Sunday , march 28th:DAY TWO: notes of transgressions/progress

March 29, 2010 at 4:09 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

today DAY TWO on new day count

400 cal at 9:30 am

bloated all day on romaine

now 9 pm 400 cal again

want to sleep early but can’t

want to enema perhaps will

have paffed all day but ought to go to bed without eating but am about to go stuff-fuck myself

Wrote to people all day

Sucks I didn’t get to any errands

But am Ok with beign gentle

But I should not have written to Kat — person who I can’t help — I need to hel sefl and others by REALLY UNLOADING TO PEOPLE

fuck so a wasted day

No real sense of writing myself sober or released.

fuck goddamn it.

the letter follows

what a crock of codependent shit.  What a self-neglect.  FUCK  FUCK FUCK   FUUUUUCK
Your letters bring me so much happiness — I was so cheered up to get your notes this week and so wish I were on the rampage with writing to people as I was just a bit ago.  I would really like to be writing to people all day long.  I think I basically can’t at times because … I am incapacitated by episodes of overeating!  I just got clarity about that!    It’s Sunday evening for me right now. I really appreciate your sensitivity and your letters.  I like that you make your own rules for your life and way of eating/dealing with eating and have a kind of innocence — forgive me — that people in LA do not necessarily have ON THE SUBJECT OF FOOD ADDICTION.. so — i do not mean to patronize you — merely to reflect on a difference in culture between the USA and new Zealand in which I find NZ has an advantage… perhaps it (nz) is a less food-addicted society generally.

i HAVE BEEN DEALING with my problem of bloating — seriously and systematically addressing it.  Just as you “had a sit-down ” with yourself about your general food strategy — I have been doing the same… outlining and defining “food-sobriety” for myself and figuring out strategies to learn fasting.  The major source of my suffering is bloating.  It is a complicated thing to object to — see below and you will grasp what I mean – but still it is one thing I can put a stop to by increasing my sobriety, which action [increasing my food-sobriety] will have many other positive important effects.

Bloated: It’s so hard to be in that state.  It’s terrifying .  It’s unbearable. Bloating is terrifying for me, anyway.  I figured out this was because I was such a food addict…  i think it is terrifying for food addicts to be bloated because the body cannot in that state tolerate any more food — and suppose the emotional need to eat food arises — some emotional condition which must be repressed with food???  That’s where the fear comes from… I think one major perverseness, of the many perversenesses, of all “nutrition” books consists in advising people to avoid bloating WITHOUT addressing the overwhelmingly important fact that the bloating would not be such a big deal at all if these people hellbent on stopping bloating were not addicted to food (thus primarily motivated by this addiction, not by any real inconvenience of the bloating or even bad health consequences of it) .. the bloating would not be such a big deal at all if these books audiences did not have a need to, basically, support themselves emotionally, by eating at, basically, all times. Food addicts, I guess, judging from my own case,  are people who get into the emotional state where they feel an overwhelming but fundamentally wrong desire to eat…  And as a part of the normal cycle of bingeing and overeating /eating addictively, this emotional state WILL arise, since it is — this neurological phenomenon always is — the major trigger for the next bout of eating in the cycle…  If I were not addicted to food, bloating, or anything else that interfered with my eating,  would not be so upsetting to me, because I would not panic when I bloated, but merely stop eating for like 24 hours or maybe only like 12 hours, to let my system restabilize — … I really believe that if I were not a food addict, I would actually feel totally relaxed about my ability to eat — not be terrified all the time about losing it.. and I also would fear starvation less.. I think the fear of starvation which comes over me and which would really plague me if I lost my ability to eat for any significant period — I think this fear of starvation is actually a false fear, somehow invented by the food-addicted mind as a mask for what is really a fear of just having to go without one’s drug of choice… this fear of starvation I am convinced does not afflict non-food-addicts… such a person would not panic , and fear death,  if suddenly unable to eat for a week due to illness or whatever.. I remember that as young as 7 or 8 I would get terrified at being unable to eat due to having a stomach flu or something.. I didn’t articulate to myself that I would die, exactly; strangely, it was a fear more in the vein of being afraid of getting in trouble with my mother for not being able to eat normally… how horrifying, when I think of it.  I feared my mother more than death itself!  Ha!  .. All in all, I think the fear of starvation is the addicted mind’s way of bullying the “true mind” into doing its bidding and eating when that is not really OK  … I hold that most eating I do now is not really OK because of the necessity that i fast and rest my system, in order really to heal… but any time , I hold, that eating is done under compulsion, it is not really OK…

Despite this cycle of emotionally “needing” food and slamming it down and suffering, which it is my life’s work to break, I am doing OK right now — I had 6 days on my “Day Count”-type “food sobriety-and-fasting” program last week. (i.e.: 400 cal max at each meal and separate meals in time at the distance of 2 hours per 100 calories so after a 400 cal meal wait 8 hours to eat again) For a decade, or more, I never had Day Counts like this — i knew vaguely that I ought to; then slowly I started having them — about the end of every summer for about 2 weeks I would get positive and undepressed enough to bring this necessary added discipline to my regular Food Plan — a not-so-structured plan of just limiting calories consumed — which I nevertheless bloated on horribly every single day… I was just, for years, constantly, eating just that little bit more than my body could handle… this continued for YEARS, as  I say , so that while I was able to control my weight (which for my dignity and self-empowerment and emotions is the most important thing), I still really suffered and still really got high on food to some extent .. . Anyway, this past year I have actually come to the point of resigning myself to the necessity of this 400-calorie-meal -type sobriety … especially since I turned 40, in January.  it seems like it is going to be my new way of life, at last…. so… this past week:   after 6 days on Day Count  I relapsed 2 or 3 days, meaning, I took meals of like 800 calories instead of 400 and bloated terribly painfully afterward… calories seem to me to be the overwhelming determining factor in whether I will bloat….. the trick seeming to be to confine myself to foods [sober foods] which I can STOP eating after consuming a certain limit of calories… after bloating, during this relapse, I took my harsh salt enemas… and had the fatigue next day.. not a bad thing, completely, and the enemas actually do increase my detachment from the horrible constant craving to get high on food — and they make me able to choose foods that are less triggering — but still… I wish I could achieve what the enemas achieve by fasting instead of enemas.  It seems gentler… definitely it’s less humiliating not to overeat.  And it keeps me a lot more strong and well…

The most significant thing different about this new day count is: I have made it the rule that I must daily sit down and take the time to “get positive and willing” about fasting.  Typically I determine, frequently, to take a long fast without really addressing my deep “need” to get high on food.  I am trying to think about this “need” and address that daily now — using self-help books to articulate my life-goals (just like, love and connectedness, not entirely “killing -the-world-and kicking-general-butt” goals)  .. and to draw the connection between my values and goals on the one hand and food-sobriety and fasting on the other.  So I get more TRULY willing to fast, and feel I can tolerate food sobriety.    My idea is: I still fast weekly but I only try to lengthen my fasts rather slowly, and only to the extent that I am willing to undertake the fast in question without overeating beforehand… and in a spirit of real willingness instead of in a  spirit of merely anticipating the end of the end of the fast and a return to getting high on food periodically…this is scary and frustrating and may mean my fasts lengthen much more slowly — but I think this may be the “long slow way” that is actually the shortcut…

Other trivial new, about my 6-day-successful”day count” and 3-day relapse this past week:  I had knee pain (I.E., IN cHINESE medicine, a liver energy condition) this morning/last night due to a very  high-fat meal, including raw dairy — sorry, cows, and i am ever more conscientious and willing to totally give up dairy for GOOD — I have hardly it at all now for several years — just have been going into a very occasional very limited little frenzy with raw cheese ever since beginning (2 years ago this April!) my raw foods only diet… but as of right now I have no desire to have it in any near future… I am not trying to determine, yet, to give it up entirely as I have many foods (dried fruit is my most recent life-choice-to-give-it-up, which I am really proud to have done successfully, last November) because it isn’t a constant craving and because holding in reserve the “right” to eat it makes staying on my 400-cal-max/2 hours-per-100 cals.. food-sobriety plan seem a little easier.  Even though I would never have cheese on this plan- the amount of cheese one could fit into 400 calories would be totally unsatisfying and triggering.  Horrible thought — having a small quantity of any triggering food.  Still — just on that subject, I know it is important that I reset my conceptions about the tolerability of eating small quantities.. so I consciously try to do that ..   but just with the more triggering foods I want to decide that moderation is not worth learning.  Just forget such triggering foods altogether, I have decided for myself.  The amount of effort people put into learning moderation seems absurd and such a waste of energy.  Why make a particular food so important that you have to read 5 books and undertake a lifelong program in order to eat it without bingeing?  It just seems so perverse to me — so, OK, I don’t have to judge others’ choices but know that choice is not what I choose .. I take a lot of pride in choosing to clean up my diet and i get a lot of feelings of security from making the life choice to give up certain things permanently.  Then when habit takes over and it becomes easy to live without the certain foods, I feel a lot of relief.  [later note: of course, learning moderation could be actually quite valid since it would require serious spiritual work; basically , the desire to overdo would have to be removed… though , to me, the food addict, that seems unsatisfying.. I seem to WANT the sort of thrill or charge of craving and overeating… interesting…. however, I still prefer giving up triggering foods altogether since … since…. it is just so, SO difficult to control one’s desire for too much of a triggering substance; and this has a physiological, a bacterial , basis: once the particular intestinal  bacteria which flourish in the presence of the triggering substance are given a little bit of that substance, and start to effloresce, and multiply, it must be a huge and very-possibly impossible job to resist the cravings that these bacteria do [scientific studies show] somehow create via the connection between the central and enteric (intestinal) nervous systems.. and so I feel that if one returns to a triggering substance after an absence from it , one takes a real risk…I dunno.  It’s said to be true of alcoholics who stop then restart drinking.  And not to be gloomy, but a life of abstinence is very much validated by many traditions — look at the Muslims, who don’t drink at all, etc…. alcohol being one of those substances, I am sure, which was studied in these scientific studies of the role of intestinal bacteria in food addictions…. and, by the way, I am sure intestinal bacteria also play a role in drug addictions, though drugs are not usually though of as acting on the intestinal system… I wish science might validate this… further thought:  my hesitancy to advocate abstinence reveals my terror of being rejected by a society that is so food-addicted that abstinence irrationally TERRIFIES it… I mean, be rational for a second: so, I have to live without junk food for the rest of my life… so WHAT???]  Anyway:  I had this raw cheese at the end of my 3-day relapse and just prior to the fast that began my new Day Count.  Fat from this cheese-containing, high-fat meal, by stressing my  liver, gave me the knee pain.

I used to get  it from sugar — knee pain, indicating liver stress.  This was when I was 24, 25, still eating sugar.  I stopped eating all sugar at age 26.  That’s when I got on my “Basic Food Plan” (as opposed to the more sober, bloat-preventing, plan I refer to as my current, “Day Count Food Plan –” of course I day-counted my adherence to my basic food plan in the beginning, too , and it was really joyful and affirming to collect in AA and even Overeaters Anonymous the medallions they give to people celebrating multiple years of sobriety)

As of this month, March/April,. I have 14 years of staying on a food plan — this Basic Plan —  that successfully keeps me at the weight I want to be at.  This is the major achievement of my life and I say that sincerely and without irony or sarcasm — I am amazed I have done this.. I think it is just that one can get accustomed to anything, even habits one is terribly attached to…

It really can be done. Yes!  I am thrilled as I write this.   I had to give up sugar like most heroin addicts have to give up heroin.  i was so profoundly addicted to and horrifyingly depressed by sugar/refined food.  I could scarcely think or speak, at my worst.  i could only crawl to work, crawl home, binge, crawl into bed, pass out, wake up, binge, pass out , wake up, and I am really mad now thinking about the fact that I was living this life with my parents just sitting there acting like everything was OK , having possibly precipitated this entire decline by kicking me out of their houses humiliatingly some time before that — my parents acting like everything was OK and a major part of their thinking being that things were okay “becuzzz sheeeeez eeeeeting.”  I spell it that way to highlight the utter venality and horror of their attitudes and the utter disrespect they harbored for my primary need in life, which I had vulnerably revealed to them, to LEARN TO PUSH AWAY THE FOOD if eating wasn’t OK with me — and thus restore my dignity and basic empowerment as a person.  They invalidated viciously this, my first and most important need (even though I was FAT then!!  they just sat there and, basically masturbatorily, like all of society, indulged their totally neurotic fears of my starvation, which even they knew were neurotic fears — i could see in their eyes that they KNEW my instinct to learn to push away the food if it was not OK with me , was CORRECT and UTTERLY NECESSARY.  i hope to expose in my fiction writing [which i hope to do] the UTTER DISGUSTINGNESS of their attitudes and the attitudes of other “Food rapists…”  this sounds shrill, but it’s … deep in me)… they , my parents, viciously invalidated my need to push away the food, and so communicated to me that I and my dignity were worth nothing.

I remember in the days I first started to get sober from sugar/processed food — April of 1996, just after the worst period I just referred to — i was 26 and I was living (no, existing, and barely) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Harvard is located–  i instinctively started reading the only religious or spiritual material I had around my rented room —   a 1928 Book of Common Prayer from the Episcopal Church that I had picked up somewhere because I remembered its having beautiful language in its liturgy.  My parents raised us Episcopalian.  mom was United Church of Christ and Dad had been Catholic.  Episc. was a compromise solution.   I liked the churches we went to for a while but then (when I was 9) my mom went to divinity school (at Yale, so she was with all these high-powered people, which was kind of nice).. but, anyway, she had to take a job as a seminarian, to fulfill the requirements of her M.Div. (master of Divinity) degree; and they made her change churches because our church at the time (My fave ever, Trinity Lime Rock in Lime Rock, Connecticut) had such a high proportion of elderly.  We were made all to attend a horrible church in a poorer town neighboring ours (Christ Church in Canaan , Connecticut), where we practically got beaten up in Sunday
School (ha!!  ) and my mom ended up having an affair (!!??!! unheard-of in our small town , sort of, though I can remember famous affairs which took place ,many between students and faculty (?!?!?)  at the prep school (i.e., ages 14 to 18, “college preparatory” — though some of the teachers were 22, 23) we lived at and at which my father taught [! amazing to think… makes me sad cause it’s all so surprising to me due to the fact that i can hardly bond with anyone, so how could 2 people go against social strictures to bond?  how could people be so bold and strong?  .. anyway, if only my mom had NOT been so bold and strong… ha! ]  .. my mom, as I say, ended up having an affair with the PRIEST of this church  (!!!?!?!?!?!?)  O.M.G. — what a wild scene — I am saying that lightly though I remember these years as the most miserable of my childhood. The phenomenal degree of my mother’s indiscretion actually makes me laugh now, though my  mom is still so abusive to me — it’s hard to think about her.  Oh, well — living well, for me,  is the best revenge, I have to believe.   Anyway, during my first period of getting sober/control , in my life,  I read the 1928 Prayer Book every morning before i drove to my horrifying job as a nanny; (where I had done a lot of bingeing — daily) and this little daily access to religion or spirituality  seemed to be something I needed, something appropriate to my effort of getting this basic sobriety from eating-when-eating-was-not-OK- with-me.  I don’t know why I suddenly wrote all that.  i think I must need some spiritual support during this time when i am trying to achieve this new level of food-sobriety and progress in fasting.

I have been thinking lately about my brother and sister and realizing with rather a lot of sort of shocking clarity the discrepancy between their lives and mine.  I compare myself with my brother and sister about every day.  Each of them  has income in the millions of dollars per year.  I live on $10,000 a year. But more than this — each of them is married, has 2 children (!!!! how did that happen??? this is my enduring question.  And how has it not happened to me???  I am sad.  why have I not been allowed a life?) i want to say that i get a lot of hope and feel assured of success if I just stay on my day -count way of food sobriety, which actually prevents bloating and is actually basically do-able, though it is hard — I want to be committed to getting used to it and just learning to live this way.  And to learning to fast in my new way.  The fasting will bring real healing and will make it easy to follow ANY food plan, much easier, because the fasting will heal me up and lift me out of the state of wanting to get high on food — or on anything.  … My point is that from years of attending Alcoholics Anonymous (for my food addiction) I have this sincere belief that if I am sober, EVERYTHING falls into place, and I have seen time and again in my life that this is true… whenever I have gotten more “food-sober” life has become so easy… and wehn I have succeeded in , say , 3-day fasts, I get so undepressed and full of life and hope.  Gretchen,  I have just got to fast and kill these damned intestinal bacteria, and things will be really OK for me!!!  ..support is crucial and staying sober is crucial but… I really get so happy when I think of how much easier my life is already getting with my new food-sobriety… I suspect that I will really have to make the serious commitment to a total and permanent cleanup of my diet — a sprouts-only diet — in order to succeed at long fasts, in order to get real relief from my sobriety… but, OK, I can deal with this a little bit at a time.. give up the triggering foods one at a time… I do think that my healing/sustained sobriety/success in fasting do depend most of all on my cleaning up my diet in a life-committed way.  Sorry for jargon-sounding speech — it must be so annoying to you , but…  anyway — I really do believe in what I am trying to do with my life and I do validate it despite my brother’s and sister’s seeming to have succeeded more.  i believe if I can heal myself , and I feel I am doing so, I will have succeeded at something truly valuable and important.

I have been dealing with some very scary  feelings lately , as I struggle to stop eating after the 400 calories of each 400-calorie-limit meal are finished. These feelings are terrifying and so painful for me and it is so good just to say that.  I am so vulnerable when I am in that state of sitting there over the last few bites of a meal and , though I am totally full, being desperate for more food.  In this state I am the most vulnerable maybe that it is possible to be.  … mainly because of (1) the true horror of the sadness — for me it isn’t just sadness but real terror — and (2) the trauma of not being sure that anybody will actually support me to push away the food instead of keep on eating when the food currently being eaten runs out.  My terror and trauma are just more than , I don’t know, more than my whole being.

I read this and realize I really need to clean up my writing . I want to do this!  To improve my writing and get so I am writing fiction.  oh, I can’t wait, to be able to satirize this whole world.   Gretchen, thanks for reading and for writing!!!!  Please write super-soon to say how everything is going!  How is the diet, the strategy, the decision about what foods to keep out?  I hope you are having a wonderful day. Congratulations , no CONGRATULATIONS on achieving a settled tummy, as you put it, by listening to yourself and fasting.

Love,
Laura

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