Saturday, May 16, 2009

Coming Clean

No, not another expose on my hall closet, thank you. It's actually feeling pretty good still from the clearing out I gave it a few months ago. This post is about what's happened to me since I came clean about Ambien and how it was disrupting my life.

OK, I admit it. I do worry about what others think of me. I even minimally worry about what's being said about my current struggle with weight. Not enough to spend nights up over it, but it passes my mind. But where I really obsess is over my behavior.

I grew up in a deviant household. It was a home where opinions were expressed whether they were welcome or not, and often they were meant to hurt terribly. They did. All three of the children of my nuclear family still struggle with issues of self esteem to one degree or another. And of the three of us, only one seems to have broken the bonds of inappropriateness to a degree that I expect she lives her life without fear of embarassing or humiliating herself. That one is not me.

I worry excessively because I don't always know when to shut up. I don't always know how to express myself or behave appropriately. "I'm sorry" is a regular feature in my life, and I truly feel terrible if I have hurt anyone. On the other hand, with maturity comes acceptance of who we are, and I do accept the fact that I am "The Eccentric One." That, in itself is not a bad thing, and in fact I wear that mantle proudly.

The only issue is knowing where the thin line between Eccentric and Inappropriate lies. And knowing how to handle situations that cross over. Hence my reaction when I was pretty sure that not everything was well in the world of Ambien. If I was doing what I suspected I was, my reaction was to hide and suppress it. Certainly I wouldn't want to bring that behavior into the open. No. Not me.

The problem with that is that up until recently, I lived my whole life hiding and suppressing who I was, and it wasn't working for me. Rather than looking at my behaviors and figuring out what was ok and what needed to be changed, I refused to look at anything. My weight and over-all appearance proves that point.

With the whole Ambien Issue, I was most certainly binge eating while sleepwalking. My weight climbed, and although I never denied the issue and most certainly asked for help from Richard, my Therapist, and my friends, I wasn't totally honest about the issues and behaviors that were impacting my weight.

That came up in class discussion this morning. The fact that living totally honestly and openly for me would have been a more productive means to an end. If I had only admitted to the Ambien issue earlier, I might have had my medications changed (appropriately, this time) sooner, and I might weigh 5 pounds less. If only.

I didn't. I engaged in some unconscious dangerous behavior in which fortunately nobody got hurt or in trouble. I engaged in some eating behaviors which resulted in my weight gain being 10 pounds instead of 5.

In the grand scheme of things, the damage is very minimal. I would never purposely drive under the influence, and since I am not a drinker or recreational drug user, the likelyhood of this hppening again is pretty-much nil. And 10 pounds gained? Even if I never took it off again, compared to where I came from at the start of this journey, I am still an unqualified success.

The thing is, though, that since I did admit to the issue and received prompt and effective help for it (Thank You Dr. R-!), other behaviors are falling back into place again. I've started preparing my vegetables and fruits for cooking immediately upon bringing them home from the market. That way, I'll be prone to using them instead of letting them languish because I need to eat - when I'm hungry - faster than I can cook from "scratch." I'm more likely to be open in my relationships, and be a better friend and person for it. I seem to be more productive in my art ventures too. I'm completing lots of items that I had let sit around for months.

Note to self: Honesty is Key.

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