, come on! Stop thinking about what you should eat – try and tap into what you would prefer. I try to imagine eating both options and what each would taste like. I still can’t decide. Fuck! Just pick you stupid idiot! It shouldn’t be this hard. It’s just a bagel and muffin. But it’s not just a bagel and muffin. There are consequences to this choice. Fuck, you are fucked! If only people could hear you. They’d think you’re nuts! Surely I can’t be the only one who thinks like this. Why can’t I just be normal. Fuck, would you focus already and just fucking pick! Okay, okay. Hmm. Okay, I’ll get the bagel.

I put in the $2 and the bagel drops down. I guiltily take my bad choice from the trough and walk back to my desk. You shouldn’t be eating this. This isn’t food. It’s fake food. It’s filled with sugar and unnatural ingredients you can’t even pronounce. Oh stop. It’s just food. Remember what the bible says – it’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person. Yeah, I know. But what comes out of my mouth is no good either. I’m such an evil person. There’s no goodness in me. I am wicked and will never find the way to heaven. If only people knew how evil you are. Oh stop it. Don’t identify with that voice. It’s your ego messing with you. It’s just a bagel.

I open the bagel and spread one half with cream cheese. What would B think? He told you that if it isn’t real, raw and organic than don’t eat. Why are you eating this crap? He’d be so disappointed. He wouldn’t even want to be in your presence if he knew what you were doing to your body. You’re such a disgrace. Fat, fat, fat. Ugly, ugly, ugly. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Shame on you, shame on you, shame on you. Oh fuck it! B doesn’t give a shit about me anyway. He couldn’t care any less about me and isn’t wasting his time thinking about me so stop thinking about him. He’s not God. Remember what the bible says – it’s not the food that will defile you. All things are life. Stop judging.

The bagel reaches my lips. I feel sick. I force myself to eat it. I only eat half and then put the other half away. I’m so ashamed. Well, just put it behind you. Next time will be better. You don’t eat bagels everyday. Don’t worry. Oh, you’re just like your mother. You can’t stop eating. What’s wrong with you? Do you want to turn out like that? My stomach feels so fat. I feel disgusting. I sit, internally writhing in mental and physical discomfort. I try to focus on work. And I work but I’m not focused on work. I’m focused on my body. You are so awful. I still feel hungry. Stop! You just ate half a bagel. How could you possibly be hungry? Drink some water. I don’t feel like water. I’m tired. Why am I so tired all the time? It’s because I’m not sleeping well. It’s because you can’t stop these incessant thoughts. Fuck, just stop thinking. Breathe! Sigh. You know what? It’s Friday. Just let it go – go have another coffee. That’ll make you feel better, take the edge off your hunger. Why do you have to be such a hungry girl. No one will ever love you. You know that, right? You can’t take care of yourself. You’re always needing. You gave away the only person who does love you so shame on you. You just have to deal with that. It’s your fault. He loved you. Why would you give him up? Stop. You left for a reason. Remember, you do love him but he’s an alcoholic. You had to leave. But you shouldn’t have. You can’t do this on your own. You are absolutely messing up your life. You’re fucked. You’re going to wind up an old, unlovable, wrinkled ugly woman living alone in squalor, in a ratty old apartment that smells like a stank hole. You’re never going to amount to anything. Too bad. You should have thought about that before you decided to leave. At least you’d have a comfortable home and not have to want for anything. But that’s not the life you want, is it? Come on, you can do this. These are just thoughts. You’re not your thoughts. Focus. Focus. Focus. You can be more. You know it, deep within your heart. It doesn’t matter what you weigh or look like. You’ve got a good job and work with great people. Why can’t you be more grateful? You’re such an ungrateful sod. You have more than so many others and yet you take advantage of what you have. Shame on you. But I’m so sad. Okay. Okay. I can do this. Just get through the day. After work you’ll get your hair cut, get dinner, get an oil change, do laundry, clean the house, have a work out. But when do I get to relax? Stop, you don’t need to relax. If you focus on the moment all your work should feel like bliss. It shouldn’t matter what you do if you’re doing it with joy in your heart. Why can’t I feel the joy? Why does my life feel so black? I’m so tired. Why? Will I ever be happy and feel joy? I’ve never felt joy. I feel hopeless. Here I go again. Why can’t I be happy? What is wrong with me? I’m hungry. Okay, it’s almost 1:00 p.m. Go ahead and eat lunch, if you must. It’s a healthy lunch, it’s okay. There’s not as many vegetables in here. Where are the greens? You should be eating way more greens. Your skin is going to start showing the mess of a diet you’ve been eating. Come on, just eat. Shut up. It’s tasty. Not bad. I’m full. You’re fat. You should’ve waited to eat lunch. But I was hungry. No you weren’t. You just can’t stop eating. Eat, eat, eat. No control. It’s okay. I’ll work out tonight. But it’s Friday. I’m tired. I don’t want to work out. No, you know what? It is Friday! You’ve had a tough week. Just forget it all today – all bets are off! One last binge, one last purge. Then you can start fresh tomorrow. Have an extra long workout to make up for it and then you’ll be back on track.

I’m so gray and dark at this point. I can’t focus. The tears are welling. The days have gone on and on like this for what feels like an eternity. The shackles are heavy. I want to die. I don’t really want to die but I don’t see any way out. This is my life. You’ve made a damn mess of it too! Why can’t someone help me? Who? Who would help you? What could they possibly do for you to make any of this feel better or go away completely? Nothing. Who can I call? Mom, dad, sis? No, they’d listen and then just look at you with pity. I don’t need pity. I’m not a pitiful person. I’m so strong. What about B? No, you’d just be dragging him into your mess of a world. Don’t drag others into your dismal abyss. What about L? I should get together with friends. No, they’ll just want to have fun and you’d just be a depressed mess. Who wants to hang out with that? No one. But I can’t stand this. I can’t stand myself. I can’t stand being alone. I can’t be the only one who feels like this. There must be others out there. But why do we all struggle alone? What would make me feel better? Nothing. There isn’t anything anybody can do. Just be miserable then! But I don’t want to be miserable. The sun is shining, it’s such a beautiful day. You can’t even enjoy it. Look, people go out for walks and get out and live life. Look at you! You just whole up and can barely face it. Weak, weak, weak. Who are you? What’s the point? Why bother? This can’t be it though. There has to be more! What though, what more is there? You’ve lived 40 years like this. Why would you think it’s going to change? Because it has to! I’m worth more than this! I know I am. Come on! You’re so egotistical. Always thinking of yourself! Stop. I’m tired. Maybe you should just have a glass of wine and relax tonight. Oh sure, just filling yourself with other ways to make yourself feel better. Wine won’t help either. There is nothing you can do.

I feel heavy. I feel fat. I feel tired. I feel worthless. I feel lazy. I feel useless. I feel hungry. I feel full. I feel sick. I feel fear. I feel unloved. I feel lost. I feel disconnected. I feel not human. I feel alone. I feel afraid. I feel. I feel deeply. I want to love. I want to feel. I’m not worthy.

The stream of thought is endless. And this only accounts for about 30 minutes of my day.

How does one escape this nightmare?

I’m watching…

…and if I can see what I’m holding I can make a decision to let it go.