Posted in Eating Disorder, life, Recovery, self-discovery, wellness

A Chink in the Armor

It still amazes me how, even after all this time, being overly tired or emotionally drained leaves me vulnerable to old thoughts. Today is only Tuesday, and the week is already testing my patience and strength. I thought I was on a bit of an upswing for the day though, when I went to the grocery store earlier, feeling pretty confident, open to the world around me, and hopeful. Then, like an old ghost, a thought flashed into my mind as I walked through the frozen food section: “You should just binge. Get a bunch of ice cream treats and binge…” Walking past the coolers of ice cream pints, novelty cones and bars, fudge pops…For a millisecond, it seemed right; then reason returned, and I wondered “Where did that come from?!” (Get thee behind me, Satan).

Of course I choose better; there was no actual consideration in my mind to engage in that behavior. But it startles me when those ideas creep back into my head. I wonder sometimes, will those intrusive thoughts always find weaknesses to creep into? I haven’t smoked for over ten years, but rarely, I will have a passing urge to light a cigarette. Will this always be the same? As long as I have to eat, I know these thoughts have the potential to show up. Especially when I allow them to slip through a chink in my armor — which I’ve finally learned is a sure sign that there is a need (emotional, spiritual, mental) that wants my attention.

And although it still takes practice, I am finally learning how to care for my needs.

 

 

 

(Stock photo courtesy of http://www.pexels.com)

Advertisements
Posted in life, self-discovery, wellness

Independence Everyday

This was written by me and posted to Facebook three years ago. It came up in my Independence Day memories yesterday, and felt right to post it for my readers here.  

Today, I celebrate my independence from the expectations of others. I celebrate my independence from the past that no longer serves, defines, or nourishes me. I celebrate my independence from the collective pressures to starve, deprive, and abuse my body into being something it was never meant to be. I celebrate my independence from a toxic diet of processed, mutated, and unsustainable “foods.”
Today, I will celebrate the freedom that comes with tearing off every mask and fake persona to reveal my full spectrum of flashes and flaws. I celebrate the freedom that comes with owning my space–the plot in which my soul resides. I celebrate the sacred cells that compose this temple, and the divine Spirit who fills these halls.

☆Christine, 7/4/2016

Posted in life, self-discovery

Start the Day with Singing

Start the day with singing. Start the day with gratitude – for everything that is and all the possibilities of what will be. “Every day is not good,” they say, “but there is some good in every day.”

I am a pessimistic Pollyanna. I see reality and possibility. And today (I only have today), I choose to focus on the little bird who sits on the wire outside my window, waking me at 5am each day with its singing. I don’t know what my day will bring, but I will sing.

I will start my day singing, because the alternative keeps me stuck in bed, stuck in my head – stuck in sadness and in a pattern of thinking that leads nowhere but my own demise.

I will start my day, stretch my limbs, breathe deeply into my sleep-tightened chest, and throw back the covers. One foot to the floor (grateful), then the other (open to receive). Breathe in. Good morning, World.

Posted in life, self-discovery, wellness

Where’s My Blanket?!

“Where’s my blanket?!” Moments after clicking the “submit” button on his online order, these were the words that came out of my husband Andrew’s mouth.

Andrew was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome a couple of years ago; it has taken a little while, but we are learning ways to help him manage it and its symptoms. Something he recently discovered that could help him is a weighted blanket. He meticulously took the time to research his options, find exactly what he wanted (the right colors, weight, fuzziness and texture), then placed a custom order from a shop online.

Unfortunately, for as meticulous as he is, Andrew is doubly impatient when it comes to things he really has heart set on…and even more so when it’s something he knows will ease his suffering in some way. Once the idea is in his head, it is hard to deter him from it.

So, from the time the “order” button was clicked until over a month later, we heard “Where’s my blanket?!” Sometimes asked seriously, sometimes said as a joke. It has become a catchphrase in our house now – a phrase to indicate impatience about anything one of us really wants or needs.

So, a few days ago, when I was upset and crying to Andrew about the timing of having to do tests for my new doctor, and how I just want answers NOW, and I’m so tired of dealing with all of this…Andrew just looked at me with softness in his eyes and said “I know, love. Where’s my blanket?”

I want this to be over. I want answers now. I want the things that will help, soothe, and fix me to be available to me in these moments that I am desperate. It’s hard to deter my mind from what I want (what I need!), when I am so set on being well. But the fact is, this is one more opportunity for practicing patience and trusting this process. No amount of email checking or window watching will change the process ahead of me. I am choosing to trust that my “blanket” will arrive as it is promised, at exactly at the right time.

Posted in Gut, life, Recovery, self-discovery, wellness

Solve et Coagula

Solve et coagula. A concept of alchemy meaning “dissolve and coagulate.” The idea behind this being that something needs to be broken down before it can be rebuilt. It’s perfect timing that I recently learned the phrase, in the midst of transformation after a long, brutal winter. The past several months have certainly been a period of intense breaking down for me.

I read once how a caterpillar actually turns into an unrecognizable goo during its transformation into butterfly. If you were to crack its cocoon open, you would assume from the liquid mess that the caterpillar was done for. But it is really just a crucial step toward becoming what it is meant to be. In order to come together (coagulate) into the form of butterfly, it must first dissolve into a state of apparent ruin.

I know that this undoing is part of my transformation. I know that everything will come back together, fall into place, take shape of something magnificent…but only after the tower falls, my world has turned upside down, and everything seems to come undone. What I will be and who I am meant to be needs a fresh start that can only come from true transformation.

So, I will trust the process of undoing, however painful and unpleasant – and know that my wings will be ready only when it’s time.

 

Posted in Gut, life, Recovery, wellness

This One Too

“I have survived many hard times. I will survive this one too”…

I met my new functional medicine doctor yesterday. I am hopeful. And I am sick. Not news to me, but a validation in her words “You’re one very sick lady.” I am going to be sharing more about this, but my mind is still treading water after the overload of information and questioning I experienced yesterday.

I feel like the past three years has been a continuous stream of “one more thing I gotta do” (in this journey toward wellness) and…”now I wait” (for the next appointment, the next test result, the next…”.

So, I will follow through with this next week of testing and routine changes, and doing uncomfortable things. And then I will wait again (They that wait upon the Lord?…). Because patience comes from waiting. Patience brings stillness. And stillness brings rest and opens doors to answers.

I will survive this one too.

Posted in family, life, self-discovery

A Gift in the Grey

I found myself wistful yesterday, as my husband and I mused on the changes to our city’s landscape. I have spent 30+ years of my almost 39 here in this city I consider home. Businesses have changed, expanded, closed, been torn down; new streets, neighborhoods, businesses, and highway bypasses added. It’s a strange, bittersweet feeling to watch your home evolve around you, over and over again.

That conversation led me to recall how my dad liked to lookie-loo when I was a kid. That is to say, liked to drive around and comment on the sights (Oh look – Such and such store is remodeling…or Check out the construction over there…)

 One of my cherished experiences related to this “hobby” was when we would go for a country drive on hot summer nights. This, of course, was less for the purpose of curiosity and more due to the fact that four (five when I was very young and my sister still lived at home) cranky kids in a house with no air conditioning and a shortage of fans (I imagine) was damn near unbearable.

We would pile into the backseat of our old clunker, sweaty thighs clinging to each other, to our siblings, and to the hot, tacky vinyl car seat. We’d crank the windows down as far as they went, and my dad would drive us out to the country – fast enough to allow a steady breeze through the windows, but still slow enough to get a good view of the passing trees, horses, cows, and interesting homes. Sometimes the rides even ended with ice cream!

Thinking back on these nights now, I see how much they shaped me and how they spoke to my heart and the way I find comfort in the world: fresh air, brilliant sunsets, cool breeze, cricket and toad songs, seeing animals…. Time may have changed the practice, but what remains is how those things still bring me comfort and centering.

I’ll be honest: writing this wasn’t easy for me. For a very long time, I have maintained a black and white recollection of my past. I don’t usually allow myself to have good memories about my dad. He was intimidating and abusive to me, to say the least. I have a lot of horrible memories tied to him; and, simultaneously, not every memory connected to him is bad.

It’s only been the past few years that I have started to identify the all-or-nothing thinking my mind is prone to, and finding ways of challenging that perspective.

I guess I could say this is practice in that arena. It is possible to think in the grey, to remember in the grey. My dad was abusive and I also remember something good he did. I’ve lived much of my life thinking in terms of “but” as opposed to “and.” It doesn’t always have to be one thing or the other; sometimes you can have two seemingly opposing things exist together. So, in my memory, I recall a man who, as a whole, did not provide…

AND he provided an experience whose memory brings comfort. There is a gift in the grey.