Little Sherry

little me

This is my favorite picture of myself of all time.  Even as a child I loved it. I loved the smile and the happiness the picture conveyed.  It still makes me happy.

One of the suggestions from the therapist to help me deal with, well, everything we’ve tackled thus far, has been to nurture or parent “Little Sherry”.  To bring to mind myself as a child and speak to her in the way and manner that I would speak to my own children.  I’m not sure why this has not only proven to be effective but has also been successful in touching my heart which, as long time readers know, is not an easy thing to do.

It’s allowed me to begin to love and forgive myself without looking in the mirror and saying, “I love you Sherry.  You are kind and beautiful and gosh darn it, you deserve it,”  (That’s a very old Saturday Night Live bit…sorry.) which feels disingenuous and downright silly to me.  I’ve been able to embrace this exercise I guess because I’m dealing with a child and not a fully grown adult who shouldn’t need this kind of care (in my screwed up head anyway).   The only word that comes to mind for me is profound.

When I began, Little Sherry always came to me with her head bowed and her hands over her face in shame.  I didn’t fight it.  I pictured us, side by side on the porch steps of a beach cottage, staring out at the ocean early in the morning.  No words were exchanged.  We just sat, together, watching the waves.  Eventually she would drop her hands to her lap and occasionally let me hold her little hand.

Now and then I’m able to offer kind words like, “It’s okay.  You’re a wonderful little girl and you deserve all the kindness and love the world has to give.”  I’m not sure how much I believe it yet but I think I might be getting through to her.  Hopefully I’m not too far behind.

On thing is certain, every time we sit together I cry.  Not boo-hoo with snot and an ugly face, but tears in my eyes that sometimes slide down my cheeks.  There’s just a deep sense of sadness that overwhelms me.  In fact, it feels exactly the same as when my children are in pain from one of life’s bumps and I can no longer fix it with a Buzz Lightyear Band-Aid and a kiss.  I have to just be there for them, guide the a little, and hope the scars don’t run too deep.  Life on life’s terms.

She still won’t look me in the eye and I haven’t been able to hold her yet but I think we’re getting there.  Sometimes I think I’ve lost my fucking mind imagining all of this…until I sit down to do it or it just comes over me.  Then I know that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.

Namaste

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There Are No Coincidences

Sometimes things just come together and leave you scratching your head and thinking, “Well fuck me naked!  That could never happen again in a million years!”

That happened to me this weekend.

As you are well aware, I’m trying to get my shit together this year in some old (nutrition and exercise) and new (therapy) ways.  That means there’s a lot of work to do in the inside as well as the outside.  In fact, the longer I’m into this navel gazing, the more I realize that if I don’t get the inside right the outside will never be right no matter what it looks like.

I know I know…DUH.

Anyway, I was getting ready to take the dogs on a long walk Sunday so I decided to find a podcast to listen to during our journey.  I wanted one by Brene’ Brown but it turns out Brene’ doesn’t do her own podcasts.  However, while looking I found this woman Koren Motekaitis who does a regular podcast called “How She Really Does It”.  I scrolled down the hundreds of recordings until my eyes landed on one that said “Weight Loss After Menopause”.  Well, well, well I thought…this is right up my alley.

I had no idea.

I swear to you this woman being interviewed could have been me.  Seems that Koren is a life coach who conducts a “circle” on weight loss from time to time (www.howshereallydoesit.com ) and this woman she was interviewing was part of one of her former circles.  Everything that came out of that woman’s mouth felt like my words.  From her struggles with typical “diets” (they don’t work) to her conclusion that she had to get in touch with why she ate her emotions (therapy) to her preferred form of movement (walking).  It was really kind of spooky.

As I listened to her discuss how she took off 30 pounds I realized that my gut has been right all along (pun intended).  If I can learn to listen to what my body wants and needs I can work toward recognizing and then making peace with the emotions and feelings that send me to the pantry in search of salt or sugar, and then maybe I can find my body’s natural weight and perhaps, along the way, make peace with food.

Huge run on sentence and even huge-er goal.

Of course all of the above assumes that I can cut through all the crap I tell myself on a regular basis and create a kinder and more compassionate dialog with myself.

That’s where the second half of my day kicks in…

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m doing Brene’ Brown’s e-course that accompanies her book, “The Gifts of Imperfection” (www.oprah.com/brenebrowncourse).  I’m on week three of six and its been extraordinary thus far.  This week did not disappoint.  I don’t want to give anything away in case you’re thinking of going through the course but suffice to say my biggest takeaway from week three was this…

“I will talk to myself the same way I talk to the people I love.” ~Brene’ Brown

Just another version of what one of my good friends once said to me when I was using my patented self-deprecating humor.

“Never say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend.” ~Sherry’s Friend Patricia

Hear that?

That’s the sound of the brick God threw landing upside my head.

“There are no coincidences.  Only Divine bricks chucked from above.” ~Sherry

Hear that?  No?

That’s the sound of quiet determination.

Namaste

Namaste

I’ve always signed my posts with the word Namaste.  I don’t do it because its trendy.  I don’t do it because I want to be seen as some kind of fake-ass guru who babbles Sanskrit to make herself appear to be “enlightened”.  I don’t use the term lightly either.  I use it because of what it means.

Simply put, Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture of placing your palms together at your heart (or your forehead and then your heart) is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another.  Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, Namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”

When I began blogging I wanted to end my post with something that would be memorable and give a hint as to who I am (or who I was) and so as a practioner of yoga and meditation, I choose what I believed to be an appropriate word…Namaste.  But the longer I blogged and discovered recovery through this beautiful community the more the meaning of this signature evolved.  Now when I sign off a post, the word Namaste encompass everything I believe to be true about not only recovery from alcoholism but the human race and just being alive on the planet.  In fact, several times I’ve believed that a post was finished only to sign that word at the end and realize…hmmm…nope – needs more work.

For me in this blog, signing my posts this way says “I get you”, I’m in this with you, we’re here together.  My path to sobriety may be different than yours but whether you went through rehab, attend AA, blog, lurk or are still struggling, I see your soul and I want you to see mine.  In fact, since my soul quite literally often ends up on this page, I get you if you’re struggling with ANYTHING – drugs, children, weight loss/fitness goals – anything. So if I don’t believe what I’ve said is authentic and honest, I go back and edit out the bullshit until it is.  Otherwise, I can’t sign it.

The Buddhists believe that the human condition is one of suffering and that our purpose is to seek to relieve that suffering in not only ourselves but in others.  What a perfect definition of this blogging community.  A group of individuals reading, writing and pontificating on what it means to move into the light.  What it means to fight for what we want…peace.

In the movie “Avatar”, when those big, beautiful blue people wanted to express this sentiment they said, “I see you” which meant I see who you are in your soul.  We are one with each other and all things.  We are the same, no better and no worse than anyone else.  We are all living, breathing, suffering and joyous examples of God’s love (or the Universe or the Mother or whatever you choose to believe).  Our purpose is to be kind and compassionate and caring.

This is my wish for all of us. So, from me to you…

Namaste

I “see” you.

54 at 54 Weekly Update

Went to the doctor today to consult for an endoscopy I have to have done next week (yet another one of the wonderful benefits of drinking….acid reflux and heartburn enough to alarm the primary care doctor) and, of course, they weighed me.

Son of a bitch if I’m not down by 6 pounds!!!!!

That might not seem like a lot if you’re under 40 but anyone who’s over 40 or has been through menopause knows how hard it is to take off any weight when your metabolism has slowed to a snail’s pace.  Not only that but my blood pressure was lower than it’s been in years!!!  110/60!!!!

Wow!  This healthy lifestyle shit must work!  Who knew?

I did.  I just had to get out of my own way long enough to begin the journey.

Quiet determination.

So…last week.  Well, I ate some crap I shouldn’t have (damn chocolate and kettle cooked potato chips – not together mind you) but I didn’t lose my mind AND I got up every morning (so freaking EARLY) and worked out so you know…it’s all good.  Plus, Downton Abbey is really a great show and there are lots of seasons!!!  Yay!

Here are this week’s stats…

80,542 steps and 33.64 miles for the week which equates to an average of 11,506 steps per day and 4.81 miles.

I’ve also made a few changes to the overall plan.

I take one day a week off from exercise.

I don’t track my calories on the weekends (I don’t lose my mind but I don’t track.)

I have one treat day.  Usually Fridays but this week my husband’s birthday is Saturday so that will be my treat day.  Again, nothing crazy but if I have a small piece of cake I’m not going to spend the rest of the weekend beating myself up.

Quiet determination.

Namaste

 

542 33.64 11,506 4.81

 

Gratitude vs. Grieving

I’ve mentioned several times on this blog that I’m kind of a Polly-Anna when it comes to life.  I can always find a bright side.  I don’t panic even in stressful situations.  I greet everyone with a smile and my first priority in life is to always be kind.  To say that I’m an optimist is a gross understatement.

I’m the one you want to punch in the throat 90% of the time.

I’ve been reading several new blogs recently written by newly sober people (mostly women).  As you would expect in early sober folk, some of these souls are struggling.  In writing my post yesterday and reading these blogs I started thinking, what was the magic potion the last time that got me over the hump.  What made it different that final time?

What made it different was that very same quality that makes people want to stuff a sock in my face.  That quality that helped me get through a rough childhood and still turn out okay.  The quality that keeps a smile on my face long after others have left screaming from the room.  It’s the ability to always see the good, to always stay in the light.

I’m not sure how it started (I have a theory – about Buddhism and enlightenment – but that’s another post entirely) but I know that it comes from a place of gratitude.  So when I quit drinking that last time I decided (and yes, it was a conscious decision) to focus on what sobriety gave me rather than what it took away.

That single decision made all the difference.

You see, the other times I quit I threw a pity party and poor me’d all the hell over the place.

“Poor me I’ll never have fun again.”

“Poor me what will I do without WINE?”

“Poor me what will I do for friends?  No one will want me around.”

That final time I decided to look at what I was gaining by staying sober.  Better sleep, a better relationship with my family, no more hangovers, no more self-hatred, etc.  I also took the time to figure out better ways to do things and reward myself.  So when that first warm spring day arrived and I wanted nothing more than a cold chardonnay on my back porch (a HUGE trigger for me), I found a sparkling water I like and concentrated on the moment.  How the sun felt on my sober face…how the bubbles tickled my sober nose…how the cold, thirst quenching water felt on my parched but sober throat…the coolness of the drink in my not sick tummy.  How clear my head was after an hour or so rather than the beginning strains of more, more, more which was how it used to be.

All I can say is that by focusing on gratitude rather than grief, I was able to get over that hump I wrote about yesterday and find my way to sober and later, recovery.  Don’t get me wrong, it was HARD as hell in the beginning but it was a lot easier than previous attempts when I focused only on what I couldn’t have rather than what I could.

That’s why gratitude lists and journals work so well for so many people.  They provide a way to focus on the positive for those who don’t naturally go there.  They force us to dig (sometimes VERY deep) to find something good about the day, hour or sometimes even minute.  They also give us something to look back on when, no matter how deep we dig, we can’t seem to find one motherfucking thing good about being sober.

And we all have those days.

I love new journals – I don’t actually write in any of them for some reason but I have a lot of them just lying around because (even though I don’t write in them) I can’t bear to throw them away.  I also love new markers and pens so I have a whole drawer full of those as well.  In the early days of my sobriety, when I was hanging on by my beautifully polished acrylic fingernails, I would pick up one or two of these journals, get a pretty, fancy or colorful pen and just jot stuff down.  There was only one rule – it had to be positive, uplifting or productive.  No bitching, moaning, crying or whining allowed.

So I made gratitude lists, I wrote down quotes that helped me get through the day, I wrote down books I wanted to read that would help me stay sober, I wrote down my goals, presents I wanted to buy myself, dreams I had for a sober future – anything that would help me focus on the good things sobriety was bringing me.

I’m just saying that focusing on gratitude and not staying stuck in the grieving process too long is what saved me.  I hope it helps you if you’re struggling.

Namaste

Deja Vu All Over Again

What’s that feeling you get when you’re doing something hard and you want to give up but you know you shouldn’t but you also know that if you do it will be such a relief not to have to think about what you’re doing anymore?  (Follow all that?)

Well whatever it is – I got a bad case of it.

This happens to me every damn time I start something life changing and it gets hard.  It’s the precursor to relapse.  It’s the thing that bites me on the ass just as I’m about to make some real progress.  It goes something like this…

Me:  “OMG I just can’t do this anymore!  It’s too hard!  It’s not worth all of this work and effort.  I don’t have to do this.  I mean really, I’m FINE!  No problems here a little time away won’t cure.  No one will know if I give up.  It’s all up to me anyway.  I’m strong enough without having to go through all of this.”

Blah, blah, fucking blah.

It did it the 4,327 times I quit smoking.  Then one day I pushed through this phase (again and again) until I was over the hump and could see my way clear to a life without cigarettes.

I did it the three times I quit drinking (I mean seriously tried to quit).  Then one day I pushed through (with lots of tears and tantrums) until I was over the hump and could see my life as a sober person.

I do it EVERY DAMN TIME I start a “diet” or “fitness program” and I start moaning about how I’m depriving myself and what a good person I am and look at everything I do and so I deserve those 12 cookies in the pantry.  Yeah…how’s THAT working for ya?  At least now I think I’ve finally come to a healthier way of thinking because I’m not on any diet or prescribed fitness program – I’m just eating less and moving more.  Revolutionary I know but that’s how I roll.

Now I find myself in that same place about therapy.  I see “Joe” about every two weeks and every fucking time, about 2 days prior to the appointment, I get a case of whatever the heck this is.

Head:  “I don’t really need therapy.  I’ve very self-aware.  I’m wasting time and money on this.”

Heart:  “Really?  Is that why every time you tackle a difficult subject you go home and eat your weight in chocolate?”

Head:  “Shut up and go back to keeping me alive.  What do you know about it?  I’ve got gobs of books on the subject and I’ve tackled my addictions in one form or another so there’s nothing left to do.  I have a husband with whom I share everything and lots of people who love me.”

Heart:  “Is that so?  Then why does it still feel like work for you to avoid eating emotionally?  Why do you have a tendency to do things addictively?  Why do you have these manic phases in your life (however mild)?  And why in the world do you still clench your jaw so hard at night that your teeth actually hurt in the morning?”

Head:  “Well…um…”

Heart:  “And what about these two words….empty nesting?”

Head:  “Wait right there!  That’s hitting a little below the belt don’t you think?  I mean, what mother hasn’t grappled with empty nesting?  It’s hard!”

Heart:  “Okay – forget that for a moment.  Do me a favor.  Go get a recent picture of yourself.  How about the headshot you just had done for work by a professional.  When you look at that picture, what is the first thing that comes to mind?  Is it a nice comment?  Do you like her yet?  And how do you feel about where your career is right now?”

Head:  *crickets*

Heart:  “Go to the appointment.”

Head:  “Okay…”

I realize it’s a natural tendency to shy away from things that are hard.  The vast majority of the time I just lower my bull-head and power through yelling, “When the going gets tough the tough get going!”  But when shit is gettin’ real like it is now and the work I’m doing is actually going to change who I am, well…

I guess I get scared.

And that’s when I want to back away.

The times I’ve given in and given up the immediate feeling of relief after making the decision is palpable.  I go and buy the cigarettes or wine or chocolate and commence the relapse.  But that feeling of relief soon sours and before I know it, I’m right back at the beginning – back at day one, square one, the starting gate.

Needless to say I’m not going to give up on this therapy thing.  Mainly because every other time I’ve felt this way and given in it left me feeling like shit.

And every other time I’ve felt this way and, eventually, succeeded it has changed my life in all kinds of amazing ways.

Well when I put it like that, it’s kind of no brainer don’t you think?

Namaste

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

I went to see Cinderella in the theater on Thursday evening with a coworker (we’re both Disney fans freaks) and it was amazing.  It definitely did not disappoint and was a delight.  I highly recommend it.

While we were waiting for the show to start something really weird happened.  This particular theater is one of those dinner and a movie places where you can get dinner right at your seat and they serve a full bar.  We were sitting there and my coworker and her friend were, of course, surfing Facebook and Instagram.  Since I’m on a 30 day hiatus from social media I was just sitting there.  No big deal right?

Wrong.  Not only did I find it difficult to stay away from Facebook (sad in my estimation) but I wanted a drink in a way I haven’t in a very long time.  It was actually uncomfortable.  To be totally honest, the thought had been in my head the whole day because this theater has a nightclub vibe and sits smack dab in the middle of several other nightclubs and restaurants.  Thoughts like, “Wow it would be nice to go out and have a drink with these ladies.”  Funny thing is…they don’t even drink so, as usual, it was all about me.  I also came to the realization that social media had become just another way for me to escape, another obsession, another addiction.

Well crap, 30 days may not be enough – but it’s a start.

As far as the drinking goes, this particular craving bothered the living shit out of me because it was so strong and so damn uncomfortable.  I thought worried about it a lot on Friday, discussed with the hubs and decided I would post about it as soon as I had time.

Then on Saturday I went to the grocery store – where they sell wine.

We have a new Harris Teeter grocery store in our area which is really close to my house and has been highly anticipated.  (You know you’re old when you get this excited about the opening of a new grocery store…but in my defense, there’s a Starbucks in the store!  A Starbucks people!  Close to my house!  On my way to work!  Just sayin’.)  Harris Teeter stores are local favorites because they provide an extra level of customer service, are clean and bright and upscale and have a lot of fancy dancy food items you may not be able to find elsewhere.  Of courses most of the prices reflect all of that but since I don’t do most of the shopping – I don’t really care.

So after my annual mammogram* I stopped by to pick up the makings of my chicken noodle soup since it was rainy and cold and perfect for chicken noodle.  Harris Teeter has always had a beautiful wine aisle done all in faux dark wood and low lighting and a 5% discount on purchases of six bottles or more – all of which sent me there on a daily basis in my drinking days.  Since quitting however, I haven’t really thought about the aisle.  I just don’t go down it when shopping and that’s that.

Until yesterday.

Whether because of my craving on Thursday or because the store was new, this time when I passed by the aisle I glanced over and really checked it out.  As I looked at all of the shiny bottles with their red and gold (and some pink…yuck) elixirs, I stopped to really take it all in and examine how it made me feel.  I guess I wanted to see if I was still craving the wine.

Fortunately I did not feel the craving.  What I felt was sadness.  I felt the overwhelming feelings of sadness and despair.  I felt like to go into that aisle would take me into a dark hole for which there is no return.  I flashed back on so many Saturdays that I thought would be filled with fun that ended up anything but.  I remembered standing in an aisle very similar to this one wondering if I would be able to stop before I got drunk – and knowing I wouldn’t.  I thought about all those late nights, alone with my huge glass of wine when I cried because I knew I was too far gone and didn’t know how to make my life better.

Tears sprang to my eyes and a shudder passed through my body.  I stopped and closed my eyes and said a quick prayer – “Lord – thank you for removing me from the hell that I was in.  Thank you for giving me the courage to stay away from this aisle and turn my life around.  Thank you for happiness far greater than I ever knew.  Thank you for loving me enough to stay with me even in my darkest days and hearing the dream that was in my heart.”

It took awhile to shake the uglies (it was raining and gloomy which didn’t help) but later I was able to find my peace and to sleep the deep and satisfying sleep of the sober people.

Thank God.  No seriously…thank GOD.

Namaste

*Ladies consider this my personal PSA.  Get the ta-ta’s squished at least once a year.  It’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind that a clear exam gives you and the absolute best way to catch anything that might be in there early enough to save your life.  

A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you’re fast asleep
In dreams you will lose your heartache
Whatever you wish for you keep

Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling through
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true

A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you’re feeling small
Alone in the night you whisper

Thinking no one can hear you at all
You wake with the morning sunlight
To find fortune that is smiling on you

Don’t let your heart be filled with sorrow
For all you know tomorrow
The dream that you wish will come true

When you can dream then you can start
A dream is a wish you make with your heart
When you can dream then you can start
A dream is a wish you make with your heart

A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you’re fast asleep
In dreams you will loose your heartache
Whatever you wish for you keep

You wake with the morning sunlight
To find fortune that is smiling on you
Don’t let your heart be filled with sorrow
For all you know tomorrow

The dream that you wish will come true
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
The dream that you wish will come true

When you can dream then you can start
A dream is a wish you make with your heart
When you can dream then you can start
A dream is a wish you make with your heart

When you can dream then you can start
A dream is a wish you make with your heart

SONGWRITERS
AL HOFFMAN, JERRY LIVINGSTON, MACK DAVID

PUBLISHED BY
LYRICS © WALT DISNEY MUSIC PUBLISHING COMPANY

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

Phrase of the Year

word

The Word of the Year has become very popular of late.  I love the idea of it but struggle with the follow through (hmmmm…now WHY does that sound familiar?).  I tried but I can’t find what my word was last year (did I pick one last year…maybe it was 2013).

See what I mean?

But since this particular set of words keep coming up in books, in conversation, in my head and, more importantly in my heart, I’ve decided to recognize the sign that God is obviously trying to send me.  Since it’s not a single word however, I’m calling it my phrase of the year.

Quiet determination.

I really can’t get over how this year is different from the last 3 January’s when I vowed, resolved and promise to either lose weight, get fit, achieve peace of mind or all of the above.  First of all, I’m not nearly as excited as I usually am.  I’m not over the moon or breaking down the gate to get started.  I’m just moving forward slowly and deliberately.

Quietly.

I’m also not doing anything over the top in terms of food.  I’m just eating.  As I said in yesterday’s post, I need to make peace with food.  I can’t do that by eliminating any particular food group, restricting my diet severely or paying for someone else to give me prepackaged chemically laden food.  I’ve tried ALL of that and it just doesn’t work.  I’m committed to discovering what will work for me for the rest of my life.

Determined.

I’m approaching working out differently as well.  Moderate exercise every single day.  30+ minutes, 10,000+ steps.  As you know I’m also committed to training for the triathlon but it’s not an over the top insane triathlon.  If necessary, I can doggie paddle the swim, walk my bike and walk the 5k.  That is not my intention but if my bum knee doesn’t cooperate or I just don’t have the chops, I can still compete.  I won’t fail as long as I try.  Gee…what a concept! (facepalm)

And speaking of working out, my treadmill arrived yesterday (yay) and my men put it together for me.  IT’S FREAKING HUGE!!!!!!!  It took all four grown ass met to get it upstairs.  It takes up my whole nook in my bedroom.  Don’t believe me…here’s a (really bad) picture.

Treadmill in nook 2

It’s a monster!  And before you chastise me for violating every concept of feng shui ever devised, you should know that’s the nook where most of my end stage drinking took place.  I never use it anymore because of that.  It’s time to take back my power.

Plus…the damn thing is too big to go anywhere else.

Quiet determination.  I like the sound of that.

Namaste

“Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace.”

~Buddha

What’s it like to be normal?

I went to see my psychiatrist yesterday for my six month checkup.  I had made a list of things I wanted to tell him because I swear, every time I go to a doctor’s appointment all my symptoms disappear and I forget to tell them what I wanted to tell them!  He was pretty shocked when I told him that at the end of the summer I realized I had been in a fairly deep depression since before Christmas 2012.   Almost as shocked as I was when I figured it out.

I explained that because this time the symptoms were different, it wasn’t as readily apparent to me.  Rather than crying all the time and feeling like I was in a black hole, I was projecting my own feelings on others and deflecting blame to everyone else for my own mood.  (I know…even writing that seems insane…now.)  I was in a funk that eventually led to crying jags before eventually subsiding…somewhat.

Now I’m beginning to see it happening again.  I’m having anxiety and my “disaster thoughts” where I’m sure something awful is just around the corner and I start to visualize things like funerals in very specific detail.  With prayer I’m able to shut it down but really, why in the hell would I suffer through shit like that when I know it’s the chemicals and signals in my brain causing it?  Further, why would I suffer through shit like that when I know there are things that can be done namely, therapy and a change in my meds.

Fortunately, the doc agreed.  I love this guy.

As the hubs was driving me to work (Lord I will be happy when we’re able to get another car), I looked over at him and thought…I wonder what it’s like to be normal?  So I asked him, stopping short of adding, “…and what’s it like to be married to a woman who’s not?”

His first response was the standard, “What’s normal?  No one is really normal.  We all have our quirks.”

So I clarified, “I mean what is it like to have a brain that doesn’t lie to you?”

He really didn’t have an answer for that.

It’s not that I’m complaining because there are LOTS of things that could be wrong with me that are WAY worse than a brain that lies.  Especially since I think I’ve got a handle on the brain God gave me and, with the exception of a few loose wires, it works pretty darn well and I am very thankful for that.

But I do wonder sometimes…what would life be like with a brain that told the truth?  Hmmmm….just like getting to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know.

Namaste