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Posts Tagged ‘butterflies’

Many bloggers apologize for being “all over the place.” This post seems “all over the place” but I promise I’m going somewhere. I do not promise it’s a place you care to go.  Proceed if you wish.

Guess who got offered free therapy yesterday? Moi! (That’s “me” in French).

I feel so blessed. I think my brother had a hand in all this from up above. Here’s why:

My nephew was visiting me at work yesterday (again). We were working playing at my desk and suddenly he says, “I like butterflies.” Out of nowhere.

“Really Braeden? Me too.” (I really like butterflies. A lot. Seriously <—-.)

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It’s not odd for a blue-eyed, blonde chick like me to have a thing for butterflies. It struck me as a bit odd for a two-year old boy to say it while playing Legos. I looked around to see what inspired this thought.

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I am consistently festooned and bedecked with butterflies or at least have a doodle of one nearby, but yesterday there was not a butterfly in sight. (I should mark my calendar)

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I feel a strong connection with Greg when I’m with his son. Getting a hug from Braeden feels like getting a warm hug from my brother. The “butterfly” comment felt like Greg was giving my heart a little nudge. 

I popped over to Facebook and wrote on his wall.(Greg’s friends and love ones still post on his memorialized wall. We admit it’s weird, but it makes sense to us. Whatever helps you cope, right?)

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Get all that? No worries I’ll summarize.

*whispering*

“My Aunt Susan sees dead people.”  Not really. She’s a big believer in reincarnation and regularly receives messages from people who have passed. It’s uncanny. She gives me goose bumps.

After seeing what I wrote, she felt compelled to call and tell me to “look for yellow. He’s there in the office today.”  I kept my mind open for yellow but mostly just went on with my day.

Still wondering why I need therapy?

At 4:30 a long-time client came in (she’s a therapist) and asked if she could talk to me about Greg. Grief counseling, of sorts. Just for 30 minutes. I didn’t want to (it was awkward and I had things to do) but I did because I am polite.

I ended up crying my eyes out and telling her all sorts of things…that’s what always happens to me. She asked if I would come talk to her once a week. For free.

I opened my mouth to say “No. I couldn’t accept your services for free…etc” but something made me pause and think. Really? Why would I turn down this offer?

So I said yes, and felt absolutely positive this was meant to be. Things with my recovery are getting REALLY difficult. REALLY difficult. <—Did I say really difficult? I need any help I can get.

This is a sign in our office complex. It’s always been there, but I rarely drive by it. Yesterday I was parked in a different space so I noticed it.

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This sign always makes me smile (Seriously). After my  day’s emotional ending it struck me. I need to slow down because I’m approaching my own “blind corner” in recovery. I can’t afford to act rash. I can’t afford to act on my insane impulse compulsion to lose.weight.now.

Then I tried to make the traffic light and…

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it turned yellow.

Yellow!

I didn’t accelerate, I slowed down. It all made sense.

I’m pretty sure I’m charmed.

Or maybe just crazy.

Either way I need to proceed with caution because… did I mention things are getting really hard?

  • Psst…Wake up! It’s over. You can go home now. (0:

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I read a fabulous post from Lana about the meaning of recovery — more specifically the word recovery. This is a topic I’ve pondered often – especially because I am a wordophile…(Hold on, let me google. There might actually be a word for that….) logophile. Hmm. I like wordophile better. ***  

For Lana,  Recovering is more about Discovering. I relate to that. I accept my experience with ED is an integrated part of my life – one I can’t erase, forget, or deny. Yeah. Part of recovery for me IS discovering who I am now. Ex-post facto. My experience and struggle changed me (in good ways and bad).  Now that I no longer starve myself into a stupor, I need to discover my place in the world again.  

But for me, Recovering has even more to do with Uncovering.   

 
 
 
 

   

  

I mean...come on. Does this not look like a girl who was all set to enjoy the good life?

 

  

   

You see, anorexia pretty much buried “me.” It pushed “me” into a deep hole within myself and filled it with so much sludge I was stifled. Suffocated. Eventually, silent. If you didn’t see it happen,  you wouldn’t know I was in there.  

Hard to describe what this long process was like — particularly because at my worst, around the time I was hospitalized, I have swiss-cheese brain. I have little recollection. Starvation will do that. I DO remember crawling up stairs, being so weak I could not press the gas pedal or steer, going to the gym only to have the manager call the ambulance 5 minutes later for a very public “intervention,” and one time I overheard teenage boys laugh and call me ‘skeletor’ in Target…AWESOME.  

I didn’t do anything for fun. I had no idea what ‘fun’ even was. I didn’t dance. I didn’t socialize. I didn’t date. I didn’t do yoga. I didn’t make any friends. I lost the ones I had. I spent birthdays alone. Thanksgivings alone. In fact, I was ALWAYS alone. Even though I had invites all the time, my acquaintances and friends  at work, the neighborhood and gym — many who I love dearly — could not penetrate my inner world (guarded by anorexia). I was living in Austin, TX — far away from any family. My relationship of 6 years had failed. He and his friends were estranged. I began to “sanitize” my life– obsessing with keeping my apartment immaculate, my clothing ironed, everything just “so.” Gone were all the kitschy, funky, fun wardrobe items and home decor. No more glitter nail polish. I gave away a lot of Sanrio stuff (for shame!), I remember that! I wanted everything to be “plain and clean and simple.”    

BUT. There is TOO much about “me” that is not plain, clean, and simple!  

As I am starting to do this work of recovery — clearing out the sludge bit by bit — I am uncovering “me” again. I am able to breathe. Like emerging from underwater. Or ice, more apropos.   

Yeah. For me — recovering is all about uncovering the girl I left behind. I miss her.   

I’ve had an eating disorder for decades and it was a gradual disappearing act…it was at rock bottom when I was all but gone.   

I miss the me when anorexia was something I rode like a bike. Even when I became tethered to the pedals, then bound by chains. Anorexia eventually threw me from the seat, took control of the handlebars and Iwas left, still tethered, dragging behnd on the concrete. When you are that beat down, it’s hard to think about anything else but survival.   

But I’m back in the saddle again and learning to rip the covers off, unpack some of the sludge holding me down and let “me”  breathe and BE and come alive again and —sigh.   This just feels so good!   

 Perhaps this is the time for me to lose the c0coon and unleash that inner butterfly of mine.   

***Entirely unrelated but worth a peek is this website I just found. Labeorphily – the collection and study of beer bottle labels. Who knew?***  

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My focus of late is  taking care of myself – a rather foreign concept for me.  I have much to learn.  I started “checking in” with myself throughout the day.  I ask myself how I’m feeling, what I feel like doing, what my body needs, etc…and I try to nurture and provide for myself based on my answers.

This is groundbreaking stuff for me.

When it comes to self-help and spiritual development literature I have “read-heard-lather-rinse-repeat-been-there-and-bought-the-t-shirt.”  Yet, I have never been able to actually implement it.

Take deep Breaths…Drink Green Tea…yadda, yadda. Yeah, I totally agree. Makes sense. But somehow I never get around to it….probably because I am too busy freaking out and thinking ED thoughts. (0:

Now here I am *finger quotes* Checking In with Myself.

And it rocks my socks.

It’s no picnic in paradise, mind you. But it is awesome nonetheless.

Suddenly, I am getting to know myself, explore myself.

It’s like I’m spinning into my cocoon, where I have to figure out who I am and what I’m made of before I’m able to see what I can become.

(I have a deep belief about butterflies–you can read about it here)

It’s very uncomfortable at times. I have to face some ugly thinks. Ugly feelies.

I might check in and find myself incredibly lonely or anxious and impatient or feeling fat. And I don’t know why. But now, I can begin sorting all that out and trying to make myself feel better –  rather than spinning out of control and acting out the crazies.

I feel like I can corral a little of the insanity.

Like “Checking Myself In,” you know what I mean?

Then at times, it is quite pleasant. I realize I feel good. Alive. Hopeful. Like Dancing. Relaxed. interested. I feel ridiculous quite often.  At these times I am very pleased. I might have glossed over this finery before. That’s when:

Checking In With Myself” feels like

“Checking Myself Out” (0:

 

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My brother was born 39 years ago today.

He died suddenly, 7 months and 3 days ago. For 214 days he has been in heaven and I am choosing to believe this is his  best birthday ever.

The measure of a life — is in the living. Not in the dying. Not in the “what would have come next.’ I choose to believe he is not really missing anything. He is at peace and he is here with all of us who loved him in spirit.

Greg was awesome.  Of all my siblings he was closest to me in a special way. I have so many memories. I feel like he is the one who really “got” me, appreciated me for who I was, and recognized the difficulties I am facing. He was honest with me. Having overcome addiction himself,  he would not tolerate the elephant in the room that my disease has become (more on that later).

He is completely hilarious. And smart. And deep. And….sigh. So many things.

I will likely write so much more about him and how difficult his death has been but for today — I am choosing to just purely LOVE him.

Today, on his memorial Facebook page I wrote:

On your Birthday, Big Bro, I will focus on your living not your dying. Just for today, I choose to remember you more than I miss you. I will make your presence in our hearts be greater than your absence. I will celebrate your life, and not imagine the life you left behind…what could have been. Just for today. I love you. PS–SERENITY NOW!!!!

 His was truly a beautiful struggle. He is my inspiration.

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A few things I take seriously…..  

Gushing Oil Disaster in the Gulf – Seriously Disturbed  

Toddlers and Tiaras – Seriously Freaked Out  

Michelle Obama – Seriously Love Her  

All Natural Organic Peanut Butter – Seriously Devoted  

My Brother – Seriously Miss Him  

Little Boys in Glasses – Seriously Cute  

So You Think You Can Dance  – Seriously Moved  

People who think High Fructose Corn Syrup is “fine in moderation” – Seriously Misinformed  

Eating Disorders – Seriously Suck  

My Niece Jenny – Seriously a Kindred Spirit  

Music – Seriously Mandatory  

Whole Foods Market – Seriously My Utopia  

Vacuuming – Seriously Compulsive  

My Nephew, Tyler – Seriously Cool Individual  

My Social Life – Seriously Lacking  

Butterflies – Seriously Inspiring  

Kathy Griffin – Seriously Hilarious  

Lady GaGa – Seriously Don’t Get It.  

Reading – Seriously Second Nature  

Thinking I’m All Alone – Seriously Mistaken  

The word Seriously – Seriously Getting Old.  

 

   

 

  

 

 

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After the long weekend [in which she re-commits herself to a meal plan and recovery] I am SO amazed at how much better I feel so soon. I feel my inner butterfly again. I feel hopeful and so much more comfortable in my own skin. Thank-you Jesus!

I am still doing my caterpillar crawl …. which is faster than a snail’s pace or a sloth … and so I’m content with that.

I wrote down all of my food, though I can say I need to step it up a notch in terms of eating. But it’s all good, I got my swagger… “I got this!”

I cannot blog over the weekends since my computer died (also referred to as the day the earth stood still). I did start a new journal. It’s my full-frontal, no-holds barred journal and, let me tell you this thing is UG-GA-LEE.

Why? Because I just let out all the crazies in my mind. Radio KFKD (K-F*cked), as Anne Lamott so brilliantly describes.  (google it because I do not know how to incorporate links)

So it goes a little something like this *blushing*

me, me, me, I am fat, my pants feel like this, it is 2:45,today at the gym, I ate this, I cannot eat this, blah blah scales, blah blah weight, me, me, me, fat, fat, fat, food, food, food, weight, I want to be comfortable in my own skin….

 

You get the picture. Pathetic. But it is SO incredibly helpful. Because:

Reason 1.) It is like purging on paper. I can’t really share or verbalize this stuff with anyone else because it’s insane and boring and not really recoverically-correct*  — but it feels good to just put it out there.

The thoughts/feelings are gonna be there — I cannot deny them, I can only choose how I respond to them.  And with recovery they will get quiter and littler  and widdler and probably sound more and more stupider (which is not a word but so fun to say).

Reason 2. )When I read it – it is like I can SEE the INSANITY rather than BE the INSANITY**. I can see the ED voice and face it and – most importantly – recognize it as separate from ME***.

So, If anyone is reading this I suggest you try it. Let your Freak-Flag Fly no matter how pathetic it looks on paper and DONT rip out the pages!

*I coined the term — and by the way I FEEL THE FAT THAT IS NOT A FEELING thank you. I just wont say it out loud.

** Hmm…That just came out of me but it sounds like a self-help mantra. Missy likes it!

***mental note — next step: figure out who ME is.

 

 

 

 

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Enough is enough. You see, I had decided that the most painful and frustrating part of going around being a sad-hag is because basically I am not a “wah-wah-wah, doom and gloom” kind of girl. It’s just not my nature. I like butterflies and rainbows and clouds and drawings of honeybees. I love Jesus. 

  I like being ridiculous. I like to eat peanut butter and pickles. 

All you need is Love. Peace. 

So I was going around like….what is wrong with me. Where is my “me”-ness?Sheesh. 

So I developed the brilliant plan to just “give in”  to the depression rather than trying to fight it.  

I scripted a new inner-monologue. 

“I’m not okay and I’m okay with that “…. “I have run out of pretend”….I like to just sleep all the time and numb myself out in my apartment. That’s my “happy place.” 

Problem is, I’d be feeling like a cruddy, dirty, grey slug and then all of the sudden I find myself making little jokes with my neighbor and smiling or thinking happy thoughts or something. This is really incongruous with what is going on in my life, but I can’t help it. It is not fake. It’s me. 

I am sad happy girl. Or happy sad girl. Is there a word for a happy sort of sad or a sad sort of happiness? Not ambivalence…. 

Maybe I am like the sunshine peaking out of a cloud. Or — my favorite time of day -twilight- when the world gets really glow-y and everything is oddly illuminated.  It is pretty rare and when it happens it feels like magic. 

See what I mean? I am the girl who goes outside and says “Yay! It’s twilight…it’s like magic!” and yes, when there is a rainbow in the sky I want to let everyone in my vicinity know about it (for instance – a complete stranger in the parking lot). 

But I’m also a big, fatty-fat pants failure who can’t get it 

My avatar?

 

 together. 

 See what I mean?
 

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