Wednesday, May 25, 2011


i feel better today, even though nothing has changed. i seem able to handle all the things i'm not crazy about and just not care.

Most likely it has to do with what i did last night -- i went with friends from AA and spoke about the program at a Detox. i've been in a couple of detoxes (both for alcohol and drugs), and i could relate to the patients, although most were pretty young.

it felt like an opportunity to be helpful or useful to someone else. who knows if anything we said will resonate or help anyone, but it may and that's good enough. we'll be going every Tuesday, and i so look forward to it.

all day when i'd get irritated at work today, i'd think about going to the detox, and i'd feel so much better about my life and what i'm doing.

besides, it's sunny and beautiful outside, i'm going to the bookstore this evening, and i might even treat myself to a pedicure. ahhh.

also, i found out that my job doesn't deduct anything for health insurance, so in a way, i make more than i thought. and that's pretty nice.

i've felt better since first thing this morning, and it's 2:30 pm now. that's a good run for me! YAY.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Great Career Search Suggestions

Linda at (can someone remind me how to link? please)wrote a terrific blog about the career search. she has great questions to ask yourself and brings in some new points i hadn't heard before.

What i particularly like is: she asks you to think about what you're always complimented for, what you do 99% better than anyone else and how you might get paid to do these things. i have a hard time figuring out what i'm good at. it helps to see it from someone else's point of view -- what others say i do well.

Linda also warns not to say you hate your current job, because unless you've recently won the lottery, you most likely need this job and it's serving a real purpose. it's important to see what's good in it, so you really CAN feel more positively about it.

What are you doing in your current job that's preparing you for your next step?

Use your free time to go after your dreams. as she says, if you're channel-surfing on your couch every night, stop it right now.

these are just a few of her suggestions -- i heartily suggest you go to her blog to find out more, if you're in the same place career-wise that i am. i know i was inspired. and felt better about where i am right now.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Schwarzenegger's Mistress Looks

Everything else aside, I feel badly for "the Other Woman", Mildred Patricia Baena who bore Arnold Schwarzenegger's child. Everyone keeps making fun of her looks. I heard one DJ call her ugly. Someone else said the Governor would obviously "do" anything if he'd "do" her, including a chimpanzee.

I just imagine her hearing this all day, every day until the story dies, and i can't imagine how awful it would feel -- if everyone seems to universally agree that you're very unattractive and it's practically disgusting that Schwarzenegger would even consider you.

still, i admit that it flashed thru my mind. i actually tried to find older pictures of her to see if she was more attractive when they were trysting. it upset me that i was doing this. does it matter what she looked like? does it make the crime any different?

i guess this is kind of all about me. i would be DEVASTATED if so many people were making fun of my looks. DEVASTATED. i always thought i was particularly unattractive and nowwork very hard, each and every day, to tell myself i look fine. i'm getting better and some of it comes from the fact that people around me seem to think i'm fine-looking. i get compliments, no one makes fun of me, men ask me out.....

what would i do if the media compared me to a chimpanzee?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I liked this definition of spiritual growth, "an ever-deepening capacity to embrace life with justice, compassion, curiosity, awe, wonder, serenity and humility."

My new-found spirituality is what's keeping me going these days; it's what gives me hope. i pray constantly to be kind, compassionate, just, grateful and humble. i examine my actions and intentions to see where i can always do better, all the while working toward compassion for myself.

it hasn't been an easy time with work and relationships. none of my friends live in new jersey and i've struggled more than usual to make friends lately. maybe it's my age, and i live in suburbia where everyone's married and doing their own thing.

i found myself very lonely this weekend -- like in the old days, but then i'd use food and alcohol and pills to run from the loneliness. this weekend, i helped out an elderly friend who'd moved into assisted living and ran an AA meeting and called my friends (who sadly, don't live near me.)

now i have hope. and tools for pulling me out of sadness, anxiety and depression. before, there was no hope -- just food, alcohol and pills.

before spirituality, i thought i alone ran the show. I was the alpha and the omega, life began and ended with me. that's very lonely, empty, and....scarey for me.

what i believe is still developing. but starting with justice, compassion, curiosity, awe, wonder, serenity and humility doesn't hurt!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

It's Not About the Food

but it's not about the food order, is it?

if you read my last post, you'll know that i'm very unhappy serving as the resident lunch lady here at my job. actually, i'm very unhappy about the whole errand girl issue over-all -- the post office (mailing bosses personal mail every day), Staples, fetching files, making copies...

but it's not about the errands, is it? it's about the fact that, as i'm soon to turn 47, i feel i've made nothing of my life professionally. career-wise, i've kind of gone backwards.

what worries me is that i'm not even sure where to begin anymore. i really don't know what i want to do. maybe i just need to daydream and daydream and jot down ideas?

career has always been a problem for me. i've just never known what to do. and i was always so, so troubled that i never stuck with anything and developed much of a skill or craft.

i'm in the position i'm in today, because I got myself here. So, who am i really mad at -- i think it's that lady who's staring back at me from the mirror above my computer.

all i have is the present. i can not change the past.

anybody have any ideas where to get started or what worked for you along the professional way?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Need Your Help

I wrote this entry this morning and posted it under "The Lunch Order". i didn't realize then just how much i really, really want/need your feedback, thoughts and advice. If you have a couple of minutes, i hope you'll, uh, "weigh" in. Thank you so much. Here's the original post.

There's not much for me to do here at my new job, but one of those few things, sadly, is getting everyone's lunch. Couldn't i just dig for coal?

this is a FOOD-oriented group and picky and particular. did i mention they're all picky and particular?

does anyone else see the irony of a woman with a 30+ year history of eating disorders being the resident food enabler?

my gang here gets hungry early. we're a meat distributor that opens at 2:30 am. (i get in at 7.) by the time 8:30 am rolls around, it's "Melissa, what's for lunch? Melissa, we're huuuungry".

by 9:30 am, i'm off to the supermarket to fulfill each person's needs (that's after the hour or so it takes to get everyone's order.) Sue's on the Atkins diet, so it's cold-cuts for her. Annie wants fruit, but is very picky about the quality. Johnnie needs sweet pickles; Marg wants gherkins. Different mustards, different dressings. Walnuts for Sue (is that even on Atkins?), lightly salted cashews for Annie. Becky asks for boiled ham -- sliced THIN. the boss wants coleslaw without any purple cabbage. diet coke, regular pepsi, vitamin water.... it goes on and on and on.

it's worse if we order in. it takes a good hour or so to get consensus on a place. then no one can make their minds up about what to eat. then i have to call a few places to see what the specials are. after that, everyone special orders EVERYTHING anyway, so who cares what's on the menu or the specials? and everyone complains about the cost...and, it doesn't end.

so ironic that's i'm the gal. me, i like to forget about food during the day and only think about it when i'm hungry. to spend most of my morning on this (hearing the whining, taking the order, going to the supermarket, shopping, laying out the food table, cleaning up....)is fairly bizarre, vaguely freaky and always annoying. on top of it, i feel demeaned -- like a servant.

i wouldn't mind all this so much, i think, if i were a waitress, but i had no idea this was going to be a (big) part of my job when i was hired. i thought i was going to be trained in the business and then groomed to sell. hmm.

i'm smiling now. i put off writing this post because i know it makes me pretty darn cranky and i, myself, start whining. but after this morning ("this grapefruit isn't ripe enough", "no purple cabbage", ) i needed to vent.

why do i stay at this job, you may ask yourself (and me)? well, i'm not quite ready to switch AGAIN. and i find lots wrong with every job i work.

this job, in general, is low stress for now. there's not that much to do. i can leave early if it's really dead. i'm way over-paid for what i'm doing, and i have benefits. going to the supermarket (and running all the other errands) gets me outside for at least an hour. everyone's nice enough to me.

besides, i don't know what else i'd want to do at this point. this is a really good time to figure it out. i'm sober, getting more confident, enjoying life itself a lot more and beginning to really work on fear.

fear keeps me doing all the things i shouldn't be doing and keeps me from doing all the things i could. touche

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

perfect days off; perfect eating

i just had four days off in a row. bliss.

i slept beautifully and lengthily every night. ahhhh. great sleep tops everything, if you ask me.

my eating was easy, gentle and intuitive. i ate what i wanted, when i was hungry. and if i wasn't hungry and felt like a cookie or some potato chips, i had some. but i really didn't have cravings or any desire to use food emotionally.

i realize how much more comfortable i am in the world. i did very little over the four days but i swear, i enjoyed each moment of each day.

i savored my morning coffee, spent glorious hours in bookstores, got a manicure, took long bubble baths, read wonderful books, went for walks, took myself out for lunch one day and dinner another.

i also lead an AA meeting, helped facilitate a workshop and attended a really good AA meeting, all with very nice people.

there was nice time with the guy i'm seeing. and we helped an elderly friend move to assisted living, which was emotional, but i'm glad we could help.

four perfect days.

i didn't cringe about coming back to work until 4 am this morning, when my eyes popped open, and i realized i wasn't going to be sleeping in today.

i'm now tired and my usual grumpy BUT i know i didn't waste one second of my time off. and there will be other days. heck, Saturday is just four days away. zzzzzzz

Monday, May 2, 2011

Are we self-absorbed?

i think this post will be controversial and perhaps some will be angry with me, but i figured i'd still put this out there.

someone said that their first impression of anorexics was that we are self-absorbed and unappreciative. now, however, that person says she knows differently.

i, however, think that our eating disorders do, in fact, lead us to self-absorbed and unappreciative behaviors. we are not to blame -- we are very, very sick and struggling, BUT i do think we can be quite narcissistic, as well as unappreciative of all that others do for us and all they withstand.

it's less now, but certainly in the past, my eating took over every meal. what did Melissa want, what would i eat, what would i NEVER eat? what time was it comfortable for me to eat? what could be kept in the refrigerator? what must never be in the refrigerator? what holidays could i tolerate? at which holidays (thanksgiving, christmas) would i never appear.

everyone's world revolved around me. was i eating? was i sneaking off to the bathroom every time i ate? was i being honest about my intake?

special arrangements always had to be made for me, and if they weren't -- oh the wrath i'd unleash. and there was absolutely no way to please me.

during all the years i was starving, i was mean and miserable. but i felt entitled to my fury and moods. when i think of what my friends and family dealt with, yikes. and particularly my mother. how would i have dealt with me?

and unappreciative. did i ever say "thank you" for all the special arrangements? i honestly don't think so. i was more angry that they were putting fattening food on the table. why couldn't everything be steamed or poached? why did we have to have meals at all? what about ME?

perhaps i'm being harsh. and i suppose that knowing this wouldn't have helped me much -- i was desperately, miserably sick.

but i wonder, what if i had said "thank you"? what if i had been kinder and gentler, and more aware of my parents' struggle -- NOT in a self-hating, guilty way, though. self-hate is once again just self-absorbed. and guilt is useless. what if i had just been nicer? and less resentful?

who knows? who knows if it were even possible, what with how unhappy and confused and desperate and sick i was.

very importantly, i don't think we need to feel badly about ourselves for our actions and behaviors -- we are dealing with very, very difficult issues, afterall. i just think it's interesting to notice and perhaps, if possible, make some adjustments. if it's not possible to do things any differently, perhaps, it is at least, good to notice.

i'm just wondering what you think. i would love any and all feedback from you guys. what DO you think?