Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Natural Highs

Last week, my dad's wife called me. She wanted my opinion on the latest thing my dad decided to tell her. Basically, she wanted me to side with her as "ammunition" against my father. She said my dad wanted to get a motorcycle. This is not his first one, but rather would be his maybe third or fourth in his lifetime. The first one he purchased was way back in the 1970s. The day he was going to sell it, he decided to take it for one last spin--just to see how fast it would go (can you say stupid?). He wrecked, almost dying but lived with second and third degree burns instead and a long recovery process. You'd think he would have learned his lesson from that.

Ever since then, my family has always been against him having a motorcycle. since he's an adult and all, it's not like we were really capable of him not getting another motorcycle. The only good thing was that he had partially learned his lesson from the accident and was careful. However, with all of his health problems the last ten or so years, my family I really question the motorcycle idea.

I talked to my dad directly on the phone about this motorcycle idea. The conversation went as follows:

Me: I don't think you should get a motorcycle. You remember the bad accident you had, right? Why not go for a bike instead?

Dad: I like motorcycles, because I can go fast.

Me: Well, you can pedal fast on a bike.

Dad: Yes, but not the same. Motorcycles give me a high. It's like a crack addict on cocaine, but for me, it's a motorcycle instead.

I could understand where he was coming from, but I still didn't agree with the idea of getting a mortorcycle.

This got me thinking about natural highs and eating disorders. I think for many of us there is/has been the feeling of the "starvation high." I know when I had bouts of this type of high, I loved the energy it gave me for the first few days. I loved the idea of staying awake late and being able to get up effortlessly the next morning. I loved the feeling of just going out for a run and running light like the wind, because I was empty. I loved the feeling of not thinking about food, because I could just shrug it off, thinking I just didn't need it. I often felt like I could write better when in this state as well. It seemed like words just flowed on the page. But then a few days later, reality would strike and that "high" was gone. I missed it and wanted it back.

Fast forward towards recovery. There's no doubt at times I miss this feeling. It was a different feeling that just seemed incomparable. Due to trying to get myself well, it's made me think about what my other highs are. I remember an e-mail I received a number of years ago, entitled "Natural Highs." I actually printed it and kept it as a reminder in my college room which was filled with a lot of inspirational poems and quotes and such.

A few of my highs these days would be:

* a great run--not obsessive but feeling my body as it moves and the wind at my back
* just being out in nature seeing a deer, a red fox, or even a groundhog
* laughing until my belly hurts
* seeing an old friend or making a new friend
* watching my dogs play, sleep, and just "be"
* feeling inspired whether it be because of myself or someone else
* achieving personal goals
* knowing that I've somehow helped someone even if it is in a small way
* watching sunrises and sunsets or the waves at the beach
* sales at my favorite stores (not that I shop often but it's always a great feeling to know they are there)
* certain smells and feels like fresh cut grass or brand new sheets on the bed
* finding four leaf clovers

Those are a few of mine, and I'm sure I have more. So what are yours?


Deb said...

I love your list!!!!!!!!

I'd just add eating chocolate to your list to make it complete for me!

Tiptoe said...

Deb, yeah, I bet a lot of people would add chocolate to their list!

zandria said...

I think it's AWESOME that you can list all those things that give you "healthy highs." Very inspiring! :)

Tiptoe said...

Thanks Zandria. I bet your list would be very inspiring as well!