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It's Time to Struggle

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

If you've been a compulsive overeater for most of your life, and then you suddenly stop overeating compulsively, it won't be long before you figure out why you ate compulsively for so many years.

If you have made a true commitment to stop abusing food, as your vision clears from all the excess calories and chemicals poisoning your system, you'll remember what you used to know: Life is scary! Life is sad! Life is irritating! Life is humiliating! Life is unfair! Life is so hard that sometimes you can hardly stand being a part of this world! Love makes it all worthwhile, but love hurts, too! In my case, there are times when every thought or memory leads down a dark or devastating path. Even memories from more than forty years ago can make my cheeks burn with shame, or my heart ache with loss and regret. And it's not just my own life that gets on my nerves. The people around me--family members, friends, strangers--make me mad, refusing to behave as I wish them to (which would be acting in a way that causes me no discomfort and requires no effort on my part). Even people in the news in positions of power on the other side of the earth (I'm in Japan) make me hyperventilate in rage and frustration.

I'm much, much too sensitive, even when I'm overeating and my senses have been dulled with my drug of choice--excess food. But when I try to live in the world without this sedative, I am even more painfully sensitive and find it very hard to accept the facts of life. I understand that sensitivity can be a good thing, especially when it fosters empathy, which often leads to good deeds and makes the world a better place. But my sensitivity, in its present form, highlights my weakness. I can't stand evil and darkness, but instead of mustering the will, energy, and courage to fight against these, I have simply sought to drown them out by overeating, and this just leads to a vicious cycle of feeling pain (hatred, sadness, bitterness, unworthiness, etc.), overeating in order to cancel the pain, feeling heightened pain from having ignored the real source of the initial pain, overeating in order to cancel the heightened pain, and on and on into infinity.

Instead of fighting, it has been my habit to ignore disturbances or to use substances to quell every discomfort. A few weeks ago, I mentioned to a SparkFriend that I had been eating uncontrollably and drinking alcohol every night over the summer. Her reply was something like this: "So, Carolyn, you've been struggling?" At the time, I thought this was simply a sympathetic acknowledgment of the pain I was going through and a kind invitation to unload. When someone is going through pain, we all assume that the person is struggling. But I think we forget that it's possible not to put up a fight, that it is possible simply to roll over and accept passively whatever is happening. When there is a crime scene, for example, the police always check for signs of a struggle. In some cases, because of circumstances beyond the victim's control, it's impossible to struggle. In other cases, a victim might consider survival more likely if he or she refrains from struggling. In most cases, however, the natural response to any kind of threat is to struggle against it, no matter how much strength and courage it takes to fight for survival.

But for many months I didn't struggle against what the self-destructive part of me was doing to the part of me that wants to live. I had simply been complying with every self-destructive impulse to eat or drink, even when eating and drinking were truly making me feel sick and sleepy all the time. I've never been tempted by drugs, cigarettes, gambling, or other addictive substances or activities, but eating and drinking compulsively had always been part of my bash-myself repertory. Whenever any emotional disturbance came into view--usually in the form of frustration with my husband, who thinks I came to Japan just to be his cook-chauffeur-shopper-errand runner-housemaid-groundskeeper
-editor-secretary, or worry about the two of my adult children who suffer from depression and anxiety and sleep problems, or dismay about my twin sister's need for a kidney transplant in the near future and my responsibility to fly over to the US to see what I can do about that, or fatigue at making so many trips to go check on my ninety-year-old father-in-law at his house a three-hour drive away. With all this pressure swirling in my head, I would start thinking about beer or pizza or chips or cake. Or can't-face-it naps. And because of all the stress I perceived I was under, I felt it my right as an adult to spend one or two hours every night tamping down all the feelings building to explosive levels inside me. Everything was beyond my control, I thought, and the feelings that went with this state of affairs were unavoidable, but I could make them magically disappear for two hours every night when I drank beer and mindlessly shoveled junk food into my mouth while watching the news of the world on TV. A perfect storm--an out-of-control me in an out-of-control world!

So no, dear SparkFriends, I had not been struggling at ALL, just giving in to every single food-and-drink impulse that popped into my head, and paying the price with a different, ultimately deeper kind of anger and fear.

It was only when I started to feel really unhealthy--dizzy, in fact--that I knew my time was up and that if I did not change, I could not expect any quality of life in my waning years (I'll be sixty-one in December), especially as my mobility has drastically declined in the past two years. The message was clear--procrastinating was no longer an option. The scale was about to hit 175 pounds, and isn't that what PRO-FOOTBALL PLAYERS weigh?! One of the most memorable and treasured compliments I ever received was when I was a freshman in college and had dieted and exercised my weight down to 115 pounds before taking a job as a counselor at a girls' camp for the summer. When I became friends with the camp nurse and told her that until recently I had been overweight, she looked at me and said, "Carolyn, I can't imagine you being any way except petite and feminine." Now in my early sixties, I regret not holding on with all my might to the image of myself that delighted me when I heard those sparkling words. I regret all the years I've been very overweight or obese and suffered from a lack of confidence, oftentimes falling into despair. My body shape is changing in what feels like an irreversible way, with my stomach hanging over my belt and the fat on my back jiggling for the first time in my life. This is new and different and alarming, but this problem is still solvable. It's not too late! It's time to struggle!

So I've been abstinent and sober for more than two weeks now, and I'm feelin' all the feelings, and I can report that they're not all good. But they're certainly not all bad! And guess what--a happy ending is highly possible, and it just might cancel out the grief I feel at the loss of all the years between the time when I was called petite and feminine, and now, when I feel more like a linebacker than a ballerina. The spirit can triumph, you know, even within the inevitable limitations of the body that aging brings. With my gray hair and wrinkles and rolls of fat, I've had moments of near-bliss, when I envision my freedom from excessive thoughts of food and alcohol, when I remember the way I was a long time ago when I was eighteen, and maybe as far back as when I was about five years old and never thought about food at all except for when I was hungry. About fifty-five years of too-much-information and cultural input later, I can't completely forget about food between meals. One reason is that obsessions take time to conquer, and the other reason is that it's my role (which I usually don't mind because I'm good at it) to grocery shop and cook. But a new world is opening up, where I am redirecting my thoughts--away from self-flagellation and an excessive focus on food to the question of how I can properly use and enjoy the time that's left to me on Earth.

I'm getting out of prison, and it feels good, though I know there'll be bumps in the road just outside the gate. I'll write about that next time, but for now, I am confident that if I just take this I-can-face-the-truth attitude of strength and integrity with me wherever I go, the rest of my life will be better than anything I've experienced so far.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Doing so good
    924 days ago
    Keep pushing for that happy ending. I want one too!
    933 days ago
    So sorry I was not aware of the HARD Time you had this past Summer and the food and alcohol had taken so much of you away from us and yourself. HUGS to you and Prayers for you to be Back in Spark with all your blogging and Wonderful writings sharing with all of us. HAPPY you are out again doing your BEST and AMAZING self life. Glad you got back to Focusing on what is STRONG and AWESOME in your life.
    My hugs and prayers are with you. Thanks again for all you have done sharing SO MUCH and letting us know you are OK.......HUGS, Love and more hugs, Ei emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    949 days ago
    Again...another truly honest and sharing blog dear Carolyn! Being a 'sensitive' is the pits. We feel everyone else's duty as if it were our own. We beat ourselves up for not being the ultimate savior to their poor choices, their life paths, and their insecurities, meanness, and out and out mistreatment of our supportive and loving souls.

    Guess what...you teach others how to treat you. What you have always done will get you what you've always got. You cannot live another's life for them, you can only live your own.

    I've walked away from my drug-addled daughter after giving her 20 years of support and love and the struggle to help her. I finally realized that she was hell bound on killing herself (hasn't yet) and would only grab my coat tail to take me down with her.

    In doing this I protected my husband from the hell she put us through (had ALWAYS put us through) from the time we married when she was only 10 years old. He doesn't know it but he is so DARN lucky not to have to deal with all of her drama, and my own emotional undoing by allowing her to suck me into a NO WIN situation.

    I finally worked up the nerve (38 years in the making) to cut off his toxic, jealous hearted, mean-spirited, clinging, whinny, mother and his mean, cruel, hateful sister. I had to learn that lesson the HARD way.

    I learned that some people are not able to protect you...even when they should...so you have only yourself to lean on. The situation with his mother and how he allowed her to jerk him around by the chain around his neck (still does) is something I'd never be able to change so I just refuse to participate. I tell him I don't want to hear about her, I don't want to speak to her, and I sure as heck will never waste my vacation time and money to go see her so that she can mistreat me. After 38 loooooonnnng years it's over...really, really, REALLY over!

    This year I made another cut (probably the hardest) from separating myself from the 30-year friendship of our circle of 'look down their wealthy noses'...criticize us for our situation on our 'save our house' fight. Lots of innuendos on were we STILL in the house living FREE??

    Which of course is ludicrous...we pay more to our foreclosure defense lawyer than we'd probably be paying on the house. We didn't STOP paying the bank on our approved modified payment plan they REFUSED to accept our payments after they finally got all of their fraudulent ducks in a row to cook up falsified documents.

    FINALLY...after 30 years I realized these back bitey, gossipy, critical, snooty, overbearing women were not friends at all. They were people I knew, had a long history with, and a really, really BAD habit of entertaining.

    This Christmas since I have cut the big group loose is one of the most peaceful I've had in some 30+ years. I can still see the ones I enjoy but I don't have to take the whole group into our house to entertain to do that. We don't HAVE to attend all of the group social events anymore that led us to feel the need to reciprocate.

    DUH! WE often don't see the solution to things right in front of our nose. We have FREE will...we can say NO..in a perfectly polite way anytime we need to protect our own self-preservation. No one can REALLY take care of us...but US.

    Okay...I'll jump down off my soapbox now but I hope some of MY lessons...help you in YOUR lessons. Times a tickin' dear one...don't leave this earth dumber than and more helpless than how you entered it.

    Big love, emoticon

    Bobbi Anne
    962 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/24/2017 3:33:34 PM
  • _BABE_
    I, too have not been struggling with my weight because I keep putting off "D" day when I will have to face the music. Thing is, often times I am stuffing something in my mouth I don't even particularly like it let alone feel hunger. It seems even medicating yourself with food can get old and one has to up the ante. My "other" addiction that seems to quell feelings I don't like to feel is online shopping. The result is owning lots of shoes and clothes I don't wear and an ever ending Visa bill which I pay but heck it's become a problem.

    I, too need to see what will happen when I just deal with what life hands me and I don't have sugar to numb the feeling.
    968 days ago
    Awesome attitude! It's so hard at times when we realize we cannot control people, places or things. We can only look after ourselves.

    Hope you and yours are having a great holiday season...

    Carpe Diem

    971 days ago
  • HEYRED221
    Thinking about you today. How are you doing?

    Sending love and hugs,

    972 days ago
    I am learning to not allow food to make me it;s victim. I do not drink but that also goes with it. I have a brother that has allowed alcohol to make him it's victim. He did not drink for 30 years & started again he lives with an alcoholic also which does not help.They feed off each other.I walked away I had to he was making me his victim.
    My one brother lived in Japan for 3 years he was in the service.I am learning to cook Japanese on You Tube is a young Japanese girl that has a show called One Cookbook I am starting out simple.Japan I understand is very cold in the winter.We are having bitter cold winter now & a snow storm coming tonight.There is a guy on You Tube Ryan Boundless an American that has been in Japan for many years he teaches English he lived in Kobe Japan. he is from California. Well take care
    973 days ago
    978 days ago
    Ah Carolyn. I saw that you had a new blog the other day, and I SAVED it to read!!! I cherish your writing, your honest description of what you are going through. Like others, there is much for me to relate to.

    I am also quite sensitive - I might have mentioned this before, but when I read the book the Highly Sensitive Person, it resonated with me on so many levels. At the end, I will try and post some links that you might find helpful. It is HARD to be a sensitive person in this world; and often I have found that I build a wall so that I can't get hurt - and also tend to use food or wine to numb out. It is a hard world and hard times. Having so much access to news and information does not help as we are exposed to it. I have chosen NOT to watch a lot of news or certain types. I can handle local news but choose not to watch CNN -- too much conflict and arguing. And, I read the paper or internet so I can choose how much or when I find things out. And sometimes I take a break from it!!! I wasn't online most of the day when Prince Harry got engaged so had no idea until later that night! And that's okay! (link to highly sensitive person website)


    It is also hard to be the caretaker of so many. I have also come to resent this as well - and am doing my best to work through it. As you said so eloquently, I have also travelled down some dark paths and feel sadness, shame, regret. Here is an article that I read recently that described what we do - again, no hyperlink but you can copy & past.

    I was overcome with horror and resentment when I looked back and realized I was doing all of the shopping, cooking, cleaning etc while working full time -- even when my hubby was PART time and working at home. I had a 30-45 minute commute on top of this. Things are changing, slowly. And I do know about Japanese husbands, LOL. since I am married to one as well...

    So I'm trying not to offer advice. Just hugs and love as you make your own way. You are valuable and worthy of a wonderful life. You have many gifts, one of which is your eloquent writing voice. Thank you for sharing yourself with us here on Spark, and I'm here too!

    Some more things that may be of interest --just a few that I follow
    sobriety blogs by women: - also have podcasts

    book - Sober for Good - by Anne Fletcher - interesting read and she also wrote a book called Thin For Life.
    here is her website : http://annemfletcher.com/

    ts of love to you friend. emoticon emoticon emoticon


    979 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/7/2017 1:37:43 PM
    You write with such honesty and emotion - I can feel it through your words. It is hard when you feel you are alone and struggle to get through each day. I am thinking of you and hope you find strength from within. You are worth it!!

    979 days ago
    I followed friend Slimleaf here....it looks like you have good support for this Journey to Good Health.
    May God bless you in these efforts.
    emoticon Joyce
    980 days ago
    Are you seeing a therapist? Because a lot of what you describe in your blog sounds like depression, and you may want treatment for that. Sometimes talking things out helps you feel better. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps people make positive changes in their lives, you might want to look into that type of therapy, since that's something you are working on right now. If this doesn't interest you, then nevermind. I was just trying to help, because no one should have to live with depression. Maybe you want to see what you can accomplish on your own, which is cool. It's liberating to start making positive changes in your life!

    I hope you are getting your news in smaller doses, since it sounds like that might be an eating trigger for you. The news upsets me too. Sometimes, I will get really distracted with reading news stories, for hours! I usually try to avoid it, since one story leads to another and another, and it's so hard to tear myself away, and all the time I am getting upset by the sad news of some of the stories.

    Congratulations on your two weeks of abstinence! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    981 days ago
    Wishing you loads of keeping your spunk with it you will be a winner.
    984 days ago
    My dear fiend, I hear my own voice in many of your thoughts. I know what it is like to sit on the throne of condemnation. I am so pleased that you are seeing your life begin to change. I too have tried to bury my feeling with food thinking they were gone for good, but they always came back. After 5 years talking with a counselor, I'm learning how to express my feelings in a positive and productive way. I was asked if growing up I was the peace maker in the family - never wanting to upset the boat. I too look back with regret over the years I let my nice 18 year old figure disappear. I'm learning to concentrate on the present and what I can do now. Yes, it is a struggle, but you and I can do it. I don't follow this advice myself, but many counselors say that it can be helpful to journal. The reason I mention this is because you are very articulate and honest with expressing your feeling. Maybe grabbing a journal when feelings want to lead to you to an unhealthy path would help you. emoticon Don't give up. Every day is a do-over day. Stay positive. emoticon
    985 days ago
    So dear one, you have been abstinent and sober for two weeks maybe plus a couple of days? That's wonderful but what have you done about YOU? YOU Carolyn, the woman who needs to figure out how to handle uncomfortable situations without running to your "drug of choice?" Have you figured out how you are going to change the person you have become? I am not talking about the skinnier Carolyn, or the much more Buff Carolyn. I am talking about you, that can handle life without the big capital F word....FEAR! Do let me know what you will be doing....I am here 24/7
    986 days ago
  • 1958TMC
    Carolyn, I'm so proud of you for getting out of the prison that you have been in for so many years. I'm sure it is long overdue. I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason. Maybe you had to take the path down the darkest road to get to the path with the light at the end. But for what ever reason, I for one am glad that you are taking control. I really wish we could live closer so we could just go have a few cups of coffee and just talk all day if we wanted to!!! Take care, my friend and know that your Spark family are all behind you and supporting you. Tina
    986 days ago
    Thank you, Carolyn, for bearing your soul with us. It is refreshing to have your words put to many of the same feelings and struggles that I identify with. My prayers are with you on your peace seeking journey. Keep taking one baby step at a time. You can do this!
    986 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/30/2017 10:04:35 AM
  • no profile photo JEANNETTE59
    You have so bravely exposed your soul and with it your demons Carolyn, that I and many others can relate to
    one or more of those demons. But if your husband has not stepped up and expressed his concern for your health and happiness, then you must have a very candid conversation with him.
    He may be very traditional, but that doesn't mean that he is blind to what you have been doing to yourself to numb your pain and frustration.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    987 days ago
    You are such an engaging writer! Your raw and emotional posts are so relatable in more ways than I care to admit.

    I will tell you want has helped me in the hopes you might find this relatable. I used to be a slave to what Karen Horney might call "the tyranny of the shoulds" or what Albert Ellis less eloquently called, "MUSTerbating." I had all sorts of ideas about what the right thing was for me to do and it usually involved giving more of myself than I had to give and feeling resentful while also hating myself for feeling resentment.

    I finally threw out social rules and gave myself permission to like myself as an imperfect person trying to survive in a challenging world. My boundaries may make me seem selfish to some, but those who judge don't matter. I stopped doing what I thought I SHOULD do to be seen as caring and good and I started doing what I felt I could handle. Dealing with my son was freeing in a way because I started out justifying things by telling myself if I do myself in, nobody will be willing to handle all that comes with him. Then I stopped using him as an excuse. We all have a right to take care of our physical and mental health and sometimes that means saying "no" to things where we wish we could say "yes." This helped me be more accepting of myself while also no longer being a victim of self-induced or other-induced guilt. Sometimes the most healthy thing we can do is "Just say NO" (Not quite what Nancy Reagan had in mind, but oh well).

    Glad you are getting out of this mental prison. Welcome to freedom!
    987 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/29/2017 1:04:38 PM
  • DESIREE672
    I KNOW you can do it!
    987 days ago
  • DESIREE672
    Your blog makes me want to reach into the screen and help. And here I am on the train quaking after six hours in a meeting where I just barely held my own. Other people are my weak area. I’m much more spry at 66 than I was at 50 years old + 18 kilos.
    987 days ago
    What a wonderful, honest, inspiring blog! I guess we have to get older to realize that life is not all wonderful or fun but needs to be experienced in it's entirety, good and bad. So, with knees shaking, heart quaking, look forward with strength and determination and faith in yourself. Remember that bravery is not lack of fear, it is moving forward despite fear. And that you are: braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.
    Your blog has re-inspired me to take control of my life, too, and begin to struggle, instead of simply acquiescing. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    987 days ago
  • WHITE-2
    Thank you for sharing. I have quite a few thoughts reading your blog but not sure if it would be helpful if I share them...
    987 days ago
    Carolyn, you are truly an inspiration and I appreciate you writing about your non-struggles in such a clear and concise way. You're right, sometimes when things are just too hard to deal with we tend to hide away in whatever feels good. Today I've been having a day where I just want to indulge myself - luckily, I don't really have anything around anymore that is really an indulgence - at least that I enjoy indulging in! I have worked so very hard to change the way I eat and even when I eat. But some days it still haunts me!

    I hope you can find something positive that can help you through the rough times. I am so thankful for having had my knee replaced because it opened up a whole new world for me at the gym. I absolutely love going up there and am so proud that I am gaining strength back in my whole body! I am still having a challenging time finding the balance between just enough and too much - but it will happen. And just like when I was young and dancing - once I get there all the crazy of the world goes away. I have also stopped watching the news other than just our local news once a day to hear the weather. I am tired of how our world has become and I just don't want to know anymore.

    Good luck to you. I will be praying for your success!
    988 days ago
    Super candid blog. And lots of very supportive comments and suggestions.

    When we stop medicating with whatever . . . then the feelings are right there.
    988 days ago
    Goodness, what a day! I started to reply to this THIS MORNING, and now it's 8:30 at night, and I'm only just now having a moment to actually write out a whole comment.

    I'm really proud of you being clean for two weeks! That is incredible! It's so hard, but every day is a victory, and you, my friend, are a VICTOR!

    I need to sit down and write you back, hopefully soon. I'll write you more then. LOVE!!!
    988 days ago
    Wow, Carolyn, you have a lot of self-awareness and I wish you luck working through your challenges. I have dealt with alcohol and gambling in my extended family, and it is not easy. With any addiction it's about hitting that realization and hitting rock bottom saying to yourself you are ready for a change.

    I send you my prayers and you KNOW you have tons of support here.
    988 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    emoticon emoticon
    988 days ago
    emoticon thank you for writing this blog..... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    988 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon I kept identifying with many of your comments and situations, but mostly wanted to tell you that I sympathize and support you. As "everyone" seems to agree, your statements are profound, honest, and brave. One I will cling to most for both you and me is "And guess what--a happy ending is highly possible...." I'm reminded of Victor Frankl's encouragement, that we may (often) not be able to choose our circumstances, but we can still choose our attitude. You are choosing to be self-nurturing and courageous, and I'm holding you up in my thoughts and prayers to keep you going. Remember, together we are strong. Lynn
    988 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/28/2017 2:42:31 PM
    Nice to hear from you! I relate to you so much. I have been (not) struggling with alcohol and food as well. It's so easy to use these substances to numb ourselves and it certainly has become a learned behavior for me. For some reason, I think of it as a reward as well - - when clearly it is not rewarding my body but actually hurting it. You have a lot on your plate (no pun intended) and it is definitely harder when you feel emotions so acutely. I have hope for us both however. We are still here and we are still capable of learning and changing our behavior. Getting older has it's drawbacks for sure but hopefully there has been some wisdom accumulated over the years as well. Perhaps some of that will kick in!! emoticon
    988 days ago
    Know first hand what you are saying and find that food (particularly sugary treats) are my drug of choice. You are back on track and 2018 is going to be YOUR year! I have been listening to the "Half Size Me" Podcasts and have found them to be very motivational. They are free so you might want to listen while walking, driving or doing housework. Hugs to you, Rhonda

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    988 days ago
    You've read my mind! I've been, and sometimes still am, in your situation. With the advantage of hindsight, I truly and lovingly suggest counseling. It sounds like your husband isn't supportive and maybe you don't feel like you can be honest with him. If he is of the traditional mindset, I get it.

    You need an impartial voice and ear. Another woman who has seen life and understands. This voice won't change your life FOR you but will help you change your life yourself.

    I totally get it. And now it feels like you're in a corner with no way out. I don't know if there are Overeater Anonymous chapters in Japan, but that would also be a help.

    If you've never been to a counselor before, it may take a while to find the right person to build that rapport. It was about 3 months of weekly sessions before I reached the point of "she really gets me". Keep reaching out. Keep trying. Yes, keep struggling. It's worth it.


    988 days ago
    More than struggle - fight!
    Everybody else's expectations aside, fight for you, fight for your happiness, fight for your peace of mind!
    I find relief from my struggles through physical activity, preferably in nature, and also through practicing yoga. They say "It's never too late", and it isn't. But you've got to believe it!
    988 days ago
    My dear friend Carolyn,
    you are always in my heart and thoughts. You need to admit one ore thing in your BLOG and that is you ARE struggling. Not with the food or the beer being easily consumed but with what life has and still is dealing you.
    You have had so many personal burdens put upon you you at that is the struggle you are dealing with my friend. Too much for one person to have to go through!

    I am so glad that you are able to sit back and look at the whole picture. Eating and drinking is a punishment and you my friend should be rewarding yourself. Your kindness, humility and caring heart are qualities that should always be rewarded with happiness and laughter.

    I pray that you will reach success with your goals of healthy eating and fitness when your body allows.
    You know I am always here and but a fingertip away when ever you may feel that you are having troubles with losing your motivation.

    Hugs and lasting friendship
    Susan emoticon
    988 days ago
    I’m more concerned about those bumps and in the road without your lack of tools to help you cope through the journey “sober and abstinent “ . Life is almost impossible to deal with without these tools Carolyn. You just can’t “white knuckle each day.
    988 days ago
    You write so well. It just speaks to what most of us go through at some points in our life. I am so happy that you are now on the right path, and I have no doubt you will be successful. Thank you for your insights and hope you keep sharing, you might no fully realize how you help others see themselves. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    988 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/28/2017 9:10:27 AM
    You have a way of stripping the blinders from our eyes, so we say "yeah, she's right!", even when we wish to deny it. There are days when I just don't fell like getting out and walking the pups, or making my 10K steps, or, (no!) I just want to eat XX. It's not that I'm bedbound, or crumpled over with pain, or whatever ... I just don't wanna.

    I wish you strength to overcome, peace in your heart, and kindness from all.
    988 days ago
    Great blog. You are so articulate. I am on your side, wishing you well. You deserve to feel good.
    988 days ago
    Carolyn........Thank You for sharing your honesty...........I've experienced people who tell us the are so perfectly happy and then tell us what we can't eat and how we can clean our perfect house. Well I think if you have any kind of heart, that you must experience the feelings you just shared. That's life.....it happens. Are you like me.....when someone vents to you, do you try to solve their problems......spending much time thinking about how to help? I feel like some people in your life are taking their problem from their shoulders and putting it on yours. I am trying to listen and understand and then put it on the back burner because I've learned that most of the time they don't want the advise, they just want to share. I've learned that with my daughter and finally told her....."you're a strong person.....you'll make the right decision".....and surprisingly......she did. Carolyn.......it's your turn.......it's your turn to be happy and have peace! You have such a kind heart.......my prayer for you is that people will treat you like you have been treating them for years........it's your turn......... emoticon
    988 days ago
    WOW!! I love your blog. You are so honest and forthright and eloquent! This came at exactly the time I needed it. I am struggling too, and reading this made me realize that this is not a bad thing. It is part of the process of becoming who we want to be! Thank you so much!

    988 days ago
    You write what I feel. There is NO easy way , just put the fork DOWN......I say to myself...way to many times... Love your meaningful blogs.... keep Sparking.... and thank you.
    988 days ago
    I am so glad to hear your voice again. I've missed your writing. You really get to the heart of what this is all about, and of course it is your sensitivity that makes it possible. It's a gift and a burden at the same time, isn't it.

    I didn't get serious about my eating and lifestyle till I hit 60, that's when it became clear I could either take control of the situation or spend my remaining years being dosed with a long list of medications. I'm 67 now, only take blood pressure meds, and more in shape than I was throughout my 40s and 50s, so there's still time for you to do this.

    My own experience with alcohol is that as I get older I just can't handle it any more. It wreaks havoc with my blood sugar, and the couple of hours of relaxation it will bring will be more than paid for with a day of being bloated, run-down, miserable and full of food cravings. I've had to leave it behind along with sugar and processed carbs. When presented with these things now, my instant gut reaction is not how appealing they look but rather how cruddy I'll feel if I ingest them. I honestly almost think of them as mild poisons. Kind of like Pavlov's dog, over time you can condition your responses. Of course it's easier to do when living alone - I can just banish lots of foods from the house, and only have to deal with them at social occasions, but you have to buy and cook them.

    Anyway if I were you I'd cut the alcohol completely as a first step. In a way it's simpler to do than the food - I mean we can give up drinking but we can't give up eating - and obviously it really exacerbates the eating issues. And forgive me if I proselytize a little, but going low-carb high-protein has been such a lifesaver for me that I can't help wishing other people would try it.

    And keep writing!!!

    988 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/28/2017 7:24:20 AM
    Courageous you, deciding to struggle. Do you have any other ways to deal with all the emotions you feel so acutely? Painting, other forms of art, music...? I'm not nearly as sensitive as you, but I know I need other ways of dealing with stress, beyond wanting to eat and drink. I'm on the hunt for a local, accessible hot tub that allows drop-in fees! I wish I was someone who dealt with stress by going for a run,,, but thus far, nope. Right now I am trying to drink licorice tea when I would rather grab a beer! Hang in there, you are doing good things for you, even though it is hard.
    988 days ago
    I always get so much from your blogs, Carolyn.

    I love how you are so honest with the challenges you are dealing with and the self reflection.
    It really makes me think about how I am handling my own personal challenges.
    And you are right about being mad and upset about what is going on the the world right now. I sometimes have to change the channel or mute the TV because of it. And shake my head in utter disbelief at the stupidity and horror.

    "Think Happy" has been my mantra lately. It's sappy but it kind of keeps me focused on doing what's best for me.

    988 days ago
    I've been absent from SparkLand for very many months but email notification of your blog post caused me to log-in again in order to read it.

    And I'm glad I did.

    You write so well, Carolyn - and bravely too. So... thank you for the encouragement you've given me through reading your post.

    Let's both keep on struggling together!
    988 days ago
  • CHAOS1996
    I love your voice and I really identify with a lot of what you say. Thank you for sharing.
    988 days ago
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