Today I was in an ACA meeting and heard the term “Lost Child” said a couple of times during the sharing it. I’ve read and heard this term for years, never really relating to it personally. Today I did, because I’m beginning to realize that most of my life is run by mine, and that I am insanely, stupidly, not in relationship with it.
On Monday I had a phone appointment with a health coach I’ve paid some serious money to, and I was dreading it. I had basically blown off doing what he’d recommended, diverged off into a bunch of other self treatment ideas, all of which had marginal results and was well into a dissociative cycle of JUST NOT DEALING. And my symptoms, which include extreme edema, tachycardia, high blood pressure, grotesque obesity, tooth pain, and chronic fatigue, are the same or worse than they’ve been since May.
I have not been eating according to plan, nor implementing Intermittent Fasting, which is now the de rigueur for all health warriors, or biohackers, if you will. I have continued to eat too much, too often, and nosh on fried potatoes, rice, corn chips, nuts, cheese, and sugar like there is no tomorrow. True, I have eaten more vegetables, eaten less sauces and obvious sugars, avoided pasteurized dairy for the most part, and so on. But I was even beginning to drink sodas. There are many surface reasons why I was still doing these absolute no-nos, though I have been pursuing greater health for 10 years plus, all perfectly reasonable in the frame of my personal daily life, but not excusable at all.
It wasn’t clear to me until a couple of hours before the call, which was mercifully moved, last minute to a later time, what was really going on . I had researched all the stuff I was paying for for years, become determined to do it, and signed on. Yet I had not anticipated the horrific emotional difficulty I’d be encountering having to be even the least bit visible and transparent to two, distant, easily made into MOMMY and DADDY, authority figures.
I ended up sitting in my car with all my notebooks and papers spread all around me, waiting the for the call. Should I tell the guy about the three new info sources I’d become enamored with in stead of doing what he was recommending? How could I mitigate my blatant inability to allow him and his gatekeeper wife to find out anything about what I’ve been doing when I couldn’t begin to admit to any of it? Should I send them an enormous email telling all? These thoughts had been simmering for weeks. I couldn’t sort it out, though I kept trying, and it was all starting to look like a BIG, FAT, tangle of BULLSHIT. And it was MY BULLSHIT. DAMN!
I finally realized this whole process would be worthless if I was spending it LYING. I should find a way to confess I’d been having a hard time, even if I didn’t fully understand why. I sat in my car and rehearsed confessing everything, as though it would be safe, though I knew my emotional garbage would not be safe being actually revealed in it’s copious, glaringly NOT OK-ness.
A memory came to me of sitting in a cardiologist’s office with my mother. She was desperate, trying to get answers out of the doctor about how to take care of my Dad after a double bypass. The Doctor was sitting at his desk, blatantly DOODLING on a notepad in front of us, and not answering her. I had known then he had no answers and just plain didn’t give a shit. I had been outraged at the time, furious.
It struck me I was doing exactly what both parents had done in the past, which was keeping quiet about a lot of things to themselves, to each other, and certainly ME. While this behavior was happening, understandably to try and control how other people react, it results in disaster and big time loss. I experienced shame and grief, did some crying. This is the classic ACA condition: complete separation from actual feelings , suppressed by a mental overlay of thoughts about feelings which aren’t the actual ones.
By the time the health coach guy called, I was able to ask him if he has other clients, who try to bullshit him, LIE, about what they are doing or not doing. He said it happens all the time. We had a real conversation about it and where I actually was versus where I should be. The emotional relief was tremendous. I now know what to ask myself when I start blowing everything off: Do you want to get well or do you want to spend your energy constructing and maintaining a lie?