Tuesday, April 20, 2010

rocky start

If compulsive eating is anything, it's a way to leave ourselves when life gets hard.  When we don't want to notice what is going on.  Compulsive eating is a way we distance ourselves from the way things are when they are not how we want them to be. -- Geneen Roth

Last night, I sought distraction.  I watched Stefan watching TV on half the screen with World of Warcraft playing on the other.  "Vitality!" shouted an enormously annoying voice from the game.  Rubbing salt in the wound.  I grabbed bunches of sesame sticks, and mechanically put them into my mouth.  They didn't taste very good, but eating them was something to do.

Last night, I needed to press pause.  I have felt so many emotions lately that I fear being overwhelmed by them.  Hope, energy, and enthusiasm show up for the beginning of the journey, but taking the first step on that path is terrifying.  What if this new excitement about beginning again is just a substitute for compulsive eating, only another obsession designed to dull my anxieties about the present moment?  What if I fall back to the old, destructive ways of eating foods that force my body to feel the same sluggishness that my mind does?  What if I don't love myself enough?

Today is a new day.  Annie Dillard reminds us gently that "how we spend our days is how spend our lives."  I don't want to spend my days beating back scary feelings with sesame sticks.  I want to spend my life embodying and emanating joy.  I want to brim with the impulse and energy to create.  I am slowly coming to recognize that to create is to express the divinity within us.  I want to reconnect with the part of me that is not-me, that which is without emotion and without judgment, that which is all love.  That which is -- do I dare to say it? -- God.

I am headed into the shower, ready to embrace a sunny day of untold promise.


  1. It's "Fatality", not "vitality"

  2. Remembering a conversation we once had about how much we had to eat to get us through writing a particular paper. Uggh. No more.

  3. @Stefan: Oh, really? Well, I guess it's a Freudian slip!

    @Allison: I remember that, too. We clearly needed to nourish ourselves, but I'm sure whatever I chose was the opposite. I'm trying to pay more attention to what foods make me feel awesome and productive. I'll share my findings.

  4. My counselor and I talked today about how, as we begin to heal, there is a period of mourning that happens for life-as-we-knew-it, for particular coping mechanisms and ways of being in relationship with yourself and others. Perhaps it's not a new compulsion, Elyssa, but perhaps it is just as scary! The fact that you're writing and thinking and talking about it is a miracle, though, isn't it?

  5. It is a miracle, Kate. Honestly. And I think you're absolutely spot-on about a period of mourning. In some ways, it feels more like Stockholm syndrome!

    I think I'm also mourning the loss of control over how my life will unfold. If I stay up late and eat sesame sticks until I feel sick, I know exactly how I'll feel the next day: sorry for myself and nauseated. If I go to bed early and wake up refreshed, who knows what might happen! Like Geneen says, we just need to start showing up for our life and accept whatever comes our way.