Jan 6 | What’s Eating You?

“These feelings would go good with pie.” – Cameron on Modern Family

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not what you’re eating; it’s what’s eating you.” With regard to my recent binge, Day 1 | I Had a Relapse, I’ve been asking myself what’s eating me. And myself has been answering.

I’m pissed.

Last year I got divorced. My now ex-husband, let’s call him “C”, and I had been together for 12 years, married for ten. During our marriage, C received two inheritances that totaled approximately $900,000.

He kept that money to himself, using it to make mostly unwise real estate investments but also, in all fairness, paying for our vacations and large household items such as a new roof, appliances, property taxes, etc.

C always told me that this was “his” money and I learned later that California divorce law agreed with him: Spouses are not entitled to inheritances.

Now, I work full time and make a good salary … but not $900,000 worth of a good salary.

Have versus Have Not.

C’s inheritances created an environment of “Have” and “Have Not” in our household. Imagine how it felt for me to watch C buy himself expensive running shoes while I had to watch him roll his eyes when I asked if he’d pay for my annual gym membership.

In our divorce, I received a portion of the house we sold – which was his before we met and he put me on title, I’m trying to be fair here – which was a fraction of what’s in his bank accounts.

We settled through mediation because, as a childless couple, there was no need: California law is all about formulas and numbers, which made it easy for us … but unfavorable to me.

Shortly after our final mediation session, I started bingeing and haven’t been able to stop for any significant length of time since.

Now it’s almost ten months later.

C and I are still connected as fellow members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). I run into him at meetings regularly – although I try to keep it at a minimum – and share many of the same friends. 

  • Me: I am living in a one-bedroom apartment with enough money to make a down payment on a condo .. but it would wipe out my entire savings. I work full time in a cubicle for a large corporation. I’ve gained twenty pounds and my last relationship – with a coworker of all things (Ladies, don’t do it) – ended before summer started. I’m basically a mess.
  • C: My ex-husband takes ten-day vacations to Hawaii and Costa Rica every few months. He lives in a three-bedroom house. He wears expensive shoes and clothes. He has a real estate business that pretty much runs itself so he’s semi-retired. He looks relaxed and happy.

Dessert Tray, Explained.

Remember how I mentioned that I binged on the dessert tray at a New Years’ Eve party?

What I didn’t connect before now was that the night before, I’d gone to an AA meeting, where C unexpectedly celebrated 34 years of sobriety. He was tanned from a recent vacation and surrounded by adoring friends.

The next night I binged my brains out.

Knowledge is power.

This is what I’m eating over: jealousy, self-pity, anger, helplessness, overwhelm … I had no idea.

This is the first time since I relapsed that I thought maybe I should stop looking at the behavior and start looking at the reasons.

Now what to do with all this, I don’t know … but at least I now know what I didn’t before and that’s a good start.

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