I will never forget what it felt like to walk past her. Filled with judgments, denial and my own sense of being separate- I dismissed her. It was a moment where I got a hard look at myself, got to be honest for the first time in a long time. I swear I could have spent a life time pretending, living from the neck up, but God had other plans.
She was, as she revealed later, 500 pounds and had been for nearly a decade. This was my second meeting for Overeaters and I still kept telling myself I was better than everyone else in the room, that I didn’t belong, that I wasn’t “that bad”. She shared with an unpcompromising honesty and vulnerability. I did not have anyone like her in my life- raw and compassionate, unfiltered and true. We rarely see people who are visibly unwell as brave. We like to judge them instead. It’s so goddamn easy, right? Such a quick ego boost.
But as I listened to her in that room, I could no longer deny that I was among my brethren. I was exactly where I needed to be. Her words were my words- her pain my pain. I began to bawl like a baby right there in front of everyone and then, to my horror, after she finished sharing and as people passed me tissues, I realized it was my turn to share.
I said very little through the tears.
“I…just…I thought I was in the wrong place. I came here because a friend said I should. I spent all last week judging all of you so I didn’t have to look at myself. But…but today… I’m so sorry…” I sobbed and turned to the woman whose words had broken me down. “You- you’re incredible. I hope you know that. I…I know what you are saying- all of it. I’ve been there. I am there.”
She nodded knowingly.
My lying, lost, bulimic ass laid bare, and they all just looked at me knowingly.
I saw a clip of Chester Bennington the other day and in it he spoke about how connection can happen between anyone- about how a group of people can sit in a room and just be real and vulnerable and how that can be absolutely life-changing. That’s what this was for me: a group of people telling the truth taught me it was safe for me to do the same.
But, this is not what I set out to write about today.
I wanted to share how I’ve realized that I’ve become addicted to scrolling through my phone. It’s become my new bingeing. I type that with a lump in my throat. And as I type, I see why the fore-mentioned story came through. Because here is how I realized my new addiction…
For weeks my boyfriend has been hinting at me to put my phone away, to be present with him and I scoffed. In my head I’m thinking: “Whatever! You’ve gone through periods of staring at your phone way worse than what I’m doing.” He was patient with me and let it go. But this past weekend my daughter was telling me a story and I was scrolling through my phone as she spoke until she shouted: “Mom! You’re not even listening!”.
And I wasn’t. I was mindlessly scrolling through nothingness. Literally. Instead of listening to one of the most important people in my existence, I was looking at nothing. This wasn’t just a silly habit. It was slowly becoming an addiction- I could feel it. I knew because I had been there before.
Just as I thought I was separate from the people in the Overeaters group, I thought I was better than my boyfriend. I was in denial again.
I gently looked at this with Spirit and knew within minutes that I had to delete all social media off of my phone. The only thing I kept was Goodreads!
Gentle, gentle, gentle…
I feel better, lighter and happier. A friend posted on my Facebook page the other day that I stopped my bulimia without healing the root cause. I know he is right. There is stuff I still need to address and look at with Spirit. Getting there…
Gentle, gentle, gentle…