Disappointment seems to be the hardest thing for me to let go of. In fact, it is the hardest “feeling” for me to feel and, in the past, I have done some of my greatest mind tricks to avoid feeling it at all cost. It is this feeling that has driven many behaviors that tend to isolate me, make me feel small and insignificant, have me retreat into a hermit type status, and feeds my negative self-talk tapes. It use to be the wind that spun my binge eating more than any other one thing. A hurricane storm that set every tiny trigger lined up perfectly for a path of destruction.
My triggers weren’t specific foods, while I did have quite a few favorites during my binges, but the spark of the binge truly started by that feeling of disappointment starting and immediately joining forces with that “I am not enough” monster. This year, I am diligently working on that. My year of self took me immediately and steadfastly into that dark hole of disappointments but as my intention for the year was my commitment to making new habits, I am slowly but surely learning a whole new world of tricks and techniques to maneuver through my old darkness.
This year, more than any other time, it is a “stacking of the deck” that keeps my motivation and commitment strong on a daily basis. I feel more confident and more esteemed today than I have my entire time of writing this blog. It’s been a wild ride with the Woman’s Day blog stint, my binge eating at an all time high while planning my wedding, my journey to leave binge eating behind, the major disappointments of weight loss that didn’t come instantaneously when the binges stopped, publishing my book, after 5 years of “working” on it – basically building the courage to put myself out there, and the disappointments that followed with limited feedback and responses leaving me with only my own definitions as to why, multi-personality blog themes and title changes in the last year, trying to fit in somewhere, and the realization that I was becoming the opposite of who I believed I was destined to be.
All of this went much deeper than self-acceptance, a term, that never quite felt right within my gut, but yet is the term that sparked my 2014 word.
In January, just as I was feeling on top of my “game”, I injured my foot with a stress fracture and one of the “lovely” boots became my newest fashion accessory until the end of February. In March, I learned that a beloved relative, from my first marriage, had cancer and it was inoperable. A week later, my uncle passed away, and I took a whirlwind weekend trip back home to Michigan for the funeral. Upon my return, I received notice that we had 60 days to move out of our home, and this was only 20 days after the landlord told us we would be there forever. The stress of packing, without knowing where we were going, desperately hunting for a new place, and still living our daily lives was the catalyst that started to renew my “old self”. In May, 2 weeks before our “homelessness” was to start, we found a place, signed a lease, and started moving in. The whole thing, a full blown synchronicity experience, left me in a “good” place, yet short-lived. In June, my beloved relative lost her life to the cancer. It also found me in the fashionable boot again, same foot, different injury. Summertime plans were blind-sided and as school was just starting and I was feeling a sense of a routine, the earthquake hit and shook more than my house. The aftermath of the “shaking” still lingers but is subsiding.
What got me through it all?
My intention goal and a little trick called Habit Stacking: Back in March, I made the biggest commitment of my life, thus far. I have one goal. Dealing with stress in a spiritual and healthy way. More than any weight loss goals, exercise goals, career goals or financial goals, the commitment toward slowly building new habits to deal with stress in a healthy, habit forming way is what is opening me up to feel and release my disappointments.
The weight loss after binge eating disappointment: Ironically, the commitment has me moving more, in a gentle yet strong way. The results are a steady average of 2 lbs a month but the weight of the stress on put on myself before was like lugging around tons. My gentleness comes from walking, slowly, at about a 6000 steps a day. Yoga and meditation. I am able to see the correlation of my yoga poses with the sustainable strength training I was getting when I worked with Roy. One of my favorite yoga reads (besides Curvy Yoga) is Yoga Cures: by Tara Stiles.
The book disappointment: This was a biggee to overcome. It was boiled down to my willingness to Confront the Void, mentioned in Seth Godin’s The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? and his ABC’s for grown-ups V Is for Vulnerable: Life Outside the Comfort Zone that started my healing in this area. The one thing about my own book Click 3 Times – Beyond the Flying Monkeys is it was so personal and some underlying intentions got a little muddled in the execution. I took some big risks but no one knew that but me. The biggest one was after 3 editors (and a whole lot of money) I followed my inner voice, broke a lot of rules of editing and “proper” ways to go and published the book myself, purposely leaving in the grammar errors and typos. One factor I heard in a LOT of the 12 step rooms, was “members” often didn’t read because it was “textbook” not real conversations or how people talk. The big words and fancy grammar was more like school and they didn’t learn that way. So I wrote to my audience. Critics also wanted me to be more direct in my story not so vague, but it was a guideline of another way to deal with the effects of addiction that are not from your own hand.
I entered a Writer’s Digest Book contest just to “pay” for the feedback promised. I was proud of it, but by that time, my disappointment had already clouded my motivation.
Judges Commentary*: “Judge, Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards”
Click 3 Times: Beyond the Flying Monkeys is an inspirational story of overcoming tough challenges, with a great twist: the theme of The Wizard of Oz weaved through it.
The use of the movie and anchoring instances in the authors life to characters and moments in the movie make the book accessible to the average reader, but also give a layer of insight that works nicely.
The book is well-written and the author is brave in confronting her issues, even when they are painful or not attractive.
The title of the book, while catchy, doesn’t give a reader any idea of what its about. A subtitle that indicates its about recovery and self-healing would go a long way toward engaging readers.
The book could also use a thorough edit to smooth out issues of punctuation, usage, sentence structure and formatting issues, like inconsistent paragraph indenting. Usage issues that stand out are capitalization of God and other words, no matter what power the author feels they pack, should not be all caps. That type of usage distracts readers rather than draws them in.
Overall, the book is an insightful and compelling read, and a story that many will identify with on a lot of levels.
So, at this point, I have stepped back and I am submitting a proposal to a publishing company that caters to 12 steps and recovery. That is a HUGE piece of who I am and I am no longer embarrassed to admit that. It does not define me, it is simply an experience that I have had and a tool that works. I will continue to move forward with my writing, with more honesty, more feeling, and more authenticity than before.
I am moving forward and Princess V and I are working on a young adult book together. I am trying my hand at an adult fiction book. I will return to blogging with a focus on the attitude part of my tagline!
The lessons and AHA moments during my hiatus are simple ones. Just breathe and be who you are. Take care of yourself and the rest will follow!
Build habits out of the little things. Healthy living includes MANY areas not just appearances. Disappointment is just a failure of your expectations.
Expectations are just yesterday’s junk.
How do you deal with disappointment?
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