Monday, December 21, 2009

Crazy thinking

It's amazing the insights you can achieve when sober for a period of time. And speaking of time, it's been a while since I posted here. No, I wasn't out on a drunk. I've been hanging onto sobriety, sometimes by my fingernails, for 4 & something months. Funny, the more time goes by, the less it means to me. I don't know if that is a good or bad thing. Am I "Living in the moment" or am I just unappreciative of the gift of sobriety I've recieved?

But to the topic of tonight, which *gasp* isn't about drinking. Not directly anyway. It's about another piece of my crazy. Many times at meetings I've said my alchoholism isn't my problem, it's just a symptom of my greater problem. Well, I've discovered another symptom...

My whole life I've been thin. I never really did anything as a teen to contribute to that. I always got asked by people at school after the "eating disorder" section of health class if I was anorexic or bulemic, but I wasn't. What I was, was a damn picky vegetarian with a super fast metabolism. But I grew out of all three of those. By the time I was 22 and living in Europe I was eating not only all kinds of meat but all kinds of wierd foods in general. I made it my motto to try anything at least once. I ate snails and veal and liver and alligator and well, lots of foods. But I still had that fast metabolism so I stayed skinny.

Now for most women, the next thing I would say is "then I got pregnant." Actually, then I did get pregnant, twice, but I always lost weight fast afterwards. The combination of extended breastfeeding, living in Europe with no car and having to walk several miles each day pushing two kids in a stroller just to get groceries, and being so damn broke that I had to scrape change together to buy bread and milk for the kids and therefore could not afford to feed myself kept me thin. In fact I lost weight, got down to about 95 lbs. I know, ew. But the crazy part of me kinda liked it. "Look at me, I sacrifice so much for my kids I don't even eat!" Yep, crazy.

All that changed when we moved to the US. Junk food abounded. I drove everywhere, even the 10 minute walk to the grocery store. I sat on my ass all day at work. And over the next 4 years I put on 35 pounds.

Some of you readers (hah, I made a joke, what readers?!) are probably thinking, "Fuck off bitch, 130lbs is not fat!". You're right, but to me it is. I am rolly and polly. My thighs, stomach and ass look just like... MY MOM'S. Ew all over again.

Now that is actually all background to the real story of my crazy thinking of today. See, I went to the doctor today (sinus infection) and the scale I hate, the one that always adds at least two pounds more every time I go there presented me with a beautiful 122! Wow, 8 lbs lost since the summer! My head was full of glee. I immediately thought, "Just 7 more pounds and I'll be at my goal weight of 115. If I stop eating for a while I could get there!". Wait, I'm going to go back and bold the key part of that sentance... Yes, I thought, "If I stop eating." Not, "If I eat healthier" or "If I go on a diet" or "If I start exercising". See CRAZY.

Backtracking a bit... when I first stopped drinking I also stopped eating for a while. In fact I've had many periods of not eating in my life, usually linked to depression, where I just had no appetite. This time was a conscious decision. I felt that if I couldn't drink, I wouldn't eat. I made a game of seeing how long I could go until eating something. It's normal of me not to eat breakfast and have my first meal somewhere between 12 & 2, but during those few weeks of early sobriety I was pushing it until 5pm or later for that first, and only, meal. That period was followed by one where I was eating, and most of it was crap junk food, but I also had (and still have) a lovely intestinal problem which you really don't want TMI about. Let's just say it's kept my caloric intake low. Add to that new anti-depressants which make me feel a little like I'm on coke and supress my appitite and ta-da, 8 lbs lost!

So back to today, I'm realizing that even though I know not eating is not healthy behavior, I really want to not eat. I want to lose oodles of weight. Why stop at 115? 110 sounds good. I have this strange feeling that the less I weigh, the more in control I'll be. Wait, that sounds familiar... flashback to health class: eating disorders are about control. People who feel out of control in their lives sometimes turn to dieting because at least the food we put into our mouths is something we have complete control over.

Not eating makes me feel powerful. And a little naughty. Like I have a secret strength that no one else has. Kind of like when I had my secret bottle of wine for strength and support? Hmmm, maybe. Looking back, I can see that my "pickyness" as a child/teen had a lot to do with control. My parents were extremely controlling and domineering, especially my dad. The one place I could relatively safely defy him was by not opening my mouth to put food he wanted me to in.

So all this lovely insight gained. When I was drinking, I never would have thought about all these things, never analyzed them, never even noticed them probably. I'd love this post to end something like, "gee-whiz, I realize that I have a problem, my thinking has been crazy and I'm not going to act on it because I'm so insightful." However the reality is more like this: "I realize my thinking is kinda crazy. However I like it and want to act on it." Wow, I have a long way to go.