She wore a Blue Bathrobe because nothing else fit anymore

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I was laying out in the sun with my new, shiny friend Jen at 16. She looked at my legs.

“You don’t have any saddlebags”, Jen pronounced ,amazed.

What were they? She showed me hers. Oh. Didn’t look like much to me but I guess they’re not desirable?

Jen was blonde, tan, native Californian, more experienced. Christy Brinkley tone. Her parents let us drink and then helped me throw up over the side of the boat. They were so cool.

“Do you diet?” DIET. What was that?

Wow, now she was introducing me to a whole adult world full of saddlebag fear and diet culture. Calories and counting. I loved counting. It’s comforting.

I had friends. I was getting tan and I had no saddlebags! It was 1984 and the pants were full-on pastel at Contempo Casuals. Jelly shoes were light as a feather. I knew the words to both Synchronicity I and II. 16 and blissful.

10 Items Of Clothing We All Remember From The 1980s

I had just moved from Michigan where I was bullied and unpopular, at least by the end. Now I was laying next to my empress friend (who had a college-aged boyfriend )on her boat in Catalina. So, So stoked!. To make her laugh I would get buzzed and imitate the aerobics instructors on the “20 minute work out”. Her boyfriend laughed too. What a man. Los Angeles, where have you been all my life?

4 years Later.

I live at home and am 20 years old. I’ve gone from a 114 lb naturally slim girl to a compulsive overeater who is nearing 150 lbs. I’m agoraphobic. The gaze of anyone as I walk across a crosswalk hurts. My 50 -something year old mother is sleeker than me. Nothing fits. My body is not mine.

I have a bathrobe thats nubbly and Navy blue. It has red braided waist tie. Sometimes I tie it slightly below my waist,80s style. This Bathrobe is all that fits. Sometimes I would belt it with my fathers tan leather belt to feel more secure. It’s the only piece that doesn’t rub up against the folds of fat and remind me physically of my size.

I eat whole loaves of bread with cold, Imperial margarine in a fever. I don’t even like bread. And it was Roman Meal for god’s sake. I cannot stop. I rabidly eat pasta which tastes like nothing and I chase the hope of it tasting like something. I grab hold of flesh around my body often, pull at it, and visually measure what is me and not me. I have friends but don’t want to go out. None of them have my problem.

I was hurting myself with food. With distention and paralysis. I did it over and over again.

Neato Coolville: ROMAN MEAL BREAD IS THE BEST

There’s a lot of reasons why I did it. None of those reasons are: “Everyone gains weight as they get older”. I do not have any molestation in my history. I built a house of extra in that bathrobe. I needed protection. It was not safe out there. I did not belong anymore.

If you are here. If you are suffering and repeating this pattern compulsively, it can change. I am proof. The whys may be different for you. They may be worse. My compulsive overeating was traumatic but not special and it’s mainly OVER. It taps me on the shoulder sometimes but it’s mostly out of the picture.

I remember listening to a cassette tape by Marianne Williamson circa 1990 about the power of food and its ability to physically transform the body. That’s different in comparison alcohol or heroin. Those drugs may string you out, hag you up and kill you too. But they don’t have the power to multiply you by a quarter or more of your mass. FOOD. Potent and Powerful. This nourisher and nullifier.

More later. I’m full.

AA told me I wasn’t sober. No more fight. Got on new Flight.

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I smoke pot. Maybe 5-10 times a year. 1 to 2 hits. I don’t count because it’s not a problem. I don’t think about it. I don’t plan for it. I went pot shopping to moss covered dispensaries and didn’t buy if nothing appealed. My life does not suffer in any way. On the contrary, I can gain perspective and lose compulsive thought.

I use CBD. It helps the writing arm and many other things.

I am also on prozac. I meditate. Process most of my feelings instead of getting them on you. Have lost 40lbs and kept it off since my 20s. I have looked at me. Am I saying this so you’ll think Im “good”.? Probably.

I went 5 years no alcohol, and now prefer not to drink, but I can if I so choose. Because unlike cannabis, alcohol has on many occasions, leveled me.

I may lose 5 of every 10 followers for this post *, but then again, maybe Im not hip to the new collective perceptions. If you read my other posts , you’ll read there are things I love and long for in AA meetings. Like PINE for. However, a lot of AA meetings announce “We ask that you do not share if you have had a mind altering substance in the past 24 hours”

That seems ridiculous. No one would be sharing If the rule were followed. And psychotropics like Prozac are mind altering.

“AHA! You ingested SUGAR and prozac!, No share for you!”

“Is that cortisol in your Blood stream ? No Share! “

” Is that caffeine, SILENCIO!”

Where I go to meetings, the overarching belief is that if you smoke weed at all or ingest THC , or other cousins, you are not sober. Well I feel Sober AF. More emotionally sober for talking about this. That has to be enough for me.

Oh and here’s a blurb about Bill Wilsons awakening experience with LSD.

In deference to AA, They still contend “the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. ” But it feels like that’s just a script when compared with what I hear from members at meetings.

Can you tell I really want AA to change so I can be in it again ? Well I’m probably not going to pull that off. \So I’ll just write about it time to time. AA was one of the things that changed the trajectory of my life. And with that I am taking off my alcoholic hat. It feels lonely but breezy. I no longer identify as an alcoholic but do believe alcohol to be an addictive substance. I suppose that’s in line with the NIH and their AUD definition. I still offer help and service. It’s weird not to be fooling myself but I don’t want to pretend so I can be welcome in the club. This revelation only took 17 years.

Now. I do know people who have just substituted weed for alcohol. People that I cannot play board games with because they are too damn slow. That’s fine, just be on the other team and don’t slow my roll. I don’t smoke pot daily but that doesn’t mean I abhor all that do. It ‘s not for me. The same way I have a salad once in a blue moon but not daily. Some people eat Salads daily!?? Are you kidding me?

So I guess This blog really IS about defining sobriety in all areas for oneself using empirical data.

As always, Feel free to share your individual experience.

Heres a great article from the The Fix

*Yes I realize that on some platforms, I only have 10 followers.

Tapering off AA Killing the Normie and Keeping the Swagger.

After 17 years of field research in and out of Alcoholics Anonymous, I am taking what I want and leaving the rest.

An Alanon sponsor once reminded me, “You’re allowed to change your mind.” Oh? Oh!

Someone asked me the other day ,”Do you think you’re an alcoholic?” My answer was ,”I really want to be.”

As I re enter AA , I think about drinking more than I ever did. Its easy to step right back in and parrot the slogans and reunite with people I truly do love =instant community! A lot of The people in AA are what I choose to keep . Not the perversion and the archaic-ness of the program.

AA was great when I was broke, getting thrown out of gay coke parties and my Father had just died. I was 31 and looked into AA 3 years later. The women in AA were the best friends I ever had. I still dearly want to be with some of them but not with the AA hijacking of human survival skills and belief in Normies.

I don’t know if retaining friendships is possible if you prefer to be sober but not with AA as the centerpiece. I feel a sad, nostalgic waft of 2003 AA air ,very similar to the Nostalgia I have for drinking without 3 day hangovers. Luckily I know how to process feelings. For this blog post I’ll keep it short-er and cite this wonderful article . More later on my own experience as I continue to mix a cocktail of curated AA meetings, audible books on sobriety and life AFTER , Harm reduction, Belle Robertson on Recovery Elevator podcast , and Stanton Peele.