October 29, 1999
Tune Out or Shut Up
Hmm... Been getting a lot of traffic lately. Two emails in two days stand out in particular. One challenges my beliefs about my body and theories about the psychological / emotional benefits to resisting change - asking to be added to my journals as a rebuttal. The other is a cease-and-desist of sorts, for something that only exists in the vaguest of terms in my public journals.
What this brings me to is this: why have I chosen this public (?) forum for my journaling? Well, at first, I was joining in Sloane's BABE2000 quest. That fizzled, but I began getting very touching feedback from friends and family. Folks wanted me to know that I had their support, that they'd been through similar things, that my words challenged their beliefs, and that this very personal "peep-hole" was pretty cool.
While only those who know me really KNOW that this is here (or would even take the time to look at it), it still is "public" - and I have to question my motivation in being so "out" about my issues. Yes, it invites controversy. It may seem self-indulgent and melodramatic. But anyone who's known me for any length of time knows that I too am these things. And part of my decision-making process in getting to this point in my life has involved being honest. Genuine. Open. So, what you're getting is a real look into ME. Values, Neuroses, Fears, Baggage, and 100% what's on my mind. It's not meant to affect you or validate YOUR opinions in any way. It's just me, living my life.
I guess all I can do is say, you've been warned. If you don't like what you're reading... STOP. It's just like TV. You invite the signal into your home and tune in the violent show... then you complain about violence on television... I'm sorry, you can't have it all. No one forces you to watch what repels you. And for the many, many more supportive than negative emails and calls I receive: THANK YOU.
Posted by bonnie at 5:03 PM
October 24, 1999
I just had the opportunity to be extremely dishonest. And I took the proverbial high road. A rude Mercedes-driving man left the ATM vestibule in a rush, nearly knocking me down as I entered. When I got to the ATM, it was beeping frantically, asking "Do you need more time?" If I had hit "Yes", I could have continued this man's transaction. By hitting "No", I ejected his card, which had a Visa logo on it. Yet another opportunity to be dishonest. I could take this card and fill up my gas tank, buy groceries, or even something frivolous. Very interesting, temptation. Gary Zukov says it's evidence that we are conquering our greatest life challenge.
Today was strange on a lot of levels. I was at rehearsal for the USC piece I'm shooting tomorrow and the guy who was my scene partner, after having met for rehearsal twice in the past week, still didn't know his lines. Even when he read them, he wasn't nailing the character. So, the director gave him direction (as directors are known to do). He still struggled. So, at one point, the actor left to feed his meter, having asked for money from the director, which she provided. After 30 minutes, we realized that he wasn't coming back. In fact, he'd told us earlier that he'd parked in the lot, not at a meter, so that story was just a way out. The remaining actors and the director discussed his choice, and how it just compounds the "flaky actor" reputation we all have to contend with. Still, the director was able to see that it was a blessing in disguise, as she could probably find an actor who'd do a better job with the part - even on 24 hours' notice. It's wonderful to see people find the lesson in every experience. It makes me feel good.
In other news... I'm FAT. So, so very FAT. My clothes don't fit anymore, and I'm embarrassed. It's damn sad. I started taking StarCaps again today. I'll break out the near-maxed-out credit card on the first Tuesday in November to buy another supply of them at GNC (on their 20% off day). I'm considering taking Metabolife, only because I saw that report on 20/20 that said they are extremely unhealthy (see, to me, that's a better endorsement than any before-and-after photo). I'm also wondering if I could NOT eat, like I did back in 1985 for an entire Summer. I know it's possible to NOT eat... but I really like to eat. Augh!! Why do I even consider options that are worse for me than just living my life? Because I'm desperate. And I don't like wearing tight clothes. SUCKOLA! Pray for me, friends.
Posted by bonnie at 5:02 PM
October 12, 1999
Feeling the Feelings
There is something very painful about KNOWING this work is emotional and then putting hope into yet another physical "plan". Call it whatever you want... it's always another fucking diet. After several very obsessed days, I finally came to this: I have a choice to either buy into my struggle as Purely Physical, meaning I invest all of my time and energy into proper diet and exercise with no slips - OR - I go within, to where the struggle began, where the emotional architecture was erected in my childhood, and I fix it THERE. When I feel the craving to fill an emptiness that food will NEVER satiate, I must, at that moment, get still and feel the very pain that created the need for that physical mask.
I used to be a drug addict. Now that I no longer have that crutch, I've cycled through sex, alcohol, compulsive exercising, and the old stand-by of food, all to help me through when I don't want to feel my feelings. I think I've even used an obsession with fairness as a crutch, as I still go back and choreograph a fight that will show the world all of the injustices I've faced, rather than just letting go.
So, just as I felt an amazing amount of fear recently, and made myself, "Just shut up," every time I tried to obsess about it; I must now do the same when I want to use anything other than REALLY FEELING THE FEELINGS when I'm in pain. Damn it, it was HUGE for me to come off of pain killers, and I really didn't think that I had substituted something else in their place. To realize that I have - this is a very painful thing. But it makes so much sense as I to why I've attracted people in my life this past year who will lead me to addictive behavior. They've been protecting me from doing the real work.
As hard as it is to be truly AWARE and as easy as it is to choose NOT to deal with my pain (God, I know sooo many ways to avoid it), I now know that I MUST "go there". If I do not, I am no better than the junkie I was 19 months ago. Maybe that's why it was so easy to stay an addict for ten years. It's "the devil you know" syndrome.
Point is, I REFUSE to let the terror of being AWARE consume my spirit. I WANT to deal with my shit. I really do. And that means, as hard as it is to say, that I cannot bargain my way out of an emotion. Not with a drug, not with food, not with anything. I chose this path. And damn it, I am going to walk upon it. I am going to face the very fears that caused me to pop the first pain pill. I am going to face what caused me to stop eating in 1985. I am going to face the lies that created my childhood reality. And, for the love of God, I am going to scream out loud that BEING FAT DOES NOT PREVENT ME FROM BEING RAPED. It's time to let go of this protective armor. Because it's really not protecting me at all. It's only giving me the illusion that I am safe. (Because if I hate myself, then men who would rape me will hate me too... and never try to take me.) The TRUTH is, if I hate myself, then I attract negativity - since, "why would some slob like me ever deserve anything good?"
I could use a zillion clichés to describe this feeling. But the best thing I can say right now is this: I am committed to doing the hard work that goes with being present every moment of my life. I will no longer medicate away my pain with ANYTHING. This doesn't mean I cannot drink or have sex or zone out with the television or eat ice cream. What it means is, I will visit the feeling FIRST. Then, after doing the work, if I still desire the DRUG, it'll be a reward for a job well done -- not a way to escape the work in the first place. What'll you bet I end up needing "it" next to never?
Thank you, God, for your infinite wisdom, and for giving me peace and the clearest signals that I am on the right path EVERY DAY... as long as I stop to look.
Posted by bonnie at 5:01 PM
October 3, 1999
Well, I think I've resolved myself to the fact that I'm in my size 14 jeans again. I'm trying to be happy with that, knowing that it's all a matter of how I FEEL about myself that really matters. Oh, in fact, I wrote a little something in my "old fashioned" journal that I'll share here...
I'm truly perplexed by the bullshit of being stuck in my negative body image. It's so very frustrating to know on the one hand that I am my spirit - not my body... filled with self love and wonderment for the miracle that is my life and God's universe... then on the other, feel so ugly and fat and poor and devoid of options in every arena. God, I KNOW better. I know that it's not my body that will get me happiness - not my hips that will determine my status on this planet. God - it's such bullshit to even argue the issue! I keep going back and forth! There's a part of me that wants to go out and exercise - starve myself - get "back on track" to the size 12 that makes me feel like I have a right to take up space on this planet. Then there's a part of me that says, "Fuck it! Be happy BEING - and know that this is an illusion anyway - don't buy into it - just LIVE." And I'm totally THERE... and then I put on the tight size 14 jeans again - and suddenly I'm stepping on the scale that reads 205... wondering why I wasted thousands of dollars losing 36 lbs. last year - only to undo it all once I moved out here - where it matters more than it ever could have in Athens. I HATE this going back and forth thing. It's torture. If I could be 100% obsessed or 100% okay with me - that'd be deal-with-able. It's the back and forth that kills me. It's fucking torture and I don't know what to do!
And later that day...
A-ha! This experiment, this life experiment of hating my body - here's what this is about!! It's to teach myself this: I do not LOVE unconditionally. If I loved unconditionally - loved ALL people and things - I would also love ME!!
The next day...
Okay, I've figured out which voice it is that keeps me obsessed AND why it's so hard to shut it up: When I want to fight a parking ticket - even after it's been paid; when I want to argue my side of the story to someone who believes a lie about me - even though we haven't spoken in two months; when I want to send a collector out to retrieve my $1000 from a company that stiffed me; these are examples of the FAIRNESS VOICE. This voice truly believes that life is fair and that a good argument can always prove your case, causing everyone else to gasp, "Oh! We were SO wrong!" Now - any time I indulge that voice by even entertaining the thought that it's right (like when I imagine what I'd say to a judge about my hours worked or all the things I'd point out to a former friend about another's lies or what I'd say to convince the parking bureau that they were mistaken) I further its hold on my spirit. It's like, just by engaging it, I've opened myself up to letting that voice be MY voice. And that is where weight obsession comes in. If I let the voice in - then it starts in on how physical means will supply physical results - and I get obsessed over money and my body and all sorts of mess. And it's much harder to shut up a voice that was allowed to speak when building a case for all the other stuff.
Then I got interrupted. Then wrote...
Had to answer a call... working on Days of Our Lives today.
Now, if that's not evidence of the universe answering when we really HIT ON IT... I don't know what is. So, I'm getting there.
Posted by bonnie at 4:59 PM