May 16th, 2017

I relapsed for the first time since being in recovery last summer.  During the 4 months that I was “sober”, binging, purging and restricting never crossed my mind.  I was astonished at how ED seemed to have been completely banished after 10 years of living with it daily.  Recovery looked like it would be the easiest and surest thing in the world.  So I was completely surprised when I found myself in the middle of a binge for no apparent reason and knowing very clearly that it would end in a purge.  I wasn’t stressed and I was unapologetic about what was going down after the longest stint of sobriety I had experienced in a decade.  Fortunately, during this time, I was still seeing Dr. W. every other week.  I was very open when I confessed to the episode and relayed how shocked I was both that it occurred and that I was so indifferent to it.  We combed through the seemingly minor events that preceded it and there were 2 things that she got stuck on.  Both involved me not speaking my truth.  One included me offering forgiveness, reassurance, and wishing happiness upon #3’s mistress when she reached out to me two years after being caught to offer an attempted explanation and apology.  Being motivated to a fault by peace and the avoidance of conflict, it is not unusual for me to attempt to comfort someone who has wronged me.  And I wasn’t fake.  I did feel at peace when I offered this woman compassion and wished her well.  But what she’ll never know, is what I had to pass through to offer her that compassion.  Or the many times going forward that I will have to talk myself down from one of the memories involving her.

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Time out

I put myself in time out.  Like the disciplinary kind of time out in which you put your kid in the corner to get them to think about the what and why of their behavior, I needed a minute or a handful of months to reevaluate my goals in blogging.  If I’m being honest, it probably had a lot to do with the reason I presented you with, but also there could be an uglier, less altruistic reason.

Quite sincerely, I wanted to find my tribe.  To scour the internet for my fellow cyber sufferers.  Less so I could find sisterly solidarity from the masses of betrayeds and more so I could possibly offer them hope in healing.  Or maybe it was to give them permission to tell their stories.  Or to feel enraged and give them a place to honor their temporary crappiness because they saw others sitting there too.  I had discovered on this road paved in bitterness, hope, recovery, relapse, and the ever-cyclical grief process that the best way to do these things and find my fellow warriors was to expose myself.  To be vulnerable and real.  But still in a protected way that let me control the vulnerability and realness that you saw; that still made me appear endearing and triumphant even amidst the brokenness.

I’ll blame my other motivations for blogging on the sun sign to which I was born.  We all know that Cancers have a mastery for mothering and nurturing and being adorably lovable.  We are born to be caretakers and lovers and the most pleasant of our species.  And when I felt that my inherent identity was stripped from me by no fault of my own (woe is me), I responded in a typical Cancer way.  I wanted justice.  Cancers have a heightened sense of right and wrong and can become incensed or passionate about seeing justice prevail.  I had been subjected to this horrific series of events by my sworn protector(s) and yet this “wrong” would go largely unrecognized and unpunished and my betrayers would move forward unharmed (apart from the dead one, obviously).  As a peaceful, nonconfrontational Cancerian, what could I do?  I could tell my story.  And I could do it in a kind of anonymous yet totally obvious to those that did a little checking kind of way.  And magically, I could find healing, and give others a face to identify with, and passive-aggressively leak my really ugly story so that just maybe he wasn’t totally getting away with it.  I’m not sorry that I did it and I’ll speak more to that later.  But I’ve come to a bend in this road where I needed to better visualize where I go from here and what my horizon looks like.

And after months of procrastinating, forgetting all that I’ve learned and worked for on this journey, stumbling back around to proven practices, I’m again seeing why I started writing.  And I’m ready to be back in this space.  Hopefully with an even greater sense of self awareness.

Second chances, same choices

The Bachelorette isn’t on Netflix.   Which is why I hadn’t seen an episode since the first season a decade or more ago.   And then a year ago, when Chris Soules became the man, I didn’t love being left out of the post rose office talk.  So I borrowed a friend’s Hulu login and joined the party.  And now I just can’t help myself.

Each season is gifted/plagued with a handful of seemingly genuine fellas, a few that seem to be misplaced and, of course, the requisite asshat.  JoJo may have been the most adorable and authentic bachelorette I’ve ever seen.  She had the usual misfits, some adorable ex athletes, and Chad.  Look, I’m a total sucker for beards and biceps but even I have no use for a tool of that variety.  Thankfully, with a little help from the other fellas, JoJo called him out and sent him home with all his protein.  Get him, girl.

Post send off, we gathered in our usual gossip spot to rehash the rose ceremony at work the next day.  Understandably, one of my female associates pointed out that Chad had just sealed his single fate.  No sane woman would ever accept a date from a man with such a steroid inflated ego.  One who was so obviously insecure that he was poised to pounce on an entire household of men in front of America.  After he cockily pleaded his case to be the next Bachelor during the After the Rose episode, where would ABC find two dozen ladies that were willing to vie for the hand of this season’s villain?  Where you ask?  Oh, just every city in America.  And basically a slew of beautiful, intelligent, and mostly lovely women would step up to submit they’re video application to be the chosen recipients of Chad’s adoration.  Except I’m certain he would be searching to find the female most willing to supply *him* with the adoration.  And also deli meat.

Because here is what I know about women: we are stupid.  Actually, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  But we are ignorantly hopeful and saintly or so sanguine about our nurturing nature that we think we can charm the ugly right out of any man.

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