Hi internet, I’ve been gone for a while and now I am writing on a train, this is hard. So, in my life I have a new meal plan, a new relationship, a new blog, a new gig, live in a new city. And I have a very old problem that I am facing again.
Well, not just food.
Consumption actually, because I can’t ignore or deny how my alcohol intake has affected me.
Takes me back to the church. I have noticed how I always think I’m going to starve to death. Terrified of it really. And so much of the fear (that feeds into the eating disorder I have) goes back to the mandated fasting. Once a week, since I was little we wouldn’t eat for an entire day – until dinner. Then we would binge at dinner. It’s hard for a little kid to not eat. It’s hard for a teenage that’s dancing for hours a day to not eat. It was hard.
We also had our winter “retreat”. Three days of freezing in cabins in the snow, fasting and prayer. Followed by a monstrous, beefy celebratory binge. Up until I was 11 I think I was allowed three pieces of bread and three pieces of fruit a day while there. But then it was three foodless days in the cold. And that was miserable, except you could get a hell of a high and a good trance state on the end of day 2 after praying in tongues for a few hours, especially after tons of hiking. wheeeee
In the last year and a half, my life has changed so much. Now I am trying to focus on mindfulness. Starting to, anyway. Well, I’m thinking about thinking about it. It’s hard.
So I just had an amazing weekend with E and several interesting things came up. I actually relaxed. And for someone with hyper vigilance from PTSD, that’s just hard. We were in the shower and all of the symptoms of a panic attack began to surface. I couldn’t focus, my heart raced and I was absolutely overwhelmed. I wanted to get out, to change my situation, drink, eat, run, anything. And I stopped and breathed.
I stopped, breathed, looked around. I am in a gorgeous hotel room in San Francisco. I’ve had an amazing morning and breakfast in bed. Now we are showering and I am freaking the hell out. (breathe in) (breathe out)
E asked me what was triggering me. I said I didn’t know. Then I thought and said, “Nothing is happening, we’re not doing anything.” He asked what I meant and I decided to not let my “rational” adult answer and opened up and let the fearful voice inside talk. She said, “They’re going to find out we’re not doing anything, they’re going to know. They’re going to be mad that I’m not cleaning or working and I’m going to get in trouble.” He said, “well, that makes sense”.
So I learned that relaxation is a trigger for my PTSD. And the thought of it absolutely terrifies me. Relaxation (SCARY!) Gotta keep busy. Even my mom didn’t want to hear what I had to say unless there was a rag in my hand. “work and talk”. I’m only valid if I’m working, producing, making someone’s life better. But also, if there is quiet and stillness there is time for others to reflect on my sins and I don’t want to get punished. (Remember: PVC pipes are not for hitting kids with.)
So, when I get downtime eating or drinking calms the voices that tell me that once I relax I will get in trouble, yelled at or punished or something bad will happen.
As I am on my new nutrition plan I am limiting and/or eliminating the substances that I use and abuse. Food, alcohol and caffeine. I don’t know what it’s going to be like. I know that I am nervous. Recently, I have gained some of my weight back. A long time ago I was 265 pounds, I lost 85 of that but I’ve gained some back. The plan that I used before was based on what I couldn’t eat and now I am focused on a comprehensive nutrition plan. What does my body need?
I am excited about it. But I don’t want to get my hopes up. Don’t want to trip on the future. Don’t want to screw up in front of the whole internet. Just want to do it a meal at a time, see what happens, see what my body wants and needs.
Be present while doing it