Well, I’m writing today, anyway.

by cathrynbauer

April 12, 2017. Yes, it has been a good, long while. I am writing again for pretty much the same reason that I initially claimed this space: need for increased creativity in some form. Plus I do have a specific topic that might be worth developing into other forms of writing and also be good for discussion: my near-lifelong, chronic Binge Eating Disorder. My obsession with my weight has been wrongly focused. What successes I have had with weight loss have been based on willpower, on holding up for a certain period time, and then inevitably collapsing and receding back into old habits. This has been because I did not, or could not admit the cause; when I did so, it was in a cursory way, not troubling myself to find out its characteristics and how it is treated. I did seek treatment at one point from a psychiatrist since BED is considered a form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. That was a complete bust, in part because she prescribed Prozac which makes you gain weight, and partly because she could not admit from the get-go that she didn’t know a thing at all about BED. That’s in my mind a lot now. I’m doing a lot of reading and monitoring my own habits and thoughts a great deal. There is, in fact, a whole lot of information out there which translates well to self-help. This hodgepodge blog may take a turn and then a deep dive into BED; we’ll see.

It’s a fact that for quite a while, I have been almost entirely oriented toward, “And how much can I get done in a day?” They’re good things; overall, I feel lucky and glad to be doing them. And the Druidry has forced a certain amount of introspection, as well, which I compartmentalized. Even that, however, has been geared toward results. But healing the BED requires a lot more self-examination than has been my habit for said quite-a-while.

Here are some things that have happened in the intervening years:

  • The horrible, horrible 2016 election results which have required a conscious coping mechanism that features low-level, but consistent activism.
  • Moving through the Ovate and Druid grades through my utterly amazing initiation into the Druid grade and then further study which took two years following that.
  • Loss of a childhood friend to breast cancer. I flew back to California to spend most of a week with her. We got her set up with aides and a LifeLine, and generally set systems in place to make what we believed were her last months comfortable. The months turned out to be weeks, but it was still worth it many times over.
  • The Brighid’s Way Pilgrimage in Ireland, June 2014. A mixed experience which overall, I am glad that I had.
  • Successful surgery on my left shoulder. I had a small tear in the deltoid muscle. I was concerned because the minimal discomfort there was becoming worse. Turned out I also had a lot of calcification in that shoulder. It was awful, of course, but going ahead with the surgery instead of punting it with a physiatrist, PT, etc. resulted in the problem being solved before I got too much older.
  • A bit less isolation here in Prince Frederick, largely thanks to attending the twice-monthly services at the local Unitarian Universalist congregation. Like a lot of Pagans, UU is a comfortable place for me, and Ted usually goes along. This particular group and its services do not in and of themselves do much for us, but we did meet some good folks, and involvement with other congregations is definitely an option for the future.
  • Taking the radical step of saying I didn’t want to work in Washington, D.C. any longer. Surprisingly, I connected almost immediately thereafter with a great agency that sends me where I want to go and most weeks, keeps me working just as much as I want to.
  • Admitting that pursuing court reporting as a career was not the best thing I could have done. Seeking a different career path really didn’t work at my age, unfortunately. In all likelihood, I will report until I retire. Realistically, I probably work about 80 percent time now.
  • Loss of two cats. Bodaciouscat had a liver tumor. Her time with us was short, but happy for all concerned. What a personality. Just a few weeks ago, we lost dear Moniquecat to kidney cancer. She and her sister Solangecat flew here from the San Francisco Bay Area with me. She was loving, smart, and funny. Her loss is felt.
  • Adoption and assimilation of Woodrowcat. This little feral boy found his way to our backyard in the winter of 2013. (We suspect that this was not entirely on his own.) He was living under our woodpile for about six weeks. He growled and hissed when I left him food and water, but he stayed. When the temperatures dropped, we bought him an igloo house since we couldn’t entice him in. A short time later, he moved onto our back porch to observe the household. The following day, I got a text from Ted saying that he’d taken himself into the guest bedroom. It took us nearly three years to get to where we could even touch him, but now he’s a total love junkie.

Well, actually, with the exception of some articles I did for the Druidry magazine, this is the longest I’ve sat down and written about myself in years. So that’s progress in the general direction where I want to go. Hopefully, it will stimulate more productive personal processing and more of an interior life, with good external results.