My Path is Unique: Embrace What Works for You: The Journey is Long

I spent about five years in a 12 Step, OA program for Bulimia and Anorexia. For seven years (two years after parting ways with OA) I was still weighing and measuring my food. I was “under control”. I was following orders; I was doing what I was supposed to do; and I was pleasing others with my obedience to the program. Admittedly, we were a stricter ilk; and other OA’s thought we were a bit rigid; but we liked it that way: We were the radical ones and we reveled in our audacity. And, in so saying, we set ourselves apart from the world (even, ever-so-slightly). We were, in essence “better than the others” because we were an exclusive club. Yet, I’ve always prided myself on being INCLUSIVE, “bring me your battered; your brave; your messed up: All the more messed up: All the better, and so forth. However, I became the “one” who everyone would call when they were depressed to the point of suicidal despair; and after they had exhausted other group members. For awhile, I was happy to have the attention until I heard (through the grapevine) what my Role was in the group. When I felt exhausted by the onslaught of sad stories and unhappy people, I was then reminded by group members that I was there to serve others. I think I was about out of servings.

Still, I never spoke, I rarely asked for anything and I therefore rarely got anything. I listened and listened and supported others. For me, the Disease Model created internal conflict at least in terms of how this related to 12-step addictions. I still have trouble believing bulimia is a Disease (at least in terms of calling other addictions a disease) inasmuch as it has quantifiable characteristics and quantitative physical, emotional and social ramifications. Eating disorders are hard-pressed to be served with 12-step programs (alone). There were a few woman who attended OA and also found some peace at church.

I always felt uneasy, if not out-rightly; under the surface. I never spoke during meetings. I qualified (told my story) once because it was a terrorizing experience. I never qualified again even though I had five years of adherence to the Gray Sheet program* (this is a strict weighing and measuring food program wherein your choices of foods are restricted). I guess my speaking wasn’t good enough; perhaps my Message wasn’t convincing enough to others that the Program had created this spectacular life.

Principals above Personalities. Well, it depended on whose personality: There were clicks. I was judged on how I worked my program. When I left, NO ONE spoke to me. My roommate Marcia would say, occasionally, “someone asked about you”. I was dropped like a hot potato: You’re supposed to expect that.

What is confounding and confusing; what has caused me incredible heartache today, this moment, and for the last three years (about the time I stopped writing this blog) is that I, do, drink alcohol. Yes, there you have it. Not profusely and not perfectly. I won’t parrot a commercial and say “responsibly” and I won’t say “in moderation” because it is not terribly relevant. The angst for me is not what I am doing, per se, it is the judgment from others and guilt I feel in juxtaposition to those folks who I know and love, who have pledged their lives to the premise that their lives were saved (thank God) by the Program: The Program that has caused me pain and perhaps caused me harm. It is so deeply painful to talk about this, but it has been eating me alive.

To be sure, In turn, I have acted badly, and occasionally lashed out at those very people because of my personal experiences with the program that has brought them joy and has saved their lives, For them, I am delighted and I try to remember that they want the best for me, no matter what means I get to my end … and continue my journey.

The feeling of being alone in this.

I feel I am judged by the notion that “once an alcohol abuser, always an alcohol abuser” and that what races through everyone’s mind is “She is in Denial”: The biggest topic of conversation at meetings and a touch-point in relation to anything in life. Some of the lingo has become pop-culture, slang. I feel like I can never get the experience behind me!

Distressed Duchess/Mel

Distressed Duchess/by Mel

The Distress

These friends, who I love and respect deeply, who have had a profound, loving influence in my life, I fear are judging me or will “drop me like a hot potato” because I am on a different path: And, maybe it is a path less traveled; but it is mine. My therapist and I talk about my conflict and “consumption” ad naseum. We talk about many things. Drinking alcohol is not hidden from her because she knows me and she assures me that there is nothing to point toward an addiction. I get relief from hearing her tell me this, but our Culture speaks volumes (outside the therapy walls).

I do not hide anything from her. We are not denying anything. We are adding things to my life that bring me joy: A Craft Beer with my boyfriend. Some Clos du Bois as well as painting, gardening, poetry, swimming, hiking, vacationing, napping, sitting in the sun, playing with dogs, planning retirement, building my art room, looking at buying property out West, my improving relationship with my family and boyfriend. All these things matter. Nothing has been minimized or destroyed by Blue Moon.

I try to hold onto my own beliefs of where I am with my life. I am delighted that the Program works for people because there are many, many people who [one] can share their stories and struggles with. My experience is simply different.

And so, that is My Story.
This is simply My Experience: My path. And if you judge me, it is not my business: I will try to remember that. There is no comfort in what other’s think of me.

I have grown up.

I am responsible.

I am responsible for the good I do

and the dumb I do

and

I do my best to live life to add value~

Do no Harm.

Love and peace.

Maybe there is someone out there who has a story like mine.

Melis

I’ve Dropped the Past

I’ve never been clearer
More insightful
More alive
… Hold that thought
~as my resolve,
dissolves.

Life is intensified; because it matters.

Happy? Probably.
Check with me on any given day.

Angry? I live in a city ~

Sad. Oh, sometimes

Human: 100%.

There are sneaky things
That pull me into disarray

…I’m on a boat
Afloat with
Past
Tents.

Locked, in those old thoughts
like a leaky tent.

Too much rain caves
the protection~
The illusion of comfort

Yes, those harmful thoughts
Are often
more comfortable
than Fighting for Change~

Can you dig it, friends?
I know you can.

••

I have friends
Who remind me I am good.
Who want me to see myself
As they do.
Good and Kind.
Funny and lively

Worthy;

As a good a friend
Someone they can rely on.

They are consistent.
They are the backbone
from which I grow
and Cling.

I am not alone.

No one is.
Not as long as I breathe.

Come to me
when you feel wobbly
We can share our festering storms~
Our UnSteadiness …

      What do you see in the sky? Mel

What do you see in the sky? Mel

My father wrote me an email

He said, “You like people more than I do …
But I will have to live with that…:”

He is a delight and loved by all his friends at his home.
We call him

The Mayor.

He is well, and we are connected.

Today
I’ve made a conscious choice
To go gently with disarray;
To do those things that
Bolster me up.
Even utter those crazy statements
That affirm my dangling ego.

“You are a good person.”
~etc.

Repeat after me~
and put it on your mirror
or your Fridge.

There are many tricks that
Help Us get through
It’s All Good.

I know myself.
I’m not a punk from the 80’s.
I tried, but couldn’t spit~

I’m not a badass, except that I have
Overcome Amazing odds
And
I am Strong; not fragile~
I work behind the scenes
To Bolster Others.

Let’s help each other~
Just be there
Wherever you are.

LOVE, Mel

Isolation: Without Breaking the Law

I’ve put myself in a bit of a cell.

Nothing awful has happened~

I’m simply feeling tragically lonely in a large group of social people;
albeit complex, immature, people.

I wouldn’t say I’m anti-social: I would say I’m introverted AND sensitive.

Dear recovering PEEPS of all kinds: We’ve learned a few tricks from “our ways” (my bulimic ways):

  • Try not to be seen by the same grocery store clerk when shopping for gallons of ice-cream, peanut butter, loaves of bread, bags and bags of candy, pasta, cheese, butter, etc.
  • Dash past your neighbors as quickly as possible, lest they ask you if you’re having a party for 25 people;
  • Once inside your apartment, slam the door tight; lock the latches; turn on the lights and make a beeline to the kitchen.
  • Cook by yourself.
  • Clean up.
  • Eat until you are so huge; if someone comes to the door you have to turn down all noise-making devices in order to “fool them” into believing you are not there.
  • Be “vewy vewy” (aka very, very) quiet when you make yourself vomit.
  • It’s a big secret you see~
  • … and so it goes~

A bit of a cell.

Lonely.

Having trouble reaching out because I feel misunderstood with my need to

STEP BACK

The Woods, inf. P. Cz

The Woods, inf. P. Cz

Get some much needed downtime~

Recharge the batteries … (without being judged).

Without people thinking “What is wrong with Melissa”.

I’m starting to believe the propaganda.

How are YOU doing my friends? How I miss you all. I hope you have stories and comments so we can fight our demons together.

Shall we play?

Love and peace,

MEL

Relationships: Life Without The Eating Disorder

The good news about recovering from bulimia is that you no longer hang your head over a toilet to vomit your stomach out; followed by picking pizza out of your hair.

Ew.

The bad news is that now you have to fill your time with something (sometimes) only slightly more tolerable.

Relationships. People.
Those people.

Yes, we are new to the world of people (outside our bubble).

Yes we are.

People, ah: So complex.

And, yes, we will judge.

We’re just getting used to “normal” people.  Frankly, even though I was hiding in my private cell, I’m pretty sure I was as “normal” as everyone else.  Maybe slightly more enlightened (but not sharing with “others”).

Somewhere in France/by Ms. Cz

Somewhere in France/by Ms. Cz

I miss you guys. I MISS YOU GUYS! I love writing here because this is where I feel validated, if not sane.

I don’t always take the best care of myself.
I still try to do what others want me to do: And, frankly, it does not work.

Angela and I have talked extensively about when I start to feel depressed or disconnected; and it’s always when I am being ingeuuine, (aka FAKING STUFF).

Since life has carried me in a new direction (Life after Bulimia: Living with Peeps) I’m going to focus my blatherings more on relationships.

Relationships and taking care of myself.

Recognizing when I need something;

Recognizing if I’m acting out: What is really going on;
And Address it.
(Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what’s going on.)

That’s a lot. But that is life.

I can’t wait to hear what you guys have to say. How are YOU!?

I love you!

MEL

Where’ve I been?

Where’ve I been?
All over the place I suppose.
Traveling and swimming.
Living and dying each day.
A little more.

Ocean mush/by mel

Ocean mush/by mel

I will stay connected;
but I find I get lazy;
or distracted ~
Resting my thoughts and fingers
Never forgetting my lovely friends.

I think of you a lot;
at least throughout the day
for a moment
and smile
Smiles are not a rarity for me
But from the heart
A smile has a different shine

A boisterous glow
A meaningful tingle
Goosebumps and giggles.

A reminder of what is
Good
In
Life.

Life is good
and hard
and wonderful
and complex

And it didn’t come to me
Free.

Underwater color/by mel

Underwater color/by mel

But I will share;
And I am grateful to all of you
Who pass by my house
Here in IAMNOTSHE~land

Love and peace.
Mel

Day 30! Oh bring it home …

Today is the last day of the 30-day sketch and 30-poem challenge!!

YES!!!

I just heard a collective sighhhhhhh …

I’m with you lovlies!

You are the BEST for stopping by my lame-o art fest!

Well~

I didn’t follow the rules, but I did “create”.

It’s been a good experience to discipline myself.

I’m glad to know that I can create on a deadline and in some very interesting situations.

The other significant finding is sketching really motivates me to paint!

I’ve been in such a slump with writing and painting; which could happen again

But

I’ll enjoy the energy while it’s with me.

It started like this.

bloom on bush/mc

bloom on bush/mc

Then went ~

Another layer/mc

Another layer/mc

And this one I signed my name in paint (ew) …

Goofy/mc

Goofy/mc

And supposedly this is the final thang.

Nyet!

I don’t think I like this one either.

But

This is my experiment in what is called~

BLOB ART.

Pat yourself on the back for hanging with Mel
through all of this.
LOVE YOU!!

Ta da/give it a REST/mel

Ta da/give it a REST/mel

THANK YOU FOR VIEWING MY SHIT FOR 30 DAYS!!!!

Little Bitty Fish Ladies

I’ve decided to show the progression of mermaids I painted for Jane’s book.  I don’t think these fish ladies are my property, since I was lucky enough to be compensated by JT, but I thought I’d share the progression of our Mermaid Heroine since I’m the painter. I hope you’re cool
with this Rose.

IMG_1624

Sloshing around/mc 

Being a painter is a lot like being a writer: The painting never “really” seems done.

Another coat/mc

Another coat/mc

Still trying to “feel” the fish …

Erm/mc

Erm/mc

So I went with different camera angels …

Distorted view/mc

Distorted view/mc

Black and white and stubby …

B&W/mc

B&W/mc

Reversed out.
Camera trick

AND 

Over and out for now ~
It’s Day 29!!!

Reverse/mc

Reverse/mc

Hope you all are enjoying your weekend!

I’m doing OK.

Anger subsiding.

Trying to live in the moment.

Peace and Love,

MEL