No longer a Victim

In recognizing my addiction to food, I recently joined a Food Addiction Group. Although all of our stories are different, I am finding very valuable info and support within the group.
I recently seen them post of a “Writing for Recovery Basics: Food Addiction” Course. (
I knew that writing in a journal has helped me thus far so I wondered what I would learn diving into writing about my relationship with food.
It took me quite a while to do the first lesson; I took the advice given though and took as long as I needed.
I highly recommend the Series. I found it quite enlightening. Something I much needed to further me along in my recovery of food addiction.
I thought I would share the writings of my first Lesson with you.
In the first lesson, I had to get some crayons and choose a color that reminded me of my childhood, write about how I felt about the color and what memories came from it. I also had to smell it…sound odd? Well read on, and see what I found out in doing it…..

I pondered as I looked into the crayon box. “Hmmm, shall it be blue or purple?”
In thinking of my childhood, I pulled out purple. Instantly I thought of my purple fuzzy socks just like Donnie Osmond’s. I smiled as I remembered the huge poster in my bedroom and the album with the song,” the Twelfth of Never”. Isn’t it funny what comes to mind with just a color.

I thought of my first and only pair of jeans; purple, with a peace sign patch. My striped bedspread my Mom had made me; purple. The more I thought of it, purple was quite prominent when I was 10-13 years old.

I then thought of the turmoil of that time in my life.
A time filled with pain and emotion, both of which I repressed for many years. That was a time when my Mom took us kids and separated us from my Dad and Grammie.  In not being given any explanation as to the why, I knew; children hear and sense more than a person realizes, the only thing is , they take and warp their own reasonings into the situation.

After a short time, Mom & Dad did get back together. So much was going on, a very defining moment in my life that has caused a lot of pain & confusion which resulted in many behaviors & thought patterns that weren’t the best.

As I put the crayon up to my nose and took in a deep breath, I could smell the waxy strange smell. Yet it seemed familiar. Immediately I remembered coloring when I was a young child. I was around four, maybe five… coloring with my Grammie. This made me feel warm and happy. It is amazing how smelling a waxy crayon evokes such memories.

I tried to think of any moments during that same time in my life that I might have binged. I could not think of one. I remember the treats; Mom & Grammie baking quite a bit. Going to the stores with Grampie who would buy anything for me. I would scrounge for empty bottles too, to be able to go to the corner store for a bag of penny candy. Wait…I can remember eating apple after apple… My Mom said the family use to go through a 50 lb bag of apples in a week…perhaps there was a wee bit of binging when young?
Food definitely was a reward or punishment at our house. Growing up I was to eat everything on my plate or I would get no dessert. There were times my lips never touched the final course and the desire for that cake grew stronger…. feeling that restriction triggered me big time.

I feel my unhealthy eating habits began when I was young and progressed over the years. I remember name-calling and the slurs about me being “fat”…. I hated that word.
I felt very alone, sad, unworthy, shamed, unloved, and different. I was never good enough. I hated myself and kept people at a distance because if they got close enough, they might hate me too.

So as I sat with my crayon, I thought back as far as I could to a time where I would have binged. Surprisingly it was around the same time of my adventures in purple land, actually the latter part when I was 13.

I had taken over a paper route that my brother once had. He had made a fair amount of cash doing it, so naturally I thought I would try my hand at it.
I would go to the News office after school to pick up the papers. It made me feel good that I had a job to make some money, to have in my pocket. I finally didn’t have to beg for money from my Mom when I wanted to buy something.
Yet somehow, saving it was not my strong suit. A habit carried out for most of my life.

I had a habit of stopping off at a store on my way to deliver my papers. I would buy something; any kind of junk that caught my fancy. I sometimes would buy a huge bag of BBQ chips that would have three medium sized bags in it. I would neatly pack them in my news bag and open one of them.

As I walked and delivered my papers, I would indiscreetly put my hand into my bag, pull out a few chips, and stuff them into my mouth as fast as I could, so no one would see. I so remember that feeling of hiding, the shame, yet I continued over and over, I couldn’t stop. The ever pleasing, rather euphoric spicy salty flavor across my lips I can almost taste as I type this. By the time I finished my route of 48 papers and began my trek home, I was getting into my third bag.
There was always something in my bag, filling that empty hole inside me.

When I got home, I was alone. I would turn on the TV, and then go scan the cupboards and fridge for anything possible to eat. I would sometimes pull out the frying pan, heat up some oil, and fry off half a bag of French fries. Pile them high on a plate with lots of salt and ketchup and gobble them down as I watched the soaps. I was in heaven.

I didn’t eat slow though, I ate like a pelican, it’s a wonder I even tasted anything but oh how the smell of French fries today still sends off a feeling of euphoria. I’d watch the clock, get up, fry the rest of the bag and devour them too. I would clean up, hide any evidence, and wait for everyone to get home for supper, that I would have cooked and had waiting. I lived in fear, guilt and shame.

Funny, up until now, I had totally forgotten about how I ate. I knew I was an emotional eater but never really classed myself as a binger. I was in denial, hiding even from myself.
Amazing how this revelation has made a shift in my thinking. I have always blamed myself for everything. I wallowed in my hopelessness. I felt powerless.
Knowing that my emotional eating wasn’t considered an eating disorder, I always felt something was wrong with me, that there was no help for me; I was a defect, unworthy of help.

Those feelings always seemed to be in the background, ready to surface in my down times, which ended up sabotaging my attempts.

I now know, I DID have an eating disorder… I DO have an eating disorder.
I can take back my power and do something about it. That old thinking was wrong and keeps me in the victim cycle, which is detrimental to me.
I believe this shift will help me immensely in my recovery. I know I will still have my moments; those old neuro pathways need some re routing and fine-tuning.
One Day at a time….

I will no longer remain a victim.

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Wynken, Blynken and Nod

This piece was written when I had examined my own fears while growing up.  I  learned there were some things that just didn’t get talked about in our home and how I coped in a dream world and used food to escape.
This is written through my child’s eye….

All nestled in my warm bed, with dreams of “Wynken Blynken and Nod” I laid there safe in my cocoon.
I had sailed in that wooden shoe many a night through the starry skies. In wonderment, I would fish the beautiful sea in adventures far and beyond.
As I was casting my golden net that night, I heard a mumble in the distance. I could not quite make out what the disturbance was in the skies so clear. I strained with all my might; I laid down my net in the mist and put my head against the dew.

My eyes flickered as my subconscious struggled to hear what my ears were taking in, and then suddenly I was awake. I froze in the stillness of my room.

Something was happening. Did I do something wrong? Daddy was downstairs and was really mad. He wanted Mommy, but she would not go down. I saw her rush into Grammie’s room. Was she scared too? What was going to happen?

I covered my ears, as the sounds got louder. The cracking of splintering wood echoed through the silence of the house. My heart was beating out of my chest as I quietly pulled the covers over my head; trembling as I held them tight.
Soon everything went silent. I waited.

I then stepped into the wooden shoe and sailed away into the mist once again.

I awoke the next morning with the warmth of the sun shining on my face. I smiled as it shone through my curtains and danced on my wall. Caught in its reverie, I stretched my arms and smiled. I sprung out of bed and got dressed for school.
I could hear Mommy in the kitchen downstairs and the smell of toast wafting up the stairwell made my belly rumble.

As I made my way down to the landing, I turned. I stood horrified at the scattered wood that lay at the bottom. I then remembered the disturbance in the mist last night.
I wondered if I would be able to get down.

Slowly, I edged my way, being careful with each step; for some were half-gone. I hugged the wall for support for the banister was doing a balancing act all on its own. Daddy sure was mad again.

I worked my way through the rubble and finally went into the kitchen. Grammie was sitting, drinking her tea. Quietly I sat down. I eyed my big brother who was intently eating his cereal and my little brother grinning as he ate his peanut butter toast.
I swallowed hard as I looked up to see Mommy put my bowl of cereal and milk in front of me. “Eat up now so you won’t be late for school.” she said.

As I picked up my spoon, I sprinkled sugar like moon dust over the miniature universe I had in my bowl. I dove into the Milky Way and thought happy thoughts of my adventures last night with “Wynken Blynken and Nod”.

Many things can transpire in a child’s mind, which can form false truths and form behaviors that may cause more harm. This dysfunction can continue on into adult life and affect life in many ways.  It is very much a repetitive occurrence from parent to child. through many generations. Until a person knows better, they can’t do better.  The affects of alcoholism touches everyone in a family, I am thankful for AA and Al-Anon for their 12 step program where healing can  begin and change made from a childhood of trauma & pain.

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My Sacred Space

Come with me as I show you my sacred space, a place where I spend time reflecting, healing and working on my inner self.

The entrance for you, you will never find; it is only because I guide you that you can pass through this violet plush veil.
Feel the softness as it caresses your face and body as we pass through. Its tenderness shows you there is safety here in this circular space.

You will see as you look around, the many carousel shelves that line the room. They hold the many books that I have read and that have helped me along my journey. You will see there are also knick-knacks and valuable tools that adorn the shelves as well. They are all visible reminders of how far I have come and they are at my disposal to use whenever I need them.

There have been times in my life, that when dealing with things of my past, have been most difficult. Come now, I will show you the process that I follow for inner healing.

Over here between the two of the carousel shelves is my cheval glass. It is a beautiful full-length mirror sitting in this lovely stand.
When I feel that something is just not right; when I get that feeling in my gut and become overwhelmed with emotions, and get that feeling that I have been there before, I stand here. As I touch the golden stand and gaze before the glass. The reflection, taken from my mind’s eye, appears. At first the date flashes at the top, then the memory begins to unfold.
I use this glass to search my inner self and find answers, even to contemplate decisions that I need to make. Anywhere that my mind takes me, it will reflect and reveal.

As I view my cheval glass, I step back; I take a seat in my rocking chair. I watch intently, taking everything in. I watch it. I feel it. I relive every second. It can be very painful at times. If at any moment I need help, help is here. Everything I ever need; my books, my tools, my reminders. Even a box of tissues sits here beside me for all of my tears, and my runny nose. There is a lot of healing through tears and snot. At times, I fill this wastebasket beside me. Yes, a lot of tears.

I rock myself and comfort my little girl. I hold her, hug her, I talk to her and let her know I am here for her. We grieve together for all the pain she has experienced.

There are times that I write. This note pad and pen here beside me is always ready. If there are any feelings I need to get out, or think through, I write. I write as long as it takes, and as many times as it takes. The answer is always within me.

After I finish, I crumple up what I have written and throw it in the wastebasket. I then take the wastebasket over to the stove, open it up and throw in the used tissues, and written pages. It is my ritual of letting go. I light it and watch it burn.

This is a special kind of stove though, for something happens when the fire burns. Hurt & pain can be very bad for me at times, yet sometimes it can be good. All that enters this stove is sifted through the fire. The fire burns hot to separate everything into the two filters located here at the bottom.
The top filter fills with random hard ugly black junk that sometimes is hard to burn. These remnants of my life have caused me harm. To get rid of them, I take the filter and empty it here in this shit bin beside the stove. The name is self-explanatory. When I pour those ashes in here, they immediately are sucked down a shoot that goes into a pool of acid, never to be seen or felt again.

The bottom filter however holds memories of importance. They burn to a pure white. I take these ashes over here to the chest on the other side of my rocking chair. This is my healing chest. Notice the huge orb light on top. Its multiple colors swirl in the orb at a frequency that my human mind cannot comprehend, but my heart does. I lift the lid and pour the white ashes in here.

There are times that I come in here when I am feeling down or reflective and I sit in my rocking chair. This room fills with marvelous energy as I place my hand on the orb. I feel a healing light flow through me. The comfort and healing it emits washes over me and gives me strength to carry on.
Even the bad times hold goodness. I am so thankful for everything that has happened in my life.

I want to thank you for joining me. I hope my tour enlightened you on how I use one of my valuable tools for healing.

My sacred space is my very own. Everything that happens here is helping, to make me whole.
I am coming full circle; returning to my true self.

We all need a sacred space.

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