Monday, October 27, 2008

Ladybugs, Confessions & Beginnings

Have I ever mentioned my "thing" for ladybugs? It all began when I was pregnant. When I was married, my XDH and I tried to get pregnant for a while and required fertility treatments which were unsuccessful. When he and I divorced, I was 34. Between the trouble we'd had conceiving, my age and newly single relationship status, I had wrapped my mind around accepting that I'd never be a Mom. And then, with no medical intervention, I got pregnant with a man I was dating.

While pregnant, I watched the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun". If you've not seen it, I *urge* you to grab your best girlfriend and a box of tissues and have a movie night. It's a wonderful and empowering girl movie. There is a part in which one character tells of when she was a little girl and she'd spend hours hunting for ladybugs never to find one. Then she'd fall asleep in the grass and, when she awoke, ladybugs were crawling all over her. It's the basic message of the may not come in the time and in the manner that you expected it but you can still have the things in life that you desire.

From that point, my DD became my "ladybug" unexpected blessing. And ladybugs have held a special place in my heart ever since. (There's a point to this story.....hang in with me til the end....)

I went to T on Saturday. We had an appt the week prior but I had to cancel. T called me to reschedule and I kept avoiding her calls. I have felt myself seriously withdrawing lately. Feeling like the walls are closing in. Knowing that meeting with her means putting my issues, fears and failures out there and having to take one more step toward dealing with them. Blech. How utterly unappealing. But she kept after me and I finally picked up the phone and made an appt.

My addiction (eating disorder) is OUT OF CONTROL. I have gained back so much of the weight I lost a few years ago. I walk around feeling like I wear my failure on the outside. I judge myself so harshly and, in turn, I project that onto others and believe they are watching/judging me in the same way. I feel intense shame, guilt, embarassment. I want to crawl under a rock and live there alone. I don't want to be seen. I am uncomfortable, my joints ache, I have no energy. I am disgusted with myself. I don't know how I let it all go. I was at a weight where I felt pretty damn good 3 years ago. It was the thinnest I'd been in my adult life. And, while still technically "overweight", I felt good....proud...happy. I felt attractive and energetic. To let all of that slip away makes me feel worse than I felt before I lost any weight in the first place. I succeeded. And then I failed miserably.

I had a two-fold thrust behind my initial weight loss. First was an assertiveness, empowerment kick that I was on. I was still married at the time and hating the way my XDH just beat me down to nothing so I decided to take steps to make myself feel better. Also, during our fertility experience, my blood sugar numbers were right on the fringe at the highest end of normal. Diabetes runs in my family and I've seen my Aunt and Grandmother both die from it. I didn't want to go down that road. Recently, I've mentioned that I was putting off bloodwork that my Dr asked me to have nearly a year ago. Well, I was putting it off at first because I wanted to give myself a chance to get my addiction under control first. And then, when it became clear that it wasn't happening, I chose to just ignore it. Until I had that panic attack a couple weeks ago which prompted me to have it done. Now, my appt is not until tomorrow so I don't know what else is in store for me in the results but I *do* know that I am now diabetic. I have a blood meter at home and I've been testing myself periodically. I know the diagnosis for a fact. Tomorrow will be finding out any other information the test revealed as well as learning what kind of medication I will be starting.
I cannot convey what a tremendous personal, catastrophic failure this is to me. Because of my family history (my Father's side of the family, I should clarify), I wanted to avoid becoming "one of them". I know it's not logical but it makes me feel associated to them in a way I never wanted to be.

T and I talked alot about all of this as well as my addiction in general. I cried and cried and cried. I have so wanted to be able to beat this alone. It ALL makes sense in my head. It's all so neat & logical up there. I don't understand why my behavior cannot follow the logic my brain possesses. I don't get it. And it pisses me off. Because I know better. But I'm out of control. I don't like being out of control. T reminds me that I've made progress because when I first started with her, I didn't get it in my head. It was just an ingrained behavior I didn't challenge. Then I began to understand it intellectually and I thought that was enough. Attack it with logic. And now I'm at the point where I know the head and the heart need to get on the same page. I've got that last step to get them working in synch.

I have to accept that food is my drug and it's every bit as powerful as a chemical addiction. One of the unique characteristics to a food addiction is that you can't detox and never use it again. I actually have to figure out a way to change my relationship with food, how to navigate this world that is pushing super-size, quick & easy, delicious, unhealthy, tempting, convenient food at consumers from every angle. And I have to be able to have a controlled meal multiple times a day. I want the "quick fix"....I want to just go to the other extreme of eating disorder and starve myself for a few months til some pounds come off. But I know it's not the answer. I have to do this for real this time. The same approach is not going to work this time any more than it has in the past. I have to redefine everything about the way I cook and eat, the relationship I have with food, the way I deal with stress and emotions.....all of it. And I'm scared.
Here is my plan: #1 I need to return to reading 2 books, the first is about the power of relationships in healing from abuse, trauma & eating disorders. The second is a daily reader that is based on codependency skills & some aspects of the 12 step program.
#2: I have a series of programs saved on TiVo that T recommended to me about emotional eating. I need to watch them...I've been avoiding them like the plague.
#3: I have called the eating disorder clinic near me. I had an evaluation with them probably about 1 1/2 years ago and I never followed through on their recommendations. It was evening groups, I believe 3x a week, that they recommended for me and I just could not do it without a viable child care option. The woman from the clinic just called me back, actually....I will need to go through another intake and assessment. I told her that I'm pushing to be recommended to the day program and if I need to take a leave of absence from work, then so be it. If I can know that DD is safe at daycare where she's content then I can really concentrate on taking care of me without feeling pressure or guilt. The day program is 5 days a week and involves group meals, group therapy and individual therapy. I think this is my best bet in recovery. Now I just have to hope that I qualify for it and that my insurance will pay for it.

So....after I left therapy feeling absolutely drained and wiped out, I got into my car and I leaned my head back looking up toward the gray, rainy sky. What did I see? A ladybug, sitting on my sunroof. :o)


Angel said...

There was your beacon! How beautiful. Hang on to that hope.

I'll be thinking of you at the dr's office tomorrow.

Strong and determined said...

I can SO relate, and I admire you for being willing to put your thoughts AND feelings about this "out there." I have only been able to touch on it in my blog. I try to stay in my head way too much when I know that I need to make the mind/feelings connection you were talking about. I have books to read on the subject, but mostly I avoid those like the plague - like you avoid watching the shows you recorded.

Just wanted to say thanks and I appreciate your honesty. It helps me to think through what my next step should be. I know I am just out here in "cyber-ia" but I support you 100%! You are awesome!

Perfect said...

Thanks, S&D. It's been really hard to talk about it, even here. I have a few IRL friends who read my blog and I'm not ready to talk about it it's scary. But I know that shame and addiction thrive in secrecy so I'm trying baby steps to deal with it. I can't admit it to myself until I can talk about it.

Enola said...

I'm so glad you have ladybugs in your life. Huge hugs. You have my number and email. Please call or write if you want to chat.