Since my arrival back east, a few things have happened. I have not looked back. I have not been bored or homesick or sad. I love it here, but I know my time here will come to an end and so I prepare to head back home eventually and enlist a new mindset. I’ll embrace it with positive energy and an arsenal of tools I am receiving here. The first week in the program they bombard you with activities, wellness classes, therapy, nutrition, exercise, classes on facing triggers (yeah this works in all facets of life), classes on journaling. I think I could teach the class on journaling, but that is because I am obsessive compulsive. I am a list keeper. Some things are easy for me… like counting calories and keeping track of and eating a proper balance of food groups. Other aspects of the program are a little more difficult, like coming to terms with why I overeat and learning to love my body, no matter what it looks like, and learning to embrace exercise because it is what my body needs. I can do this, I’m just not that great at it. My health has improved in quantifiable ways in the five days I have been here so far. One big noticeable change… sodium. I am eating very little, food still tastes good, and I am off one of my meds and have cut another in half. Reducing meds four days in may sound premature, but I have never wanted to take the medications, so if I can not take them and still thrive, I’m doing it!
I am blessed with an amazing array of six women in my “group,” seven including me. We all arrived this past Sunday and although we all live in difference places, are different ages, different ethnicities, and different weights and each of our health journey’s is unique, we all share a bond and that is, we are not happy with the way we are and we really want to change. Many of us have shed a tear or two or a hundred during the group support meetings and in classes revolving around how we nurtured our relationships with food and how we let our health suffer. Many of us are caretakers of others, completely forgetting or neglecting to take care of ourselves. Many struggle with the same kind of childhood wounds as Blue Eyes and food was their drug of choice. In one of our classes earlier this week, the instructor threw out this message that he picked up somewhere along the way:
Food/eating is not the addiction. Food is being used for non-food related needs.
This would be the same for all addictions, I think. Blue Eyes wasn’t looking for more sex, he was looking to fill a gaping hole inside. Many many many people do the very same with alcohol, drugs, shopping, gambling, and food.
The following is kind of the mantra around here. I read it through twice while waiting for my first blood draw as it was posted on the wall outside the nurse’s office.
I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost… I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in the same place. But, it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hold in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in… it’s a habit… but my eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
I walk down another street.
Right now I am really evaluating all the streets at my disposal. I have fallen into the hole too many times. I know I will choose the very best street for me.