Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Truth About Me. Part II

Sorry about the delay. I'm fighting a nasty head cold and will be quite surprised if I'm able to string two coherent sentences together in this posting. Let's see if I can put more of this story together, shall we?

As I stated before, it was an Oprah episode that smacked me upside the head and made me realize something about myself I had never before. I remember the day clearly...

It was a cold and murky day...I'm kidding. It was actually quite nice out as spring was just turning into summer and yet I had decided to spend said nice day indoors cleaning my floor. I had the Oprah show on for "background noise". No, really! Oprah had her trusty fitness guru friend Bob Greene on and he was talking to several people who had found success using his latest techniques.

Now let me just stop right there and switch gears on you for just a minute. I'd like to discuss the term "self-medicating". I had heard the term several times on Oprah and Dr. Phil and similar shows (painting a real nice picture of a stay-at-home mom who does nothing all day but watch daytime television, ya think?) many times before. I had honestly never thought about applying the term to me or my issues with food. It really never occurred to me. I honestly thought that people who self-medicate, whether it be with drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, etc., did so because of some trauma experienced in their childhood. I didn't know that someone could experience a trauma in adulthood and then go on to self-medicate as a way of coping with that trauma. I know that sounds silly to say I never realized that, but it is the truth.

One of the women on Oprah that day told a story about how her job meant everything to her. It was her life, her passion, her identity. She told how when she was fired from her job she felt like a part of her died that day. She then explained how she went on to self-medicate with food to help her cope with her loss.

That's when I received the smack upside the head. There I stood, Bissell Steam Mop in hand, jaw agape and resting numbly on my semi-clean floor, staring at the t.v. Did I hear that right? This woman suffered a trauma as an adult and now she was self-medicating with food as a result of it?

The words "I'm self-medicating" came rolling of my tongue. I realized right then that self-medicating with food was, indeed, what I was doing. Thus began the process of delving back through my adulthood in an attempt to discover just what trauma I had endured. But, you know, I just couldn't think of anything. I didn't lose a beloved job. I hadn't suffered a divorce, lost a child, my house hadn't burned down, my dog didn't run away.

Okay, I've never owned a dog but still...

The only thing I could think of was my dad's passing from pancreatic cancer. But I had handled that so well. I accepted my dad's death upon diagnosis - before he even died. And, come to think of it, I was having problems with my weight and food before his death. If it wasn't my dad's death, what was it then? (turns out my dad's death did play a part in it)

Mentally, I went back to the time I first started plumping up and I narrowed it down, quite specifically, to the time my compulsive eating began.

I'm going to have to stop right there. Please believe me when I say that I WANT to tell you everything but to tell you the story about how my compulsive eating habits began is going to require some prayer. You see, telling you the story may end up hurting a friend. I have no interest in hurting someone even for the purpose of confession or to help someone who is reading my blog and struggling with their own food issues. I just won't.

I'll continue in a few days either with or without this component. In the meantime - sorry to leave you hanging - enjoy your holiday! Happy 4th Everyone!


Selena said...

What if it isn't your fault? What if it not caused by something that happened to you?

What if the overeating is just a sign that you have an imbalanced biochemistry, nothing more? And that by changing what and when you eat you can heal your body, stop the bingeing, and know what to do to prevent it from happening ever again?

I used to binge constantly. It was the first thing I thought about in the morning and the last thing at night. I hated myself, I was depressed, I had to drag myself through the day and I had so much shame it was unreal.

Now, eighteen months after following the advice on the Radiant Recovery website I am totally different. I am joyful, content, serene, confident, I haven't binged in well over a year and I eat just three meals a day.

There was no white-knuckling, just a sensible approach to healing my biochemistry with normal everyday foods.

Finding Radiant Recovery has changed my life. Why not look it up and see what you think? There is hope out there. And it's not your fault.

All the best from someone who has been there and come out the other side.

Amanda said...

Thank you for your input. I'm happy to hear you are on a better, healthier road now.

However, for me, it IS my fault. I've been doing a lot of self-examination over the last several months and the evidence is clear. Not accepting responsibility for my actions and reactions to events in my life just simply isn't in the healing plan for me.

Thank you anyway.

Laurel said...

You know, I've said for a long time that by looking at pictures of me you can totally tell what state of mind I am in. When I am unhappy, I get fat. It truly is that simple for me. The heaviest I ever was was during my first year of college, and it wasn't the freshman 15. It was unhappiness. I switched schools, found a better fit, and evidently stopped self-medicating.

This is a great topic!

Mrs. Querido said...

As I was reading your post, I realized that I was on your blogroll...Thank you! I am humbled and amazed. You made my day!


Mrs. Q

Mrs. Querido said...

P.S. Hope you feel better real soon! It's awful being sick when you are a mom of little ones!

Anonymous said...

Girlfriend...don't leave us hanging!