I Want, I Can, I Will


It’s probably not the most difficult chapter of my life, but maybe just one of the MORE difficult ones that I seem to have repeated six or seven or maybe eleven times within the course of my short 34 years on this planet.  It’s the sense of extreme deja vu, the certainty that the piano in the corner has played this music before, although perhaps in a different key, a slightly different tempo.

Yes, it’s time to work on the recovery stage of a big, huge, fat, ugly depression, and to be starting to see the crest at the top of the hill.  It is within the next fifty yards or so, that I have started “doing things” again.  When I say, “doing things,” I mean everything from showering daily to leaving my house regularly to baking apple pies from scratch to exercising.  There are THINGS and they are getting DONE.  By ME.

A few days ago, I fell coming up the steps of my house and turned my ankle.  I was pretty sure something was broken, and I was somewhat positive that I had re-broken the metatarsal in my foot that I had also broken the last two Decembers.  My mood turned foul as I hobbled and waited to go see the doctor and have an x-ray.

As it turns out, nothing is broken.  While I was at the doctor’s office, I also managed to ask for a dietician referral and a prescription for compression stockings.  You see, I have let myself get a big fat.  A lot fat.  Ridiculously-bigger-than-ever fat.  Fat enough, that it is affecting my health.  My doctor almost put me on diabetes treatment medication, but I wouldn’t let her and asked her to re-do my labs — which came back within normal limits.

So, for the sixth, seventh, eleventh time in my life, I have had my “oh holy crap, I’m too fat to keep going in this way” freak-out.  I am going to, first thing tomorrow, go see about some compression stockings because my lower legs, feet, and ankles are swollen so terribly uncomfortably.  I’m going to research a dietician, who maybe can help me with some meal-planning.  I’m also going to get back to my aqua exercise at the YMCA, because that was really helping last week.

Life is too good, too sweet, too soon gone to spend my time being:

  1. So overweight that almost any movement is prohibitively uncomfortable
  2. So self-conscious about my high weight that I avoid eating or grocery shopping in front of other people
  3. So heavy that all I can think about is how heavy, slow, syrupy my body feels
  4. Ashamed (yet baffled) that I have let myself get so big
  5. So unhealthy that I need medication to treat any weight-related disease

SO friends, I might do something nutty, something drastic — I might swear off sugar or swear off carbohydrates or start making my goal of exercising every day.  Whatever it takes, I’m gonna do it.  Because, friends, I have TOO FREAKING AWESOME of a life to be without one, all over some fat cells and high blood sugars.



Fed Up


I’m done.  All the hacking, the shortness of breath (with any slight movement, even with just sitting), the money gone down the toilet, the h0rrible smell.  I’m just done.

The past several nights, I have woken up coughing, and not been able to stop or to catch my breath.  It’s scary stuff, feeling like you are sucking air from a straw.  Getting lightheaded.  Almost throwing up because you’re coughing so hard.  Each night I swear them off, and then pick one up in the morning, which only leads to more hacking.

This isn’t normal.  My lungs were not MADE for smoking.  Hell, no one’s are, but mine especially are sensitive and, while I had cut way back the last time I started after a quit (in February or March), I’m back up to almost three packs a day.  That’s just not acceptable.  I can’t afford it financially and I can’t afford the things it is doing to my health.

I really did pretty well with quitting this last adventure.  What brought me back to it was cigarettes being plentiful around the  house and a DSB who saw nothing wrong with continuing to blow smoke inside the house while I was trying my damndest to quit.  Well, now he’s not here, so I think I can be successful.

I’m going to use the patch and lozenges.  It seems to really work for me.  I start (or stop, rather) in the morning.  I’m going to wake up, have a smoke or two, and then slap a patch on and call it a done deal.  I know it will be hard, but I have a lot of support.

So, when ya wake up in the morning, send some good juju my way.  I’ll probably need it!

This is MY song right now.  I’ve quit DSB, alcohol, coffee, and cigarettes (as of tomorrow, with the cigarettes).  And I’m still blue, like Michelle, but I’m sure I’ll get over that with some TLC.




Who I Am

Here we are, Day 37 post DSB-break-up.  I couldn’t be more thrilled with my new-found freedom, spare time, lack of anxiety, and re-connection with family.  I mean thrilled, over-the-moon.  What I am less thrilled with is the basic and simple fact that I have to work, REALLY HARD, at figuring out this new life again.

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You know, what it means to be single, to not be tied down.  While I used to have a very rigid schedule, everything is very loose now.  It bothers me, to a degree.  I feel like I am reinventing Rosa, and in a way, I guess I am.  The Rosa of the past two years put up with way too much shit, had her self-esteem slowly chipped away, and mentally blocked out all of the “wrongness” that was the relationship with DSB.

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But I see it now.  I see it clearly.  I see where I should have stood my ground, made different choices, forced him to leave much earlier in the game.  The minute he tried keeping me from my family, or badmouthing them, I should have ended it.  I didn’t, and I have nightmares about it, frankly.  About how I gave up my family for a relationship that really wasn’t all that great, or healthy.

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I feel a lot of shame, am actually really burdened down by shame and guilt.  The Rosa of the last two years is not the Rosa I want to be.  And I’m changing things, sometimes in little steps, sometimes in huge leaps of faith.  It’s hard, though.  I have great family and friend support, but I am lacking something.  I think I know what it is, but I’m not positive.  What I think I am facing is a deep sense of uncertainty and insecurity.

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Because I feel like I’m reinventing myself, I also feel like I don’t know who I really am.  I’m uncertain about what I like and don’t like, what I will put up with and I won’t.  I worry that my reactions to certain things are either over-the-top or not intense enough.  I feel wildly varying emotions about so many issues, so many people, so many subjects, and just so many things.  And along with that, I have had two cycles in the past month, and just when I’m feeling good, something crops up and I feel like all the progress I have made has been obliterated.

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I’m not saying that’s how it is, but just that it FEELS that way.  I feel lost a lot of the time, and a lot of the time I’m putting on a happy face when inside I’m in a rage about something or I’m so agitated I can barely focus on what it is I’m supposed to be doing.  Lost.  Lost.  Lost.  I am like a ship out at sea that has lost it’s navigational system.  No way back to dry land, to safety.  But isn’t it safe HERE?  NOW?

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I am good with life changing, but it seems so huge, so dramatic.  I feel like a totally different person now than when I was with DSB.  It feels good to be able to do what I want to be, but there is so much uncertainty now.  Before, I knew where I had to be at what times and what I was supposed to be doing.  Now, there is no plan, there is no schedule.  I’m living life flying by the seat of my pants and it terrifies me.  I don’t feel secure in this person I am trying to be and I feel very unsure about what I should be doing on a minute-to-minute basis.  Before, it was all planned out and orchestrated.  Now, well, like I said!  Seat of your pants!

When this song first came out, my grandpa had passed, but my grandma was still around.  I’d substitute Grandma’s name for the one in the song, and the line about looking like my dad and momma being my biggest fan were (and still are) SO TRUE.  This song really grounded me during a time where, again, I didn’t know who I was.  I’ve listened to it four times now on repeat, after writing everything above (which frankly, needed to come out either way), and it is grounding me again, like it once did back when times were rough.

If I live to be a hundred
And never see the seven wonders
That’ll be alright
If I don’t make it to the big leagues
If I never win a Grammy
I’m gonna be just fine
Cause I know exactly who I am

I am Rosemary’s granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done my momma’s still my biggest fan
Sometimes I’m clueless and I’m clumsy
But I’ve got friends that love me
And they know just where I stand
It’s all a part of me
And that’s who I am

So when I make a big mistake
And when I fall flat on my face
I know I’ll be alright
Should my tender heart be broken
I will cry those teardrops knowing
I will be just fine
Cause nothing changes who I am

I am Rosemary’s granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done my momma’s still my biggest fan
Sometimes I’m clueless and I’m clumsy
But I’ve got friends that love me
And they know just where I stand
It’s all a part of me
And that’s who I am

I’m a saint and I’m a sinner
I’m a loser; I’m a winner
I am steady and unstable
I’m young, but I am able

I am Rosemary’s granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done my momma’s still my biggest fan
Sometimes I’m clueless and I’m clumsy
But I’ve got friends that love me
And they know where I stand
It’s all a part of me
And that’s who I am

I am Rosemary’s granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done my momma’s still my biggest fan
Sometimes I’m clueless and I’m clumsy
But I’ve got friends that love me
And they know where I stand
It’s all a part of me
And that’s who I am
That’s who I am



I Can Believe the Unbelievable

Today has just been humming along today (today today today).  I still haven’t had any significant sleep, so it’s even more difficult to focus on what’s in front of me than usual.  My SSDI/SSI call was supposed to be today, but it turns out the dates were mixed up and it is actually on Friday.  This sucks mostly because I had built myself up for it to be today.  Maybe I’ll be less anxious on Friday.

A lot of talk today about feigned competency and self-validation and letting people go.  I had my weekly session with my IOP therapist and it’s always a smorgasbord of topics that are discussed.  We talked about being in IOP and how it’s like having “3rd degree emotional burns.”  It really is true and if you haven’t felt it, good for you, and if you have, then hang in there.

The biggest issue I want to look at right now is self-validation because I often fall into the trap of looking outside myself for validation, which creates anxiety, hurt feelings, disappointment, etc.  The first thing I am working on right now is self-validating the way I live my life.

I spend a lot of time comparing myself to people around me that keep themselves hopping from project to project, so busy and important that they just crash at the end of the day.  In fact, most of the central people in my life are like that.  When I compare my daily behavior to that of one of those people, I feel like crap.  It makes me feel like I haven’t accomplished anything and therefore am a piece of shit, not even worthy of being stepped on.

Something clicked with me today in my individual session and I realized that, although I don’t run around being “busy and important,” my life still has value.  Just because I didn’t do xyz today, doesn’t make me a bad person.  In fact, the list of things I could do to make myself a “bad” person is quite short.  Ok, so I’m not bad. Where do I go from there?

I have to start believing it.  It would be amazing if I could get to some Zen point “people aren’t bad or good, they just are (including myself).”  I don’t think I have been working as hard in IOP as I could be, although there goes another huge self-judgement that is likely crap.  What I meant to say is that there is more I want to be doing in IOP.

I want to be better now.  Instantaneously.  I want to see that blinding light and hear that crash bang when it all comes together.  I had that the last time I went through IOP.  What I fail to remind myself is that the crash bang of realization did not come until after I had been in the program for over two months.

Two months is a long time from now, no doubt.  Spending 15-20 hours per week in therapy is not easy and I definitely do not give myself enough credit for doing it.  The only person “making” me do this program is me.  I ASKED for this, almost begging even, to be let in.

At 4:04 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15th, I can say that I am almost proud of myself, right here in this moment.  It might not last, but I will climb that hill over and over to get back to the top.  I am not giving up, not giving in.

Dixie Chicks, Not Ready To Make Nice

Making it Click

I must admit, blogging is addictive.  Especially when you have some free time.  I spent the morning changing the appearance of the blog, using a new thing-a-ma-jigger that I found.  I think they’re called templates, but I could be wrong.  I left up the header picture that was on there, because it’s pretty, but not really “me.”  I have this fabulous little digital camera now and I am pretty sure I can get some great fall pics taken in my own backyard.  The trees are starting to turn and it’s gorgeous.

The new house is technically “in-town;” however, just across the street is considered outside the city limits.  There is a big patch of forested area very close to my house, and I have a humongous back yard with lots of trees and other prettiness.  I even have a huge asparagus patch that looks very mature and a stand of concord grapes.  Unfortunately, it seems that my neighbors’ have picked all of the grapes, so I will be putting up a sign because I am SO not sharing my asparagus. 

It has been a rather painful weekend for me.  I had to have a cyst removed on my lower back and have been back to the urgent care clinic three times since Saturday mid-day to have it drained and re-packed.  My fingers are crossed that I don’t have MRSA, but they sent in a sample to be cultured and I should know for sure by Tuesday.  Wonder what work would say if I did have MRSA?  Questions to be answered on Tuesday.

I am really rediscovering blogging here in the past couple of days.  It is something that I have missed doing regularly and never make time for.  I think it is high time that I start again.  Many thanks go out to Pasha for prompting and reminding me what a joy it is.  WordPress has really changed their site, so there may be a few little glitches here and there.  There is now a place where you can “like” a post on FB.  I am not sure I really want that up there, because I don’t want my work friends reading this.  Thinking I will just leave that one alone.

Speaking of FB, I have really been getting out of that scene lately.  I still read it, but find myself posting less frequently.  I get annoyed by people who complain on FB, and I don’t want everyone to know my business, so I generally just end up saying something goofy or replying to others’ goofy posts.  I have put a few pictures of my dogkids up and they seem to be well received.  It seems like that is a lot of what FB is about — showing off your kids/grandkids/etc.

So, as I said in my last post, I am looking for winter projects, doing much better when I have “missions.”  I have a little list going on my home computer and am adding a few more things.  I recently started reading again a blog that a friend of mine puts out.  She blogs religiously and seems to really love it.  She is always doing crafty things with her kids and she reminds me a lot of my mom in that respect.  Much love to you Adriana!

Adriana is another reason I am blogging.  I am interested in keeping up with what old friends are doing, and I would like for some old friends to know what is going on with me.  I am not a hugely social person, don’t go to bars or parties, but like to keep in touch with a few people.  I have a friend who is getting ready to have a baby and I am really excited to be back in touch with her.  We were Rocky and Bullwinkle back in the day, and even now when we get together we’re chatting nonstop, finishing each other’s sentences.

In other news, I started Weight Watchers a little over a month ago.  Prior to that, I was using SparkPeople and tracking what I ate.  Since the beginning of SparkPeople and into Weight Watchers, I have lost almost 25 pounds.  It is amazing how that small amount of weight off can make you feel so wonderful.  I have more energy, my clothes are getting baggy, and I am fitting into things I haven’t work in over a year.  I am more active and feel happier, not guilty all the time and feeling physically ill from eating crap and laying around.  For me, Weight Watchers is easy because you can eat anything you want and you have weekly support and pep-talks.  The website has what is called “E-Tools” and you can do all of your point tracking there, read success stories, build a recipe, search recipes, and read all kinds of interesting articles.  I am really loving it and what it has done for me so far.  I have not set a final goal, but am working on my first five percent.  After that I’ll go for another five percent, and then another and another, and so on.  I have a huge tupperware container and three large boxes of very cute clothes that will be fitting within the next 25 to 50 pounds I lose.  So very exciting!!

I found a great-looking recipe on The Sphors Are Multiplying called Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Verde.  I am making that in the crock-pot tomorrow with a few changes.  I am really loving fall and the idea of having dinner made at the end of the day by dumping a few things in a crock-pot in the morning.  Next up is pork chops in sauerkraut.  Served with a baked potato, it just doesn’t get any better. 

Not really about food, but cute nonetheless…

Kate Nash, Pumpkin Soup

Everything Changes

Things sure are a lot different than they were one year ago, six months ago, three months ago, one month ago.  Mostly different in good ways, although I suppose there are some drawbacks (which I can’t think of right now, so maybe not).  Timing is funny sometimes.  I received an email from an online friend telling me that “inquiring minds want to know!” and my therapist told me today that I needed to blog again.  I’m sure it’s also something that QoB has also been wanting to say.  So, here I am, all bright and shiny and scrubbed up, ready to put myself back out there.

I seem to have this fear of being happy, having been unhappy for so many long periods in my life.  I am trying this out, this new life that hard work and luck and self-realization and mindfulness has brought to me.  It worries me when I feel good.  I think I might be getting manic, and the bottom will fall out.  I worry about that every day.  Every day, there is a part of me that thinks, “Maybe this is all a fluke and the shit is getting ready to fly.”  It is very difficult to get away from this way of thinking.  I am working on it, and part of that is all of the work I have been doing on self-acceptance lately.

Does self-acceptance come from self-love or does self-love come from self-acceptance?  It’s complicated, all twisted together.  I have been treating myself increasingly better each day since Dr. Love left for greener pastures in February.  At first I was angry, shocked, lost, upset.  I took every phone call or text message as a sign we might get back together.  Over time, I realized that I really didn’t want to get back together, wasn’t sure I even wanted to talk to him anymore, and it was a relief that those two and a half years were over.  Such a relief.

That sense of relief has increased even more in the past month or so.  Moving up North has been the best thing for me.  I love my new house and am working on making it mine.  Are there things I want to still do?  Of course, but that is what I am hoping will keep me going this winter…projects.  I always do better when I have a mission.  Living closer to family and friends has made things easier to access people who love me and care about me, and has made me feel like less of a visitor in my own life, if that makes any sense.  I feel like I am at homeHere in my house, in my heart, deep down inside, I am home.  It is a comforting feeling and, when I look back upon past years of my life, I think that is what I have been looking for all along.  To feel at home within myself.

I have been able to go to therapy less often lately.  I am now down to every three weeks and it is very manageable.  The really great thing is that I have a therapist that would find time for me in a quick second if things started feeling bad, or if I just needed to talk something through.  I feel intensely grateful for this.  Intensely grateful that this person is a part of my life.

I saw QoB today and it really hit me how much she means to me.  Sometimes I can take her for granted, or be dismissive in my own head.  But she is always always always there for me, whatever it is.  She takes care of me when I need it, and lets me do my thing when that is what needs to happen.  She is never anything but loving and she is also my best friend.  I don’t think that is weird, to have your mom be your best friend.  We do it in a healthy way and I think that, more than anything, she is the person who has helped me come to where I am.  I think we count on each other for certain things and I think that’s ok.  It has taken a long time for me to realize that.  I am glad I have finally come around.  People on the outside don’t get it, but we make it work.

I have all of this peace and love inside me, and I feel like I am a dramatically more friendly person than I was even one year ago.  I get along better with people at work, always have a smile for people, and do my best to always be positive with the staff and offenders I work with at the facility.  I think overall I feel like I am a “good person,” whatever that means.  I genuinely care about other people and I think that can be a unique thing after working for over ten years in a helping field.  There is negativity all around, and I try to just let it fall down around me.  Sure, it bothers me, but I can’t let all of the BS drag me down into the mire.  Sometimes I find that I need to take what most everyone says with a grain of salt and just use the parts that apply to me that are healthy and sane.  Sometimes not much is left, once you take out the unhealthy and the crazy, but some sweet pearls of wisdom are still out there to be had and I sift through sand to find them.

Bruce Springsteen, Secret Garden



Searching for Renewal

January was a real bitch.  I quit smoking on the 10th and am now smoking 1-2 cigs per day, down from three packs per day.  I still beat myself up that it’s not a “perfect quit” but I am just going to consider it a small miracle that I’m doing that well.  I think here within the next week or so I will be able to kick it altogether.  That’s the hope anyway.

I also quit caffeine right around the time I stopped smoking.  I also quit any sort of morning routine.  I quit blogging, quit sitting in front of my sunlamp, quit drinking coffee, and, more recently, quit thinking that my life is so great.  Funny how that happens when you inadvertently go off your antidepressant and stop doing all of the things that were making you feel good.

I think when I first quit smoking, that I thought I had to stop doing all of the things that I associated with smoking.  I stopped taking breaks at work, started sleeping in and not doing a morning routine, and stopped spending time at home.

Over the weekend, I decided that I was probably going to lose my job.  Everyone was starting to talk about people being fired.  I had taken several sick days, and my supervisor told me:  “watch your time.”  I became convinced that I would be fired at any minute.

On Monday, I had a huge panic attack on my way to work.  I thought about taking the day off.  After talking to Dr. Love and my dad (and my supervisor), I cooled off for about 15 minutes and went into work.  I felt bad about being late, but I figure that it was better than the alternative — not going in at all.

Work has been really stressful lately and I have not felt like being there.  A lot of that is all of the negativity going on.  Morale is in the crapper and it’s not getting any better.  The co-workers in my specific office are on edge, as is everybody else, about budget cuts and what the new government members will do.  Instead of working harder, more fingers are being pointed, blame is being laid, and people are stabbing each other in the back.

I don’t like it.  It is to the point, especially within my office, that is almost a hostile work environment.  I can’t stand all the talking behind each other’s backs.  Sometimes I think about getting a different job.  I just don’t know what else I would rather do.

Goddess of Mindfulness has suggested practicing the Loving-Kindness meditation more routinely.  I have attempted to a few times, but sometimes I have a hard time shaking myself out of it and being mindful at work.  I wish my office had walls and a ceiling.  maybe I could do some primal scream therapy or get some dolls and stick pins in them.  Honestly, I do need to do the meditation more often because I know it would help me feel better.

We have had two snow-days back to back and it has been nice to spend time with Dr. Love and just kind of hang out.  We have done a few productive things, but the majority has been spent reading, watching movies, and playing on the computer.  I spent a lot of time yesterday laying in my warm bed and reading.  The main level of the house was only 63 degrees and it wasn’t until later in the day that QoB told Dr. Love to check the vents in the lowest level and turn them on.  It quickly warmed up to 68 degrees, but when I woke up in the morning, it was 61 on the main level and 68 upstairs.

I really felt like just going back to bed, but I couldn’t stand the thought of spending another day in bed, even if I was reading and just relaxing.  We ended up shoveling out the driveway and putting down ice melt.  It was nice to be outside, the sun was shining.   But it was bitterly cold.  I still haven’t totally warmed up.

We ended up going to Walgreens top pick up a few prescriptions, then decided to go to Dillons because we were sooooo tired of being in the house.  I had made some crab salad earlier in the day and Dr. Love decided I hadn’t made enough so we bought the stuff to make another batch and some cheese for the lasagna because I didn’t have enough.

Since we’ve been home, I’ve been trying to relax and not think about work and all of the time that I’ve sat around the last two days.  I made up another batch of crab salad and have been working on making lasagna.  The kitchen is nice and clean, and Dr. Love did several loads of laundry and cleaned the house the other day so there isn’t much more to do.  Just need to get this lasagna in the oven.

I’ve decided it is time to pull out of the January funk, now that we’re into February.  I bought some coffee creamer and will start drinking coffee in the mornings again, pulling back together my morning routine of sitting in front of my sun lamp, blogging, and getting up early enough that I can have a few moments peace before I make that mad dash to work.  I am always calmest in the morning, and I think I really need to be able to enjoy that time as much as I can.

Chris Young, Voices

What I Need

I realized yesterday that I haven’t done a single mindfulness exercise since I moved into this new house.  Additionally, it seems I have stopped practicing mindfulness all together, here within the past however long.  At least that’s what it feels like.

I have started to notice that I am having a lot of intrusive and obsessive thoughts.  They spiral, they go out of control, they so go there.  And then back again.  And then there.  I have become stuck inside of my own brain.  There is a part of me that wants to get out, and a part of me that would rather just stay there.

I have been doing some evaluating of my health here in the last month or so.  I feel like shit.  My weight has gotten to the point that it is keeping me from doing things I once enjoyed, and also keeping me from things necessary to function.  It’s not pretty.

I am considering Lap-Band surgery.  I have had a weight problem since I was young, and have tried to control that problem since I was in my mid-teens.  I go up and down, up and down.  Off and on Weight Watchers, trying low-carb, joining a gym, buying a Bowflex, taking diet pills, exercising into pain and then relapsing on food.  Nothing has given me the results I desire.  And I don’t desire to be thin.  I just want to be able to function again.  I want to have energy and I want to be healthy for years to come.

It has been quite an experience for me, reading all of the forums and literature about Lap-Band.  It is anxiety-provoking, because I wonder if I can do it, and it is exciting because it is a new possibility.  I would have to radically change how I eat and live.  I would have to do that anyway in order to lose any weight.

If I don’t want to end up dead at 35, I will have to radically change my eating and exercise patterns, whether I get a Lap-Band or not.  I question if I can do it.  I wonder if my overall life pattern of apathy toward improving my health can change.  I am asking the question and not getting an answer.

I am going to a seminar on Saturday about the procedure.  Hopefully that will help me decide if this is something I want to do and something I think I can do.  I want to be sure.  This is serious.

If this blog seems forced, that’s because it is.

Sometimes, I have to practice a little opposite-to-emotion to get through all that willfulness I have churning inside me.

Thought Smorgasbord

I think I have been avoiding the blogosphere lately because, well…sometimes it’s hard to examine oneself, especially when one is not being very kind to one’s own self and does not really want to examine such.

My eating and lack of any type of exercise whatsoever have been beyond ridiculous over the past several months.  And I wonder why I just keep gaining weight.  I think I have given up on losing weight and I think that all occurred not that long ago.  I am not sure how to make that change or become motivated.  There is a part of me that even thinks, “Oh, you don’t look that bad!”  Getting new clothes has helped with that, and, no, I don’t think buying new clothes when one has nothing that fits to wear is enabling a person to be heavy and not change.  It has really been necessary…can’t/shouldn’t really go to work with belly hanging out and pants cutting off circulation.

Had a very interesting discussion with QoB last night regarding laziness, weight gain/loss, exercise, motivation.  It wasn’t exactly a discussion, it was more QoB telling it to me like it is and me listening.  It can be so painful to examine oneself sometimes…seriously!

This “discussion” last night left me thinking about a lot of things today.  One of the more important ones was “I think you can love yourself more than you do.”  At the time it was said, I believe my reply was that I didn’t think I would ever be able to do.  And then there was talk about “feelings” vs. “choices” and I didn’t have much to say after that, just listened.  Sometimes I need to just listen.

I am not very nice to myself.  I am all the time telling myself how dumb/stupid/ugly/fat/worthless I am, even if that is not the image that I project, especially at work.  Those are thoughts that run through my head all of the time, however.  Those thoughts and thoughts about things that I could and should be doing.  The neverending “my house isn’t clean enough” gets really old, for others to hear, too, I would think.  It gets old for me to think about.

Change is unlikely unless one becomes uncomfortable enough with the status quo to do the things, complete the tasks, work on the things necessary for that change to happen.  I have become comfortable with being extremely overweight, with high levels of anxiety, with ignoring and neglecting my body and spirit.

I was sitting around this morning, thinking that I couldn’t remember the last time I had been truly nice to myself, nourished my very being with something positive.  It made me feel sad and confused, like you do when you realize there has been something painful going on and you suddenly realize there is something you can do about it.

I decided then and there that I needed to put more of an effort into sacred self.  I decided I need to practice loving myself so I can be a more effective and centered person.  And, yes, so I can love myself more…and start caring about things like my health, my body, my emotions, my stress level.  Instead of just plodding through.  Because, that is what I do…just plod on through and ignore and numb, ignore and numb.

QoB made an interesting point.  She said that, at some point in time, I have decided that I am going to be the best discharge planner it is possible to be.  I agree with that.  What was also said is that I have done that, accomplished that, have been working 40 hours a week, actually working, something I have never even before contemplated being able to do, and I am doing a good job.  It has become my focus, what I am striving for.  I have done this thing and ignored everything else.  Everything.

I would like to say that I am going to start exercising, eating healthy all the time (instead of usually healthy, but with regular injections of junk), quit smoking, blah blah blah.  I’m not going to say that.

What I am going to say is that I am going to work toward being mindful of how I am feeling, where I am, what I am doing.  I am going to try and pay attention to my body and what it is saying.  I am going to start doing nice things for myself and not worry so much about work and whether or not my kitchen is clean, beating myself up all the time.

I started today by giving Kizzie a bath.  It is something I keep thinking about and something that has been bothering me.  I keep putting it off because it is hard for me to kneel in front of the bathtub because I am so heavy.  This morning I practiced opposite to emotion, said, “Yes, I CAN!” and threw that dog in the tub.

It was freeing to do something I didn’t think I was physically capable of doing.  I almost felt as if a little weight was lifted off of my chest, that it’s a little easier to breathe, that possibly, just maybe, all hope is not lost and maybe I can do a few more things that I have listed in my head as physically impossible.

Sometimes, I know, I can surprise myself.

I mentioned before about getting new clothes, trying to feel better about myself and be “work appropriate.”  I also managed to find a couple of pairs of really nice winter shoes yesterday.

My hair has been really bugging me, I am really hating it, and I just had a haircut.  It wasn’t a very good haircut and I have been wearing it pulled back almost since the day I got it cut.  I firmly believe that having a good haircut is essential to feeling good, looking your best.  The haircut I had wasn’t cutting it.  Even though I know that I didn’t absolutely “need” a haircut, that I had just had one, I knew I was unhappy.

So, using my discretionary weekly money, I went and got my hair cut.  It looks amazing and I already feel better about myself.  Just doing those nice things for myself.  It’s important, and deep down I know that, I just have a hard time doing the littlest nice things, acting instead on autopilot that I am going to treat myself like I have always treated myself, and beat myself up some more.  I would like to decrease, eventually cease doing that.  So, that is what I am working on.

Rather than looking at all those little trees (losing weight, smoking, eating too much junk, beating myself up, obsessing about a clean house, drowning myself in stress), I choose today to look at the big picture, that forest, if you will.  The key in this is to start loving myself, so I can care about all of those little trees and do something about it, instead of just beating myself up.

I could use a little “feel good” music.  Have some Barry.

Barry White, “The First, The Last, My Everything”

ABC 123

Life has been quite the struggle later.  Between crippling anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, negative tapes, and insecurity, it’s been miserable.  I think I had a real wake-up call when I realized I was spending five to six nights per week at QoB’s house, calling Goddess of Mindfulness frequently, and being told to get a grip by my med doc.  Sometimes you don’t realize how bad it is getting until you’re already there.

So, I made a conscious decision to do things to make myself feel better.  I have started taking my Cymbalta regularly.  I am doing my sunlamp every morning.  I have tried to decrease my dependence on QoB and Big Dog by not going over every night, and instead, getting things done around my house.  Staying busy has been the key.

I know that both Dr. Love and QoB say it is ok to just “hang” but there are so many things that I want to do that I haven’t been doing due to the lack of motivation that depression and anxiety brings, that it is feeling good to get caught up.

I have cleaned the top two levels of my house, and it’s just a matter of time before I get the basement finished.  I’ve tackled some small projects that have been bugging me, and have been working at building mastery by cooking.  I have also really been working on mindfulness, especially in regards to my eating habits.  I find that if I pay attention, I am not really hungry during the times when I was usually eating.

It doesn’t take as much as I think it does to feel satisfied, and the integration of some new-found foods has much helped.  I was really in a rut with eating junk food and am now eating a lot of vegetables and some fruit.  I have also been concentrating on eating whole grains, and limiting sugar and salt.  No more empty carbs!

For example, I have been eating a lot of spinach salads, squash, sweet potatoes, brown rice, chicken breast, and the like.  I am making a meatloaf for dinner tonight that isn’t particularly healthy (covered in bacon), but it’s for Dr. Love and he deserves some good comfort food, taking a break from eating work food.  I fully believe that I can be rational about the meatloaf and just eat a normal portion.  YES I CAN!

Sacred self has also been a big part in feeling better.  I took Kizz for a walk last night and am trying to get into that routine.  I bought myself some new shower stuff and am spending time doing things that I enjoy.  Some of the skills mix together, but it never ceases to amaze me how much they work.  I am not keeping a diary card, but maybe I should be.

Back to basics, baby.  Goddess of Mindfulness and the IOP program gave me the greatest gift — my DBT skills — and they are something I can always bring more focus onto when the going gets rough.  It’s just getting around the willfulness that depression and anxiety create.

Keane, Somewhere Only We Know