Ep 0039 – How Chaos thrives perfectly amid perfection

Laurie in a red scarf sitting near a tree in the wind.
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Here between gusts of wind at my next to upper Zen place. It was challenging to record today, but it was thrilling!

Podcast Recap

Chaos is on my mind, triggered by a pair of comments by brave companions, Sandy and Cheryl. I discover one of the reasons I sabotage myself after reading a heartfelt post by Abby followed by a snippet from our brave Michelle about seeking therapy. I tell about our new ‘Who are the brave companions?’ page on CompulsiveOvereatingDiary.com and share my experience with Tumblr.
View of the foothills and grassland.

The view from my next to upper Zen place.


Abby’s thoughtful comment on day 38.

Michelle’s brave comment about therapy on day 38.

Sandy’s Chaos comment on day 37

Cheryl’s aha comment on day 37

Cheryl’s Blog post, A Dragon Called Chaos

Our new “Who are the Brave Companions” page. Come tell your story!

Newest Brave Companion Michelle’s comment on the ‘Pathetic Episode 4’. Please stop by and welcome her.

My new Tumblr page

Catch up with Laurie

My Spreaker page. Please follow me there if you are on Spreaker.

My Instagram page at LaurieDreamWeaver

The Spark People Team we created for listeners of Compulsive Overeating Diary. Welcome Ecomuffin! So far, we’re up to ten team members, and we would welcome some more! 10/22/14- no longer an active team due to lack of participation

Laurie on Tumblr

My new page with instructions for all of the ways (so far) that you can send audio and lend your voice to this podcast.

New free way to leave voicemail http://speakpipe.com/laurieweaver You can also click the blue button on this page that says ‘send a voice message.’

Bravery Hotline

Leave your comments, questions, feelings and stories on Laurie’s podcast voicemail hotline – 206-350-6445.


Host: Laurie Weaver

Main Theme: I’m Letting Go by Josh Woodward from The Simple Life Part 1

I’m Letting Go (Josh Woodward) / CC BY 3.0

Resource of the day

Chaotic Quotes A set of fun, annoying and thought-provoking quotes all about Chaos from Brainy Quotes. Here’s a perfect one for today

Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector’s passion borders on the chaos of memories.
-Walter Benjamin

Comments box:

14 thoughts on “Ep 0039 – How Chaos thrives perfectly amid perfection

  1. Cheryl

    Chaos vs. Perfection… Listening to your podcast today made me realize how I live in either one extreme world or the other. And yet I’m convinced that right smack in the middle is where health and joy and contentment abide. How many things are there in my life that I don’t allow myself to enjoy because of that dragonfly behavior of flitting from one extreme to the other? Not just with food in the way you were talking about allowing yourself to eat and enjoy the things you love, but countless other unrelated issues.

    As I’m sitting here I’m looking at a picture frame my 4-year-old grandson made for me. My sister and brother-in-law were here Monday night for his lordship’s birthday, and I forced myself to get it out and show her. I know that sounds really weird. Why on earth would I have to force myself to share something that’s so precious to me? Well, because my sis is one of those “practically-perfect-in-every-way” grandmas who always do everything right.

    I’m not. My grandsons live clear across the country, and try as I might, I often don’t get them things (even little things) sent for Valentines Day, or Easter, or just because I run across a book I know they’d like. I fail to live up to the image of perfection that I see when I look at her and her relationship with HER grand kids. So I rob myself of the joy and pride of being able to say, “Look what Ethan made me!” because I fear she will judge me. And yet, I’m sure that’s the farthest thing from her mind. That fear of judgement is one of the dragons that definitely scares the beejeebers out of me…

    But that idea of perfection is so deeply rooted inside that like you say, Laurie, I sometimes think I can’t even make a good start at this whole changing my eating habits thing if I don’t first get to the root of the problem. I realized listening this morning what a HUGE hurdle it would be to get over that erroneously preconceived notion. And how easy it is to do exactly as you say and cop out of whatever I’m expecting to do under the guise of being kind to myself. But that’s not the truth. I’m NOT being kind to myself when I give up or give in. And the idea of “what is my truth” is something that’s been bouncing off the corners of my mind since the last podcast. I’ve begun to wonder just what “truth” really is to me.

    Thought-provoking podcast… (Btw, why don’t they call these things blogcasts? Wouldn’t that really be more accurate? Just wonderin’…)

    One thing is for sure. It really is all about baby steps, and the first hurdle for me is learning that not only can I TAKE one step at a time, but that it’s cause for celebration. In fact, I might even get my butt up and go scrub my kitchen sink!

  2. Sue

    I am responding to various comments from the last three podcasts in this post. It seems that lots of what Laurie said and the comments and suggestions made in the last few threads have struck many chords in our Brave Companions.

    I will give a little of my story so that you get the context for some of my posts. I suffered something as a pre teen that had long lasting consequences in many areas of my life. This remained “buried” until my university days. At various times I have tried to get help to deal with it, when that issue came to the surface of my consciousness, but I didn’t access therapy. These attempts at getting help were only partially successful. Most of the time the issue was so deeply buried that I didn’t think about it. About two years ago something else happened which meant that I could no longer survive by burying it. It was going to be in my face for a protracted period. I was blessed by having someone in my church who is a qualified psychotherapist. She has been amazing! It has been a long process to untangled the threads that were my several significant issues. I have learnt: to tell my story, to self protect, to self soothe, to identify the feelings and allow myself to voice them, why I react to current situations in the way I do, to start to forgive. We are working on: how to recognise the false assumptions I make when reacting to circumstances, how to love myself, how to change the bad habits and phobias I have as a result of the difficulties I faced.

    My suggestions to anyone thinking about getting therapy are: do it when you are ready to face the past, do it when YOU want it not when someone close to you pushes you into it, find someone who understands your core values and will work with them not against them, find someone you can build a rapport with, be ready to talk and make yourself vulnerable, put lots of things in place to keep other things from causing extra stress wherever possible. Will it be tough? – Yes. Will it be painful? – Yes. Will it take longer than you hope? – Probably! Is it worth it? – YES.

    I have learnt that there are certain drivers that influence my behaviour – the self-inflicted commands to Be Perfect and Be Strong. There has been a lot of discussion on the perfection issues in the last week. It can affect more than just the eating problems. The theme of needing to be in control resonates strongly with me. I must be very passive aggressive and do not like being told what to do. Diets would not work for me – I much prefer to eat normal food and make sensible choices from what is available (the fact that I haven’t chosen sensibly in the past is plain to see 😉 ) The difference this time is that I don’t intend to provoke the “I feel deprived” trigger. I want to think about why I want to eat too much and for the wrong reasons and find other ways to meet those needs. It is much harder, but has the potential for longer lasting success.

    I am so blessed by the openness and honesty of Laurie and my fellow Brave Companions. You care, and that means a lot to me. I appreciate your responses to my posts and am encouraged and challenged by what you say to me and each other. Bless you.

    1. Cheryl

      Having been through therapy after the death of my mom, I can SO appreciate your comment about finding a therapist who has the same core values as you. That did NOT happen for me. I admire you very much for making this post. I know from the little bit of counseling I had that it is a heck of a hard road to go down. And we never stop working on our issues. Thanks for being so open and honest. You’re such an encouragement, Sue.

    2. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Thanks so much for your thoughts and experiences with your therapy. Very much appreciated. I think your suggestions about knowing when it is right for YOU to reach for therapy are spot on. You do have to be willing to open yourself up, so it is vital that the therapist shares your values and is a good, safe fit for you. That is so important. Also your self-inflicted commands, Be perfect and Be strong, were also the Tweedle Dee and Dum of my childhood! And I’ve carried them with me, even today. I’m so glad you and the other brave companions are opening up about the whole perfectionism trend, because I think is helpful to see it from the outside in order to recognize it on the inside. Another benefit of good therapy. The therapist will be your mirror.

      1. Michelle.Mckinney@inova.org

        Hi Laurie- I discovered your podcast a few weeks ago. I stumbled upon it while doing a search for podcasts on emotional eating. I really like it. I listen on my phone as I work from home on the computer , so I don’t often get a chance to go to the website and leave a comment. But I am listening and enjoying it very much! Take care,
        Michelle Mckinney

        1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

          Hey Michelle, thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment! I really appreciate it. Your name is really familiar, are you part of the Spark People team or have we interacted on FB? Oh well, my memory isn’t what it used to be :). I am happy you like to listen as you work. I liked to do that too when I used to develop databases for a living. Thanks too for letting me know how you found the podcast, I am always interested in that. I hope you get the chance now and again to come back and say hello. You might like to make a brief into on our new “Who are the brave companions” page. Please let us know if you could ever use some extra support.

  3. Rachel

    Hi there. Still catching up, but thoroughly enjoying it. Don’t always have access to computer as I really enjoy listening when I wake up in the early hours of the morning or when doing a chore (gets it done quicker). Yes perfectionism is the heart of my difficulties and sensitivity with overthinking. I had a voice in my head once which said I don’t have to be perfect to be loved which said a lot. Perfectionism is also linked to lots of different aspects of my life, although now I understand that it doesn’t exist and don’t want to keep striving for it. It is linked with procrastination due to ‘if I can’t do it perfectly then I can’t start it’ or like you I feel I am being judged. Same with body image. Unless I have a perfect body then I don’t deserve to have nice clothes or make the best of myself. I did turn a corner though a few weeks ago when I painted my porch and it rained afterwards causing little marks on the gloss. At first it totally upset me, but I said to myself that it doesn’t matter and I couldn’t have predicted the rain. At least I had completed it after wanting to do it for months and it will be protected for the winter. Two phrases I remember to counteract perfectionism are ‘Just enough is good enough’ (transactional analysis) and ‘don’t get it right get it written’ (life coach Lorna Ramsay).
    All good stuff Laurie thank you x

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hooray for you Rachel for being able to let the perfect porch go and enjoy it for what it was. I totally get how wonderful that was. When we redecorated a couple of years ago, the flooring was new, the paint was new, and I about KILLED myself with the touch-up paint every day for a few weeks. I also chose oil-rubbed bronze fixtures in my bath, not realizing they turn green (get a patina) if you don’t wipe them EVERY time water gets on them. I so prefer the brown without the patina, that I have been killing myself wiping away all of the time. Finally, I just couldn’t keep up, and I must say, I’m happier with a little more green and a little less anxiety. Hugs and Congrats on your victory!

  4. Dave

    I know this Pod-Cast is from 2014, however is someone comes along and reads this……I too just started therapy to discover the issue under my overeating…..Coming to the decision was not easy…..I feel that many of the previous attempts were failures….I stopped overeating for a while, but ultimately they came back…..My hitting bottom was not as severe as most peoples, I remember being on break and going for a walk, and in that 12 min I experienced the worst physical pain I had ever felt…..I made it back to my desk, however I had to beg for some high strength painkillers from a coworker. I was able to make it through work, but I spent that whole night trying to figure out how to find a drug dealer so I could get my hands on some large quantities of OXY. I also happen to live in WA where pot is legal and was fighting the urge to find one of the new shops on top of that I was seriously considering stopping at the store to get some booze.

    I am an alcoholic and have been sober for 21 years sort of….I did replace it with food.

    I knew that if I went down the path of Oxy/weed/booze it would be the end for me, so I fought the urges and binged at home, I did not sleep and was seriously thinking of ending it once and for all.

    But God gave me an angel in the form of my wife Kathleen and I did not want to cause her any more pain, so instead of working at work, I spend the day trying to find the right therapist for me…I found one I thought would work and made the appointment……but it was 2 weeks out and I came very close many times to cancelling.

    The night before I could not sleep and some time in the wee hours of the morning…..I decided enough was enough, that if I was going to do this I was going to jump in with both feet, so the next day I just unloaded as much as I could in 55 min. He then gave me a workbook to help clarify and organize my thoughts…..this triggered a binge that has not yet ended.

    However because I was all in. I filled that workbook with every dark memory, every embarrassing action/thought/desire, everybody I hurt and how I hurt them then at the next appointment I was shocked when he didn’t kick me out.

    So far it has been two appointments and I feel a lot lighter emotionally, but not in control…I started the process of “LETTING GO” my illusion of control.

    Was it scary yes!!!! Was I embarrassed yes!!!!! Is it worth it yes!!!! Will it be hard yes!!!! But if not this then what???????

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Big, big hugs to you Dave, and you are SURELY on the Bravery Report several times over for you honesty and for bravely saving yourself! I’m glad you have your angel to inspire you, but YOU, dear Dave, took the action and that is a HUGE step for sure! I added a link to the bravery report page here so you can post or grab a bravery report certificate to REMIND yourself of what a hero you are being to yourself when times get rough and dark.

      However because I was all in. I filled that workbook with every dark memory, every embarrassing action/thought/desire, everybody I hurt and how I hurt them then at the next appointment I was shocked when he didn’t kick me out.

      I think that we all feel the depths of despair, since most with addiction, chemical OR process, and/or disordered coping mechanisms feel deep down that we are not good enough as we are. AND, being compulsive and obsessive types, we can, like Eeyore, the negative donkey from Winnie the Pooh, ruminate on our faults until our souls feel blacker than black. THEN we feel the need to be PERFECT and SUPERMEN in order to overcome our “true lack of worth”. Since we are but people, we are ALL non-perfect folk with some talents and gifts and faults and foibles. I am still struggling to accept this, but it is probably the best gift this show and therapy have given me. The ability to somewhat drop the pressure on myself. The ability to forgive myself and others and to look at life with fresh eyes.

      I have great hope for you on this journey. It sounds as if you are being both honest with yourself AND caring enough to get yourself help. This is an unbeatable combo, IMHO. I’m so happy you’ve found us to support you and for you to support us with your brave thoughts and voice. It isn’t easy, but it is, so, so worth it, and so are you! xoxoxoxox

      1. Dave


        I truly love your Pod Cast and getting to know you and the other BC. Thanks for the hugs.

        I promise to keep moving forward on this journey, some times it will be a full step, sometimes it will be a half step, with the occasional back step or stumble, but as someone once said its only failure if you quit trying to move forward, you may have to change your path, but that is acceptable, always move mostly forward.

        1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

          Dave, I can surely tell you have writing talent – even in your small post comments. I hope you DO keep moving forward into your joys and talents and discover all of the wonderful things about you. It won’t be easy every day, that’s for sure, but over time it DOES get easier to treat bumps in the road as small swerves, and not a big deal in the bigger picture. When you look back in a month, let alone a year or five, you will be amazed! I’m starting to think that all of our trials are just training for our characters. Opportunities to chose love for ourselves and others. Too new agey? I think the idea applies to most religions too. So I try not to feel bad about my trials (ha!) but to discover the lessons in them. I’m so glad you are sharing this journey with me, and I’m excited to learn what YOU learn on your particular path.

  5. Sue

    Well done for your bravery, Dave, both in sharing here and taking the big step of getting therapy. I too started writing down my thoughts and feelings, which I emailed to my therapist. It was usually helpful to debrief during my next session. Please stick at it even when it is tough and painful. Feel free to post on here when you need encouragement/prayers/peaceful thoughts as many can empathise with what you are going through.


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