Sunday, November 02, 2008

Some things don't make sense

I have began, once again, to face my love-hate relationship with food. It is an addiction, no doubt. I use food as a friend and isolate myself inside this body, at times treating myself to a slow, but certainly early death.

I have been willing over these years to come here to this confessional and write about the dozens of men I've met and bedded or played sex games with, about my struggles with romantic and sexual obsessions, yet somehow coming here to write about my lifelong, daily struggle with food, seems more shaming than anything I've written thus far.

I live in constant shame as my short, obese body moves about in the world. I walk into a room and search for the chair where I'll be least obtrusive, the seat where I'll fit in best. I walk into job interviews knowing that the very first thing anyone notices is my weight.

I am ashamed as I sit in restaurants, or even in my car, for other people to see me eat. I feel their eyes, filled with shame glaring with contempt, thinking things like, "Disgusting. Don't you care about yourself?"

One of my compulsions as it relates to food is drive-thrus. I literally drive down the road, after stopping at a drive-thru, hoping I don't have to stop at any traffic lights so that no one can watch me eating that burger.

Another compulsion is buying candy bars, cookies and cakes from convenience stores. Again, I eat these all in hiding. Ashamed, beyond words, buying more and and more to cover the shame, and building a larger and larger exterior that will never hide the hurt.

I have lived this way since I was a child. I am not sure I would know how to act if I weren't fat. I grew up the fat kid in school -- a compulsive overeater, my love affair with food going back as far as I can remember.

I had some fat friends for a while who I could laugh with about it. We made jokes about all the things we couldn't do. But behind those laughs was a deep pain in our hearts that each of us understood without speaking. Two of my "fat friends" have recently lost their weight. When they talk about how freeing it is to go into a "regular" store at the mall and have something fit, I yearn for that feeling. It's only plus-size shops for me, for as long as I can remember.

It is very, very painful to live like this, and when I think about powerlessness ... it's almost unimaginable how powerless I feel over the disease of compulsive overeating.

So, here I go again, joining a program at my gym with other overweight women, thrilled that mine is not the highest weight in the room, seeking to move forward in becoming wholly healthy through better food choices and regular exercise. I realize that because of my shame, I have a lot self-will. Thus, unlike times in the past, I am very aware of my need to surrender my will and my life over to a power greater than myself. And that power mustn't be the food.

I have a lot fear (which is the absence of faith), because the last time I tried to tackle my compulsive overeating issues, I had a serious relapse in my sex addiction program. This all goes back to that constant need for some form of escape. I think for a long time I used work as my escape. I don't have work to turn to now.

I know, without a doubt, that it is my Higher Power that I must turn to. God please help me. I cannot do this alone.

4 comments:

vicariousrising said...

Food addictions are so difficult because one must eat. And then we have the whole works judging us on how we look (nevermind how we critique ourselves). You are very brave to tackle this one and write about your fears. Positive support will likely be important for you.

I recently hung out with my brother, who I hadn't seen in many years and who has always struggled with his weight. I was thoroughly dismayed at the self directed fat jokes he made, particularly in conversation with my father. I never make comments on anyone's weight, nor tend to think much about it. I wonder if that is partly a rejection of my family blatantly judging others for their appearance.

Like I usually say, just take it easy on yourself. You deserve to see yourself through kind eyes.

My name is Ken and I'm a sex addict. said...

Rae,
Be gentle with yourself. Whatever you do, be gentle.

I struggle with beating myself up while working recovery. I get angry when I struggle, I hate myself as I feel ashamed...

Love yourself. Take it one day at a time and make sure that everything you are doing in both recovery programs is for you to feel better.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I have so many emotions around this post (my own experiences, my own struggles with food, my own shame and difficulty around sharing certain things about myself), but I can't fully articulate them now. So I just want to say that I'm glad you're here and sharing. Big hugs from me to you.

Nichole said...

You mention over and over how powerless you feel against your food addiction and with your sex and love addition. You're doing an injustice to yourself by giving the diseases more power than they deserve. By saying you are powerless you are giving it more control over you. In all addictions there is an aspect of choice. You are not powerless, it's just a moment of weakness. You always have the option to choose how you want to respond to your feelings. You aren't a helpless little girl unable to protect yourself. You can protect yourself from your own self abuse, you are never powerless.