Category Archives: #recovery

I Knew This Day Would Come

IMG_0640For the first couple of weeks on keto, I felt like a pile of dirty clothes, left on the floor to fester and rot. Well, maybe that’s a little exaggeration. I just remember the transition from being a carb-burner to a fat-burner was not without its struggles.

For the next couple of months, I started feeling better and better, and I knew I was feeling on top of the world (cue Karen Carpenter’s voice here). I also knew that no one ever stays feeling that way forever. Gradually, though, I have become a little less ecstatic and a little more realistic.

I’ve been cheating on myself a little bit lately with food. Still no carbs, but a little bit extra here and there. I managed to keep this fact from myself as I simply didn’t write down all the transgressions on my food tracking app. For all intents and purposes, if you looked at my food diary, I was rocking this diet!

Hi my name is Siouxsie and I’m an alcoholic. That’s what they say at AA meetings, even if your drug of choice is something else. I’m far, far from an alcoholic, laughably so, but I still possess addictive thinking and behaviors. And what I’m addicted to is anything (legal) that I think will make me feel better. My drug of choice used to be carbs. How often I turned to junk food and sugar when I sensed dissatisfaction within. And, just like any addict (I think), when you get rid of the main source of feeling “good,” a bunch of feelings you have been avoiding rush in and vie for attention. Surely these feelings contribute to relapses.

And for an addict, occasionally there will be some other substance which will quell that dissatisfaction and those uncomfortable feelings. Which brings me to today.

I turn to social media now hoping it will make me feel better. More connected, heard, witnessed. I turn to meaningless television shows I can binge on Hulu and Netflix and Amazon prime. I turn to the carb equivalent of literature — easy to take in, non-nutritious, digested quickly and I am left wanting more.

So what if there is a “keto equivalent” for information? What if there is a portion that is similar to these good fats I am eating every day? Well, if you have read anything I have written you may know I love a good analogy. Therefore, for me there is definitely a keto equivalent.

The good “fats” are writing, creating, reading non-fiction, drawing, reading classical or deeper literature, listening to podcasts with some depth and meaning. 75% of the time I am using my brain these are the activities I want to be doing. The protein is connecting with people in real life.  (In some cases, that may mean FaceTime if the person lives in California.) 20% of the time I am using my brain, I will be nourished by connecting with people in real life. The “carbs” could be empty or near-empty like scrolling through Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, or slightly more nutritious like (TBD – to be determined – any ideas?) and I would allot 3% of my brain space to these activities.

I drew the onion illustration for my post. Normally, I just google an image, which is fine, but I like drawing, even though I’m a primitive beginner. Actual food was the outer layer of my onion. I see that information processing is the next layer. The parable of the two wolves has caught my attention today. I want to feed my good wolf so I’m taking in more goodness, kindness, compassion, truth, beauty.

I still have to work out what going “keto” on information looks like. I know a few things it doesn’t look like. I have a hunch that shifting my information “macros” will lead to a more satisfying, meaningful experience. What about you? How do you find a good balance in how you take in information and create things? What tips do you have for managing the information that is available and coming at us full speed ahead 24/7/365? What are your good “fats” relating to information?


Thoughts from Drug Court

I left my house this morning at 8:10 to visit Drug Court with a defendant I know.

Things I noticed:
Young men who wear their pants below their buns actually go through the motions of pulling them up, but only to just-below-bun level. 
These same young men can rely on their pants to stay up just by virtue of the pant legs touching the floor. They can’t fall down anymore than they already have.
The court system is incredibly dehumanizing. Even with a caring, competent judge, the accused is at the mercy of the court and must simply wait as long as it takes. In our case, we waited over 2 1/2 hours for 3 minutes in front of the judge. But that’s the way it works.
It is my preference never to be handcuffed as that looks like some kind of uncomfortable situation right there.
I have added court-appointed attorney to my list of jobs I am grateful I do not have. I think they provide a necessary service and are hugely important to the legal lives of millions of prisoners, but what is it like to work with person after person without really being able to touch them. I’ll grant you I’ve never been an attorney or a defendant, but from the outside, that looks like a tough gig.
My heart went out to the old man next to me whose CAA told him in front of everyone that he does not qualify for Drug Court because of his “extensive felony record.” When the attorney walked away, the man said in frustration, “I haven’t been in trouble in twenty years.” I responded sympathetically. Before he walked away, he sadly said. “This stuff just never goes away.”

Don’t I just wish that every young person in that courtroom could understand what an opportunity they have in Drug Court. The opportunity to come out without a record, while being given treatment to deal with the substance abuse issue. And yet, substance abuse is surely only the tip of the iceberg for many, if not all, who stand before that judge.

The opportunity not to have to say in 40 years, “This stuff just never goes away.”