Friday, November 05, 2010

Searching for me

As I read Bernadine's letter to her trauma recovery therapy (TRT) group at Et tu husband? I thought how good it was to witness someone come out on the other side of the struggles of a recovery cycle.

Bernadette wrote in her departing letter to her TRT group,"I had known about (my husband's) addiction for a year and a few months when I started the group.
By then, the person I had been -- was gone."

Later in her letter she wrote, "I realized, just this last weekend, that I’m back to me now."

Oh how I long to be "back to me."

I had occasion recently to correspond with several people from a life before the one in which I've found myself for the past seven years. They know someone I once was -- a confident, testy, fun, hard-working, competent and talented leader and fellow employee. They know the person I long to be again, and would be so surprised to know this depressed, fearful, struggling individual that sometimes loses sight of hope.

By the time I came here to write my confessions in May 2004, the person they knew was long gone. I had no idea where she had gone or how she got lost, but OMG was she gone.

It occurs to me almost fleetingly here that perhaps the fact that I am pursuing a lost dream rather than a brighter future messes with my ability, at times, to be satisfied with the present and encouraged by the journey.I idolize that upwardly mobile young professional that I once was, and see myself today as a mere shadow of what I once was. I literally fucked myself into a feeling of worthlessness and self-pity that I grow so tired of, so restless with, and at times so attached to, I don't now how to move on.

I was talking yesterday afternoon with a recovery friend about this issue, about the fact that I felt a whole lot better before my recovery began than I have felt during its process. Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful that I am in recovery, that I am trusting the process, that I am experiencing a "balancing out" of life. Without the tools of recovery to guide me as I have worked with (and at times against) my Higher Power and support system to put my life back together again, I have no doubt I would not be alive. No doubt. I feel grateful that I am alive even with the recovery process and support to lift me up.

Through a whole series of metaphors, my friend helped me connect to the fact that I am not recovering from a series of bad choices and behaviors -- I am recovering from a system of values and beliefs that have been my means of coping with deep-seated underlying realities that were too painful to bear at some earlier time in my life.

My friend asked me "If you were to vow to never let anything pass your lips again that would prevent you from achieving and maintaining your healthy weight, would that be hard or easy to achieve?" Silly me took a while to think about that question. As usual, I was trying to find the "right" answer. But, of course, it would be as hard as hell. I love food. I love sweets. I love sharing food with friends and sharing the pleasures of new restaurants and new tastes. Throw in all the factors associated with my attachment to myself as a fat person, and you've got a complete revamping of my entire life. There is no way that is going to be easy. No way. And my skewed relationship with food and fatness barely even scratches the surface of the massive jumble of misguided, disproportional, and damaged thoughts, feelings and forces that I have absorbed and incorporated into my life over the years. There is so much more.

So, for today, I give myself, my recovery process and my God the time that is required, the patience that is needed to go through these fundamental changes.


Bernadine said...


What a surprise! Thanks for talking about that post-- though you know, in the interest of whatever-- I need to say I'm not always feeling that badass. I guess when I wrote it though-- I was.

I think you're doing a marvelous job. I hope for you too, that you get all the time you need to get back to you-- or at least, back to the bits of old you that you'd like to reclaim and take with you, into the future. You can do it!

Rae said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Bernadine. I relate to feeling more "badass" or sad or happy or whatever in a moment of writing, than I truly am overall. The post I wrote today points to that truth. I feel shitty today ... but tomorrow, who knows? Thanks again.

Rae said...

Oops just realized I referred to you as Bernadette in the original post, sorry about that. I corrected it.