Sunday, March 15, 2009

30 Days

Today is Day Thirty of no flour, no sugar, weighing & measuring my meals. There are some things on my mind that I want to share about it & there is the little matter of my step work, which might be easier to do as a blog, in bits, as things come to me.

The first step of the twelve is that "We admitted we were powerless over ___ and that our lives had become unmanageable."

I learned that after having something like four or five days clean without hooking up with my sponsor or going to meetings. Late Friday night I got a call on my cell phone. I had to heave myself up out of bed & go through the machinations of retrieving the message in order to shut the damn thing up. It was a call from one of my clients about a missing pair of earrings. Had I seen them? No, sorry. I went back to bed & the phone rang again. She had found them. I'd been taking care of her dogs for over a week, it was finally over, I'd gotten to bed abstinent & then it wasn't over. I ripped off my nightgown, put on my clothes & went to the deli.

The next morning I found I'd fallen asleep in my shirt & that my nightgown was inside out, such was the hurry I was in.

I got myself to the meeting the next morning & the first person I saw stood up, hugged me & I sobbed, "I can't stop." My sponsor came in late & headed straight for me & again I sobbed very quietly, "I'm in so much trouble."

The inside-out nightgown -- the couple of clean days over in 20 minutes because of a phone call -- the days before I'd stopped bingeing when I took my Entenmann boxes over to the dogs' apartment building to put them in that recycling rather than my own building's...

Yup. Got that.

In many ways, however, I think it becomes apparent how unmanageable life is only when you stop using. The irritations I've written about lately are evidence of this. One's emotions wake up & there's no guarantee that they're going to be the pretty ones. I think the first time I had 30 clean days together I felt excited & curious. The last couple of times I hoped I'd lose a lot of weight & get to qualify (speak for 15 minutes or so) at a meeting & be a star again.

This time...

I dunno. I'm not excited about it. I'm not terribly hopeful about getting thin or being a star after so many resounding disasters. I feel...I feel like I'm showing up, that being abstinent is being on time, having my homework done, being prepared. It's not about being a rule follower as it is a feeling that this is the right way to live. & I WANT this abstinence. For thirty days I have not looked for a way to not have my cake & eat it too.

I also feel like every day of abstinence prepares me for the next hurdles -- publishing Angry Fat Girls, moving to Seattle. Part of it is being thinner but part of it is that I've smooshed abstinence together with walking toward my future. Every day I ask myself, what have I done to move to Seattle? There are a finite number of answers. I made some extra money. I reinforced a friendship there. I got rid of something I won't have to move. I wrote words someone might pay me for. I was abstinent.

I have weary days on which I don't have the wherewithal, after battling my dogs or for my dogs, after screaming at the agony of whatever is agonizing, after a snowstorm, to write or weed through or whatever.

But I was abstinent.

Bottom line.

So while I've been cranky & weepy & sometimes downright foul in these 30 days, wondering exactly where these mood swings come from, I've been able to say each day that I've taken a step toward the Puget Sound.

Which is one [small] aspect of getting some control in my life even when my emotions are anything but orderly.

Another thing about these 30 days that has given me a sense at least of method in action is the work of being able to be abstinent -- the shopping, the chopping, the steaming, the crockpotting. I have a sense of accomplishment when I put a bag of salad I chopped in my tiny refrigerator, & a sense of what I'll be eating next.

I'd forgotten what it was like to be very hungry & have all kinds of chatter in my head about what to eat, only to have all those voice stop when I walk myself through an abstinent meal.

My cravings aren't gone but they're under better control than they've been in a long time.

I WANT WANT WANT this abstinence. I want it. I need it. I deserve it. I will yank it out of God's hands if I have to.

But that's a whole `nother step.

Oh, yeah: I'm fuzzy on how much weight I've lost but it's somewhere between 8 - 18 pounds. My favorite jammies, which I was afraid to put on, are loose & comfy again.

16 comments:

drlisa said...

I absolutely love your posts! You really do say what most of us are thinking. Congratulations on your 30 days!

bestgrandkidsever said...

Two big thumbs up from Oregon! I'm sending lots of encouraging vibes your direction!

Cindy said...

Frances, you give me hope. I am two steps behind you and waiting for the pixie magic to kick in so this struggle won't be so hard. In the mean time, I do my best and try to set some boundaries and try to make progress... or at least not fall further into the pit of despair. Thank you for sharing...

jen said...

I have that feeling, too, of wanting to be a star and a shining example to other people. It's always been a big trap for me.

These days I just want to be there for myself. Everyone else can be their own damn star.

jen said...

P.S. Congrats on the 30 day milestone.

Rachel said...

thank you for continuing to blog and sharing your experience. I'm just starting to blog and I'm going to find an OA meeting (or two or three...)

altopower said...

You are honest with your raw emotions, successes and failures. Stringing 30 days together is huge but I know it's not the end of the struggle. Hang in there, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, I am familiar with your struggle, it's mine as well. Thank you for sharing and being honest.

Will your new book touch on any of the Stepfords we met in PFT? I've read it cover to cover nearly a dozen times, and often wonder how they have fared.

daisyk said...

Alas, no. The Stepfords of PFT -- Katie, Bridget et al, have either moved or gone on to other groups. My life is less because of it.

Anonymous said...

Patt J.
You are so brave to put it all out there. I think these things, but I could never admit them in a public forum. How I love reading your blog!

Cindy...154 said...

CONGRATULATIONS! And thank you for this post. I needed to read it tonight. This is my first day of abstinence. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your 30 days! I've been checking back for your next post and am so happy to read this one.
C/

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Frances! YOU are the greatest! Girl, you need a London Fog...earl grey black, touch of vanilla, stevia, and two fingers of milk! A sweet (no guilt) treat for a job well done and just the beginning! Your new book is going to be great...the world can hardly wait! Trust me. Happy, happy!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your 30 days?
Why Seattle?

Anne D. said...

30 days is excellent. My hat is off to you!

Anonymous said...

KEEP GOING FRANCES !!!! WE LOVE YOU - YEA - !!!! I AM ON MY OWN JOURNEY.. THANK YOU FOR YOUR INSPIRATION... LAURA