Monthly Archives: November 2008

Writing Group Topic: The Experience of Home

Home. Well that’s such an interesting subject to me, one I’ve been thinking about often – being that I have moved so much. From the age of 15, I think, is when I quit putting down roots – that is when my mother died and I moved to my aunt’s, where the hope of moving as far away as possible (USA) was the only thing that kept me alive… I am not exaggerating here. Ever since then, I have always had my eyes on the horizon – where hope was – and my feet itching to move.

These days, of course there is nothing I am running from any more, but I think that much of this got ingrained during “formative” years and I have to consciously work against it. I love where I am: my work, my friends and people around me – I am in a very good place, and I am tired of moving. Yet, my eyes are on the horizon and when I feel anything negative, I look for ways out. Some of that surely has to do with my love for America and the fact that I would move there tomorrow if I could, but some of that is also baggage from the past that I no longer need.

I’m very much with Joy that there is no such thing as a completely fulfilling “home” in this world – God has put eternity in our hearts, and I have tried very much to ignore that when I was an atheist. But now I know why. And I think that the experience of home is all about relationship (and obviously the most incredible and fulfilling relationship is that with God, which will be complete and full but isn’t yet).

I get homesick, but I have often asked myself, where am I homesick for? It’s the people, not the places. With how much I’ve moved, I am homesick for several places (so I can’t win anyway, even if I were to go back there!), but it’s not so much the places – although they are what invokes nostalgia and memories. When I go back to a place I’ve lived before, I do get emotional about all the places but it’s not because of the places themselves as it is for what they bring back to me. What I really miss and am homesick for are the people left behind, the relationships.

Because I am single without a family, I live a fairly relationship-less life – that is to say, there are no deep, daily, intense relationships in my life. Friends are wonderful and over time they get to know me to an extent, but other than with God I have no really intimate, deep relationship. I can only imagine what it must be like to love and lose somebody (that did happen with my mother but it’s still different, and I was young) – to have that kind of homesickness for a person whose presence has felt like home. That’s the way I feel about God and it’s such an ache at times… not that I’ve lost him, but that I want the fullness and not just the taste.

Maybe I live a safe life this way. I certainly fear that kind of pain, of losing someone I truly love. Perhaps that’s one reason why I don’t love anybody like that.

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Estrogen in tap water?

I am really quite concerned about something a friend told me, I have since been researching it on the Internet to see if that was just one of those urban myths but disturbingly, I can’t find any contradictory sources… so I wonder if any of you have come across this and know what the real facts are?

My friend told me that our tap water was contaminated with estrogen (due to being re-used, it’s been through other people’s bodies and the female pill leaves residue…). It sounds like one of these outlandish stories but it actually seems to be true, according to the University of the Internet anyway. Two women I have spoken with since were having problems conceiving and their doctor told them to stay off tap water…

If it is true, some things I have experienced begin to make sense: when I moved to the UK, my periods stopped. I have not had regular periods since moving here and now I’m on the pill so as to have periods (and I really don’t want to be on it). I drink a LOT – many quarts a day – both in hot beverages and as cold water, and always from the tap. I always used to look at bottled water as such a waste of money. Now I’m really worried… if I were to drink as much bottled water as I do tap, I’d be poor! Heh… perhaps if I cut down to about 4 quarts a day, it could be sustainable…

But I was wondering if anybody knows anything definite. This is relevant to my Greysheet abstinence because I have also had so much trouble with my weight, going up and up or staying the same even though I eat incredibly simple and clean… baffling myself and my sponsor… and now I wonder if that could be one cause? I mean, after all, the pill is reported to cause weight gain so if I am ingesting estrogen (and not just a little, with the amounts I drink), wouldn’t that make sense??

I really am worried. Hope that someone perhaps has some answers. In the meantime, I don’t eat, NMW.

Writing Group Topic: Forgiveness

I can’t remember any instances of actually being forgiven… in my families, both of them, we tend to cope by either passive aggression or simply tip-toeing around things. There is something called distancing, and that’s certainly my pattern. Running away. It was my mother’s mechanism, as I see now – she fled into music and nothing else was of interest – and in a way, it’s mine too. I don’t have a particular place to run to, like her, but I just emotionally distance myself.

It has never occurred to me to ask anyone for forgiveness for that, though! It’s an interesting idea that I will have to think about. It’s the way relationships in my family work, I believe it’s the only way they possibly can work, because underneath the distance there is either too much pain – given and taken by all parties – or, in the other family, plain hatred. If my father’s family weren’t distancing continually, they would show an incredibly ugly and uncivil side because the only true feeling they have for one another is hatred. It’s not what I feel about any of them, but I can feel the undercurrent, and so I distance myself so as not to get involved. In my other family, my cousins, there has been so much mutual wronging in the past that I know they are incredibly afraid of bringing anything up. It’s a can of worms. I have made amends to some, but I don’t see fault there on either side: nothing for me to forgive, because we are all broken people. These days, because of what God has done in my life (given me love – a heart of flesh instead of one of stone, as the Bible puts it), I can see the brokenness and I can’t be resentful against that. That is for my cousins.

It’s not the same for my father’s family, though. Somehow I find it much harder to accept, tolerate, or even love them. I don’t know why that is – possibly because I feel it is so much more their own choice than it is my cousins’, who have been under my aunt’s extreme upbringing. My father’s family choose resentment, choose to view people only according to their usefulness, they choose and I find that much harder to accept.

Topic: Weigh Day

Weigh day this month came and went – and for the first time ever, I was at exactly the same weight (down to the 0.10 lbs) as the previous month. Not that that’s significant… just new. Anyway, ever since I first got abstinent my weight has been a source of continued frustration. It felt like it took forever to take off my extra weight: I was about 50 lbs. overweight when I came in, I have lost 40 lbs. in all. Some months passed with one or two lbs. down, and some without any loss whatever, even at the beginning… I have never had the experience of “the weight falling off”. Instead, from the very beginning, it was a s-l-o-w and unrewarding process.

The positive side of this, of course, is that I didn’t get that “thrill” (and therefore, no letdown when it slowed) – I had to stay abstinent because of things other than the weight: I stayed abstinent because I began to have a life that didn’t revolve around food. My gratitude for that outweighed everything else – and I chose to cultivate that attitude. Besides, my only choice was go slow (abstinent) or go up (not abstinent). No diet had ever worked quickly on me, anyway, my body is just like that.

These days, I’m in a normal-size body – despite the 10 extra lbs. that shouldn’t be there, I don’t stand out as the fat one in groups any more. Most days I can live with that. Many days it’s not so easy, though… but I know there are still avenues available to me that I could take if I was really desperate about it. For example, consistent hard exercise. My lack of that probably isn’t helping. If I really hated the 10 lbs. so much, I probably would exercise… the very fact that I can’t bring myself to any consistency with it demonstrates that I’m willing to live with those 10 lbs. If I really was desperate, wouldn’t I do absolutely anything?

Today, my weight is in my sponsor’s hand but I accept both my own and my sponsor’s powerlessness. My sponsor gives me wonderful suggestions, but at the end of the day, it’s my body that refuses to cooperate and all the things I have tried and followed my sponsor’s suggestions… well… I just want to make clear that while I have given any and all worry about my weight to my sponsor, I don’t want to burden her with my uncooperative body either. I don’t blame her – I don’t blame myself – it’s my physical body. At this stage I accept this (or rather, it would be more accurate to say I am resigned because there is no way out).

I just don’t eat, no matter what. Any weight problems I have now are NOTHING compared to what I would be facing if I didn’t have abstinence.