Saturday, January 2, 2016

Like rebuilding

2016 feels different already.  It might be in part because we stayed up to ring in the New Year which is a thing I haven't done in decades.  I felt compelled this year to see the year out, to be there till the very end and then the beginning.  It is totally arbitrary, of course, but maybe that doesn't matter when you are talking symbolism. 

I'm reluctant - scratch that, I'm SCARED - to write out the stuff I've been thinking about for the year.  I feel like the last 20 years of my life have been a roller coaster of plans and failures.  That is probably dramatic and not entirely representative but there have definitely been a lot of resolutions and plans and then a lot of guilt and disappointment at my failure to 'turn my life around'. 

Staring 40 down (2.5 weeks to go) really has made me kind of evaluate my life and what I want out of it.  I suppose it has been sparked by all the losses this last year, too. 

Last night we had dinner with some friends that we met in spring of last year.  They are nice and I like them and they feel comfortable in the way that people that you like feel comfortable.  Hanging out with them is still kind of shocking in how different it is from how it was hanging out with Sis and her husband.  I love Sis still (popup!) but the few times that we had dinner with them both the Man and I would sit and listen to each of them talk.  It wasn't really a conversation at all.  Sis and I would be at the table and her husband and the Man would be in the kitchen and the Man and I would smile and nod and laugh and make small noises that indicated that we were listening but Sis and Mr Sis would be the ones talking.  And talking and talking.  There were very few questions and even less time to answer the few that were asked. 

I don't think there is any malice in their behavior.  They both are very excitable and very happy and excited to tell all the things to you.  But I started to feel like it didn't matter who I was, just that I was an audience member.  And I LOVED being the audience, I loved it for decades.  She is a very good entertainer.  But I wanted, no WANT, something deeper.  I want back and forth.  I want real connection and depth. 

After our dinner out last night I was laying in bed with the Man and told him that I want friends and people who will let me come over when their house is messy.  This issue has become emblematic for me.  Sis is the person that I would have said, last spring, was the closest person to me after the Man.  And I had all of these expectations about how moving here would be.  I guess she had her own expectations that were unmet, too.  I had this vision of she and I, in and out of each others' places, in the mess and the daily living.  I didn't imagine that in 2 years she would only come over once.  I didn't imagine that she would always talk about how she had to clean up before we came and if I dropped by (I kept trying to force intimacy, I guess) she would putter around cleaning and apologizing about the mess. 

I WANT the mess.

I know this could be about other things, I know that there is a possiblity that it wasn't a sign that I wasn't on the 'inside' with her but that is what it felt like.  It felt like I was a stranger.  And it felt like I was a stranger when her husband was in the hospital with a suspected heart attack and she didn't call me after she called her mom and brother. 

All this shit just breaks my heart. 

And as the Man and I contemplate moving back to our old stomping grounds, I think of my friends there and I just realized that when I was in the hospital I was very reluctant to call anyone to come.   So, that sucks.  I'm realizing that for me, that was about my own worthiness, not theirs, but it might have seemed to them to be about how close I felt to them. 

This is something that I desperately want to change for the new year and beyond.  I want to open myself up to these kinds of relationships.  I want to have 'in the mess' friends, not just smile and drink and eat and say goodbye friends. 

Wow, got a bit sidetracked there.

I suppose all of these things are intertwined, huh?  My relationship with myself and my body and my soul all impact my relationships with other people.  My treatment of myself informs the treatment that I allow from other people, etc.  

I don't want to set exercise goals or start a diet or try to build healthy habits into my life this year.  But I do want to be better to myself and some of that sounds a lot like healthy habits and stuff.  It just all feels different right now.  I think I've said that before, though.  Anyway, if it is different then I won't be able to scare it off by talking about it.  Or, I hope not. :)

That being said, I'm not telling the Man or anyone else.  I'm just gonna hold onto the little seedlings that are sprouting inside me and nurture them and see what grows.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Like being torn down

This year has been a doozy. 

I feel like every year I think that but this one has.  Like, for real.

Last night I went home just terribly sad.  I felt so hopeless about everything.  I'm not sure why I felt like that but I did.  I cried and cried to the Man.  He told me to hold on till the morning and see if things didn't feel different.

And they do.  They always do for me.  I'm not good with sleep deprivation.

As he tried to cheer me up he said, 'we will figure it all out tomorrow, we will figure out what WE want out of this life, where we want to live, who we want to be friends with, all of it' and it seemed so pointless.

But now that the sun is up I can see pretty clearly that this last year has been all about tearing down my old life. 

We have been here in this new city for 2.5 years.  The first year we tore our old life in the PNW down and we almost totally tore our marriage down and then rebuilt it.   2015 was all about tearing down my idea of what the future would be like.  It tore down my hopes of kiddos, it tore down my ideas about my relationship with Sis and Aunt, it tore down my whole concept of who my extended family really is and how much I want them in my life.  

I think the sadness was because I feel like I am standing in the graveyard of my dreams.

So, 2016 is going to be all about rebuilding.  From the ground up, as they say.  We will likely move (across town or country), we will build new relationships. 

I'm ready to get building. 

Tomorrow I will lay it all out, all the things I want for the new year. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Like learning to forgive

so, I found this forgiveness coach/therapist chick.  and I downloaded her book and read it and went through the motions to forgive sam and it was ok.  nothing magical.  nothing crazy or transformational.  and then i bled like crazy from my bum for two days.  and now I'm totally fine. 

I did, like, use my meds.  so that could have helped some.  :)

but.  I have never bled like that.  not since the hospital.  and it was just straight from 'doing fine' to 'bleeding like a stuck pig' to 'doing great'. 

the Man and I talked it over a bit and I said that maybe it is too woo-woo but an easy explanation is that sam caused my colitis. :)

no really though, I got sick like 1 week before I caught him cheating on me.  not sick, diagnosed. 

the Man said, 'whoa, it is like your body KNEW that he was cheating on you before you knew!'

sometimes I just love that guy. :)

so, does this mean that I am healed of my colitis now? 

here's hoping.


in other news, i'm totally sick of my job.  or maybe a more truthful statement is, I'm so not good at my job.  or maybe it is more of a 'I'm so tired and in need of a break and getaway that I can't focus on my job anymore'?

yeah, I think that is it.  that is the one.


I re-read an old (I think) facebook post by anne lamott today where she says not to diet.  well, basically.  she mentions 3 weights.  she says if you aren't happy at 185 you won't be at 150 or 135. 

are these super common weights?  because these are MY NUMBERS.  I am 185 (well, my top was 185, I'm like 182 or so right now) and I would like to get to 150 but if you look deep in my heart at what I REALLY want when I'm not being reasonable, well, I want to be 135 (that lowest of lows to which I fell before meeting sam).

actually, now that I think about it, do I REALLY want to be 135?  maybe not.   It sounds kind of ridiculous right now.  so maybe I am more reasonable that I thought I was!

well, that's all folks.  it's been thrilling.  :)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Like flipping a switch

This weekend I went through all of my old posts on my old blog.  It was sad, funny, shocking and surreal to see how much I went through and how much I learned (and have since forgotten). 

I think the act of writing was a real support to me during those times and I could see very clearly the improvement in my writing from the start to the finish. 

Then by chance last night I stumbled upon some Upworthy article about how your only New Year's resolution should be journaling daily and I though, well, ok. 

This morning I woke slowly from what I thought was restful sleep but my awakening was murky with dread.  You know how when you awaken in the night to throw up but before you realize that you have to throw up you just feel kind of sure that something is wrong but not sure what?  That is how I woke this morning.  It was super fun.

I couldn't figure out what was wrong, even after fully awake, but maybe it was lingering sadness from a bad dream I had about Sis.  I will likely see her at the Christmas party and I am dreading that, so .... dread?  :)

The Man and I sat at the table sharing a cup of coffee and talked about our trip back to Seattle in a few weeks.  Planning our transportation and such and I was struck with such a vivid image of the neighborhood we used to live in and the one our friends live in and I blurted out, "I want to move back to Seattle!" before I even knew what I was saying.  The Man got pretty excited, in his trying to be cool way and started to reassure me that we could do what we want and this and that.  I backtracked pretty quickly because I am not sure and I love being by my Mom and all of the other reasons I want to stay but - I don't know - suddenly we both were, like, innervated.   Or, mabye more like turned on or something.  Not in a sexual way but, it was like someone had flipped a switch in both of our bodies and minds.  I felt a surge of hope and excitement about the future that i haven't felt in a quite a while.  I know that the Man hasn't felt it either.  We were just talking the other day about how we both feel kind of aimless and were attributing it to the newfound infertility.  Need a new plan, a Plan B, etc.  But now I'm not so sure that is the problem. 

Can you really be that much happier in a different place?  Can it really matter that much?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Like learning from your past self.

Today I did a super old yoga video that I got when I was like 18.  So, yeah, super old.  :)

It was good to do it again but I couldn't help but think about how if I had been doing it regularly since then (so, 21 years or so) that I would be so flexible and good at all the moves now.  And then I started in with the guilt, and then the plans.

sure, I haven't been doing the other exercise plan I had planned to do but I could start doing this.  I could - no SHOULD do this.  I could get so flexible and lose weight ... or, maybe I wouldn't lose weight from just the yoga, after all, it is old school yoga.  Not easy, per se, but certainly not the yoga of 2015, no power this or sweaty that.  So, ok, I could add in the weights.  Yes!  5 - no! 6 days a week!  I will lose so much weight and get so flexible and fix all the stuff of my life!  

Then I felt like shit and talked to dh about it all.   I think I have too high of expectations.  And I think I have a 'loving myself' problem.   So I went to my old posts to see if I've been down this road before and I found this letter.  And so I'm posting it again, to remind myself.   I don't agree with all of the stuff, but a LOT of it hits home.  

Hi mom,

i was lying in bed last night trying to compose a big email to you to tell you all the reasons that this battle is worth it, even if we only lose at .5lbs per week. i laid there for almost an hour composing, getting myself all inspired, planning on inspiring you.

then i woke up this morning and my weight was the same as yesterday and i entered it into my chart and although the trend line is still going down i heard that evil voice that has been talking to you, inside my head. it said all the things it has been saying to you.

this is too slow. nothing is probably happening really anyway. what is the point? i wanna eat ice cream and not watch my food and enjoy my life instead of struggling to lose a measly half pound every week if that! this sucks. i will never get to my goal at this rate. i wanted to be really close to my goal by my birthday so i can go dancing with sam and look so cute (in your case go to mexico and not look like a beached whale, if i remember correctly). if i am gonna look like crap for that event and afterwards then what is the friggin point? other people lose so much faster than this. my body WANTS to be at this weight. obviously it is fighting me tooth and nail.
I am sure that your evil head voice (from here on known as EHV) is saying some combination of these words. probably some other ones that my EHV isn't saying. these are the words that he (EHV) has been saying to you your whole life. these are the words that he has used to stop you in your tracks every time you start to make progress.

now you may be asking why he would want to stop you in your tracks when the goal is something good for you. well, there are probably a ton of reasons (maybe you are afraid of being trim cause of that sleeze ball who molested you or maybe you don't really believe that you are a person who can be trim because you were told at such an impressionable age that you were fat even when you weren't by my dad). the truth is that it doesn't matter why EHV is trying to stop you. what matters is that you recognize that those thoughts are not rational.

now this is something that i myself struggle with hugely. therapy girl is always asking me if something i just said is rational and i almost always have to agree that it is not. if we are overweight (which we are) and we want to be a healthy weight (which we do) then it is irrational to believe that because that goal may take more time than we wish that it is either not attainable or not worth the amount of time it will take. for example, even if it takes us TWO YEARS to get to goal that time will undoubtedly be added onto our life expectancy. which would mean that we get (after subtracting the amount of time it took us to get to goal) the same amount of total years but those years are at our goal weight! that means that all the years we have after that are years we could do things that we can't or don't want to do now. years of getting in and out of a kayak. years of salsa dancing. years of not worrying about how we look on vacation. years of not beating ourselves up because we can't get out of a kayak. years of not beating ourselves up because we "can't control our weight".

on the subject of being judged about how we look on vacation.....people are going to judge you no matter what your weight. that is the bad ugly truth, mom. if you lose twenty pounds before then, people will judge you. if you lose forty pounds, people will judge you. people will always judge everyone they see, that is the way it is. you are no less lovable because you are not at your goal weight. i know that we both worry about what other people think of us but no one will notice your loss as much as you and if you are trying to lose weight to avoid criticism then you need to reevaluate your motivation (yeah, yeah, me too. :) ) No one can avoid criticism. the only thing we can do is love ourselves enough to not give a damn what other people think about us. this is obviously a huge mountain to climb. i can almost hear you saying that either you don't love yourself that much or that other people don't like you or love you and that makes you not love yourself or what ever. that has been my refrain for years, too. especially when i am pms-ing and feeling defeated. the problem with that refrain is that it is irrational. see a pattern here? :)

you are a survivor, mom. and so am i. we survived living with step-dad (and you survived dad!). you are always saying, "i can't change this, i can't change that, that is just how i am". but you can't fool me, mom. you are a very very strong woman. you may be refusing to claim that, and i don't know why, and you can refuse to claim it but it is who you are. it is at your core. you are one of the strongest women i know. did you hear that? you are one of the strongest women i know! there is a lioness inside you and she is just sitting there waiting for you to stop pretending that you are a victim who can't change anything and whom no one likes, blah blah blah. she is laid out in the grass of your soul, waiting patiently for you to take off that coat that you are wearing. that coat isn't who you are. that coat is a coat that you put on to protect yourself. i can even remember when you put that coat on. you are a shiner, mom, and you put that coat on and all those rays of light that are shooting out from your soul are just hidden under that coat.

some day, and some day soon i hope, you are gonna stand up and drop that coat to the floor where it belongs. when you do that, the lioness inside you will stand up and claim her life, mom! i don't know what you may be thinking right now, shaking your head at your crazy daughter probably. but i don't care! i know who we are. we are children of God, mom. we are crafted from the stuff of God. We are divine, holy, regal. we are lionesses who are pretending that we are Eyore. we are not!

there is a part of you who knows what you deserved. and what you deserve. there is a part of you that craves and needs and yearns with ever fiber of her soul to be taken care of for once in her life! luckily for us there are two people who can do that for us. God is one of those people (excuse the messy terminology here. :) ). he is there for us and i know that because you taught me that. i like to picture Him in the form of grandpa, maybe that would work for you? i picture him in that chair just like the picture you have of him over your computer. he is sitting in that chair with his arms outstretched, welcoming me into his lap. i am tiny and can fit. he is always sitting in that chair waiting for me. and he is always waiting for you.

the second person is you. now i know i have talked to you about this before or slightly related subjects and i think that your knee jerk reaction might be "but i shouldn't have to nurture myself, i want someone else (ie a man (sam in my case, dh in yours?)) to do that. i don't know if this comes to your mind or not but it comes to mine. when sam and i were almost splitting and i needed some loving care i told tg that i needed that and she said that i could give it to myself and i wanted to punch her. :) how is it being taken care of if you have to do it yourself?!?!? this really pissed me off and made me feel tired. i thought of it like trying to give yourself a massage, what is the point? it is certainly not the same thing as laying there relaxing while someone else does the work. luckily for me at the time, he was incapable of comforting me. i say luckily because it gave me my first taste of really nurturing myself. if he had been able to nurture me, i would never have started to learn to do it myself.

i can almost hear your protesting but here is what i learned. i sometimes feel like a black hole. i feel like i can never get enough love and affection. even with the way that sam used to be in the beginning (sometimes still but not really) it wasn't enough, i always wanted to go back for more. what i figured out is that it will never be enough. i will never be able to get enough from him or anyone else (no matter how skinny and cute they think i am or how nice or how smart or how whatever). the reason that their approval will never be enough and why it is so devastating to me is because i don't' have my own approval.

i have spent years and years and years looking outside myself for my self worth. i know that you do this too because you taught it to me. i don't mean to be harsh here, i know that someone taught it to you. grandma? no matter. what matters is that we stop judging ourselves based on the tide of other peoples opinions. if someone is mean to me (or i perceive them to be) then i feel bad about myself (and them). if someone likes me then i feel validated. the obvious problem with this is that all of my emotions are tied to what they are feeling....bad deal! we need a foundation of love for ourselves. this is what all those self help books say and that is kind of irritating but it is true. you will never believe that someone loves you until you believe that you are lovable. the only way to believe that you are lovable is to love yourself and accept that god created you in all your splendor. you must figure out how to love yourself.

now maybe you are saying "i do love myself!" . it is hard to have a conversation this way! :) if in fact you are saying that then i will counter with this..." if you loved yourself you would not consider overfeeding your body and causing damage to it "enjoying your life" ". you would not consider staying in a physical shape where you can't do the things you want to do and you beat yourself up mercilessly for being in that shape. you said that sometimes you just want to stop dieting and enjoy eating and your life. mom, i have seen you getting dressed and slapping your stomach. i have seen you rushing through your food, even food you are enjoying. that isn't enjoying your life. you are not enjoying your life and i am pretty sure that if you gave up dieting you would not enjoy your life. how can your soul enjoy doing damage to itself?

i have been "dieting" for six years...more if you count just thinking about my weight and feeling guilty about what i eat. you have been "dieting" for as long as i can remember. i can not remember a time when we didn't have lowfat stuff in the house. we never had soda and cookies and garbage in the house. it is a little depressing if you think about all the years that we have spent trying to get thin only to be fatter and fatter.

i think the reason that it has never worked is because we were doing it because we hated ourselves, not because we loved ourselves. if you could hear some of the things that i have said to myself about my weight and eating habits you would be appalled. i am sure the same goes for me hearing your inner dialog.

i know you pretty well, mom. and i love you even better. i know that eventually the lioness is gonna win. god doesn't give up on us. this isn't about me wanting you to be skinny or wanting myself to be skinny (although wouldn't that be lovely?). it is about the fact that we have sustained enough abuse in our lives. it is time to take ourselves into our bosoms and give ourselves a hug for doing such a great job. it is time for us to really think about what our hearts desire and then give it to ourselves. we have to be our own saviors. there is no good reason to give up. there is only a good reason to give up abusing ourselves.

don't listen to EHV.

homework: :)

write me back a list of three things that you love about yourself. i don't want to hear that you can't think of three things (if you are quiet the lioness will speak).

my three things:

1) i am pretty funny
2) i love learning new things
3) my lips

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Like movement

today my uterus moved.

Let me back up.  All these months going to Jen to get my belly massaged, all the money and all the work and all the pain and all the frustration and now all the looseness.  She exclaimed today that it was a totally different belly than when I came before.  And I don't even thing it was her shining  me on. :)

I feel like I might be making progress. 

Things to remember from today.

Wiley Coyote (temporary name) just wants me to get diet coke because he is seeking pleasure for me because he loves me.  He doesn't understand that I don't need dopamine, I need oxytocin. 

I want to make it an effort to do castor oil packs, warm my belly, self care and take my herbs. 

About a month until my birthday.  It has been a hard 8 months but I am doing it.  I'm doing the work and making the changes. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Like changing things up

It seems that no matter what the change is that comes to me, I have a hard time adjusting to it.    Now that Mr. N has rented his  new office space I am all thrown in a tizzy about it.  The commuting is all arduous somehow and it feels like we are somehow much busier.  I don't know. 

Also, I don't know if I should keep on seeing my therapist.  This seems like a stupid question, I should know, right?  I just feel bad quitting.  I feel like I am saying that she isn't doing a good job or that I am failing somehow because I cannot figure out what I am doing in there.  I talk and talk and then she shrugs.  And so why am I paying for that?  She said that if she tells me what to do that then it will be her plan, not mine, but what is her role then?  I don't really expect her to tell me what to do but I guess I was thinking that she would be a sounding board for me.  I was hoping that she would be able to just kind of nudge me when I was being illogical or unhealthy in my thoughts.  She says there is no 'ultimate truth' and that it is all just feelings but there have to be healthy vs unhealthy thoughts, no?

I'm gonna talk to her about it, I guess, but I feel like she doesn't really like me already - although to be fair that is mostly based on hearing her laugh it up with the woman who goes before me.  She and I don't really laugh.  Well, I make jokes sometimes and she smiles but that is hardly us having a party.

I had a time, not so long ago, where I felt like she was gonna be a big part of my team, you know?  Like I was assembling this healthing team that would help me to walk back to my happiest and healthiest self.  But now I am just getting so tired of seeing her shrug.  I think she wants me to talk myself to a decision and healthy mindset or something but if I were capable of that then I would do it at home - for free.

Anyway, that is the thing, I feel like she has my number and could call me out on my bullshit but that she doesn't see it as her role or something.  bleh.