I want to decide between survival and bliss.

This is a song that has meant a great deal to me over the years. As I evolve, so does the meaning of the song for me.  I could probably write a doctoral dissertation on it:

“Precious Illusions” – Alanis Morisette

You’ll rescue me right?
In the exact same way they never did..
I’ll be happy right?
When your healing powers kick in

You’ll complete me right?
Then my life can finally begin
I’ll be worthy right?
Only when you realize the gem I am?

But this won’t work now the way it once did
And I won’t keep it up even though I would love to
Once I know who I’m not then I’ll know who I am
But I know I won’t keep on playing the victim

These precious illusions in my head did not let me down
When I was defenseless
And parting with them is like parting with invisible best friends

This ring will help me yet as will you knight in shining armor
This pill will help me yet as will these boys gone through like water

But this won’t work as well as the way it once did
Cuz I want to decide between survival and bliss
And though I know who I’m not I still don’t know who I am
But I know I won’t keep on playing the victim

These precious illusions in my head did not let me down when I was a kid
And parting with them is like parting with a childhood best friend

I’ve spent so long firmly looking outside me
I’ve spent so much time living in survival mode

This won’t work now the way it once did
Cuz I want to deside between servival and bliss
Now I know who I’m not
  I still don’t know who I am
But I know I won’t keep on playing the victom

These precious illusions in my head did not let me down
When I was defenseless
And parting with them is like parting with invisible best friends

These precious illusions in my head did not let me down
When I was a kid
And parting with them is like parting with childhood best friends

This is what I’m trying to do – part with my precious illusions.  One of the biggest illusions (no pun intended) that I hold is about my weight and my relationship to food.  I have an inherent and amazing ability to recognize and accept it’s affect on my every day life.  I see only the benefits and not the dangers.  I am deluded enough to think that it keeps me safe, and wonder why I am lonely.
I want to decide between survival and bliss. I want to choose health.  I want to accept that I have not only been protecting myself, I have been punishing myself.  Many parts of my personality system are tied to my weight and food-
  • The child who was told over and over that men only want to have sex and that I’m so pretty I won’t stand a chance and horrible things will happen to me.
  • The young girl who bounced on her neighbor’s lap in exchange for candy or chips.
  • The young woman afraid her heterosexual urges and the young woman confused by her lesbian urges.
  • The young woman struggling to hide terrible and painful family secrets – seeking to always keep people at an arm’s length.
  • The child afraid of how her mother will react when she is called pretty.
  • The toddler who hoarded food for some as of yet unknown reason.
  • The defiant overweight teenager who refused to let her mother control what she ate too.
  • The indignant young adult who “deserved” that sweet.
  • The approval seeking daughter who wanted to please daddy with the great meals she could make.
  • The depressed, checked out 20 something who still has no idea how she got out of bed and functioned, let alone gained 150 lbs in 3 years.
  • The 13 year old who overheard her parents arguing “You’re the reason she’s overweight – NO! YOU’RE the reason,”
  • The insecure part of me who tests her father’s (and any man’s)  love by whether or not he accepts her “as is”  (The “as is” litmus test is a big one)
  • The morbidly obese woman who wonders if anyone really cares.
  • The para-suicidal who is too afraid to kill herself but would rather die suddenly of a heart attack than by some slow painful death like cancer.
  • The food addict.

I’m sure there are many more that I can and will think of, but in some ways that’s not the point.  That list represents survival.  Survival in an emotionally and physically oppressing and frightening world.  I WANT to choose bliss.  I want to be me, whomever that turns out to be.  In order to do that I have to figure out the difference between reality and precious illusions  I have to thank the illusions and let them go.  Thank them for serving me well.  Thank them for keeping me alive.

Someone at OA explained to me once – “You come to a meeting and whether it sticks right now or not, you’re changed forever.  You can’t un-know what you know.”

This won’t work now the way it once did.

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4 thoughts on “I want to decide between survival and bliss.

  1. Incredibly brave and moving post. I struggle with weight, food, love, acceptance, etc as well. It seems to be such an inherent part of being a survivor.

    I remember reading the lyrics to this song some time ago and thinking that was written by a child sexual abuse survivor. It is incredible. Thanks for sharing it here. I really need to look it up and listen to it some.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate

  2. Hi,

    I re-read this post tonight and was so moved. The sharing of this list is one of the bravest and most moving things I have ever witnessed.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate

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