Sunday, March 29, 2015

Change Your Mind

I was watching a movie this morning, Bedazzled, and as the 
end credits rolled, this song came on.

Funny thing is that as I watched the movie (I only caught the last 45 minutes or so) I kept thinking that there was a bigger message than selling your soul to the devil, that there was more to the film than the humor and Satan references.  I mean, it's pretty obvious, and I knew that, I just couldn't put my finger on it.

Then I heard the song.
And I cried.
Cause this battle, the one I'm fighting with myself, is exhausting.  

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Things Happen

Bad days happen.  Sometimes they're isolated incidents, sometimes they string themselves together for what feels like an endless spell of yuck.

Today was one of those days.

From the moment I woke up, I spent my time trying to catch my breath.  I spent every second trying to convince myself to participate in the world today.  My to-do list sat, waiting for the purple pen to check things off.

It's a weird kind of paralysis that takes over when I reach the tipping point where I spent today.  Where the overwhelm of life literally renders me useless.  Where even breathing is a challenge.

The thing about today's bad day is that it was brought about because of a potentially amazing opportunity.  Bad day?  Amazing opportunity?  I know.  Believe me, I know.  It makes no sense.  I get that.  Logically, this is all to familiar to me.  A great opportunity arises, or some other good news crosses my path, and instead of logical emotions, like being excited, or happy, I freak out.  Or, more accurately I get so excited, and conflictingly, so scared, that I end up paralyzed.

Which leads me to here.

The good news is that I did manage to get myself to functioning and went to see the peanut this evening.  The bad news is that as soon as I left, paralysis set in again.

I know that being overwhelmed doesn't need to be a bad thing.  It can be energizing and motivating and exciting.  I just need some help convincing my nervous system, or whatever part of me it is that controls the paralysis and it's buddy overwhelm, that it doesn't need to be bad.  Anyone up for it?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thankful Thursdays - Year 3

Day 128 - Thursday 3/26/15 - Super excited, for the first time ever, about a potential big change.  Never thought I'd say that!

Day 127 - Wednesday 3/25/15 - Glad to have a night in after ages of nights out.

Day 126 - Tuesday 3/24/15 - Grateful to be given such a tremendous support team.  They're needed more than ever right now, and I'm so glad to have them in my world.

Day 125 - Monday 3/23/15 -  Impromptu party in class today led to a lot of smiles!

Day 124 - Sunday 3/22/15 -  A much needed sleep-in felt so refreshing.... if only I could now add seven more in a row....

Day 123 - Saturday 3/21/15 -  It felt great to see my peanut again!  I never thought I'd look forward to family dinner, but now, missing one, means I don't get to see the peanut!

Day 122 - Friday 3/20/15 - Another fantastic day at the conference, my kiddos shined brightly!  That was followed by a lovely evening with colleagues.  All and all, a nice day!

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Something weird has been happening.  
I am considering making two major life adjustments in the coming months.
I transitioned (fairly smoothly) from my dietitian of 3.5 years to my new one, 
who, like my therapist, is now stuck with me for the duration of her career.
I'm cooking real food at least twice a week.
I'm eating more veggies than I ever before.
(Yes, I know, I've been a vegetarian who doesn't like veggies.)
My career is blossoming at a rate with which I can hardly keep up.
And this week has been one of the busiest, most chaotic weeks of the year.  

Here it is.
A much needed one, as I finally have a day where I can stay 
in my jammies all day and snuggle with the Pup. 
And I'm sitting on the couch watching my favorite team play spring ball.
And I am thinking of the errands I want need to run.

Sunday afternoon.  In my jammies.
And yet I'm readying to go grocery shopping - my least favorite shopping behind clothes.

This is all positive, good, growth.  
At least that's what my therapist said.

So why do I feel like a stranger in my own world right now?
Positive movement = massive tears?
I know it's not gonna be instantaneous.
But when am I gonna be able to enjoy the positive?
When is it gonna stop feeding the depression?
Melancholy may make a good friend,
but I don't know how much more of it I can take.

Friday, March 20, 2015

So Proud

This week I had the privilege of participating in a two day conference for school.  My first year I was just a spectator.  My second year I presented.  This year, my third, I presented again, and brought students with me for a different showcase each day.

As I stood back and watched my 8-10 year-olds present their learning to hundreds of complete strangers, I couldn't help but tear up.  I was (and am!) SO proud of them.  I stood back with their parents and watched my students explain and share things that kids twice their age don't yet know how to do.  And when we packed up each day, I told each student how proud I was of them.  I was proud of how well they spoke, how they were-risk takers, how they remained focused on the task, the list could go on.  A total of 10 students came, five each day, and each and every one of them made me proud.  The last thing I told them?  That not only was I proud of them, but that they should be proud of themselves, too.

Kinda funny, the way things work.

This week, with the chaos of the conference, and the chaos with my head and my belly, following my meal plan was not easy.  I got less than 6 hours of sleep each night as my schedule had me on the go for what felt like 48 hours straight.  I was away from home, which limited my food choices.  It was not easy.  Yes, I was enjoying the energy of the conference, but I felt completely depleted by the time I got home.

Last night, I sent my usual wrap up email to my dietitian, and outlined the chaos of the day, sharing how freaking exhausted I was, and how amazing my students did.  Her reply?

"So proud of you!"

I am always telling different students I'm proud of them.  They all are working at accomplishing different tasks, and when they reach one?  I'm beaming with pride.

Yet.  When someone says they're proud of me?  It's totally foreign.

When I was growing up, and to be honest, to this day, when my parents said they were proud of me, it always came with a big, annoying, "but."  That "but" over-rode whatever the point of pride was.  Didn't matter how good it was, there was always that "but" that meant it wasn't good enough.

So when my dietitian said she was proud of me?  I cried a little.
And when a colleague who was at the conference with me today said that she was proud of me?  I cried a little more. 

I'm not used to people telling me they're proud of me. 
It happens once in a blue moon.
It's really hard to hear.
And hearing it twice in 24 hours was too much for me.

I mean, I would hope that as an adult, I wouldn't need to hear "I'm proud of you," from others.  I would hope that I could just be proud of myself, regardless of what others say or think.  That's why I tell my kids they should be proud of themselves, so hopefully, they'll start internalizing that, and not rely on others to develop their self worth.

If only I could follow my own example.

For now...... I've saved the email my dietitian sent.  I've read it a dozen times today.  I'm sure I'll read it a dozen times tomorrow, and frequently in the days that follow.  It may only be four words long, but......

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thankful Thursdays - Year 3

Day 121 - Thursday 3/19/15 - Today I watched my students not just shine, but sparkle bright enough to light the night.  SO proud of them as they presented to hundreds of people without missing a beat!

Day 120 - Wednesday 3/18/15 -  Grateful I made it through the day with out tears or vomit.  Migraines do that to me.  Even more so when I'm actually working through one while at work.

Day 119 - Tuesday 3/17/15 - Had a fantastic day today, partially because we were on a field trip that gave me much of my day spent outside!

Day 118 - Monday 3/16/15 - Happy to be alive today, alive and decently healthy, too.

Day 117 - Sunday 3/15/15 - Thankful for an indulgent meal, even if it made me extremely ill.

Day 116 - Saturday 3/14/15 - Gave myself the gift of a day of nothing.  Still felt way guilty, but not as guilty as usual.

Day 115 - Friday 3/13/15 - So much joy today in watching the peanut eat a full meal at a restaurant for the first time ever!  Even better that I was the one doing the feeding!

Monday, March 16, 2015

How Young is too Young?

My BFF and I were talking the other morning. She had company last night and is concerned about one of the guests quite possibly being anorexic. The menu was chicken, as requested by the guests, except, this person hardly touched it.  She picked at a bite here and there, leaving her plate otherwise untouched.

This is not anything new, actually. Every time this guest is around she never eats. Whether they are at my friend's house, or her own, or even at a restaurant, this person refuses to eat more than teeny bit picked off the plate.  Her mannerisms, her behaviors, they all point to anorexia.  It sadly makes sense.

The saddest part, though, is that the person we are speaking of is only nine years old.

Surprisingly, this is not uncommon. More and more kids - at this stage mostly girls, but boys as well - are developing eating disorders.  My friend, well versed in this "crud" thanks to my situation, has become an observant advocate, which will hopefully be of help to the child in question.

My friend was telling me that when she became a vegetarian at 16, her mom sent her to a nutritionist for a while, to make sure she was going to transition to vegetarianism in healthy way. The nutritionist was quite impressed with the variety of foods my friend was eating, even back then! To this day my friend has one of the most varied palates of anyone I know.

Now this differs greatly from when I became a vegetarian. That happened at age 13. And instead of learning how to be a healthy vegetarian, I just stop eating meat all together. Dinners became salad and whatever vegetable was being served. Not the greatest way to do it.  Not at all.  But my parents were rather absorbed in their own world and that of my siblings, and as long as I wasn't complaining, they let me do as I pleased, good for me or not.

You could say that this was the beginning of my eating disorder. And honestly, it was the beginning of my intentional restriction. But truthfully, it began much younger.  I was a picky eater from the get go, giving up foods that I thought were too messy or too sticky or too chewy. My diet became extremely limited even back then.

Eating disorders don't discriminate. They don't care what color you are, they don't care what size you are, they don't care what clothes you wear or what job you have, and they definitely don't care how old you are. If not treated properly, eating disorders are an equal opportunity death sentence.

If you, or someone you know is in need of support, there is help waiting

Friday, March 13, 2015

Saying Yes When You Really Mean No

Anyone do this?  C'mon, be honest.

I know I do.  Way more than I care to admit.

Like a lot of things in my world, I'm learning that the first step to making changes is noticing when you "do" the "behavior."

It was about 4:00 in the morning when I woke up from a nightmare.  This time, I was in my therapist's office and she was telling me that she was no longer going to be able to see me at my scheduled time, (which is a big deal considering I have to have after school appointments.)  Last time this happened, I completely freaked out, called my therapist and left a message just because I needed wanted reassurance.  It resulted in quite the conversation at my next session.  This time, I recognized my panic, and while the nightmare hung on for several hours, I knew that it wasn't true, and therefore, didn't call my therapist for reassurance.  I recognized the behavior.

School has been a hotbed of saying one thing, but meaning another.  I used to say yes to every request from my colleagues, even if it meant shorting myself.  Honestly, I didn't even realize I was doing it until my therapist pointed it out.  Years and years of putting others first, without even realizing it.

Most recently, though, a friend asked me to take care of his cat while he was away.  Of course, I said yes.  And I instantly regretted it.  My schedule for the next two weeks is insanely packed, and though it only takes about 10 minutes to feed the little guy, it's 10 minutes more than I care to spend.  And really, I always feel guilty when I don't spend extra time playing with the fur ball (who is absolutely adorable, by the way) and brushing out his long coat.  I feel bad rushing in, cleaning the litter, refreshing the water, and feeding him dinner before rushing right out.

But I said yes.  And I always keep my word.

At least, though, I recognized that the "no" got overshadowed by the "yes" as soon as I said it.  Too late to take it back, but maybe next time, the "no" will beat out the "yes" response.......

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thankful Thursdays - Year 3

Day 114 - Thursday 3/12/15 - Made a choice today solely based on what I wanted.  I think it was a good choice, too, as it resulted in a relaxing morning, for once!

Day 113 - Wednesday 3/11/15 - Glad that I was able to push past the annoying voice in my head today and try something new for dinner.  Didn't love it, but it didn't kill me, either.

Day 112 - Tuesday 3/10/15 - Asked a question I didn't want to ask.  Got an answer that made me smile.  All good.

Day 111 - Monday 3/9/15 - Almost made it through a day without tears, so instead of a day, I'll be thankful that I made it through therapy without tears!

Day 110 - Sunday 3/8/15 - I attempted to cook something.  And it turned out.

Day 109 - Saturday 3/7/15 - Spontaneous lunch with a group of potential - dare I say it - friendly people - wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was gonna be.  (Even if my stomach disagreed.)

Day 108 - Friday 3/6/15 - Very thankful that this Friday was remarkably calmer than last. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wish vs Reality

Perception.  Perspective.  Whatever you want to call it, sometimes mine is off.

Good news is that at least I'm now starting to recognize when it's presenting an inaccurate picture!  If only that could happen a bit more frequently....

Here's an example.  (Disclaimer: I am not a Trekkie, though I did enjoy the two most recent films.)  My therapist and I were talking about emotions and how some people are better able to manage theirs, while others (like me) are managed BY their emotions.  She suggested I watch Star Trek (yeah, she's that awesome, you can be jealous) and pay close attention to Kirk and Spock.

So I did. 

And as my therapist and I reflected on the movie, I realized that I am such a Kirk - my emotions are ever-present, driving much of my day.  However, Spock, on the other hand, is pretty darn emotionless, living among an acute sense of logic.  (Reminds me of Sheldon!)

I want to be Spock.

Reality is, a balance of both Kirk's emotions and Spock's lack of emotions would be more appropriate to strive for, but, with my extreme "Kirk-like" emotion, even if I shoot for Spock's opposite extreme, I'd likely end up in the middle.

Here's another one.  Earlier this week as I was walking out of my house, I gave my usual cursory glance to make sure everything was set.  This time, though, I noticed that while I got rid of loads and loads of excessive "stuff" over the past two years, I still have more to get rid of.  In my mind, I see myself as a minimalist.  My house says otherwise, though.  No, I'm not by any means a hoarder.  I can't stand the pileup of superfluous stuff.  I'm more of a pack rat.  Kinda comes with the teaching territory, you never know when that really cool plastic take out container might come in handy.

Years into therapy, I can now see that my perception of myself and my world is very much twisted and, well, pretty messed up.  Knowing this, though, is going to help me change the prescription of my lenses, so to speak, and help me see reality as it is, not as I wish it to be.  Thank g-d there's still years of therapy to come......!

Friday, March 6, 2015

An Ode to Eos

It sits there.  On my computer.  Right next to my mini Sheldon.

It's there in my car.  Next to me.  In the cup holder.

It's next to my bed.  On the nightstand.  Waiting.

There's one in the bathroom, too.


I continually choose to ignore it.  To forget it's there.  To ignore the smoke signals, the reminders, the quiet whispers, the louder shouts.  I ignore them all.

"I'm right here!  In front of your face!"  It declares.

"Go ahead, grab me!  You know you need me!"  It boasts.

"C'm on!  It's not gonna do anything bad!"  It exclaims.

"What's it going to hurt?  Nothing!  It's only going to help!" It cries.

"Why the #%&$ aren't you grabbing me?!?" It taunts.

Stupid chapstick.

Or.  Maybe I'm the stupid one.  Considering I will easily go all day ignoring my lip's plea for respite, for relief, for the simple coating that restores them to peace.  One would think that I must prefer to torture myself, to let my lips burn day in and day out.

(You know this isn't about the chapstick.  Right?)

It's something I'm trying to do.  Trying to stop ignoring the pain, and start reaching for the solution.  Especially when it's less than an arm's length away.  Truth be told, I've always been great at torturing myself, and I've always sucked at being kind to myself.  That's slowly starting to head in the direction of change.

And as my dietitian says,
"Just grab the #$@% chapstick!"

I'm trying.  Or, at least, I'm trying to start trying.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thankful Thursdays - Year 3

Day 107 - Thursday 3/5/15 - Progress happens in baby steps.  I'm lucky that I have someone to remind me of that when I forget about the growth I've actually made.

Day 106 - Wednesday 3/4/15 - I love my job.  I love my job.  I love my job.  I love my job........

Day 105 - Tuesday 3/3/15 - My dietitian has a lot of patience..... which came in really handy tonight......

Day 104 - Monday 3/2/15 - Thankful, oh-so-thankful that I have the support team that I do.

Day 103 - Sunday 3/1/15 - This taking care of the self is hard work.  Takes more time, takes more effort, and costs more money.  Guess it's worth a try, though, I suppose.

Day 102 - Saturday 2/28/15 - I decided to try a new grocery store.  While I didn't love the place (actually gave me mega anxiety) I did find a few good new things and am glad I tried the place out!

Day 101 - Friday 2/27/15 - Super snuggles with the sweetest peanut in the world after what felt like the longest week in the world.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Outside In - Take 2

Had to post this comic I just found.  
SO what goes through my head every single time I am out in public.  Every.  Single.  Time.
Good to know I'm not alone?

Monday, March 2, 2015

From the Outside In

Have you ever gone window shopping?  I find it to be especially fun during the holiday season, when all the displays are lit up and full of magic and sparkle.  Now, with the internet, it's even easier to "window" shop from anywhere in the world - including, well, including places that one wouldn't generally think of as a place to shop.

Have you ever thought about window shopping as an "inside" job?  Let me explain.  I've always been a people watcher.  Always.  I'm intrigued by how people interact in the world, especially since that's an area of struggle for me (social interaction, that is.)  Even more, though, is the fact that I am constantly "window shopping" styles and such.

See, I'm not a fan of myself.  Or, at this point, it'd be more honest to say that I'm not a fan of my body and how it looks.  At all.  Which is actually my motive for people watching.  I figure that if I observe enough people out in the world, maybe I'll find some style or something that I do like, and that I think I could pull off.

Outside.  I know, you can't judge a book by it's cover.  You can't judge a person by their clothing.  I get it. 

Except.  In my mind, other people always seem to be able to "pull it off" so much better than I imagine I'd be able to.  I mean, I love the idea of boots and skinny pants.  I've seen so many people who can totally rock that look.  I just don't believe I could make it work.  At least, on the inside, I've convinced myself that I can't pull it off.  Nor can I pull off tunics, or ballet flats, or a plethora of other bits of clothing and style that I find to be fantastic on others, yet, imagine they'd be hideous on me. 

And if I'm going to be completely honest, when it comes down to it, I just plain feel like an outsider in my own skin.  It's as if the person I am on the inside isn't worthy of looking nice on the outside.

Yes.  I do understand that isn't true.  Or at least my therapist continues to remind me that isn't true.  I guess the more accurate statement would be that I don't like my outside, and I'm just starting to like my inside. 

So now it's time for a different kind of window shopping.  This time, I'm gonna have to try to shop my insides in an effort to embrace my outsides.......

Gee whiz, do I love challenges like this!! {ugh}