A very important person in my life and I are having a very big struggle. Could in fact be a moment that defines the future.
To say that I'm upset about this isn't even close to the right words. It's breaking me into a million little sand pebbles that will never assemble as glass again.
And the entire ugly thing has to do with me and my addiction to food and how it has taught me to lie...not just about food, but about life. You see, I want to protect people from who I really am. Do you know this feeling? If you've ever gone to a potluck or some other food oriented event, eaten very little and then later binged, you know what I'm talking about.
In version 2.0 of me, I was a pastor. A staff associate pastor who's day job was running my consulting company and my God Job was being the worship slash young adults slash building handyman slash financial officer slash gardener, putting in about 100 hours a week total at the two jobs. One of the groups that our church ministered to were those in a halfway house recovery program. At first, I was enthralled to be around the guys from the "Houses". They all had stories, all were trying to love God and all were completely full of it. Sorry, but that's the deal with addicts. These guys, while being amazing and wonderful men, had lives of hiding and protecting others from their addictions and so they became masters of the "the story". A while into my job I began to see this so often that it just became the norm, not to really believe them. Some of them were not so crafty..."Hey man, I played drums for Hendrix", said the guy who was clearly not Mitch Mitchell.
And others were very crafty, like the gentleman who was one of the finest carpenters I have ever seen who told me of carpentering around the world and as good as he was, it was believable. Later, his program director told me that he had never been outside of the county that we lived in, unless he was in prison. I guess all that time reading National Geographic gave him some good story making ability. I wasn't a very good pastor. No, wait, I was excellent. No...I was a good musician not a good pastor...no I was a crappy guitar player, but I sure loved the kids in the young adults group...no I was a master at fixing the copy machine. That is to say, the court of public opinion on me as a clergyman made it impossible to be good.
During the time of Pastor Dave, I began to gain weight again. Nothing new. This time, however, my heart started a little twitch of a strange beating and tests confirmed that the murmur that had been heard as a kid was indeed getting worse. A sign from God...run and get out of the 100 hour week business. Time to leave behind being a pastor. I wasn't very good at it...anyway.
However, in looking back, one of the things that was killing me in that job was the fact that the economy that supported my construction oriented consulting was fast folding and so...my business was folding. Except for, I didn't believe this, so I kept at the Poker table playing out all my chips, I never told anyone at church how it was going. Never admitted that my business of 17 years was all but dead.
Version 3.0 had me merging what little was left of my company with another company and working in the same business as a sales person more than just consultant. Miserable, was I. Miserable indeed. No Jedi. By now my waistline was really growing until I got to a all time high of 435. I told everyone 380. Liar. But they believed me (at least they said they did) and it went from there.
But see, that's been my MO...lie to protect me. Lie to protect others. And for the most part, the little lies were never caught. Mostly all to do with food. Sometimes to do with my ADHD induced time management skillset of well.....no skill.
But anything to do with my addiction, the lies are easy. I mean seriously...I know that the loved ones around me can't handle the truth. They can't handle the story of how I stopped at every In and Out Burger between san francisco and sacramento once, just to see if I could because I was sad. They can't handle the truth of how I would binge every time I was by myself in a hotel room...afraid and alone (I used to do 230 nights a year on the road...now about 100..you do the math). They want to accuse me of not being able to account for time...thinking that there is another woman, when the truth is, I'd rather date a pizza and a pitcher of beer. Exercise...come on. So easy to say "I'm headed to the gym, when they call and suddenly the gym is Wendy's. Although I have to admit, I've been kicking in the gym for a few months, but also enjoying my, "I'll just get a bean burrito from taco bell" cool-downs.
Version 3.0 of Dave is a master crafts man of telling people what they need to hear, because he thinks, like Colonel Nathan Jessup in the pic above, that they can't handle the truth. And in a way, they can't. But as Lt. Daniel Kaffey, played by Tom Cruise in the movie A Few Good Men, proves, the truth is what everyone deserves.
A very cherished and amazing loved one is about to wash their hands of me because my addiction to food has taught me so well to lie. And like that recovering addict who was a great guy (still is) and was a great carpenter (still is) I have a need to tell a bigger story than what my own really is. Insecure, sure. Afraid, you bet. Crazy, ok...I'll take that.
The Dave that some of you are reading here...the down, dour Dave..he doesn't exist in most places of my life. I am, after all, completely OK. Yeah right. Totally OK at 420 pounds and what's all the worse, I've been telling this person, who just wants me to make my next birthday without being dead, that I'm doing it. The excuses happen (my knee hurts...etc), but any damn fool can see, I'm kidding myself.
My loved one, who is thinking that they don't want to be the kind of person who would be angry all the time at the addict, has started to see that in other areas of my life, truth isn't always first. And so, they are mad and upset and are considering being done with me. I would be devastated. My angel would be gone? No. Not possible. But yet...yes...they hurt enough to say...I wish I knew how to quit you. (I'm straight..sorry boys).
Inside, I want to defend myself. I want to fight back because I am no bank robber, rapist, never stole from the 7-11, never took two bagels out of the bin and told the clerk I had one in the bag (actually it was three in the bag). Do you see. The addict in me is massing up my life and if I don't get this under control everyone...every single person in my life is going to look at me, as I proclaim the benefits of SparkPeople and salads...that I am a damn liar and worse...they might be hurt by it.
My fear...that I won't be fun anymore. Won't be all "Big Dave Rocks". Wont have anything to say. Won't know anyone. Won't be the life of the party. Won't be the smartest man in the room. I won't be interesting. Might as well be dead.
"Death...what do you all know about Death" --Tom Berringer as Staff Sgt. Barnes in Platoon.
And that tells me that I have no idea how to live outside the shadows that I make to hide in. Certainly that means I need help and sitting by the phone waiting for Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper to call isn't going to cut it as far as getting that help. So I am here and if this isn't enough....well then...there has to be more.
I'm destroyed inside. I fear I have lost that which can never return. Is there any way for an addict to really say he is sorry without it sounding like he needs enabled?