so this one's for ashley! in my last post, i guess i came across as being unhappy with my life. i'm NOT. i've got an amazing life. what i was doing in my last post was looking, very clearly, at what it takes to throw me into an emotional tailspin significant enough to drive me to self-medication, and marvelling at just how little it actually requires.
what i was thinking about a lot last week, when i wrote that, was a sense of "what's wrong with me that a little emotional upheaval will send me to cooked food?" as in, why doesn't "everybody else" get thrown off as well. but hey - look at "everybody else!" in our culture - WOW! a little emotional turmoil, and everybody's hitting "happy hour!" woo-hoo! a chance to drink away our immediate experience of the day behind and the day ahead. and most people do this rather regularly. most people are also eating really poorly, taking pharmeceuticals and recreationals, and loading themselves up with artificial activities in a vain effort to take themselves out of themselves, to get to a place where they cannot feel a thing. in our culture, drug use is ubiquitous, and i don't mean just narcotics. all of these things, all of these behaviors, are drugs that numb us out to our emotional state.
so how did i get there? what happened? with the striking clarity of hindsight, here's what happened: i had a burrito. it didn't kill me. a few weeks later, i had an ethiopian meal. it didn't kill me either, although the salt and the oil and the grain made me feel really awful. those 3 main ingredients set up a deficiency, especially the salt. deficiency becomes craving, craving becomes addiction. a coupld weeks later, i had my dental work done. i was scared about the procedure, and especially about taking the valium that was required. my emotional poise was shattered, and i sought to soothe myself with cooked food. i made lots of excuses, but in the end, that was what it was. the cooked food didn't kill me, and it reinforced the deficiency that was set up previously.
in MY body, a physical deficiency translates very quickly to an emotional deficiency. whereas before i was very happy going to dinner anywhere and having a salad, suddenly, i felt sorry for myself. i didn't want a salad! i wanted to eat whatever i wanted like "everybody else!" this emotional deficiency is part of my makeup. it's not very far below the surface of my emotional life. when i keep my body healthy and fed with raw food, my emotional body is healthy and does not seek ANY food for its survival. when i feed my body cooked food, the emotional breakdown happens very quickly, with very predictable results. it's not "real" emotion. i may say this badly. real emotion - love and happiness and anger and all those good things - have really nothing to do with the emotional deficiency that leads to emotional eating, just like real nutritional needs have nothing to do with seeking out cooked and deficient and degraded foods. it's a coping behavior, not a survival behavior or even an instinctive behavior. just a coping mechanism.
because i had set up "permission" to have cooked food at thanksgiving, and that holiday was rapidly approaching, it seemed senseless to withdraw that permission before the holiday! this was the rationalization of my deficient emotional mind and my deficient physical body. "why stop now?" eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die! i think that only the recovering addict can truly understand that thought process that dances between the options of abstinence and indulgence. it's a war that wages - the repulsion about the desire, and the longing and regret of denying it. "i'll hate myself if i do this thing i hate, and yet i can't stand not doing it!" that's where i was. for weeks. full of longing to get back to my clean life, and also full of this terrible, horrible desire to feed my senses and "be normal."
what i know now, on the other side of thanksgiving, is just how much this particular holiday was weighing on me. i didn't realize it until it was done. i was putting HUGE emphasis on what would happen when i met my boyfriend's mom. i was feeling so very sorry for myself, regarding myself in the harsh and judgmental light i was certain that she would be using, and wanting to pass cleanly under her radar, unnoticed except to gain her unswerving approval. i wanted that so badly that i was willing to eat my way to her approval, even when she was nowhere around. i ate for her approval for 4 weeks or more. i ate to give MYSELF the approval i was certain she would not. and i suffered terribly for it.
i think only the addict really knows what this means. what it means to hide from view to indulge in behaviors that you personally dislike, in order to gain approval of people who can't see you, and if they could, wouldn't care. it's the most bizarre feeling in the world.
and what i did, over the course of the past 4 weeks, was to really "turn on" a lot of the dormant switches of my addictions. they had been blissfully quiet, and i turned them on. opened the floodgates. i think that i was actually on the brink of an amazing breakthrough right before this all happened - i've always been good at self-sabotage - and now i've got a lot of ground to regain. i'm not worried, i know i can. and i've learned A LOT in the process. mostly, i've learned that eating 80-10-10 does NOT make me immune to my addictions. if anything,it makes me more sensitive to them. and i've also learned that despite their curiosity and questioning, 99% of the people out there in the world really don't give a happy damn about what anybody else eats. really. so now i know that i can face any and all holidays with a clear head and a clear heart, and a plate full of the beautiful fresh raw food i like best. i can face all boyfriends' mothers! (she was lovely, by the way) and i can face my own lack of emotional poise with a little more backbone now. i've seen how well my old coping mechanisms work (not at all!), so now i can see how pointless it is to thwart myself. it doesn't work, and the only person who is affected is me.
i have already decided to have a very merry, very raw christmas. i've decided that other people's holidays are no reason to mess with my own body. i think a gorgeous salad and a big plate of some fantastic fruit would be the perfect way to join in on the feast. and what everyone else eats becomes no concern of mine. to go back to the steak dinner: i wanted them to take my food into consideration, so i considered their food to be my business! it's not! neither way! i feed myself, and i have no issue with how anyone else feeds themselves. this is HUGE. this is the only way my relationship is going to survive. i realize now that the only way for it to survive is for me to be raw. not because he wants it that way, but because it's the only way for me to be truly happy. and if i had to go through what i did over the past 4 weeks in order to gain this truth, then i am ECSTATIC to have done it. nothing could be better than this.
so that's enough for today. i hope ashley understands where i'm coming from now!
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