Honesty, Hypocrisy & Me

I am a hypocrite.

Countless times, I have had the conversation with my children, the conversation that follows a mistake made by them, a bad decision, a poor judgment.  The main point of the conversation is simple:  a mistake has been made, crying and bemoaning the mistake only makes a bad situation worse.  You can’t un-ring the bell.  What you can do is learn from it, and do your best not to repeat it.

Countless times, I engaged in the behaviors associated with active addiction.  At a certain point in time, I became consciously aware that my behavior was wrong on every level, but I repeated the mistake, time and again.  I tried to correct the mistake, and fell down more times than I can count.  In my heart of hearts, though, I had an unshakeable belief that there was a solution.  For a long time, I was unclear on what that solution was, but deep in my heart I knew it was there.  And, by the grace of God, it became clear to me just two short years ago, and I have thanked Him for it every day since that time.

Here is where the admission of hypocrisy begins.  For the past two days, I have been soul-searching in a way I haven’t soul searched in a long time.  It started innocently enough:  my husband and I have planned a trip to celebrate a milestone birthday for him, and a milestone anniversary for us, both taking place this year.  The trip is set for six weeks from now, and will take place on an island, something to anticipate, given the miles of snow I see outside my window currently.  But of course this leads me to the conclusion that I need to get myself in gear, both in terms of diet and exercise, both disciplines that have been abandoned for quite some time now.

The simple “what can I do to improve myself in 6 weeks” has morphed into such an abyss of despair and hand-wringing anxiety, I knew I needed to write about it.  For the first 24 hours, I was sure I would NOT write about it:  nobody wants to hear me blather on yet again about jumping back into the healthy lifestyle ring, it is not original, or interesting, or relevant.

And yet…

The feelings that rose within me as I attempted to complete the task with which I challenged myself, simply come up with a plan to improve my lifestyle in 6 weeks, the feelings were so similar to those I experienced in early recovery, that I figured I must flesh them out with my blogging friends.

At the heart of all those feeling, the single, most gut-wrenching emotion I experienced, was one of despair, and the voice of despair was so clear it was as if a person was standing alongside of me saying the words out loud,

“There is no way you will ever make this work.  You have tried and failed at this endeavor your whole life; there is no hope to turn it around.”

I am sure many of you reading this will relate to those words, anyone familiar with addiction has felt the despair that comes with repeatedly trying and failing.

And it is in admitting this despair that I am also confessing my hypocrisy.  I can (and have) preached to all those around me, that tomorrow is a new day, that it is not about how many times you fall that counts, but how many times you get back up, but in my heart I make an exception, and the exception is me, and healthy eating.  I’ve done lots of great things in my life, have many accomplishments of which I am proud, and believe myself capable of almost anything I set my mind to… except this.

So I’m a hypocrite, because I simply don’t practice what I preach.  I am a terminally unique individual when it comes to eating.

And I guess this is why I needed to write about it, because I am rolling my eyes even as I type those last lines.

This is why blogging about the garbage rolling around in the brain helps so much.  Because, as God as my witness, I was crying earlier this very day, as I realized this is how I have been thinking.

So now that I’ve gotten the self-pity out of my system, and I have exposed my deepest fears to the light of day, I guess it’s time to take some action.

A wise person suggested to me that I treat this problem in a similar way that I did my recovery.  In recovery, I made sure I did 4 things every day to count that day as a success.  Four was an easy to do list, easy to remember, and easy with which to commit.

So for now, I am working on my daily 4 list as it relates to this form of recovery.  I have identified the 4 food items that pose the greatest danger to me, and it is my goal to eliminate them.  To do that, I am committing to simple daily actions, all designed to eliminate the addictive food items.  There is still much work to be done, in terms of coming up with an eating routine that is healthy and sustainable, but for now I will consider this a great start, certainly leaps and bounds beyond anything I have done in recent memory.

The list is somewhat generic, and I have no doubt will need to be tweaked in the days that follow, but in writing about it, I am giving myself some accountability.  I will work on it, daily, make the necessary adjustments, but I am clear on my one, ultimate goal:  to reset my relationship with myself, to work towards creating a healthy mindset when it comes to treating my body.  I’ve gotten the mind-altering substances out of my system, now it’s time to start putting something healthy and life-affirming back into it.  It feels as daunting a task as making sobriety a reality, but at least I have some tools to help me:

  • One Day at a Time
  • Sharing the burden of my negative feelings
  • Allowing others to help me
  • And, most important,turning it over to a power greater than myself

Because, if He can get me sober, He can do anything!

I will let you know how it goes…

Today’s Miracle:

Having the courage to hit “publish” on this post

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Posted on February 20, 2014, in Self-Care and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Good luck! Definitely keep us posted. You KNOW I need to know about this.

    Sherry

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    • Hi Sherry, you know I will! I am behind on reading, but I am recalling something about the “o” word post that I may now surmise is a term with which I am familiar? I will be heading directly over there following the responding to these comments!

      Like

  2. Oh Josie! For the love of Julius Caesar, stop kicking yourself while you’re down. My goodness, the lashes from the wet noodle on your back must be making marks. Self-flagellation will get us nowhere.

    This is the kind of thing I would write about or get frothy about. Probably have somewhere in my archive. I am my own favourite target. We all are, aren’t we? Be gentle with yourself, Josie. We are all doing the best we can. I struggle with the foodstuffs too. Sweet, or just too much at one time. I know that I have to get out of terminally unique mode, but you know what, it is what it is right now. I am not there right now, just as i wasn’t all those years ago while drinking. Doesn’t mean I sit on my butt and stuff my face, but I do write about it. Write about what is going on with me while I crave carbs. I look for patterns. instead of going on a diet or regime right now, i am looking at causes and conditions….sound familiar? lol

    Anyway, there is nothing wrong with wanting to drop a few pounds, tone up, etc. Every person on the planet has the same goal, for the most part. Whole industries are built up on this desire.

    As for the hypocracy…I think most of us are guilty of the “do as I say, not as I do” thing. Especially parents! I tell my kids to not do X, and when they turn the corner, I am probably doing X. ha ha. But i do my best to keep as an example. To get better myself, to unlearn bad habits. But it takes willingness and faith and practice. There are some things I need outside help with. Nutritionists, psychologists, therapists, fitness coaches, and much more are out there to help us.

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know that being kind to yourself is something to consider.

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    Paul

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    • Paul, you have really given to me straight, and I thank you for that. Honestly, I could talk back to myself and say, stop feeling so sorry for yourself, but until I read this comment, I did not realize how much I have been beating myself up. Sounds stupid, but you really did just open my eyes. I actually feel a little silly (if you could have seen the angst I put myself through, you would understand that silly is probably a valid feeling to have right about now).

      I’ll tell you what, never have I seen the detriments of “terminally unique” more than I have with myself and this particular issue. I really and truly have a belief that I am somehow different from everyone else. HOW RIDICULOUS IS THAT? But it’s true that I felt this way, and have for a long time. You would think that someone who has been through the 12 steps, and regular engages in 12 step work, would be able to put these lessons into a wider practice, but. well.. it takes some of us longer than others, I guess.

      The greatest gratitude, Paul, for all of your support, I really needed someone to turn my thinking around on this one!

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  3. You ARE or you WERE a hypocrite?

    We all want instant gratification, but progress doesn’t work that way.

    But you can stop moving backward any moment you choose.

    It’s just life Josie… We’re not here forever, just a few years, so enjoy it while you’re here! You can do a lot in six weeks. You can’t undo six years in six weeks, but I can list you sixty things you CAN do. 😉

    First, think about all the amazing things your body does for you every day. Be happy for that body, love that body, have fun with that body.

    You never ever have to move backward again. 🙂

    Ps- go for a walk. On crutches if you have to.

    Like

    • Christy, I will honestly say, I wrote this, and was actively hoping you would write a comment, I KNEW you would have something to say that inspires me.

      I want you to know, first… I resumed kneeling for my morning prayers (time to stop babying the knee), two, when I thanked Him for all that I am grateful, I have now included my amazing body and all it does for me. Just as I ask for another day sober, I am asking for another day to appreciate my body.

      I did it this morning, and I am going to do it every day now, and I have you to thank for this inspiration.

      And finally, I will raise an ipod as I go on my morning walk, and imagine you are raising yours as you go on your run, and we will say a quiet “cheers” to one another!

      Thanks doesn’t seem like enough, but it’s all I’ve got right now, so thank you, Christy!

      Like

  4. I really feel for you on this. I was the opposite–I got the food and fitness thing more sorted out a few years ago, but it took a long time to realize/admit that doing all that while drinking way too much wasn’t so healthy after all. (Rocket science, here I come!) I think doing the small bits every day is a great way to do this. And I really like how you end your post, realizing that what you really want to do is to work on being healthy and treating yourself well. You want to improve your diet and fitness, sure. But you yourself, you are absolutely wonderful just as you are, and you know that, and you have to hang on to that while you’re doing all the rest of this hard work. Good luck making the changes, and looking forward to a fantastic island trip!

    Like

    • Thank you so much for this comment, it is amazing to know that there are people like me out in the world, that put down one vice, but still have others to work on. I know for me (as I commented and wrote about), I get into such a state that I think I’m the only one in the world that understands how hard it is, and it means A LOT to know there are others like me out there. So thanks again for commenting, it strengthens me!

      I totally and completely and totally agree that small consistent changes are the key. I have officially begun, and will be posting on my progress (God willing).

      Thanks again!

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  5. I hear you saying you don’t deserve a great vacation, and therefore must suffer, atone beforehand with self-criticism and scarcity. Relax! You may not have the ideal food and exercise history. There may be practical changes you want to make in your approach to these areas. But in my experience these work best as baby steps, little changes made one at a time, introducing a second change only after the first has become a non-willpower-demanding everyday habit. My recommendation? Make that first change- then spend your time and mental energy putting together outfits that compliment how you are now: Exotic, sexy, empowering and altogether wonderful! I look forward to hearing about your great vacation!

    Like

    • Carrie, I cant’ tell you how empowering it is to read this comment… someone just saying “Relax!” It’s true, I have worked myself into such a state, and I just needed to get it out and have people say, “knock it off!” So thanks for giving me the attitude adjustment I needed.

      I agree about the baby steps, I have a small set of changes in place, and I am going to be posting updates to let everyone knows how it goes.

      Thank you, thank you, thank you, for taking the time to comment!

      PS… I’ll also consider the sexy-wear, but I’m not making any promises on that one 🙂

      Like

  6. I love coming last to the post. Everybody was so affirming. I needed to read the comments—for me. I, too, get locked into un-healing thinking and the only way out is to let you guys pull me out. Sometimes I’m kicking so much I keep myself stuck.

    I see that I struggle just being human, accepting that others are human. We are imperfect by nature. That perfect part of us (God/Creator) is ever present, but as long as I have a ‘body’ I’m gonna screw up with it. Today, I will screw up something. It will be food (sugar), drink (caffeine), words (judgment/tone/ eye gesture), laziness (no run/walk) etc. And you know what, I’m already having to dialogue with Lisa about being kind to Lisa.

    I love when you share this stuff, because it brings me closer to self and God. That’s exactly where I need to be if I want to stay sober.

    love ya tons

    Like

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