About Me

 The Six Word Memoir version of my life:  “Not Quite What I Was Planning.”

 Oops! That’s the title of a book about six-word memoirs. Damn it – why didn’t I shrink-wrap my life with that first?

So let’s try the Haiku version:

 Good life nailed down tight

A tsunami ripped through it

Wonders were revealed

 

The tsunami hit in 2004, prompted by an eruption of secrets. Everyone in my family was left clinging to debris and gasping for air. I learned that life as I thought I controlled it was fiction. Having no idea how to navigate the real, non-fiction version, when a therapist handed me a brochure for 12-step meetings, I said, “OK.”

 

I entered what I learned were called “the rooms” through a side door, prompted by someone else’s illness-induced Bad Behavior.  Every Sunday evening I sat in a circle with other “co-dependents” (oh, please, can’t we find another word?) and faked my way through to the belief that one can find a way to be sane when surrounded by insanity.  I was slow to get that part.

 

But I did have one major light bulb moment: Addiction drives people to do things they truly don’t want to doI realized This is me and food! For more than thirty years, prompted by my first binge at sixteen, I’d been up and down the scale twenty-five or thirty pounds at least ten times.  I’d always pegged myself as your garden-variety yo-yo dieter. In truth, I used food the way a drunk scarfs Ketel One: too eagerly, too often, in amounts too large and to no good end.

 

So I came out of my own closet of uncontrolled eating and have moved to a different 12-step program, one for people whose preferred poison is food. Food will always remain my preferred brand of vodka. But now, more often than not, I’m sober from sugar and other food toxins.

 

Since the spring of 2004, I’ve spent close to 2,500 hours sitting in 12-step meetings and maybe another 2,500 reading, researching, and writing about how people recover from addiction; their own or that of a family member.

 

Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers, believes that it takes 10,000 hours to become a phenom at any new skill. So maybe I’m 50% there in learning how to detach with love from other people’s foibles and to use food solely as fuel.

 

So, I’ve tried the Six-Word Memoir and Haiku versions of my story. The documentary version of my Twelve Step, five-thousand-hour walkabout is here, in Ragged Recovery.

Email me at kathryn@raggedrecovery.com

 

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