Monday, August 31, 2009

Welcome to OA, Welcome Home

OA in San Diego is cool. They have meetings here every day, multiple times a day. It's not like home where it was one day a week. Help here is literally just a meeting away. Plus they have multiple meeting formats like Women's meeting, a Steps meeting where you go through and discuss each step, and on and on. Tonight was a format like I have never been a part of before. There was a podium up front and the entire room was filled with chairs lined in rows like a classroom. I couldn't believe how many people were there. I got a warm welcome since I'm a newcomer from Indiana--the new people in OA are the most important.

Anyway, what really got me thinking was the passage from OA For Today that a young woman read. It was the topic of discussion at the meeting.

I have never seen a person grow or change in a constructive direction when motivated by guilt, shame, and/or hate. -William Goldberg

For today: I let no one--including myself--try to shame me into changing something about myself I wish were different. I pray to be relieved of guilt and self-hate, and to accept and like myself exactly as I am. That is where I can begin to change.

What would it be like to accept myself the way I am right now? Honestly? Too scary. Why would I want to accept myself? I could no longer obsess about all the things I want to change or think up ways I could be better. I would no longer be able to berate myself for not having the job I want, not having more friends, not being skinny, not dressing fashionably, not having perfect white teeth or straight teeth, not having long enough or straight enough hair, not having better social skills, not being able to be the life of the party, never knowing the right thing to say, not being able to get the guy I want, not being able to make decisions on my own, never knowing what to do, and always thinking someone else is better.

If I weren't doing all of that, what would I do? Would I just enjoy life? I mean, how though? I make up the rules about what I need to be happy. If I accept myself, it means accepting mediocrity. I'm not even sure what makes me happy right now. Moving away from everything I know and not having a job puts me in an awkward position where I have to find my place again. I'm not even sure that I am homesick because I'm still me in this body--only 2000 miles away from where I was before. Changing location doesn't change attitudes. I am no happier or sadder than where I came from. If I'm not happy, it's a reflection of who I am on the inside. That's the thing about OA, you realize it's not about the food.

So anyway, the realization I came up with today is that the thing that makes me feel the most happy ever is being accepted. LOL! It's so funny because I don't accept myself. That being the case, my happiness hinges on other's acceptance of me. Sometimes I like myself, but it's so much easier to be critical--it's familiar. When someone else recognizes and brings something positive about me to my attention, it's like the gates of heaven open up. I want so much to be liked but I still don't believe there is much there worth liking. That's why I'm in OA--it's not about food, it's about self-worth and how that relates back to your eating.

So whatever, I am just rambling now but I'm no longer in therapy and this is therapeutic for me. I haven't even blogged for weeks because it wasn't until now that I felt like I even had anything important to talk about. I guess one last thing I'll mention about tonight was how OA is great because people there accept you. It's such a great feeling to the point that you almost wish the entire world (or dad, or ex bf, or whoever troubles you) would accept you with open arms.

I was so surprised tonight when a newcomer (literally, it was her first meeting) came up and said to me that she didn't understand why I was here. I assume she was referring to my body weight and appearance. I guess to someone who is obese, I don't seem too bad, but it did shock me. I seriously look in the mirror and see an oompa loompa, like from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Short, fat, and round. Or Shrek with broad shoulders, a kind of mannish build. I don't feel womanly and I certainly don't dress womanly. I pray for the day when I look in the mirror and can accept the person looking back at me. When I finally accept myself, I think I may finally be happy. Besides, it's my acceptance that matters most.

Thanks for listening to me, cyberspace. Goodnight.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Appreciate the Journey

This poem sums up my feelings today as I pack and prepare for my journey and the next chapter in my life. In every sense of the meaning, I'm taking a "leap of faith" bigger than any I have taken before. I have a feeling Robert Frost was right, but in the meantime I'll just have to wait and see. For now, I just need to sit back and appreciate the journey, let go of control, and see where it takes me.


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth

Then took the other as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how way leads onto way
I doubted if I should ever come back

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference

Robert Frost

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Home Sweet Home, No More...

As my time here in Bloomington dwindles down, I am getting sad about leaving my hometown and home for the last 26 years of my life. Don't get me wrong, I am excited to begin a new chapter in my life, but Bloomington will always hold a special place in my heart.

I found something today that I wrote about Bloomington, but I'm not even sure what I was writing for. Anyway I didn't want to just delete it, obviously there was some purpose behind it. Maybe it's no "coincidence" that I ran across it as I am preparing for my big move.

I live in Bloomington, IN which is the home of Indiana University. Many of the activities in Bloomington are built around the campus (football games, basketball games, shows put on at the IU Auditorium such as Riverdance and Rent). Check out 4th street which is famous for all our different foreign food restaurants (Indian, Moroccan, Italian, and Turkish cuisine just to name a few). Also you can eat at the Dalai Lama's brother's restaurant "The Snow Lion". Half an hour away is Brown County Indiana, where there are hundreds of little shops selling everything from homemade fudge to blown glass to jewelery. My favorite time of season is the fall when they have all their fall decorations out. It's like walking around a cute little historical village from the past. Also there are tons of wineries around Bloomington. The closest is Oliver Winery which is absolutely beautiful -- tons of picnic tables and a small pond outside. An hour from Bloomington is Indiana's capital, Indianapolis. If you enjoy shopping in many high-end shops such as Coach and Banana Republic, definitely check out the Circle Center Mall or the Fashion Mall. French Lick Indiana is another main attraction. Only about 1 1/2 away you can gamble on their Riverboat casino and walk around the beautiful West Baden hotel which was just recently restored. Figures such as Al Capone once stayed there when French Lick was a booming town known for it's purifying Pluto Water.