Monthly Archives: October 2007

Still a big eater

In planning my flight meals for my USA trip (a 12-hour flight…) I’m once again reminded that I have definite preferences within Greysheet, and am intensely grateful that I am allowed to have those and not feel guilty about it.

What I mean is this: most Greysheeters take “travel food”, i.e. small items that travel well.  Half-size proteins, and 1-oz. abstinent cooked veg.  I do not do this.

You see, I’m a big eater – and yes, if pinch came to shove I COULD and WOULD eat these things – but the situation is not that desperate.  In fact I’d have to be really desperate to eat half-size anything (oh, the horror of that mini-cooked-veg!).  I LIKE eating, and I want to eat as much as I possibly can!  Greysheet gives me a luxurious amount of food, and still, after every meal I could easily eat another of the same size.  And quite possibly another one after that.  I’m all about amounts.

So, as I plan my meals for the flight, I choose not to use standard “GS travel food”.  And I refuse to feel bad about that.

Facing Fears & Letting them Go

Well, this week’s reading was interesting.  I can’t say that I agree with the idea that love and fear are the only two emotions.  In fact, one of the things I’ve always struggled with, and am consciously working on, is that most of the time I have no idea what my feelings are, or am even conscious of having any feelings/emotions at all.  It’s not that I can’t name an emotion – it’s that I’m so mind driven that I seem to operate out of mental processes only, with very little heart involvement.  I just don’t feel things.

Then again, much of this could very well be a result of burying emotion, that it has come to the point of being unrecognisable and my default way of being simply doesn’t include emotion.  Whether that’s good or bad, I’m still making my mind up.

Fears, however, I do have.  Financial, mostly.  And there’s a difference between facing them and letting them go.  Facing a fear doesn’t make it smaller if it’s a valid fear – if it’s indeed valid, facing it may help me come up with a plan.  If it’s not valid, then facing it should make it go away, shouldn’t it?  But it doesn’t really.  I have to consciously let those fears go.  Those fears, which have no concrete reason that I can take action about, keep returning… for me, they include things like:

  • being rejected
  • having people get to know me, and being revolted by what they see
  • being “found out” (for what, I don’t know – for my personality, I suppose)

One of my worst recurring fears, that I do know hold me back, is that people will get to know the real me.  Which is not likeable, loving, or compassionate – my deepest personality as I understand it today is extremely self-centred, uncaring, proud, and cold.  Here, I said it, and I’m not afraid of saying it… because I know you don’t really believe it.  My fear is that people will encounter how deeply true it is, “find me out” for real.  I often feel that God, my higher power, is the only one capable of loving me (because that is who he is, he can love ANYone).

I haven’t really got answers.  All I know is that I still put up walls as a default.  I hide, as a default.  I suppose that is all operating out of fear – but without love, if those two options are really the only ones there are, that’s the only way of being open for me, isn’t it?  I don’t want to sound all depressed, and I am not!  I am not depressed about this.  Because I have this program, and abstinence, I know that I can walk out of this place a day at a time, a step at a time, I have hope for change – and for today, that hope is really enough.

No Drama

I’m conscious that I haven’t written to Greynet a lot recently, and every time I begin an email I end up discarding it – simply because there’s nothing big to report, no drama in my life, things are flowing and I have nothing in particular to share.

Then again, I do want to share that – and connect with other Greysheeters – even if I’m not all that interesting, if my life isn’t dramatic… that’s a good thing.  Because I have Greysheet, I get to work on my character and am learning to live in the day, life flows on without major hitches at the moment and I try to make use of this time to build strength and abstinent muscle for the time when I need it.

Oh, and I’m looking forward to visiting the States – one week to go!!

Birthday

I have been receiving lots and lots of messages, emails, and such from friends all over the world (non-GS’ers, I mean).  I feel very, very loved and blessed.  Personally I don’t tend to prioritise my birthday at all – funny, on Sunday my friend Joy asked me if I was counting down the days and I said yes, only two weeks to go! (thinking of my trip to America)… while she was referring to my birthday which I’d totally forgotten about.

My friends here have been organising something for this evening, too.  I’m so blessed that they know my GS abstinence, respect it, and build their “surprise” for me around that.  We’re going to meet at 7:30pm tonight, which means I’ll already have eaten dinner, and “go from there” (is what they said) – that way, I can be relaxed, go wherever and do whatever they have in store for me, enjoying the time rather than worry about food and backup and so on.

Surrendering as a lifestyle

Good morning, friends –

thank you so much for your well wishes on my one year anniversary.  I feel almost ill qualified to really celebrate because I have been at this point before and have let the gift go for no good reason (because no reason is a good reason).  Last time I hit one year I felt so elated, it was a huge accomplishment.  This time it’s merely another day, another month, part of life.

Right, as for the reading this week.  Surrender as a lifestyle.  It makes me wonder why, after all the evidence I have collected through experience, the “easier softer way” still never seems to be surrender; I need to struggle, fight, try everything else first.  That’s with food and more recently with chewing gum; and because much of this happens under the surface for me, almost in my subconscious, I often don’t identify those struggles until they are bad enough for me to consider simply surrendering.

So who knows – there may even now be things, simmering under the surface, but I am still blind to them right now.  Behaviours, crutches other than God, that make me uncomfortable but not desperate enough to give them up. I think diet soda is one of those things for me right now.  I reward myself with it, and right now I’m actually abstaining from it consciously, but I’m not at a point of giving them up (for good) – instead, I keep the option in the back of my mind that if I really, really want one, I will have one.  To be honest, I probably don’t trust God enough to believe he will take care of me if worst comes to worst: diet sodas are a crutch I keep in the cabinet in case I ever come to the point of choice between food and soda (in which case, of course, I will go for the soda).  True trust in God, and surrender, would be to believe that this point of either-or will never come, that he will always provide a third way out by which I can get out of the situation simply by relying on God.  Deep down, I don’t have that trust and assurance.

As an addict, surrendering crutches and behaviours doesn’t come easily to me.  I have to have an experience of unmanageability.  Only when my life becomes bad enough am I willing – but what I can do, I believe, is raise the bottom.  I can have that experience of unmanageability long before my life is truly falling apart, by understanding how much mental freedom I lose by relying / being addicted to crutches.  This will give me a perspective of how unmanageable my thought life is.

One year, one day

It’s one year and one day of B2B abstinence for me today.  I have hit one year of abstinence before.  Three months later, I left Greysheet.

Today I’m in a different place.  My abstinence is different today: it is the foundation of my life as I know it, instead of – last time – being all-consuming in my life.  I stand on abstinence to build a liveable life, but I don’t make my life about abstinence.  I have many interests, goals, issues that have no relation to abstinence or Greysheet, except that if it wasn’t for my Greysheet abstinence I wouldn’t have any of them.

What has Greysheet given me?  I could draw up a 100-point list, or simply say, it has given me a life.

I won’t repeat my eating story – if you wish you can read it here – http://www.greysheet.org/qual40.shtml.  I wrote this on my one-year anniversary, and yet, three months later I was not abstinent any more.  I descended into a hell of dieting, trying to do it on my own, and eventually binge eating returned.  In the time I wasn’t abstinent, I never once touched sugars, grains and starches and YET I was overeating and undereating and going mad and thinking about nothing but food, food, food 24/7.  My body may not have reflected the change, but my mind was DONE, my spirit was DONE…

My abstinence today is very different.  I make a point of connecting with other Greysheeters who have what I want.  I make sure I have a life.  I learn what my own preferences, needs, and wants are and I am beginning to understand that they are legitimate things to have.  In a lot of ways, I am growing up.

Useful Spiritual Beings?

“Useful spiritual beings”, indeed.  My primary character defect is egocentricity – I am the centre of my universe.  As a spiritual being, a physical being, an emotional being, if I am useful at all I tend to be useful to myself only.  Always looking after myself first, others second.

At the same time, I “do” a lot.  I serve others in practical ways, such as volunteering in the homeless shelter… I work in charity because I could not bear working for money only, which seems so pointless… but why am I doing these things?  Is it because I genuinely want to serve people or because there is something I get out of it?  I don’t mean things, or money – I mean the kick of feeling good about myself.  The gratefulness of others.  The feeling of being useful.  But at the end of the day, I am served first and others second.

The problem is, this goes round in a circle… I mean, why am I in recovery in the first place?  To serve ME – and then the programme tells me to make myself useful to others, to put others first, in order to keep recovering.  But if that is the end I pursue, then ultimately I’m self-centred again.

See, here’s the issue… no matter what I do, I end up serving ME.  I have no concept of how to be a genuinely useful spiritual being, a selfless person.  I’m selfish to the core.

And I’m puzzled as to how not to be.  Or if, ultimately, everyone serves themselves anyway and there’s no way not to.  Oh well.  Recovery surely challenges me and my views.