Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014

I'm currently on another emotional roller coaster ride triggered by my long-term friend, Stress. Yep, it's been pretty stressful around here and will be for some time. I'm holding my own...doing okay. Just thought I'd check in with you to encourage you to stay strong. I'm encouraging myself too.

I've just finished a post for 7/26. I'll tweet in later this evening. I discovered that my last post was published but not tweeted. I don't want to send too many posts out at one time. I may even wait until tomorrow. Since this post will be short I'll go ahead a publish is today.

As far as my stressors. I am working diligently to undo my world view of this problem so that I may take on a view that is more indicative to my faith. It's hard...very hard. I'm a fighter. You may call me stupid...I get knocked down and sometimes knocked out, but I get up and start fighting again. No wonder I'm always tired. Anyway, I'm proud to announce that I have not lost my appetite in all of this. I woke up early this morning and had a small banana with one piece of wheat toast and peanut butter for breakfast. I think breakfast was around 9:30- 10am. My son and I ran a quick errand and we stopped for burgers. I ordered my fish sandwich meal and did not supersize it. I'm getting better about that. I've come to realize that supersizing my meal is kind of like a mini binge where I'm trying to cram food in even when I'm full. I don't know what's for dinner yet, but I plan on it being something healthy and hopefully delicious.

Take care, my friends. I'll be checking in with you soon and if you'd like, I can continue posts about relationships or I can post about the book I'm focused on reading, "Life Without ED." If you have not read my last post, here's a link to more information about this book Whenever you've got a free moment please do take the time to listen to an exert from the book. You'll see the listen icon just under the book's cover pic. I really enjoyed what I heard and can't wait to take a bite out of this book. I wanted to get started over the weekend, but I guess you can tell that I was not in the frame of mind.

I look forward to sharing more with you about this book. From what I can tell, it comes highly rated.

Blessing to you well...

July 26, 2014 - Friendship

Greetings everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. I've been thinking a lot about the subject of relationships...friendship in particular. As I continue to think about friendship, past, present and future I wonder...have I think about friendship and what role my friends may play in my healing process?

I could talk about many facets of relationships with you, however, I think it would be best for me to focus on individual kinds of relationships. As we all know, relationships can be complex even complicated and each type of relationship deserves it's own time and space in this conversation.

Today I want to focus on our knowledge of what friendship is and what it means to have friends. How do we see our friends and do they serve any particular purpose?

Wikipedia - Friendship (partial definition)
Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people.[1] Friendship is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an association.

Urban Dictionary - Friendship (partial definition)
Something that is much underrated in our society. Friendship is actually a form of love (here I'm not talking exclusively about erotic love). It's not a lesser form of love than erotic love, only a different form of love. In fact, the ancient Greeks had a word, "phileos", more or less equating to fraternal/brotherly love (friendship). Friendship seems to have no observable biological necessity(unlike parental love, necessary for humans to grow, and erotic love, necessary for humans to reproduce), and not much of a marketable appeal (as opposed to the millions/billions of dollars worth of things sold to people trying to better their marriages or parenting skills), yet without such a form of love as friendship our societies would be unbearably dull and alienated from one another.

Above are two basic definitions of friendship. What do you think of them? Have you ever given thought to what friendship means to you and what you are truthfully seeking from your friendships? I had not given much thought to what my friendships meant to me or what it was that I wanted to receive from them, not anymore than how to be supportive, nurturing, giving and so on. In my opinion those things are superficial. Why? Because they are simply actions. What I've given thought to recently are the reasons behind my actions and why certain actions were so much more important to me than others. We as human beings often times don't think about the reasons we do things because we are to busy doing without thought. Does that make sense? Humans frequently do things inadvertently as a reaction to either a person, stimuli, situation, past or anticipated experience.

My past friendships served many purposes. First and foremost, they were a welcomed distraction from my miserable life. Pre-teen friendships, not so much; most of my interactions were at home and home was not a safe place, even with friends present. It wasn't until my late teens early twenties when I saw friendships in a new lite. Visiting friends was a lovely filler for the day. After taking care of my responsibilities I would spend countless hours with my friends, often calling them immediately after getting home, even thought I just left from seeing them. Obsessive? Maybe so. As long as the conversation was good and the company friendly I was game and seemingly so were they. I doted over my friends, giving them almost anything they wanted. That also included limitless time and attention. That was my way of showing appreciation for their friendship or at the very least their attention. The thing is...I didn't really have their attention. They were more fixated on what they could get from me and how many different ways I would work to see they had what they needed over and beyond my own needs.

One of my biggest dreams was to become a noted psychologist. Why not, after all, most of my waking hours were spent studying human behaviors. What better way to serve mankind than to listen to their problems. Not only was it my greatest obsession and in many ways still is, but it was also how I learned to be socially adequate in most respects. Yes, I was considered different, so much so that most people did not know what to think of me or do with me. I never really saw myself as different other than my lack of understanding or being completely bored by the trivial conversations of peers. I'd much prefer the company of adults even if they didn't want me around.

Getting back to the matter at hand...When my hope for attending an ivy league school were dashed by my parents, I pretty much gave up on everything. I'd had enough. Too tired to keep fighting to be something more than my parent's punching bag. So you see, that is why I became the friendly unpaid therapist that I was for my friends.

This monster need is what fueled a vicious cycle. With each new friend I would hone in on their needs and like a well trained servant my every move was to make them happy. In reality, what I was doing was fulfilling my own need for happiness and purpose. I needed to be needed because I was devalued at home. I was as addicted to catering to friends as I was to hurting myself. And I did this without conscious.
As I continue trying to understand the complexities of human relations, daunting as it may be, I find solace in knowing that I will some day better understand myself.  

I am proud to day that I have been delivered from such behaviors and have a much healthier view on friendships. Friendships should be mutual...a give and take. My new purpose for having friends is to enjoy the company of like minds as well as enjoying the company of different mind sets. I enjoy getting to know a person just for the sake of getting to know them. I no longer assess people nor and I hungry to hear their problems. Not to say that we can't share things about ourselves and our situations, just not for any particular purpose other than get it off our chest and sometimes just to be heard. When I listen to friends I acknowledge that I heard them and always hope the best for them. If they ask for my opinion, I give myself the option to give that opinion or not. It's no longer automatic.

Since this miraculous change occurred, I've become freer with my friends. I've lost a couple friends along the way and I've allowed myself to mourn the loss, but not before acknowledging the lost relationships poisonous affect on my life. I give thanks for being able to recognize unhealthy exchanges between me and my so called friends and I revel in the ability to let those relationships go.

So I urge you to take a closer look at your friendships and the purpose for which your friendships serve. Trust me there is a purpose weather healthy or not. You may want to ask yourself a few questions:

What kind of friend are you?
a. Are you a good listener?
b. Do you always command attention?
c. Are you always the giver of attention?
d. Do you talk about various subjects with your friends or do you mostly talk about yourself?
e. When your friend in talking, do you listen or do you think of other things (like your grocery list)?
f. Whenever your friend brings up a subject, do you allow your friend to lead the discussion or do you take over and turn the discussion back to yourself?
g. Do you and your friends treat each other out sometimes or buy each other gifts?
h. Do you find that you are always the one to treat your friends/buy gifts or vice versa?
I.  Do you and your friends take turn initiating planned get-togethers or in-prompt-two meetings?
j.  Do you find that you may be the one who always makes the plans or everyone always meets at your house?

These are just a few suggested questions. You may very well have your own questions. Just thought I'd give you a bit of a jump start.

The reason I wanted to talk about friendships here is because we need to realize how much our relationships affect our path to wellness. It is very hard to get well when you are in a state on constant upheaval. You may not realize it because you are used to it. Assess yourself. Do you feel exhausted/drained after talking to or spending time with a friend. It's not healthy to always feel that way. You may want to consider cutting back on time spent with that friend. And if you find yourself where you are getting all of the attention than you may need to ask yourself why you need so much attention and why you are not giving the same attention to your friend.

All of the points that I've brought up so far in this blog are linked together. Learning to love and value yourself is key. When you love yourself your are better equipped to being committed to yourself and your wellness journey. Standing up for yourself in parasitic relationships can easily occur when you learn to love yourself and are committed to yourself.. Even changing ones own parasitic ways can occur when taking an honest, healthy assessment of your relationships with others. See how it works?

This same principle can be applied to any relationship. Don't over do it. Take your time. Don't be afraid to let go of the unhealthy links in your life weather they be friend or foe.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 23, 2014

Oh my goodness! Where has the time gone. I know it's been awhile since I've posted, but I did not realize that it's been almost a month. How are you all of you doing? I hope you are well and if not, I hope that you are seeking a path to wellness.

I'm sitting here eating dinner at 6:58pm and doing pretty good with that. Yes, at times I've eaten a little later, but that was largely due to my internal battle with wanting to purchase takeout. Purchasing takeout has to be done with great care at my house. If I'm not careful, I will purchase our meals and additional foods for binging. I'm much better about acknowledging my triggers.

Let's see, where did I leave off last time? I believe I was struggling between doing better during the day and worse at night or being better at night and worse during the day. I'd like to say that I've conquered this madness, but I will refrain for the moment. Lets just say that I am doing better all around with few issues. Okay, if want to call a late night snack of popcorn a be it. I don't see it that way.

I have not had any major sweet cravings for some time now. I can't say if my last battle with sweets was triggered by stress or hormones. Whatever the case, it has gone away for now. I'm so very glad about that.

I've been cooking some really great meals. We of course have lots of veggies and lean meats in small portions which is working well for me. I can't tell if my weight is changing and I am not strong enough to look at a scale. I still have not grasped the power of exercise, but I'm working it. I can say that I have much more compassions for myself, which makes it so much easier to eat the way I should. I feel good about myself and I don't mind sharing my truths. I don't mind letting people know when they need to back off and give me space. It was shaking for awhile, but those who respect my wishes remain and those who don't...well...

There was a book that someone recommended I buy. I can't remember if it was a friend on the phone or a friend online. Doesn't matter, I purchased the book. It's entitled, "Life Without ED: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too. The book was written by Jenni Schaefer with Thom Rutledge. I'll probably start reading it sometime this weekend. I've been head strong in watching some of the latest Autism documentaries. I'm not going to give my opinion here. I'll save that for my autism blog.

Can you tell that I'm feeling a little perky this evening? I hope so. Life has been so much better after letting go of some of my angst. I feel lighter in my spirit and my walk.There are those times when I may take a few steps back. It's okay to recognized those times and work towards being better, but I will no continue allowing those times to be a crutch. Stay strong and work towards the good. Focus on being better to yourself and things will change for the better.

Oh yeah, I remember now, I left off last time talking about assessing relationships with friends, acquaintances, family and lovers. Okay. I'm not going to address that today, but I will definitely be discussing that in the very near future. For now, I am going to get back to my dinner.

I hope for you all that you have a peaceful evening, morning, day, night, wherever you are in this great thing called time.

I'll let you know about the book, "Life Without ED," soon. For those of you who may be interested in purchase a copy or taking a sneak peek, here's the link, In this link you also have the option of listening to a portion of the book. I think you'll really enjoy it. I love the way Jenni writes about ED.

Take care, my friends and thank you for your patience.

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7, 2014

Greetings everyone! I hope you all had a lovely break over the weeks end.

I've been thinking about you all quite a bit. I don't know your stories or even if many of you have experienced some sort of eating disorder or even addition. Whatever your story, I hope that you are well. I hope that I have been able to share something meaningful to you. And I totally understand if you don't wish to share your thoughts here. Having any kind of addiction or ED can be very difficult to talk about.

I've been talking to people around ED a lot lately, more so than ever before. I guess the main thing is my desire to encourage them to try healthier measures for dealing with pain. As I talk with other people, I find that my mind continues to explore all the facets of the roots to this long-term problem of mine. At first I found it a bit redundant to continue revisiting past questions, that is...until it started paying off. I've discovered there are many layers to how and why my ED developed. Layers that I did not recognize before, but make so much sense. Filling in the gaps, I believe is what I'd call it.

In earlier posts, I wrote about the beginning of the development of my NES desperately needing to be comforted by something that seemingly would not hurt me as I had fallen into a world filled with hurt and shame...a world without escape.

I discovered another thing about myself. I needed to feel some sense of control. I had not control over any aspect of my life including my own emotions, but I could control my eating during the day and relished the planning of eating at night. Does this sound familiar to any of you? In addition to the need to have some sort of control I also had a strong desire to be heard, to be recognized, to be seen as human. I wanted my parents to see me hurt myself. I wanted to show them see how much I hated what they wanted of me. I did everything to destroy the perfection they sought. Then too, maybe they'd feel sorry for me and feel something for me other than hate, but they didn't. How could they? What I was doing was fueling their fire. I made them hate me even more for my rebellion against their desires. Even still, I thought my parents would have some measure of sympathy for me if the pain were self inflicted. Instead they just let it happen. There was probably some measure of satisfaction watching me starve myself in the interest of loosing weight. No wonder their outrage when I stepped on a scale to find that I had gained weight instead.

I try not to dwell on my situation too much. I'm not trying to draw negativity or be depressed. What I hope for is to be able to see the bigger picture. I need to confront all of my demons. As I've said before and will continue to say...The recovery process required more than simply addressing the undesired behaviors it required digging deep and find the root cause for the behaviors. That is when the healing begins.

So I guess the question is... What have I done with my new found self discovery? Well, what I have done so far is to recognize that I need to find healthier ways to cope with my pain. Writing this blog is certainly one of them, but I believe that I need a few more healthy options. Also, this new discovery of self had lead to me assessing my relationships and why they exhaust me. I'm exhausted by my relationships because I was fulfilling a need to be heard on a level that I could manage. I'd even go so far as to say that I played a roll that was conducive to my need to be needed. And the biggest part of that fulfillment was to stand on my soap box and command my audience. How lame is that?

My need to be heard and my need to be needed was my new way of self soothing. All the while, I was still binging and starving, but my physical needs were no longer noticeable. It was my emotional need that took precedence. Perhaps that is why denial of the physical element of my ED came so easy.

I am proud to say that I am no longer the pompous blowhard and self proclaimed therapist that I was. My relationships are different. I will admit, I've lost some friends along the way, but it's okay. Those relationships were poison. For the few who stayed and the new arrivals, I try my best to be a much better friend. I strive to be a better listener, but not one who hones in on others problems, just to listen, simply for the sake of listening because we all have a right to be heard. I speak more, not to offer advice, but to share life experience and to encourage. I am working on not judging those who's opinions are different from mine. I seek healthy exchanged...give and take. Friendships should never be one-sided. I'd like to post more on the subject of friendships/relationship. Do you think that would be something you'd be interested in reading about?

There may be times that we find ourselves wanting to pull away from those we see as negative or at least contributors to our negativity only to find that we land in the lap of another who is equally or even more negative than the last. Perhaps it is not recognizable because it's a different kind of negative. Doesn't matter, a negative is a negative and it all feels the same.

My eating has been pretty good. I won't say that I've been very timely during my daytime eating, but I am eating healthy, whole meals in appropriate portions. I am back to eating a pre-measured night time snack each night. There are some nights that I really want to eat more and sometimes I do, but it's not out of control like it once was. I am completely aware of my actions. I am a work in progress, but I am making improvements.

Also, I continue to feel better about myself. I continue wanting to embrace myself and see myself with my own eyes which is working for me. I am able to stand up for myself better. I can voice when something makes me feel uncomfortable. I've noticed that a few of my longtime friends don't like the recent changes in me. These are the friends that are accustomed to feeding into my need to be needed as well as feeding their need to be heard. They're fighting to reclaim center stage and they may have it, just not with me. It feels good to be freed from another chain that binds. It feels real good...