Writing is hard.
Not the actual writing per se, that part is actually pretty easy for me.
Writing brings clarity, healing, self-acceptance.
It’s the sharing that hurts.
That brings scrutiny, judgement, and a raw vulnerability that I can’t always handle.
When something is happening to me, especially when it is painful, I try my damnedest to find the lesson. I enjoy sharing my lessons, humorously if possible, so that others may learn from my hard-knocks. Sometimes these lessons involve other people. And unfortunately, other people do not always appreciate having the details of their lives thrust into the public eye.
I have pretty much always been an open book. Not everyone agrees with it. In fact, it brought incredible chagrin to my paternal grandmother. She was constantly telling me, “The whole world doesn’t need to know your business!”
Well, I’m sure they don’t. And moreover, they likely don’t care nearly as much as I think they do.
But for me there’s freedom in being okay with the “whole world” knowing my business.
Because then it’s more about being authentic and less about being impressive.
If I’m going to rally support for my autistic son or… bust my butt to lose 150 pounds or… pour myself into reconciling my children with their long-estranged father…I’m not only going to do those things. I’m going to write about them.
Because that’s how I figure things out.
The tricky part comes when said writing causes pain or embarrassment to the people involved in my journey. Just because I’m an open book doesn’t mean everyone is.
So I have to learn to write what heals me, filter it through that person-specific sieve, and then share the strained remnants with you.
Consequently, there are things that get caught in that sieve that I really would rather have openly shared.
Today you are going to get the contents of the sieve.
Within the past couple of weeks I have learned a hard and painful lesson that I am trying to work through: After decades and decades of yo-yo dieting, self-deprecation, and unbelievable amounts of frustration, I discovered (or possibly re-discovered) two things:
- I am an addict, by nature.
- And I am actually much more comfortable being fat. (It’s a turtle shell of sorts. A place to retreat when there is fear or pain or danger.)
I am currently near the weight that I always reach when dieting, and then just stop losing. I thought I could remedy that by staying off the scale, and just not seeing those numbers.
But that’s not working either. Because duh, I have mirrors.
I can plainly see myself shrinking.
So recently when I started experiencing the fear and anxiety of a thinner body, since it is now physically impossible to binge-eat, I picked up a bottle of wine to deal with my mounting emotions.
And my stomach pouch tolerated it just fine.
So I drank a larger glass. Then soon, two glasses.
And before I knew it, almost a month had passed… and I had a problem.
This is common with bariatric patients.
It’s called addiction transfer.
Am I supposed to be drinking? Hell no. Bariatric surgeons and psychologists recommend not drinking any alcohol at all for at least a year after surgery. But when you are an addict, all the advice in the world just falls softly on some seriously deaf ears….
and you do what you have to do to drown the pain and the fear and the anxiety.
Think you’re above it? So did I. Hell, I worked in bariatrics for 3 years.
Once I recognized it though, I had a choice.
Wallow in it. Or solve it.
The new Angie chooses to solve it.
I didn’t have this surgical procedure just to become a friggin alcoholic.
So the solution here is this:
- Bring the addiction into the light.
- Surround myself with community to be held accountable.
- Stop the addiction cold in it’s tracks.
Everybody makes mistakes. I am no exception. And neither are you.
It’s human nature to hide our flaws. We all want to be the hero.
Of course I want to be the glowing, perfect, unicorn-riding goddess with all the solutions and answers. I want to inspire you. And impress you. And post pictures of my perfect, veggie-laden plate on Instagram while I’m wearing a black bikini in my perfectly sculpted bod.
But my friends, that ain’t reality.
Reality is that I’m broken and fucked up and just trying to find my way like everyone else.
Yes, I lost my way for a moment. But I’ve grown because this time I caught myself.
So let that inspire you. Be encouraged that we are all broken in our own ways, and we will continue to stumble and fall down 1,001 times.
The victory is in getting up 1,002.
I will do this. And so can you.
Regardless of what you are attempting to master, remember any progress is improvement. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Just do better.
Remember what I always say: