Bloodlines and Waistlines

I have spent the past two days (while not working and sleeping) binge-watching Bloodlines, an intriguing family drama/suspense series which has done serious damage to my waistline. I initially guffawed at the media attention correlating binge TV watching to binge-eating, but my personal, non-mindful experiment has found it to be correct.

Time’s online magazine published an article yesterday, This is What Binge Eating Does to Your Health”, describing a recent study that states the more you sit in front of the television, the higher your risk of diabetes.  The article merely states that it is the act of being sedentary that causes the risk, not even addressing behaviors one partakes in while watching television.

Binge-watching & Eating

I had a junk food binge last night that would make a six-year-old left alone with an Easter basket this Sunday marvel. I’m not going to go entirely into it, but it spun me out into a “sweets” shame spiral. A study out of UT-Austin connected binge-watching to not only binge-eating and binge-drinking, but depression and loneliness.

I can honestly say binging on Bloodlines was not done out of depression or loneliness, but because I found it to be a kick-ass thriller. And thank goodness I have solid recovery, because the amount of tequila drunk in this series would cause Don Jose Antonio de Cuervo (Jose Cuervo ) to worship the porcelain gods. For me, it was the suspense, and my natural proclivity towards sweets, that caused the binging. Why would I take time to prepare and eat a healthy meal when I NEED to know what Danny is going to do next, and I bought snacks for my son’s first visit this weekend?

As they say in recovery, everything in moderation. So now that I’ve finished the series, I’ll kill off some calories by making this place teenager friendly for the weekend. Oh, and I’m sure shopping for those snack replacements will kill some calories too.



Sunday Sobriety Song – Day by Day

Mike Doughty is a musician in long term recovery. When I was first in recovery, I could not get enough of listening to him, and did not even know he was “like me”- not until the release of his memoir, Book of Drugs.

I also finally watched The Anonymous People this week, which I highly recommend for anyone in recovery or who advocates recovery.

Sunday Sobriety Song and Moving Up and Out

With the onslaught of freelance writing work, I have a fear that I will post even less (if that’s even possible) on the blog. So each Sunday I will post a song that either speaks directly to sobriety, addiction or moving positively forward. And on the subject of moving, Bass and I are making a home together.

Yes, I know it’s super quick but it’s just happened this way for three important reasons:

  1. Bass needed to move into a new place first of February.
  2. I need to move into a place by March, and would have to live with a roommate because my income is tiny.
  3. Life is short. Love is infinate. When you feel it, give it. When you receive it, unconditionally, it is a blessing. Accept it. A good relationship is a very precious; don’t waste your life if you know its right.

But I’m also cautious so here are the steps in place in case things go astray, although hate to put this out into the Universe. This is the healthiest relationship I have ever been in, but I also want my readers, friends and family to know I have thought this through.

  1. The lease is month-to-month.
  2. Bass can afford the place on his own.
  3. I know women with whom I can live. I would have to find more income sources, though.

I’ll post pictures of our new place in another post this week. Also, the name of the blog will be changed to reflect the changes in my life. Now, here’s your Sunday Sobriety Song:

Slipping Sideways

My reaction to situations is the only thing I have control over. Knowing this in my head does not always translate into knowing it in my gut and heart. I do not have control over other people, places and things, nor can other people or institutions control me. Today I was faced with a “problem” I’ve faced monthly for the last six months. One where a person in my life is unhappy about the same situation beyond their, or my, control, yet every month this person creates a chaos spiral about this state of affairs.

It is not a problem at all, but an inconvenience, one which no one has any control over. Yet this blame game is played monthly. It’s Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Living with this person and this inconvenience can cause me to slip sideways; to no longer see the situation straight on but look at it on my back, defeated, and be either pissed-off or think I can solve the “problem”.

But slipping sideways is a reaction; one which will eventually lead me to a bottle if I am not careful. It is at times like these that I get myself to a meeting, spend lots of time repeating my favorite Buddhist prayer, and listen to my “Zen” music channel. And stay the hell away from this person and their chaos spiral. I must accept that this “problem” will continue monthly, and know that it is beyond my control. Slipping sideways, buying into this person’s chaos of their own creation, is not an option. If I slip sideways on a monthly basis, I eventually will lose both my sobriety and sanity.

Hello G.O.D, It’s Me, Violet

“One of the things that I have struggled with during my many years of participation in AA and NA is what some of us call “the god stuff.” The references to religion, spirituality, God, and Higher Power are everywhere in the literature and the culture of AA.  Even in the best efforts of the folks back in the 1930s, the “Chapter to the Agnostic” pretty much assumes that as soon as you start to come out of your addiction, and into the light, you will happily go back to some concept of God, albeit not necessarily the God of your childhood.” ~ HANJE RICHARDS, “The God Stuff.”

The “God Stuff” has been the hardest concept for me to grasp in my Alcoholics Anonymous program, followed by the concept of being powerless. The first A.A. meeting I attended in treatment was on Step One, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable.” I actually said “I’m a feminist and am not powerless over anything.” This was after almost dying and being in a coma for two weeks, physical therapy for another two weeks, and in the mental health unit for a week; all due to a suicide attempt while intoxicated. If you want to V8 slap me in the forehead for the absurdity of my statement on that first meeting, I agree. That, my friends, is the insanity of alcoholism.

This brings me to “The God Stuff”. Step Two is “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”, and Step Three is “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

My spiritual path is eclectic; a little Buddhism, some Hindu, a bit of Islam, some Wicca, a little Judaism, and a splash of the Christianity I was taught growing up as an Episcopalian. In short, I am a Unitarian Universalist who believes one should build their own spiritual path, and do their own dishes.

In “the rooms” we often talk about a “God of our own understanding”, with a big G, and all meetings I’ve been to across the U.S. end with “The Lord’s Prayer.”  Although the Big Book also speaks of a “power greater than ourselves” and “Higher Power,” there is a lot of He, Him, Lord and God (all capitalized). It’s very cringe inducing for atheists, but also for people like me who believe in a power greater than myself that is not patriarchal.

As part of my “neighborhood” exercise yesterday, I was looking at blogs under the tag “Unitarian Universalist” and the first post I came across was “The God Stuff”. My God embracing AA friends would call my stumbling upon this post “A God thing”. I call it serendipity.

In this post, Hanje introduced me to  We Agnostics & Free Thinkers International AA Convention, which he attended.

As I have said, I have come to believe in a power greater than myself, but don’t have a name for it. The God talk in the rooms can be overwhelming. I do pray and meditate and have found life easier if I give my will over. Somedays I pray to  Mother Nature, others Great Spirit, sometimes Creator, other times Universe, occasionally God, and many times “Hey, You!”

It is comforting to know that there are bloggers like Hanje out there who participate in A.A. but are not God thumpers. AA is an easier, softer way for me to live after spending a decade in and out of recovery rejecting 12 step programs. But I have also loved reading other WordPress blogs by people who do not participate in AA or NA but have long-term sobriety. Jon Sleeper is one such writer.

Just like my spirituality, my recovery support comes from a variety of sources including A.A. but also Health Realization, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Women for Sobriety. I’m getting over the god stuff, but that mostly is because I began thinking of God as Group of Drunks (those in AA who had what I wanted) and now think of God as Give Orderly Direction. I may not know if there is anything beyond you and me, and if there is what to call it. All I do know is that my program works, if I work it.