Sometimes the system goes on the blink.

Today (so far) I am embracing being sick and the need to acknowledge it and self-care accordingly. Normally I’d eat when I’m hungry and that’s usually 11 or 12 or 1. This morning my throat hurts and sleep was not great and I’ve been up since 6am.

The warmth of soup sounded appealing, so I made it, and it was exactly what my body needed. I feel good making the decision for what I needed, instead of trying to stick to some arbitrary routine. There’s nothing routine about being sick and it’s counterproductive to try to act otherwise.

Now I’m going to go take a hot shower and rest.

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Cold silence.

When you spent much of the night awake with your sick 2yo, while you yourself had a swollen, sore throat and couldn’t swallow, it’s reasonable to spend the following day sipping chai tea instead of drinking your usual 80oz of water.

I am not throwing away my shot.

I’m thinking about food this morning, and instead of shoving it down [the thoughts] and compartmentalizing it, I’m taking the opportunity to look at it.

It’s been a long (great) week and there is an anxious feeling that the weekend feels sooo close, but it’s not here yet.

There are more clouds than sun.

I don’t feel like actively participating with my kid.

I’d rather downtime with sleep or a book or a shower or a movie.

I don’t feel like go go go this morning.

Coffee made me all acid refluxy this morning and that was a bummer.

I just plain ol’ don’t wanna today.

And seriously, where is the sunshine?

But amidst all that and more…I don’t have hunger.¬† I just think I want to eat. Because food was a good bandaid for so long. Because you embrace the thing that saves you when there is nothing else to save you.

Except I have other things to save me now. I save myself in countless healthy ways–connection and self-awareness and self-care and acknowledgement and breathing and compassion. And by saying “I feel this feeling and it will pass.”

So I came here to say it.

Your horizon takes its shape.

A couple weeks ago when I was feeling all bingey, a sponsored link appeared on my fb newsfeed about binge eating and freeing yourself from it. There was some webinar, I think. I signed up for it because I was curious. Not because there is any one cure all somewhere, but because it had the feel that it could provide a spark of information striking me at just the right time to propel me somewhere.

That’s all recovery is for me. One opportunity propelling me to the next while I figure out all the meat of the in between. The in between is forward and backwards and progress and stagnation. That’s where all the hard work happens. That’s where my results are. In the long term.

But those short term propellings…that’s what allows for the good stuff.

So I signed up. And then promptly didn’t go to the webinar and haven’t read any of the emails. I see the titles of the emails every day and think “I’ll get to that.” But at the moment Sarah Rentfro provided my last propelling and so I’ve been riding that one.

This morning I skimmed through some of the emails. It was all about how you don’t have to avoid foods and deprive yourself of *living* in order to be rid of your binge eating disorder. Embrace it! And just join this free class or this one-on-one session. And within three days you’ll be rid of bingeing. And you’ve never done it this way before and that’s why recovery has never happened!

And I don’t doubt that works for some people. I don’t even doubt that some people have long term success with it. It’s just not my success. And it makes me wonder, too, how many people *aren’t* feeling success because they’re eating foods that make them feel terrible. And when you feel terrible, you want to eat comfort foods to feel less terrible.

But I digress.

My point is that a) there’s no “right” way; you have to search (even when there’s no end in sight) for what works, and oftentimes what works doesn’t work permanently because we are ever-changing in body and mind b) avoiding foods that trigger you isn’t the worst thing you can do; no one would ever tell an alcoholic that the best way they can overcome their addiction is by drinking in moderation; “just two shots a day–you’ve got this!” c) there’s no time limit; even if one day you consider yourself completely recovered, something could happen in your life to knock you down; no one is absolved from disordered thinking, not even someone who has never experienced it before d) there’s going to be an ebb and flow; there’s going to be a symbiosis between the natural ebb and flow and the amount of practice you put in; the sooner you can practice learning to accept that, the more enjoyable living will be e) [and this was the missing piece for me]–it doesn’t matter what effort you put in toward the food; the issue isn’t the food.

For me, because I could never speak for someone else,¬†somewhere tucked deep into my psyche and hidden far in the depths of memory, flowing even into muscle memory, lived the dwarfed parts of myself that, for whatever reason–neglect, abuse, lack of attention–didn’t (couldn’t) grow into their own. So while I did alllllll the other work I just mentioned, I simultaneously spent time, not only *finding* those parts of me, but also unlocking their doors to give them the opportunity to connect and be free.

What I learned too is that finding the door or the key or even unlocking the door doesn’t necessarily change anything. It’s a start for sure, but then there’s more work to be done. The teaching yourself that you can be trusted and that you have value and worth and that you’re going to make mistakes and that the mistakes don’t negate the worth. Over and over and over. Until you learn that it’s the showing up. It’s the practice.

At least it is for me. This has been *my* recovery. So no email telling me I can cure my eating disorder in three days by “embracing” food can sway me from the truth I’ve clawed my way to find.

Freedom came my way.

Yesterday I threw away a fork that’s been driving me crazy for weeks. It was the same fork as all the other forks, but for whatever reason, it laid flat on the counter, whereas the others are raised.

This fork only came into the mix in the last couple months and I have no idea where it came from.

For a long time, I would just use whatever fork I picked, and if it was the flat one, so be it. Slowly though, I got increasingly more annoyed with the fork that I couldn’t easily pick up off the counter. I started avoiding the fork. Even going as far as to wash a dirty one, if that was the only clean one left.

For about a week I wrestled with the idea of getting rid of it. There are plenty of things that cause me anxiety and stress, why should I consciously add to it? But I’d talk myself out of it with the, “well, you wouldn’t just throw away your kid if it was causing you such stress! You’d see it as the challenge you could learn to overcome! It’s an opportunity!”

Yesterday I said “fuck it” to the opportunity and threw away the fork. It’s just a damn fork.

You have to pick and choose. You have to decide where you erect your boundaries. You have to decide what you say yes to and what you say no to.

I said no to the fork. For good.

I don’t have to compare it to my children. Some days I will say no to my kids–I will abstain from mom’ing. I will take the space. It’s not for good. It’s healthy boundaries. Yesterday saying no to the fork meant I said yes to myself.

Some days you just have to throw away the damn fork.

I know the pieces fit.

My chiropractor’s office had a patient appreciation day last week, and they were doing free adjustments. It was the most glorious thing ever.

My lower back is all jacked and I can’t get adjustments there because, while the adjustment doesn’t hurt, the pressure to perform it is unreasonably painful. So all I ever want is a neck adjustment. I can’t justify the cost, for a three minute adjustment, especially when I can’t afford the cost. So even tho I had anxiety about making the appointment and “taking” something for free, I braved the vulnerability and made the appointment and I’m so glad I did!! Self-care is the best and my chiropractor is magic.

For all this.

Time tick tocked by like time does and here we are. Five days of medicine behind us. Five days of four hour delays for feeding my littlest. Five days of random, mostly innocuous side effects. And now it’s finished.

I’ve also had five days of stretches. Five days of getting stronger. Five days of increased duration of stretches. Five days of increased mobility. I can’t quite tell any difference in the regular day to day things, but I’ve gained marked improvements in the stretches themselves. 10 seconds became 30. 7 squats became 2 sets of 8. Chris says he has noticed a difference. I’m just gonna keep doing them and see where the progress takes me.