and Cue the Music…

Owning something for me means being honest with how I am feeling or coping with a situation in my life at any given time. Last week I went to my usual Saturday morning meeting. I wasn’t feeling my best and for the first time since going back to WWs in February I didn’t want to get out of bed and go face the scale (insert dread filled music).

I know myself pretty well, when the nasty, insult laden negativity starts to creep into my thought plane I need to be extra careful. I talked myself into the shower. I talked myself into making the drive across the city. I talked myself into walking into the door. I am that hesitant, negative tourist who ends up having a grand time once I convince myself everything will be fine. Everything was fine.

Have you ever felt wonderful and terrible at the same time? Instant unease in the pit of my stomach. I am happy that I am doing well but I am scared I will falter and give up. I am happy that I am losing weight but I harbor disappointment for having allowed myself to become so unhealthy in the first place. Wait, What?

The toughest part of this journey for me is to be honest with myself even when it hurts. In the end if I manage to work through the mental demons blocking my path I come out of the other end of the tunnel in a better place than when I entered the underpass, usually. This week I have been in a dark space. I have been running away from how I am feeling since my Pops passed away. I have experienced profound loss before when my kid sister died in a car crash. I survived but I am not the same. I struggled for years about not being enough, that  I let her down, disappointed her and if I had just been???!!!??? I could have prevented the tragedy in the first place. All lies, all self-doubt, all fear driven.

I am feeling overwhelmed and uncertain. I feel like an after shock. An earthquake came and destroyed my little corner of the world. Every once in a while I feel a wave of negative energy wash over me. I don’t know what to do next. I am afraid and I am struggling because I feel like I have been left behind. I will work my way through this. The anxiety I am feeling will pass. I will be Okay. I am not alone, family is bigger than what you are born into. I am just having a moment.

That moment:  an event or a feeling that can change your life path. I have had a few  moments in my time.  That moment when I realized that I meant something wonderful to someone. That moment when the phone rang and she was gone from my life forever. That moment when I finally understood that I am Okay just as I am. That moment when I decided that I am worthy of more than I have allowed myself to believe. Moments make up a lifetime. We all have bad, uncomfortable moments but it is up to you what you do with that. Don’t let small mistakes become BIG problems. My moments have taught me many things. I am stronger than I thought. I am brave. I am capable. My moments have been valuable beyond measure.

Before I met him I thought I would always be alone. Before she died I thought I couldn’t live without her. Before I married him I never knew how wonderful love was. Before I understood, I thought I was broken. Before I knew who I was, I yearned for something more; now I am enough. OWN YOUR MOMENTS. Learn from them, lean on them in times of uncertainty, embrace them. Be in YOUR MOMENTS.

Never Give Up on the Person You Are Meant to Be

 

Mirror, mirror…

…on my wall.  I have had quite a few things on my mind this week. Thoughts that randomly invade my sleep, thoughts that nag at me in the check out line at the grocery store, questions that come to me when I am mid-conversation with someone. I have spent a lot of time reflecting about where I’ve been, how far I have come, and what is next for me on this adventure. I try to face my fears with humor, determination, and a good anxiety med now and then  o-O .  Last week I told you about my need for new bras. I was nervous about going. I  talked to myself from the time I left my morning meeting until late the next afternoon before I bravely ripped off the Band-Aid of fear, plunging headlong into the experience. You know what? It wasn’t as bad as I remembered; maybe I have changed,opened myself up to a new way of being myself. I am down both a cup size and a band size, Yeah!!!!  =  )   =  )  =  )

It is not just my body that is different. I feel different. Happy in a way I have not been happy in a long time. I noticed for the first time this week that my pace while I walk is quicker. I am not so out of breath any more. My feet don’t hurt.  I feel more confident in my ability to choose the right things for myself. I have enough energy to last through my workday and still have enough reserves left to go shopping or take an evening walk or enjoy extra curricular activities{{wink, wink}}. No nap needed =  ) I know there is more work to be done. I just thought I would take a moment to rest, appreciate the wonders I have seen before I continue the climb.

I look in the mirror. I see my smiling face. There is a feeling a self-worth. I am becoming the woman I want to be. Once upon a time I couldn’t see through my tears. I missed the beauty that was right in front of ME! The beauty (inner) has always been there; I just forgot. Life pushed me hard. I lost my balance. I fell down. I thought I would never be better. I got to a point where I was tired of feeling badly about who I was, who I was allowing myself to be.  I stood up to myself and took control. It has been tough on me to accept that my normal means being ever mindful about my mouthfuls; but, I am a big girl and I am learning to adult. I got this. I am doing this. I own this.

 

re·flec·tion(rĭ-flĕk′shən)n

1.The act of reflecting or the state of being reflected.2. Something, such as light, radiant heat, sound, or an image, that is reflected.3.a. Serious thinking or careful consideration: engaged in reflection on the problem. b. A thought or an opinion resulting from such thinking or consideration: wrote down her reflections.4. An indirect expression of censure or discredit: a reflection on his integrity.5. A manifestation or result: Her achievements are a reflection of her courage.

Never give up on the person you are meant to be.

What Makes Us Different…

makes us the same.

It starts early in my day on Fridays. I start thinking about what I want to blog about. I worry no one will read my thoughts or worse that no one will care.  Sometimes I wonder if the effort I put in is worth it. Then I remember this blog is for me. I write as a way to keep myself in check. I share how I am feeling in the hopes that what I have to say helps one person to realize that they are not alone. We all struggle with something :  loneliness, depression, weight, beauty, stress from a bad marriage, death of a loved one…the list is endless. What makes us different makes us the same.

I started this weight loss journey again in February. I decided it was time for me to change my outlook (I had painted it grim, I was buying my own lies hook, line, and sinker). I forgot how to be happy, to live in my moments. I had spent so much time and energy trying to be the best daughter to my Pops, who suffers with dementia, that I had stopped taking care of myself. I stopped caring about me. I should have reached out for help. Maybe, I wouldn’t have gotten so lost if I had just stopped and asked for direction.

I throw a wall of emotions out in front of me to keep me safe from prying eyes. I make people laugh so I won’t cry. I sing because I am in distress. I eat because I am angry and I don’t know how to use that negative energy in a positive way. I decided that those things that are sometimes true about me needed to be changed. I needed to change. I am learning to own my anger. I don’t have to self-destruct. I am bigger than that. I am worth more than that. I am learning to laugh from joy. I sing because it makes me happy. I  try to talk myself out of my anger. I am trying to let go of things I am unable to change.  I am growing as a person, not in the waistband, a first for me.  = )

The truth is everyone is afraid to get hurt. Life is not a free ride. It comes with pain and disappointment. It has moments of grief and anger. It is the longest, most intense adventure you will ever undertake. You deserve to be in every messy, wonderful, emotion filled moment of it. Learn to be kind to yourself. You do it for other people, learn to value yourself. Stop blaming yourself for the way things have gone in the past. Live for the now.

You have the chance to be a better version of you, right now.  You are strong enough to stand up for what you want. There is no need to feel guilty about being successful at being you. Never give up on the person you are meant to be.

What makes us different makes us the same  =  ) We can do this Cupcake!

 

 

Where Does It Come From?

Inspiration for a blog post comes from many things around me. Little things that everyday people miss everyday. The smile on a little girl’s face when she looks up at the man she calls Daddy, the homeless man on the street holding his sign pleading for 2, the school kids heading home from class on a beautiful day, a small child crying seemingly unhappy at not being understood. I see. I have trouble not thinking about all of the things I see. The world is not a safe or friendly place. My mother often struggled with everyday things.  She struggled keeping the house clean, food in the fridge, clean clothes in our dressers. She suffered the whole of her life from mental illness. I often felt growing up that we were teetering on the edge and the slightest upset in its delicate balance would spell ruin for our family.  My darkest fear is to be homeless.

The other day on my way home from a doctor appointment I saw her. A young woman with a cardboard sign on the side of the road. She could have been my niece. She was young, pretty, her clothes clean.  She looked out of place, she looked cold. She made me sad. I admit to you that I didn’t roll down my window. I am not sure handing someone a dollar through the crack of my window could change the course her life is on. It did however put a bump into my world. I can’t shake what I see. What I keep seeing. Where has the kindness in the world gone? the trust? the hope? the love?

I do not know this girl’s story. I am not sure if I asked her that it would be a truth filled tale. She may have fallen on hard times, lost her job, or her way, or tripped out on drugs and still hasn’t made it back to the “real” world. All I know is that every time I see someone on the street holding an overused cardboard sign my soul cracks just a little more. My heart gets a little heavier, tears manages its way down my cheek. Life is a precious gift that people throw away. When will we learn? Will we ever learn?

Kathy’s Song

She was there. My Pops had just been transferred from the hospital to enter the uncertain life as a nursing home resident. In the short span of his first week he was busted from the fifth floor to the fourth because he needed additional looking after. Which I learned really meant that my dad in his confusion would sometimes enter other patients rooms and well, wreak havoc. He didn’t mean any harm but nonetheless disturbances of any kind can have a very negative effect on the frail and/ or elderly who are just trying to have a little peace in their lives. I wasn’t happy the staff wanted to move my Pops but I understood so with minimal crabbing from me I helped the CNA move my dad to his new digs.  She was there.

Our first meeting is difficult for me to recall, not because I have memory issues but more from the level of stress I hadn’t yet sorted out. Everything that was happening to Dad and I still hadn’t sunken into my thought process. I was feeling so overwhelmed and beaten. I felt numb. She was there. Her name is Kathy. Her hubby was one of the residents at my Dad’s new “home”. She was friendly and talkative. I felt comfortable in her presence from that first moment. She showed me around the fourth floor and gave me a few pointers about the staff, the meal times, how to control the heat in Dad’s room, where to find extra linens. By reaching out to me she changed that moment of fear for me. I relaxed a little and I felt a wave of relief I was sure was never going to come.

I am sure she has no idea how much that day changed me. It changed the way I view my Dad’s living situation. It changed the way I am towards other people who have loved ones suffering from illnesses and dementia. Even though each of our battles are unique to us we are all in the same war; fighting to give our loved one the best “rest of their lives”.  My Pops was only at his first nursing home for two weeks when a bed became available closer to my home in a better environment. I jumped at the opportunity. I am not sorry that I moved Pops. We are both happier and healthier now. Kathy’s hubby has moved as well into a better living arrangement. I couldn’t be happier for them both.

Kathy and I keep in touch as much as possible, gotta love the interwebs, and today we went to lunch. I had a wonderful time. Thank you Kathy for being the light of hope I needed so badly that day. Never forget that one person can change the world. Never underestimate what you mean to someone else.

Love,

Trish  =  )

Fear

What are you afraid of?

I have lived with some form of fear, well, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t afraid. I guess you could say fear has always been on my side. I was afraid of the dark as a child. I was afraid of my mothers’ rage. I was afraid to try new things or to look stupid in front of others. I am afraid of chickens and dolls with faces. I am afraid of losing myself to obesity. I am afraid that some day I will get dementia like my Pops. I am afraid of being homeless, jobless, abandoned.

The problem with fear is that it can be so powerful that you get frozen by it. It is difficult to free myself.  Fear has a way of making you small. I forget sometimes that I am in control of how my day goes. I have the power to turn a bad day around. I am a force to be reckoned with  when I stand up for myself. Being fearful makes you weary in a way that is hard to explain to a person who doesn’t understand what it is like to carry this burden.

Fear …I hate you. I hate how you fill me with self doubt.

 

The View From the Cliff

I find myself on the edge of a cliff uncertain if I can maintain my balance. I teeter on the edge between believe and unbelievable. I am not ready to give up. I am not afraid of heights. I am leery of them. My head begins to pound and for a second I think I will lose my footing. I won’t. I always catch myself. I wonder what will happen that one day when I don’t catch me. Will I plummet over the edge into an abyss never to reappear? I struggle everyday with a pain that pierces me to my core. Some days it hurts just to draw breath; until I realize I am not breathing. I am holding in my tears or my anger or my fear.

I am tired of feeling this way. There is a difference between living and being alive. Somewhere in my life I stopped living. I go through the motions of living but I don’t really care if I am. I know this is dangerous territory to be in. I need, I need, I need to stop. I foolishly lost what I once had from fear. I want to change things but I am afraid. I am afraid to succeed.

Am I worth it? everyday I disappoint myself. I talk myself out of getting off my asscake and working on the me I need. Why is that? I have no real answer except fear. The crap a person is willing to live with instead of facing the unknown. I infuriate myself. I am at the crossroads once again. If I can just believe in myself I got this. I can handle what is next. If I just believe. Where’s Tinkerbell when a girl really needs her?

That Good Bad Girl,Maleficent

I never imagined I would live to this age. I guess part of the blessings of youth is that young people don’t dwell on anything but the present. When’s the next party? the next test? When I used to dream about my future it was always about love. Being in love, finding someone to love, finding someone who would “get” me. I foolishly thought someday my prince would come and that I too would get to live a Disney heroine type of life. Yeah, right. Don’t get me wrong I love my hubby. He loves me but no matter how much I wish it; he is no Prince Charming and I, am no Cinderella. I have always been more of a Maleficent kind of gal. Troubled, misunderstood, longing for that one elusive thing I already have.

I have been at the same job for thirty years. WOW, right? No risk Trish that’s what they should call me. Fear sucks. I am afraid to do something else so I do nothing. I would love to write a book but lack of self belief keeps me from fulfilling a dream. I always thought anger was the most powerful emotional doorstop that a person has to struggle through but that is not the truth. Fear is worse. Fear is an ugly purse you keep in case of an emergency. There are many types of fear. My deepest fear? total failure, loss of everything I think is important to my well being. Each of us carries a bit of fear for various reasons. Some carry fear as a reminder of a past event. How they survived kept in the back of their minds ever ready to present itself like a cigarette incased in glass for a nick of time rescue. Or fear that keeps people just out of range, no attachments necessary, safer that way. Fear is the only emotional state that has its own categories based on levels of irrational thoughts and behaviors. PHOBIAS everyone has them, few like to claim them.

Fear is the hardest thing to push through. Taking action means facing that fear no matter the outcome. I have lived with fear in one form or another since I was a little girl. I was too young once upon a time to realize that my mother had serious mental illness. She is the one who introduced me to fear. She scarred me. I never felt safe in her presence. I never knew what she was capable of doing. She always made sure to remind me in a painful way if I forgot and allowed myself to get to comfortable around her. One misstep and POW. My mother would come at you guns blaring on a mission to make you pay for some transgression real or imagined. I am a grown up now or some semblance there of and yet I have the hardest time when I am fearful, waiting…for the shoe to drop.

Turns Out…

it was never about the food. All these years I have held myself separate from all of the things I wanted or needed or cared about. It is not the story but the telling of the tale that matters. I was never taught how to manage my feelings. I was raised to believe my feelings had no place. My wants, needs, desires were of no consequence. I was supposed to learn how to table them not handle them. I think that is one of the reasons that I grew up feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. I was a fraidy-cat when I was a kid. No adult ever explained to me that a human body goes through many changes as it develops and grows. I was so fearful I often obsessed with my own untimely demise. My mother just called me ‘Camille”. I was overly dramatic and needed to get a grasp on reality. If it had only dawned on her that I was apprehensive about the changes I was experiencing maybe she would have been gentler with important info, maybe. I taught myself to eat instead of feel. If I eat I won’t need to be in my moments. I won’t get hurt. Turns out the only thing I taught myself was how to buy a bad lie.

Have you ever stood in front of an audience and spoke at great lengths on a subject only to realize that no one is listening to you? Story of my life. I have always felt invisible yet I am not Trish alone. I have my constant companions Fear and Loathing. They seem like nice girls but one never wants to do a thing outside of her comfort zone and the other; well, she just hates everything. It is tough to get one damn thing accomplished. These two scream in my thoughts for attention. Thank Gawd for that ray of sunshine called Hope. I love her. She makes everything seem possible. She speaks quietly, determined to be heard, she lurks in the background waiting for her moments. Her moments are the life changing ones. That voice in your head that says, “I can do this!”, ” I am worthy.” “I crave acceptance not food.”, “I am somebody.” I wish I could learn to listen to her more. hope

When you take Hope by the hand and embrace all that she has to offer, the possibilities seem endless. Live in the moments that make your life better.
Today I took Hope to a WWs meeting. It’s time for her to make another appearance in my life. I lost my way. I tabled the belief I had in myself because my life got hard. I have taken care of my Dad for nearly eight years. He lives with dementia. Over the Christmas holidays my Dad was placed into a nursing home. For the first time in a very long time, I can relax a tad. Enjoy my moments, have some Hope that tomorrow will be better. I learned a lot about myself in those eight years. I am stronger than I thought I would ever have to be. I can be tough. I am a loving person. I learned how to hug. I lied to myself for years that I was unhuggable. Hugging someone means being so close to a person that you share the good vibe, exchange chakra. There is a warm glow sensed between the hugger and the huggy. A good hug equals total acceptance from me. The person who I am hugging has earned my respect, my trust. I also learned that sometimes when you hug someone you give them a little of your Hope. In the giving of a small part of yourself you make someone else’s battle seem worth the fight.

When the Sh*t Hits the Fan…

…it might be wise to have a back up plan. I am planning one now.

Fear. No one likes fear. Not what it can do to you or how it can make you feel small or weak. Recently I have not been feeling up to snuff. As this week moved along my uncold turned to a death knell. As most of my readers know I take care of my Dad, who suffers with dementia. I try to take care of myself, my manchild/husband and my Dad. Sometimes the craziness of my situation takes over and I am no longer in control of the important things, like my health. I haven’t been this ill in a very long time. I know it is my body’s way of telling me to fix things, to pay more attention to it. OK! Message received.

I am talking about fear because it has come in waves this week. Being ill has taken a toll on me. This cold zapped me of all of my energies. It stole my voice. It fogged over my mind. It made me helpless and weak. I struggled to draw breath. Mostly importantly it kept me from attending to the important things in my life that need daily attention. I was unable to get to my Dad for three days. He called the neighbors and begged for bread and milk. He had both but I am sure he thought (in his kaleidoscope reasoning) he needed to stock up in case I failed to return.

I was angry. Not at my Dad but at this COLD. This cold put my Dad into a potentially dangerous situation. His memory is gapped in several places and completely changed or erased in others. He has to be directed in every day tasks or he loses his place. He needs to be guided. I finally made it over there last night. He had peanut butter, jelly and Fluff, Hell, West and crooked. He had jelly in his hair, on his pants, across his face. He was in desperate need of a shower.

I love this pic of Dad and I. You can see how much we look alike.
I love this pic of Dad and I. You can see how much we look alike.

I cleaned up the kitchen as best as I could and then we moved to the task of getting Dad into the shower. I assure you not a fun task. Dad gets angry when it is shower time. In his mind he is certain he has taken a shower just that morning. I wish that were truth. If I left it to Dad he would rot in the outfit of his choice.

This cold taught me that Dad can longer be left on his own. I have avoided putting my Dad into a nursing home or other such living arrangements for as long as possible. I have had the paperwork for some time now. It is mostly filled out. I have spoken with his primary care doctor. We are both in agreement that he needs to be placed. How do I put aside my fear, my disappointment, my anger in order to find him a place? A safe place. I know no one will ever take care of him like I do. I have to find a way to get over my worries and do what has to be done. I love this man. I have to do what is best for him and for me.