Thursday, July 30, 2015


Guilt.....What a uncomfortable and powerful feeling. It's hard for me not to act on my feelings of guilt and by that I mean try to bury them under food. I want to eat when I feel guilty. I know it doesn't made sense to anyone who has a healthy relationship with food, but to other compulsive eaters or food addicts, they understand what it is like to try to fill up the empty with food.

I hate to admit it, but I often feel a lot of guilt. I always have. I'd love to blame my parents or the different Christian teachings I grew up with or that I was an oldest sibling, but honestly I don't think it really matters anymore why I feel guilty at the drop of a hat. What matters in my life now, is that I look at it and feel it and work through it - without eating.

I went through a very depressed period in my life after my little Arlo Edward died - years of worsening depression that ultimately resulted in a suicide attempt. I've healed a lot from that experience - my depression is under control through the use of meds and some intense therapy - I've even healed enough that I don't need the therapy anymore; I like to say I graduated ;). There is however, residual guilt over this period in my life. I was not a good mother when I was in that deep dark place and I was not a good wife or friend. I lost my 2 closest friends during that period and I feel guilt about all that.

But......I'm working on it - I have the tools now - thanks to therapy and OA and my lovely shaman teachers - to work through this guilt. In my head I know I have nothing to feel guilty about - I was sick and the final waves of consequences from that time were bad - really bad - but I can't take responsibility for other peoples actions or continue to beat myself up for something that was out of my control. I didn't mean to get so sick - it wasn't something I chose and when I realized how sick I was I got help and began to heal. As a matter of fact, I was already in therapy when the suicide attempt happened. I talked to my therapist about it because I knew I needed to and with her help spent a week in the hospital (yes a psych ward) until I was no longer a danger to myself.

So, now I have many tools to help me with my guilt. I now no longer eat to try to numb myself to it - thanks to OA - so I sit with it and deal with it and use my tools to try to get over it. I think it shows my selfish side trying to take responsibility for stuff that's not mine - feeling guilty for other peoples actions can be seen as selfish or at least self centered. I don't want to be that person. I want my heart to be filled with compassion and love, not guilt and darkness.

I'm a work in progress, so I've not conquered all my feelings of guilt, but I'm working on it. That's what matters; growing as a person to who the Universe has called me to be - listening, working at it, letting go, moving on, praying, meditating all help me to get over my guilt. Because right now, in this moment, I really have nothing to feel guilty about and that, my friends, is progress.

Monday, July 27, 2015


Okay - I am desperately fighting the anxiety I feel at reaching out and calling my OA fellows. I need to call my sponsor, but I feel such anxiety about it. Interacting with other people - reaching out - gives me a sick feeling in my stomach and makes it hard to even function. My throat is closing up and my heart is pounding and it's still too early to make that call. I have to sit here with these feelings for another hour or so.

Anxiety is such a mystery to me. I don't know why I feel it or how it's become such a crippler in my life, but there it is raising up it's ugly head making itself known. I'm frozen with it. White knuckling through the goals I have set myself. It's important for my recovery that I begin making more connected relationships outside my immediate family. That means reaching out - and that means setting myself up for the possibility of rejection or betrayal.

I admit it - I'm scared. Afraid to the depths of my soul of more rejection and betrayal from those I admire or those I feel drawn to and those I want to make a deeper connection with. What's most worrying to me is that I feel this way about people that I already know care about me. But then again, I suppose a lot of it goes back to that feeling of unworthiness. I feel like I don't deserve close friendships - close relationships outside my immediate family.

I don't have the best social skills. I tend to not know what to talk about to people so I sit silently and uncomfortably with friends or acquaintances until those people feel as uncomfortable as I do and walk away. And I can't blame them.

An example is a friend from real life that I have an active friendship with on Facebook - we message each other and talk via the computer, but when I'm with her in person I just don't know what to talk about. I'm just frozen with fear of making a fool of myself or being too needy or silly or loud or obnoxious.

I do sometimes make it past my discomfort and interact with people, but later, on the way home or lying in bed trying to sleep, I begin to second guess every word I said and wonder what the ones I was interacting with are thinking about me now. I know I shouldn't care what others think of me - what matters is the relationship I have with myself and my Higher Power, but those insecurities are something I still need to work on.

It's really hard. I have some social situations coming up. First I need to get over my anxiety and start working with my sponsor - that means phone calls and face to face time. I also have a gathering I'm going to at some friends' house on Saturday - I'm looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time. I just need to remember to work through the anxiety the way I work through my addiction: one day at a time - one hour at a time - one phone call at a time - one moment at a time.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

An update and perhaps a new beginning of sorts

Well, the depression is much better. New meds and my body adjusting to a sugar free life have definitely made an impact. I've also begun exercising! I'm riding my bike 3 times a week - I'm up to 5 miles right now and I'm training for a 10 mile ride in September to raise money for Parkinson's research. I'm pretty proud of my growth over the last few months. I'm 160 days abstinent - that means 160 days without sugar and eating only 3 meals per day with nothing in between and no trigger foods. My portions are getting smaller as my body adjusts and my body is definitely changing.

My program - OA - is not going as well. I've have managed to remain abstinent, but to be honest that abstinence is a gift from my Higher Power. I've done little to no work spiritually and I haven't been working the steps. I'm still going to meetings, but not as regularly as I should. So after a particularly inspirational meeting yesterday, I finally asked a woman I admire to be my sponsor. This is a first for me - I haven't really worked with a sponsor, but I know that I need help working the steps or I am bound to relapse. I don't want to ever relapse again - the last one sent me into such a deep dark spiral - I never want to go there again, so I'm going to use the tools the OA program lays out for me and work with my new sponsor.

I've been thinking about what I want or need from a sponsor since I asked her yesterday. I'm still contemplating that. My first instinct was the I need someone to be accountable to - but after praying about it and thinking about it I realized that's not what I really need or want. I have my family to keep me accountable and they do a really good job of it. What I want and need from my sponsor is unconditional love and support and guidance through the 12 steps of OA. Someone to share my thoughts and work with who understands and can help guide me through the process. That doesn't mean that I won't occasionally need to be called on my stuff - I know I sometimes try to deflect and hide and I need someone to help me see when I'm doing that so I can be honest with myself. I think I also need someone to cheer me on when I'm doing well and to help me see when I'm ready to move on to the next step. I have a tendency to stay stuck - stagnant - frozen in indecision when something is hard for me. I will work through something and then just sit with it because I don't want to let it go.

I'm so unbelievable blessed to have such wonderful support in my life. To have a roof over my head, healthy food for my belly, love and hugs and kisses to feed my soul, a Higher Power that loves me unconditionally, and my fellows in OA that celebrate with me, understand my struggles and support and love me.

I'm also so grateful for this journey life has brought me on. It's been a bumpy road from time to time with many ups and downs, but there is very little I would change. I am who I am because of the struggles I've endured, so I'll take it all and work through and continue to grow.

I'll probably be writing here on this blog about my OA journey more than I have been because I think it's important for my recovery and abstinence. So you all should be seeing more of me here. Sorry I've been gone so long, but I haven't really had a lot to say cuz I've really just been coasting. It was nice, but it's time to get back to work. I have growing to do!