Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Now, waking up this morning, I'm a bit freaked out at the thought of this food addiction support group. I voluntarily signed up to do what? I seem to get overwhelmed so easily sometimes--even as I go through the motions of doing what I should, making a positive choice. At least I still keep trying to make them...I give myself props for that.

Mr. Salted said he was proud of me. Even the ex-Mr. Salted, still one of my dearest friends/family members, said he was proud of me. (As a side note, I am fortunate to have the best friends in the world, bar none.) The word "proud", when directed toward me by others, twangs sad/wistful strings in me, as it was not a word I heard in my earlier life. I learned over time to be proud of myself, and found that was ultimately the most important. Still, it is always, always nice to hear from others whose opinions matter to me.

As I mentioned previously, I made a lot of progress in a group structured like this in the past. The focus of that group was childhood sexual abuse, and as one might imagine, it got pretty heavy at times. It was all women, facilitated by two female therapists. I was 23 years old at the time, the youngest group member by at least twelve to fifteen years. I was told often how lucky I was to be doing that work young, before I had kids and so I could break the cycle. (I didn't feel too terribly lucky, but I got the jist; however, I made several very conscious and deliberate choices to clear the space in my life to do that work, including a two-year period of celibacy and sobriety--neither of which are easy choices to make stick in your early 20s.) One participant seemed to just hate every last milligram of my guts; I thought, then and now, that my age had a lot to do with it. A couple of other women seemed to relate to me more as one of their own children; I think my shared experiences led to insights into their own children's choices, current reality, etc., because estrangement was a common factor. The woman that disliked me so strongly had recently fled an abusive partner and was living in a shelter; she actually dropped out of the group due to hospitalization. I was far more concerned for her well-being than reactive to her hostility, which likely made her hate me that much more. All these years later, I can still remember all their faces, all their stories, but not all of their names. We did a lot of therapeutic exercises in that group using writing and drawing; I was able to make great progress as a result, progress I had been unable to make with traditional individual talk therapy on its own.

I look back on that time to who I was trying to become--if not always who I actually was, because frankly, those memories are often quite cringeworthy--and I do feel proud of that extremely lost and very young person. There seemed to be so much oppressive darkness within me, and I just kept trying--sometimes faintly, always doggedly--to believe that it would somehow, someday, be at least partially replaced with light. I worked a full-time job, took a full load of college classes, and just kept getting out of bed in the morning. (I believe it was Woody Allen who once said, "88% of life is just showing up." That was me.) I didn't have antidepressants or even health insurance. All things considered, I was freakin' amazing.

As a dear friend of mine with a similar past history once said to me: "We're not crack whores. We win."

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Seattle, WA, United States
This blog focuses largely on a personal journey to and through weight-loss surgery. It's also about reading, writing, animals, photography, love, humor, music, thinking out loud, and memes. In other words...life.
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