Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Purple Shirt

Nearly 2 years since I last posted here, but the addictions and addictive behaviors and issues continue. I notice that they're all "joined at the hip"... When I suffer one, the others come romping to the playground.

Tonight I first want to briefly cover the 20 months since I last wrote, bringing myself to date. I probably gained 20 pounds while trump was a candidate, and another 40 during his first year in office. It wasn't just that he depressed, embarrassed, and angered me so much, or the members of his cabinet, appointees, and circle of admirers, but also being discouraged that Americans would elect him and allow him and his government to blatantly and daily work toward destroying so many of our core democratic values. Hey, sorry, I don't mean to get on the pulpit here. Nor do I believe anything or anyone caused me to begin seriously binging again, keeping it up to the point of gaining 60 pounds. I take responsibility for doing that.

A year ago, I finally reached that sweet spot were I couldn't stand to buy all new clothes, another Queen size higher, and nothing I owned fit anymore. So I returned to my previous food program... no chocolate, cookies, candy, cake, ice cream, or pastries. I started walking semi-regularly. I made a conscious effort to eat more healthily. I repeatedly told myself that trump was not responsible for my eating. And I read, "Never Binge Again," learning about pig squeals and pig slop, both of which concepts helped me a lot.

Slowly the weight came off. I lost 50 of the 60 lbs I had gained. I felt great... and started to look pretty good again, even though I figure I still need to shed 25 more pounds to be at a healthy weight for my frame and height.

I was doing well until...

I will call him Purple Shirt (PS for short). We were college friends in 1960-64... undergraduates. We worked on the university newspaper together. We were both shy; he very shy, a virgin who had not even kissed a girl; me also a virgin, but with a succession of boyfriends and lots of making out experience. He was in science; I was in humanities. But we drank at the same watering hole, talking easily, and enjoying each other's company once in a while. Then after we finished the final quarter of our 4th year, we were two of many students celebrating at the pub. After countless drinks, I went into blackout phase, where I remained until the next morning. PS was drunk too, but not so drunk as I. When the bar closed, he made sure I got home OK, and made sure I got in bed OK, and was there in the morning when I came to, my head on his arm; he was still wearing his purple shirt, while I had not a single shred of memory as to how I got there or why he was there or what we had done.

The next day he departed for the Peace Corps, while I looked for a job. Fast forward to the 30th class reunion. We meet again. He's got a PhD now and is a research professor at a prestigious college on the east coast. I have my own business as an artist on the west coast. He's recently gotten married. I am still single. We exchange a few friendly letters over the next few years.  Fast forward again to when my dad died. PS wrote a really nice sympathy letter (he knew my dad professionally). By now I am also married. We start exchanging emails sporadically, which we both seem to enjoy. He now has 2 kids. Fast forward again. He comes to visit me. We kiss when he gets off the plane. It seems as if there is a very strong magnate propelling us toward each other. He, my husband and I have a fun time together. We continue our email correspondence. Fast forward again. We meet at our 50th class reunion, kissing again, the same way, talking easily, enjoying each others company. He is still married; kids grown. I am divorced. Fast forward 1 year. We meet at a convention. He wants to spend time with me. I run away. I tell him I will not have an affair with a married man. I tell him I fall in love too easily. He seems to get it. But still we kiss goodby. Our correspondence falls off  for half a year or so, but then picks up. Long story short. We meet again, last November, and this time I spend 4 days with him, falling bonkers in love with him. But, oh dear, he lives (and works) all the way across the country from me and is married. For a while after we return to our homes, we write... me with some passion; him with passion at first, but then not so much, and now not any at all.

When I say, "I fall in love too easily," what I really mean is that alcohol, chocolate, sugar, and love are all highly addictive substances for me. The only one I quit and didn't go back to (knock on wood) is alcohol. In the past two months, being in a fog of love addiction, unable to stop thinking about PS, unable to go abstinent on my romantic thoughts about him, I also find myself unable to remain abstinent on chocolate or sugar; unable to stick to my food plan.

So now we're up to date...

Tonight I got to thinking about the Serenity Prayer.  Here are a few of my thoughts...

Lord, grant me serenity to accept the things I can not change,
  1. I accept that I can not change the priority PS puts on work and family
  2. I accept that I can not change where PS lives
  3. I accept that I can not change that PS is married
  4. I accept that I can not change anything about PS 
  5. I accept that I can not determine the future
  6. I accept that I made a mistake in allowing myself to be physical with PS
  7. I accept that I can not undo what is done
 the courage to change the things I can,
  1. I can take responsibility for my own mental and physical well-being
  2. I can ask the universe to help me 
  3. I can accept that I do not have to be perfect and will make mistakes
  4. I can commit to never binging again (we're talking "food" here, but it is just as easily"love")
  5. I can write, using words to paint and to heal the longing and loneliness am I feeling now
 and the wisdom to know the difference.

Thanks to OA and AA for this helpful wisdom!