Sorting old posts and thought this one had just the right amount of snark … and it explains a lot about our relationship.
Follow me on Twitter … Now … Dammit! @slappyintheface
If you are new to this funky place Start Here
One of my (many) mantras is Simplify Simplify Simplify. It covers so many areas of a person’s life and it can make a HUGE difference in your stress level. Where do you start? What does it mean to simplify your life?
One of the easiest ways is to declutter your living space. In fact, it’s one of the first things you should do when you decide you want to live a more peaceful life. Being surrounded by junk, trash, and clutter in general clogs up your brain and makes it harder to relax.
Don’t worry … I’m not asking you to clean out every closet in your house this week. I’m asking you to start small and easy … and it doesn’t get much easier than this.
It’s so simple …. just use what you have. I know that sounds ridiculous. Of course people use what they have. They can’t use what they don’t have or use what their neighbor has. Unless they gave you a key when they went on vacation so you could water their plants and they forgot to get the key back so now you “borrow” toilet paper from them when they’re gone and you’re too lazy to go to the store. Wait … don’t do that. That’s creepy.
Here’s how you start …. take an inventory of sorts. What do you have?
During my Paxilated years, I was constantly buying things (charging them to credit cards), because I didn’t have the ability to feel happy about anything and I thought that buying myself stuff would make me happy just for a moment. Over a hundred bottles of nail polish later … I wasn’t any happier, had way too much nail polish to store in my house and a lot of credit card debt. It wasn’t just nail polish … it was clothes, shampoo, conditioner, body washes, candles, jewelry, etc. etc. It was A LOT OF STUFF.
I’m trying my hardest to use up all of my nail polish before buying any more. I don’t need another bottle. I have pretty much every shade under the sun.
About three years ago we opened a shopping account with Melaleuca and started buying all of our cleaning products, personal care products (body wash, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.), vitamins and essential oils from that company. It’s another way we’ve simplified things. However, we still have stuff from other brands that we need to use PLUS I’ve ordered new stuff without checking to see if we already had some in the cabinet. I’m slowly working my way through a vast collection of face masks and to remind myself to use them, they are lined up on the window sill in my bathroom along with some body scrubs and shampoo I need to use.
It works with food too. Go through your cabinets and find boxes, bags and cans of stuff you need to use. We put it out on the cabinet as a visual reminder that we don’t need to go on a big shopping trip until we use what we have. We might run to the store to buy a few things that go with what we already have in order to make an actual meal, but we don’t allow ourselves to buy mass quantities of food until we use what we have.
So there’s your challenge for the week. What do you have in your house that you need to use instead of buying something new? Simplify Simplify Simplify
Someday (not today and probably not tomorrow either), I plan on having a Shop, a Newsletter, and an E-book for this site. As I was trying to come up with clever, catchy phrases for t-shirts, mugs, fedora hats and whatnot, I remembered this.
Soon after D and I got married, we were shopping in Toys R Us for games. We are game players. We’re interesting that way. This was loooooooooong before we had children … back when we were perfect parents. As we were walking up and down the game aisle debating the merits of card games versus board games a lady walked up with her litter of kidlets. It seemed like a lot at the time, but it was probably only 3 or 4. They were all knocking stuff off shelves, screaming at the top of their lungs, fighting and kicking each other for no reason and one was spitting in the floor. After a few minutes of trying to corral them, the poor chick had had enough …. she gripped the handle of the shopping cart, her face turned bright read and she calmly spoke with a clenched jar the words “Don’t make me slap you”. The kids got the message.
D and I started giggling so much we had to walk away … but we have remembered that incident all these years and even used that phrase on our own children when they became old enough to understand irony.
Of course nobody can make somebody slap someone else … but they can sure make you want to.
Long story short … I know … too late
this is my first design for products in the store …. I like it … a lot !
and in a completely unrelated thing
I’ve been sorting through old posts from when I shut everything down and I came across this one. I crack myself up sometimes. Enjoy.
For most of my life when I didn’t want to do something I did it anyway or I came up with some lie to get out of it. It was a coping behavior when I had horrific anxiety and couldn’t force myself to be around people. I would fake illness to either leave something early or not go at all. Stomach problems, headaches, blurry vision … I even claimed my blood pressure was too high so I could leave a work party early just because I didn’t get to sit by the people I wanted to during dinner (bat shit crazy days). It was a behavior I taught myself and one I’m trying to unlearn. Why lie? Why not just be honest?
So I tried it out … a few weeks ago my mom was in the hospital and I went to see her every few days. I work in the same town, which is about a 30 minute drive from home. I’m in the car for an hour every weekday, so I try my hardest not to make that drive on the weekends. One weekend day I decided I was just going to stay home and do nothing … nothing except what I wanted to do. So I called my mom in the hospital and told her I wasn’t coming. I was tempted to lie and say I had a headache, some sort of stomach problem or the swine flu … but I didn’t. I was honest. “I don’t feel like driving up there today so I’m going to stay home and do whatever the hell I want to all day long” It felt good to say it. She even came back with a “well shame on you” that I giggled a response to. “Nope … not shame on me. I’m an adult and I can stay home if I want to. I’ll come by there tomorrow”. She didn’t like it, but that’s okay. It was the honest answer and I ended up having a great day. Maybe a lie would have made her feel better about me not coming, but it would have made me feel guilty and ruined my day.
I haven’t gone “full honest” just yet. Don’t know if I’m that brave. But I have been in “more honest” mode for the past few weeks and so far it feels pretty good.
That’s one of the (sometimes) few benefits of being an adult … for the most part we can do what we want when we want to do it (assuming it’s not illegal). We shouldn’t have to apologize for that or lie about what we are feeling.
In what ways can you be more honest with other people …. or more honest with yourself?
All of us need a little help getting motivated every once in a while. This is the system I’ve come up with and if you really do it, it really works. Let’s get stuff done this week!
A few months ago I saw a post on social media about people I know taking a trip and I was overcome with the feeling of jealousy. Why wasn’t I invited? Why didn’t they ask me if I wanted to go? I dwelled on it for a few hours and came to the conclusion that they went someplace I don’t even like to go, so why was I having that feeling? D and I go lots of places and we don’t invite people to go with us. We don’t even think about it (which probably says a lot about us). The good time had by those other people at the place I don’t even like didn’t have anything to do with me. Light Bulb!
I was hoping in some snide way to diminish their good time, because I wasn’t a part of it. How selfish and egotistical of me. That’s not something a good person does or even a person trying to be better does. They are entitled to their good time with or without me.
From that point on, I started running moments like that through a “is this really about me?” filter. Most of the time it isn’t. It’s just people living their lives and the vast majority of that has nothing to do with me.
They are just rowing their boats. They don’t need me pointing out the horrible color of their chosen water craft. They don’t need me commenting on how ugly their boating hat is. What they do need is me saying things like “Good job … I’ve never seen the upside down, backwards rowing technique before, but you are SO rocking it!” or “Such a bold color for that boat … some stripes and glitter would really make it stand out!”.
Obviously we aren’t talking about real boats here. We’re talking about life …. and life can be so hard. So if you can’t encourage someone when their rowing their boat the best way they can, then just concentrate on yours. All of our rowing needs some improvement. Row your own boat.
I write lists. It’s one of the few things I use to maintain my slight grasp on sanity. I don’t understand people who don’t write lists … as if their brains just remember things … pffft I can’t remember what I was even going to type in the next line.
I have a journal and every weekday I write out the stuff that needs to get done, not necessarily on that day. For the weekends I usually write lists on the backs of envelopes and leave them on the kitchen counter so I can keep track of what needs to be done. I also keep paper and a pen on my nightstand in case my brain comes up with something that needs to be done while I’m trying to sleep. I just write it down, without getting out of bed, and add it to the list for the next day when I get up the next morning.
Here’s today’s list …
Anything that got done gets a checkmark. Anything that has to wait or didn’t get done gets an arrow … signifying that it will be added to the next day’s list. Arrows are fine as long as you eventually do them. Checkmarks make me happy and give me a feeling of accomplishment so sometimes that’s enough to make me get my rear in gear, but I also use a reward system while helps motivate me tremendously …. more about that in tomorrow’s video.
If list making isn’t a habit of yours, I suggest making it one …. add it to your list. 🙂
They don’t punch you in the face on the first date. They don’t call you ugly. They don’t tell you you’re fat. They don’t make you feel worthless, insist that nobody else will ever want you or ramble on and on about how you talking to their friends makes you a slut. Oh no … that would be too easy … too convenient. Not very many women would put up with that and some might even punch them right back … I might have.
Abusers don’t work like that. It’s a slow process. They do it all the time. They’re masters at it.
I had two boyfriends before him. Nothing serious. No major declarations of love. In fact, he insisted I break up with the guy I was casually dating so I could date him. I found it kind of cute. He was sweet and kind and took care of me … until he didn’t.
It started with anger at something I did. Some minor misstep he didn’t like. I didn’t fix my hair the way he liked or wear the shirt he bought me to school. That got me a punch in the arm. It wasn’t the last one. Never in the face though. Oh no. Nothing visible. Nothing where the outside world could see how he really was.
To everyone at school he was the class clown, the funny guy who made everyone laugh. How could they know he took me out in the woods with a shot gun and threatened to “blow my fucking head off” when I was caught talking to a boy I’d known since kindergarten about an English assignment? How could they know that he always took my shoes and my car keys as soon as I walked into his house so I couldn’t run away? How could they know the daily lectures he gave me about how fat I was so I never ate in front of him and hardly ate at all (down to 140 pounds at 6′ tall … so skinny you could count my ribs through my skin)?
They didn’t know … until they did.
A teacher happened to be standing in front of the school when he clasped his hand around my arm, pushed me into my car, grabbed me by the back of the head, his fingers woven through my hair and screamed into my face about how I wasn’t allowed to give my Senior pictures to any other boys and then ripped them all up in front of me while my younger sister cried in the backseat.
The teacher saw it all. She had suspected it for a while. The bruises she did see. My behavior changes when he was around. She had been watching. I was her helper for a Freshman class and all she said to me the next day was “what if you are missing something so much better, because you are hanging on to the idea you can change him?”. I excused myself from the room, went into the bathroom and sobbed.
I broke up with him just long enough to go to prom with my friends then I believed his bullshit all over again. His promises to change. How he wouldn’t do it again. How he loved me. How it was all my fault and how he wouldn’t get so mad if I would just act better.
and then one day I realized I deserved better. I asked a friend to go with me and we went to his house, while his parents were home. I calmly asked for all of my stuff back. I told him I never wanted to see him again. I didn’t shed a tear … not a single one.
A week later I started dating D and I had to learn what a real relationship was like. He was patient. He was kind. He didn’t freak out when we had our first argument and I screamed, ran away from him and begged him not to hit me. Of course he wouldn’t hit me. Real men don’t.
It’s been over 25 years since my abusive relationship and I can still remember it vividly.
I tried to warn my daughters about bad relationships, but it wasn’t enough. I pray that every woman doesn’t go through this as some sort of strange rite of passage, but it seems to have been passed down in my case. I knew we couldn’t forbid them from seeing the boys they thought loved them in this awful way, because it would only push them closer. We watched for signs of serious abuse and we made them very aware that we knew what was really going on. We knew they had to see it for themselves and come to the realization that I did so many years ago. They deserve better.
I pray every day for people in abusive relationships. Pray they finally realize enough is enough. Pray they realize that life is too short to live like that. Pray they realize that being abused is NOT love, no matter what you call it. Pray they realize they DO deserve better.
Nobody really likes change. There are people who say they love it. Those people lie.
I try and try and try to force myself to change and it NEVER works. I make these grand declarations like “I’m going to cut back on drinking boxed wine” and then I spit choke my boxed wine all over the screen, because I know that’s absolute horse shit and will never happen.
I think most of us are like that. Change is hard. We don’t like it. WE DON’T LIKE IT !!! It makes us want to scream, hit things with sticks and scream while hitting things with sticks.
but we can do it … in small doses
They say it takes 7 days to develop a good habit (if you do it daily) or 7 days to change a bad habit (if you do it daily). I don’t know who the hell “they” are, but they are also full of absolute horse shit. It takes longer than that … even longer if you really love boxed wine.
So for the past few weeks I’ve chosen small changes I can make.
I have a horrible habit of checking my phone while I’m driving. I know. I know. I’m a horrible person blah blah blah. I’m trying to change. Did you not just read this post? I’ve been checking it before I leave my driveway, leaving it in my purse on the drive to and from work and then checking it again when I get home. It has NOT been an easy change for me, but I’m doing it for the safety of myself and mankind. I’m such a giver. It also gives me a chance to actually see the beautiful Oklahoma landscape (not counting the landfill I drive by every day) and to really concentrate on what I’m doing … which is probably a good thing considering I’m controlling a ton sized weapon.
I’m writing and typing slower. This sounds like a weird thing to worry about, but I’m kind of weird so hear me out. When you write slower your penmanship improves dramatically and your mind really concentrates on what you’re writing. When you type slower you make less mistakes and have a better flow to your writing. I typed that without any errors … oh shit .. wait … I just had to backspace twice. It’s a work in progress.
I’ve stopped adding extra salt to my food. It was just a bad habit. I wouldn’t even taste the food before I did it. I just picked it up, sprinkled it on and ate it. I don’t miss the flavor of it one bit and I know my body doesn’t miss the extra salt. Oh wait … I still have to salt my ketchup when I eat French fries. That is not negotiable. EVER.
I’ve stopped having a jar (yes, I drink wine from a jar with ice and a straw … it’s really damn classy) of wine or a beer in the evenings (Monday – Thursday). It was just a bad habit and I feel better without it.
What bad habits can you slowly break? What good ones can you adopt?
You can do it! I know you can. If I can then I KNOW you can. Boxed wine for everyone (only on a Friday or Saturday though) !!!
I’ve moved the Hoarding page (originally written in 2010) back to Public Visibility. This was not an easy thing to go back and read again especially now that my father has passed away. We have to stop making fun of this type of mental illness and seek real solutions. It’s not as easy as just “throwing it all away”.
I subscribe to a lot of magazines. I’m a reader. It’s an addiction I refuse to change. Each month I see at least one article about or by a celebrity where they say something ridiculous like “I choose to be happy” or “happiness is a choice I make every day”. Oh what a wonderful world that would be if it were true. Sure I might be a little happier if I had a maid, a driver, a personal assistant, someone to make me sandwiches (there are just too many damn steps to that process), someone to open my wine boxes, etc. Having enough money to not have to worry about money .. ah hell … just not having debt … would probably make me more than a little happy.
I don’t blame them for saying it. They have every right to say it and for them it might work, but for most of us that just isn’t reality.
I see happiness as the opposite of sadness. A fleeting emotion that comes and goes. Not a constant state of mind and definitely not something we can just choose to happen. Oh your dog got run over, you are sick, and your electricity is about to be turned off for non-payment … well that’s easy .. just click your heels together 3 times and CHOOSE to be happy. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahaha … nope.
It’s a crock of crap we’ve all been fed for decades and eons. That if we buy this certain thing. If we looked a certain way. If we had this job instead of that one. Then we would just be miraculously butterflies in our hair, blue skies above us, free wine every day HAPPY. We’re striving for the wrong thing.
Choose to be content and the moments of happiness WILL come. It takes practice, but I promise it works. Start seeing little things in your life to be grateful for even when it all comes crashing down around you. Start talking to people … really talking. Start taking the time to appreciate the things around you … the sights … the smells … the sounds … the tastes (I’m not saying you have to lick your desk … you know what I mean). Be content. Strive for better while just being in the here and now.
The moments of happiness WILL come and you will be open to those tiny pleasures of life, because you won’t be scrambling for the impossible state of constant happy. In your state of content there will be moments of happy. What little thing gave you one of those moments recently? Did you recognize the feeling when it happened? Did it put a smile on your face? Appreciate those moments, but don’t expect to live in that constantly. Emotions are human … feel them all. If we never had moments of sadness, we wouldn’t truly experience happy.
I’ve always been a big person. Nine pounds 12 ounces at birth … and I was the smallest of the four kids. I’ve been six feet tall since the 8th grade. Junior high dances were NOT fun.
I carry myself different than other people, because of my height. I slouch. I did it to make myself look smaller as a kid. I do it now out of habit. The desire to not call attention to myself is pretty deep in my soul. I’m aware of my size, but it still gets pointed out to me on a regular basis.
At my heaviest, the Paxil years, I weighed 233 pounds. I lost around 40 pounds during withdrawal (puking every day probably helped in a disgusting way). I lost another 30 while on Weight Watchers a few years ago and got down to my lowest weight of 160. It was not a good look for me. I tried to gain back 15-20 and ended up gaining back 40. If I could eat it or drink it, I did.
I can feel it. It took me a while to actually care enough to want to do something about it. I think I’m there. I don’t feel good. My energy isn’t what it used to be. I’m not motivated to do stuff like I used to be. I just don’t feel good.
So this week I’m doing my own detox of sorts. Five days without anything super sweet or super salty … and five days of no alcohol …. not even a beer or jar of wine. Pray for D … he is going to need it.
I have to start seeing my body as the only transport vehicle I have for my mind, my personality and my spirit and I haven’t been maintaining that transport vehicle very well at all. It’s the only one I have. No trading it in when I wear it out. I have to start loving it for what it can do and will do. I have to stop abusing it. I have to start appreciating everything about it that works and what it does. I have to see being asked to get things from tall shelves and getting to buy really large shoes as a blessing especially when there are so many others in this world who have bodies that don’t work like they should.
I’m not trying to be skinny again. I just want to feel better in a lot of ways and be healthy enough to do the things I want to for a lot more years.
I should probably start walking in the evenings again too. Ugh … what a way to start May.
I’ve been blogging in some manner since 2011 and really enjoyed doing it, but a few years ago I had to take a break for my own sanity … well whatever sanity I have left.
So I moved nearly every post to Private status, stopped looking at the e-mail account associated with it and just let it all sit. I’ve been slowly posting again, but my heart wasn’t really in it.
THEN a friend of mine took a huge leap of faith and started her own blogging set up business and I jumped back in. I’m learning so much from her and a small group of other bloggers and am motivated again to help people. I’ll be going through all of the Private posts (there are A LOT) and weeding out the ones that don’t matter. I’ve also been going through the 2,300+ e-mails that have been sitting for a while.
All of this has made me extremely uncomfortable … like opening up an old wound … but it has to be done. It needs to be done. I can help people. I know I can.
We make plans and God laughs …. and sometimes in my case He laughs, points, throws things and makes birds poop on my car.
The PLAN was to post Periscope videos here each Friday instead of typing out a regular post. Great plan … until you do a broadcast without first checking to see if it was saving to your Gallery. It was not.
So here’s the Test video I did AFTER the real one. Follow me on Periscope …. slappyintheface (of course) to see the Uncomfortables one.
and that is a horrible still shot of me …. swollen is not a good look 🙂
It wasn’t the call I expected to get. I ran to the bedroom with anticipation when I saw her name pop up on my phone. We were watching something in the Lounge (formerly one of the kid’s rooms that we converted to an us room) and it was too loud for me to hear. I could tell within seconds by the tone of her voice it wasn’t good news and the more she talked the more I wanted to cry.
When the kids were in high school and started moving out, I lost my sense of purpose. I liked being needed, even though we had a lot of rough years raising them. I liked having a sense of controlled chaos and always being busy. As they became older there was less of that and more time without purpose. So I decided to get “replacement kids”. Little bundles of fluff that needed me. Living creatures that gave me a reason to come home in the evenings. We have two now and I finally made the decision to get a third.
Then the call came.
Parvo. The entire litter contracted it. There was nothing that could be done. The little puppy I had picked out had already died and when I hung up the phone I sobbed and sobbed. To some it sounds ridiculous to be that upset over a little dog I didn’t know yet, but it was the culmination of so many things with that last bit of tragic news that broke me.
A few days later, D told me that we needed to replace the sewer stack in the house … with money we didn’t have or have any way to get.
A few days after that my mom went into the hospital, where she has been in and out of ICU for the past week.
So today I cried again. More out of being exhausted in so many ways. Another phone call made me cry this time. One of hope and love and a dream that somehow things might get better.
I feel better now. I welcome the tears, because for years I couldn’t cry. I was too emotionally numb to even feel sad. Tears have a way of resetting my world. I have cleansed my soul and will fight on.
It’s hurting my little brain that I read this book 4 years ago … where has the time gone? GET OFF THE LAWN! I still have it … I’m going to read it again .. and maybe again again.
I’m sorting through old posts I had moved into private status, because to be honest it’s time to get serious about helping people again and this is one of the steps. I’ve opened some back up. Please be patient I have over a thousand to sort. Some of them will be deleted (because NOBODY gives a shit about a beer review I did nearly 4 years ago), some will be revised and some will be opened back up just as they are … raw emotions and all.
This is a good one and is still VERY relevant today.
It’s a wonderful thing when you get enough. The birds seem to be singing louder. The sky is clear. Things go your way. You know … lottery wins, children behaving, husbands cooking dinner … the world just seems better.
When you aren’t getting enough it’s so much the opposite. It’s like you’re swimming in Jello-O while drunk and carrying a football team. What a lovely image that makes. Nope. Makes me tired just thinking about it … EXACTLY!
During my Paxilated years I developed horrific insomnia. Of course I had no idea it is a pretty common side effect for SSRIs and my doctored only seemed concerned long enough to write me a prescription for Ambien. By the time I tapered off of everything my sleep patterns and natural body rhythms were seriously messed up. The body is meant to sleep. It’s the reboot mode. We aren’t supposed to stay up all night playing Hidden Objects or Candy Crush while binge watching Grace and Frankie and writing blog posts. When the sun goes down, the human body should be winding down too. I know … easier said than done … but I did develop some good sleeping habits in my quest for more sleep and it’s made all the difference in the world.
ONLY use the things in your Can’t Sleep Basket if you really can’t sleep … find non strenuous things to do … boring things … staying in bed thinking about not sleeping is one of the worst things you can do for insomnia …. plus you can (sort of) get things done with that bonus awake time.
Happy Sleeping 🙂
Thanks to a dear friend who designs and maintains blogs, I’m making some changes to the design, content, and fantabulousness (not a word? don’t care) of my site.
If you’ve been thinking about starting your own site (blog), but don’t where to start …. send me a message (the Ask Me) link at the top of the page and I can get her information to you.
My Dad loved a good deal. He loved trying to get a better deal on an already good deal even more. If you had a price, it was ALWAYS negotiable in his eyes.
So when younger boy child saved up enough money to buy his own vehicle, we made sure to tell my Dad. After a few weeks of looking, we found one on the side of the highway with a bright orange For Sale sign leaning in the window. A 1992 Ford F150 extended cab that I ended up called “the red and white”, but only after “the peppermint” was rejected by the husband and the son.
One Saturday morning, D and I took the twins to the movies with the understanding that my Dad was going to take Riley to look at the truck. We told them both to just LOOK … to not make any commitments or deals. We should have known better.
As we’re standing in line waiting at the movies, Riley calls and the first thing he said was “don’t be mad … I tried to stop him”. All I could do was laugh and right then D and the girls knew that Poppy had made a deal. Priced at $1,300 …. he paid $900 … and then told Riley that $500 of it was his graduation present and to only pay him back $400. Riley got a heck of a deal.
He drove that truck for several years and loved it dearly. D bought it from him about a year ago and Riley continued to drive it after his car was wrecked (that’s another story for another time). Fast forward to a few months ago when D bought his Grandma’s 1966 Ford Falcon and started investing time and money into that bronze beauty, which graces our driveway in such a lovely way <insert eye roll here>.
The “red and white” no longer starts and there really isn’t any point in investing more money in it. It’s just sitting in our son’s yard. We have nowhere else to put it. We don’t need it, but I’m really struggling with letting it go.
It’s another connection to my Dad. My head says I’m being stupid, but my heart aches at the thought of it being gone.
I’ve been beating myself up over the past few months about the amount of boxed wine I drink and the 30 – 40 pounds I’ve regained. I spend probably a good solid hour a day internally scolding Gina about her bad choices and how she should make better choices.
and it just hit me …. who said so?
I’m six feet tall … I was too skinny at 160 pounds and 190 pounds does not look awful on me. I don’t get blammo wasted every night and actually am quite content with one beer or jar of wine (Franzia Sunset Blush over ice in a Mason Jar with a straw = uber classy).
So who the hell cares? Evidently I did, but not enough to change it. So I’m just going to let it go.
I’ll try to eat healthier and I’ll try to drink a little less, but if I don’t then the world isn’t going to come to an end. I’ve got better things to worry about.
I don’t want any.
Oh that might sound too harsh. Let me rephrase.
Grandkids, those cherubic little bundles of love and goodness, I don’t want any.
I may want some in a few years. I may not ever want them.
Hear me out. We had 5 kids (we still have them by the way) in a 4 year time frame. Our oldest is now 24 and our twins are 19 and everyone keeps telling us that we will be having grandkids soon. We then kick them in the shins and yell “FUCK OFF!” almost every time (not to our preacher or his wife, but pretty much everyone else).
There were several years of raising our children that were not fun. Actually, that’s a major understatement. There were several years of raising our children that were pure HELL !! No other way to describe it. Then you add in my drug and drinking problems and dear goodness it’s an absolute miracle that D hung around. He’s a good guy.
Anywho …. we remember the child raising years with a few moments of fondness, but a lot of moments of tears. So we are enjoying our time without having to change poopy diapers, listen to crying babies, or worry about little kids.
I know. I know. It’s not my decision and it really isn’t about me, but I also know how D and I are and if one of our kids called us, because the baby didn’t have diapers or formula or was sick, we would do whatever we could to help …. and I’m just not ready for those years yet. Plus all of our kids now live in the same town as us … oh shit … I just realized that … so we don’t even have distance as an excuse.
So you young empty nesters who already have grandkids, more power to you, but we will not be jumping up and down posting videos on social media of our excitement if we end up with one any time soon. We have trips and evenings of binge watching Game of Thrones to plan for. DAMMIT !!!
I have mental blocks related to my situation. A huge one is my Drivers License. It has really ugly words on it … my label in big, bright red letters right across the front. I hate showing it to people for any reason and I often feel the need to try to explain it so they don’t see me as the monster the label implies. I know it’s stupid. I know know know it’s stupid. Most people are too busy with their lives to even give a shit and I really should only care about the opinions of people who really know me, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
We have savings we worked really hard to build up and sometimes we borrow against it when we want to pay off something or in this case pay taxes (BOO!). I called the bank yesterday and our friendly loan officer helped me with everything. Well … they can’t send me the loan documents for my signature until I send them a new copy of my Drivers License. I have to have mine renewed every year (another lovely rule I live with), so the one they have on file is out of date.
I tried to come up with any way to get out of it. D even suggested we just borrow against our savings account at another bank and see if they will need a new copy of my DL. He’s so sweet.
I just need to scan it and send it. I need to get over the block of assuming that people even care. I need to not feel the need to explain myself … but I can’t help it.
You know what’s weird? I mean really weird? Seeing someone you know in a reality show.
I know this guy. I love this guy. He’s an awesome guy. Yep, he’s fucked up his life, but you know that I have too. I have such respect for people who admit that, learn from it and turn their lives around. The strongest people are the ones who have reinforced their damage. He has. I have.
I’ll be watching every damn week.
I’m a morning person … one of those really annoying types that bounces right out of bed and gets shit done first thing in the morning. I’m not groggy or gripey. I’m wide awake and ready to take on the day. I said it was annoying, but I love it.
Even when we go on vacation, I’m up around 6 and depending on how agreeable my lovely husband is to the idea, I’m usually sightseeing around 7 or 8. It’s really awesome when we’re in Las Vegas. Casinos are very desolate places at 7 in the morning. We can play whatever slot machine we want. We can order drinks from the waitresses on a regular basis, because they are so desperate for tips at that time of day they will keep coming around every ten minutes. Yes, we day drink when we’re on vacation (and sometimes on the weekends). You already knew we were awful people, so don’t act all judgey about it now.
I could clean the whole house before 9 am (and I have on several occasions) … assuming that particular Saturday is not a day drinking day.
I just think better and perform better (like I’m a one woman show) earlier in the day. Part of it is my habit of procrastination. If I don’t get stuff done right away then it gets put off or doesn’t get done at all. Hence the folder of tax information sitting by me right now that I should be working on instead of writing this.
Well thanks to the lovely Miss Oprah and an article in her magazine. I now know about the website and app Unstuck. Go Google it … I’ll wait.
See … I told you.
While reading the sight and working through one of the question thingies, I discovered that I’ve been doing my life wrong …. of course, we already knew that, but this is slightly different.
As a morning person, I shouldn’t be trying to get stuff done in the evenings (and the other way around if you are NOT a morning person). I’m up pretty much every morning at 5. THAT should be the time when I’m doing some cleaning, some yoga, some writing, some e-mailing, some side business work, etc. I should NOT be trying to get stuff accomplished in the evenings after work when I’m dog ass tired (technical term there). My evening times should be reserved for boxed wine drinking and bubble bath taking … it only makes sense.
So we will see how much I get done tomorrow morning when I start “the switch” and how much more relaxing my evenings are when I’m not running around trying to do stuff or talking myself out of doing stuff. This could be VERY interesting. muahahahahahah
I’m wearing my armor again. Armor that lets me hide from the world. Armor that keeps me from getting attention. Armor that let’s me not care.
I’ve always been a “big” person … 6′ tall with a size 10 foot (before most stores even carried a size 10) since I was in the 8th grade. Middle school dances were living hell. The ONLY boy tall enough for me to dance with evidently like me a lot more than I liked him and told everyone we were “dating” after one dance. I was awkward and slouched to try to fit in. My posture still sucks because of it. I didn’t play sports, never had the desire to and was told more than once that I was “wasting the gift of height”. Who the fuck says that to a 12 year old?
In high school I dated a real gem who was probably a good hundred pounds overweight, yet he insisted on calling me fat every day and literally knocked food out of my hands when I tried to eat around him. Oh yes … what a winner! Plus he beat me and belittled me like he was breathing. Gosh … why did I ever let that one go? So my Senior year of high school I weighed 140 pounds, which is not a good look for a tall girl. You could count my ribs, all of them, through my skin. My collar bones could be seen through my shirts. My hair fell out in chunks and I stopped having periods.
After marrying D, I gained back to a normal weight, but was still much bigger than my friends.
After we had kids and I started taking Paxil, the weight increased more and more and more.
At my heaviest, during my “fuck the world and hand me that bag of chips BITCH!” Paxilated years, I weighed 233 pounds.
I lost a little of it during the months of withdrawal (and weekends in jail * see My Story at the top if you aren’t caught up).
Then a few years ago, I got serious and joined Weight Watchers and lost down to 163 pounds … a SEVENTY pound loss from my heaviest. I could fit into a size 10. People commented on how great I looked … until they didn’t and they started telling me to stop and that I looked sick. D was concerned. It was almost like a drug. I had the power over this one thing and my addiction was the dropping number on the scale. I scared myself, but didn’t know how to stop.
We went on vacation to Las Vegas and I reluctantly agreed to eat whatever I wanted with D’s encouragement. Yes, I needed to gain back some poundage. I did not need to gain back this much.
I kept eating and over the past year I’ve gained 30-35 pounds. I can feel it on me. My clothes don’t fit. Pantyhose make it nearly impossible to breathe. My ass is HUUUUUUGE!!! The problem is that I can’t make myself care and I don’t know how to make myself care. I care because I can feel the pounds on me, but I don’t care enough to change.
I’m so used to being considered big that it’s easier for me to be this way.
I feel comfortably uncomfortable. Being chunky feels right to me, even though I know it isn’t.
When I get serious about losing weight, my brain goes into overdrive and I lose too much. When I don’t care and I eat whatever I want, my brain goes into overdrive in the opposite direction and I gain too much.
How do I shed the armor of my pudge and find something in the middle I can live with?
You build it up in your head. You plan out what you’re going to say. You decide that today’s the day. You make the phone call. You talk to the person. You get an answer and then that calm hits you … that feeling like no other. The feeling that no matter what happens, YOU DID IT !!! You had the conversation. You asked what you needed to ask.
I don’t know what happens from here. I know what I hope and pray to the bottom of my soul happens, but I can’t control more than I can control. So I continue to fight and I continue to be brave and I continue to believe that I have a purpose and dammit I’m going to find it.
I have a new respect for people in constant pain. I honestly don’t know how they do it.
For the past few months I’ve had that squeezy, pressure feeling then the sharp pains started in my stomach, back and chest. I spent many nights crying myself to sleep it hurt so bad.
Gallbladder ultrasound was clear. Chest X-ray was inconclusive. First EKG was good. So I was treated for pleurisy (inflammation of the chest wall) and sent home. Of course they gave me an NSAID pain reliever that I had to stop taking, because of the potential stomach damage and the stomach scope I had scheduled.
The scope showed Gastritis and low and behold the birds started to sing and the sun started to shine. I’ve been taking Omeprazole twice a day for the past week or so and it’s helped tremendously.
You know my hatred of pills so having to take anything is really bothering me, but probably not as much as feeling like I’m constantly having a heart attack. So I will take it twice a day for the next few weeks then cut down to a pill in the morning and half a pill in the evenings.
I can so do the taper thing. You know that. You should see my Paxil taper. That was a thing of beauty.
So sorry to all of my haters. This bitch didn’t hit the ground yet.
I feel a rant coming on so hang on to your knickers !! I like to warn you so you can be prepared and have your knowing head nods and your “DAMN … SHE’S SO RIGHT” s lined up and ready to go.
Ever since “the Election”, I’ve seen soooooooooooo many things about celebrities having opinions on politics and political issues. I live in a VERY red state so our newsfeed is filled with them on just about every social media thing we do. Except Twitter, because my in real life people don’t know I have that. I tend to agree more with total strangers who don’t know me from Eve. hmmmm … interesting
The whole “do your job and not have an opinion thing” really bothers me. Everyone has a right to their opinion. Would you tell a teacher, a firefighter, a stay at home mom, or a doctor that they couldn’t have an opinion just because they have a certain career? I sure wouldn’t. You have the right not to watch what they make, but they do have the right to voice their views and I sure wouldn’t want to live in a country where people couldn’t.
I’ve always been of the opinion that having different opinions makes the world an interesting place. I love a good debate almost as much as I love boxed wine and cupcakes (I said ALMOST). So celebrities voicing how they feel does not bother me at all. Of course, it probably helps that I’m a liberal minded hippie and I agree with most of their thinking.
As human beings, how we feel is ingrained in us and nothing we say or do can be separated from that. My views on drugs, war, politics, women’s rights, tacos, seat belts, the Pope, the stapler on my desk, the donut shop down the street, raising kids, etc. etc. seep into everything about me. It’s impossible for me or anyone else to not let our feelings out in one way or another, regardless of our job.
I’ve been in college classes where the professor discussed her views on war. I’ve been in doctor’s appointments where the doctor ranted about how much he hated Hillary. I’ve been in restaurants where the waiter celebrated marriage equality … and none of it bothered me. They didn’t try to sway me one way or another. They were just being themselves and there is nothing wrong with that.
So if you don’t agree with a celebrity and their views and feel the need to not buy into whatever they are selling then so be it. Don’t read their book. Don’t watch their TV show. Don’t buy their music. Just don’t tell them to “entertain us and then shut up”. That mentality gets a little too close to the attitude of “sit there and look pretty” and that doesn’t sit well with me at all.
I’m in pain.
I have been for a few months. It started out as a generally squeezing feeling all the way around my mid-section. Like Opie from Sons of Anarchy was giving me a giant hug that wouldn’t stop. Wait. I wouldn’t mind that … so it was nothing like that. Let’s try again. It was like a big sweaty, bearded guy was hugging me constantly. Shit. That sounds like Opie too. Let’s just go with squeezy feeling and call it good. I suck at descriptions sometimes.
Anywho … after weeks of squeezing and pressure … like something was sitting on me. Like an elephant that just ate a dozen pizzas … oh hell … no explanation needed … it’s pressure … you get the idea … the pain started. Middle of my back pain. Under my ribs pain. Right in the middle of my gut pain. Upper right chest pain. Stabbing. Aching. Annoying as hell. PAIN !!!
So I called my stomach doctor (the one I’ve gone to for those kinds of scopes ever since my brother was diagnosed with colon cancer when he was only 26), because I thought it was my gallbladder, but it turns out that he isn’t a gallbladder doctor … only a guts doctor. So I went to a general surgeon who ordered an ultrasound … and two copays and several hours of missed work later … TA-DA! it’s not my gallbladder.
On to the next doctor who took a chest x-ray and did an EKG …. x-ray inconclusive and EKG normal so she gives me an NSAID pain reliever “in case” it’s pleurisy, but when I start reading the little drug info sheet (because you know I read those things now) I freak smooth out at the words “stomach bleeding”, “sudden death”, and “sudden death from stomach bleeding”. Don’t even get me started on the “do not consume alcohol while taking this medication”. OH HELL NO BITCHES !!
So long story short (too late), I’m now scheduled for a stomach scope with my stomach doctor (see two paragraphs above) with a lovely check-in time of SIX FUCKING A.M. tomorrow followed by a cardiologist appointment on Monday.
I’ll keep you updated.
P.S. I know there are still some haters out there who read my blog just to find stuff to bitch about and are probably happy that I’m having problems, because well that’s how horrible people are … and oh by the way the voodoo doll you bought at the Chug and Glug (liquor store/gas station combo) along with your PBR and generic cigarettes IS WORKING … SO STOP THAT SHIT RIGHT NOW. Please 🙂
Events of the past few weeks and situations in our lives (a friend with cancer, a person going to prison, our own health concerns, and a social media post that I got WAY too upset about) have resulted in some deep thinking.
There are entire industries built on the premise that something about our lives needs to be better or “fixed”. Just search the words “self help” on your Kindle and see how many books pop up. I’ve probably read most of them .. and I’ve discovered in the past week that I’m truly happiest trying to not fix anything … just being.
I’ve stopped reading change your life right now or your dooooooooooooomed books. I’ve stopped worrying about what other people think of me. I’ve started valuing myself and the people who care about me. I fixed my life by trying not to fix anything. hmmm … go figure
So today I challenge you to just be. Don’t make any huge life changing decisions. Don’t vow that you are going to change a bad habit. Don’t offer advice or ask for it. Just be.
and ask yourself these questions:
* can anyone else fix my life?
* can I fix anyone else’s life?
* can I fix my own life? does it have to be done right now?
* does it really need to be fixed anyway?
D and I were talking the other night about how as a society we are constantly striving to be comfortable. About how any little pain, twitch, or discomfort must be handled RIGHT NOW! If we have a headache we instantly reach for a Tylenol. If we are hungry, we instantly reach for food. Just a tad bit cold, we turn up the heater. We don’t know how to be uncomfortable, because we’ve conditioned ourselves to never be in that state. Why is that? Why do we shun that feeling?
I thought about it this morning as I was getting ready for work, switching from my robe to my clothes in our nearly hundred year old house that isn’t very well insulated. It was chilly. Not wrapped in furs around a hole on a frozen pond trying to catch lunch while our fingers freeze off chilly … just a tad … well .. uncomfortable. I walked towards the thermostat with the intention of adjusting it a few degrees so that I, the princess of nothing, wouldn’t have to endure being just every so slightly cool.
I stopped myself. I remembered the conversation. I stood there and felt the cold. Really felt it. It didn’t hurt me. I didn’t freeze. I became aware of it. The goosebumps on my skin. The air feeling crisp. The dogs staring at me like I had lost my mind.
I felt it. Really felt it.
and I didn’t die. I let the feeling happen and after a while it passed.
I’m not saying I’m going to go out of my way to feel uncomfortable. I’m not going to strip down naked and go rolling through the snow covered parking lot or put clothes pins on my ear lobes just for the shits and giggles of it. Nope … not going to happen. But I am going to slow down when things just don’t feel right and just feel them. Which happens to be a big lesson for people dealing with anxiety … oh the irony !!! Just feel it … let it be.
So here’s to being uncomfortable. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I hope sometime today that something makes you feel just a little bit off and you take the time to really feel it. Don’t stick a Band-Aid on it. Don’t run from it. Don’t cover it up. Be human and really feel it. Be uncomfortable.
I’m up every morning around 5 o’clock. It’s part natural body alarm clock and part click click click of little doggie toenails on the bamboo wood floor. I really need to train them to sleep a little later. Oh who am I kidding. I can’t even train them to not eat the bottom shelf of a bookcase.
I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning. I’ve always been a morning person. Even on vacations I get up early and go out to explore while the rest of the world sleeps. I love the feeling of being almost alone in a strange city. Just wandering around and watching.
I gathered all of the dog beds and the little doggies followed me to the bathroom where they lay in their beds and sleep another hour while I take a bath and read and read and read. It’s my escape from the world. A gigantic pink bathtub in my nearly hundred year old house, something to drink (a big glass of water if it’s in the morning or a cup of wine if it’s an afternoon or evening bath), books, my Kindle fire loaded with books, magazines, and more books. I can’t explain my love for it … and I don’t have to. It’s my one vice …. ok … it’s not … I have several more, but this one has been with me the longest.
Well I get all settled in this morning for some great Sandra Brown reading and I start to hear a faint beep. The dogs hear it and cock their little heads to the side. What is it? Where is it coming from? Is it the mothership calling me home?
Nope … it’s the alarm clock that I forgot to turn off. The one that I NEVER actually need, but ALWAYS set before going to bed.
The beeping continues.
It gets louder.
My instant urge is to get out of the tub, dry off, put on my robe and go turn it off. I do stuff like this all the time. I interrupt whatever I’m doing to go do something that doesn’t really matter at all. Which makes it very frustrating for my husband when we watch Game of Thrones and I remember that the laundry needs to be moved, the dogs need to be fed, the house needs to be painted, the taxes need to be done, and the hogs need to be slopped. I’ve been constantly moving, staying busy, being productive and other things I call it for years … which is actually bullshit. I’m not really getting anything more done, but I am missing out on the here and now.
So this morning I let it beep. For a while it really bothered me. I could still hear it. Beep Beep Beep I kept on reading. Beep Beep Beep I ignored it. I kept on reading.
and I started to notice that it was just background noise … I could function knowing that it needed to be turned off, but that it didn’t have to be done right that second. I could just let it beep for another 30 minutes. It wasn’t hurting a thing.
I was proud of myself. I know it sounds like something really small, but to me it was huge. At that moment I didn’t have to be doing anything and that one little thing didn’t have to be handled at that exact minute.
… but I bet I remember to turn it off tomorrow 😉
Resolutions are a waste of time, because most of them never really get resolved …. so instead, I’m making goals.
Drink more water and drink less wine (that one made me laugh)
Stop wasting time on caring what other people think
Work on the Life List
Stop being afraid
Cook more (maybe)
Pay off some debts
Talk (really talk) to people
Happy 2017 … let’s kick some ass … in a fancy hat !!!
When I was in my Paxilated state and for quite a while afterwards, I couldn’t read. Not that I didn’t know how. I’m pretty sure I know how. Unless of course I’m typing out gibberish right now thinking I’m making actual words and you’re reading it going “oh that poor thing … at least she’s trying”, but then it says a lot about you if you keep coming back to read my nonsense, which it probably is even when I do type out actual words. So who’s the “poor thing” now? hmmmm
Anywho … my ability to sit and enjoy reading has finally returned in full force. At any one time, I’m working on reading a novel (right now it’s Twilight … don’t ask), a self help book (right now it’s something by Tony Robbins), a non-fiction book and several magazines. Reading is my escape from reality. Writing needs to be, but I’m working on that one … obviously. If only someone would pay me to sit around and read all day. Are there jobs out there like that? Please find me one. Of course, after a few weeks I would probably find some way to bitch about that too … I’d be all “ugh … have to go do my dream job AGAIN”. Unless they had a boxed wine bar at my reading office. Then I could read gibberish along with writing it. Win Win !!!
Anywho … again … in the Tony Robbins book he talks about how our physical states can change our mental outlook. Meaning that if you feel like crap, getting up and walking around instead of sitting and sulking about it will actually make you feel better. What a concept! So today I’m going to get up and walk around every few hours for about ten minutes … or maybe I should walk around for a few hours every ten minutes. Let’s go with that one! Tony suggests that I have some sort of physical movement (ok .. that sounded strange) every time I’m feeling blah, or angry, or blangy (blah and angry). So if my arm happens to physically move in the direction of another person who’s getting on my last damn nerve and my hand moves towards their face in a slappy movement, then we can only blame Tony.
I’ll use that in my defense.
This week our state passed two measures that change which crimes are considered misdemeanors and which are felonies. Basically it reduced the charge for people who had a small amount of drugs on them or stole things under a certain dollar value. I’m a little shocked that it passed. The other one established a fund for alternative programs so that we could reduce the prison population in the state.
I saw both measures as a good thing.
Some people I know didn’t … especially those who have family members in law enforcement. I had to walk away from a few heated discussions where they joked about “drug addicts” voting for those new laws.
I’m a recovering addict. Our son is a recovering addict. It’s a battle every single day to do what’s right and having people label you sure doesn’t make it any easier.
I see the new law changes as a good thing, because someone can now come out of rehab with a misdemeanor instead of a felony charge, which makes it a lot easier for them to find a job. Finding a job makes it a lot easier for them to support themselves. Supporting themselves makes it a lot easier to stay out of trouble and not end up back in jail or prison.
I have to tell myself every single day that I’m the only person I can control … EVERY SINGLE DAY!
It’s hard for someone who likes things done a certain way …someone who wants everyone to do what they say they will do … someone who wants other people to work as hard as I do … someone who wants a better life, no matter how bad their life has been.
I’ve been having nightmares lately. I think it might be the junk food I’ve been eating or some nasty Rye Whiskey that the hubby wanted to try, but declared too disgusting for human consumption. Yes … I ‘ve been drinking it mixed with anything I can think of to kill the taste. Why? Who the hell knows. Maybe it’s because we spent a lot of money on that particular bottle. Maybe it’s because I get some strange thrill out of finishing things (blaming that one on my hoarder parents) and throwing away the bottle. Maybe I just like being miserable and making faces like I smelled something rotting under the bed … or like drinking disgusting Rye Whiskey. I don’t know why I drink it … but it’s almost gone. So I’ve got that going for me today.
Anywho .. I woke up from a nightmare at 4 o’clock this morning. Freaked out, worrying and panicky. Worried that things were never going to change. Worried that we would never be out of debt. Worried for my health and my daughter’s health. Worried about stupid things I couldn’t control.
… and then I talked myself out of it. I realized I was wasting my time preworrying about things that hadn’t even happened yet. I can control today. I can control my thoughts. I can control my actions. I CAN control what I say and do and think TODAY !!! NOW !!!
She hates bananas, but loves banana bread.
She is happiest when she’s alone, but loves to be around people.
She writes to cure herself, but loves for people to read it.
She stayed in hell so long, she still smells like smoke.
She cries at night, but does it alone so she doesn’t worry him.
She is tough and she can be mean, but she hurts easily.
She isn’t tired of living, but sometimes she is tired of her life.
She isn’t giving up.
I went to church on Sunday after not going for a while. Yes … I go to church. I’m also a socially liberal Democrat. Yes … those two things can go together. I also love pea salad. Wait … was that too much? Are you sitting there thinking “ok … I can deal with the liberal Christian thing, but that mixing of peas and mayo with chunks of cheese … that’s just too damn much to handle there Slappy”? Ok … I’ll rein it back in a bit and try not to drop any more bombshells.
I’ve talked myself out of going to church for a lot of Sundays lately. Any little twinge of a headache (that MIGHT have been a hangover on some Sunday mornings), any little pain, any little excuse not to go and I was on it. Trying to justify not going, even though I knew that I should.
This past Sunday morning I couldn’t shake the feeling that I NEEDED to go. That I NEEDED to be there. So I went …. and D even went with me, which made me happier than Ozzy in the nocturnal hut at the zoo.
The message was on struggle. The purpose of struggle. The lessons of struggle. Learning how to appreciate the struggle. Our wonderful pastor illustrated his message be explaining how a butterfly cannot fly if someone just cuts it out of the cocoon. How it has to build up the blood flow and strength to emerge and the building up is what enables it to fly. How a baby chick will die if someone helps it out of its shell because it needs to build up the muscles in its wings and legs to be able to walk. How we become stronger after we go through struggle.
I’ve had my struggle. If you’ve been reading for a while then you know what it was. I deal with the aftermath of it every single day. Right now I struggle with what to do with it. Do I make myself even more vulnerable by telling more people? Is that my purpose here on Earth? Am I supposed to share my horrific struggle so I can help other people through theirs? I think it is. I honestly, deep down in my wanting to legalize pot, don’t care if two dudes or chicks get married, want to help the poor people soul believe that it is.
Now I just have to build up my wings enough to actually do it.
I got some.
Isn’t it amazing how much good sleep you can get when you don’t drink a bottle of wine and then have freaky nightmares about crying walls, veterinarian visits with your deceased father, and driving around town looking for some guy name Jose so you can take him somewhere, but you don’t know where.
Yep … I may have figured out the secret of the universe. It’s sleep. Ok … probably not. It’s actually probably watermelon flavored Jolly Ranchers, which would just be my luck, because I hate those things. Why can’t it be the cherry ones dear Universe ???? WHYYYYYYYY?
I’m not perfect. There … I said it. For those of you who think I am. Oh who am I kidding.
I’ve been sabotaging myself. Every evening when I go home I eat junk, drink waaaaaaaaaaay too much and sit around watching mindless television about tiny houses and chefs who hate each other.
I don’t know why I’m doing it. Maybe it’s easier … not having to be an adult and do what I’m supposed to do.
I’ve gained back 30 pounds of my 70 pound weight loss. Typing that out makes me angry and sick … but also makes me want to eat some cupcakes and drink boxed wine from a Mason jar with a straw.
I don’t know how to fix myself … but I’ve got to figure it out … mostly because having a headache every day, numbing myself with food and wine (and sometimes beer), and looking like a sausage in a skirt is not going to work much longer. I can feel it.
I thought I had already told him. The look on his face said I hadn’t. I was actually telling someone else, but he was with me so he heard.
“People don’t realize that a pill doesn’t know to only make good changes to a person’s brain. Sometimes it makes bad changes. The only time I’ve ever thought about hurting myself or somebody else was when I was on Paxil. The ONLY time.
For years, every time we went to a mall with more than one level, I thought about what it would be like to push someone over the railing. It wasn’t like I was mad at them. I wouldn’t have even known them. It was just a curiosity. What would happen? What would I feel? What would they feel? Would they die instantly? Would people scream?
Things didn’t seem real to me anyway. There wouldn’t be consequences for me. In my mind, there never were.
It was the same way with traffic. What if I swerved into that lane? What if I ran over that person? Not one ounce of anger. Not one feeling. Just a sick curiosity that isn’t in the makeup of the real me”
They sat with shocked looks on their faces. The man who’s trying to help me and the man who already has.
It’s strange that I feel comfortable talking about it now. Mostly because I want other to be aware that antidepressants (particularly SSRI ones) can completely change a person’s behavior and make them think things the real them never would. It’s also strange, because when I was having the thoughts, I never told anyone. So how many thousands of people … maybe millions … are out there having those same thoughts right now? Not understanding that it’s the drugs and not them going insane. How many will act on them? Not because they are evil or want to harm, but because they don’t feel real or the world doesn’t feel real to them.
It happens every day.
There is a quote that I’m absolutely loving right now
Givers have to set limits, because Takers rarely do.
I don’t know who originally said it and I’ve changed it around a little so I won’t be sued. Not like they could get much anyway, but you know.
For a long time, I was a Taker. Only in it for myself. Didn’t care what other people wanted or needed. A real bitch … and that’s putting it nicely.
Now I’m more of a giver, proud to say. I know the Taker part was because of the drugs and the horrific things they did to my brain and personality. I’d like to think that the Giver was always there, waiting until the Taker was caught in a bear trap and couldn’t escape.
I was a Giver pre-meds and I’m really a Giver now. It’s fun. It’s calm. It’s less dramatic.
It’s the right way to be.
Are you a Giver? Are you a Taker? How’s that working out for you?
When I was nine years old, I was lost at the State Fair for hours … and hours and hours. We were leaving and walking through a large crowd. People rushed around us. I got confused. I ended up being pushed through the crowd and when I finally came out of it, I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I didn’t panic for some strange reason. I looked around for them and when I didn’t find them in a few minutes, I walked to the car. They weren’t there, so I walked back into the Fair. Kids got in for free on that day so nobody ever stopped me at the gate.
I would end up walking through that gate probably another dozen times as the afternoon turned into evening and the evening turned to night. I had no idea how upset and panicked my parents were. I had no idea that they had called the rest of my family and there were making the two hour drive in record time thanks to the squad car of my Highway Patrolman uncle. I had no idea that my siblings were camped out in a security room eating donuts and drinking Sprite while my parents and security personnel walked miles and miles around the State Fair Park looking for me.
I did know where the car was. So that’s what I went to … again and again and again.
My daddy found me. He had been walking back and forth to the car too. He had even unlocked it so I could get in, but I never thought to check the doors. I will always remember him hugging me (my dad was NOT a hugger) and saying “There you are kid” and the big smile on his face. This was the days before cell phones so he held my hand really tight as we walked back to the Fair to tell the others that he found me.
Did me being lost make my parents “bad parents”? Of course not. It was an accident. Nobody meant for it to happen. Luckily Daddy found me and nothing tragic happened to me, but even if it had that wouldn’t have been my parents fault either. Parenting is hard. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve made mistakes. All parents make mistakes. Some of them turn out okay. Some of them don’t. But I take comfort in knowing that I’m doing the best I can and my parents did the best they could. Beating a parent up for a slip in time doesn’t solve anything. Learn from it as a collective and move on. We’re all just doing the best we can.
After a few weeks of eating junk food, gaining weight and generally feeling blah because of it, I’m getting back on track with the healthy eating principles I learned from WW. Here they are:
1. Portion control – if it says on the package that a portion is 7 chips, then ONLY eat 7 chips … get 7 chips out of the bag, place them in a bowl and walk away from the bag …. learn to measure out what you eat. Buy a set of measuring cups and spoons and actually use them. 1/2 cup of ice cream is plenty
2. Ask yourself “is hunger the problem?” if the answer is “yes”, then food is the answer … if the answer is “no” then you are eating your emotions, so you need to find other things to do with your time, mind, and body to keep from mindlessly eating.
3. Bulk up nearly everything you eat with fruits and vegetables. If you’re eating a sandwich, add lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc. If you’re eating a bowl of oatmeal, add fruit. It’s easy once you get in the habit of doing it. At least 30% of the stuff in your grocery cart should come from the produce aisle.
4. Take good vitamins. They make a difference in your energy level and how you feel in general. You can’t exercise if you don’t have the energy to do it. Most vitamins on the market have an absorption rate of less than 15% so make sure you are taking one with a high absorption rate. I can tell you what I’m taking.
5. Exercise …. Start slow and small then build up to fast and tough. This chick isn’t running anywhere unless a zombie clown bear with a chainsaw is chasing me and even that’s questionable, but I do enjoy going for walks and doing yoga. Find something that works for you … there are plenty of options out there.
6. Taper off or cut out the junk food … I cut way back on sodas and I don’t even crave them anymore. The less junk food (greasy, salty, sweet, etc.) you eat, the less you crave. It sounds strange, but it’s oh so true. Give yourself a 5 day challenge and earn a non-food reward if you go 5 days without your junk food favorite.
7. Learn to say “no” so you have time to take care of yourself. You can’t help other people if you’re too run down to even take care of yourself.
I woke up in a warm bed this morning.
I’m allowed to drive a car, speak my mind, practice my religion, and vote.
I have food in my refrigerator and a job.
I don’t have to walk for miles to get health care or fresh water.
I’m free to love and marry who I choose.
I think this country is great now, especially when compared to others. Yes, we have our issues, but this whole “make America great again” stuff really bothers me. There has NEVER been a time in the history of this country when there were not issues and if you think there was ever a time of perfect in the USA, you need to learn history.
So I will continue to pray every day while thanking God for the country, state, and small town he put us in, because we are striving to be better, but know in our hearts that things are pretty darn great.
It makes me terribly sad how we, as a society, have medicated the personalities out of so many people. Just had an interaction with a young man who was labeled as “different” and his family members were convinced by doctors that his quirks were wrong and needed to be “fixed” with several medications. He used to talk, laugh, smile and look people in the eye. Now he’s just a shell … a walking zombie with nothing behind his eyes.
I love love love the line in the movie The Soloist when the guy at the homeless shelter tells Robert Downey Jr’s character “the last thing he needs is somebody else telling him what he needs” when he tries to change the Soloist and “fix” him. It’s so true. The great artists, thinkers, writers, and explorers were all labeled as weird or different. What would our history be like if they were told to get in line and shut up and then medicated when they couldn’t?
I thought the first rule of the medical profession was “Do No Harm’, but oh how we have harmed and changed and killed in the name of “fixing” people, most who don’t need to be changed at all.
Embrace the quirky, the outspoken, the different, and the weird. If they aren’t hurting themselves or hurting others, then what harm is there in just leaving them alone to be their beautiful selves?
I thank God every single day for the moment that made me realize that meds had changed me into an absolute monster and taken way all of the good. Every single day.
Those of you who know me or think you know me, know that I tend to worry and overthink things and worry about overthinking things and overthink about worrying. Yes, it’s exhausting. Too bad it doesn’t burn calories. I’ve been working on that.
Anywho. After reading Big Magic, I decided to casually follow some dreams while also not really giving a shit. Notice the word “casually”. It’s kind of like training for a career in law enforcement by watching all of the episodes of Criminal Minds. Very casual.
Anywho again. I decided to take some time off this month from one of our side businesses to just relax and “be”. Our other side business is going to be very busy this month and I have to be able to sleep at some point. So I just put a few feelers out there (not literally, because that would be creepy) and whammo-blammo …. so much for taking some time off.
I just read back through all of that and realized how rambling and crazy I sound. I call that being “colorful” and tired oh so very tired, but not physically tired thanks to good vitamins. More of a too much in my brain tired. This is going nowhere fast. I might need a drink … and a nap … and another drink … and a cupcake.
Anywho (last one I promise) … to sum things up.
I’m doing okay and I hope you have a fantabulous weekend. 🙂 Keep slapping! Not literally, because that might get an assault charge or a weird stalker (some people like that kind of stuff).
A few days ago was Daddy’s birthday so I expected to have a breakdown at some point … did NOT expect it to come in the middle of a casino when our son surprised us with a phone call … he was unexpectedly moved to a new facility last month and this is the first time we’ve talked to him so I’m crying surrounded by slot machines, but that’s OK … 2015 has been a VERY rough year for us, but we know know know that God is good and He showed us today.
He asked “what’s wrong?”
I told him that it’s impossible to describe. I just feel lost and don’t know how to find myself.
I know it will pass. I started feeling it on Sunday. This overwhelming sense of dread. It’s a behavior I learned. Not genetic … very much learned. The fear that something bad was about to happen, because FINALLY things seemed to be going well.
… and then it did. Just one phone call on Monday morning and my world flipped upside down .. again.
For days I’ve been walking around on the edge of tears. On the edge of screaming. On the edge of smashing things. On the edge of unknown.
I know it will pass. I don’t need pills. I do need sleep. It will pass. Things will change … they always do. Then we will move on to the next disaster and endure that one too.
Oh you better not have thought (hey that rhymes) that this was some sort of announcement about one of my kid’s getting engaged. OH HELL NO !! Of course that would be better than one about one of them having a baby … oh crap … probably just jinxed myself. Forget you saw that! Forget I said it !! Where’s the wine?
The other night I glanced over at D while we were both watching TV, but we weren’t really watching TV at all. He was playing Peggle on his phone and I was halfway listening to whatever was on while flipping through a magazine while trying to talk to him while answering texts and playing on the Interwebs (on my phone). I couldn’t even begin to tell you who I was texting, what the magazine was or what was even on TV … because I wasn’t really engaged in any of it.
I’ve pride myself for years on being the master multitasker, but I’m beginning to wonder how many things have been done half-assed, because I wasn’t really paying attention to any of it.
So D and I have made a pact, agreement, contract in blood (not really – we aren’t THAT weird) to really be engaged in what we’re doing. If we sit down to watch a TV show, then we’re going to actually watch the show. When I look at a magazine, I’m going to really look at the magazine. When I text people, it’s only going to be when I’m not distracted by something or someone else. We’re going to be engaged in our lives … REALLY engaged.
Without going into too much detail, I’m having health issues. Believe me you don’t want the details .. it isn’t fun health issues like high blood sugar due to drinking an entire box of wine and eating a dozen cupcakes in one sitting … although I have considered doing that lately. Nope … it’s more along the lines of “wait … that doesn’t seem normal” and “should things like that be coming out of my body?”
I called my doctor’s office and spoke to the nurse about having some testing done. She began the long list of questions starting with current weight and ending with how I feel about Gary Busey (hell of a guy in my opinion just not so sure he can be trusted with a fork, which totally messes with my life goal of having lunch with him some day … wait … maybe we could have soup … but probably not … a spoon might not be a good idea either). Anywho … when she got to this question I had to laugh.
“Are you under a lot of stress?”
Of course she should have known by my manic laughing fit what the answer was, but instead I let loose of this gold star in the “Oh I’m stressed” answer.
“Well let’s see … I have five “adult” children who each think they know everything about everything, a husband who works long shifts, my mother fell and broke her foot in March and has been in a rehab facility since then, my father passed away in May so we’ve been cleaning out their house (he was a SEVERE hoarder) so mom can come home plus taking care of all of the paperwork and phone calls related to his death, we have a side business, and another side business, we’re trying to sell our land, I don’t really like my job, I get about 4 hours of sleep a night aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand my back hurts.
She calmly said, “we’ll just mark that as a Yes”.
Love that chick !!
Some days have too many hours in them. Some not enough. Some wasted. Some spent being so busy that I forget to go to the bathroom. Who forgets something like that?
I feel like I’m running out of time.
I seriously need to follow the advice of the random person who posted something on a forum once that I typed into Word and printed out then taped to the side of my desk. It says:
Do it now … You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do
I promise to write more on the things I’m working on, but I’m somewhat guarded in what I let people know about me now (even though I read that Daring Greatly book) plus my babies are graduating from high school in a month and my time is better spent with them than writing out things for strangers (and some stranger/friends) to read.
Those of you that know me well enough to have my number … call me or text me or send pigeons with messages. The rest of you will just have to wait. Until then …. have a mediocre day … and eat a candy bar. One won’t kill you. Unless you are seriously diabetic … then it might … so don’t follow my advice in that area … have some sugar free Jello instead … actually don’t … Google how they make Jello-O and you will never eat it again.
One of my first jobs out of college was working as a loan review analyst for a bank holding company. I was 23 years old and thought I knew everything about everything, but really didn’t know anything about anything. I was the youngest person on the team by at least 15 years and I spent my days trying to keep my head down and concentrating on not saying anything that would get me laughed at or my car keyed. Yes … banking can be rough.
In an effort to make conversation, after noticing the Labor poster in the break room, I casually made a comment to my 40+ year old office mate that she was protected against being discriminated against because of her age due to her being over 40. That comment was met with a prompt “FUCK YOU GINA!” and I didn’t say anything else to her for the rest of the day. At the time it felt like a slap in the face (oh the irony) and I wondered why she was being so mean to me for no reason. Now I know that at my advanced age of 41 (quickly approaching 42), I would probably feel the same way if some fresh out of college know it all felt the need to point out my age … especially if I shared the same job title and the same salary. OUCH !
My point is … wait … what was my point? Oh yeah … being a grown up and how it still doesn’t feel like I am. I remember my office mate being a grown up. She had kids and a mortgage and a mini van. She was a grown up. I have all those things (plus a whoooooole lot more debt than I’m sure she did at that age) and I don’t feel like a grown up at all. I feel like we’re playing house in some way.
Maybe it’s the nine years I lost to meds and vodka. Maybe it’s the digging out of the mess those nine years caused. Maybe it’s the choppy memory that comes back in the strangest ways, but isn’t fully restored (still don’t remember EVER owning two cars that D swears we owned).
Maybe I’m not supposed to try to fix it. Maybe everybody feels this way. We take care of our bills. We go to work. We take care of our kids. We are allowed to drink legally. So what is a grown up exactly and do we ever REALLY get there? Is it an end result and someday I’ll just waking up feeling like I’ve reached it … or is it the process of “finding myself” and my true calling in life (which can’t be done by playing games on my phone or watching Cutthroat Kitchen) … more on that later.
Today … and possibly for the rest of the year and maybe the rest of my life, I will be repeating to myself “It’s none of my business …. It’s none of my business …. It’s none of my business”. It’s going to be tough to not give my opinion on things when it isn’t asked for, but I’m going to try my hardest and I might end up biting my tongue smooth off, but I’ve been trying really hard to not share my personal life with people who always have something negative to say about it. So I’m staying out of things that do not affect me and I want people to do the same for me.
Gossip serves no purpose. If I’m not part of the problem or part of the solution, then I need to stay out of it (thank you Brother Mike).
Just had a moment that really made me realize that every single day is a gift and I shouldn’t waste it. Slowed down on the highway with three cars in front of me while somebody was turning to take their kid to school and a big pickup comes flying up behind me … I saw him coming and swerved into the ditch as far as I could go … he swerved into the other lane and barely missed me. I instantly teared up. Waaaaaaaaaaaay too close !
A few minutes later, I realized that D would have been called out on that wreck.
I will not take today for granted … or tomorrow either.
I might need a donut and a drink and another donut. DAMN !!!
I received a message this morning that has made me sad beyond sad. The niece of a good friend from high school and I have been having conversations for months about mental health, overall health, and stress. She’s a very young single mother, working two jobs, with a drug addicted deadbeat ex who doesn’t pay child support or help her with her boys in any way. She’s beyond stressed.
A discussion about a month ago turned to my struggle with prescription medications and my journey to be free of them and live a more content life. She told me that she could never be off of medication because anxiety and depression run in her family (her mother, her aunt, and her brother have all been on meds for as long as I can remember). Well I was told the same thing my entire life too and you know how that turned out. You also know that I would never ever tell somebody that they shouldn’t take something that they believe is working for them. However, I do tell people to watch for side effects and to tell their love ones to watch for the side effects that they can’t see themselves (mainly personality changes like I had that I could NOT see until I woke up in a jail cell).
The message I received this morning basically said that she can’t be around people right now and most days can’t get out of bed. Obviously something isn’t working. I just sent back a message of love and support along with my cell number telling her that she could call or text me anytime. That’s all I can do for now.
But I can’t pretend that it doesn’t make me mad …. beyond mad in fact … whatever beyond mad would be … I don’t know … maybe wanting to scream and hit things with sticks and scream while hitting things with sticks. It makes me mad that she had been prescribed pill after pill after pill and then has those pills changed again and again and again because her doctore doesn’t realize that there are start up side effects and cold turkey withdrawal side effects. She needs a break right now, not another pill, but I don’t know how to convey that to her or if I should even try. So I will do what I can and offer support without preaching and maybe help her find a good therapist who specializes in CBT not a prescription pad.
How you spend your time, money and energy shows the world what is important to you.
Lately my time and energy have been spent on things other than this site (two side businesses, volunteer work, spending time with my babies while they are still considered to be “kids”, spending time with D, working full-time, etc.). My money has been spent on boxed wine and paying down debt, I don’t see anything wrong with either of those things so there is no reason to rock that boat. However, this site and all of you are important to me and I need to spend more lunch breaks typing up things that most people don’t care about. I talk to several of you on a daily basis in one form or another and I would miss you terribly if those (somewhat odd) connections were gone. So I’m going to try my darndest (yes, that’s a word) to spend more time writing at you this year. I know I know … I’ve said such things before, but this time I might probably mean it.
I love writing. I love rambling pretty much incoherent nonsense out into the world knowing that somewhere out there in that big somewhere out there (you know you just sang that to yourself) someone is reading and thinking either “I hate this chick and hope that she gets herpes and eaten by a zombie clown bear with a chainsaw” or “I love this chick and want to go with her on her world tour AND build a fort with her out of empty wine boxes” or “Meh … I feel nothing towards this chick and I’m going to go nuke myself a corn dog and watch some reality TV show about redneck hog farmers who are also in the mafia”. Any of those options is perfectly fine with me, because I’m mature like that.
Anywho … I promise to do better and continue to ramble things at you that may or may not make sense.
P.S. I was going to write a whole post on how horrible curfews are and how I get less sleep now than when my kids were babies, but that really doesn’t take an entire post. So I’ll just say this …. MIDNIGHT CURFEWS SUCK NUKED CORN DOGS !!!
I’ve tried not to think about it much the past few days, mostly because it takes me back to a dark place, but then again it was the light that brought me out of the darkness.
Years ago when I woke up in that jail cell and realized that I was not myself, I started questioning the “why” and looked for the reasons that I had become the horrible person that I was. Those reasons were found on a forum of people who knew exactly what I was going through, because they had been there themselves. They understood my personality changes, the side-effects, the tornado that my life had become. They talked me through tapering. They helped me with withdrawal. They held my hand and explained things to me. They saved my life.
Tears are welling as I type this, because that place is now gone. The site was shut down a few days ago. The people who were there didn’t want to get better. They seemed to enjoy wallowing in their misery and didn’t want help from the people who could really help them. It’s beyond sad to me.
So here I am. Not knowing how to process the fact that if that site hadn’t been there when I needed it, then I would be at the least divorced and at the worst … dead. I know it had to be done, because it wasn’t helping people due to the negative attitudes of the people who were left … but what about the thousands upon thousands of people who are out there now who are losing their minds and their everythings because of meds they don’t really need? What about the others who were like me?
I don’t have an answer for that, but I’m trying to find one.
Oh I don’t know where to even start this one. If I had written it yesterday afternoon when I was so mad that I couldn’t see straight then it might have been a different post, but I went to yoga class last night after work and gained a little perspective … so here goes.
At my heaviest, I weighed 233 pounds. That was the Paxilated me who would drink a loooot of vodka every night and eat entire bags of chips every single day. I lost about 20 pounds when I was going through withdrawal without really trying … guess that’s the bonus of withdrawal … damn those pukey mornings sure came in handy. Then a few years ago I signed up for Weight Watchers and lost more weight, getting down to 180-183. Then I got lazy and unmotivated and more lazy and gained back 15 pounds.
Fast forward to six months or so ago and I started getting serious about counting points again. Ta-da! I’m now 2 pounds away from a total 60 pound weight loss. So my goal is to get to the 173 mark and maintain it. I’m proud of myself. I’ve worked hard to get here … but you know what happens when good things start happening to people. Oh yeah … you know what I mean. There always has to be some person to come along and say bitchy things just to try to make you feel worse. The very definition of a “bully”.
I found out yesterday that somebody who thinks they know me is telling people that the only reason I lost weight and the reason I take my whole lunch hours now is because I’m running around. At first I thought it was funny … mostly because “running around” would require me to shave my legs up past my knees. Then I was pissed. Really pissed. After the shitstorm that D and I have been through, I would NEVER do something like that to him or the relationship we have now. I even told him last night what they said and his answer was “who gives a shit what they think”. Damn I love that man!
Yes, I have lost weight and yes, I’m happy with how I look now and yes, I have been taking my whole lunch hours now instead of eating at my desk playing on the computer. Why? Because I know that my life isn’t going to change just because I want it to. I have to do something about it. So I am.
D and I are building up two businesses and working to get out of debt, so every single lunch hour for the past few weeks has been devoted to those businesses. I love doing it. It’s keeping me busy. I’m good at it.
So last night during the calm part of yoga, I prayed for the person who said things. Prayed that they would work on their own life and stay out of mine. Prayed that they would be in some way humbled. Prayed that they would change … because I can’t change them. Prayed that they would get hit by a … wait … no I didn’t. Nevermind. Carry on. Nothing to see here.
I’m slowly getting used to the idea of an almost empty nest. It’s taken me a few months to get here, but I’m actually starting to enjoy it. My trick is to make a list of all of the things that I want to get done while the house is quiet on the nights when D and all of the kids are at work.
Here’s the list I have going now …
– find picture frames for Emily’s project (she’s making something for the new boyfriend for their one month anniversary – it’s so damn sweet I think it’s turned me diabetic) Yes, I realize that’s now how diabetes works … it’s just a saying.
– work on my query letters (don’t ask!)
– work on my contacts list for the two businesses we’re building
– clean around the TV in the bedroom (I don’t even want to know what’s in that cabinet)
– clean off the dresser
– clean off the nightstand
… and now I look like I’m a complete slob. Great! A slob and a horrible person … why do you put up with me?
Actually I’m not a complete slob, in fact I’m a child of hoarders so I work hard not to be slobbish (is that a word?). However, I am clearing out my life (yes, it’s a long process and yes, I know I’ve been writing about it for years) and cleaning out things keeps me from dwelling on bad stuff and it makes the house look pretty for all of those times when nobody comes to visit me. 😉
In fact, we’ve been clearing out everything in our lives from junk around the house to junk mail to junk people. If it isn’t making us calmer people and helping out then out it goes … DAMMIT!
In case you want to do the same … find these things …
to opt out of junk catalogs go to www.catalogchoice.org … it’s soooooooo easy and it really does work
to opt out of prescreened credit card offers go to www.optoutprescreen.com we haven’t received ANY offers since we did this … it could just mean that nobody wants to loan us any more money, but I’m going to assume it’s because we asked them not
Now go clean out a closet !! All of your friends are doing it … unless your friends are hoarders and in that case … give them the stuff you don’t want! Ta-da !!
During the proofread, I realized that this is very rambly and not at all in my typical writing style, but you will have to forgive me because we’ve had a stomach virus at my house this week AND I got a call from my son last night from rehab so me brain not work too much me thinks.
I’ve been having trouble with being tired and body aches for a while now. Plus I was having strange headaches. So when somebody offered a possible “help” … I tried it … and I’m so glad I did. I’ve been on better quality vitamins for about 2 weeks now and I can already tell the difference. I no longer ache! I’m not falling asleep at 8:30 every night. I’m getting so much done!!! We also switched out our household cleaners to chemical free ones and that has made a huge difference in mine and my daughter’s allergy related headaches.
So of course when somebody finds something that works and people ask why you seem to be feeling so much better, then you tell them. Then you have a conversation with a mother who crams junk food down her kids throats every single day, smokes like a freaking freight train, and buys them every cheap toy known to man that’s probably coated in lead paint. Then that mother tells you that she “can’t afford that kind of stuff” and you just smile.
Then you get in your car and you send this text message out to your closest friends …. and they still love you even though it’s a rant.
“I’m going to rant for a second … It amazes me how people can spend money on take out food and cheap crap made in China for their kids, but when you mention chemical free cleaning products & vitamins they think their too expensive … when they are actually cheaper! OK …. rant over … thank you for your time … I feel better now … lol”
I recheck things. Every morning before I leave the house I make sure that I’ve unplugged my fan … at least three times. I make sure I’ve set the thermostat … at least twice. I make sure the girlies have unplugged their various “make your hair look like a mad scientist” like devices …. at least three times. Then I walk downstairs, make sure the back door is locked. Make sure the dogs have water. Make myself a glass of orange juice (only 1/2 cup because I’m on Weight Watchers) with creatine. Then I recheck the backdoor and the dog water AGAIN. Then I can leave the house.
I’m getting better. Which kind of sounds like I’m the guy in that creepy sci-fi movie where he merges his DNA with a fly and then is all oozy and fly-like and swears “I’m getting better.” as his eyes grow to the size of dinner plates and he starts puking on his food before he eats it. Except in this case I don’t have much fly DNA in me AND I really am getting better.
The rechecking is an OCD like behavior that I picked up during my years on Paxil. It’s an anxiety related thing and the only way out is to force yourself to reduce the behavior and acknowledge that the sky didn’t fall, the world did not end, and I didn’t turn into a fly creature just because I didn’t make sure the door was locked for the twelfth time.
Where was I going with this? Oh yeah … The Deal.
D used to give me nine kinds of hell about rechecking things. He wasn’t being mean about it, just frustrated that it took me an extra twenty minutes to leave the house AFTER I was ready to go. He would chuckle a little and say things like “are you sure you unplugged your curling iron?” Which was really stupid, because that just put the “did I unplug my curling iron?” thought in my head … and back upstairs I would go … where I would recheck the curling iron AND the thermostat AND the window latches AND the closet doors AND the lamps, fans, etc. etc. … you get the picture.
So one day I decided that I would stop nagging him about his weight (and horrible food choices and blood pressure) if he would stop giving me hell about rechecking things. He agreed … and it worked!
He eats better when I eat better (and I’ve been eating better thanks to WW … I’m 53 pounds lighter than my Paxilated weight). He exercises when I exercise. He doesn’t snack as much if I don’t snack as much … and he doesn’t eat out of spite, because he’s tired of hearing me nag about his weight. Oh sure … I’m very tempted to blurt out things like “do you really need a bowl of peanut butter and syrup for dessert?” … but I don’t. And when I came home one day to find that he had cooked a whole six pound package of bacon (don’t worry … he didn’t eat it all in one meal), I didn’t say a word. I said he was doing better … and for him that IS better.
We’re working on it.
My OCD rechecking has decreased significantly and he has lost a few pounds. Turns out that nagging might just make things worse. Damn … I wish we had figured this out 23 years ago. By the time we’re in our eighties, we might have this whole married thing figured out.
It’s been so long since I’ve posted anything it actually feels very weird to be typing this out. I’ve had good intentions … well you know what they say about those. Every month I would tell myself that on the first of the next month, I was going to sit down, create a new header and write a post. Then it didn’t happen. Then it didn’t happen again and now nearly six months later here I am.
A really good stranger/friend of mine (well let’s be honest … any friend of mine has to be a little strange whether we’ve met in person or not) told me that she checks my site nearly every day to see if there is something new. My first thought was “oh my goodness .. how sweet is that?”. My second thought was “damn … I really need to be writing again.” … and my third thought was “that chick really needs to get a hobby.”
Well the irony of blogging is that when you are doing blog worthy things in your life that people would want to hear about, then you are often too busy and exhausted to actually sit down and write about them. Wait … there’s another irony in blogging … here it is. When people blog about their lives they can take one of two approaches …. they can blog about boring shit that nobody gives two rat’s asses about like their latest oatmeal recipe (no offense if you just posted your latest oatmeal recipe, but I won’t be reading about it) OR they can blog about interesting, personal, scary, life-changing, awesome stuff … the stuff that makes us human … the stuff that helps other people. Well the harsh reality of blogging the “real stuff” is that you open yourself up to other people’s thoughts and opinions and it’s much easier to hide in the cave than come out, shout your soul to the world and wait for people to throw rocks at you … and rocks hurt! Haven’t you ever read that story “The Lottery”? Well if you haven’t then spoiler alert …. THEY THROW ROCKS AT PEOPLE !!
Wait …what was my point here? I told you I was out of practice.
Oh yeah … I’m back … sort of. I can’t guarantee that I’ll be posting every day. I can’t even guarantee that I’ll post once a week, but I can guarantee you that I’m passionate about writing and helping others and volunteering and lobbying and napping and drinking boxed wine and living a life where somebody somewhere will say “Yep … she really fucked up … but she learned from it and she used it to help others and she’s spending every single day trying to make the world a better place and isn’t that why we come out of the cave in the first place.” Is that too long to have written on my tombstone?
And now I’m wondering if it would be completely tacky to have a tombstone in the shape of a wine box.
A few weeks ago my 53 year old cousin died suddenly from a massive heart attack. His dad, my dad’s brother, had asked him to get fuel for some of the equipment on their farm. He was doing just that when he died. His dad found him the next day. He had been there all night. It’s so tragic on so many levels and as a family we are struggling with the why of it. His daughter, who has four beautiful little girls, said that for some strange reason she felt that she had to have a birthday party for him just weeks before he died and now she understood where the feeling came from. Pictures of him and his granddaughters were in the slide show they played at the family visitation at the funeral home, pictures from that birthday party.
It was so wonderful to see cousins and family that I hadn’t seen for years, even though us finally being back together was for an absolutely awful reason. I tried to make polite conversation as much as possible, but I sometimes get nervous and tend to ramble out things I probably shouldn’t. After the funeral I made a point of introducing my oldest daughter, Rachel, to one of my cousins. Then I went on and on about how Rachel was about to turn 21 and how she wanted us to take her to Vegas. I then proceeded in length to talk about the things that people typically do in Vegas … you know the drinking and the hooker cards (not that we’ve ever actually called those numbers, but we do bring some back to give to people just so we can see the looks on their faces) and the gambling and you know …. sinning in general. My cousin just stood there and nodded and smiled. I told her that I would make a point of getting her address from my aunt and would start sending her Christmas cards each year. She nodded and smiled.
That evening as I was flipping through channels, I had the bright idea to Google her name. It turns out that she is fairly well known ….. IN THE MINISTRY INDUSTRY !!!
SHE WRITES BOOKS ON HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE WITH YOUR CHILDREN !!!
HER HUSBAND HELPS RUN A MAJOR NATIONAL MINISTRY !!!
Now I understand the smiling and nodding.
I really should stop talking to people.
I had a high school Senior English teacher like every other high school Senior English teacher, one who thought that us memorizing long verses of poetry would magically make us care about the world and stop being horrific little shits. I honestly don’t remember any of the other poems we were forced to recite standing in front of our classmates while they laughed and threw things at us … but I remember this one … I still know it by heart … maybe there’s a reason for that.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I haven’t posted in the past week, because well … I’m at a the point where those two roads begin.
A few weeks ago I received a message from a “higher up” at a local company asking me to send my resume. I thought “what the hell”, so I did. Then I went in for an informal interview. Then I talked to the head of Human Resources. Then I went in for another informal interview. Now I’m waiting to hear if the “main office” is willing to hire me.
This was not a part of the master plan. The plan was to take the next 18 or so months to get my life in order (finances, kidlets, purging the house of junk, relationships, learning Spanish … although I already know all the words to La Bamba so I pretty much already have that one aced, etc.). Well you know the saying “we make plans and God laughs.” Well in my case it’s “we make plans and God laughs and points and throws things and causes a house to fall on your sister and then that damn girl takes your favorite red glittered shoes”. I was also going to take this year to buffer up my writing skills, learn how to relax more, do more research on prescription drug addictions, the correlation between drug use and crime, helping people overcome anxiety and taper off of psychotropic medications while practicing CBT, etc. etc.. I had big plans for this year and this job thing was not a part of that. It would be the safe route, the grown up thing to do, but that would mean that it would take away my chances to be brave, maybe my chances to make a real difference.
Anywho … if they offer me the job and are willing to hire me even though I am eeeeeeeeeeeeeevil then I know I have to take it. It would be stupid not to. But I’m scared. There I said it. The feeling that I’m actually feeling. Scared. Scared to venture out into a world of new people, completely new job requirements, and a tooooooootally new environment. This wasn’t part of the plan, but really … what part of my life has been?
I don’t have to make the decision now and it actually might be made for me in the next few days, but if they are willing to take a chance on me then I have to choose a road and I’m not quite sure which one to take.
Rachel really hasn’t dated much since she dumped her former boyfriend about a year and a half ago, so D and I tend to get damn near giddy when she tells us that she has a real date. She had one last night … they went to look at Christmas lights. I gave her this advice before she left.
1. do NOT wear the fake hair (aka the dead weasel)
2. do NOT play on your phone the entire time
3. do NOT say “I have to pee” when you need to use the restroom
I know it seems like ridiculous advice, but sometimes these things have to be pointed out.
Before you start feeling sorry for the man and thinking that I’m a horrible person for writing him out a daily list of stuff that needs to be done, you have to realize that
1. he only works 8 or 9 shifts a month and is therefore by himself at home a lot of the time during the work week
2. he tends to forget things
3. he tends to take naps …. which furthers complicates the forgetting things … I’ve learned that things told to him BEFORE nap are NOT remembered AFTER nap
here is his list for today
1. clean bathrooms (this used to be the kids job, but with two of the three that still live with us having jobs it has now fallen on us to get it done)
2. read pages 54 and 55 in O Magazine (it’s an article on ways to reduce blood pressure – something that a 42 year old man who had scary high blood pressure for a few weeks needs to read … and something he won’t read unless his wife STRONGLY suggests it)
3. buy a plant to take to Granny (my sister’s mother) for her birthday today
4. think of ways that you can make your lovely wife’s life better ! (see his witty suggestion below)
5. spray for bugs (we have ants …. in the Fall … why? because it’s us and things that happen to us cannot be explained)
My kids tend to learn some lessons the hard way .. oh hell … who am I kidding? They tend to learn ALL lessons the hard way, for example: A few months ago Beth (younger twin child) let Rachel (oldest girl child “borrow” her straightener). Do you see where this is going … Derek and I sure did.
I’ve told Beth seeeeeeeeeeeeveral times to get it back, mostly because I’m tired of buying my kids things that don’t end up staying at our house AND because I knew that the twins would end up using mine. For those of you who don’t have teenagers yet, someday you will understand why I don’t let my kids “borrow” my stuff (the words lost, stolen, and broken come to mind … sometimes all three). Well Beth hasn’t gotten the straightener back and this morning I caught her in the bathroom using mine. So when I left for work this morning … I brought it with me.
Does this make me a crazy bitch and a horrible mother? probably … but I’ll be a crazy bitch and a horrible mother WITH STRAIGHT HAIR !!! Now I get to carry around a straightener wherever I go … kind of like a pet rock … and only slightly more dangerous.
My brother was diagnosed with colon cancer when he was only 26. D’s mother died from colon cancer when she was in her mid-fifties. Lucky us we got it from both sides, which means that every three years we each get to go in for some alien like probing. D did his last month and it’s my turn tomorrow.
Some people get to take the easy route and only have to drink the two bottles of Magnesium Citrate (which isn’t exactly tasty – it’s a lot like drinking VERY salty water mixed with bleach and grape soda) …. but not this chick. Evidently the guts of tall people are longer than the guts of normal sized people, so the Mag Cit doesn’t work for me. I get to drink the gallon of eeeeeeeeevil. That’s right … 128 ounces of pure hell on earth served up in 8 ounce servings every ten minutes until it’s all gone … I’m starting to gag just thinking about it.
So tonight have a cheeseburger and a pizza and four tacos and a chicken waldorf sandwich from Atlanta Bread Company for me … because this chick will be guzzling evil and dining on chicken broth and clear juices. Yum! Yum!!
… so please stop trying. Wait … wait … don’t start throwing stones at me just yet, hear me out.
This isn’t the post I intended on writing today, but you know what they say about intentions (only my road to hell is paved with glitter and firefighter smells and empty wine boxes). I had planned on spending this week catching you up on the the reasons I am so exhausted in every single way possible …. and then I read this
… yet another article or interview where a celebrity tells us all that happiness is a choice and how if we just choose to be happy then the magical unicorns will declare it to be so and the sun will shine upon us all damn day long. Oh if only it were that easy. Here’s the thing …. I used to actually believe crap like that. That if somebody just willed it hard enough then happiness would just come to them. That when the bills are overdue and the kids are in trouble at school and the marriage is on the rocks … then I could just magically choose to be happy and ta-da !! Happiness for everyone !! Nothing against the actress or any other celebrity who honestly believes that they are choosing happiness, I feel like I could say things like that too if I had a chef and a driver and a nanny and a maid and could take vacations whenever I wanted to. I don’t begrudge them their money and the “happiness” it does bring them, but I don’t think that it’s that easy for the common folk.
I just think that it sets us all up for failure when people say things about happiness being a choice, because then people start to wonder why they can’t just choose it and what’s wrong with them that they can’t just make themselves happy. It’s taken me soooooooooooo many years to figure out that I can’t choose to be happy, because happiness is a fleeting emotion that comes and goes. However, I CAN choose to be content.
Right after D and I got married, my mother asked him if he thought his mother was happy and I will remember his answer for the rest of my life. He looked my mother right in the eyes and said, “I think she’s content.” My mother thought that was a strange answer. She just couldn’t understand how sitting out in the yard of their small house just talking every night could possibly make anybody content. See my in-laws lived a very simple life. My mother-in-law made her own clothes and cooked every meal from scratch. They didn’t have much, but what they did have they were proud of and they worked hard to have it. They didn’t have to have the best, they were just content with what they had. I’m not saying they just sat back and gave up, they didn’t, but they also didn’t worry about what anybody else had or that somebody else was living a better life than they were. It never even crossed their minds to be jealous of somebody else’s money or belongings. They were content. (D’s mother passed away from colon cancer about 15 years ago, but D’s father is still one of the most content people I know.)
I chased happiness the nine years that I was on Paxil (and Ambien and vodka), never finding it, but always always always looking for that one thing or person or trip or debt that would make me happy. It never came. I was so numb and craving feeling any emotion that I flitted from one thing to another, accumulating piles of worthless junk, tons and tons of debt and a slew of broken relationships.
I am content, because I choose to be. Things are not perfect, but they aren’t supposed to be. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t be working and fighting and clawing my way towards change … and to be honest, I would be really freaking bored. We are humans, we are meant to feel emotions and happiness is one that can’t and won’t be felt every second of every single day. It comes in little bursts …. just like sadness … just like anger …. just like jealousy.
I choose to be content, because that’s something that I can control. Content that I have a nice bed to sleep in. Content that my children are healthy. Content that I have a job. Content that I have food. Content that I have a man who loves me and loved me enough to stand by me through some pretty awful stuff. Content because I know that I’m only human and my journey is far from over …. and that happiness will come … sometimes when I least expect it.
So please please please ignore those uber rich celebrities who believe that happiness is a choice, because it isn’t. Strive to be content and the happiness will come. I promise.
A few months ago while I was chatting with somebody on Gmail, I said something about me being a great multitasker, able to do five or six things at once. They informed me that actual multitasking was impossible. WHAAAAAAAAAAT? I do it all the time, I know it’s possible … and then I started really thinking about it. Sure I might have been getting more things done at the same time, but was I really doing them well … sad to say, the answer was “no”.
So I’ve made a strong effort to spend more time living in the moment and concentrating on what I’m really doing instead of a half-assed effort just so I can claim to have done more.
The hardest one for me is trying to stop eating while watching TV, while flipping through a magazine, while making out the grocery list, while posting on Twitter, while texting with friends (and stranger/friends), while clipping coupons, while talking to at least one of my children. I reeeeeeeeeeeeeally do this while D is at work, but I finally looked at what I was doing and I wasn’t even tasting my food, or understanding the TV show, or reading the articles in the magazine, or writing an organized list …. so I’m working on it.
I can already tell that I’ve calmed down some by living in the moment, which is huge for me. I need more calm and I’ve finally figured out that I have the power to create it … by slowly down and realizing that it WILL all get done and now it will probably get done the right way. 😉
I’m so glad that my son took a picture of this ….
evidence that our children get their hardheadness (yes, that’s a word) from their dear old Dad.
That is my 42 year old husband on top of scaffolding …. trimming tree limbs … WITH A CHAINSAW !!!
All I could say was “well if you die in a tragic chainsaw/scaffolding accident, I’m coming down to the funeral home to tweeze those Abe Vigoda eyebrows of yours …. AND THEN I’M GOING TO TAKE ONE OF YOUR LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES AND BLOW IT ALL ON HATS !!!”
About a month ago I started going back to Weight Watchers for meetings and weekly weigh-ins. I had “pudged” back up and regained fifteen pounds and I could feel it … like I was wearing an uncomfortable sweater of fat. I’m taking it a little slower this time so that I can get used to my skinny body and not feel so weird in my own skin and sabotage myself right back into my old habits and the more comfortable “fat” me.
I also went back because of D. When I do better then he does better. Plus I had been seriously nagging him about his weight, his cholesterol, his borderline diabetic blood sugar level, and his snoring … OMG !! THE SNORING !!! Well going along with my new theory on life that “the only person I can change is myself” (okay – technically it’s an old theory, but I need to remind myself of it on a regular basis), I stopped nagging him about his food choices and how much weight he had gained or lost.
After doing it for years and years, it’s a tough habit to break, just like his food habit and mindless TV watching habit, but so far I’ve been doing pretty good with it. Plus I’ve been trying to lead by example and have lost nearly seven pounds of the fifteen pound regain … besides I have way too much of my own stuff to worry about right now.
Repeat after me ….
THE ONLY PERSON I CAN CHANGE IS MYSELF !
THE ONLY PERSON I CAN CHANGE IS MYSELF !!!
THE ONLY PERSON I CAN CHANGE IS MYSELF !!!!!!!
We’ve been talking about it for a long time … for at least months, but probably for a few years. We just weren’t ready. We always had good excuses. We were scared. We waited for a sign … and then last Saturday we got it.
D had been looking for his Bible for weeks. He looked everywhere, even in the basement with the rest of the boxed up stuff, things that we never intended to see the light of day again. Every time he had a few extra minutes, he was looking for his Bible. He looked and he looked and he looked. Then last Saturday as I was puttering around the house, slightly bored and looking for a new book to start, I found it … in my stack of books to read. We have no idea how it got there or how long it had been there, but we took it as a sign that it was time to go back to church.
It had been over five years since we had attended any church service and we were understandably nervous when we walked in last Sunday, but we had nothing to be nervous about. Nobody looked down on us. Nobody whispered about us when we took a seat in a pew at the back of the room. Nobody looked us over and judged us to be unworthy of being there. It was a new experience. We felt welcome.
The last time we had been to church, Derek declared that he would never go back to the church I was raised in and after a person I considered a friend told me that her name “couldn’t be associated with mine”, then I agreed that that wasn’t the church for us. So we casually started considering other churches and I’m so glad we found the one we did. I cried through the majority of the service last week. I don’t know if it was nerves or relief or what, but it felt good to be there and to release the emotions that I was having.
I did better yesterday and it will just keep getting easier every time we go.
Big D loves his yard. He always has. He prides himself on having green grass and nice looking flowers. It’s part of why I love him so much, his pride in how his house looks (and the lack of junk sitting around it … something only a fellow child of a hoarder can truly appreciate).
Big D is also a really good father, so even though it killed a tiny bit of his soul every year (and an awful lot of grass), he put the pool up.
Then last summer we decided that the kids really didn’t get in the pool that much anymore and it was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much work so we sold the pool. We weren’t sad and in fact, I think I heard a cheer coming from the grass in the backyard. No more ugly crop circles !!
It’s almost all grown back now … the grass is happy … Big D is happy … which makes me happy. We are simple people.
directly from Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (page 9) … with some comments by me
“Understanding shame is only one variable that contributes to Wholeheartedness, a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness. In The Gifts of Imperfection, I defined ten “guideposts” for Wholehearted living that point to what the Wholehearted work to cultivate and what they work to let go of:
1. Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
I’m getting so much better at this one, but still think it’s impossible to never really care what people think …. if we didn’t care what people thought of us then we would all go to the grocery store wearing a tutu and combat boots. While an interesting fashion choice, it’s probably not the image you want your boss or preacher to have of you. The trick is learning to care what the important people in your life think of you and letting the other ones go.
2. Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
I am slowly learning to embrace the idea that “good enough” sometimes really is good enough.
3. Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
This is big one for me …. a gigantic one … a dinosaur sized one. I sometimes resort to numbing my emotions with food and alcoholic beverages. I’ve cut waaaaaaaaaaay back on the drinking, but still struggle with the idea that eating something is going to make me feel better.
The idea of being powerless used to be one of the scariest things in the world to me. The Paxilated me always thought that I had to be completely in control of every situation and that my ideas were golden and anybody else’s ideas where absolute crap. Gosh I can’t imagine why people didn’t want to be around me. Now I’m much more open to sharing the spotlight and see interactions, positive or negative, as learning experiences.
4. Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
There is enough …. and I will get my part of it.
5. Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
This was a tough one for me overcome too. I would plan out every trip (from going to the movies to going on a family vacation) almost down to the minute and when things didn’t work out exactly the way I wanted them too then I lost it …. not just a little bit … I reeeeeeeeeeeeally lost it. I’m doing much better. On our last trip to Vegas, I just made a list of the places that I wanted to see and if we got around to it then we got around to it. We had a great time …. go figure.
6. Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
I struggle with jealousy. There I said it. I really really really want to be happy when good things happen to other people and I’m slowly teaching myself how to do that … but it doesn’t stop me from thinking “why not me” when somebody gets their dream job, or wins a new car, or wins $10,000 at the local casino (all three things have happened to friends of mine recently … not the same friend … three different friends … if all three of those things had happened to the same person then I might just have to stop talking to them)
7. Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth
Oh I used to play the “Nobody is Busier Than I Am” game all the time. I was always more tired than everybody else. I was always more stressed than everybody else. My life was always more important than everybody else’s. blah blah blah …. I really was a horrible person and it took me some serious soul searching (and getting off the meds) to make me realize that nobody gives a shit and it’s NOT a contest. Everybody has struggles. Everybody has problems. I’m not more important (or less important) than anybody else.
8. Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
I practice this every time I actively listen to my children … before I respond to anything stressful that they’ve told me, I take a big deep breath. I’ve learned that there are very few actual tragedies in life and most things are made larger and worse by worry and overreacting.
I also take about ten minutes each night to be still in bed, flat on my back, slowly relaxing to the point where I am completely comfortable, clearing my head and just breathing. It takes a lot of practice, but if I can do it … then anybody can.
9. Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”
The people who say “I can change the world” are the ones who do.
10. Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”
I went down a water slide … and had trouble getting out of the raft afterwards … and I laughed about it. Cool can kiss my ass !!!
One chapter in the book talks about how people shield themselves with various forms of armor as a way to avoid feeling vulnerable.
… directly from Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (page 167)
“THE SHIELD: CYNICISM, CRITICISM, COOL, AND CRUELTY
If you decide to walk into the arena and dare greatly, you’re going to get kicked around. It doesn’t matter if your arena is politics or the PTO, or if your great dare is an article for your school newsletter, a promotion, or selling a piece of pottery on Etsy – you’re going to be on the receiving end of some cynicism and criticism before it’s over. There may even be some plain ol’ mean-spiritedness. Why? Because cynicism, criticism, cruetly, and cool are even better than armor – they can be fashioned into weapons that not only keep vulnerability at a distance but also can inflict injury on the people who are being vulnerable and making us umcomfortable.
If we are the kind of people who “don’t do vulnerablity,” there’s nothing that makes us feel more threatened and more incited to attack and shame people than to see someone daring greatly. Someone else’s daring provides an uncomfortable mirror that reflects back our own fears about showing up, creating, and letting ourselves be seen. That’s why we come out swinging. When we see cruelty, vulnerability is likely to be the driver.
When I say criticism, I don’t mean productive feedback, debate, and disagreement over the value or importance of a contribution. I’m talking about put-downs, personal attacks, and unsubstantiated claims about our motivations and intentions.
When I talk about cynicism, I don’t mean healthy skepticism and questioning. I’m talking about reflexive cynicism that leads to mindless repsonses like “That’s so stupid,” or “What a loser idea.” Cool is one of the most rampant forms of cynicism. Whatever. Totally Lame. So uncool. Who gives a shit?”
I have teenagers, so I hear about some form of cruelty on a regular basis, but it never gets any easier to process. The other night after looking for Emily, I found her crying on the front porch. She didn’t want to talk about it, so I sat with her until she did. About a year ago, a girl at the school decided to go after our family (we deal with this a lot) and started sending out texts from a blocked number to my daughters and eventually to their friends as well. These weren’t just childhood taunts … these were evil messages. Emily has a fear of not being as smart as the other kids in her class, so the unknown texter sent her messages calling her dumb and telling her that she should just kill herself. Beth is really skinny, she always has been, and she is very self conscious about it, so the unknown texter sent her messages calling her anorexic and ugly and telling her she should just kill herself. The texts to their friends were along the same lines … calling one fat, calling one slutty, calling another one crazy, all urging them to end their own lives.
As an adult who has endured a lot of crap, I can look at them and tell them to just ignore it, but I also know that it isn’t that easy. So I sat on the porch with Emily for hours, listening to the whole story and telling her what I’ve learned in life … that the people who find it easy to be cruel are very often hiding flaws in themselves and the only way they can feel better about what’s wrong with their lives is to make somebody else feel worse, which is the exact definition of a bully.
She told me that the girl NEVER says anything to anybody’s faces, she hides behind fake Facebook accounts and blocked texts … which says a lot. By the end of the conversation, Emily was smiling again and she assured me that if she gets any more messages that she will tell me about it and we will go from there. Eventually this girl will move on to another victim when she stops getting responses from my daughters and their friends, but that doesn’t really solve the bigger problem of teenage bullies turning into adult bullies.
I guess the answer lies in all of us. When you feel yourself starting to be cruel, think about why you are doing it and stop yourself and find some way to teach that to your children. Don’t tolerate it between siblings or friends or spouses.
What a wonderful world it would be if we were all working towards the greater good and working on our own issues, instead of pointing out the flaws in others.
Brene Brown wrote an article a few years ago for the Houston Chronicle about how cell phones and non-personal interaction have made people rude. I AGREE !!! I had to physically wrestle the cell phone out of my 16 year old daughter’s hands last night when we were trying to have family game night (where the motto is “WE ARE GOING TO HAVE FUN IF IT KILLS US ALL … DAMMIT!”)
Here’s a link to the full article …
Every single one of us that messes up their life in one way or another (some of us worse than others) has the choice. Do we sit around and do nothing or do we work to make things better?
Matthew Perry made his choice … and I love him even more for it.
I saw this wino, he was eating grapes. It’s like, “dude, you have to wait.” Mitch Hedberg
I’m not the most patient person on the planet, but I’m honestly trying to get better at it. Have you seen the movie Evan Almighty? There’s a scene in it where the mother is talking to God (in Morgan Freeman form) about how she wishes that her family were closer and that they would spend more time together. God tells her that he won’t just instantly give her those things, but he will give her opportunities for those things to happen. LIGHTBULB !!! It works the same way with patience. God (or the universe or the magical unicorns .. whatever you believe) isn’t just going to magically grant you these things like some Genie with a lamp, but you can build on those things by using the opportunities you have. I used to be afraid to pray for patience, because I knew that things were going to come across my path that would test my patience (and my nerves) to their limit …. but the me that I am now is welcoming those things.
I don’t say that things happen for a reason (like I used to), but I will say that sometimes things happen right when they need to.
I used to spend hours of every single day “farting around” on the Internet …. asking questions on forums, chatting with people, writing blog posts that had nothing to do with nothing, basically not getting much of any real worth done.
In the past month or so, I’ve changed … in so many ways. I talk more to people in my real life. I go out and do things. I worry less about what people I don’t even know think about me. I’ve reached out to people. I’ve helped people. I’ve spent time in the quiet … listening to the nothingness and realizing that my entire world doesn’t have to be filled with the busy and the hectic. I listen more and I talk less. I laugh more and I cry less. I engage in what I’m working on and I multitask less (this was a REAL tough one for me). There are really good things going on in my life and a few things that I just have to learn to wait for … but that’s okay … I can wait.
I am here more and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Over the past few days I’ve become aware of a situation where a mother continues to do things for her grown son … her VERY grown son …. her 35 year old grown son and it’s everything I have not to yell, “HE CAN DO IT HIS DAMN SELF !!!”
The grown son is buying a house…. per his mother’s instructions, because evidently she knows EVERYTHING about his finances.
She called the bank.
She met with the lender.
She met with the appraiser.
She calls the son to make sure that he’s got everything copied and turned in.
She called the lender to make sure that the son turned everything in.
… and on and on and on.
NO! NO !! NOOOOOOOOOO !!!
The whole point of parenting is to raise your children so that they can eventually take care of themselves. I don’t know every single thing about my grown, twenty year old daughter’s life and I don’t need to know, I don’t want to know. I have my own things to worry about, I don’t need to worry about the things that SHE needs to worry about. It will be the same way when our oldest boy child moves out. He will be grown so he can take care of himself.
Here’s the thing …. if you teach a kid to do things for themselves, then they will know how to do things for themselves, but if you always do it for them, then they will always expect you to do it for them.
The kids keep stealing D’s phone charger … so he came up with a solution …
and if they still take it then we know to look for the kid who has the “OMG … my parents have sex” disgusted look on their face
Our take-out food splurge for the week was Pizza Hut last night … I get Veggie Lovers and I’m the only one who likes it so I know that nobody else will steal my leftover slices, however Derek gets Meat Lovers and three out of the four kids still living at home LOVE it … so he has to resort to desperate measures … taping the box closed
… at least it wasn’t duct tape this time
I understand the idea of it … but oh how I wish that my children had never seen it.
YOLO has become the standard answer to just about anything in my house and I’m really getting tired of it and the attitude that it brings with it.
I tell Emily to unload the dishwasher and she replies “YOLO!!!”
I reply “YOLOG” (You Only Live Once GROUNDED!)
…. she rolls her eyes and unloads the dishwasher.
I tell Bryce that he needs to figure out what he’s doing after graduation and I get a “YOLO” from one of the twins in the background … to which I reply “YOLOIAB” (You Only Live Once IN A BOX)
I agree that we should all try new things, but I also believe that you should only be allowed to play AFTER you have worked and that there should be at least some common sense to your actions … not just an attitude of YOLO (try it all and hope it works out for the best).
Last Friday as D and I were walking around downtown OKC waiting on one of my appointment times to come around, a street crossing sign spoke to me. I mean it. It really did.
The signs tell you how many seconds you have left to cross the street before a car comes flying down it and squishes you like a beetle. After the timer goes to 1 it starts telling you to “wait …. wait”.
For some strange reason, I took that warning to heart on that day.
For the past five years, I’ve been hoping and praying on a nearly daily basis that a miracle will happen in my life that will turn everything around. Something that will help me move past my criminal charges and let me find a job that I am destined for. Something that will help me get out of this horrific debt. Something that will change my whole perception of life and help me to sleep at night. Something. Anything.
… but the street sign says differently … that I must wait
No, I’m not a complete whack job and don’t really believe that street signs are talking to me specifically (because we all know that that’s what the trees are for), but at that moment it hit me that I need to listen.
I don’t know when “my time” is coming, but I do know that all of this worrying about it isn’t going to change things.
I have to wait for God (or the Universe or the magical unicorns) to line things up just so … for the right time.
I have to wait.
Young couples think it’s hard to find “alone time” when the kids are little … it’s worse when the kids are teenagers. When we want them home for family dinner, they have a million other places they want to be, but when we want them gone so we can have “alone time” THEY WON’T LEAVE !!
It started out as a joke about what D and I would be doing when one of them asked as they were all leaving the house on a rare occasion, “we’re going to play UNO.” It turned into code … and then the kids figured out the code and now it’s just fun to say “be sure and knock before you walk in, because we might be playing UNO” because their response is ALWAYS “GROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSS” OR “THAT’S DISGUSTING!!”
What’s the point of having kids if you can’t torture them a little?
For those of you who pray … please pray for me.
Struggling not to cry every second of every minute of every single day.
Struggling to get out of bed and force myself to go to a job that I don’t enjoy.
Struggling to find light at the end of a very dark corner.
Struggling to believe that things are ever going to get better.
I’m not depressed. Everything I’m fighting is situational, but I just don’t see how the situations are going to change anytime soon.
I’m not giving up. I’ll be okay ….
… because I have to be.
Sometimes the things that are best for us are not the most fun things to do. For example; I don’t like to exercise. Sometimes I will force myself to do it and I’m usually glad that I did it afterwards, but I’m not a bubbly person in the morning who slaps on those running shoes and jogs twelve miles. It just isn’t going to happen. However, I KNOW that I need to exercise to keep my weight issue under control and to feel better … so I do it (sometimes).
It’s the same thing when you are working through overcoming anxiety issues. I have heard so many people say that they have certain routines so that they don’t have anxiety trouble. I understand that. It’s the easier thing to do. Heck … I did it for years. Why would you force yourself into unfamiliar circumstances or change things that seem to be working when all that does is bring on anxiety? My answer to that is “because you need to.”
Having routines that keep anxiety minimized is the same as popping a Xanax, it’s just a band-aid on a bigger problem. It’s ignoring the problem and hoping that it will just go away, when exposure therapy and working through the issues are really the answer. Hiding from it just makes it stronger.
So if you eat a bowl of cheerios every morning, then drive the same way to work each day, then sit at a certain angle at your desk while drinking your coffee, then lunch at the same restaurant … just to avoid any circumstances that MIGHT bring on anxiety, then you are only setting yourself up for future failure. Some day that routine is not going to work out just right and then what happens? Will you go into a full blown panic attack? Will you be so upset that you have to leave work? Will your brain be so conditioned to your routine that it shuts down when the routine is gone?
Venture out …. take a chance …. work on it.
In my Quest to Destress and also in an effort to be nicer while also making my life easier (it’s a delicate balance), I have decided to be more mindful of accepting help when it’s offered.
If I walk into a store (a small store, not Wal-Mart where they don’t give a rat’s ace what you are looking for or if you find it) and the salesperson asks to help me …. I let them. I didn’t use to do this. The Paxilated (bat shit crazy me) actually enjoyed treating people badly and I would often look down on salespeople and talk to them like they were lower than snails tails … it’s pretty low. Now the friendlier, not so crazy, me realizes that it makes people feel good to help … so I’m letting them.
It also works when you go to a party or to someone’s house for a visit. If they offer you water, coffee, a piece of furniture, or a new puppy … YOU TAKE IT !!! It makes them feel good. Now I hate to see a party where nobody is eating the food, thinking that they are being polite (not that I go to a lot of parties now, but I’ve seen them on TV and plan to attend more in the future) when they are actually being rude by NOT eating the food. Somebody worked hard pouring those Doritos in that bowl … SO EAT THEM !!!
If it’s offered … take it!
A post I originally wrote in 2010 has been my mantra for the past month and will continue to be in the months ahead.
I promise to update you on the big adventure I’m going on … as soon as I can.
In the meantime ….
Another thing they don’t tell you when you start probation is that you can’t get life insurance while you are on it.
It seems like a really strange thing to be excited about … but I’m kind of strange, so to me it’s actually quite logical to be excited about buying life insurance.
Of course now that the kidlets are nearly grown, I don’t really need as much for as long, but that isn’t the point.
Now I can buy life insurance … so I’m buying me some fantabulous life insurace … and a unicorn … so there!
I don’t know what it is about garden gnomes that D and I love so much … maybe it’s the idea of them coming to life in the middle of the night and we’re secretly hoping that they will do some damn dishes or vacuum a floor while they’re running around. Of course the garden gnomes that we have are probably lazy, drunk garden gnomes who spend all night at the garden gnome strip club. Yeah … that’s our luck.
Anywho … for Christmas last year, I bought this one for D … and he loves moving it around the house trying to scare the childrens (like my ceramic eyeballs from last week) … yes, we are warped … but it’s fun.
In a few days, I will officially come off of probation … maybe I should celebrate by running down the street dressed as a clown or with a new tattoo …. or maybe just a nap.
Oh how far I’ve come …. and oh how far I need to go.
But I have hope … big buckets of wonderful hope.
A few months ago I bought some bath salts at Whole Foods. As you know, I would live in my fantabulous pink bathtub if I could and nothing makes me quite as giddy as smelly good bath salts … with a good book … new magazines … and some boxed wine.
Anywho …. a little packet of smelly good salts was nearly $3 and it only lasted me two baths. Sad face.
So imagine my hap hap happy when I found this ….
Morton’s Epsom Salts in Lavender or Eucalyptus scent … 3 pounds per bag for under $6 at the local health food store !!!
Just so you know … you might never hear from me again (unless I can figure out how to blog from my bathtub).
Well we’ve already established that my family is a little bit on the weird side and things that are “right up our alley” might not be for everyone … of course our alley is probably between a liquor store and a tattoo parlor in VEGAS …. but …. well … you know.
At Halloween time last year, Cracker Barrel had these fantabulous salt and pepper shakers that I HAD to have …. and I keep them out all the time.
They might be on the kitchen windowsill ….
They might be in the fruit basket …
They might be staring at you from the dish cabinet ….
You never know where they are going to be next … yes, it warps the children, but they really do need something to roll their eyes at (pun intended).
The DVD sat on our kitchen counter for two weeks, we were just so busy that we had no time to sit down as a family together and watch it … until last night and I’m so glad that we did.
As a mother, it is heartbreaking to see what some kids endure on a daily basis. No friends. Hit on the bus. Called names in the classroom. Nobody willing to help them. Everybody just looking the other way.
I was crying at about three and a half minutes in. I knew when the father started talking about his son in the past sense that it was going to be a very tragic story … and it was/is.
Be warned … it’s a tough documentary to watch, but something that EVERY SINGLE FAMILY should watch together. (However, it might not be suitable for children younger than 8th grade … the language is very rough in some spots and there are scenes of actual violence.)
Nobody wants to believe that it could happen to their kid.
Nobody wants to believe that it could be their kid that’s being the Bully.
Please please please find this movie … watch it with your family … start the conversation. Be the difference.
** I know that Netflix has it, because that’s where I got it **
April is going to be a rough month ….
In about a week, I come off of probation, which should be a good thing, but it’s going to force me to have difficult conversations with some people. Conversations that need to be had, but will still be VERY tough to do.
We are also beyond broke this month. So broke that we are having to ration out when we can buy mulch for the flower beds that only costs $12 and which one of us can get the oil changed in our vehicles on which week. It seems strange, but being broke does seem to make things more simple in a way. Without the money to go anywhere, we stay home and get things done and we are forced to make creative meals out of what we already have.
I’m going to the state capitol on Wednesday to fight against Bills that are probably going to pass into law anyway, but I have to fight.
D and I spent some serious time crying and talking yesterday. It was good to say things that needed to be said. As a couple, we are in the best place we’ve been in years … really talking and caring about each other.
I’ll try to keep you updated as much as I can.
Just trying to make it through April.
I’m trying to get back into the swing of Random Reading. I promise you that I’ve read lots of interesting stuff, but my mind’s so fuzzy right now, I can’t remember some of it. So here’s a list of the stuff that I DO remember.
Three fun posts on remodeling kitchens:
…. and last but sooooooooooooo not least … some pretty flowers
I really do apologize for the ugliness of the list of links, but right now I just can’t wrap my brain around putting words into sentences.
To those of you who have supported me and made the call on my behalf last Friday …. THANK YOU !!!
To those of you who are still processing all of it and aren’t quite sure what to think …. I understand.
To those of you who judge me without really knowing me and just spread around the post as gossip …. BITE ME!!! (actually … please don’t … I hear that human bites are actually very dangerous and I don’t have the money for an extended hospital stay right now)
I have moved Friday’s post to private status and it now requires a password.
For years and years and years the flower bed at the end of the driveway has only been filled with good intentions, but this year since we decided against getting puppies … we had flower money.
Notice how I just sat on the porch while D worked (I finally learned my lesson over a year ago about trying to help him do stuff when he painted Bryce’s room)
Saturday we had forced family fun time in the form of a trip to the mountains.
Oh no … fresh air …. THE HORROR !!!
We all had a good time and it was a good thing to get away from screens and phones for a while.
However …. I ended up with this ….
With four teenagers in the house, it’s hard to have a quiet conversation. It seems that when we want time to ourselves, the kids refuse to go anywhere, but when we plan activities for the whole family they magically have a million places that they need to be.
D and I have solved this problem by running away from home …. or I guess it would be walking away from home. We drive down to our local park, leave our cell phones in the car, and escape for a little while.
It’s like a mini vacation … with less slot machines or drinks by the pool.
We have our best conversations while we’re walking.
Nothing but calm and time.
Evidently when you turn forty, your body starts doing funky things like naming your children after fruit or building malls in the middle of the ocean. Okay … maybe not that funky, but close.
Without getting too terribly personal, since coming off of Paxil, I haven’t had any female related issues. I have normal PMS (aka nature’s way of telling D to leave me the hell alone), but no funky schedules or in between moments.
Until I turned 40 ….. about a week ago.
As of last night, I was five days late.
For a 40 year old woman with five kids (four of them teenagers), it was not a good feeling AT ALL !!!
Don’t worry, all is okay. I am not pregnant …. but there for a moment I thought we were going to have to find a nice gay couple to adopt a baby, because this chick is NOT raising another kidlet. NO! NO !!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!
I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress inducing issues lately (I’ll try to catch you up this week), so I haven’t really felt like doing much …
Then as I was sitting on my ever widening butt yesterday, flipping through channels, I came across a hoarding show. I looked over at the dresser. I looked back at the TV. I looked back at the dresser …. then I said outloud “OH HELL NO !!!”
… and this happened
Sometimes you just need a little motivation in the form of a lady who has no running water, but she has 42 cats and enough food to feed them until the end of time.
My dad was a hoarder so I don’t take that stuff lightly, but that horrible show sure motivated me on that day.
just a few of the interesting things I’ve read lately
I just started this book, but am enjoying it so far. The subject matter is far from rainbows and butterflies territory, but I felt that I needed to read about the hope she shares after losing her husband at such a young age to cancer and how she moved on with her life.
“Writer Jodi Jill tells her extraordinary story of being raised in a 10-by-20 storage unit, cut off from society and denied school – and how she finally found the strength to change her life.”
I just hope that my box isn’t behind the mansions of the people who treated me like crap when my “mess” happened …. or maybe they are hoping that their cardboard box isn’t right next to mine. Muahahahahaha