Drinking Diaries: Looks Early on, I knew that looks mattered. My mom was told to stay thin during the post baby-having era or she would be left. I saw her eating the discarded pbj crusts standing in the kitchen once or twice. she never sat and ate, her meal was just what was left behind on the cutting board. Be thin or alone. I heard that loud and clear. I started jogging for thin when I was 8. I would eat candy and go for a “balance the calories” jog as payment. I was 8. I would keep a calorie journal in manuscript, since I didn’t know cursive yet, I was 8. i wished i was thinner when i was 8. then puberty. I hated puberty. my body wasn’t minding me, it was growing and curving and i couldn’t stop it. so, i stopped eating. well, i tried. the battle continued. those of you who know me know that i am veracious. i eat fast and furious and dangerously close to fingers and there could be blood. I am not meek or patient at anything. so battling the hormone surge and my DNA to be a “larger” gal was like swatting 100 mosquitos in a jungle, naked. It was never off, never over, always game on, here we go again, a doughnut meant death. So, my junior high days were waiting for the bus with a carrot in my hand, a diet coke in my purse and plan to run after school if i didn’t pass out. or after i came to. I spend friday night at the All American Gym down the street from my high school and did aerobics while OTHER (everyone i considered normal and not on the brink of fatness) did the boy meets girl dance, researched responses to pot and alcohol and crimped their hair. My idles were the underweight. i watched her wobble around, all feeble and weird eating a hamburger….. I would give anything to be Her. If i was her i would not have to fight, starve, run, want, hate, throw up, worry, be disgusted all the dam time (grammatical handicap from malnourishment). dum from no food, or too much food or the battle of the extremes. “No Eat Monday”. I had that motto when I was 16. Nope, can’t eat until Tuesday after school. then i would eat scary amounts. sick cycle continues. Sound familiar? (well it ties in with my alcohol cycle of “none to tons”. we will get there.) My mission in Life was thin. Not healthy, not happy, not smart or popular, just thin. But i didn’t look alarming ever, I looked pretty normal for being anorexic, bulimic and depressed. My genetics gave me muscle tone from dad and the fat gene from my mom and so my appearance displayed no red flags, just my behavior. But since NO ONE WAS LOOKING, my aberrant behavior went well under the radar. So, I carried on running, smoking, eating only in restricted patterns most would find INSANE and life kept happening so i kept existing somehow. I made it through college with a Freshman 15 weigh loss. I was under 100 pounds and looked like a fit, brown, normal chick. I was empty. Belly empty, heart empty, empty future, empty wallet, now what? That’s when alcohol seems to relax the pressure, the hunger, and the empty feeling i always had. SWITCH ADDICTIONS here. Since alcohol was available more than food anyway ( I worked at a bar) that would be my friend. Since I didn’t eat when I drank, i would just do that. But, my raw determination bones would keep me working out, working, running, earning money here and there, meeting people, and trying to find peace. I then started yoga. I was 28. I then met Tom , we moved to CA and I rearranged my addictions to meet married life and a new world. It was a puzzle. Placing the pieces of my food addiction turned alcohol obsession showing up as workaholic, athlete, people pleasing neurotic peace hunter into my new life. Who am I? I don’t care! The yoga penetrated only as much as it could. I scarcely let it in. I wasn’t going to give up my bottle, runs and crazy life for yoga, not yet. If yoga stopped us from hurting ourselves i would have stopped then. If yoga worked to keep us from drinking or starving or binging or obsessing about earthly issues, it would have then. Yoga did as much as it could. I blocked the most of it. So, i am the example of what great things can not do. Great yoga, great life, great body, whatever, you could have everything….. but freedom. If anyone should have felt happy and alive it should have been me especially after I met my precious Ray and got to have the family of dreams. Yet, It was only when I let go of ALL alcohol, and let myself be just be……. that the lights came on, and the music started to play, and the yoga started really working on me and inner love rushed in like a dam (correct spelling) that had been holding back self love for 38 years. On all accounts I am grateful. even for the shit. because i am me because of all of it and i am finally happy to be just that, i mean, just this, ME. I was under the gun as a child, I was in a food deprived fog as a teen, I was in a race to win as a young adult and war with good and evil as a grown up. Now I am just living as a free bird. Flying with broad strokes. happy to be clear, finally. I am grateful for all of it. especially since i know what it feels like. I know your pain if you relate to any of this. we are stronger together. feel free to reach out. Please no compliments or congratulations If anything just a “your welcome” for reading all my stuff. if you want to share your stuff out loud Raven Yoga 4:15p.m every Sunday.