Hi Grief, thanks for calling! I’m just gonna put you on hold for 22 years

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I talk a lot about processing feelings but Grief is its own creature. Its is a beautiful beast.

To Those of us that have picked up addictive or compulsive behavior to avoid trauma or grief:

I congratulate you. You are here. You chose life.

BINGE-ING on alcohol and food was an effective dam for avoiding the flood of grief.

Hoover Dam Night | Places to see, Places to visit, Places to travel

Now I don’t really binge on those behaviors much, so guess who’s come a knockin!

The ignored, avoided, neglected Grief of My father’s death.

It’s not waiting any longer. After 22 years, it’s summoning me.

In my experience, Grief is a Russian Doll in Reverse. It gets bigger, not smaller, as you close in on its heart.

And as pictured below, the Heart has eyelashes.

photo Russian Semenov Nesting dolls

TIP: Before you get to the Main Event of Grief, you may have to butter up the gatekeeper dragons.

The dragons that guard grief are just doing their job.

beautiful dragons pictures - YouTube

So I dropped my armor and told these Gatekeeper dragons that they were fierce and stunning. I vowed that I would follow them on social media.

I gave them my attention. I thanked them. They ate that up. They didn’t leave. But they laid down. I walked past them freely.

Then I saw Grief. She had been waiting for me in this bathtub for all that time.

And she still looked fine AF.

Art by H.Minh

As she creeped into my body, She was gentle but HEAVY. Heavier than she looked.

I saw the year 1996 when my father got diagnosed with lung cancer (non smoker) and how that set me off on a path of multi-layered addiction. I saw that I had lost faith in the God of everything at that moment. I remembered how my Binging and OVEReating stopped and my UNDER eating began. I was unable to take anything in. This was my illusion of control.

Some people may call it anorexia.

With the goth super-model of Grief still swirling inside me, I discovered that under the water of sadness, there was ANGER.

She knew that revelation was enough for today and swam out of me.

Grief told me, though not thru words, that she’d see me Tuesday.

So I continue my grieving process in my time. I write, laugh, compliment dragons. Luckily I have a lot of free time. Because I don’t think this is something you can short-cut. Do I wish I would have done this earlier? Absolutely.

I now have a standing appointment with Grief. It’s there and there is no cancelation fee. Make yours today!

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.

When Gratitude isn’t Just a step to the left. Saditude b4 Gratitude

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Some days are “tra lala lala” effortless. Some are “Are you fu@king kidding Me!?”

When dealing with the latter, I don’t fall victim to immediately gratitude journaling. I need a bridge and a guide to Kumbaya. OR a river, a creek , a balloon, whatever. I need help with the transport feeling to get me to gratitude. I can’t Time Warp or Wrinkle in time there. This bridge step is un-skippable when Im ultra agitated or sad. I cant be all like, “Presto! Silken Scarves of gratitude surround me now!”

If you are glaring at an Instagram picture of your friend holding a yoga pose and you think “I believe in Peace Bitch”. Know that :

1) Tori Amos says that same sentence in The Waitress and 2) I’m with you.

So I grant ye permission not to be grateful for 20 minutes or 20 days. You will most likely slide into home plate of grateful much more easily without the pressure. Take however long it takes to do what you need to do to move in the direction of true North/Namaste.

This bridge could be bitching , writing , feeling, scream-singing, punching, crying, cleaning, smooshing, chopping, swaying, hanging, breathing, dangling or kicking , gerund, gerund, gerund.*
It could be none of those. Who says you have to end up at a journal unless that works for you. Some call this acceptance, but to me it seems a titch more dynamic than that word.

Finally you may arrive back where it is “just a jump to the left and then a step to the right.”

*Oh!, and sleeping