So, today is day 21 of no sugar and (sort of) no flour; I had a flour glitch about 6 days ago, but it was minor. It's also day 21 of no binging. This is... unprecedented in my recent history. Not since I was, oh, in my 2o's, i.e., more than 20 years ago, have I had this kind of abstinence from these substances. Even more remarkable, I didn't go over the deep end when I had the minor glitch. My normal, addict's response in such a circumstance would be to say, "Everyone in the pool!" In other words, I would eat for the rest of the day, all the forbidden stuff. Just like an alcoholic. There is no such thing as "one drink." But I honestly didn't want to do that. It's hard to give up sugar and flour. The detoxing part is hard. When the stuff is leaving my system I am tired, I'm cranky, I'm sleeping badly. It really is detox (at least it is for me). And I was very clear, even when I ate the minor flour thing (OK, it was a half of a wrap, as in, a sandwich), that I didn't want to go through all that again. I wanted to move forward, not back.
I now feel, for the first time in a long, long time, that attaining some kind of normal weight might be within my grasp. I believe I can do it, for the first time in a long time. And that has me thinking about coming out of the closet.
It has been clear to me for much of my life that my being overweight was related to trying to keep myself "safe" sexually. It's hard to know exactly when all this got started. I did have some powerfully negative messages about sexuality in my family; it was regarded as dangerous, bad, and something that could lose relationships for me (my relationship with my mother, most specifically). Later, when I was married to my husband but longing for a relationship with a woman, being overweight was my security that none of my fantasies ever would come true.
Finally, I shared my thoughts on weight and sexual safety with a minister colleague. She thought about it and actually had a dream about me. Later she told me about her dream. She dreamed that we were sitting talking, and she said to me, "If you think your weight will keep people from falling for you, you're wrong."
It took me several years to realize she was talking about herself. She was the one who was falling for me.
Now, as I think about actually being able to lose this weight, after all this time, it seems to me a rather natural outcome of this that I would be out of the closet. My weight is something that, at least in my own mind, keeps me "asexual." I imagine my congregation, aside from the obvious fact that I'm a woman, doesn't think of me as a sexual being, particularly. And... well. Normal weight people are sexual, aren't they? They are perceived that way, no?
When I started this plan my overwhelming feeling about it was fear. This is why. I think when I come out of the closet as a sexual person, coming out from the closet as a lesbian will follow.
God, you who walk through closed doors and closet doors, be with me in my in-and-out state. Help me to be authentically the woman you created me to be. Let my sexuality and my struggles with addiction inform my ministry, making me more compassionate and attuned to others who struggle. Be with me. Stand by me. Hold my hand, for I am scared. I pray in Jesus' name, who never let a closed door keep him out. Amen.