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Sunday, blarg-y Sunday

9 Feb

1:39 pm

Remember the days when white wine was your “cure” for being sick? Hahaha. Um, I DO. And, truth be told, the acid in white wine can work as an antimicrobial–the problem for me always became, one glass turned into the whole box, and then the sugars (not to mention my immune system being completely compromised by the alcohol) would go to work making me feel much, much worse “down there.”

Anyway, I think of this today as I continue to battle some “flu thing” I’ve had for about two weeks, going on three. I get minor “stomach things” fairly regularly (I blame it on all those years fucking with my gut microbes as a binge eater, and then, a binge drinker), but I just roll with it. However, this bugger has been around for almost three weeks. The usual: nausea, bloating, stomach cramps, headache, sometimes fever, and a few times, hot flashes. (No, I’m not going through menopause…at least I don’t think so!)

The more online research I do, the more I think I might have something from our water. We drink cistern water down here, and I can’t help but wonder if it doesn’t have all sorts of possible infectious agents, especially water-borne parasites. I should probably go and get tested.

I just downed a glass of juice with 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, per something I found on the good old interwebs about ACV being good for a lot of shit. I’ve used it on warts, actually, and that stuff BURNS your skin right off! Leaves scars, too. Yet…I’ll try anything once, and what harm could it do? An alternative is eating crushed garlic (which is supposed to be a natural anti-bug remedy), but raw garlic by itself makes my stomach burn, so that’s out.

Which brings me back to my use of white wine back in the day. And how, I actually heard myself think (rationalize) a minute before I drank the ACV juice, Damn it, I can’t even use white wine the fix my stomach–fucking sobriety, what bullshit. And then, as I took one swig of the ACV mixture and felt it tingle on the way down–that shit is strong, and a DEFINITE alternative to let’s just say, alcohol–I was like, Um, there are alternatives to drinking. There are ALWAYS alternatives to drinking. There are so many other ways to solve your problems than drinking that it’s almost funny (in a not “ha ha” way) that we get stuck, when we’re active, in this thought pattern that alcohol is the only way. It is not. We just have trouble learning how to do things differently, how to actually sit back and consider other possible solutions to our problems. This comes in time, and is coming in time for me. My brain is re-learning how to learn, how to learn how to do things differently.

I’ll keep you posted on how the ACV, etc. pans out. I should probably get tested for the two common water parasites, but…eh, it costs money, which I don’t have, and it’s a hassle, and, I read that the cures for those bugs don’t necessarily work, and also, that these things if not severe (is three weeks severe?) resolve on their own.

Sunday, blarg-y Sunday.

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Brussels sprouts and Saturday night!

24 Aug

11:58 pm

I never used to like cooking for people. It made me feel really uncomfortable–almost more uncomfortable than eating in front of people. To me, cooking for someone was like me taking a megaphone and putting it next to the collective ear, blaring “I never eat so how could I know how to cook!” And it’s true: a lot of my bulimic tendencies can be traced back along a winding thread to core issues. I never felt safe expressing my feelings, and I somehow felt very strongly that eating was a form of self-expression. Cooking, too. If I was afraid to let you in on my feelings, of COURSE you couldn’t watch me eat, I used to think. And, if I couldn’t show love and affection, of COURSE I couldn’t cook for you either.

Before drinking, I had food issues. Not exactly of the eating kind, though I did binge (compulsively overeat, I think is the technical term that matches most closely what “afflicted” me from about 17 to 21 or so). It was more an emotional block surrounding food: when I ate in front of people (not when I binged, then I felt release), and when I cooked, I felt emotionally exposed. And, it was a horrible feeling.

When it comes to cooking for others, the first thing that usually comes to mind for many women is cooking for “our manz.” You know, you’re supposed to be this mother Earth (sex and food) goddess, who just so happens to know how to keep her manz by making his belly feel good and round and full. (Yeah, the concept made me want to throw up a little in my mouth, too–literally.) I never had a manz until later (my first boyfriend showed up when I was 22), and by that time, my cooking “skills” consisted of being able to feed myself semi-regularly. Which, as a diagnosed bulimic, wasn’t going so well.

I feared being judged. Of COURSE, I can’t do this right, my self-esteem issues willed me to believe. And, believe I did. It wasn’t like I was a klutz, I just had no practice at opening up and sharing how I felt. And, this somehow transmuted into me being unable to serve people. I was afraid of what they might think of not just my food, by of my expression–was I easy-going or uptight, warm or cold, abundant or sparing? I believed I was all the bad, an uptight, frigid, pared-down “nervous ninny” who had NO business trying to feed anyone, let alone a crowd.

Looking back, I feel sorry for how harshly I judged myself.

Anyway, it took me YEARS to be able to feel safe enough to begin cooking with a boyfriend, let alone serve him food and be able to simply enjoy him enjoying it–and not take it personally, like he was rejecting my entire emotional being if he didn’t like it. I HAVE cooked for a group, mostly with family members (they don’t count, in my book) and my current boyfriend. I made a pie once for an ex, and by the time I was done, I was so shitfaced I can’t remember much except that the dough was a lumpy, uncooked mess when I took it out of the oven. I don’t remember if I cooked it more or not, but I knew in my heart that he thought it was almost as shameful as the way I drank (to quell my nerves throughout the entire process). What an ass, for not telling me to quit–both drinking and making pies while drunk.

Fast forward to now, 159 days sober and having just spent the evening working on my latest creation: pureed brussels sprouts! I know, weird, right? My host mother in Paris (I studied abroad during my junior year in college) would make it all the time, so I think I just felt like going back. WAY back, as almost 20 years have passed since I was there.

It turned out well, I must say. What I truly love about cooking is the “art project” nature of it. It’s like my form of art project; and the best part is, it’s completely not intellectual and the product is kind of WAY better than like, a poem or a painting. I mean, you can fucking EAT IT! I love using the ingredients that I have, and guessing what I should substitute in for a missing one by aroma. I love smelling things, and I love imagining how two or three different ingredients could, combined, amount to an approximate texture or taste of something else.

What the FUCK does this have to do with being sober? Well, foremost, I wouldn’t be doing this on a Saturday night if I was out at the bar, drinkin’–the entire process was a three-part one, starting with steaming, followed by food processing and then blending. If I wanted to look on the dark side, I’d tell myself that I *should* be out, socializing instead of holing myself up, making fucking brussels sprouts puree. For God’s sake, it’s not even a main dish! (And, even worse, I just made that, nothing else.) Or, I *should* at least have attempted to subvert the old ways of thinking, invited a few peeps over, and we could’ve, you know, made dinner together–including but not necessarily limited to pureed brussels sprouts.

But, I’m NOT going to look on the dark side. All in due time, or, baby steps. I like cooking, so why not? And I’ve come a long way toward not only cooking, but being able to enjoy the process of sharing food. I also feel like cooking is an art project, something that I can do that doesn’t resemble thinking-based, improvement-oriented hobbies (reading, writing, playing an instrument, etc.)–good for someone like me.

And the best part? I never once thought that drinking would have made tonight better. If I had been drinking, I’d probably have ruined my taste buds, oversalted, eaten WAY too much and woken up the next morning wondering where the hell all my puree went (not to mention, brussels sprouts are not something one wants to binge on, believe me), and/or passed out before I finished. Instead, I’m enjoying the memory of sipping a few hot, savory spoonfuls as I type this blog post to my friends in the good, old “sobersphere.” Now, that’s something to toast my fourth (oops) Diet Coke-on-ice to!

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