Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Shameless Bad Days

Lately, I've had more opportunities to explore some trying "bad" days, and I'm finding ease in not handling them very well.
That is to say: I'm handling them better than I would have 7 years ago, pre-recovery.
And I'm also handling them worse than I did two years ago when I was oblivious to the grip perfectionism held (holds) on me.  On those bad days, I worked hard to do everything right.

Reach out.
Use tools.
Good food.

After a few days of "perfect" behavior, I'd inevitably crash and burn, unable to keep up with my own expectations.

A couple of days ago, a trauma trigger hit in a hard way. A comment was made about my looks that hurt.
I cried on the spot, and I cried hard.

Does it matter what other people think of me?  The way I look?
Not really.
What does matter is my own self-worth and acceptance.

But guess what?  It still HURT.

So I let myself cry, and I prayed and I cried to a few safe women about it.  The next day, I knew I'd want to numb out.  I knew I'd want to exclusively eat the gingerbread and frosting I'd made the day before.  I knew I'd find a series on Netflix to curl up with.  I knew I had no appointments during the day.

I reached out.
I prayed.
I talked about my susceptibility to numbing.  I talked about my pain.

Then I curled up on the couch with a stomach ache and a three year old and dozed off while she watched a cartoon.
Did I eat gingerbread and frosting?  YES!  Exclusively?  ALMOST!
Did I numb out to a movie?  NO!  Did I keep a movie going in the background while I got the house ready for feeding the sister missionaries?  YES!

I ate a nourishing dinner... and then more frosting.

It wasn't awesome, but it wasn't despair either.  I didn't do the day PERFECTLY, but I DID THE DAY and I prayed and told God I was hurting and not coping well.

Today will be a day of repentance -something else I'm learning to remove the shame from.

I love Baron Baptiste's take on repentance.  It was a game-shifter for me.
From page 6 of his book, "40 Days to a Personal Revolution," we read:
"...I came to understand that what he [Brahmacharya] meant by repentance wasn't that we should dwell on where we lost our way and all the ways we are bad, but rather to have the courage to face the pure, unsweetened truth of ourselves so that we can move on and grow in more honest and authentic ways.  It is simply the willingness to see in full truthfulness what we need to face within ourselves and our lives so that we might get into the right alignment.  As Jesus taught, it is always the truth that sets us free."

So today is a new chance to seek for alignment once again, to look for my own unsweetened truth.  And what is that pure truth?

I'm finding it isn't initially clear to me in situations where I'm right up against pain.  It's like one of those science projects where you look at a slide under a microscope while the teacher asks you -smiling all the while -what it is.
And you have no answer because it just looks like a confusing mess of messes.
"It's thread," they say, or maybe, "skin" or "oil."
THEN you see it.  THEN you can't NOT see it.

Being up against pain is like that for me.  While I'm up close and right up against it, I can't tell what it is or what's going on at all.  I just sit with it and stare at it and it hurts so much.  I talk about it and I eat about it.
As the days roll by and more distance is placed between pain and Alicia, I start to get clear about what I'm dealing with.  I start to be able to see what's going on.

It's as if I'm able to "zoom out" from my microscopic slide and gain some clarity about what I was up against.

Yesterday, I was still too close to the pain to make anything out of it.  I only prayed this prayer:
"Heavenly Father, I'm hurting.  I don't want to numb out.  I don't want to stay in victim.  But I DO want to remain completely true to where I am and what I'm feeling."

Am I always honest with myself?  NO.  This is something I'm learning, like a newborn learning how to walk.

I ended my prayer and listened to myself and what did I need?  To sleep some more because my stomach hurt.

So I didn't "do" yesterday perfectly according to my old standards of perfect, but today, I feel like I can begin to apply repentance.  I can see some of the "pure" truth about myself:

I use sugar as a Savior.
I can use the Savior and my Savior.

I am deeply affected by others' opinions about me.
I can someday access a place where I'm not.

I can also see the beauty in my sensitivities.  I can see that my body needs love and caring, and I can honor that today with some yoga (which I skipped yesterday) and some green juice (I skipped any and all greens yesterday).

In Tutu's, "Book of Forgiving," he tells us that in order to forgive others, we need to tell our story.  We need to talk about what happened, and I DID that with God and a few friends.  When we're ready, we'll be able to name our pain.
We'll be able to name our pain as we tell our story.
"This happened, and I feel ___________."

This morning, I woke up and was able to say, "That happened, and I feel rejected."

That's why it hurt so much!  Because as a wife going through betrayal trauma, feeling rejected because of physical appearance cuts on a very deep level -for me.

So I'm logging off to roll out my mat.
I'm logging off to get some greens in on top of the frosting I downed a few minutes ago.
I can go to my meeting and drink my favorite herb tea, slather on some oils to help nurture what's been hurt, and look around and find God.
And laugh, for crying out loud.  Because I thrive on laughter.

I might fall on my face, and that's okay too.

I choose to TRY to tap into realignment today, and I didn't yesterday -not fully.
That's where I am.
This is me being true and honest with me.


  1. Thank you for sharing! This was just what I needed to hear today. I love this part, "but rather to have the courage to face the pure, unsweetened truth of ourselves so that we can move on and grow in more honest and authentic ways. It is simply the willingness to see in full truthfulness what we need to face within ourselves and our lives so that we might get into the right alignment".

    I relate to much of what you said, that I can't always tell what it is when I look so closely. I need to step back.

    1. Don't you love that?! Thinking of repentance as a "realignment" was such a huge shift for me.

      And I have to say that stepping back from pain seems to only come to me through time. Maybe someday I'll be able to step back in the moment (or close to the moment) because I've seen some folks do that, but I'm not there yet. ;) Time is on my side -a great friend of mine