Can't think of a title...
We interrupt this post for an emergency broadcast of youtube's D'Angelo video....
Angela, keep your head to the sky and your mind out of the gutter! Good God Almighty, I need help right now! 'Scuse me....
OK, I'm back, frozen peas and all. Time to get serious. (Angela cues up Beethoven's Symphony No.9) That's better. Nothing like the theme song to "The Nightly News with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley" to bring me back down to Terra Firma.
I've had been very anxious and edgy because I had been without a sponsor for almost a month, and I needed to have one to not only continue working my recovery program the way I'm supposed to, but to remain in my AWOL meeting (A Way of Life). That's where the recovery process gets down deep into those hidden recesses of the soul, digging out those nasty, dirty resentments, baseless and useless fears and ego-powered self-aggrandizing. And the people who continually go through the AWOL meetings have a sense of serenity and acceptance about not only recovery, but life itself. They know they aren't perfect, but that's all right because they are learning to be patient with imperfection and enjoy the journey through life. I want that even more than weight loss, although weight loss IS extremely important to me. It has to be, I've almost died too many times. But I could be stark raging abstinent, lose all of my excess weight, and make Elpha (the wicked witch of the West in the land of Oz)seem as sweet and cuddly as a "Care Bear." So, for the sake of other citizens in this world and my own sanity, I need to find that elusive serenity and acceptance.
It's not easy. I've discovered that I have the same problem that I had five years ago, after I lost 100 pound with gastric bypass surgery. It seems that as the "padding" aka layers of fat are disappearing, the lower part of my skeletal system becomes more painful. My left hip and lower back hurts even more, and the irritated sciatic nerve in my left leg begins to throb in protest if I sit longer than a half hour. When this happened to me after gastric bypass surgery, I became angry and resentful, two emotions that a chronic food addict like me cannot afford to have. The doctors told me my symptoms would improve after weight loss. Why the hell am I hurting so much? Those doctors lied to me!
Now I don't believe they lied to me. They just didn't know what would happen once I started losing weight. Most people do feel better after losing just 10% of their excess weight. For some strange reason, I always seem to be the exception to the whatever medical research says. That's nothing new to me. I defied medical science by becoming one of the 2% of women who become pregnant while actively taking birth control pills. In fact, I've used every form of birth control, and the only one that worked consistently was tubal ligation, for which I was truly grateful.*
My track record with prescription drugs is even worse. I've had amphetamines prescribed to me as a child to curb my appetite, and I became even hungrier and ravaged my food faster. On top of that, I developed very demonic tendencies. My mother took me off those meds with the quickness. When I was hemorrhaging excessively for 14 out of 30 days of the month, my gynecologist prescribed progesterone to counteract the excess estrogen in my body. "The research shows that women stop bleeding when they take progesterone," he told me. Not me. I began bleeding even more.
So I shouldn't be surprised that losing weight has not brought about the relief from pain that is expected. I've lost way more than 10% of my highest weight; I'm currently around 55% of my excess weight gone. Yet, I woke up at four in the morning with my left hip and sciatic nerve pulsing in red hot pain. It sucked because I couldn't take anything for it. I would have missed my 6:15 am call to my new sponsor if I did. I can't do that; I'm only one bite away from a binge at all times. I need to work with someone who's been through similar circumstances, and has prevailed over the madness with the help of God. My current sponsor has done that, and I want what she has in her life right now--serenity and acceptance of the fact that food addiction has kicked her butt way too many times, and she has to work a rigorous program to keep it in remission. I want what she has so much that I'm willing to forgo pain meds so I can be alert enough to call her on time.
My sponsor reminded me that this is just an obstacle, and I can get through. Being in pain doesn't mean I have to start eating addictively again, the way I did in 2004. "This too shall pass," she reminded me. Even though there was that voice of cynicism whispering, no, it won't pass; you'll be a hurt puppy like this forever, I took comfort in those words. It will pass. I will reach that level of serenity and acceptance of life on life's terms. And I will reach, for the first time in my life, a normal weight for my body. All I have to do is work the program, one day at a time.
And just for today, I'm willing to do that.
* Baha'is couples are encouraged to use birth control until they are fully prepared to have children. However, permanent forms of birth control, such as tubal ligation and vasectomies, are discouraged. I had my procedure done before I declared as a Baha'i.