What makes ME fat

My close friend runs an amazing personal training business. She’s smart, funny and in the best shape of her life, which I can honestly say since I’ve known her for nearly 20 years! She recently put up a post that got me really thinking about being defeated before we even begin to get in shape, and these are my thoughts, my “fat story”, my reasoning on the matter…I really want to get to the bottom of things, because as she says in her blog, losing the weight is great but you need to figure out how you ended up in this spot to avoid it in the future.

So, on that note…meet the teenage me.

Me, when I was 16

As you can see for yourself, I obviously never struggled with a weight problem. Here I was probably at 120 at the most. I was young, active, and didn’t have to work hard to stay in shape. In fact, at that point, I thought eating healthy was only a step up from ripping your nails out as far as fun ways to spend Saturday nights go, and I never worked out unless you count horseback riding once in a while. I was a size small and didn’t think twice about it. But, with all of that said, the truth is I still didn’t like my body. I had a tiny bit of belly bulge that upset me, and I never wore shorts or skirts above the knee because my legs were “ugly and jiggly” (I can still remember saying that over and over). I was so worried that my arms would end up being ugly when I got older, because I already hated their shape.

I gained a little bit of weight over the next few years due to heavy drinking and less activity and more eating. When I got married in 2000, I was 19 and weighed about 130 pounds. I decided to lose weight after the wedding.

I lost weight alright…I got pregnant in June of that year. I ended up with a pregnancy disease called HG and within a matter of three weeks went from 140 to 117 pounds and a hospital bed. A week later I was down to 98 and in a nearly comatose state. When the HG finally went away, I was thrilled, but something had been triggered by being so close to death and out of control. It was the trigger that knocked on my emotional disorder’s door and brought it to the forefront. I covered a lot of this, including my exact diagnosis, in this blog, so there’s no need to go through it all again right here. But the fact was, my mental health totally overrode all of my physical health concerns. There were days when I absolutely could not force any food down, and if I did, it didn’t stay down; there were other days when I overate and over drank to the point where I almost couldn’t move! That, added to the different medications the doctors were trying me on to see what would be the most beneficial to my condition, sent me on a tailspin that brought on a huge weight gain.

At this moment I weigh 170 pounds. I gained most of that weight during the first year after my panic attacks and anxiety disorder started.

So now, I’m feeling really stuck and resentful of this body. I still take medicine to help maintain a level chemical balance, and have been in therapy for close to seven years, which has helped tremendously. One of the things I’ve realized through all of that is that I do like being heavy. To me, it’s a protection. I don’t want to deal with people. Sometimes I don’t want to deal with life in general. It’s easier to disappear if you’re considered an outsider, and being fat usually makes you an outsider. I also don’t have a healthy relationship with food or working out- I tend to either over or under do them both, and use them as punishments instead of fuel and help to feel good and be happier.

I have all of these reasons why I got in this spot, and even a basic understanding of why I’m having so much trouble sticking to this clean eating plan and healthy working out plan. but I just can’t seem to give myself that push I need to get started again. I’m terrified of failing at this – again – and also terrified of succeeding and “coming out of hiding”! So what’s the answer?

The answer is simple but complicated. I have got to change my thinking. About myself, my body, being skinny, being fat. I need to take out the negative thinking (All fat people are lazy, and I’m fat, so I’m lazy of course) and learn to have realistic expectations (I’ll be so happy when I can fit into a size 3 again, I’ll never have another panic attack or depressed day again!) I’m an all or nothing person, so I have to learn to be balanced about this.

It’s going to take time, but the best way to get started is to just do it. So I’m setting goals. Rather than going by a week or monthly schedule, I’m going to do a 21 day goal. I read somewhere that it takes 21 days to make something a habit. I’m not sure if that’s scientifically accurate, but I like that length of time – doable, long enough to allow for beginner’s burnout, short enough to not forget the urgency of the situation and keep focused.

My goals for the next 21 days:
A half hour of cardio a day
Arms and chest once a week with the weights
Eat two healthy meals and three snacks every day.

That leaves me room for improvement during the next 21 days but gives me something attainable now.

Anyone else want to set some 21 day goals? IF I can do it, you can do it…just jump in and start!

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A little overwhelmed, I must say

So a few years ago my husband and I lost our house to foreclosure. We’d been living “up in the hills” as everyone calls it, in a small rural town with two stores, four gas pumps and a pizza parlor. We loved our house. We had five acres, twenty six pygmy goats, three horses, and even an emu. We loved our house and land so much that we actually got married (for the second time) in the back pasture behind the beautiful barn.

We loved it, we lost it, we moved on.

When we moved “off the hill”, I was heartbroken. Honestly. We’d signed a bad loan, for good reasons, so the foreclosure didn’t strike the same internal chord with us that it seems to have hit so many others who’ve lost their homes. We never felt angry with the lenders or that the situation was unfair. But, that didn’t mean we were happy with it, not at all…we just accepted it, but it still hurt, a lot. When we left we both decided we’d never live on the hill again, and never wanted to try to buy another house. We’d be renters in town and be content.

Life changed for us six months ago when my mother in law passed away. Now, as a result of that, it’s about to change again.

One thing that has to be said about that woman was that, as amazing and incredible and intelligent as she was, she was definitely human and had human flaws. As a child of the Great Depression she developed a seriously astounding pack rat habit in her older years. Although we were all aware that she was sick, no one was convinced she was going to pass away, not even the doctors. Everyone kept expecting her to get better. So we put off going through her things and sorting them out because we were waiting for her to feel better so we could all do it together. That’s not the way it worked out, and now my father in law is stuck dealing with a stuffed house, beyond stuffed shop, and sheds and yards and a green room…it’s all very overwhelming. Nothing my mom had could really be considered trash; she didn’t save garbage (for the most part) but she did save everything else.

Now, my dad needs to sell what he can sell, including the shop and house, to start over in a fresh place. But he can’t deal with everything that’s there on his own. It’s very tempting to bag it all up and throw it away, but the thing is, there is plenty of useful, needed stuff there. We need to sort it with the family, give them what they can use, donate what we can, and throw away what we have to. To do all of that is going to take time and energy. But when we’re driving half an hour each way to get up there to help him, then rushing back home after a long day to take care of our own house, there isn’t enough time or energy left to deal with anything properly. So we made the decision to give up our house (which is a rental, and which I am glad about leaving before winter, honestly) to stay with my father in law long enough to get rid of everything up there. The ultimate goal is for us to find a house to buy together, but for the moment I can’t even begin to think of that…it’s very, very overwhelming.

So we are moving into an overly furnished house…to clean it out and empty it…to move again eventually.

Overwhelming? Temporarily insane? They both apply to this situation!

There are benefits, one of the main ones being that since we are leaving this rental, my two sisters have decided to move into it and our landlord is thrilled. That means that I don’t have to pack up my kitchen to move it into an already overly equipped one…since neither of my sisters have very much in the way of furniture or practical things, I’ll be able to walk away with only my favorite and needed personal things. That in itself is scary! I have started over with nothing three times in my life, and for some reason, this feels like another time. Maybe because it’s not my own stuff I’ll be surrounded by? I’m determined to keep the things that are most dear to me, and will be getting a storage if I have to, since eventually we will be moving to a bigger house and I’ll have room to spread out; on the other hand, I’m looking at this as a chance to shed anything that’s unnecessary or in the way. I’m enjoying the prospect of a fresh start!

What about you? If you could pick up tomorrow and move with only the things you love, what would you take? How much of what you deal with every day, from clothes to dishes to decoration, is stuff you just keep shuffling around because it’s there? I am going to try my best to only take what I love and let everything else go…is there room for you to do that in your life as well?

Summer 2011

Hi guys! I know I’ve been gone again for a while. I am thinking about setting another challenge for myself like I did in April (ignore the blog title, I’ve since changed the layout of my blog and hidden the calendar, ha ha) . I think I’ll wait until July 1st so that I have a whole month to blog daily. In the meantime, I wanted to share some of the pictures I’ve taken this summer. Enjoy!

PS – sorry these pictures are so small. Apparently WordPress is smarter (or more stubborn) than I am today!

New bloggy goodness!

I’ve spent the better part of this day locked in my sewing room. There are two reasons for this – one, my kid is sick and grouchy, so I’m trying to stay out of her way as much as I can; and two, I’m really trying to work harder at being a good blogger and crafter. To that end I took some pictures and edited them for use here on my blog.

If you like them, you can use them however you want. They are bigger if you click on them. So click on them and choose ‘save image as’, name the file whatever makes your little heart happy, and it’s all yours! It would be awesome if you’d take the time to drop me a line and tell me how much you adore my wonderful images (lol!) or at least give us a link to your blog so we can check it out. But, it would just be awesome…it’s not a rule or anything!

If there’s enough interest, I’ll look into making more goodies for your blogs, so if you have any special requests just leave me a comment. I love your guys’ emails, of course, but my blog looks a little lonely with no comments. 😦

Oh, and one more topic of discussion – this blog has gotten pretty messy with diary entries and whining posts and not enough pictures or good crafting content. But, I’ve had this up for almost five years, and there are a lot of posts to go back through and edit and reorganize. I’ve been really horrible about tagging things correctly, too, so it’s really hard to find anything, and gives me a headache just thinking about it, honestly. So, what I am thinking about doing is moving over to Blogger for my crafting posts. (Yeah, I tried that once before, a few years ago, but I wasn’t really focused enough to put in the effort needed and eventually gave up. Not gonna happen this time.) There are a lot of pluses to Blogger but the truth is I really am having a hard time being disloyal to WordPress after this many years here. So I’m still just in the ‘considering’ phase. The other option is to stay here at WordPress and just start a new blog for my crafting stuff. I’ll still post here either way, about my fitness and life and stuff, but…Idk. It’s just something to think about.

What about you? What are you thinking about today? Share with us…we want to know!

My To-Do List

Today’s gonna be a busy day, if I manage to accomplish even half of the things I want to do I’ll be thrilled. The plan is to post this list and then come back and update it with the time I finished each project, but we’ll see how much blogging time I have left over to actually do that! Without further adieu…

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 To-Do list

scrub shower Done!  10:10 AM

finish laundry (finally!)

organize closet Done at noon…the next day lol

As much of dd’s schoolwork as is possible

dishes

sweep and mop bathroom and kitchen

clean out and detail my car

organize linen closet (and find some place for extra blankets while I’m at it!) Done! 10:10 AM

vacuum all floors

Make dd’s bed for overnight guests tonight Done at 9 PM

take out ALL trash – including what’s behind my bedroom door! Done, the next afternoon

PUT AWAY CLEAN CLOTHES – just. do. it. Yes, three baskets is a lot.  Suck it up.  Wimp. Done at 6 PM next day

clean and vacuum under couch cushions (and start doing this on a weekly basis!)

make potholders and hot pads

work on gray and yellow quilt  – just do it, get over the block already!

clean out both fridges

upload videos from Shea’s visit Done at 5:3o PM

Move firewire card from old pc to new one

Make lunch and dinner Done

Eat every two hours Fail, but this is an ongoing goal

take pills Done at 9:00 AM

let Sasquatch out and play with her Done at 9:45 AM

take the kids outside (maybe even the park?) Done

quit crying every time I pass a mirror (don’t ask.  Just know it involves my now orange hair) Done at 2 AM – redyed it! yay

cardio – at least an hour!  Quit slacking woman. Didn’t get a full hour but still had fun

study

You thought I was exaggerating about how big of a list it is, right?  Wrong!  So what are YOU doing today?  Hope it’s more fun than what I’m looking at!

Do you ever have

Do you ever have one of those days when you wake up wrong and the day just gets more and more wrong from there? I mean, down to where even the easiest things to do right – like take a shower or throw a load of laundry in or decide what to have for dinner – end up feeling like they will turn out as wrong as everything else has so far, so you get to the point where you don’t want to do anything at all!

I don’t mean the same kind of ‘don’t want to’ as when you’re depressed or just emotionally swamped. I’m not even talking about the kind of frozen in fear ‘don’t want to’ that high anxiety or panic attacks can cause. I just mean, really, truly lacking in motivation and yet so stuffed with frustration that everything just feels wrong.

Full of cactus spines,

dripping with dangerous venom,
null

poke you til you bleed,
null

wrong.

Do you have those days?

Please say you do…because I am having one right now and don’t want to feel all alone over here in Wrongville.

So, you may be thinking, what could possibly have driven me to this amount of wrongness?

Well.

I’m pretty sure my dog’s dying.

I need to work out but am fighting a migraine and every single time I move my head splinters a little more. Not very fun.

I can’t sew or craft to save my life, which, considering how many years I’ve spent doing this stuff, it really does save my life and sanity. So it stinks to be so miserably cut off from it.

But the main thing that’s so wrong is that we have a huge thing to go to tonight with thousands of people and I really, really am dreading it. I know. They are just people, they’re all nice, it will be great once I’m there…I can hear it all, have heard it all, don’t really want to hear it again. I am allowing myself to be a little overwhelmed and I’m fine with it. I’m still going, I’m just dreading it a little.

So that’s my day right now.

How wrong is yours?

A word about fitness and my life

I don’t know if I have mentioned it here on this blog or not (I believe I have) but recently I have been working at changing some bad lifestyle habits and adding in good ones. I am using the word ‘lifestyle’ here because these are life-long habits I’ve been in, and more importantly, life-long ones that I am developing…it’s a lot more all-encompassing than the word ‘diet’.

First off, I’d like to say that I am under close doctor supervision, before anyone emails me to say I should be. I really am. I am seen every three months (or more often, judging on how the appointment went) and can get in to talk to my doctor whenever I need to (I am Native American and have great insurance benefits as a result of that.) I have a general practitioner I fully trust, a psychiatrist who has been supervising my treatment for nearly seven years, and an LCSW who is a great help to me and works hand in hand with my other doctors. I know this is a long introduction, but the point is, I do not recommend that anyone tackle the things I am about to discuss on their own – doctor supervision is important, and please seek professional advice, don’t just blindly trust what you read online as the definitive answer to any of your problems!

Whew, now that that is over, let’s get to the good stuff!

First of all, I weigh 179 lbs. Yes, I am brave enough to post that here, because I know that not very many people read this blog! (Also, I generally have no secrets and tell complete strangers whatever they want to know about me, in general terms anyway. It’s just how I am. Personality flaw.) Anyway, up until October 4th, I weighed 190. I have spent the past few weeks working hard, and have lost some weight as a result of that. More importantly, my clothes are fitting me better than ever – I even had to go buy smaller pants – and, most importantly, I can now walk 5 miles in 30 minutes, and my heart feels stronger and healthier.

That is the main reason I have started on this lifestyle change journey – to be healthy. I don’t want to be stick thin, I don’t want to be a skeleton, I just want to be fit and able to feel good about my fitness levels. My goal is to be as healthy as possible by February, 2011, as that is my next set appointment with my doctor to go over my cholesterol levels, and I want to see vast improvements in that area as well as my weight. Ideally, I’d love to get down to 130 or so, but again, I am not getting wrapped up in the importance of numbers. I’ll tell you why.

When I was a kid, I got picked on a lot for being too skinny. Most of the time I was the skinniest girl in my grade. It wasn’t until I got to junior high and started developing certain girly curves that I finally felt like I belonged, that I was no longer just the string bean with crazy hair. I finally looked normal, average, and that made me happy.

In high school I weighed about 120 at the most, even with a sizable chest. I never felt fat, but I never felt fit and toned, either. I remember complaining about how I could barely walk a mile without getting winded. My arms felt flabby and my stomach was never the firm, rippled surface that it could have been. Still, my overall body was fine, so I never put any effort into working out.

Also, in high school I realized I had a definite eating issue. Eating was certainly an area where I had a lot of obsessions and ignorance. There was no such thing as breakfast in our house; we’d have juice at school at the mid morning break if we had money and time. We qualified for free cafeteria lunches, but since eating in the cafeteria was for losers, I would often skip lunch as well as breakfast. It wasn’t until school let out and I was back home that I’d actually eat. I’d usually have sugared tea and a sandwich, and then not be hungry for dinner, which was usually a very unappetizing event anyway. I spent a lot of time purposely ignoring the fact that I was hungry and not eating enough.

As an adult, I gained a little more weight under my mother in law’s cooking habits. I weighed about 140 when I got married, and six months later we were overjoyed to find out I was pregnant. At this point in life, I’d been lifting weights here and there and running occasionally, but never seriously attempted to get in shape. I thought I was fine. Well, it turns out, pregnancy changed my life, and not in the way you’d think.

The day I found out I was pregnant, I weighed 150 pounds. Six weeks later I was hospitalized in a nearly comatose state. The treating physician was shocked when she put me on the scale – the number read 117. Four days later, it read 106, and before things got better, I was down to 98 pounds. I had a rare pregnancy disease called HG (another post on that coming someday) and it basically meant that I threw up about 6 times an hour, every hour, around the clock. I got grooves in the back of my front teeth from throwing up so often. It was horrific. A close guesstimate of how many times each day I was sick would be around 144 times. There was no relief, nothing helped, not even the newest medicines on the market. They put me on a PIC line IV and sent me home. Eventually, the HG disappeared and left me a wrung out, twisted up, pregnant rag doll. It wasn’t attractive, as you can see:

5 months pregnant

That’s me (a terrible quality scan of me, sorry for that) at just over 5 months pregnant. I only gained about fifteen pounds more than this the entire time I was pregnant. I never really even looked pregnant. It’s really sad to think about, especially since I was told I could never have more children because the chances were that the disease would be even more destructive than it had been the first time.

The disease had eaten through all of my fat stores and attacked my muscles. I suffered permanent kidney and liver damage, which have caused no serious complications in later life, which I am thankful for. To top it all off, I never really recovered fully before giving birth two and a half months early to a perfectly healthy little girl who weighed 5.4 lbs and was absolutely wonderful.

Now I was in a totally new situation – I was kind of like an invalid who’s suddenly been told she’s completely healthy now, and has a baby to take care of as well. I didn’t know how to develop healthy habits at this point in life, and even if I’d thought of it, this was before I met my doctors and had the support system I now have. I literally had no where to turn and no idea of what to look for in any case. I managed to get back on my feet a little at a time, but never took the time to work on getting a healthy body. It was survival, and that was all I could manage.

About a year after my daughter was born I was diagnosed with PTSD from the difficult pregnancy and traumatic birth, and entered treatment. At the time, there was so much to treat mentally and emotionally that there was no time or energy left over for me to concentrate on the physical side of things. Also, I didn’t really feel that I was in any physical danger anymore, so I didn’t see a need to work on that area.

Over the next few years there were a lot of battles in my life. PTSD was the tip of the iceberg as far as diagnosis go. Add to it General Anxiety Disorder, Acute Panic Disorder, OCD, Agoraphobia, and EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified) and you will have my full list of disorders. EDNOS is the most recent of them and the one I am currently trying to understand, as it effects my daily eating habits and seems to contribute the most to the problems I am dealing with now.

Along the way, I tried a few different medicines to help counteract some of these chemical disturbances my brain was going through. One of them, Paxil CR, worked for a while, even helped me quit smoking and stop having the constant panic attacks. But I’d find myself waking up in the middle of the night to eat because I was starving. Suddenly I was eating three and four and even five times a day, which was totally foreign to my life at all, and for once, I wasn’t even trying to eat things that were good for me. I’d have pizza and ice cream for breakfast and a cheeseburger for lunch! It was a ridiculous way to cope with the emotional stress I was under, and the medicine didn’t help. Eventually, I switched prescriptions, but not before gaining over 60 pounds in a year.

For another two years I was so consumed with chronic anxiety issues that my physical health went unnoticed. In the back of my mind I knew I had a problem that was getting bigger by the day, literally, but it was easier to ignore it rather than try to fight it and fail. I was sick and tired of being a failure at life, and didn’t want to add one more thing to the list of things I’d never be able to accomplish. I came up with dozens of reasons why I was suddenly fat, and equally as many reasons as to why I couldn’t change that or help it.

Fast forward to September’s doctor appointment. Up until then I’d managed to laugh off my weight gain. However, seeing 190 pounds on the scale made me literally sick to my stomach. And hearing my doctor’s concern over my cholesterol levels and lack of exercise finally made me realize I couldn’t hide any longer. There was no longer any other disease, disorder or abnormality to fight against; the biggest problem, finally, was actually with my own body, not just my brain.

So now I am a recovering hide and seek player who really needs to get stuff together in a hurry. And I need to do so without becoming compulsively obsessed or mentally unbalanced. So you can see why numbers are not the focus of my objective – I have been on both ends of the spectrum, from far too skinny to far too heavy, and I have realized that for me, and for the way I operate, worrying about the scale isn’t going to be a motivator. I find myself weighing in three separate times a day and if I’ve gained a half a pound, I panic; if I’ve lost half a pound, I also lose my appetite, as I don’t want to eat too much and send the scale rising again.

The other side of this coin is that the EDNOS is something I am trying to ignore, but it’s slow going. I can’t help thinking along the anorexic lines – “If I don’t eat anything I won’t get fat” – which ultimatley leads to the bulemic thought process – “I have to eat now, I am so starving, and everything looks so great, so I’ll overeat and worry about it later”. It is very hard to develop a balanced view of eating when you aren’t sure what the view should be! We are constantly told to eat less to lose weight, but in my case, I need to actually eat more (or, more correctly, make healthier choices and eat more often) to lose weight, and that is something I can’t wrap my head around.

So, for the past twenty days, I have been concentrating instead on making working out a daily habit. I do around 40 minutes of cardio every day. Then I do strength training for about 20 minutes, and if I have any strength left after that, I like to do a few yoga moves. It’s a lot of time to commit, but I keep thinking that this is supposed to be for life, and at the rate I am going, I won’t have much of a life to speak of. So it’s worth devoting the time to my future, now!

It’s only been twenty days but I feel so much stronger and healthier. I am learning to love being sweaty and out of breath; it is so nice to get sweaty and breathless on purpose rather than out of a panic attack. It’s an empowering feeling of control that is better than anything I’ve dealt with lately.

I still have a lot of work to do, a lot of steps to make, but to make this one feels wonderful!

What I’ve been up to today!

Today was a really busy day for our house even though it was technically my day off. We did lots of cleaning, took naps, played, cooked dinner and then did our Tuesday night bible study. I’m conducting this month and it was a little nerve racking but we had a great time and it was hard to quit when our hour was up!

It was nice to have everything done after the study was over – we’d already had dinner and everything was cleaned up for the day. So, I bit the bullet and made myself work out. The kidlet and I played Just Dance (she quit after the third song, the little sissy…lol) and then I did the Wii Fit, and finished up with a ton of push ups. It took over an hour to do everything but now I’m pleasantly sore so it was worth it.

And after all of that, I finally had some time to myself to sew without feeling like I was neglecting other things. I recently moved my sewing machine onto my computer desk so that it’s always out and ready and nearby, and it has made a world of difference in my productivity. I’ve finished seven 10″ wonky log cabin blocks as well as started piecing my scrappy binding. It’s awesome to see a pile of finished quilt blocks growing so fast! I just turn on my computer, find something to watch or listen to, and sew away. It works well because I’m still close enough to the rest of the family so they don’t feel like I”m deserting them to sew. But, I also don’t have to watch/listen to what they are watching/listening to, because I have headphones on so I can do my own thing. It’s the best of both worlds as far as relaxing before bed with my crafty stuff and not being all closed off from everyone else to do so. I wish I had a picture to show you guys, but it’s really late and dark in here so I don’t have anything great to show…sorry!

Anyway, I need to go to bed now, so I’m forcing myself to put away the computer and sewing machine and hit the hay. Pictures soon!

No news is good news?

Time sure does fly when you can’t use your computer because it needs too much work! Finally, just a few hours ago, we finished installing all the new hardware and now I am up and running again, yay! Things have been quiet around here but not by my choice, it was forced on me by a broken computer, I swear!

Anyway, here are some pictures of all the things that have been going on around here lately.

Photobucket
Pajama pants from old sheets

Photobucket
Chunky yarn camera cases

Photobucket

crochet
Doll house area rugs

Eli,Brookie
Perfectly wonderful baby hugs

Frankie,Eli
Perfectly wonderful husband hugs

Bean bag bed,Gracie,Kate
Homemade bean bag beds and bright pink walls

crochet
Frogged crochet projects

Eli,Me
Dirty faces with me next to them but only when you click on it

Me,Megan,Brookie
A hammock project gone wild that ended in a happy mess on the grass

purse
A new purse with lots of applique

purse

pants
Sexy lounge pants with a cool waistband and my first button holes (which were a fail, btw)

t-shirt pants
Hubby’s work shirts become cool work out pants for me

dd's skirt
And finally, lots of rainbow squares and a still missing hemline!

As you can tell, even though I have been silent here, I have been busy elsewhere.

On a personal note – I am beginning to forget the utter hell that consisted of 2009. In fact, I was just trying to count it out last night, and I think it’s been a full four or five months since I’ve felt that awful panic feeling. I am still working at getting my entire life back under my control, and getting on some kind of routine that covers all the major areas of life – there are still a few things I need to work on and work better at. But for the most part I am pretty content. I wish I could say what the magic cure was so that I could prevent others from feeling the way I did for almost a whole year…but really, there was no magic day that it all just stopped. It just kind of melted away a little at a time. The trick is to stay busy and not think about how sick you are. For the most part, the biggest thing I did to get over it was to try to ignore it. Not forget about it – that leaves room for it to sneak up on you and grab you all over again. But ignoring it – acknowledging it’s presence and then moving on with your day anyway – seemed to work well. I just decided to quit letting the anxiety tell me what I could and couldn’t do. I am even back to eating small amounts of chocolate, drinking caffeine, and today, I actually had two beers!! Before, I was too terrified at the thought so those things hurting me to even try it. Now I am trying to just conquer the fear and do the things I am afraid of a little at a time. I guess it would be considered exposure therapy, but on a much smaller scale than I always imagine it would be done – I’m not heading to the airport or sleeping with snakes any time soon! 🙂

As far as life in the house goes, things are a little bumpy and somewhat stressful, but no more than usual. We are, of course, right in the middle of ten projects at once and trying to finish them all is a little exhausting. I have gotten rid of so much stuff though, about twelve big black bags full have been taken to the thrift store, and we took four car loads to the dump during a neighborhood cleanup (don’t worry, they had people on hand to separate the old furniture and clothes and anything that could be used from the actual trash itself). My sister and I just wrote up a chore chart to hang on the fridge so we shall see how that works out. All I know is, my week long strike (a post will be coming about that sooner or later) people have been pitching in a lot more around here, for which I am grateful.

And I think that’s about it. I have lots of little stuff in the works, but nothing major that I can talk about right now. Sorry again for the disappearing act and I will be back soon with more rambling notes and fun ideas!

Two phrases

Tonight I’ve been working on my art journal. And realizing that I am not quite the artist I would like to be, and also that my perfectionism is really holding me back in a lot of places in life, but that’s beside the point of this blog, at least for tonight.

I just wanted to post two of the phrases I am currently working on, both in my art journal and in real life. It’s hard to believe the first one and even harder to hold on to the second.

#1:
Love turns impossible dreams into reality

#2:
The peace can be fleeting, but it tastes so good in your mouth.

After I wrote them both I stared at them for a while.

Is it true that love turns impossible dreams into reality? Or does it just begin to whittle away and shape the dreams you once had to fit the reality you are in? For instance, in my childhood I pictured myself as a starving writer living in some tiny studio apartment with lots of easels and lots of sunlight. Slowly I have realized that my husband won’t let me starve and I’ll probably never have the hardwood floors and bright windows of my youthful dreams. And more importantly, the writing isn’t as important to me as I thought it would always be. The truth is, besides what I post here, there are very few remnants of that writer left in my life. Not because I lost the talent or ability – if anything, those things have only grown with the life and experiences I have had, and when I do sit down with pen and paper the hard part is stopping, because I have so much to say – but because the drive isn’t there anymore. Why write when I can teach and sing and love and cook and clean instead? So did the dream of becoming that accomplished and independent writer change, or did I force it to change to fit the life I have found? I once told a friend I would write ‘our’ story; now I have realized that all of my stories can’t add up to the happiness and fulfillment of my life, and they aren’t worth making someone else sad over.

And another dream I had was having no kids. I used to say I would never get married either. I wanted to be free of everything except the obligations that I wanted to have. I didn’t want to answer to anyone or be responsible for anything other than myself. Love did change that dream, into the exact opposite of what I thought I’d always wanted. So I guess…the answer is the quote can be true…Love really can change impossible dreams into reality by stomping them into oblivion and handing you something completely different.

And as for peace…the hardest part is enjoying it while it’s here rather than focusing on how soon it will be gone. It’s like eating your favorite, most decadent, top secret comfort food – every bite sends thrills of total joy up and down your spine, but on the other hand, every bite is one step closer to the end of the treat.

Well I suppose that’s enough of my deep thinking and awesome questioning skills. Although, it’s been awhile since anyone’s commented the blog. While I love the personal emails, it would be nice for visitors here to see that I actually do have readers!! So, if you want, share your thoughts about these two phrases…or any other quotes you like…or even what you put in your journal, art or otherwise.

I’m giving you free reign to post whatever you want people. Go ahead. You know you want to. 😉