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#125710 - 12/10/03 08:13 PM still regressing
fhorns Offline

Registered: 08/10/02
Posts: 706
I had a dilemna today. It was nothing big, but I am at a crossroads in my mental and emotional growth. I realize that I am wanting to be free again emotionally. I need to give a little background here to make sense.

I have been one who has hidden in make-believe worlds. Most of them have been where I have had little or no responsibility. If I did have some, I resented it and manipulated to get out of it, though often slyly. My most recent escapes had been the Harry Potter world (with all its shadows, adventures, and rescue from dull life) and The Lord of the Rings world. Harry Potter isn't effective for me anymore. And I didn't feel right since I am a Chistian. I couldn't explain it. I just felt wrong.
But I got into Lord of the Rings, and I think their simple world of farming, socializing, and no government is ideal.

Well, yesterday I was walking to class, and a guy was walking ahead of me. I'm in my 30's, and he was young. His walk was relaxed. He walked like a kid who was being a kid. I got depressed. I missed out on my childhood. I remembered Sam in Lord of the Rings, and in real life he is a real kid. I thought of him when I saw this guy. I felt the pain of never taking my young 20's and being a kid. I hid then. But I realized I still do it now. And I really thought about it these last 24 hours.

Well, today I was thinking about it because I had to return to that same school campus. I knew I had the choice of facing my pain and maybe growing up a little, or running like I always have. I felt depressed when I thought of running. My planned escape had been caffeine and cookies after class. This may seem like fun for some people, but the thought of doing it again made me feel frustrated inside. Food isn't fun anymore.

Well, I didn't want to do the smarter choice. I went over to the coffee shop, splurged, and now I feel like I wasted my life for a few hours. I had the choice of not doing it, but I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO FILL THE GAP WITH!! GOD, HOW DO I GET OUT OF THIS? I FRICKING HATE BEING ALONE!

As a food addict, I don't want to quit. I'll give it up for a few days, but when demands of adult life creep in, I remember this easier comfortable fantasy world and plan my escape. (One little binge won't throw me off that much, will it?) And so I give in sooner or later. Regret follows along with a bulemia of exercise, vitamins, and health food, and then I wonder when the next binge will come. Too many binges back to back wear me out and they're no fun. Quitting sugar and coffee helps my mind, but it doesn't take pain away. I know it would help, but I haven't found MY reason to quit. It has to be more than a nice idea. My sponsor keeps on saying "Give it up". Last night he pegged me on my not believing my life is unmanageable yet. He's right. For those of you who are out there, how do you cope with your pain? Why do we still indulge? When will I quit? (a rhetorical question)

This sounds like whining, but I am wanting both worlds right now. Healthier individuals have said here that it ISN'T an all or nothing thing, and I'd like to think that is true. I used to deny my pain through food, movies, studying, or anything that felt nicer. I can't hide there like I used to. I've grown. I am slowly realizing I want other people in my life, but I'm still trying to regress. It's just not so comfortable regressing anymore. What do I do now, when all I've ever done is protect myself by isolating? This is a tough one.

Thanks for letting me air.


#125711 - 12/10/03 08:54 PM Re: still regressing
BT Offline

Registered: 06/25/03
Posts: 388
Loc: Chicago IL

I think I am grasping what you are saying and think I can relate. I hope I will say a couple of things to help.

I have been overweight most of my life using food as an escape. I also smoked, and read fantasy a lot like you in order to escape. I escaped by using religion, not as a spiritual component of my life, but as an escape tool.

The most profound thing I have learned through a lot a therapy and introspection is the idea that as an abuse survivor on of the most significant things I lost as a human being was the concept of making choices. Somehow I had equated that my reason for existance was to please and make others happy. To hell with what I wanted, it I could make you happy, then I was happy.

So since I had no ability, no courage so to speak to stand up and say and do what I wanted in life I made what choices I could control.

I hope this is making some sense.

I would smoke for example, because it was my decision, my choice, my right, I could smoke whenever I wanted and by smoking I was making a choice.

We have to as humans make choices. It is part of our makup. And we will make choices no matter what. But as survivors of SA we often do not make healthy choices and for me it was a realization that I had a right to do and live like I wanted.

I had a right to work where I wanted. I had the right to do what I wanted and be what I wanted and I did not have to do anything to please someone else. If I wanted to fine, but I did not have to. It would be my decision, not because I felt like I had to but because I wanted to.

While this was a long process as this concept began to become real and take hold, I first quit abusing food. I had tried every diet known to man and none worked. But when I approached every meal as I had a choice as to what and how much I ate. I can't describe it except to say with no diet, no formula, I lost over 70 lbs in about a year.

Then I decided I wanted to get in "shape" so I joined a gym and now I have muscles. still a bit of fat but not much.

And then I decided to quit smoking. It was afterall my choice. So I quit, cold turkey as they say. I had used patches, gum, pill, etc... in the past, but never really wanted it. This time I made a decision for me, not someone else. and I don't smoke anymore.

None of this was easy. It was really really hard at times, still is. But it all boils down to deciding what I want. Am I eating because I want to or is to escape for a bit. Just asking the questions start to give some power, some realization of what is going on.

I know this was a lot about me and I don't do this to brag on me, (Lord knows I have no room to brag, it just kind of sounds that way and it embareses me a bit), but hopefully to make a point that is very hard to articulate.

That inner self that uses food, drugs, sex, fantasy, etc as an escape will do something to make choices and decisions. Period.

If we are not making good and healthy decisions then the void will be filled by default with things that momentarily feel good. ie food, drugs, sex, fantasy.

So, at least for me I had to start making decisions. At first my life was all decisions. It was like I was starting life over.

I took it by the horns so to speak and when the alarm went off I made a decision. do I hit the snooze, or get up. There are ramifications for both but it is my decision and I have to deal with the results.

Then it was do I eat breakfast at home or get a donut on the way to work. do I go to lunch or go home. etcc..... I started by making sure that everything I did was because I wanted to do it.

sounds kind of simple till you try it and then you will find it is pretty rough. Cause you do get to the big things. like do I want to be married. do I want to have two kids, It is all up for review.

But now life is pretty good and I think a big part of the reason is learning that it is ok to do what I want to do. And it is ok to tell those around me what I want to do.

quick test: If someone asks you out to eat do you ever decide where to go, or is it a constant I don't care, it doesn't matter to me. If so stop it, make a choice. decide. it is a place to start.

Again I hope some ideas make sense, please pm me with any questions or to talk more. I am not sure I am getting to what you are working on but it seems to feel like I have been there done that so to speak so I wanted to try.
All my best

P.S. I have absolutly no professional psychological training, just experience, so check my theory out with someone that knows something before you jump off.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinions and it is not my job to change their mind." Dali Lama

#125712 - 12/11/03 02:32 PM Re: still regressing
outis Offline

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2261
Loc: Maryland USA

Listen to BT. I will probably print out that reply he gave you, because there is a lot of good stuff there. It's a "keeper."

I met BT in MN this past September. I sat across from him in the restaurant. I would never have guessed that he had ever been overweight. So whatever it is about recognizing that finally, we can choose, it worked like the dickens for him.

Now I need to apply what I am learning. Though food is not such an issue for me, I have no short supply of others.



"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

#125713 - 12/12/03 12:38 AM Re: still regressing
fhorns Offline

Registered: 08/10/02
Posts: 706
I beat you to it. I read what BT wrote yesterday, I printed it out, and then I read it to my wife because I had shared so much of myself in that posting. BT's response parallels so much of what my wife has been saying. I've always wanted her opinion so I could make my own decisions, and she reacted with thankfulness when I read it through. Someone else felt like she did.

BT, thank you for your simple and profound thoughts. I need a big wall poster that says something along those lines so I can see it everyday. Got one in mind?

I love hearing from you guys.



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