Celebrating Sobriety

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I wrote this in 2014… 

There are a lot of reasons I permitted myself to drink. Excuses. Sadness. Relationship problems. Work problems. Financial problems. Family problems. Your problems. My problems. Life problems. Death problems. Problems period…

Reasons for which i just knew i should drink. Excuses.

Joy! Relationship success. Work success.  Financial success. Family success. Your success my success life success success period!!!! Bottoms up!!

Then there were those days when neither problems nor success came my way… And I failed at trying to create either for an excuse to drink, so I drank. 

Truth is I drank because I liked the effect that alcohol had on my body, on my mind, and on my heart. That liquid courage that permitted me to start… Start that conversation with a beautiful lady.. At least thru beer bottle glasses she was beautiful..

The super powers it gave me to numb my emotions, the perfect potion, why wouldn’t I give it absolute devotion? Why aren’t you? Have you tried this shit? And they say I’m the one with the problem…

The permission it gave me to just not care, no need to be aware of others and their shit of course unless they had something to give, or share, then I was there. 

My favorite was its ability to allow me to avoid… I don’t have to elaborate… Wait what? Avoid what? Why life of course. 

So today I am proud to say that I can celebrate that while those excuses have still blessed my life, loss of love, child, and good friends wife, a medical emergency, a surgery, and possibly being fatally sick, i didn’t drink not a lick… I stand sober and dry with my new clear minds eye which affords me the ability to see who I want to be. A productive member of society… A worthwhile employee… A friend – a very best friend, selfless honest loyal and true who knows its not about me but what can I do for you… A daughter to a father whose spent years concerned, a lover to another that I won’t crash and burn.  An example a supplier of a glimmer of hope to the next who can’t vision their life without dope. 

All the excuses in the world could never convince me that they’re reason enough to give up living in sobriety.

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From “Fuck You” to “Thank You Cancer”

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Six months sober, and divorced… A few days after my final goodbye to my four year old son, I hit my knees.

the second cocktail of chemo drugs caused a reaction and hair loss

 No, I wasn’t praying.. I was in so much pain that my body collapsed into a ball without much thought.  One minute I was texting “sweet dreams” and by the time she responded I wrote back “I think I’m going to the hospital”.  I felt like I was going to DIE; like a gremlin and the monster from the Alien were doing the monster mash right there in my gut.  I panicked, not only because of the pain but because I lived alone.  What if I got worse before I could alert help? One of my fears of being alone coming to life.  I called my friend asking her if she could please take me to the hospital.  She asked what’s wrong and I told her “please just come quickly.” I debated calling an ambulance but I didn’t want the attention of the street.. My self consciousness still winning, even in an emergency.

  By the time she arrived I had slithered down the 18 stairs from my raised house and was sitting balled up on the bottom step counting the hour long milliseconds that it took for her to arrive.  Once at the hospital, it took 45 minutes to be seen, and another 30 to get any kind of pain relief.  They wanted to do testing first.  I can’t say I blame them, I’d hit every emergency room in the area in pain at one point or another, seeking pain medicine to get high. In the moment tho, I hated every last one of them.  Restraining myself from punching holes in the wall felt impossible.  Laying waiting in our little cubical of the ER, I felt the mess starting to kick in.  The edge of the cliff began to get distant, and the doctor came and asked my friend to step outside.  She returned in tears, the doctor behind her looking somewhat apprehensive.  They told me they had found a tumor… A 19cm tumor wrapped around my left ovary and Fallopian tube.  It was the size of a 5 month pregnancy.  I remember the doctor looking at me like I was crazy.  “You didn’t have any symptoms before now?” He asked.  I thought about it and told him that I did have an increase in pain but I assumed it was because I was sober, and I could actually feel pain now, or maybe because I had started walking and my body was adjusting.

Pictures from the initial surgery

A symptom of PTSD is unmanaged dissociation.  Everyone does it on some level whether it’s entering auto pilot while driving,  and you end up wherever you are going but you don’t remember getting there.  That’s the mild side of the unmanaged dissociation spectrum.  Extreme sides of the spectrum are cases are dissociative identity disorder or DID (formerly known as multiple personality disorder) where the psyche completely splits into separate identities to perform various roles to the host.  There are many stops along the way of that spectrum, and I fall in at about the 60-70 range.  If you want to know more on this feel free to ask!  The point is,  my ability to separate from the feeling of physical pain was so fine tuned that the magnitude of the symptoms weren’t registering.  There was a disconnect.

  So, back to my story.. It’ll be a miracle if this blog actually tells the story I opened it to tell!
  From there I was rushed into surgery, the tumor was removed, along with my ovary and Fallopian tube.  A week later I found out that it was indeed cancerous.  Another fear.. Both my gran and my mother were killed by cancer on my mothers side, and my dads mother was also killed by that monster, and now it had me.  I won’t go into all the specifics.. Maybe another blog piece, but that was where my faith really began.

It wasn’t in a foxhole prayer, “God, please save me… ” it was real faith.. It was where I stopped bartering with the “if there’s a God” and started accepting the current moment exactly as it was.  I had been working on my third step in AA, “we made a decision to turn our will and our life, over to the care of God as we understood him” and I was almost all in.. The only reservation I had about staying sober was “if I lose my son I’m getting fucked up” and then I’d lost my son, and stayed sober.

Truth be told, I was secretly in love with another recovering alcoholic and I wanted to prove how committed I was to sobriety.  She had so many years sober, and I had only months.  I thought if I could tackle these monsters of reasons to drink, without drinking, we could bypass the “sober for a year rule”.

  I fought, every day, well almost every day.  There were some days when I couldn’t fight, and I had to lay in bed and just rest.  I remember feeling so much anxiety and panic when I would try to lay down and rest.  This video pretty much depicts that part of the fight (i record and document everything because my memory isn’t too great, and i lose time a lot… a big part of my recovery has been trying to piece together and accept that these things will happen, but looking for ways that i can take care of myself to make them less intrusive)

I was so scared that while I was resting, the cancer was taking over. No imagined it to be like a black cloud that I’d dispersed with my light of my sun, but crept back over when I wasn’t looking.  If I stopped, my body would get weak and I’d lose the fight.. And that just wasn’t an option.  Most breakdowns actually served their purpose in bouncing me back for the next round…

I spent many manic nights awake.  I began painting.  I didn’t want to watch tv, and so I started painting and found that I could paint! I had no idea.  I was pretty amazing at it too!!

Painted from a photo of Chicago that I found online
My secret love challenged me to try spray painting after seeing a video of the NYC spray paint artist..


Time lapse Video of 48 hours of learning to spray paint… not bad!

I gladly accepted the challenge, and within 24 hours I was spray painting my way to a masterpiece. 🙂 I remember selling some of those to my friends on Facebook, helping to generate some money towards the mounting costs of prescriptions and co pays.  I delivered pizza part time for Papa Johns in the evenings, and worked the back drive thru window of McDonalds with my AA sponsor and good friend in the mornings.
Having fun on the job 😉
  I bounced between photography and painting when I didn’t have the energy to walk.  In finding the gift of artwork, I saw a reason for being sick.  I would’ve never known I could paint if I hadn’t slowed down.  I remember how I felt the first time I realized that.  I’m crying again now just remembering how intense that feeling of trust in the universe was.  I remember telling the universe that it could’ve been a little more subtle than the big C, but then I thought about all of the times that I could’ve slowed down, and should’ve slowed down, and I didn’t.  Always running running running because I didn’t want to feel, and if I slowed down or stopped then the feelings would come flooding thru me at an overwhelming rate and I didn’t know how to adjust the faucet.  It was stuck wide open and I couldn’t handle all of that so I ran, staying busy.  It’s why I got fucked up to begin with. Thank you cancer.
a dresser from my sons room that became a painting project
  Four surgeries, and five chemos into the fight I began researching what could I do to improve my chances.  I asked questions on Facebook, and you guys responded with juice recipes, plant based diets.. And so I tried it.  I remember I couldn’t eat much at the time, but I kept telling myself “if I’m going to force myself to eat something, it’s going to be something that will help kick this bitchs’ ass! And I’d add a spoonful of peanut butter to a very green leafy disgusting  cocktail, blend it up and drink up.  I remember making music videos and joining the happy days fb group where my newsfeed filled up with all of these reasons people were happy that day.  That’s where I met a lot of you guys!  There was something about knowing people were watching, or at least feeling like they were, that grounded me.  I didn’t want you to see the real me.  I didn’t want you to see the crazy me, so I attempted to hide it, failing miserably with those I got close to, but it served its purpose.  I kept striving to improve, to be a better person, to show all of you how amazing I really am.. Because I didn’t feel it.. And you guys would tell me I am, and for a moment I would feel it… And as a true addict, it felt good so I wanted more.

 I began a bucket list which I named the “remember when list” because it was a list of things I would one day sit on my front porch telling stories of “remember when” to what I’d hope to be, my love.. Sitting next to me, saying “yes dear” 🙂 – that fantasy pushed me.  It set a tone inside of me and I wrote that list of things I wanted to do in my lifetime!! As that list grew, I realized that I didn’t have time to have a job.. Not in the traditional sense.  I started thinking of ways I could make money without actually going to work, and reading nomad blogs, learning how to travel as cheap as possible.  Again the faith came in, as I thought about everything I had already survived, and I saw how each individual storm in my life created a piece of evidence that I would be okay, no matter what.  Dealing with mental illness, never actually killing myself despite many years of feeling that was my only safe place to live mentally… Katrina.. Being homeless.. Heartbreaks.. I had survived  many storms, it’s what I do! In that I found strength and courage.  I saved links, and took notes, learning and forming the vague outline of how I could actually start working on some of these bucket list ideas.  Sure.. I couldn’t go backpacking Europe that day, laying in bed feeling sick as a dog, hurting, and generally wanting to die on some level.. But I could start studying.. Figure out what id need to do.. What equipment would I need? I’d only been camping twice.  I started looking on craigslist, and reading more and more.

What could I sell to generate money? I started painting sand dollars, and furniture, and whatever else came my way.  I sat out on Saturdays at the farmers market, hoping to sell a piece.  I went to galleries and talked to the managers, showing my portfolio.. I read blogs on how photographers make money with their pictures.. And the majority of the money is in portrait photography.. It wasn’t something I felt I was good enough for, having seen others work.  I didn’t have the money for the equipment I really needed, but I took my Panasonic LUMIX camera and did the best I could.. Watching YouTube videos on how to edit portrait pictures.  Touch ups etc.  I had the eye, I just didn’t have the knowledge, but I learned!

Adorable little girl and her mother that responded to a FB ad

I posted questions in fb photography groups, and they came back with all the answers to help me improve.  It provided the money to travel some more, but I didn’t care for it enough to pursue it further.

I took on a couple of website gigs, rehashing skills from my earlier years, and hustled flipping a broke down car.

Changing out the brake calipers – gotta trust the Universe to learn this on YouTube!

There’s never an easy answer to “how do you afford to travel” I just do whatever the moment presents itself with, and I am always provided for.  The Universe takes care of me as long as I allow it to.  I never thought I’d be a paid blogger.. $5-$12 a day, but it’s something! Every little something adds up and creates opportunity for more experience, and with more experience comes more opportunity.  It’s an amazing circle of life.

  Now my hope is to use my blog to not only record doing all this with mental illness.. (Which I really want to write about the transition from traveling to home.. I definitely need a better plan for reentry.  The last few days have been rough and I feel very spacey, ungrounded), but not only that and frugal traveling, but I’ve been writing the story of the travels from a first hand perspective as if the reader is the one traveling.  Once the story is written I want to record it and put pictures and videos to it so that the viewer or reader feels as if they are really traveling the world.

Then I want to donate it to everyone fighting a terminal illness, so that they can dissociate into the story and maybe get a little relief from the reality of the pain and treatment that they are going thru.  I hope it inspires them to fight, to really see the world, or whatever their bucket list things are, and if that’s no longer an option, I hope I get to help fulfill at least one of them by having this experience to share.

  Having said that..
I’d like you help me out by clicking on all the ads you see on this page, clicking back to the blog between each one.  I get paid per reader and per ad click.. And that helps fund this adventure.
I’d also like you to shared story if you believe in me and want to be a part of it!
And lastly, there is a box to subscribe to the blog, if you want notifications of new posts to the blog.
With that.. I hope you enjoyed my story.. It’s what got me to where I am today.. This year I have seen 22 states in the USA.. Fallen in love with traveling, seen my nephew for the first time, seen my first concert, mastered camping, backpacked four cities, opened an Airbnb of my own, become a paid blogger, met sooo many amazing new people, and next month I am leaving to backpack Europe! It’s wild!  If this is a dream, I never want to wake up.  Thank you Cancer!
“It’s a perfect day for a perfect day!”

Allowing emotion – Rage

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Raging 
My head is vibrating. I can feel the tornado inside of me whirling up strong and stronger. I keep having flashes of destroying everything in my path.. Throwing the paintings from the walls.. Smashing the tv.. Punching things and just swinging uncontrollably .. Whats the point of it all??? What’s the point in experiencing all that “awesome stuff” if I can’t feel it.. If I can’t remember it.. If the fucking pictures on the walls could just have easily been bought at the store? What’s the point of wasting hours and hours painting ?? Who cares if I can paint or not? Who cares if I can write? Who cares if I can adopt all these amazing fucking tools and share them with others??? What does it matter, if sitting here in MY living room, in MY house.. I still feel this. I still feel everything. It still fucking hurts. I’m still alone. I’m still fighting with myself every moment just to get up and take a shower.. It’s a fucking shower.. I still feel black hole depressed. I still don’t wanna leave the house, but wanna run far and wide. I still can’t escape the tape player of reasons why I am feeling hurt. It’s just gotten longer. New things added to it.  


I feel so sorry for myself.. How pathetic is that? Millions of people out there trying to survive.. Literally.. They may not survive today.. And I feel sorry for myself. Raging inside my mind, and nothing but a tear rolling down my cheek to show it. So afraid to allow myself to physically feel anger. So afraid to allow myself to ever get close to that line where anger turns rage. I just keep stuffing it back down. I need a healthy outlet. An outlet for anger. Something physical.. But I’m so tired before I ever move… And all I want to do is sleep. 

Leftover Hurricane Katrina MRE’s and Soulmates

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“I could relate to the part about eating spoiled food.. not initially, because it grossed me out.  I remember craving sugar soooo bad and being on a diet. There wasn’t any in the house.  I remember finding the half of a container of chocolate frosting, from that cake I had baked months ago.  I remember eating a little spoon of it to get my fix.  To get that sweet sugar embedded in all the preservatives.. that sweet sugar that somehow melts and swims around in the pits of my mouth.. prodding each and every taste bud.. seducing them until they want more.  I don’t know if that container was expired, but who in their right mind eats spoonfuls of month old opened frosting from  the pantry?  No one.. that’s the point.. the insanity is real.”

I could see the heads nodding as I spoke.  They were relating.  They were each reliving a memory of a time that they too had eaten something spoiled, or craved something that much.  The insanity of this disease is indeed real.  I shared about how I had gone thru every nook and cranny of my house, to throw food away that would never fit into  my new menu.  It’s what I had to do to get clean and sober.  I had to flush that pound of marijuana.  I had to throw away the vodka, the frozen gallons of daiquiris, and the loose alka pops.  The same thing applied here.  Anything that was packaged, processed, or didn’t fit into this plant based menu.. it had to go.  Initially I had started creating a side pile of food that I could give to my friend down the street.. she had kids, and I wouldn’t want it to go to waste.  I have such a HUGE hang up about food going to waste.  I set another pile aside of “Community food” for the travelers coming thru.  I remember the broke days of traveling, and how a pack of noodles, some butter, and maybe some cheese would constitute dinner.. all of which I had found in the cupboards of the hostel, left behind by previous  travelers.  My  friend came over, and I started to go thru each box of macaroni and can of soup to see if she wanted it.  It suddenly occurred to me that I had never bought mac and cheese.  I don’t like mac and cheese, and that was there from my ex… THREE YEARS AGO!  By the time we were done, there was barely anything left in the house.. which is good! Anything that is healthy for me wouldn’t last long anyway, and i am only one person.  I don’t need a pantry full of food.  A fridge and freezer stocked to full capacity.  But what would people say? They’d think I was poor.. that I can’t afford to eat… Where the fuck did that belief come from?

So what was I saving it for?  Hurricane Katrina 2? My fear of some day running out of food dictated so many of my decisions in the way I purchased food.  I had to have a variety of food to satisfy my cravings.. of course I always seemed to crave something I didn’t have, that led me back to the store, where I ultimately bought a ton of crap I didn’t need to eat.  I had to make sure I always had enough food in the house.  I still had MRE’s from hurricane Katrina!! 10 years ago, i hadn’t eaten them in the most desperate situation of my life… and yet somehow I thought an apocalypse would come, and my means of survival would be this box of military rationings that had been delivered during the aftermath!!!!!!!

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What in the actual fuck goes on in my mind?? These are actual thoughts that have floated on by and been accepted into my perception of normal behavior.  Like, how does that thought ever get past the gate?  It’s this little fucker of a disease.. the disease of compulsive eating.. the disease that HAS to know the plan for eating, or my whole world gets flipped upside down.  It’s the insanity of the mountains of clothes in various sizes because i will always need each size at some point in the weight loss gain cycle of my life.  It’s the insanity of the pain, torture, mental anguish and self hate that comes with the consequences of compulsive eating.. and yet I still want that fucking chocolate bar… its like russian roulette wrapped in foil every time.  The inner war that comes with this disease drives people to suicide.. every day.  That battle in the mirror every morning.  Am I going to love myself or hate myself today?  Seeing that reflection is certainly a handicap.. but when I look into the mirror.. can I look past the roll of fat? Can I look past the little black hairs that keep growing on my chin.. the same hairs I remember my great gran having… can I look past the scars where blades have severed the skin, and cigarettes have burned holes? Can I look past wrinkles that are beginning to appear around my eyes?  The wrinkles that remind me I’m getting older, and still alone.  Can I look past the tattoos of manic nights where it sounded like a great idea and the missing teeth from drunken brawls?  If I can just get past that, then I have a shot.. because past the looks of my vessel lies my soul.. my heart.. my love for the universe around me.. and that is what’s important.

This was a perfect example to file under “evidence”.   I HAD survived Katrina! I survived without needing those MRE’s.  My higher power had provided a way.  He sent me to work in a store that had small shipments coming in.  A store in a less effected area.  A store with an RV in the parking lot that had a generator or some means of cooling.  My higher power took me out of the trenches to a place that I could be of assistance to others.. and I was!  I went above and beyond extending myself wherever I could, all in the name of rebuilding what we had all lost, and THAT came from my soul.  THAT is what I am made of.  That I would give the shirt off of my back, and I have.. because I know that I will be provided for.  That same higher power will be with me always, providing my needs.. so that I can continue being my purpose.  I won’t check out of this place until my purpose is completely served.. no matter what that road looks like.  For all I know, it could be to write this blog, that someone somewhere needs to read so they don’t jump off a bridge tonight?  Maybe saving that life in this moment is my purpose.. and that’s it.. ?  I personally hope I will be around a lot longer.  I believe that space time continuum carries on no matter what, and the way we are treating our planet.. I’m not sure how many lifetimes I want to stick around for.  What if how we treat this planet in this lifetime, determines the quality of the planet we are born to in the next?

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It’s the deep thinker that I am that I love.. and I hope to attract.. for those long conversations about the what ifs of life.. It is the familiarity of my soul that will attract the right partner to me.. not the exterior.  She is the other half of me, and that’s what matters to me the most.  Having said that, if that were true, then I wouldn’t be so concerned about my weight, and my outer appearance.  Maybe this is my lesson right now.. Learning to love myself unconditionally.. completely.

I sometimes wonder if the life my other half has been dealt this time is that of a straight man in Thailand or something of the sort.  Not all lifetimes are for learning and experiencing love like that tho.  Maybe this lifetime, my lessons are in the distant corners of our world? Maybe I’m not meant to meet a partner, and settle down like everyone else.  Maybe I am meant to make a difference, and leave my legacy???

Well.. if that is the case, then I’d better quit eating spoiled cake frosting, and preparing for Armageddon when it comes to food.. it’s not exactly like i have a stock pile of batteries, bottled water, and flashlights…

Thank God for step Two.. “we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity” Oh thank goodness!!! I don’t even have to be the one that restores my fucked up mind! My higher power is going to do that for me!  I just have to show up.  I just have to believe that a life outside of compulsive eating is possible for me.  I too, can recover.

 

Tonights artichoke eggplant pizza!

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What about protein?

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Lunch – I made bean soup last night.. And didn’t bother to make rice because I realized.. I only eat rice when it’s a meal that’s “supposed to have rice” .. And I’d much rather save the carbs for something I desire than a “just because”. I added hot sauce and it was good .. But it wasn’t like WOW factor!!!

Today I put some on a tortilla made of organic whole spelt .. On a bed of spinach topped with olives and tomatoes..


Note to self: black olives didn’t taste like they belonged in that one..
If anyone has some bean recipes.. I’m all ears!

#whataboutprotein

Celebrating 18 months of travel today while getting ready to leave for Greece!  Mentally, I’m not where I was when I left for Europe last year, but I’ll be in good company.. Positive thinking.. Picture what I want it to look like.. Getting out there and doing it… Haven’t been wanting to leave my house, so this feels a bit like a mountain.

 


Breakfast was a slam dunk!

 

 I just feel so hungry all the time.. And thirsty.. Sooooo thirsty!

Rigorous Honesty.. I relapsed

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One week check in and I’ve gained 2lbs. This definitely isn’t something I want to post. Man how much power that has over me that I’ve never really thought about. That’s a fail.. And I don’t fail. Obviously that’s not true, but I can’t ever remember admitting when I failed at something.  
It reminds me of the time when someone told me “newsflash – you’re not perfect” and I’d like to fall out… 
“What do you mean I’m not perfect??? Yes I am.. What’s wrong with me?? What is it that has come out of alignment and needs my attention!??!!!” 
Like seriously… That isn’t an option for me, and I’ve never realized what a perfectionist I am.. Or can be.. Until now. In fact when friends have shared about being a perfectionist, I don’t relate at all.. I’m in THAT kinda denial. I mean there are places that prove I’m not. The state of my car. Oh my gosh does my car need cleaning?? It’s got bits of trees in it from the bonfire.. Fishing poles.. Camping equipment.. Dust and pollen.. I haven’t cleaned it since I’ve been home because in my mind I’m leaving soon.. Well I’ve been saying that for a month now, and I still have a week before I leave. See.. I’m not a perfectionist .. But now that I’ve admitted that about my car, I’m sure I’ll be washing the car today hahaha

  
Okay .. So week one .. I’ve gained 2lbs. I should totally quit and give up. Obviously this plant based diet isn’t working. Obviously all this hard work of shopping for recipe specific food, and cooking.. And blogging, and making meetings.. Obviously it isn’t working!! I’m doomed. I’m just doomed to always be fat.. I’m gonna be that person that gets cut from their house because the trips out have become fewer and farther between.. Grocery shops have been bigger and bigger .. And it just hurts too much to stand up and ask my skeleton to hold all of that weight, so I haven’t gotten out of bed in I don’t know how many years… 
Okay so that line of thinking isn’t gonna help me. Rigorous honesty.. That’s the only hope I have of this program working for me.. Which means I need to admit that I gained 2lbs.  
I need to reflect mindfully on the week, and the times that I didn’t abstain. The times that I sneaked and thought I’d still have a weight loss so no one would ever know. Wow… I did that. I had Mcdonalds for breakfast yesterday. I had chocolate while I was in New Orleans. Amber lived across the street from the best international market that I have found around here.. In the south. It has my English foods.. That I probably shouldn’t claim as my foods anymore.. But it has the custard powder.. It has the galaxy chocolate, and the malteasers.

  
 It has the steak and kidney pies, and then all the curry and spices you could ever wish to need. I went in there to get diced tomatoes and basil for the eggplant pizzas I was making for dinner.. 

  
But there it all was in all its glory and I just had to buy that galaxy selection box.. I mean it’s only there because it was just christmas, and it’s such a good deal.. English chocolate isn’t ever cheap over here even when we do find it. I bought the box and had eaten two of the 8 bars by the time Amber got home. We had dinner and then I decided they had to see how awesome this store was. They’d been living in walking distance from it for over a year. I even rationalized that we were walking there, so we were getting our exercise. Needless to say, more chocolate was bought, sampled, shared.. And the beast was awake. I ate another bar on the way home in the morning, stopped and had mcdonalds for breakfast.. Made quinoa and peas for lunch.. And was sure to share a picture of that healthy meal!

  
 I ate a bag of pretzels for a snack.. The family size bag.. Hmm what else .. The more I’m thinking the more I keep remembering eating. I made bean soup for dinner and didn’t eat any of it… I ate a bag of roasted chestnuts.. Two crab pâté sandwiches.. Then ordered dominos for movie night with Anthony.. Because he was hungry and hadn’t eaten all day. He looked frail. Looked like he hadn’t been eating since he moved out.. So we HAD to share a cheesybread and a Philly cheesesteak sandwich!  
… And here I am, wondering how I could’ve possibly gained two pounds? 
Okay.. So put the bat away. Celebrate the percentage of meals during this week that I did eat healthy, plant based food.. And keep walking towards 100% as the goal. I need to stop thinking in terms of fail or success.. Progress not perfection. This was a HUGE week! I grew my support network.. Found an OA sponsor (I prob should’ve called her at some point this weekend) I cooked four new plant based recipes that were really freaking good.. And even added a desert to that menu! Oh yea .. And left it in ambers freezer.. Ha.. Wow.. I brought my vegan choc dip, and forgot all about it once that craving was stirred. I made some meetings. I journaled about the noise in my head… And now admitting I am powerless over this beast.. From the moment that chocolate was in my range.. My defenses were down, and autopilot kicked in… Step one.. I’m powerless over compulsive eating, and my life becomes unmanageable. ✔️
What didn’t I do?
I didn’t call my sponsor.

I didn’t make a meeting in New Orleans. I looked them up, but there wasn’t one on a Friday .. Should’ve gone to an AA meeting instead… 

I went around “places and things” (English chocolate) 

I didn’t blog or talk about any of the noise that was going on in my head. 
Progress.. Not perfection. Week two.. Let’s do this!

Swedish Fish 0 – 1 Me

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Day 6 … I feel so fat today. I’ve been feeling healthier, smaller, standing taller.. just from the knowledge that I am putting healthy food into my body… but today I just feel plain fat.. My disease is on point today. I see my reflection and see no difference.. no weight loss on the scales, and that’s what I would be losing if I replaced today.. just had one bag of Swedish fish.. they are chewy enough.. they’d take longer to eat.. it would curb this craving.. I know.. We can walk to the dollar store.. that way we would burn the calories off that we are consuming and it would be a win win!

I know damn well that the last time that was the plan, I got to the bottom of the stairs, saw the car and said fuck it.. drove to the store, bought 5 bags of candy or so, drove home, locked myself back in my room, and opened each bag over the rest of the evening.. clearing the bag before I even knew it. The only moment that I had checked in and realized how much I was eating was if the bag was empty when I reached in for another one.

No.. I can’t just have one… that’s the whole point.. one turns into two, and they just start multiplying like rabbits. Even if I did just have one.. I’d want to do it again.. eventually.. I’d always want more.. its not like that one is THE ONE.. the one to end the cravings.. no.. it will never stop.. there’s no end goal for this.. I am walking away from sugar.. I am walking away from fast food.. I am breaking up with them.. and break ups SUCK!!! I mean, what is going to keep me company at the movie theatre now? What am I going to turn to when depression hits? Where am I going to hang out with my friends???? I already quit drinking.. now restaurants are too tempting… the grocery store is like a stealth black ops mission.. in.. grab the list.. and out.. without being seen.. all it takes is a brief encounter and the romance of it all.. it all comes whirling back, reminding me of our good times.. those moments where chocolate was really there for me. The fact that I can slow this inner battle down enough to rationally look at it in black and white, and reaffirm my commitment to complete abstinence from junk food, is amazing! That’s what I would be losing if I relapsed right now. I would be losing the little distance that I have put between me and this behavior. Not today… So I feel fat. I am fat.. I should be thankful I have moments when I don’t feel fat, because those are the moments I get to plug my attention into something else other than my self-consciousness. Those are the moments that I get to see the beauty around me, and think about others. Those are the moments that my mind is free enough to create. It’s not about the reflection. It’s not about the number on the scale. It’s about not wanting to die from some obesity related illness. It’s about freeing myself from the obsessive repetitive thoughts about how fat I am. It’s about freeing myself of the shame and embarrassment I have to go through.. every time I want to hang out with friends. It’s about loving me… and putting that chocolate bar in my mouth isn’t loving myself. It’s like putting a needle in my arm, or smoking crack. One won’t ever be enough, and that’s okay.. because now that my attention wont be on my health and my weight.. ill have room for new experiences in my life.. just like sobriety provided. Kinda excited!!!