I’m in the process of doing a “life review” for myself and have invited you to come along. My purpose is to introduce you to “self-reflection” and the power it has to heal deep wounds that often lie silently, but never dormant. They are deeply connected to addictions, eating disorders and keeping us at the “wishing well” instead of living the life we want to live.
My eating issues have been with me for decades. There have been times when I thought they were being managed, but to be honest there was never a day when I didn’t think about it. I wish I had all those minutes, hours, days and years back. I think about what I could have done with that time…but then again, I wouldn’t be doing the work I’ve done for the past four decades. In other words, I had to live through my experiences in order to serve others. Now, here we are in 2019 and I find myself still doing this.
Sometimes I think about stopping writing and teaching. Part of me wants to put all of this away. My thoughts tell me that “I’ve taken care of myself. I’ve done the self-reflection. I’ve walked the long road. I’ve fallen down. I’ve struggled to get up. I tended to my wounds and entered an easier way of living….one of health and self-management. So, I should just go home and enjoy my life. Right? “Not so fast,” says my thought processes.
I start looking in people’s carts….an old habit of mine. When I began my “recovery” I wouldn’t let myself check-out until I did a thorough review of what I had in my cart, just in case my “imbalanced child-self” had placed something in the cart while I wasn’t aware. Sound ridiculous? Well, I can’t tell you how many times I had to go and return items to the shelves. Why did I do this? That undisciplined part of me made up stories about why I should/could/will buy whatever she wanted. This was a part of my sickness….a part that was busy killing me, but here I was…assisting the killer and with an underpinning of dangerous laughter at “how I almost got away with it.”
Supermarkets and fast food restaurants, pizza delivery, and bakeries played a big part of my food nightmare. I could write my own version of “war and peace” on these subjects, so my heart goes out to others who just don’t know what’s happening. Food is like a drug. The more imbalanced eating becomes, the more one needs those “horror foods.” Getting free and balanced is a journey…one that excels all others in life. This is not an exaggeration, but one of the most serious truths one has to learn OR experience the consequences of deciding not to take it on.
As I go through my “life review”, my journals and my memory bank I’m horrified at what I’ve done to my mind and body. I would have to add “spirit” to this grouping because I was not acting responsibly in taking care of what is often referred to as one’s “temple.” I was not only NOT taking care of it, but I was also killing it. My rebellious child-self was in charge, and the responsible part of myself was not only under her power but needed what she demanded. My sickness went beyond food. I remember the night when I found myself bingeing on a pint of ice cream in the dark while watching a rerun of The Golden Girls. It was two o’clock in the morning. As I placed each spoonful in my mouth, I delighted at the sensation. In the background part of my self was telling me that I would want to throw up in the morning and I wouldn’t be able to eat breakfast. I would be sick most of the day and most likely have panic attacks. “So what,” answered the rebellious self. “I’m enjoying this, so leave me alone.”
Living with a disorderly eating self is a nightmare. What’s become more frightening to me is that there are even more people with these issues than ever before. As I look around and see not only the obesity
but the children and the number of medications needed in order to manage the precursors of the chronic and killer diseases, I know that I cannot just “go home and relax.” My Higher Self will not allow me to do this.
So…OK…here I am. I’m opening my “truth” through my journal and path of recovery, sharing once more. I know the task is impossible. Perhaps little will change from my endeavors, but I cannot just “go home.” If only one person or one child is helped by what I’ve learned, then I’ve done what I’ve promised to do. When I prayed so many years ago, asking for answers to my illness, I promised to teach others. This was a commitment.