Sugar sugar/honey honey

Updates or rant? Updates or rant? Which shall I choose…?

Updates. I’ll rant another time.

It’s less than 2 weeks until I go under the knife. I’m not cutting myself – scout’s honor! I decided it’s time to take some accountability for my wicked ways and have gastric bypass surgery. I’ve gotten mixed reviews from my friends and colleagues – even my therapist, which was the most disconcerting.

The main problem has always been my psychological attachment to food. Food was a reward, my shoulder to cry on, my close friend in good times and in bad. Food never abandoned me or made me feel worthless – until one day I looked in the mirror and saw what food did to my body. A hundred pounds too late, I realized that food wasn’t a friend; it was a crutch. I needed food to comfort me, I needed it to celebrate and I needed it to mourn. Without it, I felt incomplete.

Well, I’ve since learned that I can have a good time in life without being food-focused. The problem is the habit is so difficult to break. I snack here, gulp there and — boom! I’m back up, 100 pounds over again.

My back aches constantly, I get winded brushing my fucking hair, elevators creak when I get on (don’t bullshit me – I know it’s me), and I have a fupa (for all you n00bs out there, it actually stands for “front upper pu**y area”). I swore to myself I’d stop eating when I saw the beginning of a fupa. Guess what? Little bastard snuck up on me. Nothing like putting powder under your fupa to prevent chafing and sweating. Goddamit – not cool.

Anyway. Ahem. I view this surgery as my Antabuse. For those not familiar with Antabuse, it’s a medication prescribed for people with a severe alcohol addiction. The medication blocks the absorption of alcohol in the liver, causing it to free-float in the blood in a higher concentration than if it was metabolized by the liver. This causes some really bad side effects like nausea, vomiting, headache – your worse hangover, basically. The point of the medication is to deter people with alcoholism to not drink, thus avoiding those shitty side effects.

Gastric bypass is to me as Antabuse is to an alcoholic. My stomach will go from being the size of a football to that of a EGG. I will be forced to take small sips of water, small bites of food – the right food – for the rest of my days. I will lose these 100 pounds, yes, but I will be forced to view food as a tool of survival, not as a coping skill. Eating sugar will likely cause me great distress due to dumping syndrome*. I’m okay with that. Something has to give, y’all because I’m tired of feeling like this. My back aches. My feet hurt. My A1C is not good – I’m pre-diabetic now. My cholesterol is high. My waistline is higher. It hurts to move (what was that about exercise?). I clearly don’t know how to eat sugar in small amounts and I don’t know how to control myself despite years of trying. I will make myself do it through biological means to save my life.

My mom’s mom? Died from atherosclerosis officially, but went through 4 years of ESRD* on dialysis before the dementia hit. You know what causes the renal failure? Diabetes from obesity later in life.

My mom’s dad? Died from a sudden heart attack. Had to buy an extra-large casket. He almost didn’t fit in the crypt. He was known for eating wild game. His typical breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs (cooked in bacon grease), grits, biscuits and gravy, sausage and bacon. On the fucking daily. Oh, and he was an insulin-dependent diabetic.

My dad’s mom? Fucking anomaly. She’s had 5 heart attacks, 3 stents in her heart, is morbidly obese and is diabetic.

My mom had the gastric bypass after a lifetime of morbid obesity and watching her parents die from obesity-related deaths. As much shit as I talk about her a lot of the time, she has been my rock in this. She’s been with me to all of my appointments and has talked to me about her struggles with her weight and her reasoning behind her final decision to have such an extreme surgery. She said she’d support me no matter what decision I made.

I was so unsupportive when she had her surgery – she didn’t tell me until she’d already scheduled it. I felt betrayed and angry. I didn’t get to go on this journey with her and she never explained all her reasons why. I didn’t understand then that it wasn’t for me to understand her reasons. They were hers and hers alone. She never lashed back at me for the nasty things I said. She just kept her head up. If she cried I never knew. That’s a mother; that’s a testament to real strength. Cause I would have slapped the shit out of me and told me all about myself.

Anyway. My family is riddled with obesity and disease; I won’t let their past dictate my future.

*ESRD – End Stage Renal Disease
Dumping syndrome – when food/sugar moves too quickly from the stomach to the small bowel, causing cramping, diarrhea.

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Every thrill is gone, wasn’t too much fun at all. 

It’s like a trapeze act around here. I get my bearings, holding on to one partner then I have to swing again – back and forth, until the jump – and into another partner’s palms I go.  From disease to disease, disorder to disorder, over and around. With all the switching back and forth between symptoms and doctor’s appointments, I get just a little heated when I see no movement on my pedometer – I could swear I’ve walked to hell and back. 

My stomach has gotten worse; every time I eat, no matter what I eat it feels like I’ve swallowed a bowling ball. 

So I stopped eating. In the past four or so days – not counting last night – I had two actual meals, the rest of the time I snacked here and there.  Is that good?  Of course not.  My gastroenterologist appointment isn’t for another three weeks and there’s no moving it up so I have to figure out a way to survive until then. I’ve tried soft foods, liquids, semi-liquids, small portions, and prayer. 

Nothing is working. It doesn’t help that when following my doctor’s orders and eating six small meals a day, one cup at a time, I started to become lightheaded, my glucose plummeted, and my blood pressure was kissing the floor. My sugar shouldn’t be 79 at fasting and my BP is normally low, but never 92/54.  That’s goddamned terrifying. I ran to my primary care doc who told me my psych and GI meds at their high doses are hypotensive – as my blood work came back normal, he said he’s going to discuss my issues with my psychiatrist first. I love my primary care doc – he seems to care. 

In the meanwhile, when at work I’ve been muddling through. I do my job and come home. It’s a 12 hour shift; if I’m lucky I get to use the bathroom – my desk is next door to the employee restroom.  I try to drink some water at least, but if I don’t eat it’s not the end of the world. 

Lately my stomach feels better completely empty than it does with even the tiniest morsel of food. While that’s great for my overeating disorder, it’s not great for me or my mindset.  I’m terrified I could swing to the other side of the spectrum of eating disorders.  Eating disorders run in my family – most famously in my mother who went so far as to staple her stomach to lose the weight, yet continues to suffer from body dysmorphia to this very day.  I don’t want to live that way.  But when the only things that I can stomach are hard candies and chewing gum, I feel trapped. 

Call me when you’re sober.

OK, I’ve been dodging questions for days now. I’ll try to make this short, but I’m not sure how.

This past Thanksgiving was a nightmare. My FIL, an alcoholic, was drunk upon arrival and proceeded to get more hammered. During dinner, my mother screams in pain due to her sciatica.  

(Now, she mentioned to me that he’d made a pass at her before – while inebriated. I told her to check him if she was uncomfortable. She told me she didn’t want to hurt his feelings as he is mentally unstable and extremely bad at handling rejection. I said to find a way to check it if she doesn’t want it to happen again.)

Back to Thanksgiving. My FIL hears her cries of pain, gets up from his seat, goes to her, and begins massaging her thigh under the table. All while my husband, brother-in-law, and I are watching.  He proceeds to look down her shirt and make a comment about her breasts. 

I am staring him down. …You ever watch one of those Nat Geo shows about the snakes? I’m terrified of the fuckers myself, but I imagine my look was one similar to that of a rattler in a coil; my eyes were following his every move, waiting for him to make one more step in the wrong direction before I bit his fat ass.  

I wanted nothing more than to lay his ass out onto the floor, but then I realized that is my husband’s father. As much as I cannot tolerate that man, I have to respect the relationship he and my husband share. So as I sat in my chair, wringing my hands together with my knuckles turning almost white, I just kept repeating ”I am married to your son,” which I’ve come to find out makes no fucking difference to him.  

Anyway, my BIL and husband attempt to get him to sit down, when he yells out, “I don’t give a fuck what Alice thinks!” That’s when I get up from the table, go to my bedroom, take a Seroquel and 2 Xanaxes, and try to go to sleep. Hubs attempted to calm me down but I screamed at the top of my lungs for at least an hour (so much for chemical intervention, eh?).  

Now the incident has taken on a life of its own since then. FIL has since banned me from his property, is refusing to participate in any family functions, will not apologize, and despite all of that still has designs on my mother.  

To be honest, I’m kinda delighted I won’t have to have anymore heated exchanges with him; his 50s morals and beliefs, inability to see past the end of his nose and refusal to accept reality is fucking draining. I deal with people who are medication non-compliant and self-medicate with booze for 12 hours a day; why the FUCK would I want to spend the holidays doing the same thing and NOT get paid double time? Are you shitting me? This is a man who stops his vehicle in traffic to look for dead bodies underneath, won’t “allow” his 25-year-old son to have a smartphone because he likes controlling him (his words, not mine), owns 9 guns and can’t shoot a one because he gets too nervous and loses his focus, has cirrhosis yet drinks 1/4 – 1/2 gallon of vodka a day, yet has no problem calling other people with mental illness “crazy, unpredictable, and dangerous…” Yeah. OK.  You first, pal.

I tried calling him to settle this bullshit; he basically told me there’s no problem and banning me from his life because my mother won’t fuck him is easiest for him (mind you, not easy for his son) so he’s gonna keep doing it.  

You know one of the biggest slaps in the face? It’s actually my friends. I’ve heard these lines from several different people and I’ve had enough:

“If being with him makes your mom happy, wouldn’t you want her to be happy?”

“How does this define your marriage? Why are you letting it? You’re not related by blood.”

“It’s none of your business.”

OK, let’s answer these, shall we?
1. First, I would find it completely ironic that out of the millions of people walking around on this twisted blue ball, she would find happiness with the one person I would consider off-limits. Why ironic? Because I’m finally happy. I’m overjoyed. My marriage, even the ups and downs like any marriage, is amazing and I couldn’t have found a more amazing man. Wouldn’t it be just swell that she would find “that special someone” in MY family tree?! I would love for my mother to find happiness, but why does her happiness have to ride sidecar to mine? Why can’t we be individually happy? If she were to pursue a relationship with him and it failed, family gatherings would be forever affected. At that point, her attempt at happiness directly affects not just my life, but my husband’s and my future children.  

2. It doesn’t define my marriage, but think long term. If they were to get married, I’d be married to my stepbrother, my children would be cousins. How fucked up is that?! It doesn’t define my marriage more than it identifies my FIL and mother’s lack of respect for my marriage. Relation by marriage, to me, is sacred just as relation to blood (sometimes even more so). I forget that I’m talking about 2 people that don’t respect me or my husband; I don’t know why I bother.

3. I never said it was my business. But to tell me it’s not my business than proceed to gossip about me, my husband, or anything pertaining to things unrelated to your functioning lets me know that this is a one-sided deal. Don’t you have other shit to do? Like darn socks or count carpet fibers or something?  

Dear Buddha, when I retire… Don’t let be become useless and an overall pain in the ass to my kids, flirting with the idea of getting involved with their lives instead of finding part time employment. Or just gluing my head to my kitchen floor. Amen.

I will shut the world away

Sigh.  I’m sitting in my psychiatrist’s office, dreading the conversation I’m about to have.  I’ve started binging again – polished off 1.5 pints of Edy’s ice cream in 24 hours.  

It was good.  Until the shame and guilt hit me.  I’m avoiding the bathroom scale; I don’t want to know.  I feel so lost.  I’m too ashamed to go back to OA.  I can’t walk in there, discussing my failure to rope myself in again.  

in the end, it doesn’t really matter

The stress I feel is unyielding. 
Or is it that I’m looking for an excuse to use?

At this point I don’t know which would be worse. 

I take my national licensing exam this week. I usually get test anxiety about stuff like this, but I’m not nervous. By this point, I should be sweating blood. I feel unprepared despite the fact I’ve spent most of the past couple weeks opening and closing the library. I finished my study guide on schedule, yet still… I feel numb. 

I guess it comes from some insurmountable feeling that if I blow this, I’m forever fucked. The test will allow me to go into private practice, the military – whatever I want. If I blow it, I have to wait 3 months before I can take it again, leaving me stranded at a job I both tolerate and despise. If I don’t pass, my salary will still be the equivalent to that of a general manager (with an associate’s) at McDonald’s. 

And let’s not even get into my addiction. I just ate my weight in fries and onion rings when I was on day 2 of my ketogenic diet. So much for hitting ketosis. I did it to myself, but all I want to do is blame it on my stress, my mother, my pets, my husband, the exam, work…everything. 

I feel sick to my stomach, but I can’t differentiate between binging and feeling stuffed, my growing disappointment in myself or my fear of failure.

How do you tell yourself that you’re not a failure when you’ve failed? What do you tell yourself when everyone’s counting on you but you’re uncertain of what you can realistically deliver?

A number of passing acquaintances

Have you ever been kidnapped?  I mean, it’s a weird question – not one you’d walk up to a stranger and ask. But I’m asking anyway. 

I was driving today and out of the corner of my eye, this asshole in a black Dodge Charger pulls up to me and runs me off the road.  I didn’t see the bastard coming at all.  I’ve seen this car before – it follows me to work, from home, through the car wash – everywhere. This was the first time in years it got close enough to me to run me clear off the road and into the nearest culvert. 

As I came to, I realized I was bound and gagged – now a passenger of the offending vehicle. I screamed as loud as I could, writhing around in a futile attempt to loosen the rope on my ankles and wrists. I looked through the window, only to see a version of me sitting behind the wheel of my car, driving as though nothing had happened.  I kept screaming at “me” until we reach the next stop light.  I saw the most profound sadness in my eyes; it’s not until then I realized I’ve been stolen again. I’ve been kidnapped again.  I stopped screaming and allowed the driver to carry me away until it was time to find myself again.  

I wish what I’d just written was a dream, but it’s not. I was in traffic today and out of nowhere I did feel this overwhelming depression steal what little of myself I felt I had left.  For the first time in years, I thought of suicide.  Will I act on it? No, I know it’s not what I want. But the thoughts frightened the hell out of me, enough to start writing in here again.  

One day at a time. Thy will, not mine. 

G-d-shaped hole in all of us

I’m well off the wagon. I told my sponsor I fell off and the wagon is currently picking up passengers in a different time zone.

I’m a size bigger, my face looks wider, my chin can now add a plus one to its invites.

I’m not fucking happy.

My mother – the one with the eating disorder/s – told me she found a therapist for me that specializes in eating disorders. I told her to leave me alone – check the mirror and then we’ll get back to this.

This is not an “eating disorder.” This is a goddamn addiction.
I’m behaving like a fucking addict. I’m manipulative, I lie, I deny; I speak in generalities, technicalities, and seethe when I can’t get my fucking drug (usually in the form of a dessert or empty carb).

I lied last week to get an extra slice of applewood smoked bacon at breakfast. One piece. Was it enough? No. Did I feel satisfied? No. Did I continue eating more food anyway? Yes.

I am trying to fill a void somewhere in me, yet I fail to understand what’s still missing. The only void I’m currently filling is the space between my nose and my chin/s.

I stopped logging my food, stopped sending it to my sponsor. I fell off and since then, I feel disgusted at what I’m eating – why would I want to face accountability for that? In the face of all the feelings and thoughts I’m experiencing, relying on my higher power may be the only choice I have left.

Maybe this is my rock bottom. When I’ve lost so much control that I have no choice but to surrender let go give up.