Shedding Layers

"Ask yourself how your extra weight has served you and ask what it would take for it to leave peacefully and willingly". 

This is what my Naturopathic Doctor told me to do. I was laying down on the exam table, and while she examined my liver, she said this to me.

There is something that's eating me alive, and for the first time, I can feel my body trying to protect itself- almost patching the wound up before I expose it, but I can't let it do that.

I will expose it.

So I have been fighting my body's natural inclination to protect itself since 2 a.m, wrestling restless in bed.

I can actually feel this...feeling it in my gut. It's so tangible.
I'm eating myself alive and there is so much tension.
My body is fighting to protect me but I am fighting to expose the truth…of a feeling.

And it all makes sense finally, given the way I like to experience consolation. I love attention, affection, and smothering when I feel sad. I love cuddling, kissing (when appropriate), and hugging almost to an excess. At night, I sleep with at least 6 pillows and 3 blankets, even in the summer because I like to feel held and literally "covered", especially when I am not getting that from people.
When I feel really empty, I eat lots of warming comfort food (though for me comfort food doesn't always mean fatty and unhealthy).
I like insulation. I like to feel comforted and protected. I like to feel shielded. And I yearn for excess especially when my pain is due to a feeling of "lack".
I am noticing that these are perfect conditions for retaining weight, regardless of a pretty healthy diet.
My weight is insulating me- protecting me from something deeper.
From what? I'll keep digging through the layers to find out.
One of my mentors has this theory that we all have "an ultimate un-truth" that we tell ourselves- a false story that we tell ourselves in attempts to protect our ego and shield us from the truth of a deeper past wounding.
I will not rest until I find that wound.

Because the weight will keep coming back to protect me even though I keep losing it.

Maybe all of this seems painfully obvious to you, but it's such a breakthrough for me on this Friday at 4 A.M; an hour of the night that I have oddly been connected to since I was a kid whenever I am going through a difficult time…

There is something eating me alive, and I don't think I would've realized it if it wasn't for the fast I'm doing. [If you are curious, it started off as a water-only cleanse, but has since evolved to a simple raw/vegan food fast that is going beautifully.]

A major goal of  mine for 2014 is to shed layers.
Well, my resolution is "to return to my true nature", since in 2013, I deviated from myself in some ways.
On December 31, 2013, I stayed at home paralyzed by a mysterious heaviness.
Everyone who knows me knows that New Year's Eve is my favorite night of the year and I have never missed a celebration in the past 7 years. I jut love celebrating the year that was and dancing, vibing, singing in to the New Year with my peoples.
But, this year was different. I was dressed beautifully and ready to meet my friends, but suddenly I felt an intense heaviness.
I sat down in the chair my father used to sit in and literally sank into it.
It was this feeling of overwhelming despair, and I just let it be.
It wasn't just the grief or the depression I'd been battling all year- it was that AND more.
It's like I finally felt all of my weight- all 200+ pounds. <-----can't believe I just wrote that but shit, it's the truth! ha!
I mean, I really felt my heaviness for the first time in my life and it obviously wasn't just a physical heaviness.
It was  s o   m u c h   d e e p e r.
Suddenly, I felt every single pain/discomfort I experienced that year at the same time.
I felt it all.
All those damn layers.
I felt it all and I just laid my head to rest.
I surrendered.
I woke up in 2014 a little lighter, with a resolution to shed those layers.

So it's 4 a.m and I really should be sleeping since I'm in medical school and need to freakin' sleep, but there is something eating me alive. Maybe it's many things, but ultimately I'm struggling with a sense of guilt.
Oh shit!
That's why people say things like "it's eating me alive" when they feel guilty!

I'm struggling because my ex keeps popping up in my life, even though I desperately need distance from him and this "just friends" relationship. He (thinks that he) is in love with me, but I am not in love with him and never will be. And it's eating me alive that I can't reciprocate, no matter how much I want to because he deserves all the good things- we all do. But what kills me even more is that I am afraid of the guilt that I'd feel for feeling this way if one day…soon….he were to die. Maybe that is weird but I have developed this real phobia, that everyone around me will die at any moment, spontaneously and without warning, one by one, just like my dad did. It's an actual anxiety I have been struggling with- as in I hyperventilate at the thought of people dying all the time. On the flip side of this phobia is a natural and beautiful realization that every one dies eventually and our time with people is limited, so I need to treasure them while I have them….which feeds into my guilt in this particular situation.
I am just afraid that one day (soon) he will die and I will feel guilty for not loving him enough. And it really kills me. It may sound silly, but it just...kills me.

It's crazy because we broke up….again….on December 31st ironically and I felt an amazing sense of lightness; a lightness I've gracefully experienced for the past 9 days. It hasn't been easy to let it go but it's been easier than carrying it. But the past 24 hours have been difficult because I genuinely accidentally called him (damn iPhone!) and we ended up speaking for just a few minutes. The opening of that line of communication has totally set me off and has inadvertently led him (and maybe me to just a little) to think that there is hope for us even though there isn't. And since then, I've been carrying so much tension in my body! I feel frustrated, confused, and again, guilty.

I have to find a way to let him go….again.

I wish I could accurately describe what I feel in my gut right now. It's more than discomfort and a sense of malaise.
It's like a mini ball of destruction circulating in my gut- like a little cyclone- I feel nauseous, uncomfortable, and hungry…or maybe it is just a desire to eat.
In the past, I'd probably binge eat at this point.
Hmm, I can't believe I just typed that.
I don't even care.
It's true.
But, I can't binge eat because I'm fasting.
And I actually don't want to binge eat because that's just not the way to deal with things and that realization is frustrating and relieving at the same time.
I can't and won't binge eat.
I literally can't allow myself to because I realize that instead of adding things (whether it be food, drugs, physical contact, alcohol, stimulation, WHATEVER it is that we add) to patch up these feelings- to provide consolation, insulation, and comfort- and more layers, I need to shed it.

This feeling- this tangible feeling- this layer- has to GO.

Writing has always been cathartic for me and maybe that's why I'm haunted by the desire to share this strange occurrence at this weird hour.

My body can't contain this feeling anymore; it doesn't want to.
It has to go.

So, I write.

I'm writing this post to let my body know that it's ok to feel uncomfortable and to deal with the discomfort in a healthy way.
I'm writing this post to let my body know it's ok to let go and shed layers.
I'm writing this post to thank my body for trying to protect me; to say "thanks, but no thanks".

Honestly, this is super graphic but I just HAVE to share…

I literally just took a shit.

After I wrote this, and really processed it (literally and figuratively), I took a shit.

And I feel better.

I feel lighter and the tension is gone.

I have ACTUALLY shed some layers by feeling something, acknowledging, exploring, engaging, and processing it.

The body is amazing and the tie between emotional and somatic experience is so real and supports a big theory of mine; that there is an emotional root of physical disease. The mind, body, and soul are just too connected for that not to be true.

Ultimately, I get excited when things like this happen to me even though they are dreadfully painful and uncomfortable because I know I'm not alone.

I know that as a healer/doctor, I will meet patients who are struggling with things; things as bad as this and things far far far worse.

So, I welcome any opportunity to feel pain and discomfort, and practice how to move with these feelings so that one day I can help my patients do the same.

Well, that was a weird post.
At least it was honest….

Stay engaged.
2014 will be huge for me. Mark my words.