Posts Tagged ‘abstinence’

Hello My Old Friend

August 7, 2017

So nice to get re-acquainted.

Not.

Fuck me man.

I got anxious today.

Now.

That should go without saying, having been diagnosed with clinical anxiety and clinical depression about a decade ago, that I would have anxiety now and then in my life.

But.

Shit.

I’d sort of forgotten.

Good grief.

It snuck up on me today.

Perhaps because I had suddenly some unexpected down time and that can make me a little tight in my chest, a little thread of something is wrong running down my spine, unscheduled down time, what the fuck will I do?

And I had plenty to do, I always have something going on.

I did loads of writing.

I did loads of laundry.

So happy the landlady replaced the washing machine, the gift of not having to go to the laundry mat next to the 7-11 on the corner of Judah and 46th is no joke.

I did yoga.

I had lots of lovely phone conversations today.

I went grocery shopping.

I cooked food for dinner.

I had a scrumptious salad for lunch on the back porch during the half hour of sun that came out in the Outer Sunset.

Man.

It has been foggy.

I’m about ready for that to be over weather wise.

I went and got right with God.

I did some meditation.

Life is great!

And.

I ordered books for school and looked over another syllabus that got published for my fall semester.

That’s when I noticed it, the corroding of my nerves, the odd feeling in my body, the small shivers of panic.

Oh.

Hello.

I had forgotten you.

And.

Oh.

Hello.

Fuck off.

I don’t need you around.

I mean.

I really don’t.

Anxiety pulls me out of the moment, catapults me into the future, where there is not god, there is nothing, there is only fear and terror and pain.

And it’s always a bad future.

It’s not a sweet, kind, gentle, loving future.

Nope.

It’s a.

YOU’RE GOING TO FUCKING FAIL SO YOU BETTER MOVE YOUR ASS NOW.

Kind of future.

And I still might fail.

And that’s ok.

I mean.

It is at least familiar.

I know this feeling, I have had it before, and I can live through it.

And I didn’t have a panic attack.

I had the scattering of one at the beginning of the last semester when I was super uptight about practicum and getting my internship nailed down.

Fortunately I was having a work day where the mom and baby were at her office and I was going to pick up the monkeys from school.

I had some down time at work to do cleaning and fold laundry and prep stuff for dinner and I got an e-mail regarding some financial aid thing and then another about registering for practicum and something in me just popped.

I got super wound up and it felt like a cement bucket of fear was riding on my chest and creeping up my throat.

Yay!

Anxiety.

For two and a half years I took antidepressants to deal with the depression and anxiety.

I stopped right around my five years of sobriety.

I came off them real easy.

I had been on the lowest dosage anyway.

But.

I felt like I didn’t need them anymore and I was riding my bicycle a lot and nannying some pretty energetic kids and I was doing ok.

I was also began eating a diet abstinent from processed flour and all sugars (except those occurring naturally in fruit, bring on the apples!) and that was a big thing too.

My diet got really clean, I got daily biking exercise, and I was out in the sun a lot pushing a stroller to and from multiple playgrounds.

The anxiety dissipated.

And.

The depression fell away.

I lost lots of weight.

I got happy.

Sure.

Shit happened.

Life happened.

When it was a dark and rainy winter the depression would slide back in a little, but for the most part.

Nothing.

Until.

I started grad school.

Anxiety nightmares.

Stress dreams.

Mild depression each winter semester.

Nothing that I couldn’t titrate with a touch more sleep or with a little more exercise and then I added some flax oil into my diet and rode it out.

The anxiety was easily the worst my first semester of school.

Now.

Today.

Not so much.

But.

It was there.

And truth be told.

It annoyed me.

It pissed me off.

I was like.

No.

NO.

I am not doing this again.

I know what this looks like and I know how to handle it and.

AND.

It never has been that bad.

It never has been the nightmare of not having enough time to do all the things and read all the things and write all the papers that my over active imagination likes to tell me it’s going to be.

Not once.

Not.

Never.

I never stopped blogging, which I told myself I would drop if it got bad.

I never stopped doing morning pages, ditto, I’ll stop if I can’t handle the writing load.

Oh.

Sure.

There were days here and there when I didn’t.

But I was pretty steady through it all.

I also know from experience, this for me is the most basic form of faith, that I always get things done.

And that there really is no need to be anxious about things.

I sent out a few messages, got some sweet responses.

Made a phone call to my person.

Wrote out a gratitude list.

And went about my day.

There are things I am going to have to do and my fall semester this year will look different from my last two as I am in practicum and I am seeing clients and I’m basically a practicing psychotherapist.

Not a psycho.

Haha.

Sorry.

Gallows humor is probably not the most attractive thing in a therapist.

Or is it?

Anyway.

I reached out to my supervisor about my schedule and I saw some openings and some things that I may have to adjust to and change-up.

But.

Overall.

I got this.

I got my books ordered.

I am still waiting for the release of one more syllabus though, I may still have to purchase a few books, but that’s fine.

I got my first text-book in the mail and I started reading it yesterday and yes, it will start traveling with me as I go about my week.

I worked through the anxiety.

I had a nice quiet talk with myself, assuaged my worries, gave myself the you can do it pep talk and basically really breathed into it.

All in all.

I can handle this and I was told that this would be a challenging year.

Haven’t they all been?

But.

That I have seen others walk through it and I know if they can do it so can I.

Plus.

I have a pretty amazing support system, fellowship and community.

I’m going to be just fine.

Because.

I already am.

Today.

Right now.

In this beautiful moment.

There is nothing wrong, and my life.

Well.

Let me just say.

It’s fucking fabulous.

Amazing really.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

One Foot in Front

July 2, 2017

Of the other.

And moving forward and go.

Go.

Go.

It was quite a packed day, but a lovely day, a day of many smiles and laughs and appreciation for my life.

I got up and did a yoga class.

It was mediocre.

The teacher is just not a good teacher.

But I went anyway.

I always have a moment, or fifteen, when I want to email the studio and just be like, get a new instructor!  This guy sucks!

He doesn’t suck, he’s just young and not a good teacher.

He’s a great yogi.

I am I have seen him do amazing things with his body, he obviously has an incredible practice, but it doesn’t translate to being a good teacher.

So I sort of muddle through and just pat myself on the back for showing up and taking what I like and leaving the rest.

My previous teacher, God I miss him, was amazing, so I feel like there’s some disparity there, and I acknowledge that I was gifted with an extraordinary teacher for a while and thank God for that, if I had the teacher that I have now when I started I would have quit.

When his classes have been on other days I have just avoided them.

But.

My schedule is not really too flexible now in regards to when I can get into the studio, 9 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday are the two classes I know I can make and have been really rigorous about making.

So.

I’ll put up with the mediocre for now.

It will change, either he will no longer teach that time slot, other people’s schedules change, not just mine, or when I can I will take another class and opt out of the ones he teaches.

Until then, I literally suck it up and just go.

Better a mediocre yoga class then no yoga class.

Tomorrow, however, is a great teacher, and her class kicks my ass, but I get a lot more out of it and though I still have a preference for my very first teacher, he really was astounding, I like this teacher and she’s good.

And this week I’ll get to go to a morning yoga class on Tuesday.

Yes.

I will be doing yoga to celebrate the 4th of July.

I have the day off and when I have a day off I want to go to yoga.

And a friend of mine I haven’t seen in a while is going to come to class with me and then we’re going to go to Trouble Coffee and get caffeinated and catch the fuck up.

Super happy I get to see him.

He just got back from doing the Aids LifeCycle ride and he was my mentor when I rode it in 2010.

I still aspire to ride again, just now is not a good time to do it.

Perhaps after I graduate or I get my intern number and can start charging for my sessions.

Anyway, it was good to see him tonight and get in some good hugs and also to let him know I’ll have some weeks off in July and can do lunch.

I’ll probably head down to his job place and hang out with him on his lunch break.

I have that plan with another friend of mine who is also super busy in her life and we connected this past week and I told her the same thing, I will come to you, I will meet you for lunch, let’s hang out.

Whenever and wherever I can I will be seeking out social contact.

I put in 8 hours at the internship today, two of them today and the rest was seeing my supervisor on Monday and then seeing 5 clients.

Ultimately I will be seeing 8 clients.

I could possibly do 10 but I think that would be too much.

I will, however, pick up consultation hours when I have that time off from work with my family.

I will suck up as many of those as I can.

But I will also try to not work too much.

Catch up with friends, hang out, go to coffee, see my dear French friend and her little brood before they head back to France at the end of July.

There is a lot for me to do and see and be allowing myself to be seen.

Happy that is all happening.

Happy I also took care of a bunch of errands today, picking up packages at the post office and dropping off a package to return at UPS.

And I got a big grocery shopping trip in.

And I did the deal.

Which was great and picked up a commitment for Saturdays to keep me connected and not drift off into my internship land too far.

I’m trying to keep it all balanced out.

Sometimes I do better than others.

But I am getting decent sleep.

Eating really well.

In fact.

Yesterday, woo hoo, was my four-year anniversary marking my abstinence from sugar and flour.

That was nice to note.

Getting in the yoga when I can.

Doing a good job at work.

Doing a good job, I feel, at my internship.

Tomorrow I will do yoga in the am, have a nice breakfast and a latte, do some writing and then zip over to Cheap Petes and grab my prints.

I’ll be meeting with a lady at 1pm to do some work and reading and connecting.

Then a quick-lunch here.

And.

Yes.

Some pampering.

I’m getting my mani/pedi/waxing the fuck on.

So looking forward to that.

And.

After that.

A zip downtown to do some clothes shopping.

And like that.

The weekend.

Loving my life so very much.

Busiest girl in the world?

Maybe, but probably not.

Luckiest girl in the world?

Absofuckinglutely.

You Need To Celebrate!

June 5, 2015

She told me tonight.

She hugged me hard.

“You show up, I just want to let you know how grateful I am that you do the work!” She shined up at me, she’s shorter than me.

I wiped away some tears, I was sharing about the past weekend and what it felt like to make amends and how sometimes I just feel like I’m not doing enough, and how I have worked really hard to sustain the abstinence I have and the 90 lb plus weight loss and how, nothing tastes as good as abstinence.

Also that it’s challenging repeating, again and again that I don’t eat sugar and flour and that it makes me sick.

I can’t just have one cookie.

If I could have just one fucking cookie I’d have one fucking cookie.

Or beer.

Or line of blow.

Or cigarette.

I can’t have just one.

That is not in my make up.

So to go and reconnect and make amends and walk into a new situation that I had heretofore ever had with my father’s side of the family and NOT eat the “better than sex cake” (which, I’m sorry, but after not having sex for the last six months, there is no cake that is fucking better than sex, bring on the sex! Damn it) is a big deal.

“It’s not about the food, though,” she said, quietly, sweetly.

“You show up, lady, you are amazing, you do a good job,” she hugged me again.

Oh yeah.

I do a good job.

I did good today at my job job.

And I do damn good at my other job, the more important one, the keeping it sober and together and real one.

Which allows for all the other work to happen.

So.

Yeah.

I need to celebrate.

Yes, yes I do.

So.

Um.

Yeah.

I signed up for Match.com.

Bahahahahaha.

Oh.

I kill myself.

But serious.

I did.

I am taking suggestions and as I have posited before I don’t have to know which ones are going to work, I really don’t, but I do have to take actions.

I can’t bemoan not going out on dates and being single if I’m not willing to take any actions.

Thus I took some actions.

I finished the profile last night and hooked up some photos and decided I would sit on it over night.  I’m still not a huge fan of the having to pay for the website.

When I was on my bike riding home, thinking about what I had shared and the feedback, and there was more, a bit more really, but nothing that is appropriate to put on the blog, some things I will share only face to face and what I talked about tonight in the back room of Our Lady of Safeway was really only for the ears within that space.

That being said, it made an impression on me how much grief I can still carry in my body over something that happened so long ago and despite having done a lot of work.

A LOT.

I still have grief there and there are still things to work out and let go of.

One of them is that I do not and will not ever have the body that I wish I had.

It does not matter that I have sustained the weight loss, although it really does, to my mind, when I have excess loose skin and like Caitlyn Jenner hiding her hands in that Vanity Fair cover, there is no amount of work that is going to cover it up when I am not wearing long sleeves and a sweatshirt.

I can’t just photo shop my sagging arm skin off my body.

It’s there.

“What’s that?” The eldest boy said to me tonight, feeling the soft folds of skin hanging loosely from my under arm, “it’s squishy.”

“That is what happens,” I said, after taking a deep breath (nobody wants their fat poked, or in my case, my sagging arm skin prodded) and knowing that he wasn’t being hurtful, he was just curios, “is what happens to your body when you lose a lot of weight.”  I continued, “my skin is not as supple and elastic as yours is and when I lost a bunch of weight, that’s what happened.”

“Oh,” he said and went back to eating his apple sauce.

Like it’s no big deal lady.

“I love you, Carmen,” he said, out of no where.

See.

It doesn’t matter how much excess skin you got, you’re loved.

This is the body God has given to me and when I criticize it I am criticizing the greatest artist ever.

I mean really.

Who am I to tell God how to make me look?

Not I.

And when my friend shared with me, when she thanked me for doing the work, taking the steps to do the amends, to go and show  up and be my authentic self (who happened to look very cute today in spite of upper arm skin sag, thank you very much), that she was so grateful for my example.

Well.

I am celebrating.

I paid for three months on Match.com.

And.

I bought two orchestra seats for “In Our Own Words” in Atlanta for myself and my darling friend who is coming with me to Atlanta in July.

Because sometimes I have to celebrate.

I’m also being treated to a dinner on Saturday by my friend, who confirmed with me that we were going early (to accommodate my dietary stuff) and bring on the raw fish!

We’re going to Liholiho Yaht Club on Sutter Street.

Hawaiian, how apropos, and contemporary Indian/Asian fare.

Bring me some Poke please.

And tomorrow is Friday.

Another reason to celebrate.

Besides the fact that I am seeing the promises in my life-like nobody’s business.

All that hard work praying off.

I mean.

Paying off.

Yeah.

That’s worth celebrating.

Indeed.

Untag That Photo!

March 18, 2015

Sweet Jesus.

I have a double chin in that one.

Take it down now!

Ah.

Social media.

How I do love to hate you.

I mean, everyone else in the photo looks amazing, but I look huge, huge I tell ya.

I also have body dysmorphia, but don’t let that sway you, it was a yuck picture.

There are a few reasons for that.

One, the person taking the photo was not a professional photographer, not everybody knows my best angle after all.

Two, I was wearing a really busy dress, big floral pattern, it’s a pretty dress, but when I wear it without anything else, which is what I was doing since it was warm, it can come off as too busy against all my tattoos.

In the photograph I lost my shape, there’s not femininity there, I just sort of all blur together.

Now.

I doubt any one is paying any kind of attention to it.

I mean.

Please.

You all have facecrack profiles to obsess over, nobody’s looking that hard at mine, that I am aware of anyway.

I untagged the photographs and I let the feelings happen.

And I had a little bit of a come to Jesus moment.

I have been seeing some changes in my body and doing what I can, in small quiet ways to rectify those things.

I started taking an iron supplement again.

I was finding myself more tired than usual, muscle fatigue, some dizziness and light headedness at certain times of the day, and that means, for me, that I’m getting anemic again.

I also know that at 42, my body is slowing down its metabolism and that is just the way it goes.

I am exiting the fertility goddess stage of my life, I don’t think baby is in my future, unless it’s one I am watching, and entering into a different phase.

My body, whether or not I wish to acknowledge it, is breaking down.

I still have more than half my life to go, but I was pretty rough on myself for the first part of my life.

I wasn’t brought up with the greatest food or nutrition either and when I look back I can see that I also had a pretty bad sugar addiction when it could be sustained I was going at it.

I checked out.

That was something that I can trace back all the way.

My first sneak of a food.

My rationalization, as a child, as a five-year old who had just been through a lot of trauma, when my mother slapped my hand away from the sugar bowl on the table.

“That’s enough,” she said with a smart rap on my hand.

She turned back to get coffee and light her cigarette and I calm as you please, took the top off the sugar and dumped a heaping spoonful over the top of my cereal.

I remember, quite distinctly, thinking to myself, “after last night I get to eat as much sugar as I want, you would too, if it had happened to you.”

I mean, verbatim.

The other thing.

I remember that it was too much sugar, it, the cereal had gone from something appetizing and sweet, to too sweet and nauseating, the sugar at the bottom of the bowl so thick it wasn’t dissolving into the milk any longer.

But I ate it anyway and I remember the feel of the sugar granules on my tongue still.

I was five.

And it wasn’t the first time I had checked out with sugar, but it was the first time I remember doing it deliberately.

The photographs brought up a few things for me.

I have no control over how I look and I have no control over my body and sometimes I leave the house thinking I look magnificent, then five minutes later I can see an unflattering reflection in a store front window and my whole idea of my outfit is shat on.

I left Saturday feeling pretty fucking cute.

But when I saw those photos I was horrified at my outfit and my hair and my total appearance.

Again, perception, but it did throw down a gauntlet of sorts for me.

As I finally got honest with my person around one thing in my food routine, that though abstinent, the behavior I have is not so much.

Mainly that I am checking out with my last snack of the day.

I get home, I do my little get home routine, I roll out my back on the yoga roller, light up my candles, put away my stuff, refill my water bottle, boot up the lap top, make some tea, check my e-mails, and then start blogging.

After I sign off on my blog I make another cup of tea and I have my snack and watch a video.

Sounds innocuous, no?

But it’s not.

I’m checking out and I know I’m checking out and that’s not what I want to be doing with my food.

I don’t do it at breakfast and lunch and usually not at dinner either, but that last snack of the day, I’m hiding out from the world.

And I am loath to miss it and I like to do it a certain way, and it’s almost always the same thing.

1 apple.

3 oz of berries, whatever’s in season.

1/2 c plain, non fat yogurt.

Yeah.

Sounds crazy doesn’t it.

But it’s a little more than I need at the end of the night and upon reviewing my food diary I am seeing I need to eat a little less fruit, I’m having four servings a day, and little more protein.

Last night and this morning I was going to throw my snack away, not have it, nope, I am done, no more.

But I realized when I got home tonight and even on my bicycle ride home, that I was hungry, dinner was actually light.

I’m taking some suggestions and pausing tonight around changing anything up, except writing about it and praying, because that’s what I do, because the efficacy of prayer cannot be argued, so I will, and then letting go of the idea, again, and again, and again, that my self-worth is tied up in how I look.

I am an attractive woman and I aware that I was when I was heavier and I was when I was lighter and I am now.

It really comes down to the behavior.

And also knowing that I have been told before, less fruit, more protein.

I will be switching up my snack to a piece of string cheese.

I won’t really check out with string cheese and I will get the little something I need and fewer calories as well.

Because when I was asked did I want to drop my snack because of the photos or because I was not actually hungry, to really be truthful and see where I was at.

A little hungry.

Not enough to do the big snack I have been doing.

But a little guy won’t hurt and I think is the thing I can try.

It’s a small things, but sometimes the small stuff will muck with my mind more than the big stuff.

Really.

I mean.

I just wrote a whole blog on string cheese.

 

Wow!

October 24, 2014

Look at you!

“You’re teeny tiny,” she said with admiration and awe as I explained that I used to be a size 26/28 and now I am a size 10/11.

I don’t think of myself as teeny or tiny, so that was a super nice complement to hear.

I don’t think of myself as much different from I have always been, until I see pictures from years ago and then I realize, holy shit, I really have changed.

I don’t do much compare and despair, it doesn’t work so much for me.

Occasionally I will see some woman rocking a hard body and I will feel a twinge of something other than admiration, I admit it, but I don’t have the jealous envy thing going on.

Mostly, it’s just that I realized I don’t have that kind of body and that’s ok too.

I lost a lot of weight.

A LOT.

Those of you who know me in person can attest to that and those of you who don’t, I lost about 100 lbs.

It was a process.

Lots of trial.

Plenty of error.

Loads of surrender and taking other people’s suggestions and bicycle riding and dancing and walking and letting go of my ideas about what I could do and what I should look like and lots of information seeking and sometimes some hiding under the bed.

But mostly I don’t think about it too much.

It is nice, however, when someone asks about my story and experience and I can relate what happened and how and pass it on and be of service around it.

I had a sweet heart to heart with someone this evening and the best I could say was, “be gentle to yourself, no matter what you go home and do right now, be kind, and the change will happen, and call me if you need some support, you’re not alone.”

I wasn’t.

I thought I was.

But I wasn’t.

I also did not know that there was a solution for me.

I still have my ups and downs with things.

I joke that I have recently lost my baby fat.

My “I sat on my ass for a month and didn’t work and had to rehab my ankle,” and then I was on MUNI riding to and from work for three more months, weight gain.

Four months with no real kind of exercise.

I actually don’t think I gained a lot of weight, but I gained some, mostly, I believe, I just loss muscle tone.

I’m sort of lazy when it comes to exercise.

I get it riding my bike.

My bike happens to be my mode of transportation, so I kill two birds with one stone.

Get to and from work and get about an hour to an hour and a half of exercise five to six days a week.

Who needs to go to the gym after that?

Granted I have a goofy body from it.

Bicycle thighs and bottom (like an apple bottom, but better), but I don’t mind.

I don’t have a six-pack, my belly is soft and my arms have sag.

Partially that’s excess skin from the weight loss and there have been times when I fantasized about getting rid of it.

If it wasn’t a cosmetic surgery that costs a lot of money and isn’t covered by my insurance, I would do it.

If I had the money, I would.

I would love to get rid of the flap.

But I am not the sum of my jeans size or the excess of my skin in spots, I am fully just me.

And I know I am beautiful and it was a pleasure to hear her say those words.

I also look at my body as a road map of my experiences and I hope that anyone who knows me and loves me or hell, even likes me isn’t going to be hyper concerned with what my body looks like.

Granted, I do want to come across as healthy and I prefer to spend time with like-minded folks, I think it a strong expression of self-love that I take care of my body the way that I do.

I hated myself, the way I looked, the size I was for too long to do anything other than love every bit of it as fierce as I can now.

Jesus.

I sound like Tyra Banks.

Smize bitches!

I do know that I look good right now though, I’m not tooting my horn, well, maybe a tiny bit, but I have been back on my bicycle now for about a month and I can see the difference and I can feel it too.

Some looseness in my jeans.

But mostly a lightness in my step and a feeling of going faster on my bicycle.

There is two points to this, one is that I am lighter, so I go a little faster, but I am also stronger for having been back in the saddle for four and a half weeks, therefore, faster on that account too.

I whipped home tonight and that was nice.

I also ate more protein today.

I suspect that might have been a factor yesterday with my fatigue, when I reviewed my food for the day, I send it to someone every night who helps me with some perspective about that and keeps me accountable, I saw that I was a little protein light.

That will wear me down almost as fast as being fatigued.

My muscles work hard.

I pedal my bicycle hard.

I haul and tote a two-year old and a four-year old, plus groceries and library books and I get a good work out.

I remember a guy I was dating about six or seven years ago and I remember when I made the decision to break up with him.

We were at the Walgreens in the Mission at 23rd and Mission street getting a few things for the night–condoms, let me be transparent–and he picked himself up a few things too.

A pack of cigarettes.

Beef jerky.

Funyuns.

And I thought, you’re going to put all that crap into your body?

Blech.

I realized that not only did this man not love himself, he really did not like himself either and I didn’t want to date someone who didn’t care for themselves.

It was rather revelatory.

I’m not a fanatic, I’m not an exerciser, I’m a little on the lazy bones side as far as that goes, but when I look around at the pile of gorgeous organic Pippin apples and persimmons I got at the farmer’s market today, I know that I love myself.

And wow.

That’s more important to me than my pants size.

Even if I rather like being a size 10.

I am more than, not less than, my weight.

I am the weight of my love for myself and that is, at least in this moment.

Fathomless.

Not bad insights for a Thursday.

Fucking fantastic insights as I prepare to begin the dating thing.

Friday night date number one on order tomorrow.

See you on the other side.

Looking fabulous.

Don’t Eat That!

October 10, 2014

I shouted at the older boy today in the park.

A playmate was offering him  a bite of something foil wrapped and studded with nuts.

He’s got a peanut allergy.

I travel with two epi pens at all times in case he has a reaction to anything that he may ingest in the course of the day.

“I wasn’t going to,” he said, just a touch petulantly.

“It doesn’t have peanuts in it,” his little companion said, “I read the ingredients.”

You did!  You are amazing at reading, thank you for checking, but I still don’t want him to eat it, we’re off to the market soon and then to dinner, so thank you, but no thank you.”

I smiled.

Yeah.

Sure kid.

You read the ingredients.

I don’t think so.

I saw you tear it open, steal it from out of a bag not yours (we were on a play date) and shove it in your mouth, plus you’re what, four?  That’s some big vocabulary in tiny print on the wrapper, I don’t know that you read it and I don’t trust half as far as I can throw you, and you’re four, I can give you a good heave.

I dont’ want to have to use the epi pens ever.

Although I am glad to carry them and I am used to being around someone who will go into anaphylactic shock from an allergy reaction.  My mom is severely allergic to bees and I remember her always having a kit in her purse, although I never did see it being used.

I am über cautious and I don’t apologize for it.

Plus, I don’t want the kid eating sugar glazed crap at the park, it’s ok once in a while, but the mom and I work out a meal plan every day when I go in and I follow it to the best of my abilities.

It’s one of my favorite parts of the day actually.

I enjoy food prep and cooking and making meals, I love to cook and I am getting very used to being in their kitchen and prepping meals.

There’s something really meditative about doing it and I find myself focused on the task in front of me and not worrying about the rest of the work day.

Then I find that the day just cruises right on by.

The only drawback to doing the food prep is to not stick it in my own mouth.

I could and have reprimanded myself a few times in a similar matter, “don’t eat that!  Don’t taste that!  That’s so not yours!  Leave it.”

The boys eat like boys, they also eat really well, but some of the things that I prepare for them I just can’t eat myself and I will catch myself about to pop something into my mouth that I would never even think about being around, but there it is and it looks good.

I have been openly welcomed to eat anything they have and that is quite sweet, but I have to be vigilant, I just don’t need to let myself slip and slide down that slope.

So I made a detour on the way home and popped into see some folks I haven’t seen in a couple of weeks and got myself regrouped.  Just because I have a new job and a new schedule does not mean that  can let my life go.

I hear it again and again, that which you put in front of your program you will lose.

Not interested in that.

AT ALL.

So.

If it’s not finished, I don’t finish it, if it’s flour or sugar, I don’t eat it, and if there’s something that I could eat, but it’s not the time for me to be eating, I pass as well.

Then I feel a lot more sane and happy.

And my focus can be on my job and not on what food is hanging about for me to scavenge.

It reminds me, nannying does, often of being at the veterinary hospital I worked at for a couple of years before I was able to get some surrender and relief from doing the food thing on my own.

When someone is grateful, they give the veterinarian food–donuts, Krispy Kreme’s were a huge deal, cupcakes, cookies, occasionally a fruit basket, but more often than not See’s Candies or bread or pizza, and starting in October, the Halloween candy, that ebbs into November, then the holidays, my manager would actually take a lot of the candy and freeze it and dole it out over the course of the year when there wasn’t such a stack of holidays.

I got used to not eating it at the veterinary hospital.

Having a large dog scale was enough to help me along in those inroads.

I didn’t really have recovery around my food, I had shame about my size.

So I white knuckled it starting one October when the Halloween candy was stating to reach a breaking point with me.

And I lost a lot of weight.

But I was doing it on my own and it was pretty rough going.

Then the time came when I went back to my previous ways and gained back a lot of that weight and it was horrid and I hated myself and I started over.

And with the exception of one bad patch of three weeks, I have been maintaining an abstinence from sugar and flour for years now.

Which I shall, one day at a time, hope to maintain for the rest of my life.

And if that means bringing my own food to work, I am fine with it.

Just like that little boy who is allergic to peanuts, I have my own monsters that I have to stay away from.  A new job does not make them permissible.

Never has.

Never will.

Grateful for the support I have in my life and the check in I had this evening.

Grateful too, for the generosity of my employers, I am swept up in their love of their children and I so respect them and what they do that I have no problem happily feeding them, even when it’s food I wouldn’t feed myself.

They are super healthy.

I am super healthy.

We just have different foods that work and don’t work for us.

Thank God for perspective.

And solution.

That’s the kind of abundance that works best for me.

At all times.

Get Yer Pink Hat On

May 28, 2014

I got me a fedora.

I have been wanting one for a bit and when I saw this one, I had to stop and grab it.

Pink.

Sequined.

Jaunty.

Yes.

I said jaunty.

And it works with my hair and my eyeglasses.

Best of all.

The cost.

$4.49.

Courtesy of your local Good Will.

I nanny in Cole Valley Monday through Wednesdays and I walk by the Good Will probably once, perhaps twice a week, depending on what park I am headed to.  It is a great Good Will and it has big windows for “La Leche Vitrine”.

Literal translation from the French: “window licking”.

Now, I am not a typical window licker, I don’t often purchase what I see, I window shop a lot, I am good at it and it’s a harmless, cheap habit.  Today especially.  A girl can’t go wrong with a hat for under five dollars and it’s pink and it’s sequined.

It now also has a pink rose attached to it and a pink feather that I got last year around this time to make hats and all things haberdashery for the playa, from the arts and crafts store on Haight.

I was house sitting in Cole Valley, just off the Haight Street neighborhood, last year about this time and I had decided I wanted to make all my little hair pieces myself, instead of laying out forty, fifty bucks for the pieces that I was drawn to.

Hell I saw some cute ones at Lightening in a Bottle too, but all were quite expensive and I recalled again, with a smidgen of guilt for not having done anything with all the gear I got for this project.

Buttons, bows, ribbons, flowers, glitter, feathers, netting, little metal charms, embroidery floss, hair clips to pin everything to.

I got all the right stuff to make some fascinators and some other pieces.

And I never did it.

I remember taking it all back to Grace Land with me after the house sitting gig had ended and spreading it all over the gigantic table in the dining room, then getting out needle, thread, scissors, the fabric glue and sorting everything into piles and sighing and sitting down to go to it.

And not being able to go to it.

In hindsight, I was pretty depressed and not certain what was happening with my life, having just returned from France and it being a difficult transition from the 9th arrondisement to East Oakland, 51st and International was a bit of culture shock to me.

Granted my dear friend who was letting me stay, was a dear friend, and had all the comforts of a well stocked home, kittens to snorgle with, Netflix on the tv, internet, a big cushy bed, so much nicer than the lumpy futon I had spent the majority of my nights on in Paris, and a big huge vat of popcorn that he had gotten special for making kettle corn.

Thus began my slippery slope that led soon to my relapse on all things sugary and floury and donutty and icecreamy and basically way bad for me and my health.

I picked up all the flowers and ribbons that I had planned to bedeck myself with, shoved them in a hat box and went to the kitchen.

I got out the air popper and poured the kernels in.

I just started with butter and salt, a big glass of sparkling water, and I cued up the first season of the West Wing, which I had never seen before, and proceeded to check the fuck out.

That’s not a solution for me today.

Thank God.

I was reminded of that today and I am grateful to have the way of life I have now.

And also a degree of humility about it, I could have checked out with some booze, there was a fully stocked bar.

I could have checked out with some crack cocaine.

There was East Oakland right outside my doors.

And I did not.

And for that I am ok with the fact that I checked out with the popcorn, then the ice cream, then the donuts and macaroons, and Arizimendi pizza, the hamburger and french fries from Burger Joint, the boxes of cereal and more Netflix, and then lots of self-loathing and hatred.

I got through it with a lot of help from some dear friends who reminded me that this too shall pass and I went to work to get out of the clutches of my historical reliance on food as a means of self-soothing.

It didn’t work for me then, it never had, and it was the place that I went to.

I pray I don’t have to have the experience again.

I lost the weight I put on with that binge that ended up being about three weekends of self-destruction.

And for the first time, for me, it was not about losing the weight (in fact, I have only weighed myself twice in the past year so I don’t even know what it is), it was not about checking out to solace myself.

Buying that pink fedora at the Good Will store when I was window shopping on the way to the park was like waiving a flag of victory.

I wore it all day long.

I even rode my bicycle home with it perched on my head.

Which was a great test for Burning Man.

The brim shielded my eyes and did not get in the way of my glasses and best yet, though it was windy, it stayed put.

That is important.

And when I got home I was happy to deck it out with the feather and the pink fabric rose that I had bought this time last year.

In fact, I am so pleased with the results that I am thinking I may host a little playa prep party at my place and see if anyone wants to sit out in the back yard with me and enjoy the sunshine, drink tea, and make some fascinators and hats and clips.

It would be fun, I have the gear, and so many of my girlfriends are going this year, it might be just the thing to do.

Celebrate my 8th year returning to Burning Man by putting another feather in my cap.

Literally.

Top 40

December 18, 2013

Reasons why my life is awesome.

In no particular order and to celebrate the last few hours left in my day before I turn 41 years old.

1. Getting sober.

My sobriety is the best thing in my life, without it I have absolutely nothing.  I got sober nearly nine years ago and though there have been some true challenging times, I have never looked back, never thought what I had is better than what I have.

My only wish, every birthday wish, every eyelash plucked off my cheek, every new moon rise I see over my left shoulder, every pinch of salt I toss, every time the clock strikes 11:11, every time I soar through a yellow light, the wish is the same.

Not please Santa/God/Universe bring me a boyfriend.

Please keep me sober today.

I could end the blog right there, but what fun would that be.

Besides I want to see what my top 40 are, I haven’t a clue!

2. Living in Paris

I leapt, I dreamed, I went after it.

It was terrifying and wonderful and surreal and I still don’t know what it all meant, but I did it and I am stupefied that I lived through it and am still getting to connect with people there.

3. Getting a bicycle.

“You really need to get a bike,” my friend Calvin said.

Yup.

He was totally correct.

And once I got a bike, I never went back.

It all started with a hybrid from Pedal Revolution that I got about seven years ago.  Then a boyfriend gave me a Pogliaghi one speed Italian Steel whip.  God that was glorious.  After I was hit by a car and the frame got bent I went to a friends bike for a while that was too big and shifted on the down tube, don’t even remember what kind of touring cycle it was.  Then the Felt 35, which I rode doing the…

4. AidsLifeCycle 2010

The training rides, the butt butter, the saddle sores, the sag car (which I only rode in once and not ever during the actual event–I rode every 569 miles of that bitch), the drag queens on Red Dress Day.  Meeting my friend Shannon and her, not then, but soon to be, husband Alex, the man who came up to me while I was dancing in my clipless SiDi shoes at a rest stop on day 6 and said, “I know you’re doing this for Shadrach, and we all love you for it.”

5. Shadrach

Whom I still remember like yesterday.  An unexpected friendship that keeps on giving, even six years after his death.

6. The Essen Haus.

God you were a bitch to work at, but man, did I make some amazing friends there–Shannon, Stephanie, Beth, and I have horrifying, funny, and tortuous stories to tell of the place.

7. The Angelic Brewing Company

Oh, man, six years of my life running that place, the list is too long to thank all the people who affect me and infected my heart, I still get love and messages from one of the bar backs and bouncers there on every birthday, she remembers and finds me and sends me an e-mail or text or phone call.

All the mischief and all the growth.

8. Getting my black belt in Shaolin Kemp Karate.

Hiya!

9. Growing up in Wisconsin.

Yeah, and aside from  a “healthy” love of fried cheese dipped in ranch sauce, I won’t ever forget the winters, the summers, the snow, the fall colors, the apple orchards, Devil’s Lake, Rock of Gibraltar berry picking, the Lake Wisconsin Ferry boat crossing with bags of popcorn from the roadside stands.

10. My family

Whom I love beyond words.

11. Travel

London, Paris, Rome, Reno, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Miami, LA, Vegas, Seattle, San Francisco, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Saint Germaine-en-Laye, Toulouse, France, and so many other places in between.

12. Being asked for my autograph after a performance of “In Our Own Words.”

13. Burning Man

Just go read the gazillion blogs I have written, you’ll get the picture.

14. Being a nanny

a. Reno

b. Juniper

c. Ellaven

d. Milo

e. Rylan

f. Jones

g. Alice

h. Eve

i. Colette

j. Storm

k. Max

l. Sonya

m. Kareena

All the bunnies, monkeys, and pumpkins I could possible squeeze, squish, and love on.

15. Bachelor of Arts, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2002

16. Certificate of Achievement in Independent Studies for the University Book Store Award for manuscript of poems, Translucent, 2002.

17. Getting published in the Bastille Spoken Word Journal of Paris, Summer Issue 2013 for my short story “The Button Boy”.

18. Recording and performing with Sunshine Jones of Dubtribe–music and lyrics–While You Were Sleeping, on his album Belle Ame Electronique.

19. Blogging every day for the last four years, this post will be #1,086

20.  My photography blog http://www.whereintheworldisauntiebubba.wordpress.com and really embracing the camera, and all the 1,000s of photographs I have taken since I got it.

21. My friends

I am nowhere without you.

No fucking where.

22. Trying surfing, trampolining, yoga, and learning how to ride a fixed gear.

23. My fantastic, amazing, incredible Mission Bicycle, my brilliant Navy Blue, RAL 5011, with a topcoat of Rock Star Sparkle and a big Classic Purple B52 rear rim.

24. Working a year in a bike shop

25. Moving to San Francisco

26. My tattoos

27. Seeing music live–Jeff Buckley, Underworld, Soul Coughing, M. Doughty, Beck, Pete Yorn, Goldfrapp, and so many other amazing musicians and shows.

28. Getting pulled onstage at the Spear Head concert by Michael Franti and dancing with him to an entire song.

29. Doing spoken word in Paris, San Francisco, Berkeley, and Madison

30. Having a spoken word album–Milk–which I don’t know that but five people have listened to.

31. Writing morning pages, three pages, long hand, every day for the last five years.

32. Moving to San Francisco in 2002

33. Riding my bicycle to the top of Mt. Tam

34. Getting pulled into the dj booth New Years Eve 2003 to dance with Donald Glaude at 1015.

35. Quitting smoking.

Eight years now.  Holy shit.  Almost forgot about that one.

36. All the museums I have gotten to visit.

The Louvre, SF MOMA, the Palace of Fine Arts, The DeYoung, Musee D’Orsay, the Orangerie, the Dali Museum, The Rodin Museum, Musee Branly, Musee Monet Momarttan, the Legion, the Pompidou, Musee Carnvalet, the National Gallery in London, the Tate Modern, also in London.

37. All the astounding, amazing, incredible, and wonderful women I have gotten to work with over the last eight and a half years.

38. Going abstinent from sugar and flour.

Losing 100 lbs.

39. Writing the rough drafts to three books.

40. Being alive to see and touch and taste and dance and sing and love.

Oh love.

How I low thee, let me count the ways.

I love so god damn much.

My heart so full.

Happy to be here another day, getting to be here another day, living another day.

Graced with my amazing life.

Graced.

 

Life Is A Beach

November 28, 2013

And a vale of tears.

But I’ll get to that in a moment.

Day two of the six-day staycation.

I did not get out so much today.

Rather I stayed in the hood.

I relaxed in the bed a little longer.

Awakening at 8a.m. I thought, nah, I am allowed a few more minutes, and I just drifted off in the warm soft sheets and dozed for another twenty minutes.

It could have been two hours, it felt so good when I woke back up.

I got up without even consulting the clock.

I was shocked to see that I had only slept another twenty minutes, I really was prepared for it to be noon and not 8:21 a.m.

Up was up, however, and up I stayed.

A text from the housemate upstairs and a confirmation that she was around and was I around and that and we should go get into some Trouble.

Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club, that is.

Trouble Coffee

Trouble Coffee

I had some breakfast, made my bed, did some writing and when that was complete I opened the door to my studio and met her and her daughter in the entryway and off we went.

Trouble was delicious, I had an Americano and it was dreamy.

After some coffee and catching up with her we went over to The General Store where her daughter explored the back yard and the succulents in the green house.

Cacti

General Store

I had no intentions of buying anything and happily wandered around the back yard with her.

Then I had to, well, you have a bunch of coffee and you would too.

The bathroom was by the clothes rack.

And on the clothes rack there they were.

My bib overalls.

I have been looking for a pair of bib overalls for the last year and a half.

I actually found some at a Brocante in Paris, but the woman would not barter with me and was more than exceptionally French, Parisian, and rude (I actually only had one other interaction with a French person that was the cliché, in all the six months of being there really, two nasty “French” people.), she was also enjoying a cocktail brunch at the cafe with her girlfriends and had no intent on selling anything from her stall.

It was like a front to sit in the sun and get schnockered on a Sunday.

Which is cool, but I did not succeed in trying on or purchasing the vintage coveralls.

I did, however, today.

Man, oh man, they are cute.

I will be wearing them to all my holiday parties.

Why?

Because they make me happy.

Some clothes just do that.

They made me happy when I tried them on and I almost wore them out the store.

Holidays should be dressed in happy clothes.

And for me that is a pair of bibs.

Doesn’t matter that it is not traditional holiday garb, holidays are already a challenge for me, what ever I can do to make them less so is something I am going to embrace.

As I found myself crying over a pint of ice cream this afternoon.

No.

I did not eat a pint of ice cream.

But I did lose it over a text requesting that I pick some up.

I mean I lost my shit.

I went from being a fairly calm, rational, just went down to the beach and watched the surfers and listened to the waves boom on the shore, and hula hooped and eaten a kale and spinach salad and, what!

Napped.

Oh yeah, did that too, twenty-minute knock out in the full sun after my salad and banana.

Did any of that matter when my friend sent a text asking me to be a dear and grab some ice cream to accompany the pies he was bringing to the event?

No.

I, as I said, lost it.

I sat down.

I cried.

Then I got angry.

Fuck you God.

Fuck you.

I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, it’s Thanksgiving and I ain’t gonna eat get to eat any fucking pumpkin pie or whipped cream or strudel or gravy or cranberry sauce.

I hopped the self-pity train and rode it the fuck out-of-town.

I knew better than to respond to my friends message as the response was way out of proportion to the event.

So far out of proportion that I knew it had nothing to do with the request and was just the sign pointing the way to a deeper disturbance in the force, Luke.

The restraint of pen and tongue and text paid off.

I had to make some phone calls and follow through with meeting up some of the ladies this evening and I did both.

When that was finished, when I had a modicum of perspective I made the phone call and joked to my friend that it was sort of like asking me to bring a couple of grams of coke to the party.

I asked if there was anything else I could bring.

He was such a sweetheart I felt bad for even making a deal about it.

Asking for what I need is still so damn hard and it’s not the big stuff that gets me, I can handle the big stuff.

Births.

Deaths.

Accidents.

Evictions.

Getting fired from a job.

No problem.

Bring a pint of ice cream to an event and my entire world falls apart.

“Honey, it’s always the mouse in the room,” John Ater said to me, “it’s never the big things, the elephants are easy, it’s the mice.”

No kidding.

Holidays are challenging and feeling out of my league is standard for me.

What is not is saying yes to a new experience and going somewhere new to be with new people.

And an old friend.

A friend that I don’t get to see for long stretches of time and who will be away for a lot of time for the holidays, kind of gift, you know, to actually get to meet his friends and be invited to his high holy holiday.

He’s getting all my pie.

And the ice cream.

Knowing myself too, it’s the being vulnerable part, I want to be perfect and be capable and be on top of things, but sometimes I have a hard enough time just getting to the point where I know what it is that is troubling me.

Having open time to spend with people and develop intimacy is one of the things that I want the most, yet shy from when it’s presented.

I have been gifted with some perspective around this and when I can sit still and allow the feelings to come and go, I am better for it.

Much better.

Here’s to not sabotaging my abstinence or my holiday.

Here’s to showing up with my authentic self.

Shy, scared, a little anxious, but happy to be included and grateful to have a place to be this holiday.

Grateful to have friends who want me to spend time with them.

Thankful beyond words.

And happy I get to do it dressed in bib overalls.

Not the bottom of an empty ice cream container.

 

 


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