fear is a liar–volume 2129121

Today was a little bit annoying.  I had my big appointment super early, and of course, didn’t get to sleep at a decent hour.  My cats were bawling for food and getting out of the house on time was pretty stressful.  I always get pretty stressed with doctors anyway (white coat syndrome and yadda yadda).  Plus, I was told I had to fast beforehand for lab work–so I was also uncaffeinated and dealing with San Jose traffic (which is never a thing I recommend–ha).  Also–it rained–and my car is not great with slick surfaces. It’s a bit scary, sometimes.  But I’m learning how to better cope with that crap.

Driving there was fine. Actually uneventful, for the most part and not a lot of volume.  I’m actually starting to get to know where things are and made it there without my GPS.  My phone charger was not working, so I had to listen to crappy radio, but I survived.

The place I was going to was in a building with a big Starbucks, across from one of the hospitals.  The building has a retail side and then private offices–but literally no parking for the offices.  All the spots out front were for the Starbucks with 20 minute deadlines.  And very few of them at that. Even at 7 am, this city can be such a shitshow.  There was NO street parking, and the street behind the building had a giant lake of muddy water that had drained downhill–so no parking there.  I was able to find a small lot back around–but it said tenant only–so I wasn’t really comfortable and didn’t want to get towed.  So, I ended up calling the place I was going to–to confirm I could park there.  Welp, the lady who answered put me on hold and never came back–and it was almost my appointment time–so I took my chances and parked in one of the Starbucks spaces–the last one open–and hoped I wouldn’t get towed.

Needless to say–I was pretty stressed out about ALL of that.  Parking here is usually a big stress point for me.  And I was even more stressed because I knew my heart rate and BP would be sky high–all because of all of that.  And that already happens due to the white coat thing.

Anyway, it was a bit of a comedy of errors once I got inside, too.  The receptionist, while very sweet, was slow as Hell and couldn’t access ANY of the paperwork that took me an hour to fill out online.  Shit that required me looking up records.  So, I had to fill out all of it before my appointment–again–so it wasn’t as complete–because I couldn’t remember all of it.

I also was a klutz in the lobby and dropped my clipboard three times.

I went in and met with the nutritionist–who I felt was speeding through things.  Listen–I know my history is a LOT–and she had shit to get through–believe me, I know–but I expected more.  Maybe I misunderstood what this was supposed to be.  I thought it was an intake–getting to know all my shit.  But it was less about me, it seemed, and more about presenting their program–and presenting a predetermined diet that didn’t seem to have anything to do with my particular issues.  Basically, I was given a bunch of info–told to follow a very strict version of what is essentially a cross between keto and Whole 30–given tips and a bunch of grocery lists–telling me all the things I couldn’t have.  And I was just super frustrated by it.

I had expected a low carb thing because I had been told by a naturopath that eliminating gluten and added sugar from my diet was the best way to deal with my thyroid nonsense.  But my not having a gall bladder–and not being able to digest fats, proteins, and even sturdy veggies well–which was kinda the big reason my doctor recommended this program–makes this kind of diet…well…fucking not ideal.  I felt annoyed that I had just forked over $300 for something I am already well-versed in that wasn’t at all individual to me.

I can eat basically all the dairy (except milk), healthy fats, and protein I want. But I have like 6 veggies I can eat unlimited amounts of–mostly greens–and then maybe 15 veggies that I can have 2 cups of a day.  No onions or onion-related things.  No squash.  I can’t have ANY fruit whatsoever or any sugar of any kind.  But I can have sweeteners–which make me really ill.  No chocolate either.  No alcohol at all.  No beans, chickpeas, rice or quinoa–which I use to deal with my horrible digestion because my body needs things to soak up excess bile and literally will wreck me without those things.  Oh, and no cheat days–ever.  All of this means–meals outside of home are pretty much a no-go too. So no socializing with friends. I can eventually add a single apple and maybe some berries back into my diet in a month.  But that’s basically it–for the rest of my life–apparently.

I was not happy about any of this because it took me a very long time to get my body to a place of being semi-normal.  I still don’t digest food well, but I no longer live in the bathroom.  So, I had/have major concerns about my body’s ability to deal with this high fat/protein diet that is so unforgiving.  So, from a physical standpoint, I’m really worried I’m going to feel really unwell due to my medical issues and that will sabotage stuff.  It was a BIG reason I stopped with paleo before–and paleo let me have sweet potatoes.  This doesn’t. There’s NO buffer for my digestion. At all.

I also was super skeptical about the diet because of the mental side of it.  I’ve learned the hard way that my disordered eating patterns are MAJORLY activated by eliminating food groups.  I tend to label things as good or bad.  When presented with a very restricted diet–I tend to really get into perfectionist/ control freak mode–which is VERY painful for me–and everyone around me.  It’s makes me feel like someone with a major eating disorder, and I really cannot have that.  I won’t have that.

I didn’t really talk about this with the person I met with–because I needed to process this stuff–but my brain was saying–fuck this shit.

The labs were never drawn. The person doing the blood draw was a trainee and was terrified by my hard-to-get arms–so I fasted for nothing and have to try to get into a Quest this week–which is problematic because I have to go to a Labcorp for a blood draw this week–and have to fast for both–and can only go to Labcorp for my insurance and only to Quest to not have to pay for their labs.  So–this is going to mean I’ll probably be doing double blood draws within an hour on the same day. Not happy about that.

It wasn’t a total wash, though.  They gave me a cocktail of vitamins and amino acids to help support me–stuff that helps you process food better–which I appreciated a lot since I could feel it instantly with increased energy levels today.  They also gave me a special multivitamin–which was high quality and did seem to address a lot of my problems.  They did a body scan, took measurements, and did an EKG.  I appreciate having data about where I am. Knowledge is power.  I also learned I lost 8 pounds over the holidays without trying.  I think I’ve been in a really good headspace and even my indulging has been reigned in.  Knowing I would be dieting soon, I HAVE eaten more fast food–but I’ve tried to make better choices.

I don’t know that I was fully committed to the idea that I’d have to get rid of things, though–so all the temptations are still here–and most of my pantry is a no.

Anyway, I left basically saying to myself that either I was going to modify their diet and just use the support and shots and vitamins…or I would just do it for a few weeks and then start seeing the naturopath I found–which I held off on seeing to see how this went first.  She’s a specialist in all the things I suffer from and, I know from experience, would likely advise on food and also get the rest of me right.

I stopped at Starbucks on the way home and actually found a compliant meal and drink–which I was super proud of because I really wanted to get McDonald’s since I wasn’t started yet–and was SUPER triggered (McD’s being my comfort food). The Starbucks meal was delicious and satisfying. Such a better option than my normal go-to. I did have a headache today, but I think that’s my sinus infection.  I made sure to log everything in the app I’m now using.

I was super pissed off when I came home and sorta ranted at my roommates about it.  To their credit, they were very supportive and offered to help as much as they could–since they’re both doing keto now.

After being like–fuck this shit–I started thinking about my week’s meals–as they suggested–and ordered my groceries–deciding I’d start on Monday.  It was surprisingly simple and doable with the organic grocer I usually order from.  I was able to find sugar-free salad dressings, too.  I also bought a food scale, some steamer bags for the microwave, some ghee, and a whole 30 slow cooker book. I realized that–for the most part–everything I would be eating is stuff I’ve been WANTING to eat more of.  Green smoothies, herbal teas, egg bites, lots of veggies, and salads.  Less sugar.  Less gluten.  Less processed bullshit.  I also realized that I had enough bulk from veggies in my diet that I probably won’t have as many of the dreaded digestive issues I worried about.  And if I make sure I’m diligent about my digestive enzymes and fiber intake–I should be okay.  I had actually bought a bunch of containers for food prepping these types of meals–weeks ago–so I have everything I need to keep myself organized.

I also realized that–okay–they probably didn’t blow their load today because they probably didn’t want to overwhelm me.  Telling someone they can’t even have fruit is enough to make most people run away screaming–so talking about the feelings behind shitty eating probably isn’t the first session focus.  Silly me being the girl who wants to rip open her heart from the moment everything starts.  I forget that I’m an anomaly sometimes.  I started seeing the logic of their approach, too.  The program, at first, doesn’t restrict calories or portion sizes.  It’s mostly just eating certain food and avoiding others while having us drink a lot of fluids–most of which should be water.  The big focus here is getting rid of sugar and carbs.  Which makes sense since this is what most people are addicted to and why most people can’t deal with diets.  And it’s a big factor in MY personal health too. So, swearing off fruit for a month probably makes sense. Because eating fruit at first may make it harder to say no to other sweets.

Fuck. They make sense.  The part of me that adores bananas was very pissed off about that.

Here’s the thing–this part of the program is the part that’s breaking my patterns.  It’s forcing me to stop doing what I always do.  And that’s why I have to come in every week. That’s why I have to get labs drawn every 2 weeks.  It’s uncomfortable and triggering because this is the shit that has kept me in a bad place.  I don’t know everything, and I realized very quickly–oh, fuck–this anger about strawberries is not about the strawberries at all.

It’s about fear.  All the things I was objecting about–the digestion and the mental parts–things I’ve survived before, but things I was terrified of revisiting.  It was better–in my mind–to never go back to where I HAD been before in order to move forward to a better future that would work better for me.  Every single thing I mentioned was rooted in fear, and I realized: oh, shit–I’m really terrified of facing where I’ve been and being in a new place–without the things that comfort me.

It actually is bringing tears to my eyes. Because I knew a few things–this is going to work. 1) Because it is triggering the fuck out of me. 2) It’s supportive, but not in a way I can control. 3) It taps into my perfectionism and people pleasing.  Having accountability every week will keep me honest, and quite frankly–I’m not honest for myself.  I can’t do this alone. I’ve tried and never been able to be successful long-term because I have wishy-washy boundaries with myself.

This will work.  And once I get through this shit–I will see the real me under all the nonsense. And that is where I can start healing the rest. Because I can’t heal anything if it’s covered up by nonsense.

I learned this in therapy, actually.  Especially since moving to San Jose.  And this process actually really reminds me of that.  Of when I moved here and felt triggered as Hell by this place and instantly wanted to run away, back home, to my comforting Colorado.  But I didn’t.  I sat in my loathing of this place, got help, and made the biggest strides of my life in therapy.  Because I stripped myself of my comforts and faced what was underneath all of it.  I did that mentally–now it’s time to do the physical part.

So, I’m committing. I’m not running to the naturopath.  I’m going to give this a change and when I hit maintenance, then I’ll see the naturopath.  It feels odd to not give up on myself–to actually invest in me for once–and to know–without a doubt–that I CAN do this–even if I’m pissed and triggered.  Because maybe that anger is what I’ve been holding down–what literally has been weighing me down.

I won my first test. Holy shit.

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barf

So, I ran out a few minutes ago to grab some lunch. I’m in the turn lane, on my way home, when I notice this guy in the right turn lane next to me (we’re both going the same direction–just 2 turn lanes)–is leering at me and saying something about my “boobies” and what he wants to do to them.

Of course, I scowl at him because WHAT woman on Earth thinks that behavior is hot? Seriously?! After 2-3 minutes, he’s STILL doing it–even though he can turn (I can’t). He’s literally holding up traffic to be a disgusting pig man. I then realize he’s driving a pick-up truck with a “how’s my driving?” sign on it. So I snap a picture of it. Then I take video of his behavior and dial the number. I tell his boss what he is doing. I am then able to turn–so he turns–again getting next to me at the next light. So, I roll down my window and say, “Man–you’re so disgusting. You are the opposite of sexy. You actually reek of crap. Oh, and btw, I recorded you on video and your boss wants me to email it to him. So, good luck with unemployment. You’ll have lots of time to fondle your boobies. Yea–big word. Look it up. Bye, asshole.”

And then I waved and went home. And then I emailed his boss. And deleted the video because it was that disgusting.

I’m not a vindictive person, but if you’re that stupid, you deserve some karma.

And also–WHY OH WHY do men always hit on me when I’m wearing no make-up, haven’t showered, and am wearing a jumpsuit 2x bigger than my actual size?

the ways i give up

So, in my last post, I talked about the fact that 2019 hasn’t been really going my way.  Today, it was like it blew its load, and I’m hoping that means it can only go up from here.  Ha.

I’ve been super frustrated–frustrated in a way that has reminded me QUITE a bit of when I moved out here to SJ.  I think it’s because I faced a HUGE fear and did the thing–so now my brain is like, “Now what?” And the gremlins are starting to poke at me–“Who do you think you are?”  I feel like–because of that–I’ve been attracting a shitload of humbling experiences designed to test my belief in my own power.

I figured it out just now.  Holy shit.  That’s what this is about.

It seems like it’s been endless.  I’ve been really sick for a long time–and nothing seems to be working.  Nothing.  Rest, antibiotics, other medicines–it’s been so annoying because I hate being sick.  I’m one to power through, usually, so admitting I need to sleep and need to rest and can’t do everything is incredibly frustrating.

The second one has been the whole roommate situation with her family.  All of which has been super triggering of my core issues.  I had some insights on this today, actually, after speaking to my roommate.  And I was able to find my normal sense of empathy and feel differently about the situation.  See my Twitter for a protracted ramble on the details.  Suffice it to say–in some ways–I’m witnessing things I’ve had to deal with that hurt me quite a bit–but it’s not my fight and I can’t fix it.  So I’m having to cope with not being the fucking fixer–which SUCKS because I am always the fixer.  I’ve learned that I can be a little judgmental about certain things, and that’s really unfair of me.

And finally, work has really been pissing me off lately.  I’ve been dealing with tech issues that I can’t fix and dealing with faceless people in Germany with my client who are messing up big time.  Today, in fixing the issues I’ve been having, they actually deleted my email account–so I have zero email access. And because this company is so large and bureaucratic, getting a human to actually fix the issue in a timely manner is an exercise is SCREAMING PROFANITIES–which I may have done between calls with tech support today.

All of this shit, I think, is designed to show me that–while I AM awesome and did all that shit–I don’t have control of basically anything at all.  And I really just need to fucking surrender and stop trying to juggle the damn Universe.  I just need to live in my heart and stop being so analytical and strategic about how I show up because best laid plans and yadda yadda.  My time is better spent being grateful for what IS going right and trying to understand rather than manipulate situations to my understanding and need.

Shit.  The Universe is really trying to kick my butt this year, yea?

I think this has everything to do with the intentions I set for this year–and the big thing I’m taking on this weekend–and also later this year.

This weekend, I’m starting a very big change.  Namely, I’m going to really face my crappy self-care–particularly as it relates to diet and some of my medical challenges.  Now, this is a particularly triggering thing for me because–essentially–the way I eat now and my entire self-care was basically the ONLY thing I could control in my life as a kid and young adult. It’s probably the heart of my dysfunction and the one place in my life where I am still really really not high functioning.  It’s the one place where I abuse myself THE most, and it’s a very emotional thing.

The weird thing is that I’ve never really been on a true “diet” before, though I have lost a lot of weight before.  I just sort of guessed at what I should do.  It was a very unforgiving thing, though, rooted in self-loathing–that worked–but wasn’t sustainable.  I have never worked with a professional, and honestly, with my thyroid and digestive issues–I really do need help with that.  Which is why my new doctor thought this would be perfect–especially since this practice specializes in people with the medical issues I have.  And it’s not about dieting or weight loss–though that is a side effect.  It’s about changing your relationship with food, and I SO need that.  I feel like I have definite body dysmorphia and maybe even an eating disorder of some kind–though I have never been anorexic or bulimic or an overeater.  It’s more or less the mental impact of my relationship with food that feels a little like an addiction.  Only you have to eat to live.

I have no rules about my diet and exercise at all.  And honestly, when I’m feeling good about myself, I tend to eat really well.  I’m not someone who really enjoys eating badly, but I can always tell when I’m off the rails emotionally by what I’m putting in my body.  I am the epitome of an emotional eater, and I tend to self-medicate with food.  And food definitely plays a big role in my health.  I’m convinced that it exacerbates a lot of my medical problems.  At the same time, my medical problems affect the impact of my bad choices and makes it even worse.  So, for me, this step forward is a fucking leap–and it’s REALLY scary.  It’s giving up all my control.  It’s not allowing my emotions to determine my health anymore.

I was only ready, mentally, to truly face this in the last month or so.  I remember telling my therapist that I felt like I wanted to start working on this–and then my new doctor mentioned it–and it was like–boom–the Universe is there to support me.

So, I don’t think I mentioned this–but I have two intentions for this year–two words: shed and invest.  Those are themes in my life, and I feel like they’re very powerful themes right now.  I’ve made a lot of really good changes, and I feel really good about myself in a lot of ways. But on the periphery–there’s the BS–the gremlins.  The shit that still tells me I’m not good enough.  The toxic friends who use me that I allow to keep doing it.  The shitty boundaries. The abiding nonsense.  Stuff that weighs me down because some part of me is terrified to let them leave.  That part of me that is loyal to the breakdown.

I’ve realized that I’m attracting a lot of shit that is the same as how I treat myself.  I devalue myself, so others do too.  It shows up in being underpaid and overworked. In being disregarded.  In people not showing up.  I attract people who are unavailable to me–who I can never really be totally invested in because they are not people who can really show up for me–so it’s okay for me to not show up for me–to be half-assed–because they certainly won’t call me on it or fight for me.

The root of my being alone is there. It’s not about me not being worthy or pretty enough or whatever the fuck I am. It’s about me choosing things that are done before they ever even start because I’m fucking unavailable to love.  I’ve abandoned it long before it ever even starts–because I am convinced I am worth leaving and they all will go anyway. So, I put up with people who are lazy and manipulative and cheating and etc. Because it allows me to control who I am. It lets me be the good martyr and assures that my failure at being loved is never my fucking fault.

And all of that shit needs to go.  All of that shit is blocking the right people that I sincerely need in my life.  And that shit is what I’m going to be doing this year.  I can’t control if people love me.  I can’t control what people do.  All I can control is how I show up in this world.

And that–friends–is a revelation that’s kinda knocking me on my ass tonight.  How do I show up as the most authentic version of me when I want to judge, hide, and argue?  When nothing is in my control, and people might actually see that I’m human with real needs that are not being met?

It’s going to be a really tough year–not saying that to psych myself out or invite that in.  It’s just already been a challenge–just because I’ve opened the door to that work.  I’m excited, but terrified, and I suspect there’s going to be LOTS of crying happening.

the sick and the restless

Yesterday, I returned to work after taking three days off for vacation (not including the normal holiday).  It was not a great day.  I had MAJOR tech issues. Things like people not being able to send me email. Things that disrupted my ability to do my job, entirely.  It was super frustrating and just not the way I wanted to start 2019’s work life, ya know?

Anyway, I’ve been sick since mid-December. I had a sinus infection, then pneumonia, now a sinus infection and double ear infection. I’m on antibiotics–like my third or fourth rodeo of them–and was feeling majorly crappy when I woke up today. Knowing that my day was likely going to be a repeat of yesterday–i.e., not getting anything done because I literally can’t get tech to work–and knowing how bad I felt–I just said fuck it and called out.  Not great considering I just got back to work–but honestly–I’m really having a hard time caring about work at the moment. That may be me being supremely frustrated–but the fact that I haven’t rage-quit says a lot about my self-control at the moment.

Anyway, I spent literally the entire day in bed. Which is what I did most of last weekend, too.  I have no regrets about that, though returning to work tomorrow is not something I’m remotely looking forward to.

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I didn’t get much done on my vacation.  I had planned on a lot of self-work and cleaning and cooking and reading and intentioning for the new year.  I did end up cooking–five days after I intended to do so.  And even then, I didn’t make all the things I wanted.  I cleaned the carpet–which was forced on me because my cats are sometimes the grossest ever.  And we somehow never remembered to set those mousetraps–so our mouse friend may still be staying with us. However, if he is–he’s a damn good houseguest. We’ve yet to see any evidence that he’s here. He hasn’t waved hello since that first day–so we’re really hoping he just went away.  Part of me wants to be in denial and not acknowledge that he exists–but part of me knows we need to set those traps soon.  But ugh–I really don’t want to find a mouse in a trap.  Especially a live one that I have to do something with.  Which–I’ve determined–I’m making my roommate do because NOPE.

So yea–feeling a little lazy and annoyed and not really happy with how 2019 is coming along.  This isn’t how I normally start a new year.  But this year feels like shit keeps getting in my way.  And I’m mentally just not really feeling like doing anything except sleep.  I don’t think I’m depressed, but being sick for weeks takes a toll.  As does the emotional hangover of everything that’s been going on.  It does not help that my roommate’s crazy, violent, homeless brother is making threats and keeps showing up at our apartment complex.  I’m glad we have the security system installed now–because God knows SJPD doesn’t answer their phones or give two fucks about actually doing anything about anything.  He doesn’t know who I am, so at least I probably won’t be attacked going to my car.  But he definitely knows where she lives and, considering he tried to lock an entire room of people in a hotel hall, while he was brandishing a knife–and considering he’s saying my roommate murdered their mom (which is so not true and possibly the cruelest shit he could say to her)–we certainly don’t feel safe with him out there, somewhere.

It’s a lot, and I’m trying to keep that barrel of crazy out of my life–but it’s hard when it’s your home.

I’m hoping that the self-care I have planned for this weekend and starting off a new chapter in my life will help me with the mental shit and at least distract me from the crap I can’t really change myself.  It’s just really teaching me that I have zero tolerance for toxic people, and I won’t be allowing any of it in my life–on any level.  I try to be supportive of the roommate situation, but ultimately, it’s her crazy–not mine.  It just sucks to feel unsafe in your own home because some asshole is an asshole.

And it’s more annoying because I never chose any of this.  I wouldn’t have either.  And there’s not much I can do to change this situation at the moment.  So, there’s that.  All I can really do is hope my roommates deal with their insanity and keep me out of it.  And live my life as peacefully as I can.

Anyway, that’s what’s on my mind.  Sorry for the fairly crappy update.  But I always keep it real.  Overall, despite all of that and the lingering pokes of grief past–I’m doing okay.  I feel like I always sort of go through a bit of a slump after I achieve something huge.  Maybe it’s how my brain normalizes.  Even though I haven’t been handling it in the most productive ways, I have been choosing self-care–going to the doctor instead of self-medicating and taking time off when I just can’t muster the whatever to do the work I need to do.  It’s better than powering through–so I deserve some props for that, I guess.  I know it’ll get better.  I just want life to be calmer.  The truth is–MY life is calm. But the people around me aren’t–so I need to find ways to be less affected by their crap.  And maybe that’s the lesson here.  Not my circus–not my monkeys.

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One of the things I had hoped to do on my vacation was this silly New Year’s thing. So, I’m going to do it now.  I have others I need to do–and a bunch of Power Sheet stuff I should share at some point.  And I probably will do a vision board, at some point too.  Feel free to share yours in the comments, if you so choose.

1. One habit I’m going to build.
One of the things I’m going to try to do a lot more of is to specifically express my expectations and needs when I’m asking for things–AKA always create boundaries and be very transparent about my wants and needs.  But MORE THAN THAT–I’m going to hold myself accountable for this–and make sure I get my needs met–even if it means being an inconvenience.  I’ve gotten a lot better about boundaries for bigger things, but in the last year or so, I’ve found that–on little things–I’m pretty terrible about it.  And it creates a lot of frustration for me.  I’ve also discovered it’s a way I routinely devalue myself.  A lot of it is because knowing my needs isn’t an automatic thing for me.  It really takes me time, sometimes, to know what I need. But then–when the need is unmet–it really eats at me and actually makes me angry at the other person because they don’t just know.  But I haven’t communicated effectively, and I’ve also given up on trying to be satisfied.

A couple of examples of where this has come up for me (and again–these are pretty minor–but they pile up into wishy-washy self-care and an expression of low self-worth):

The other day, I was at In & Out’s drive-thru.  Normally, they’re great, but sometimes they mess up the in-car versus to-go requests.  My thing is to normally grab food and then drive home.  We live about five minutes away from the location.  I don’t like eating in parking lots–especially messy burgers.  So I always say to go.  Welp, I told the guy to go and the cashier man handed me this paper thing–and I had no idea why–having never really gotten things for in-car.  Then I get to the pick up window and they hand me this cardboard tray of food.  Instead of saying–no–I ordered this to-go and insisting they give me a cover or a bag or something–I decided to just take it–put it on my seat and risk it going flying on my drive home–mostly because traffic here is insane and braking short is a given.  I got home fine, but I was pissed at myself when I got home.  Why didn’t I just ask for a cover or a bag?  It was because there was a long drive-thru line.  They were busy.  The woman was nice, and I didn’t want to put her out or slow things down.  I didn’t want to be a bother.  I was watching a video by Amy Young the other day, and it sorta clicked for me then.  My discomfort and needs came second to someone else’s inconvenience.  The drive-thru line was going to be long, regardless of if I asked.  It would have taken then maybe 2 minutes to fix it.  It was their mistake–not mine.  It was not my fault.  My need wasn’t too much.  And she wouldn’t have minded–she was, after all, nice.  But this is something I do ALL THE FUCKING TIME.  I ALWAYS sell out my needs for everyone else’s inconvenience because I don’t feel like my needs EVER matter.  I could be bleeding to death, and I wouldn’t ask for a towel.  In fact, I have broken bones and never said anything while I LIMPED home.

Another example–that’s an every day thing here…my roommates made pizza the other day.  I told them I was going to be cooking the morning after.  Now, granted, I often say I’ll be cooking and then don’t.  But they knew I had the intention of doing it.  They knew that me cooking meant I needed a clear sink.  The dishwasher was empty.  I don’t really dirty a lot of dishes.  It’s usually them.  There are two of them–one of me–and I eat out a lot.  So most of the dishes in the sink were theirs.  But the thing blocking the drain was their pizza pan–which was crusted with stuff and not easy to clean–and also hard to put in a spot that didn’t block the drain.  They never do dishes in a timely manner.  I’ve given up expecting them to–so I didn’t say anything the night they made the pizza.  The next morning–I got up–intending to cook–but saw the shit in the sink and knew I’d have to clear it before I ever started cooking.  I assessed my energy level and knew I couldn’t find the energy to clean first and then cook–so I said nope and didn’t cook that morning–sacrificing a promise I made to myself to take care of me.  Why?  Because I didn’t want to annoy them and be Alma about it.  I didn’t want to be the nag that I always have to be around here to get anything done.  I didn’t have the energy or the will.  So again, their annoyance trumped my legitimate need to take care of myself.  See a pattern?  I’m always valuing the feelings of other people over my actual needs.  And usually, the things I sacrifice impact me in big ways whereas their feelings are usually imagined by me or things that wouldn’t matter much.

2. One bad habit I’m going to break.
Using soda and coffee to keep me going when I have no energy to do things.

3. One person I’m going to forgive.
Myself–for not valuing me more.

4. One person I’m going to befriend or reconnect with.
I dunno–but I’ve been thinking I should try to visit the Buddhist temple in our hood soon.

5. One person I’m going to spend more time with.
My nutritionist.

6. One way I’m going to strengthen my personal relationship.
I don’t have a personal relationship–I’m assuming this means a romantic relationship–but I think I am going to work on some shit related to love–which I will be sharing here soon, probably.

7. One thing I’m going to create.
A sense of home in this crazy hellmouth of an apartment.  Once the mouse is gone.

8. One negative belief I’m going to drop.
That it’s not worth it to advocate for myself.

9. One positive belief I’m going to reinforce.
My anger is valid.

10. One unhealthy food I’m going to stop eating.
I don’t think it’s productive to completely eliminate things, but I am going to limit added sugar in my diet.

11. One healthy food I’m going to start eating.
I don’t know if it’s healthy, per se, but I actually found a kombucha I LIKE (WHAT?!!)–so I’m going to try to use this as a way to wean away from soda.

12. One book I’m going to read.
I bought a bunch of books over the holidays.  I will probably read the Wild Unknown tarot card deck beginner’s guide I bought in the next few months.  I also bought some Jenny Lawson, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Marianne Williamson, and Iyanla Vanzant books.

13. One new place I’m going to visit.
I still haven’t been to Sacramento–which is crazypants since I’ve done so much research on it and kinda got a crash course on it from my ex living there.  So–yea–I want to visit.  I also would like to maybe go to Lake Tahoe sometime this year.

14. One adventure I’m going to go on.
Applying to counseling grad school.  Well, I’ve applied, but I still need to do the rest of my application. I think I have till March and then I have an interview.

15. One hobby I’m going to try.
I don’t know if it’s really a hobby or not, but I want to do a big KonMari purge this year.  I also would like to start baking sourdough bread–which is an ordeal–but such a worthwhile thing.  I don’t think my new, healthier lifestyle will align with that–but we’ll see. 🙂

16. One personal development goal I’m going to achieve.
I’ve sorta been doing this for the last several weeks, but I’m really going to be a lot more expressive of gratitude.  Not just in a journal.  I’m going to actually take the time to write notes to people thanking them and also just telling people things.  I’m REALLY bad at this.  Like the worst at this–because of how I was raised, so it’s a hard thing for me–not because I don’t feel appreciation.  It’s because I have a hard time expressing that–which is weird because I’m a loving person–in general–and have no problems being loving via touch and saying I love you.  So yea.

17. One fitness goal I’m going to achieve.
I want to dance every day.

18. One new food I’m going to try.
I can’t think of a specific thing.  I just want to try all the new-to-me veggies and fruits that exist out here.  Maybe I’ll do more visits to farmer’s markets.

19. One fear I’m going to overcome.
My fear of being fully seen.

20. One risk I’m going to take.
I don’t see it as a risk, but I guess it is.  On Saturday, I’m going in to be assessed in all kinds of ways–so I can come up with a major lifestyle change.  Instead of me doing it all by myself–in very punishing ways–like I always have–I’m going to trust medical professionals to advise me.  Which is huge because I do not trust Western medicine even remotely.  But the risk of staying the same and experimenting in the ways I have is probably worse–at least from a mental perspective.  I’m basically relinquishing my control over my body for a few months.

21. One thing I’m going to throw out.
Expired supplements.  So, as a person who grew up poor, I tend to keep things.  Especially useful things–like medicines and food.  Only these things don’t stay usable forever.  My ex and I–last year–did a huge purge of my medicine bin and also the kitchen–and it was just embarrassing.  He was super minimalist and I was the person with salad dressing from 2015.  And that was me, after purging for us to move.  I still have a LOT of shit like this.  Lots of stuff that’s not great quality or clothing that is stained or needs mending.  Shit like that.  This is why I love the KonMari thing.  So yea–I need to do that and also just get rid of stuff that we have that I hate–like the stupid fish painting my roommate found in the garbage of our last apartment building.  I don’t even know how it made it onto the moving truck.  I’m really striving to be more of a minimalist.

22. One thing I’m going to save for and purchase.
Living room furniture.  We got rid of all of our furniture, basically, when we moved out here–vowing we were going to replace it when we got here. However, utilities and cost of living and fucking life has been more expensive.  The cat illnesses, in particular, wiped us out–as did having to buy cars to get around–and me going back to school.  So furniture hasn’t been a priority.

23. One way I’m going to make more money.
This is a good question, and I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to do it this year.  But I definitely need to make more money.  I’m currently up for a raise–so that will help a little (not much because my employer is the cheapest).  And of course, me just kicking ass month after month should help me get more bonuses (haha…GRR).  The big thing for me, that I do have control over, is being a better steward over my money that I do have–not spending too much or buying shit I don’t need–especially with groceries.  That poverty hoarder in me is still very strong.  I was going to go to massage school–and I probably still will–but I feel like that money is better spent on the self-care stuff I’m going to be working on.  Doing that will put me in a better position–energy-wise–to take on extra stuff beyond work.  So, yea–once that’s done–I will probably take on the massage classes–since it’s pretty easy.  But I think I will also work on the UX-UI stuff that I’ve been trying to work on–that I totally can do now–and just haven’t been doing.  Also, there’s a million and one things I could do with photography and writing and my crafty things that I just haven’t done.  So I may do that.  And there’s always nonprofit consulting.  I definitely need to make a change soon, though.

24. One expense I’m cutting out.
I’m not cutting it out, completely, but definitely being a lot more conscious of waste when buying groceries. Other than rent, it’s my biggest expense and actually feels shameful because I don’t cook much at all because I’m always so tired–but always intend to do it–and end up wasting things.  I’ve been better about not being as wasteful, but I could do a lot better.

25. One way I’m going to stop wasting time.
Redefine the idea of wasting time.  Time wasted never is.  Even if you’re sitting doing nothing, you probably need it, on some level.

26. One skill I’m going to learn.
Sourdough breadmaking

27. One class I’m going to take or workshop I’m going to attend.
The Trauma of Everyday Life: Perspectives from Buddhism & Psychotherapy
Possibly some art classes, too.

28. One way I’m going to make myself indispensable at work.
I don’t want to make myself indispensable at work. Because, frankly, fuck work.

29. One thing I will no longer tolerate.
From myself: Prioritizing the needs of people who have devalued me.
From others: Meanness.

30. One way I’m going to keep my energy high.
Sleeping!  (Imagine that).  Eating food that fuels my body.  Not taking on too much shit.  Asking for help.

31. One way I’m going to relax and de-stress.
Mini roadtrips.  Art.  Baths.

32. One way I’m going to get better sleep.
Reduce the distractions.  Set up a routine. Fucking stop checking work email after work is done.  No caffeine after 5 pm.

33. One way I’m going to have more fun.
Choosing it.  Finding good people to hang out with.  Going out and exploring things that are new.  Volunteering.  Not being a hermit cat lady all the time.

34. One small way in which I’m going to make the world a better place.
By not being a dick to myself.  By sharing what I know.  By being kind to people who can do nothing for me.

35. One bucket list item I’m crossing off.
Start my counseling degree.
Be a cucumber lemon water lady.

36. One way I’m going to follow my bliss.
Knowing what my bliss actually is–for starters.  Lowering my expectations.  Cutting down my to-do list.  Asking for help.

three x365

Your sister and I were friends in high school.  Loosely.  She and I were in Senate together.  We would spend hours of our weekends planning and decorating our hall for Homecoming.  I think we stole stop signs once.  She was awkward–a bit goth, a good artist–a nice girl that I lost track of once I went to college.

I never really talked to you.  You were the much older senior to my freshman when I was in JROTC–one of the leaders in our whatever who used to inspect our uniforms–making sure we looked sharp and that everything was aligned.  Me, being my Daddy’s daughter, I always had issues.  Also, I never quite got my shoes shiny enough. But you usually only made me do 100 push-ups.  You were always so strong–so handsome and respectful.  I always wondered what happened to you after high school.

Years later, I got a friend request from you on MySpazz.  You didn’t really remember me, but the name sounded familiar and we had all these friends in common.  But mostly, you liked the music I shared.  So, there you were.

We caught up–as strangers who sorta aren’t–do.  I want to say you were in Afghanistan at the time.  You looked exactly the same–maybe with more muscles.  A Navy Seal turned black ops consultant.  You were a badass–as I always suspected you’d be–even if I was pretty skeptical about those black ops and the company you worked for.  You could never really talk about your work, but you would post the most beautiful photos of your travels and I envied your freedom.  I envied how adventurous you were.  How you seemed to always live your life to the fullest–enjoying every steak dinner imaginable and riding your Harley as soon as you were home.

But you and I always connected most with music.  You loved a lilting voice just as much as I did, and we would swap virtual mixed tapes.  We would talk about the most obscure bands and singers.  And I was always so impressed that a macho man like you could openly appreciate that kind of talent.

We talked about your sister, sometimes, too–how hard her life was–how she struggled with addiction–how you were helping her get clean.  I eventually met someone and then you sort of faded away–your interest never purely platonic–and you went off to live in the burbs.  Your politics always threw me, so eventually we stopped being friends in virtual situations.

But I always remembered you…always hoped you were doing well.

Yesterday, one of the friends who met you when I did–who knew more of you than I–posted about your death.  One after another, the mentions started flooding my timeline as news spread.  For a minute, I wondered if you’d been killed on one of your missions or if maybe you finally gave up on your demons.  Somehow, I wasn’t quite surprised you’d left us.  But then I found out how, and all I could think was–the Universe really wants me to see how unfair the world is.

What a fucked up way for a Navy Seal to die.

You were apparently coming home on your Harley.  They think some other person forced you off the road and into a ditch and you were thrown–left there to die.  That’s where they finally found you.  Alone.

You deserved better than that.

Even though we weren’t really anything, it reminded me again that life is so short and unfair.  And people–even the strongest and most badass among us–can die in a heartbeat over stupid shit.  That we all die alone, to some degree.  That you never know who will mourn you.

It made me also think of my exes and how–one day–they’ll all die.  I’m on bygones level terms with all of them, but it makes me sad to think that…at some point…I’m going to see something about one of them and the random way they left the planet.  And while I’ll know I did everything to make things right with them, I’ll also regret that someone I loved wasn’t still in my life–and there’s really not much I can do about it except mourn what they chose to lose.

It makes me want to try harder to be friends with my most recent ex.  But part of me gets it, too.  Part of me doesn’t want to go back to this person being in my life.  Maybe it just should be a memory and maybe the loss has already happened.  It just seems silly to reject the precious time you have open to you with someone you once loved–even if they hurt you.  Even if they’re mad.  Even if you’re frustrated and so done.  Do you keep trying to love them or just let them die in a ditch?

I wish I knew.  And I wish you weren’t alone.  I wish there weren’t exes telling the stories about you and their regrets about the bullshit.