Posts Tagged ‘abstinence’

Long Days

February 28, 2018

And tomorrow will be another one.

I was asked yesterday by the mom to come in two hours before my scheduled time tomorrow.

I said yes.

They have been having a rough go of it, three sick kids.

The oldest boy had to call out of school today with an ear ache.

A trip to the pediatrician and it turns out he has an ear infection.

Meanwhile, back at the house, I had the baby strapped to me pretty much all day, he’s still so sick.

And at the doctor’s office the pediatrician was super concerned bout the little lady bug, who has now officially been out of school for ten days, and it turns out she has a severe lung infection.

The mom has also been sick, so the doctor ran a test on the mom to see if she’s got the flu bug that has been so vicious.

Negative.

Thank God.

I don’t know if I could have handled hearing that she had the flu.

I am healthy as fuck.

I rarely get sick.

I had a cold about a year ago.

And I’ve had a couple of instances of food poisoning this year.

Once from sushi and once from oysters.

Neither one was fun, the one from the sushi was horrendous and I won’t be going back to that restaurant again.

But.

I haven’t had the flu.

I did do the flu shot at the beginning of the year and I’m super grateful for that.

I don’t really know if it’s all that effective with the strain of the virus that has been going around, but I’m glad to know I have it.

Could just be the placebo effect.

Could be that I have pleaded with God to not let me get sick.

I am far too fucking busy for that.

So.

Tomorrow I will have a ten-hour day at work.

Gratefully I don’t have clients on Wednesday.

When I get off from work I will be coming home and making soup.

I didn’t have a chance to do food prep for the week, lunch prep, I did dinner, and I’ve been eating salads at lunch.

Which is lovely, don’t get me wrong, but with it being as cold as it’s been, I prefer a nice hot bowl of soup.

Today, though, I have to say it felt pretty good to have a big salad.

I eat really clean.

No sugar, no flour, and a few other things that I pretty much eschew.

But I don’t graze, I’m not typically a big salad eater.

They tend to be a last resort for me.

I like to have a meal cooked and hot for my lunch, especially, having a warm lunch at work really helps me be grounded.

But.

In a pinch, I’ll do a salad and I had hit up Rainbow yesterday after supervision and I got lots of good salad fixings to carry me a few days into the week until I could do some food prep.

The salad today seemed particularly to hit the spot.

Because.

Well.

Yoga.

I was, and am, very pleased to say that I finally made the 7 a.m. yoga class at my studio.

My therapist was out of office today, so we didn’t have a session, and although I love the family I work with, I was loath to say anything about having any extra time, I decided rather, to go in at my regular time and to allow myself some yoga this morning.

It was great.

My favorite instructor taught the class and it was small.

Saturday and Sunday there were at least thirty people crammed into the studio.

Today.

Not so much.

There were just three of us and the instructor.

And for the first time.

The guys outnumbered the girls.

Three guys and me.

It was pretty awesome.

And there was lots of hands on instruction and attention and it felt good to be in my body and I was very happy with it.

So happy that I pretty much pledged to be there again next week.

It turns out that I have enough time to do the yoga class before I go to therapy.

I have to plan out somethings, have my clothes ready, and all my bags and folders and books and meals and what have you packed, but I can do it.

I can do the 7 a.m. class, get back to the house, take a quick shower, dress, do hair and makeup and get out of the house in a timely enough manner that I will be able to be on time for my therapy session.

I am pleased as fuck that I can fit it in.

I even discussed, fingers crossed, with my instructor the possiblility of the studio doing another morning class.

He’s all about it.

And the owner, in an e-mail recently, had mentioned that they were considering it.

On Thursdays.

Which would be perfect for me.

It would literally mean something almost every day of the week before work, but it would also mean staying flexible doing some good self-care and getting more exercise, which I have been craving.

So.

Yeah.

It felt pretty good to eat a great big salad after doing a 7 a.m. yoga class and going to work and being a really good nanny.

The baby took two very long naps on me and was either being carried by me and sitting right next to me the entire day.

He craves being held.

It makes so much sense, just the comfort of being held, it is such a nice thing.

I miss it too.

I have that same craving.

I suspect many of us do.

I sense, though, that it will come to me again.

Patience I tell myself.

Patience.

Just be patient.

Baby girl.

All good things to those who wait.

 

 

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Big, Full Week

February 4, 2018

But then again, when is it not?

I was just going over my Google calendar and putting in all the things that I have happening this upcoming week.

I swear, I might need to not look at it for a while, there’s a lot going on.

But, I usually do have a lot going on.

I’m feeling the need to organize it as I wanted to see where I had little pockets of time to address things.

Like clothes shopping for D.C.

It was 75 degrees in San Francisco today.

It was glorious.

I wore a sundress.

I loved it.

February always has a run of nice days in San Francisco, it’s like a little mini-summer break, in the middle of what should be winter.

D.C. however is not that warm.

Nope.

Today the high was 41 degrees.

Granted I’m not going to D.C. to participate in outdoor activities, I mean cozy hotel, cozy restaurants and cafes, cozy museums, maybe a brisk walk around Dupont Circle and Georgetown but aside from that I won’t be outside that much.

Yet.

I still have a yearning for some cold travel appropriate clothes.

Plus I will have one nice meal out if not two and I want something appropriate for where I’ll be dining that’s not, well, a summer dress.

So.

Anyway.

Just spent a lot of time combing over my schedule and seeing where I can do things.

Tomorrow is pretty jam-packed.

Coffee in the morning and walk on the beach with my best friend.

9a.m. yoga class.

Shower and breakfast and more coffee after that.

My morning writing routine.

Food prep for the week.

And then.

I have a ten page paper I have to knock out.

I also have a lady coming over to do work at 2p.m. and I will be leaving to do very much the same kind of work cross town with my person at 5:30 p.m. then over to the Castro to get right with God and that is it.

My Sunday.

I won’t have time to do any shopping or the like.

Nor did I have time today.

I did, however, do some nice self-care things for me.

I did go to yoga, my head always says, just sleep in, but my feet were smart, I’d signed up for the class the night before, and I went, and as it is always, I was quite happy after I had done the class.

I had super hot shower, washed my hair, ate a great breakfast, worked on some client emails, did a bunch of writing, and went off to my internship for group supervision.

I was supposed to see a consultation today.

They no showed.

So I took the extra time, went to the bank, deposited a check, went to the car wash and got my car washed and then actually found brilliant parking just off Divisadero a block from a nail salon that I have been frequenting more often.

I got a mani/pedi and the eyebrows waxed.

It felt super nice to have an hour and a half of not moving, just relaxing, getting a little pampered, and then I was off to the spot for the doing of the deal and after, home.

A bite to eat for dinner, confirmation about meeting my friend for coffee, I can’t believe I’m getting up at 6:30 a.m. to meet my friend for coffee.

I obviously love my friend.

I hope there’s a lot of coffee.

Heh.

And that about wraps up my night.

It wasn’t a huge eventful day, but it was sweet and there were good moments of self-care and I had a few phone check ins with the new lady I’m working with and that felt really good.

I’m not going to make it a late night tonight, since I’m getting up early, just a little snack, some hot tea, and a bit of Peaky Blinders.

I’m quite taken with the show.

Just started season 4.

And a good nights sleep.

I’m not really upset about getting up early on my day off, it’s actually a good way to start the week, being up as early as my earliest day, which is Monday.

I’ll have a lot of 6:30 a.m. starts this week.

Monday for supervision before work.

Tuesday, fingers crossed there will be a fucking yoga class to go to before therapy.

Wednesday, a chiropractor appointment before work.

Thursday I can “sleep” in until 7a.m.

But Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I’m back in school for the second weekend of classes for the semester, and that means a 6:30 a.m. start for each of those days as well.

So an early start tomorrow will just prime the pump.

And I’m super happy to see my best friend, our schedules are full and busy and it can be really hard to see each other.

I’m sure the company will be fantastic and I won’t be at all upset about getting out of bed early on a Sunday.

Fuck.

It will probably put me in such a good mood that I will get all the work done I need to do.

Fingers crossed.

Because I don’t have space or time during the week to work on my paper, I have to do it tomorrow.

I’m sure it will get done.

I always get them done.

I just have to sit down and show up.

And.

Well.

Write.

I think I can do that.

And with that I bid you adieu.

Snack, tea, Peaky Blinders, bed time.

Sweet dreams lovey.

Sweet dreams.

Thanksgiving

November 23, 2017

Is just a few hours a way and I keep forgetting its Thanksgiving.

It’s a holiday so all about the food.

And.

Well.

I’m not really in that place anymore.

For me Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what I’m thankful for.

I have so, so, so much.

Love.

A home.

A bed.

A closet full of clothes.

I have food in the refrigerator.

I have a laptop.

An Iphone.

Recovery.

Sobriety.

Abstinence.

Shit.

I have THREE vehicles.

I ran into a neighborhood friend out walking his dog this afternoon as I was headed into a job in the Mission and he saw me getting on my scooter, “not taking the car?!”

And I told him that since I was going to the Mission for a five-hour job and it’s only two-hour parking it was easier and cheaper to ride my scooter.

Five hours of metered parking for a scooter in the Mission is $1.55.

I don’t know what five hours of parking at a meter in the Mission would be, but I know it’s triple if not quadruple that.

Fuck.

Probably more.

“Nice to have choices!”  My neighbor said and strolled off with his dog and a “happy holiday!” over his shoulder.

Damn.

He’s right.

It is nice to have choices.

I used to not have any choice but my feet.

I was so broke for so long, especially in the early part of my recovery, even taking a bus sometimes was out of the question.

It took me a long time to get financially stable.

A fucking real long time.

It feels surreal to know that I have a car on the street, add that to the list of things to be thankful for, I own a fucking car.

I really never expected that to happen this early into my therapy career path, I figured it was in the hazy future, not like, this past Monday!

I have choices.

I have a bicycle.

I have a scooter.

I repeat, but, it still is amazing to me.

That.

I have a car!

Wow.

Yeah.

I have a lot to be thankful for.

I have a job.

I am in graduate school.

I have wonderful friends.

I have better relationships with my family than I have ever had.

I have perspective.

I have faith for the future and a deep abiding belief that I am being taken care of.

I don’t have great big plans for the holiday.

Like I said, the food part paled for me many, many, many years ago.

Tomorrow I will be with my person and some other friends in the Upper Castro/Twin Peaks area, I think I still am waiting on the address and details, for “pizza and Netflix.”

I obviously won’t be eating the pizza.

But I will be enjoying the company, that is a given.

And that’s all I really need to do.

I will sleep in and rise without an alarm.

No yoga at the studio.

I got a good work out today and frankly my body could use a rest.

Not sure how, but I once again sprained my fucking right ankle.

I am currently icing it.

Same ankle that I sprained right before I left for Paris in May.

Not as bad as that sprain, but still it’s gotten tight and swollen, so I took some ibuprofen and I have it elevated and I’ve got a bag of frozen peas on it.

I’m sure it will be fine after a couple of days of chilling out.

God’s way of saying, slow down.

I’ll do homework.

I might even knock out a bit tomorrow, depending.

Then Friday I’ve got the massage in Pacific Heights and I’ll do a tiny bit of Christmas shopping.

I’m not really a Black Friday kind of gal, but there are a couple of stores on Fillmore Street that I want to pop into, mainly Nest, I got a very sweet Christmas ornament there last year.

And the rest of Friday and I suspect all day Saturday, will be homework.

I’ll finish up a CBT assignment, do all of my Child an Elder Abuse homework assignments and finish up the readings for my other classes.

If there’s motivation to do so Sunday, I may write a paper, or work on my final project presentation for my Transpersonal Psychology class.

All the things.

They will get done.

The big push towards the end of the semester.

One more weekend of classes!

Whatever I don’t get done this weekend will be attended to next weekend, then, yes, one more weekend of class!

Very excited for that.

And I’m going to call it a night.

My ankle feels pretty numbed out.

Time for some tea and some rest.

Happy Thanksgiving!

May it bring you many blessings.

And.

Much.

Much joy.

 

Step Up

November 20, 2017

Do some service.

Get the fuck out of your head.

Worked like a freaking charm.

I sat and listened to an amazing woman today for hours.

I did a lot of reading.

I did some client work.

I got asked to do a speaking engagement and did that too.

It was fantastic.

To get to be my complete self, lit up, on fire, alive, in love, all the things.

I don’t remember what I said, which is good, that means I wasn’t trying to manipulate how people saw me, I was just sharing.

And my God.

The gratitude.

I smiled so hard.

My face actually got a little sore from smiling so much.

And.

Yes, of course, there were some tears, and love was talked about and I got to reflect on how much love I have been given and how much I still get to give back and out into the world.

It’s amazing.

I was also told this, “you sound like a psychologist!” A sweet man told me after.

That was really nice to hear.

I am grateful for so much in my life.

I have a life, I am alive, that is the start, and you know, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, it bears repeating, if life were fair, I’d be dead.

Life is not fair, I have more than I can have ever imagined or asked for.

I have extraordinary people in my life.

I have people I love and who love me.

I have a full heart.

I don’t do so many of the things that I used to under the guise of it makes me feel better, but really it just made me feel worse, temporary solutions to the pain I was living with.

Like smoking cigarettes, man, I still forget that, I haven’t smoked in twelve years!

No sugar.

No flour.

No booze.

No cocaine.

Sure.

I still use salt, but please, really, don’t take away my last white powder!

I also do things that I always wanted to do but I would just talk about doing them, I didn’t actually do them.

Like.

Oh.

Writing.

I write every motherfucking day.

How amazing is that?

That I consistently give myself the gift of sitting down to paper and pen and getting honest with my heart.

It is no easy task and it always gives so much back to me.

So too, this little blog.

I do love the writing, I love how my fingers fly over the keyboard, I love how the words pour out of my hands, a direct conduit from the love in my heart.

I have a great job.

I have a site to get all my practicum hours so that I can graduate in May.

Jesus.

I get to go to grad school!

How many people actually get to do that?

Granted I was getting hella frustrated with the FAFSA online tools which kept telling me my passwords were wrong and wouldn’t let me access my student account.

I have to file for the 2018 financial year.

I have not applied to school yet, but I have some fairly serious ambitions to do so, to go for the PhD, I’m thinking that I would get in Transpersonal Studies, which is a two-year program at my school.

I have to flesh some things out, when I would apply, what I might want to dissertate on.

“You should totally do it!” My therapist enjoined me.  “You find so much richness for yourself in the academic world.”

I had not thought of it like that.

I had thought of it, like I want a PhD, ego stuff.

Then.

When a professor I highly respected told me that I could be of more service in my community with a PhD I thought, yeah, I should do that.

Then.

Well.

I know this sounds kind of crazy, but it also sort of makes sense to me, it would mean being in school two more years and that would give me two more years to acquire hours at my internship before I have to start paying back on my student loans.

I am not in a paid internship.

I’m not sure that I could swing paying back student loans on top of getting my hours.

Then again.

I just keep saying, it’s God’s money, it will work out.

I do believe that.

But.

When my therapist reframed the continuation of school by reflecting to me how much I have gotten out of school, just personally, how much I have grown, that I am giving myself an opportunity to learn more and grow more.

I really liked thinking of it.

So grateful for my therapist.

We started in on a hard piece for me last week.

It was something that I have been holding for a while and I knew eventually it was going to have to come out and the work would need to be done on it.

I have done a lot of work, but there is still more to do, still places of pain that need to be touched into, places I need to grieve, things lost that I don’t know I’ve really let myself see that I had lost.

I don’t want to wallow in my past.

I don’t.

It doesn’t really serve.

But I do want to integrate those experiences, grieve what needs to be grieved, and let it go.

My therapists face when I was getting into some of it, how she pulled me back, grounded me, settled me back, ran over time with me to make sure I was calibrated and strong enough to leave the office.

I had tears on my face and many crumpled tissues, but I also felt a kind of inner awareness that this is where the real work is going to happen and I can get through it all the way.

I wasn’t collapsed in, I was strong, I was lightened, I lightened the load a tiny bit and left a good bit of it in a tissue in the wastebasket.

I have the strength to get in there, dig it out, and let it the fuck go.

So grateful for that.

I am resilient.

I have inner love and joy and strength and light.

I have been given so much love in the last few years, so much more than I thought I deserved, so much appreciation for who I am and what I do.

I really am loved.

I really am lovable.

I am enough.

I have enough.

And.

I get to give it all away.

Which.

Oh.

Glorious paradox.

Is.

The only way I can keep it.

The only way.

 

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.


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