That’s life

Life has returned. My memories are back in the closet, not forgotten, but filed away. Time to move on.

Writing is going well. Not enough time to do it lately. Seems it’s all run this errand, pick that up, and of course the ever present necessity to get to the gym and move so I don’t hurt so much. Haven’t even cleaned the house in I don’t know how long, and it shows it.

Today I’m keeping to my life commitment. Heading out with my brother to the comic book shop. Say hi to the guys. Hang out. Talk. Be a part of the world. Got to keep in practice with that, at least a little bit, or I’ll forget how to do it.

Been feeling very alone and lonely. The two don’t always go together, but right now they do. In the wake of my reaction to the news about L, I feel friendless. Want to change that, but I find my physical condition works against me. Last time I tried to schedule a get together with potential friends I woke up with laryngitis. Shit happens. Just the excitement of looking forward to getting out and meeting people can make me ill. Do that enough times to a potential new friend and they lose interest in pursuing a friendship. Seen it happen.

And I don’t like this double life I live. The reality is, my health isn’t good. I do fall ill very easily. I’m not strong. But then there’s my gym life: the nods and notice I get while working out. Maybe they’re not all dyin’ to do me, but they do acknowledge I work hard (beginning to think that most of the smiles I receive are ‘she’s a tough old bird’ type of thing). Most people drop out after an hour of exercise. Most people are shocked and think two hours is extreme. Oh, god, I could never make it for two hours! Then they look me up and down, decide that maybe not all physical strength translates into slim, tight bodies, and put me in that ‘healthy as hell’ category, which I do not deserve to be in.

…At least my physiotherapist understands.

Speaking of, looking forward to seeing him next week. Realized a long time ago our sessions are half physio and half talk therapy. Why can I do that? Why am I so open with someone like him, yet so closed if I see someone called ‘therapist’? One of those mysteries about myself I’d like to solve. …I need him on both levels right now. Despite my physical movement, I’ve got some pain building up. And although I don’t know what I’m going to say, I do know I’ll probably bring up L.

Been a few months since I’ve been able to get my hair done. Upshot is, I’ve got grey showing. Maybe for the first time in my life. A couple of silver hairs by each temple. I’ve looked at it closely in the mirror. It’s not unattractive. In fact, I find myself more distressed by the shaggy outgrowth look I’ve got right now than those grey hairs. …Don’t think I should wear my hair this long. It looks strange on my face. A 20 something tousled hair style on a 50 something woman. But what am I supposed to do? That’s my hair. It just looks that way, naturally. Hope to get it all spruced up before September.

Have not worn my orthopedics, despite the cooler weather. Do not want to wear my orthopedics. My cheap tennis shoes (with added insoles) are lovely: they give me plenty of support, and they don’t bite my feet at all. Plus they were a quarter of the cost of my orthopedics. But I’ll need to get back on that. No use in doing it in August; this entire country goes on holidays. Another thing to write in for September.

Bought some cheap eye gel and dark circle remover. Cosmetics that promise the impossible. But I figure any improvement is an improvement. And I’m guessing it helps to just go through the motions. Applying lotions, massaging them in – that’s a form of self love. I care enough about myself to do this, it says. Or at least that’s how I see it. So, I’m doing it, and hoping it will buy me a few years of looking not so tired and worn out.

Have let myself off the hook for tomorrow’s exercise. My bro is on me to read the final chapters in his book, one of the comic book guys leant me a run of stories by George Romero, and of course I have my own writing to get to. Today will largely be shot, between traveling to and fro and all the time spent visiting. Tomorrow is my make-up day: do the writing I should be doing today, finish up those comics, and start reading my brother’s work.

Wish these things didn’t always pile up on me.

…Wish I could just say no like so many people have said to me. I’m too busy with my own shit. Deal.

And that takes me right back to who I want to be. Do I want to be that person who’s always too busy for friends? Do I want to show the people I care about that I care about them, or will I just perpetuate that lip service shit my family gave to me? It always comes up for me at times like this. And I get angry, and pout, and whine that it isn’t fair, isn’t fair, isn’t fair…

But that’s life.

Sated

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I am no Wilbur Force. I do not seek out purposefully painful dental work. I am, in fact, on the terrified side regarding dentists and dental work: too much pain too many times to feel too comfortable in that chair.

So when I say I had the best ever dental experience this morning, I want to be fully understood. No genie could have magicked up a dental hygienist more compassionate, more careful than the one I met today. In 40 minutes of deep cleaning, I experienced only one flash of discomfort, and it was over almost before I could register it.

Another pleasant surprise: I was greeted back to my Friday lesson with an enthusiasm that really touched me. So many smiles, so many happy faces, wanting to talk to me, to say hello. Understanding and compassion when it came to my hearing problem, as well.

I feel so full up of compassion I don’t quite know what to do.

Makes me feel bad about going off on the world, and thinking every single person on the planet is a fuck-wit.

Here’s the weekend again, two days without much to fill them. I’ve got the normal stuff; cleaning, writing, fresh air and walking. But I’m wishing I had another meeting, something else to get me out of the house and into a group of people.

Damn! Did I just say I want to be social?

That’s what I get after so long in the house, waiting to feel better. Any little thing, any show of friendliness or just human decency sets me a-spin. When your only input is the news or television, you begin to forget that there are just people out there, too. Normal people, living normal lives. They’re not out to take everyone, to use and abuse; just to live. Part of that is smiling, nodding, saying hello and thank you – and when you don’t get that for an extended period, it’s amazing what it does.

It’s like daffodils blooming in my chest – a bright burst of sunshine, rainbows, and lollipops right where I needed it.

Update: Wishing the ringing in my left and right ears was at least in harmony. Unfortunately, it’s slightly dissonant. The more my the sound in my left ear diminishes, the more I hear the right. If I ever get my full hearing back, I’ll create something based on how I hear right now (I promise, promise, promise – now please make it stop). Dizziness is the same. Wore my orthopedics outside yesterday, gave them the best chance possible to NOT hurt my feet. That was a failure. Gotta make an appointment to go in and have them adjusted again. Checking FB every day for a new post from the theatre group regarding auditions. Wondering how long “soon” is. Wrote a letter to my bro’s friend, R, who might be able to arrange a room for me to use to workshop my script. Pitched an English-speaking theatre workshop to him. Decided I’d step slowly with all that; my bro’s brought up a performance poetry class, and R himself has discussed me teaching English as a language – all of which interests me. I just don’t want to stretch myself too thin, particularly with my health issues.

For right now, though, I am happy and satisfied. My soul ate a big meal of human compassion and kindliness this morning, and I hadn’t quite realized how hungry I’d been.

*Burp*

My compliments to the chef.

This is me

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This picture is not me; it’s just really cool.

Two nights of uninterrupted sleep. I’m finally on the mend. Still spewing a rainbow of colors out of every orifice, but it’s less than it was. And I can stay awake for the entire day without a nap. Definite improvement.

Ran into a hiccup with immigration. They sent forms, we’re preparing answers. I don’t like that the process is held up, don’t like not having every t crossed or i dotted. Don’t like the fact my ID card is out of date, as is the stamp on my passport. Don’t like being told ‘relax, everything will be fine’ when it’s clearly not.

But I’m hanging on.

Tonight is the long awaited theatre group meeting. So, naturally, we’re inundated with rain. Wet, wet, wet – it’s been banging on the window since I went to bed. To add to my list of things I don’t like right now, I don’t like the idea of having to walk in this wet weather when I’m still not 100% healthy. I’m also in a bit of a dither over the meeting itself. What’s going to happen tonight? Will I get blown off? Again? My mind wants to take it to the extremes. Keep pulling myself back to the now, telling myself to allow things to happen rather than try to predict the future.

Heard from an online friend. We ‘met’ over ten years ago. Been correspondents ever since. He seems a decent enough guy. But it’s been since before the election that I heard from him. Wise man; he was anti-Hillary. Not that I was pro-Hillary; I wasn’t. I was (and am) anti-Trump. Still. He mentioned it, in passing – the whole election, the huge divide the country faces right now – and he said ‘I didn’t know what we were getting into’. Now how the hell am I supposed to say anything to that? Tough titties, dude? It’s one of those you made your bed now sleep in it times. Frankly I think anyone who didn’t work to stop that asshole deserves whatever the fuck they get. Unfortunately, all my friends who failed to stop 45 are also suffering, and that I don’t like to see.

Too bad the world won’t accept the idea of refugees out of America. They should; it’s far from free, and far from a pleasant place to live. But everyone buys the Friends myth: that yes, you can all live in a place like New York working on a barista’s salary. You can all have your hair done at expensive salons, wear the latest fashion, go out, buy things on minimum wage. Yeah (oh, and the apartments are big and rat and cockroach free). The same people also feel real bad about the gang on Gilligan’s Island. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of people out there like that. I’ve met people from around the world who absolutely 100% believe in the American dream – even when I, a native, born and bred, tell them what I’ve experienced. I understand how that happens. I had a very naive idea about what Middle Eastern countries were like, until I began to meet people who lived there. All I ever saw on the news was desert nations, desert cities. Dust. A scraggly tree standing somewhere, small and alone. I didn’t know about the forests, the mountains, the rivers and lakes. No one ever talked about them. No one ever showed them.

What we need right now (and feel free to take the idea and run with it) is a Video Free America. A place where ordinary people could post real videos of real places. Show the slums, the ghettos, the inner cities that look like they were hit by bombs. Show the abject poverty in the countryside. Tell your stories about not being able to afford health care, food, clothing. Talk about the long waits in government offices. Show the cost of food, the cost of things. Really and truly – not the Hollywood version. Because no one out here knows. No one out here can even begin to fathom how much you pay for anything. The only thing on par with costs in the US is rent. And even in that category, I’ve seen nothing in the EU that can touch the high rental costs of America. Not when hovels in the US cost so much, and equivalent rental costs on the continent give you a clean and safe living space. And let’s talk about public transport. I know there are trains in the Eastern US, even light rails in some cities. But can you hop on ANY public transport near your home and take it to the furthest reaches of your own country? I can. I can get to any place on the planet from where I live. Hop the metro, three stops to the train, two stops to Rotterdam Central, and from there the world is mine. Hell’s bells! Do you even HAVE public transport where you live?

…The core of me is so sick with the actions of the elite. Not just now, but always. Still reading Tolstoy, and a few chapters last night mentioned the annual income of some of the characters. Hundreds of thousands a year – and that’s during the 1800s. Imagine. I don’t care what currency you’re talking about; that’s a LOT of money. More than anyone needs. I’ve heard all the arguments: these elites are the patrons, the ones who paid the merchants and workers to make fine things, thus giving them an income and a ‘leg up’ in the world. That’s propaganda. It was the rich pissing on everyone’s heads back then, and it’s the rich pissing on everyone’s heads now.

Too political? Perhaps. It is my heritage.

The one thing I find is that the more I hear – excuses, lies, taunts – the more intransigent I become. It is not the higher path. I know that. But I will not climb back into my cave. I will not re-learn to fear what need not be feared. I will not re-learn to hate what need not be hated.

Been looking for the upside of 50+, and maybe this is it: the surety to stand by my convictions. The firm knowledge of what I’ll take and what I won’t take. There’s a quiet calmness that comes with it. Do what you will; my mind is already made up. And that part of me, that ‘last inch’ as the film V for Vendetta called it, you cannot touch.

This is me.

Arrows Out

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Now, you didn’t actually think I was going to continue with that whole ‘opportunity number’ thing for the next THREE YEARS, did ya? Too constricting. But I do promise I’m trying to look at my troubles through my opportunity eyeglasses. See the silver lining, yadda, yadda.

Scraped my fried brain up off the sidewalk and put it back in my head. Poor thing; it’s all hard and un-fluid right now, and any Dutch gets it stuck in a groove. I be damned tired of mouthing all the vowel and dipthong sounds every time I see something. Oi! And the pressure that builds up (really need a steam release on the side of my head)! You know…I don’t think I WANT to hear how well I speak after a year of study. Just let me stumble through, correct me where I’m wrong, speak slowly to me, and smile. Don’t tell me I’m smart or fast or ahead of other people. It makes me nervous. Like I’ve got something I have to keep reaching for. And I don’t know how long I can keep reaching like that.

In marches my next opportunity: a week holiday from language lessons. No classes, no one on one, no language cafés. I can hit my computer lessons more and do some catch up. Sleep in. Stay up late. Whatever the hell I want; I got the whole week in front of me with no appointments or meetings (or at least none centered on language which is good enough for me right now).

Whew! Just in time.

This past week, I’ve been cutting back on four essentials: smoking, caffeine, food, and exercise. I never planned to, just found myself in situations where I couldn’t smoke, didn’t have so much coffee, didn’t have any hunger, and didn’t have any time to go and waddle around the neighborhood. Hip hip for the first two. Good on the third, but I gotta watch it; I’m tending to eat only about 1200 calories a day right now. We all know how I feel about the last one. This week will be a blast back to my routine, and I’m sure there will be at least one post about how much my ass muscles hurt. But I’ve been having on and off headaches again; withdrawal from both smoking AND caffeine at the same time. Not that I can drink more coffee or smoke more. I just can’t. I can’t have another cup of coffee. I can’t take another toke. It’s almost like my body is shoving out a splinter, only the splinter is my need for caffeine and marijuana. And food is a TOTAL rejection. I haven’t actually been hungry for days now. Make myself eat, of course. Something. But food is just fuel for the machine; I find no joy in eating.

Well, this is a dry run. This is me seeing if I can manage to just get out and socialize more. First step: can I do things, be with other people, keep to a general schedule, and stay healthy? That’s what I’ve got to know. If I fall ill every other week I’ll know I can’t do it, no matter what anyone wants to tell me. There is NO WAY I’ll take on the responsibility of an acting role or a language helper or anything else if I can’t just be out more and stay bleeding healthy. And I’ve been thinking hard over the possibility of me NOT being able to do it. My life has so centered around my need to perform, my need to (I guess) be recognized. Now I’m thinking behind the stage is cool, too. Now I’m wondering if I should find some small one scene play scripts I wrote and bring them to the group to workshop. Or maybe they’d like some atmospheric music for some of their plays. Something I can do from my seat. Something that won’t fall apart if I fall ill. And I’m thinking that maybe I have something to give back in the language department, too. I feel I’m getting a lot from these free community programs, and isn’t it awfully mean of me to not offer to pass on my knowledge of English to someone who wants to learn?

Dear Goddess, I think I’m coming out of my shell.

Been trying with that one. My classes are one thing; I tend to be a star there without trying or wanting to. The theatre group is another. The other night I found myself sitting between two people, both of whom were turned away from me in conversation with people sitting further down the line. I felt I had three choices: sit there and feel ignored, get up and try to find someone to converse with, or stick out where I was and stop feeling so sorry for myself and just join in on one of the conversations to either side of me, asked or not. A quick glance around the room showed me that everyone was engaged in conversational groups, so I it came down to feeling put out or just joining in somewhere. And joining in was simply turning to one of my sides, listening but not participating, laughing at an appropriate moment – which, btw, made the others in the conversation turn towards me to include me a bit more from then on. It worked to an extent, tho I still felt like an appendage. I know I can’t really be a part of the theatre group unless I begin to put myself out there with them. Join in, raise my hand, speak up, volunteer, talk. In this matter, I feel like I’m back to being five years old again. Terribly shy. So I tend to stay quiet. Listen more than speak. Not raise my hand – tho the one director caught me out on that, got me up to participate in an improv scene, and I really, really enjoyed it.

I guess the one thing that’s become evident to me is the whole arrow issue. When my arrows are pointed in, when I’m worried about my age or what I say or how I look, things don’t go right. When I surrender and give all that up, when I let myself think more about other people than myself, good things can happen. They don’t always happen. But the opportunity is there (ah, there’s that new trigger word for me).

And that’s the key. Arrows out, and opportunity comes seeking YOU.

Tuck In

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Fear is lumped in my stomach. Made me run out here, to try to write it out.

No particular reason for it this morning.

Maybe it’s just the flux. The calls I need to make, the errands I need to run, the changes I need to keep up with.

Still…can’t play games. Can’t think well. Can’t even WRITE well, as evidenced by these blatherings (yes, blatherings, you bastard auto correct).

Feels like I want to vomit. But I know all that would come up would be the coffee I drank this morning.

That lump would still be there.

Fine. Health issues: fine. My kidneys are fine, my blood is fine, my urine is fine. I’m so fucking fine no one knows why I’m bitching. Little do they realize we’ve only begun to tap my health concern anxiety…

Today I have to screw up my courage not once but twice. Two – count them, TWO – phone calls to make. In Dutch. Oh, gods. That alone can make me feel like I want to throw up. I have my answer regarding my rheumatologist: I have to call the place I’ve been going to, the one that swapped my appointment to a new doctor, and cancel. Then I have to call the new place, the one where the doctor I want to keep seeing is based out of, to make a new appointment. At least we’re talking about appointments, and that’s one Dutch word I learned my first month here. Maybe I can get thru what I need to do with my limited language skills. If I panic and flip into English – and sorry, but when I panic that’s exactly what I do – well, most of the time the other person can keep up with me. Tho I feel like a real schmuck for doing it.

Let’s talk about the big worry right now. The C word. In this case, we’re talking colonoscopy – a C word that ranks second only to cancer in my book. I need to make an appointment. Now. I’m over 50, I have a family history of colon cancer, and when I had the procedure done in my 20s I already had polyps (benign). There. I’ve put it down. I have lots of gas, but I always have. My stools are sometimes thinner than usual, but I’ve noticed that can happen depending on what I’ve eaten and how much exercise I’ve had. No blood, no creepy discolorations. Certainly no feelings of being ‘full’ after limited amounts of food (I ate a whole one person pizza last night for dinner – no skimping there). There’s very little to worry me, other than my family history and the polyps already found at a very young age.

That’s enough, though.

I’m worried that I’ll freak out like I did during my pelvic exam. I’m worried that even if I ask for some sort of sedation I won’t be given it. I’m worried that I’ll be doubly afraid and anxious because there will be so much Dutch I won’t understand being spoken in the room. And of course I’m afraid of what they might find.

In addition, for some reason I’m feeling an instinctual push to do this right NOW. Not next year, not next month. NOW.

That disturbs me.

In the next few hours I’ll need to make those phone calls. I’ve also got to get out of the house for some errands. And I need to tidy up; the elusive and mysterious R (my bro’s sensei) is stopping by Thursday evening with a bookkeeper to go over taxes with my bro. I’m not failing to notice that yes, I’ll finally meet him – but it’s only a byproduct of needing to meet here because he’s no longer working at the dojo, which in itself makes me wonder about him and is another story entirely. Hmmm…

Add to that the fact that I’m not 100% rock solid on conjugating the 40-50 verbs our teacher gave us.

This is LIFE, crashing in on me. Bad enough that sometimes I just have to deal with my mood suddenly being in the toilet, or having pain from this joint or that bone. Now the exterior stress is picking up.

Naturally I’m afraid I’ll become a gibbering idiot. I’m equally afraid that I’ll then be dragged to some shrink or therapist to begin all that yo-yoing again. Sometimes that promise/threat from my brother is comforting. Not right now.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Right. I can take one phone call today and make one tomorrow or Friday or next week. Head out for the flowers I want to buy before the heat sets in (forecast: a freaky, humid 25C after days of not reaching 20). Tidy up some of the big stuff. Look at those verbs again.

Do my best.

My best does not consist of me running myself into the ground with multi-tasking or worry. That does not create my best. My best comes when I take things slowly, at a relaxed pace. When I get enough rest. When I make sure to play enough. Then these small bites I need to take out my elephant sized tasks are easier to swallow. Push hard enough and that dish gets dried out, dusty. Take a bit of time and I can have it with gravy. Maybe it STILL won’t taste very good, but I’ll be able to do it.

*sigh* It doesn’t really feel like hanging on by my fingernails is enough. But that points to my problem – enough isn’t good enough. I feel like I must swallow the entire elephant in one go, with a smile on my face. I can’t, of course. No one can.

Nothing else for it. Tuck in.

On the See-Saw

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Last night I had the frustrating task of figuring out the following cryptic message: It’s got the Doctor Who guy who had armageddon in it. From this, my brother expected me to understand the following: The film we were about to watch, Lesbian Vampire Killers, included in its cast James Corden who starred in the Doctor Who episode ‘The Lodger’ as Doctor Who’s roommate AND who ended up (in another episode) having a baby, Alfie, who like to be called Stormageddon (according to the Doctor).

Sometimes my brother’s short hand way of speaking really makes me want to strangle him.

I have been thinking deep and heavy thoughts. They’re not surface thoughts; those I can at least glimpse as they flit by my mind. These thoughts are too deep to access. They keep me preoccupied no matter what’s going on around me. I sit in front of the tv, offering a smile and/or laugh when my brother does so I don’t seem too off. I don’t really hear what’s going on. In fact, last night I had that weird thing happen to me where English is being spoken but I can’t understand a word of it. It’s just mush, syllables with no particular meaning. Flying over my head, smiles, laughter and mush, as I sit stony faced because some part of my brain is in overtime and I can’t access it.

Really hard to keep my frustration from screaming out of me right now. I gotta stand back a little: I can see this woman who looks unhappy – I know she doesn’t feel that way, but she looks that way from the outside. She is quiet, too quiet….. And with good fucking reason. Every goddamn time I open my fucking mouth my brother INSISTS on making analogies to himself. Yesterday I was talking about my writing, he turned it into a conversation about music. Goddamn it! Sometimes I wish he’d just let my statements stand in the air without comment. I need to tell him something, not have him turn it around so I can relate to him. HEAR me, will you? And I can’t come down on him too hard because he still doesn’t have any goddamn pills from the fucking doctors to slow down his ADHD. I know what the fuck is going on with him. He’s doing fucking great, other than continually interrupting me until I’m ready to crawl out of my fucking skin.

And I’m scared ’cause I want to write again, but not like I did before. I want to write like I WANTED to before, but couldn’t. I feel like I can now. Like I can address some of those dark memories in my head and finally give them the dirt and sweat and cum smeared all over their faces like I remember. I want to write the ugly out, in glorious 3D splat with fountains of shit flying everywhere. No hiding behind humor or metaphor. And I know my brother will hate it. He’s the number one fan of my fiction. My humorous fiction. He asks for more stories from me all the time. And I like to write that, when I’m there. But what’s brewing isn’t funny, it isn’t nice, it isn’t rated YA. It’s gonna be ugly literature, stuff I never wanted to read. Stuff I’m afraid he’ll reject because it’s too raw. I tried to tell him that. I really did. All I got was the music analogy, which frankly lost me after the second sentence. My verbal skills have gone to shit. Or maybe he just doesn’t give me enough time to get things OUT. I don’t know anymore. Too fucking frustrated.

My body still isn’t healthy, which frustrates me more. I guess I’m not over this manic episode after all. Thought I was when I was getting ill; it slowed me down enough to fool me. Now that I’m on the mend I realize I’m not slowed down at all. I want to fly right now, zoom away into words and sounds and never, ever come back down to earth cause why fucking bother? Everything here is too slow.

I am tired and wound up and I need more sleep today, I can tell. Feel like I could lay my head down on my desk right now and snooze for four more hours.

Can’t breathe, can’t breathe, can’t breathe. Been through a whole box of tissues.

Do not want to do today.

Where is my warrior princess? The blood thirsty bitch who screams ‘NEVER!’ as she dives into battle? Must have been up fighting all night. I DID wake up soaked in sweat again. It wasn’t even warm last night, so must have been fighting something.

Do not want to admit this, but I’ll put myself down today. Drug myself out, so I keep calm and get more sleep. I know it ain’t the best way to go. But right now I’m facing drugging myself asleep and resting today, or running too fast and hard and coming up even more ill tomorrow. This is a life long pattern for me, and why I take months to heal from simple illnesses. I’m trying to break myself of it.

Still haven’t made the call yet for a new counseling appointment. I keep telling myself I will when I get better. I’d at least like to be able to hear what’s going on, and right now my ears are still pretty clogged up. All excuses. I’m just avoiding it. It’s the last fucking thing I should be doing, and I’m letting myself do it.

Sometimes the thing I despair the most about it my own perceived weakness. Intellectually, I know that. I know I’m not weak; I am, in fact, the opposite. I can write out an entire argument on my own behalf detailing exactly how strong and brave I am. I could do it right now. My heart still wouldn’t accept it, tho. It’s still sad because some part of me has her hands thrown up in the air again. That ‘I just can’t deal with this shit right now’ attitude that seeps through every facet of my fucking life. And I tell myself it’s just the remnants of my illness. I’m just off my game. But I’m not off my game, I’m on the see-saw. It’s just tipping and teetering, which throws my balance off. Never did have a good sense of balance.

So deep breath, try again.

I acknowledge I’m probably in a mixed episode right now. I acknowledge my emotions are topsy-turvy, that I’ll be up one minute and crying the next. I acknowledge my own frustrations. I acknowledge that I have a problem. That’s ok. It’s ok to have a problem. It’s ok to be frustrated when you’re ill. It’s ok to ask for help.

Trying to decide if I can make a promise to myself today and follow through. And I’m still on the fence. What I want to do is carry through with the idea that’s it’s ok to ask for help. I should stop at the doctor’s office and see if she can see me today. This sinus infection or whatever has been going on for over a week now, and I probably need something to help me heal. Can I bring myself to do that? Face the embarrassment of having to resort to English ’cause I can’t explain all this in Dutch? Face the walk over there, and then maybe the wait or the need to return later in the day when she has some time free? Do I have it in me today to do this for myself?

I will try. I will not promise myself because I don’t know that I’m up to it. But I will try. I will put on my shoes and get dressed before noon. I will walk over to the doctor’s office and ask if she can see me today.

And the see-saw tips down towards exhaustion……

Getting the Message Through: I’m NOT that Fat!

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I have a serious body image problem.

Yesterday, as I sat mentally berating my fat bulges and poking at my tummy, I realized something. I am now 2 inches LESS fat in my hips than when I first came to NL for a holiday. And I’m still calling myself FAT.

Despite what anyone may think from my blog posts, I am not a very large person. I’m what you might call heavy right now; my thighs, hips, stomach, and upper arms carry a bit more weight than they should and look it, but I am in NO way obese. I probably come in at a size 14-16 in US sizes; I’m slipping into 42 pants here without a hitch. Large, but not a whale.

But I FEEL like a whale.

The picture above is a good example. I’m not that thin, but I do see my reflection skewed. It’s only years later when I see a picture of myself during a time period in my life when I called myself ‘fat’ that I realize I wasn’t fat at all. I can’t see it in the here and now. I get rare flashes, rare instances when I think I see myself as I am: large but not too bad. Most of the time, tho, I can’t see it. All I see are the bulges on the outside of my thighs, the fact that my hips are obviously wider than my shoulders, the thickness in my waist. I hate it so much.

I hate what I see and I hate that I know I’m seeing it skewed. I’ve done my best to break myself of this. I can look at truly obese people and see I don’t carry that much body fat. I can even be THANKFUL I’m not that obese. But put me in front of a mirror and all I see is FAT. Flaws. Bulges. Ugly.

Frankly, I’m at a loss. This is a recurring thing with me. I’ve got down to small size (38 inch hips and 28 inch waist) and STILL felt like a fucking house. When I was smaller I bought a pair of pants I held up in the store. They looked like they should fit a bloody doll they were so small. I thought, no way am I getting into those. But I did. My body fit and fit well; the pants weren’t that tight on me. The PANTS were small but I was still FAT. Nonsense, I know. There’s no logic to it at all, and yet I can’t shake it.

Again I’m throwing up my hands in my head and just saying ‘oh, fuck it!’. The merry-go-round I experience when I look at myself only serves to reinforce my life mantra for my body: HEALTH, not size. I want endurance. I want strength. With those things will come a fit body. But since I know my self image is fucked, I’ve just got to let that size thing go best as I can. It’s tough. My ass gets blamed for a lot; being so fat it got in the way as I passed someone in a shopping aisle, being so fat I can’t get any speed up as far as running, being so WIDE I have to turn sideways anytime I try to pass anyone anyWHERE because, well, I need a whole fucking lane for my hips.

Do they make a pill for this? Can I get a prescription?

*sigh* Of course I put on a pair of sweat pants I’d just pulled from the laundry. They felt snug this morning. They’re old, and they do a major shrink after a wash. I KNOW that. I can’t let go of feeling FAT today, regardless. And it was a swim morning! I kicked ASS in the pool. Longest I stopped in half an hour was to clear the fog from my goggles and take 3 deep breaths. Other than that it was go, go, go for a full half hour AFTER my pool aerobics. And no cramps in my feet or legs (really plagued me when I started swimming). I feel ready to start trying some lane swimming in addition to my Tuesday mornings. That’s a drastic night and day difference from when I began. I’m really getting in shape. My collar bones are beginning to pop out again and I can feel my ribs coming back. I lost that ledge of fat on my butt. I’m back into pants I stopped wearing last December because they were too tight….And I look down at myself and think ‘what a whale, look at that spread in your thighs, there’s no ROOM on the chair at all you FAT thing!’.

AAAAAAAARGH!

I am NOT loving myself this morning. Yesterday did not help me at all. I made NO headway on my recording. Full volume sounded ok. Quiet volume sounded terrible. I started moving EQs and volumes. Nothing fit, nothing worked. I eventually turned off the equipment and just accepted I wasn’t in the head space to do it. I am also hating my time off for my shoulder. It’s not hurting as much today, which tempts me to start using it again. I know that would be a mistake. Tomorrow I’d be complaining about the pain again. So I still won’t use it, no matter how much I’m itching to finish putting stuff up on my shelves.

Been restless and antsy in general lately. Agitated would be a good word. NOTHING is moving fast enough right now, especially my own body which just ticks me off. Feels like a let down of myself. I’m fighting between my head and my body right now and I can’t win no matter what I do! My body won’t move fast enough to keep up with my brain, so that’s a betrayal. My brain won’t stop berating my body for not moving which is just beating myself up and not supporting myself at all. This sucks.

I need something NEW. Like a new computer game. Problem is, I’m not set up yet to do that. So I keep going out to Big Fish games and uploading the free 1 hour trials. Finding plenty of games I want to buy when I can. Also finding frustration at not being able to continue playing the games I really enjoy. And I’m running out of options. I burn through 4-5 trials a day in this mood.

Bleh, bleh, bleh! Nothing is fast enough, fun enough, consuming enough to keep me occupied right now for a good long time and it’s driving me up the wall. Seems the only thing that does consume me lately is swimming, which is why I want to start doing it more. At least in the water all this falls away and leaves me the fuck alone for a fucking hour. If I was stronger I’d be in that pool every damned day.

I am SO wanting to get straight down on the floor and do 50 crunches right now….that’s not healthy. Some people would say it is, but they’d be wrong. I use exercise to punish myself, and right now I can’t get enough punishment. I don’t know what I’m punishing myself for, other that being FAT. There’s something else, there…something I can’t put my finger on yet. Something I’m WRONG for. Something I’m guilty of. Something that deserves punishment.

These are the thoughts that frighten me. This is the reason I once did so many sit ups I wore holes in the skin on my back around my tailbone. This is the reason I continually hurt myself through exercise and I GET AWAY WITH IT because no doctor’s put two and two together yet. My brother has. He’s the one who’s helped me see it. I don’t know how to get around it or past it or punch through it or whatever the fuck I need to do, but at least I can acknowledge it now. I can tell doctors about it.

But how do I get the message through to me?