Befriending Myself

 

 

Thanks to all who commented, encouraged and kicked my ass on Friday.  I truly did not realize how negative I was being which is amazing to me since I’m always the most positive person in the room!  I’m the one that you want to punch in the throat because, no matter what, I can find the good in any situation.

Apparently except when it applies to me…then I go all bad ass on myself.

But I heard what you said and I’ve pulled myself up by my bootstraps and come up with a new plan for these next six weeks.

Food

Clearly I need to be accountable so I will continue to track my calories.  My Fitness Pal really works for me so I will continue to use it.  I will also pledge to track EVERYTHING I eat.  It seems that I sometimes “forget” to enter things and then stand back in wonderment when I haven’t lost any weight or when my pants feel snug.  Not acceptable.  If I bite it, lick it or drink it I will log it.  (I should put that shit on a t-shirt yo…nah…now that I read it again…oh never mind.)

My goal is to stay between 1200-1500 calories a day.  It really is plenty of food for me BUT, if I find I’m hungry I will ask myself, “Could I eat an apple?”  If the answer is no, then I know I’m not hungry.  If the answer is yes…well then I’ll eat a damn apple!  I’m not a big fan of fruit so the “apple test” is one that works for me.

Exercise

As Paige so beautifully pointed out in the comments on Friday, I love my treadmill.  I really, really do.  I’m going to get on it every day except Saturday and Sunday unless the weather is ugly.  Here’s how…

  • Increase my daily steps to 12,000 per day.  I’ve exceeded 10,000 a day for the last 6 weeks so it’s time to up the ante.
  • M-W-F:  Walk at 3.3 mph (I’m at about 3.2 mph walking now so taking it up a little is warranted – I may even play with the incline) for at least 60 minutes or until I hit 12,000 steps.
  • T-Th:  Run on the treadmill using my C25K app.  I’m starting it over now that I have new shoes and after the 30 minute run I’ll continue by walking until I’ve hit 60 minutes or 12,000 steps.
  • Saturday:  Run outside with my second c25K app and the dogs (adds a bit of drama to the run).  I’m not worried about speed as much as I am endurance.
  • Sunday:  Yoga.  I’ve not been very good about “hitting the mat” for a while now.  My subconscious knows it doesn’t burn calories so I tend to shy away.  In addition, I hate the way my body feels in certain poses.  However, yoga is vital to my sanity and well being, so I’m going to do it at least once a week.  If I know me, I’ll be craving it by week two and by week four I’ll have to get up early to do sun salutations before dawn.  Just typing that out loud makes my body relax.

Spirit

The negativity in me has to end.  Several years ago, I was having lunch with a very sweet friend.  She heard me saying something negative about myself and she stopped me and said, “It hurts me when I hear you say things like that.  You should never say anything about yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend.  ”

So I’m going to make an effort to be my own best friend for the next six weeks.  That means treating myself with kindness, compassion, forgiveness and love – something I’m not very good at but that I know is essential to the success of this journey to health that I’m on.

Oh, the scale?  Motherfucker is in the trash (metaphorically speaking – hubs wouldn’t let me toss it so I’m putting it in the garage where the men go to play).  It lies and makes me feel bad about myself and I am more than a number.  Period.

As I said to my friend today, this is too important to give up on.

And so…with every fiber of my being I say to you this evening…

Namaste

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54 at 54 Friday Update – Week 6

 

So…do you want the good news or the bad news?

We’ll go with the good news first.

  • I worked out every day this week.  88,807 steps/37.32 miles at an average speed of 3.2 mph.
  • I’m finally in season 4 of Scandal.
  • My clothes still feel better on me.
  • My feet and legs feel great.
  • I didn’t gain any weight.

Now for the bad news.

  • I didn’t lose any either.
  • I only ran two days this week and only one day was with my c25k app.  The other day was just slack running.
  • I’m eating chocolate like it’s my JOB.  Not the good, dark chocolate either.  The extra fat, extra creamy milk chocolate.  And when I say I’m eating a lot of it – I’m eating a lot of it.  I mean A LOT.

What the fuck is going on?

It started out as just a couple of pieces a night.  Or maybe two mini’s at 3:00 pm at work.  Then you all know what happened.  It went from two pieces to four to six and then a handful.  I’m not quite at a whole bag of Hershey Nuggets or Hershey Kisses but I’m not far off.  I know I can get there.  It’s just like the wine or the cigarettes.  It’s become an obsession.  Yep…just like the wine.

Case in point.  We had a “snowstorm” this week calling for 8-10″ but only ending up with 1/4″ (typical in the south).  The night before I got home and saw that my chocolate supply was low and I, swear to God,  got that feeling of panic in my chest!  You all know the one.  The one that used to say, “OMG, what if I run out of WINE?”  Well now it’s saying, “OMG, what if I run out of chocolate?”  Really?

I have two mason jars that I keep on the bookshelf in my office at work.  One is always filled with bubble gum, the other with whatever colorful candy I can find for the season.  Usually I make it a point to fill it with things I don’t particularly like or that I can resist.  Starburst Chews are typically in there.  On Monday however, I filled it with Dove Milk Chocolate and Rolos.  I worked from home yesterday because of the “storm” so I had forgotten that I filled the jar.  When I came in this morning and saw that jar, a feeling of giddiness came over me followed by a feeling of calm.  BECAUSE THERE WAS CHOCOLATE.

I don’t  like this feeling at all.  I do not like the feeling that my addictions are like a game of Whack-A-Mole.  Every time I conquer one, another one pops up.  Where does it end?  How do I stop it?

I know what I have to do about the chocolate – especially in light of my little panic attack and then my “whoopee” moment!  I have to walk away from the chocolate and stay away for a long while.

But then, what else will pop up?  What other addictions are waiting in the wings?  And what the fuck am I trying to do?  Am I numbing?  Comforting?  Escaping?  All of the above?  I’ve really got to get inside this and figure it out because it’s starting to really piss me off.

Thank God I bought that treadmill and thank God for Olivia Pope.  Maybe I’ll get addicted to the treadmill…never mind…I’d just end up abusing that as well.

Sigh…

Namaste

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And the Resentments Just Keep on Coming

When I was doing my step work, I remember writing letter after letter after letter about how and when I was “wronged” and how I felt about it.  As with most people, that was probably the most cathartic work I’ve ever done (the jury is still out on the sexual abuse therapy).  Pouring all of that out onto a page and then talking about it with my sponsor was liberating.  I gained so much freedom during that time.  I was cleansed.

What I didn’t realize was that the work of dealing with resentments is an ongoing thing.  Step work is meant to help you heal and also to give you the tools that help you live in the world without the crutch of alcohol.  (I almost typed “like normal people” in that sentence until I realized that nothing could be further from the truth…everyone deals with this shit.)  I think that’s why people go through the steps many times in the program.  The work is never really finished.  Life goes on and we go on with it.

I’m thinking about all of this because I’m dealing with a whole heap of resentment that has spent the better part of the last year rolling around in my head and belly and making me sick AND I don’t know what to do about it.  Unlike my former resentments, this individual is still alive and on the fringe of my life.  I see her and speak with her from time to time and every damn time it feels like a knife in my gut.

I’ve prayed about this – a lot.  I’ve discussed it with the hubs and the boys and my daughter and I still can’t seem to let it go.  I’ve written emails pouring out my feelings only to delete them all before hitting send.  I thought just by writing it down I’d be able to release it into the universe and let it go.

Not so much.

Here’s why I’m struggling.  Old Sherry would have had no trouble calling a “meeting” and talking about it woman to woman, face to face.  I’d spill the venom all over her and then wait for my apology.  If it came, great, we could repair our relationship.  If not, good riddance to bad rubbish.  I didn’t care if it hurt the other person because I knew how healthy it was to clear the air and confront my issues head on.  If we couldn’t do this then we didn’t need to be friends anyway.

Yeah…I know.

I never stopped to think that, perhaps, the pain I was inflicting was exponentially greater than the pain I was feeling.  I never stopped to think if the carnage and collateral damage was really worth the price of my uncensored honesty.  I just knew that I was in pain and, being a balls to the wall bad ass, I had to confront it and drive it from my soul.

But now…hmmm…now I’m in recovery.  Now I’m learning that feelings are just feelings and they should be honored within my soul rather than banished (read…stuffed down).  Now I’m learning to weigh the cost of bringing this issue from May of last year into the light of this slushy, cold February.  What purpose would it serve?  She’s not even aware that the issue exists and she’s happy – why in the world would I ruin that?  Shouldn’t I be the bigger person and let it go?  Why do I feel like talking about this with her would be akin to punishment?  Do I want to punish her?

No…I don’t want to punish her.  I don’t even think I want an apology because apologies are hollow unless filled with the why.  What I want is to know why.  Why did you behave this way?  Why did you hurt me?  Was I being punished?

What I do know is that I’m sick to death of thinking about it.  Sick to death of it creeping it’s way into my head and making me cry.  Sick to death of dealing with an issue that, on the surface looks petty and unimportant but in my heart feels like a lead weight that is tethering me to the past and won’t let me go.

Being a grownup sucks sometimes.  When I was a little girl and my feelings were hurt, I would go to the offender and say, “You hurt my feelings.”  Then that person would say, “I’m sorry.”  I’d say, “Okay, you want to play?”  And just like that, we’d move on.

I would really like to move on.

Namaste

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Would you rather…?

For whatever reason, I was thinking this morning about whether it’s better to be the alcoholic in a family or to be the family.  Since I’ve been both, I had to really think about it.

But not for long.

For the alcoholic, alcoholism (addiction of any kind for that matter) is insidious and destructive and it tears at the very foundation of our soul.  It keeps our minds occupied and our hearts hard.  It lies and steals and does whatever it takes to keep itself alive.  It is truly a terminal disease/condition (or whatever you choose to call it) because if you don’t stop you will die.  You will die because you drink yourself to death or you will die because you take your own life.  Worse, your soul will die and leave you alive.

During active addiction however, we don’t see any of these things.  We drink and isolate and retreat.  We hate ourselves.  We hate that we drink.  We wake up every morning and make promises we know we can’t keep.  We cry in the shower because we want so badly not to do it again but we know, in the deep dark secret lonely core of our being that when the clock strikes wine o’clock, we’ll uncork yet another bottle and start all over.  It’s, what we believe, our own personal hell and as long as we continue to go to work and keep a clean house and meet the needs of our children and attend school functions and blah blah blah, that we are only  hurting ourselves.  At the end of the day however, we get to escape, we get to numb.

We get to drink.

Families (and many times friends) don’t have that luxury. Often there is no escape.  They are trapped.

I know for a fact that this is true because I’ve seen the other side.

Families of “drinkers” – whether or not the call themselves alcoholics is really of no consequence because the impact is the same – live in their own hell.  They walk on eggshells wondering who will be waiting when they get home.  They hate going anywhere social because they know it will end badly.  They grow weary of promises broken and teary apologies.  They dread the yelling and screaming that is often the result of a long night of drinking.

Resentments grow.  They resent being told that money is tight when there always seems to be money for alcohol.  They resent not being able to bring friends home or throw a decent party because they know they’ll be humiliated before the night is over.  They resent having to make their own breakfast because the drinker can’t get out of bed.  They resent having to care for a hung over addict because it was all self inflicted.  They resent ruined holidays.

Often they find themselves enabling the addict because it’s the only way they will get a few precious minutes of peace.  Give the addict what they want and they will be pacified for at least enough time to get the kids into bed…but it really doesn’t matter because when the fighting starts the kids are awake and very aware of what is going on.  Let me tell you from experience that kids know WAY  more than you think they know.  You can tell yourself that you’re keeping it from them…I promise with everything in my soul that you are not.  They know.  They hurt.  They feel helpless, alone and not cared for.

Families sometimes begin to believe it is their fault the addict uses.  After all, that is often what the addict tells them.  For many years I believed my mother was the reason my father drank.  If she had been a better person then he wouldn’t have needed to escape.  If I had been a good little girl my father wouldn’t have needed to drink.  If my sister hadn’t been such a handful then my father wouldn’t have needed to drink.  If God hadn’t made him blind then my father wouldn’t have needed to drink.  Never has there been a larger pile of bullshit than the one my father built while he was drinking.  Never have I felt so bad about not being good enough.

Except when I was doing it.

I’m not sure why I needed to write this post or where it was supposed to go.  All I know is if I were playing one of those “would you rather” games I’d choose being the drinker every time.  It’s easier.

But this isn’t a game so in the real world…I choose sober.

Every fucking time.

Namaste

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A Running Update on Fitness

See what I did with that title.  Aren’t I clever?  Hey…it’s Monday.  Give me a break.

Since running the 4 miler in the wrong shoes didn’t seem to convince me that running outside is MUCH DIFFERENT than running inside on a treadmill, I thought I’d test the theory again this weekend.  I haven’t been running outside much due to the weather and the fact that I get home after dark and there are no sidewalks in my neighborhood.  The dogs and I only venture out on the weekends when the weather cooperates.  Fortunately using my C25K app means that at least one day of the weekend is dedicated to running.

Ahem…

Week 3 day one should not be run outside when the rest of your program has been run on the treadmill.

Just sayin’.

So now I have two, separate c25K apps.  One that I will use when running outside (that will obviously progress at a slower rate), and my current app that I will continue to use on the treadmill.

How to Train for a 5K Without Killing Yourself, Ruining Your Knees or Exploding Your Lungs 101

I should cross-stich shit that on a pillow.

I watched my co-worker cross the finish line of the Disney Princess Half Marathon (via live feed) on Sunday.  Her partner dropped out so by the time I started texting her she was alone but still had a mile and a half to go.  I coached her via text until she crossed the line.

“Stop texting and RUN!”  How in the hell does anyone run and text.  I can’t even run and breathe much less text!

I was SO EXCITED for her.  She finished and she wasn’t swept by the balloon ladies so she’s a very happy runner today.  Now she gets to enjoy a week of vacation in Disney World.  I’m officially jealous.

Happy Monday everyone (that’s is truly the queen of oxymoron’s).

Namaste

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54 at 54 Update – Week 5

Running shoes

My son is a genius.  Okay, all of my children are geniuses (as well as my grandchildren…duh) but this particular son is an Athletic Training genius.

My youngest at home (by 21 minutes thank you very much) is an Athletic Training major in college.  He’s very passionate about it and it shows in his accolades and grades.  What’s the old adage?  Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.  I think this is it for him…at least for now.

I’ve been texting and calling him for weeks now to help me diagnose what in the hell was wrong with my right knee/leg that had me in pain as I walk/run and then limping the next day.  The pain started on the inside of my knee and ran down my leg.  It was really beginning to bother me because it was keeping me from running AT ALL and I could only walk at a speed of 2.5 mph (which, let’s face it, is barely a stroll).  I was watching all my hard earned dollars spent on that treadmill going down the drain.  More importantly, I was watching all my dreams for this year going down with it.

I was really depressed…old…out of shape…no hope.

out of shape

I asked him to come home and take a look at my leg as well as help me find words to explain to a doctor (if necessary) what was happening.  I needed to determine if this was pain or injury and if I should be resting/icing or working through the pain.

He came home last Friday.  He sat me up on the kitchen table and began palpating, twisting, pushing and pulling on my leg.  He asked me what kind of shoes I wore and whether they were neutral or correcting for something.  I told him that a couple of years ago I was fitted by a local running store to correct for under-pronation or supination.  I could see that this confused him.

Then he told me to stand in front of him, barefoot, and march in place.

“Mom.  Not only are you almost flat footed, but you pronate…not supinate.”

Wait.  What?

Holy screw-up Batman!  Are you fucking kidding me?  We spoke for a while longer and although I was still skeptical (I mean seriously – he’s a kid in his second year of college for god’s sake) I agreed to return the shoes that had just arrived and order a new pair with arch support and mild pronation correction.

I didn’t work out on Friday, Saturday or Sunday and iced my knee all three days.  On Monday I wore a pair of really, really old running shoes to walk, albeit slowly, through my workout.  There was no pain.  Just from switching shoes.  My new shoes arrived on Tuesday and I ran on the treadmill through my c25K program and then walked another 30 minutes at 3.2 mph.

No pain.  Not on the treadmill.  Not that evening and, most importantly, not the next day.  I’ve continued to work out hard the rest of the week and there is no pain in my knee.  My arches are sore but I need to work those muscles so I expected that (he gave me some exercises to do).

So you see?  My son really IS a genius!  Okay, okay – but he’s really good at this shit and I’m really proud.

Moving on…(Literally!  Get it?  Ha!  I slay me!)

My co-worker is off to Disney today to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon on Sunday morning.  She wants me to run it with her next year.

I think I just found my next goal.

disney-princess-half-logo

2016 here I come!

 

Also, I’m back to tracking my food.  I just seem to lose my mind when I’m not paying attention to what, how much and when I eat.  I tried to use the Weight Watcher app again but I just don’t like that point system plus it’s 20 bucks a month.  I’m much more comfortable with My Fitness Pal which sync’s to my FitBit and has every single food under the sun in it.

Still no significant weight loss.  Whatevs.

This week’s stats:  64, 111 Steps/21.29 miles

Namaste

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Why I Hate “Weather”

We had some “weather” last night in my neck of the woods.  When I moved south from the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S., I assumed winters would be milder.  For the most part they are…but that only means that when we do get “weather” (in this case sleet and ice) it’s a real pain in the ass.

I hate snow/ice primarily because…well…I’m an adult.  I have adult responsibilities.  Gone are the days of wearing my p.j.’s inside out and praying, with my little girl hands clasped tightly, for a snow day.  Now I wear them inside out, clasp my old lady hands gently (you know…in case of arthritis) and pray, “Dear Lord…no fucking snow please.”  Plus, I hate being wet/cold, I can’t sled, or ice skate or play “whip”.  I fall down now.  I might break a hip or something.

Part of those adult responsibilities include a daily trip to the grocery store to pick up odds and ends…that is, until a weather station 100 miles away decides to whisper the word “snow”.  Upon the utterance of that one syllable, four letter word, all manner of man, woman and child are called to the nearest grocery store like small children are called from other rooms when the Teletubbies theme song is played (that baby in the sun is creepy).  They enter, glassy eyed and begin to methodically load their carts with bread, milk, toilet paper and Campbell’s Soup.  The fact is that one-third of those individuals are lactose intolerant and don’t even drink milk, one third forgot that they made a trip to Cosco last weekend and now have enough toilet paper to make it til the “end of days” and the final third have high blood pressure and never eat Campbell’s Soup because of the sodium content.  All will awake from their trance two days from now wondering where in the hell all that Wonder Bread and 2% milk came from.

People please, we live in a country where most could survive weeks on what is in their pantry right now!  It may not be what you want but you’ll live.  In fact, most of us in this country could stand to lose a few pounds so this may be a great time to start that diet.  Go home and let those of us who really need the necessities get in and out before midnight.  Let’s face it, there are only a few real necessities anyway…toilet paper, feminine hygiene products and baby formula/food…and maybe chocolate depending on the need for those feminine hygiene items.  Everything else we can do without for the few hours it will take to clear the roads and dig us out of the 1/2″ of snow, sleet or ice that fell.

Finally, for the love of all that is holy, stay off the roads!!!!  I live in a transplant area.  That means no one is actually from here.  So…if you are from Boston we all know that you know how to drive in “weather”, there is no need to tailgate the old lady from Florida who’s never seen snow and is driving 8 MPH on the interstate.  Get off your cell phone where you are bitching to your friends in the northeast about the drivers in the south and go around her!  Not at 60 mph where the draft from your vehicle will send her into a spin and over the guardrail but at a safe speed and distance so that all of you idiots who think you are indispensable to your jobs can arrive safely.

Newsflash…you’re not that important…trust me.

Newsflash…people from Florida…snow is not a colder form of the petals that are shed from Bradford Pear trees.  It’s treacherous and can be deadly when driven on incorrectly.  Stay the hell home.

Newsflash…Bostonians…even you can’t drive safely on ice.  Stay the hell home.

Namaste

 

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54 at 54 Friday Update – Week 4

8 weeks

Here we are at week 4!  Here are my stats…

82,875 steps and 34.76 miles (walk/run)

This is my best week yet and I can feel it.  I bumped the treadmill speed up from 2.8 mph to 3.2 mph (on my way to 4 mph) when walking.  My runs are still at or a little over 4 mph.  I’ve done something to the muscle that runs down the inside of my leg (not the adductors…this one goes from the hip, crosses over the quad and then down the inside of my knee and shin).  I think it’s just overuse and likely will require compression when I run but my Athletic Trainer son is coming home tonight to check it out and recommend some therapy.

So per my little meme up there, it’s week 4 so I should be seeing some changes.  The scale still isn’t cooperating – I got on this morning but won’t again until week 12 – but I have to say…my body is changing.  My jeans fit better (we have casual Friday around here), my breath control is much better and I just generally feel better.  Some days I’m still bloated (all those veggies) so I feel fat but I think I am shrinking.  Guess its time to break out the tape measurer.

Oh chocolate how you mock me!!!  I’m still struggling with the chocolate and the chips but I’m limiting any junk food to that – no matter what my emotions tell me they want.  No cheeseburgers or French fries or ice cream for this chick.  I mean seriously…I have to draw the line somewhere right?

All in all its been a good week – especially if you factor in all the emotional stuff.  It feels like progress and I like that.  It feels like quiet determination.

Happy Valentine’s Day weekend everyone!

Namaste

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Cautiously Optimistic

crocus in light

As I walk this crazy path of discovery, I’m uncovering things about myself that, although I’ve always suspected them to be true, are now proving to be true.  It’s kind of like learning about a long-lost relative with whom you share personality traits or getting the results of your first Myers/Briggs Assessment.  You see it and then think, “Wow!  So that’s why I eat my peas with my knife,” or “Hmmm, that’s why the pillows on the couch need to be perfect.”  There’s comfort in numbers and an even greater comfort in knowing WHY.

I have always had a very difficult time letting people take care of me.  I brush off comforting hugs (yes, even from my husband and children) and say, “No, no really…I’m okay.”  I feel extremely uncomfortable when people reach out to me with compassion and concern.  My first response is ALWAYS, “No worries.  I’ve got it.  Don’t trouble yourself.”  When my father died I wrote the eulogy and watched, dry-eyed as my husband delivered it.  People saw me and began to cry and I comforted them.  The same happened when my mother died.  My children were devastated and I had to be there for them.  I pretended I didn’t need to grieve because we had such a difficult relationship but that was the biggest pile of bullshit ever slung.  Everyone needs to grieve – for what was or for what wasn’t – doesn’t matter.

The love and compassion flowing from the comments on this blog recently are overwhelming to me…and a little uncomfortable.  Each one I read touches my heart, some make me cry, some make me laugh but they all make me know I’m not alone…that I’m cared for.  While I’m reading them however, there’s an crazy desire to say, “NO, NO…it’s okay!  I’ll be FINE.  Don’t worry yourself about ME!”  Can you hear the unspoken truth here?  It’s saying…”Don’t worry about me…I don’t deserve your love and concern.  I’m not worth it.”

How fucked up is that?

Pretty fucked up indeed.  But like the tendency to perfection, I’m uncovering WHY all of these things exist and that part, while extremely uncomfortable, it really kind of exciting.  Why is it that I don’t feel I’m worthy of the love and kindness you people pour forth?  Why, after 32 years of a happy marriage, is it so hard to for me to believe that my husband loves me?  Why can’t I let anyone give me a hug when I’m crying or say “there, there”?  Why can I be there for everyone else in their time of need but not let anyone be there for me?  Kind of selfish don’t you think?

But now I’m starting to see some answers and it has me frightened and nervous and anxious and excited.  Just the thought that, after almost 54 years on this planet I could open my heart to love and compassion not only from others but from myself; that I could actually learn to love the person I am and not the person I think others want me to be; that I could actually let someone else TAKE CARE OF ME emotionally has my mind reeling and my heart cautiously optimistic.

It’s almost too much…but not quite.

Namaste

“Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.”  ~Dale Carnegie

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Breaking Down Walls

walls around my heart

Yesterday went very well.  I’m not sure how much “progress” I made but “Joe” (we’ll call him that for the blog), says that’s okay.  The process is supposed to go at my pace and in my time.  I have some new homework and I’m good for another couple of weeks.  I’ll think and process and think and…did I say think?  Yeah think.

The thing that is absolutely blowing me away is the fact that something that happened almost 50 years ago still has such an impact on me and can reduce me to tears in a matter of seconds.  It’s really not about the abuse so much as it is that feeling of not being protected; of not being safe; of not being loved.

I have no memory of being held by either of my parents to feel comforted and safe.  The memories I have of being held are uncomfortable – like I just wanted to get away as soon as I was on someone’s lap.  Hugs and kisses were frequent (we’re Italian so…well it’s what we do) but I never remember them feeling the way they do when I hug and kiss my own children.  They were perfunctory.  Mechanical.

On the way home yesterday, I told the hubs that until my children were born, I had my heart walled off.  He came the closest of anyone to breaking down those walls but it wasn’t until the kids came along (nieces, nephews, steps and bios) that the wall was truly destroyed…but only for them.   They get that part of my heart that I believed would never see the light of day.  It exists purely to love and provide for them, unconditionally and always.

What I’m learning is that it’s time to open that place in my heart to myself as well.  It’s time to love myself unconditionally – the way I love my children.  But that’s not an easy thing.  The exercise of speaking to my little girl, of parenting her, reduces me to tears in a way that few things can.  It touches my soul and awakens a yearning that I didn’t even know existed.  It makes me profoundly sad.

I still feel a little weird about this – like I’m whining and complaining about shit that I should be over.  Like I’m self indulgent and overly dramatic.  But I let those feelings go because I know that if I’m every going to be truly free, I have to get through all of this and learn to love myself.

Thank you all for your kindness and support.  This blog is my way of processing not only  my recovery from alcoholism but from the rest of my life as well.  I’m honored that you read and take the time to comment.  You all rock and I am forever grateful.

Namaste

That which causes us trials shall yield us triumph: and that which make our hearts ache shall fill us with gladness. The only true happiness is to learn, to advance, and to improve: which could not happen unless we had commence with error, ignorance, and imperfection. We must pass through the darkness, to reach the light.      -Albert Pike

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