Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 20, 2011: Last Call

I'm feeling poignantly sad writing my last post here, especially since I've been dealing with mild depression during the past two weeks or so. However, I've come full circle with this experiment, and it feels time to end it.

By "full circle," I mean that I am once again eating white sugar and flour. This most likely has something to do with the recurrence of my depression, yet I feel stuck in my "patterns" this Christmas season. I also don't feel very "Christmas-y" this year, and this sentiment has been echoed by various friends and even their children. The re-eating started at Halloween as I succumbed to Peeps and started bringing white flour and sugar into the house, eating it, and not tracking it. However, I've gained only 2 pounds since the "official" start of the Christmas season, i.e., Thanksgiving. My lost weight has not been easily won, so I now am back to tracking and realizing if I just stay away (again!) from the foods that cause me so much trouble, life can be good.

Despite having come back to the place from which I stated this blog and experiment, I do so with new and strengthened awareness and insight, tools, and initiation of carrying out what I feel is God's will for me, namely, starting the Al-Anon and recovery Bible study group.

Awareness and Insight
  • I really do want to do God's will for me. It's not and "I should do it" but an "I'm excited to do it" awareness. I am thoroughly convinced, despite my intellectual masturbation to the contrary, that carrying out God's will for me is the only way I will ever be truly happy. I am willing to surrender myself to it.
  • Eating white sugar and flour does really increase the level of pain in my body. I now think it may also contribute to my preexisting depression. It will be hard to get back to that abstinence stage, but I did it once and I can do it again with God's help. Maybe re-reading portions of my own blog will help me to get back on track.
  • Spending more time in prayer and meditation has enabled me to better discern my Higher Power's will for me and has empowered me to carry it out, much to my surprise.
  • Eating white flour and sugar does block up the channel in my body through which God and I communicate. I can feel it having gone downhill since I resumed eating white sugar and flour, and it seems to be keeping me stuck there, too. I know that the hibernating season has something to do with my state of mind and will, but the food enemies do as well. My gut tells me so.
  • Self-talk: I talk to myself differently now. I know that beating myself up for having a slip will not get me back into abstinence faster. It will only make me fall deeper into the black hole inside me.
  • De-isolating: Isolating is not really an option for me anymore. Staying by myself and eating myself into a stupor that cancels out my feelings doesn't work, and I know it. I've done more self-numbing in the past month or so than I've done all year, but being a deacon and starting the Al-Anon meeting and the recovery Bible study have gotten me out of the house and with fellow humans, which has kept me from going off the deep end.
  • Meditation: I'm still experimenting with resuming my twice-per-day transcendental meditation practice, but it's been a struggle. I do recognize that it connects me with the home inside myself, where my Higher Power also abides, but my mind keeps talking me out of doing it by telling that I have so much "other" stuff to do. I hope my gut wins out on this one because I think this could be a very good tool for me going forward.
 Accomplishing God's Will for Me
  • Deaconship: I learned that I did not like being a deacon! That's a very valuable awareness for me. I affirmed that I don't like being "required" to connect with people mainly through small talk. I resented having to send chatty notes to people (usually elderly people with whom I have difficulty connecting anyway) or having to make chatty visits. I liked the "honor" of being a deacon but not the nuts and bolts. I'm really learning to honor my introversion and respect what that particular set of gifts can lead me to do.
  • Al-Anon group: Although starting this group has been stressful in terms of having to communicate a lot with a lot of people and worrying about it, the worrying part was my choice, not a given. I had a hard time detaching from the worry, but now that the group is taking off (we have 15 to 25 members each week) and we just elected all the group officers and every position is filled, I'm starting to relax and enjoy the group :-)
  •  Recovery Bible study: Even though this group is still very small, I feel that this is where I really shine at being used by a tool of God. I am an extremely good, non-judgmental listener, and I love serving as a witness to, and possible helper for, people's personal stories of pain, addiction, loneliness, and shame. I truly believe that I have a lot to offer because I have journeyed through my own hell and back; nothing surprises me, so there is nothing to be judgmental about. Every time we have a meeting, I come away feeling like I made a difference in someone's life, even if that was never expressed. And I allow myself to be moved by others as well. I feel at home doing this and hope that the group gets off the ground. I finally spent some time marketing the study yesterday and today, specifically for the New Year, and I pray that we get good results :-)

All in all, although I'm disappointed I did not keep up with the daily posting I promised myself I would do, this ending feels organic to me, and that's the most important thing. Better I should end with God's will in mind than to carry out a hollow promise based on what I "think I should do" because Lord knows my mind often leads me in the wrong direction! I can't say that I will never post here again because it may help me to do so sometime in the future. But this blog will be fairly inactive as far as I can see. I'm not going to take it down, though, because I'm proud of how well it worked at accomplishing my ends, plus I never throw out my journals, even if they are electronic :-)

Here's to a happy and solid recovery to you, no matter what your addiction or idolatry!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011: A Lame Post (No, That's Not "Lamppost")

Hi all,

This is going to be a fairly lame post because I'm fried from cleaning today, and nothing much has happened this week. I still haven't received much work, and I don't know what that's about. When you're a freelancer, you don't get any kind of  "review," yearly or otherwise, and the way you get "fired" is that the client just stops sending you work. Grant it, this particular client seems to be firing me in dribs and drabs, which makes it kind of confusing.

In all actuality, it's like dating someone for a long time (I've been with this client since 2003) and then getting dumped. I'm choosing to deal with this first by riding out then end of the year. Even when the economy is up, this time of year is not a good one to actively search for employment. I'll certainly keep my ear low to the ground to see if I can catch any leads, but I won't be cold-calling any time soon. This is actually a good time to get some personal business taken care of, like having my will redone, cleaning and organizing my office, and so forth. I'm also going to use this part of the winter to nest and hibernate, hopefully to cook up a new plan for my work life. I've daydreamed lightly about pursuing other careers, like becoming a therapist or life coach (nebulous as that latter title seems), learning how to make shoes (yes!), or just researching the journals and books I would really like to edit. So, I'm actually hoping that I don't get much work so I can cocoon and see what kind of butterfly I become.

I've also contemplated theta it might be good just to stay an editor but hone my speed and marketability. I have a lot of ideas and resources on how to do that; I just haven't had the time or energy to act on them:

1. Learn how to keyboard (I think this used to be called "typing," LOL), not just hunt and peck.
2. Learn how to use Macro Express (a macro program) more thoroughly.
3. Rejoin the Editorial Freelancers Association. I let my membership lapse last year (when work was plenty) to see if I missed it. I haven't, but membership is kind of necessary to keep up with the trade.
4. Ditch this old computer and buy a laptop.
5. Look into other aspects of editing I might enjoy, like desktop publishing.
6. Go over some marketing DVDs I have and work up a marketing campaign for next year.
7. Update my resume (d'uh; this should have been the first point).

In the meantime, I've put the kibosh on using my credit card, which I do way too much for someone who is now barely employed. Somehow being on Weight Watchers makes this easier to do :-) And speaking of which, despite thinking I haven't been having a very good week this week in terms of following my eating plan, I managed to lose a pound!

Everything is also going well with the recovery Bible study and the new Al-Anon group, although I'm a little worried about people not getting involved to chair meetings, hold offices, etc., i.e., all the things that make up a normal healthy Al-Anon meeting. I guess if it folds, it folds. I've pretty much done all that I'm willing to do (except holding an office myself). Beyond that, as goes Al-Anon's Step One, I'm powerless over what does or does not happen.

See you next week!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Saturday, November 5, 2011: A Day Early But Still a Dollar Short, LOL!

Sunday, October 30, 2011: This week was pretty uneventful. I kept checking in with my body to see what it felt like to lose 10 pounds. Not much different, but just knowing it was a relief. I have a lot of half-pound weights at home. I've put the equivalent amount of weight that I want to lose in one bag and am transferring to another bag the equivalent amount of weight I've lost. Physically (i.e., when I pick up the bag), a pound, no less 10 pounds, physically feels like much more weight than the number itself conjures in my mind. It's a relief to know I'm on my way to making my goal weight of 140 pounds (maybe less). See today's entry for boggglement and confusion, though.

Monday,  October 31, 2011: What can I say? It was a day. Still continuing throughout the week to stay within the "regular" 29 points range. Signed up at the YMCA for two personal training sessions to get advice on different ways to work my core muscles.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: It was another day. Started to get nervous about the Al-Anon meeting starting up on Friday night.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: Yet another day. More obsessing and worrying.

Thursday, November 3, 2011: More of the same. Didn't think much about sugar, flour, or weight loss though. Decide to play around around again with meditating twice a day and am fairly successful :-)

Friday, November 4, 2011: Put together the resources I needed to take to the new Al-Anon meeting: binder with opening and closing, basket for collection money, pen, and book to record telephone list at each meeting. I let the outcome up to God now; I did my footwork. Was flabbergasted that we had a total of 22 people, including myself and the speaker, attend a 6:30 pm meeting! I knew my Al-Anon district needed a Friday night meeting, but I didn't think I'd get many people for a 6:30 to 7:30 time slot. Then again, maybe some of the people just came out of curiosity. I hope not though. Now I'm worrying about getting another chairperson for December (I've done more than my part, and it's time for someone else to step up to the plate). When will I get it through my head that I don't have to worry? Just ask God for what I need; do the footwork; and let go of the outcome. After all, He did put a woman at the meeting whom I had wanted to speak at the meeting on the third Friday but whose phone number I had lost and voila! I now have the speaker I wanted :-) Gad, why do I even bother to worry? Mental masturbation? Nah, just my control issues popping up again. BTW, the "dollar short" in the post title refers to the fact that I've now gone a second (nonconsecutive) week without work. I refuse to worry about that, too. I know how to market myself to new clients; I just need to come up with a campaign and do it. I hate it, but just for today, I can do something for 12 hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime! Had my weekly mini-binge, but since I didn't use many of my extra points, it was a minor event :-)

Today, Saturday, November 5, 2011: According to the Weight Watcher's scale I stepped on today, I gained 2.2 pounds this week. There was much confusion because I forgot my log-in weight booklet, and my info is not stored on the computer, so my teacher and the other gal there today were trying to log me into the computer (something they obviously don't do very often), and they initially had me at a weight loss of 5.8 pounds! I knew that absolutely wasn't right, so they weighted me again and came up with a weight, which when I put the sticker in my booklet at home and compared it with last week's weight, was 2.2 pounds heavier. I don't think that's right either, so I'm going to take a gander at my weight on my home scale tomorrow, just for a "reality check." I guess I'll have to wait for next week to see what the scale really says!

TTYNW!  (Talk to you next week)