Thoughts on self-image and other such nonsense.

Sigh. Why do I need so much time to get this stuff out? This is a bit of the post that I should have written a month ago. It’s about me even though it starts out in that strange, round-about way that I seem to need to use to talk about myself. Oh well. (Also, it’s very long, clocking in over 2000 words… Oops!)

I had a lot of time on my hands yesterday as students worked independently to complete their final project. This meant that I spent a lot of time on the computer just dinking around. I caught up on blogs I had been neglecting, (even if I didn’t take the time to comment) and all the stupid little time-sink stuff that I keep in my RSS reader for just such occasions and I still had time left over. This is always a problem because it takes me to parts of the internet that make me sad or frustrated or just plain old angry. So, surf, surf, surf and end up on cnn.com… Not good. First read an article about the amount of vacation Americans receive vs their European counterparts and apparently (according to the article) Americans perceive working harder than they have to as a sign of success. Yikes!! What’s wrong with us? No THANK you! It makes me sad.

Then, also on cnn, I watched a video about growing trends in Asia (Korea and China) of having plastic surgery to look more “Western”. The story follows a 12-year-old girl who was about to have eye surgery to look “pretty”. At one point they ask the girl to pick which woman in a fashion magazine is beautiful. Both women were gorgeous, of course, but she said that the Asian woman was ugly because of her eyes. It saddens me that the standard of beauty that is making girls in our country feel inferior is affecting people in other countries as well. It’s infuriating that parents would not just allow, but pressure their children to get ridiculous surgeries to make them “attractive”. It’s sick and I’m moving on before I get all angry again.

So, saying all that to get to my point. (Of course.) What do these two articles have in common? Self-image. Who hasn’t know some person at some point in their lives that was completely convinced of some falsehood about themself? Be it “I’m not pretty.” or “I’m not talented.” or any other negative thing that you can think of. And of course, you have the opposite as well: The odious guy/gal who’s convinced they are God’s gift to whichever sex is the object of their affection. The poor soul that couldn’t carry a tune to save their soul but still tries their luck in the local talent show (or on American Idol, ouch).

Well, look at that, I still haven’t gotten to the point… It’s really quite crazy how much of our self-worth is derived from outside sources. From an early age, we start examining the world around us and our perceptions of the world are formed. And, of course, when the topic of self-image is discussed, for me, it’s all about weight. When I was little, I was pretty thin. My brother and I were homeschooled and our day went kind of like this: wake up (at some reasonable hour after dawn), breakfast, assignments for the day, PLAY!!! We didn’t spend more than a few hours on school work and then we had fun. We ran everywhere we went and we lived outside. Needless to say, with that kind of activity level we needed plenty of calories to keep us going.

Then, we moved across the country to Washington state. The people we stayed with when we first moved there (one of my dad’s old army buddies) had four girls ranging from teens to my age (I turned eight shortly after we moved there). I am convinced that this had something to do with my weight gain. After all, their youngest “sparked” early, so to speak, and I’m pretty sure the estrogen laced environment jump started my own puberty, though I didn’t have a period until I was 13 and again surrounded by pubescent females. (One of the symptoms of PCOS is irregular periods and weight gain. I rest my case.) On top of this, their mom convinced my mom that home schooling wasn’t good enough and we were enrolled in public school. So, yeah, take two high energy kids, make them get up predawn to ride the bus, put them in a classroom all day and top all that with homework and what do you get? Chubby McChubbchubbs! Phew! We plumped like well-cooked sausages!

Now, as I was a kid and totally unaware that I had been signed up for all the crap that comes with being overweight, I totally didn’t even notice that I was chubby! I could have cared less! Afterall, what was better for swimming in glacier-fed rivers than an extra layer of fat to keep the cold out? (And we were out in that river as often as we could be! Pools are for chumps!) But as childhood melted into adolescence, and we were again enrolled in public school for our high school years, it began to become an Issue. My dear, misguided but well-intentioned mother started suggesting that maybe “we” should try to lose some weight. (Seriously! I look at pictures of myself back then and I was NOT fat. Thick, sure, I do have a rather broad frame, and yes I might have been a little chubby, but not anything that really needed Addressing.) Suddenly, with my mother’s concerns and finally being exposed to the insecurities of other girls my age, I became very aware of my weight.

Now, let me just pause here to say that growing up, chubbs and all, I’ve never had any health problems. Even well into adulthood, no problems. I’ve always been fairly active (because I enjoy it) and most of my fresh out of highschool jobs were pretty physically taxing. I’ve always been large, but I’ve also always been STRONG. Think fat layered over muscle. I could have snapped most of my male friends in half if I had ever had call to. ‘Nough said.

So, tender, naive me suddenly had inferiority thrust upon me. I had never been self-conscious in my LIFE! I mean, my entire freshman year I wore horrible (brightly colored) knit fabric shorts and character tees! I couldn’t care less what people thought of me! Because of this absolute lack of guile, no one bullied me for being weird. I was completely content in my own odd little world. (I only ever had one person pick on me and it was my best friend’s asshat boyfriend and I pretty much just blew him off.) I befriended everyone (because I’d never been hurt) and it was great. But then the wrecking ball of “You need to lose weight.” came crashing down on my happy little world. Suddenly, there was something wrong with me. My mommy told me so. My friends, who were much thinner than I, told me so through their own self-deprecation. The evidence of high school life told me so.

Looking back now, toward the end of my slightly chubby freshman year, I sprouted and by the end of highschool I was 5’10” and a muscular 200ish. Right about now, I wish I could go back and tell that tall, awkward girl not to worry about her weight! I am convinced that if I hadn’t been so conscious of “being fat”, my weight wouldn’t have progressed to the point that it reached when I hit rock bottom. Because there was such a focus on weight and not health, I felt horrible about myself and would binge on junk (because I was fat anyway, right?) as an emotional escape. My down points are littered with tears and empty cookie trays. All because someone convinced me that there was something wrong with me.

The funny thing is that through all of my “fat” youth, I never felt fat. I was healthy. I was strong. And I never struggled with any of the problems that you hear so much about. Walking, going up stairs and all that jazz, were no issue for me. I was just carrying that same padding over swathes of muscle. (Seriously, 18 year old me could kick your ass!) I biked. I walked. I swam. All for the joy of those things for themselves. UNTIL someone told me I NEEDED to do them. Someone stole the intrinsic joy of feeling my muscles flex beneath skin (and yes, fat as well). Now, as I’m taking back my body from the vacuum of self-loathing, I’m starting to feel that joy again. I love the rush of power I feel as I cut through the water effortlessly or kick it into high gear on the elliptical and I can’t wait until my doctor clears me to run, because that will be mine!

It’s strange, but I feel oddly self-conscious about my decision to lose weight. I think it’s that same low self-worth rearing its ugly head, but I think it’s also because I don’t want people to take it the wrong way. I’m not losing weight because there was anything wrong with being heavy. (And if you view it that way, I’m very sorry, but I’m going to have to punch you in the face.) The truth of it is that I was no longer a tiger in a fat suit. Actually, a hippo is a really awesome analogy. They look like big cows that you could push over in a drunken, hickish haze, when, in fact, they’re a mound of rippling muscle that are the most dangerous thing in water. I was perfectly fine with myself that way. I was healthy. I felt good. But after my recent struggle with depression and the resulting weight gain, (on top of a mostly sedentary teaching job) for the first time in my life, I felt fat. Instead of that kick-ass hippopotamus (I WILL BREAK YOUR BOAT IN HALF!), I felt like one of those sad declawed, enormous house cats that can’t even lick themselves properly (“I wash mahself with a rag on a stick.”).

This heavy feeling, in conjunction with knowledge of the health problems that led to my grandfather’s death and unhappiness with my life at the moment, in general and with some very specific things, eventually led to a kind of breaking-point moment when I said enough was enough. I decided to take a lesson from some of the wonderful, free-spirited people I stalk follow on Twitter and do something about it. (Which in turn has made me slightly less sympathetic to people griping about their crappy lives. Sorry! Something in your life you don’t like? Do something about it!!) I decided I was done letting my life happen to me. My life was going to have purpose, damn it, and I was going to be the one making the decisions! I decided I wanted to leave the area. Making that happen. I decided I wanted to get healthy and stop feeling like an over-sized loaf of a cat. Making that happen. I decided what I want to do with my life. Soooo gonna make that happen!

Holy crap! I need to wind this up now, don’t I. So… the TL:DR version: If you’re not happy with something in your life, do something about it! Especially those of you that don’t have kids that you need to provide for. (You know who you are!) I’m done working just to pay for the things that distract me from work. I’m done making excuses. I’m just plain done!

So, yeah. I’m not the person to come to if you want a sympathetic ear right now, but if you need someone to tell you to get off your ass and chase those dreams or someone to cheer you on along the way, I’m your gal!

Now, go out and do something you WANT to do for no other reason than the fact that you can!!

“Oh! what a tangled web we weave…”

“When first we practice to deceive!” But how much worse then can it be, than when the one deceived is me?

An interesting thing happens every time we go on a field trip to visit a college campus… The teachers are way more interested in the programs than the students are ! It amazes me how many affordable opportunities are available now that weren’t even around 10 years ago when I started college. We mostly visit low-cost schools, like the local technical and community colleges and some of the two year programs that they offer are phenomenal! Every trip, I shake my head in regret that either they weren’t around or I didn’t know when I was making BIG choices about my future.

And, yes, some of the yearning to go back to school is just a “Grass is greener” situation, but the one thing that causes a real reaction every single time are the culinary arts programs. UGH!! I die a little on the inside as we tour the kitchens and listen to the instructor talk about what they teach and all that. Every. Single. Time. You see, when I was a sophomore or junior in high school, I decided that I was going to take my love for baking (and cooking, to a lesser degree) and turn it into a career. Hooray! Bright-eyed and full of hope, I shared my dreams with everyone! I was going to be a chef (or pastry chef, I hadn’t decided)! Hooray!! Little did I know that culinary arts programs (at the time) were incredibly expensive and didn’t include housing! Hooray…?

My hopes soundly dashed (we was po), I went to work as a kitchen prep at a newly opened local Chili’s and let my dream die. When I hated being a prep (who wouldn’t), I told myself that it was proof that I wasn’t cut out for working with food and sank further into complacency. I eventually started college at the local university, once my dad got laid off and I qualified for financial aid. I petered around, majoring in Psychology at first, considering Art and settling on English (cause it was easy for me). Got my degree. Got my teacher certification. Started teaching…

It wasn’t long before I started feeling dissatisfied with my job and I started regretting my decision to get a degree in English. More and more, as time has gone on, I’ve longed for the days of working at the coffee shop where I worked in the middle of my college career. And as I’ve been examining the infinitely opportune future, I’ve been feeling the pull to go back to school and get that culinary training that I’ve always wanted.

Today, though, was just the straw that broke the camel’s back… The culinary arts professor at the technical school we visited was talking about the food industry and how different it was from other careers. And then, he described, with perfect clarity, the feeling of joy and gratification that I’ve always felt when serving good food to people and my heart surged with longing. That! Just exactly that! That is what I’m missing! That passion that I’ve only ever felt when working with food! He talked about taking a bunch of raw ingredients that weren’t much on their own and creating something wonderful with them. AND THEN! While it’s still fresh and new, you place it into the hands of someone that can immediately enjoy it. I’ve felt that again and again. At the coffee shop, when I got the order just right. At home, when I cook something that makes the dining room go quiet. A feeling of peace and joy that I’ve never felt as a teacher.

And I want it back.

I am really at a loss for words…

Note to self: Next time you have an awesome idea for a post, don’t wait to write it. You’ll regret it.

So, yes, the post I was planning to write that was full of inspiration and whatnot is gone. At least four times I’ve sat down to write it and the words elude me. And not only the words, but the spirit behind the post seems to have left me as well. Not cool, Dobby, not cool.

It seems that it’s not just my writing that’s being effected, either. Along with my writing inspiration, all other forms of inspiration appear to have left me as well. I feel like doing NOTHING, all the time. I don’t want to read, write, surf the wed, watch TV, play video games and housework, HA! I have no motivation. I still do these things because I know that I should enjoy them or they need to be done, but it’s only with extreme effort. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Is there a flu or something that only makes you feel tired and unmotivated?

The Shot Heard ‘Round the World

I’ve had this post percolating in my mind for about a week now and I just haven’t had the time or, when I had the time, I had other things going on. And so, I decided yesterday that today would be the day that The Post was going to happen. I won’t go into the details right now, as I do still intend to write said post, but my mind is elsewhere today.

I’m sure I don’t have to let you know that Osama bin Laden was killed and the announcement that launched a thousand impromptu parties went out last night. And while I completely understand the jubilation that seems to be rather wide-spread across the internet last night and still today, I feel sad. Do I think it’s awesome that he’s finally been found/taken care of? Of course. But, thinking about him just reminds me of the things he’s done and the things that he set into motion. It reminds me of the pain. The fear. The terror. He, and his comrades did far more than kill thousands of people.

They changed the face of our nation.

Every story that I hear of freedoms infringed upon in airports pains me. They caused this. Every hateful statement from self-proclaimed “patriots” toward other, completely innocent, human beings breaks my heart a little more. They did this to us. For a brief moment, we stood united against them. Standing together in mourning and in defiance. And then, as time passed, the real damage began to unfold.

Fear.

Intolerance.

Hatred.

Apathy.

Little by little, America has let little bits of freedom slip away in the name of “security”. Little by little, we have stopped caring. And that is why the news of his death makes me sad. To see what we have done in the wake of the actions of a single day, breaks my heart more that words can say.

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

-Benjamin Franklin

And Now for Something Completely Different…

I had two ideas for two completely different types of posts on Thursday. One was thoughtful and personal, kind of like a lot of what I’ve been writing here lately. The other, nerdy and silly. So, since I’ve been really, really introspective lately, I thought I’d give you a dose of nerdtasticness. It didn’t quite turn out that way, though. I inadvertently turned my nerdy post into something introspective… But it’s all good in the end, right?

WARNING: This is a really long and opinionated post that was written over several days, so continue at your own peril! Here’s a kitty:


If you don’t know by now that I am a nerd, or geek, if you prefer, then either you haven’t been here long or you just haven’t been paying attention. I am proud of being one of the “tip-tops of think-thunk” to quote MC Frontalot. It may make me a bit of a hipster, but it’s kind of cool to belong to a group that not that many people would willingly be a part of. (Don’t get me wrong! There’s plenty of “out” nerds, and we’re growing constantly, but I think we’ve all been in a situation that made us a little hesitant to speak up.) I’ve had very well-meaning people declare “You’re not a nerd!” when I refer to myself as such, but what they miss is the fact that I’m damn proud to be a nerd. We are the internet. We are teh hotness. We are amazing and we’re stepping out!

Aherm… Stepping off soapbox… ::Straightens shirt and pushes up glasses:: Sorry about that. I can be a tad bit overzealous if I’m not careful… (Remind me to avoid cults.)

Back to the original reason for this post: Lots of nerdy things happening!

Firstly, I must trumpet from the rooftops that we bought tickets for PAX Prime!!! What is PAX, you ask? PAX is (in a nutshell) a gaming convention, run by the guys over at Penny Arcade that is unlike anything that has ever been before. PAX is place where nerds from around the states congregate for three glorious days of gaming, music and other random nerdiness. For mor information (also, in a nutshell) click here. We have been wanting to go since the beginning, but we finally took the plunge and bought tickets! I’m so excited!! From what previous attendees have gushed, it’s kind of like coming home to a place where everyone “gets” you and it sounds FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!!

In other nerdy news, last weekend saw the beginning of the HBO interpretation of George R. R. Martin’s (unfinished) series A Song of Ice and Fire. The new show, Game of Thrones, named after the first book in the series A Game of Thrones, premiered on Sunday, but the real drama (I’m a sucker for web intrigue, so sue me.) occurred when a New York Times reviewer, Ginia Bellafante, published her “review“. In my opinion, she fairly dismissive of the whole thing (obviously not her cup of tea) and doesn’t do much reviewing of the show. Instead, she makes a bunch of tongue-in-cheek comparisons to other shows before sticking her foot straight into her mouth with the following:

The true perversion, though, is the sense you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise. While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin’s, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to “The Hobbit” first. “Game of Thrones” is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.

From The New York Times, April 15, 2011. (Emphasis mine.)

 The internet EXPLODED in outrage with self-proclaimed “Geek Girls” rushing to defend their love for Martin, and I’ll admit that I was one of the offended.

Now, let me just say that, yes, I have read all of the A Song of Ice and Fire books to date. But when I first picked up A Game of Thrones, I was appalled at all of the sex. It was not what kept me reading. I did not feel that it added to my enjoyment of the book and was often gratuitous, though, in the context of the story, fitting. I finished it, because that’s what I do, and I threw it away. Which is something I never do. I felt that the story and characters were very well written, but I didn’t care for all the sex.

And then, of course, since I had unprecedentedly thrown away a book, my future husband just had to read it! He devoured the first one and went on the read the next two. This, of course, made me curious as to what was so intriguing that he, a reluctant reader, would plow through it so heartily. I reevaluated my snobbery and finished them.

SO! Getting back to the topic at hand, I was furious for several reasons:

  • First, I resent the fact that she makes the assumption that all women lurve smut to such a degree that they would sit through something so horribly intolerable (in the mind of said stereotypical woman) just to get some. I may be the exception to the rule, I don’t claim that I know the mind of all women, but I can’t be the only one that’s not a fan.
  • Secondly, while she doesn’t come out and say it, she implies that all the women she knows would prefer regular fiction over fantasy. However, I doubt that she knows the reading habits of every single woman she’s ever met. It’s more than likely that somewhere hidden amongst all of the women she’s met, there are a few that read fantasy.
  • Thirdly, BOY FICTION?! The very connotation of such a term is… GAH!! I have no words! There’s just a throbbing, red blotch in the center of my vision at the thought! I would expect someone who writes for The New York Times to have a bit more professionalism. Hooray for sexism from within my own sex…

She did, of course, publish a response piece to all the criticism that was blasted her way, but she doesn’t do anything more than make excuses for herself. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t agree with the extremities that people go to when they disagree with someone. Threatening someone or their family/friends/pets/etc, name-calling and personal attacks are all out-of-bounds when discussing opinion people. I mean, come on! Don’t give the woman more ammunition against nerd-kind. You’re not doing anyone any favors by acting that way.

And this is where I was planning to go on to talk about Portal 2 and the new season of Doctor Who, but I think I’ve gone on enough. Thanks for reading! :)

I really am trying…

…To enjoy the season, but right now, I could punch spring in the face!

This morning started off pretty nicely. I woke up early and it wasn’t terrible since I made myself go to bed early. I did my usual morning routine, but since I was up a little earlier than usual, I took my time about it and ate breakfast at home instead of at my desk before work. When the time came to leave, there was the slightest hint of coolness to the air which was very nice. Traffic wasn’t too horrific and I got to work with plenty of time to spare to check email and enjoy the sounds of spring.

I love birds. Not as pets, so much, but watching and listening to birds outside is always very pleasant for me. So, as I waited for the first bell to ring, I sat at my desk listening to the cacophony of different birds through my slightly propped open classroom door. (Our campus used to be an elementary school and isn’t a single building, so much as a collection of loosly connected buildings that open to the outdoors.) The one benefit of our campus is being able to enjoy some of the rarer local wildlife. We get whistling ducks, woodpeckers, meadowlarks, tree squirrels (Which are an oddity in an area dominated by ground squirrels.) and the normal sparrows, grackles and mocking birds.

And this morning ALL of them were doing their chirpy bird thing at the same time. Except for the squirrels, which are not birds. And it was lovely.

And then, I started sneezing. And my nose started running. And I started getting assaulted by dad-blamed fleas (which were almost gone as of yesterday, but apparently we got a new batch!). And then I remembered why I don’t like spring (not to be confused with Spring, whom I like very much) and I closed my door.

Better Late Than Never, eh?

I started this post on Monday, but I got busy and never finished it. So, it’s rambling and has lots of parentheticals and I don’t know if the two halves really go together, as they were written several days apart, but here it is!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. Aaron has been busy most evenings and weekends working on projects for classes so I’ve had a lot of time to myself. And while having too much time to one’s self can be dangerous (I’m an overthinker. Too much time thinking can cause various kinds of spirals.), I’m finding ways to keep myself occupied and I’m getting better at avoiding the blues. This is kind of a breakthrough to me.

As I have mentioned, we are looking at  some big changes in our lives in the next year or so and while that is daunting, it’s exhilarating as well. One of the things that will be happening, if all goes as is planned, is that I will be moving off on my own for 5-6 months while Aaron finishes school. I’ll be taking the cats and I’ve got some childhood friends in the area that we’re looking at (the Seattle area of Washington). But if I’m not capable of making use of those lonely hours and not getting bummed, like I had been, then being on my own for months was looking like a bad idea.

But, thanks to the magic of college, I’m getting to “practice” having massive amounts of time alone. (Yay…) To be honest, I was getting a little worried. Ever since the health problems and resulting diagnosis of the summer and my grandfather’s death in the fall, I haven’t really been feeling like my old, (mostly) positive self. But here lately, I’ve been trying (and mostly succeeding) to focus on positive, constructive things instead of being passive. And let me tell you, the changes so far, though small, have been profound.

All the health nonsense, stress from work and losing my grandfather, on top of my already fragile self-esteem, left me feeling pretty bitter and powerless. Plus there’s the stress of having to make BIG, GROWNUP DECISIONS that will alter the course of our lives. All of that had been weighing on my mind in every moment of alone time and I responded in one of two ways. I would either worry myself into a state of despair (despair spiral) or do something mindless to help me ignore said soul-crushing despair (sloth spiral). Then, in either case, I would feel bad about either the sloth or not being able to handle the stress (shame spiral). (I have a thing for ______ spirals.

So, now instead of indulging in self-loathing or laziness, I’m learning to find something else to do–something that doesn’t come with the previous feelings of guilt and worthlessness. I bought a ukulele and I spend a lot of alone time playing and learning new things. (I love my ukulele! But I forgot her name…) I’m also spending a lot of time getting educated about health and fitness and that makes me feel better as well. As Witless Exposition alluded to in a comment on my last post, there’s a lot of unfounded (i.e. not research based) blame and assumed causality involved with PCOS that if I hadn’t taken the time to do my own digging, could have lead to a very dark, guilt-filled place.

So, in short, I’m learning how to use my time alone in a constructive way and improving myself at the same time.

The future looks awfully bright when you don’t focus on the shadowy bits!

ALONS-Y!!

“Look, kid. Bad things happen…”

“…and you can’t do anything about it. Right?”

Note: Some of today’s post deals with ::cough:: feminine health issues. I’m not going to be graphic or anything, but I just thought you should be forewarned, just in case.

I know that I’ve mentioned the health problems that I was having last year, but I don’t think I’ve really gone into too much detail because of the, hrmm, sensitive nature of what I’ve got. I think that up until now, I’ve been mostly ignoring it and haven’t really sat down and thought about it. Today, though, I was trolling about a weight loss website that I’ve been looking into and on a lark, I looked up the condition to see what kind of information they have. I was, am, floored.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s get down to brass tacks. Last year I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) which has a whole slew of side effects which including abnormal hormone levels (which leads to “lady problems”) , difficulty having children (which isn’t an issue since we aren’t planning on having kids) and weight problems. (You can clicky the link if you want to know more.) The “lady doctor” that I went to gave me birth control pills to regulate my hormones and straighten out my horribly confused system and pretty much just sent me on my way.

This diagnosis and the problems that prompted me to see a doctor were kind of pushed to the side as I was dealing with work stress and then my grandfather dying. I think it’s safe to say that these three factors were what pushed me into depression but the indifference that said doctor showed didn’t help. Finally, I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but thanks to the pill, I’m a lot more emotional that I used to be and I don’t like it.

(Poor Aaron! He’s been a doll through all this drama. And, of course, he gets the worst of my irritability and down swings. Thanks sweetheart. I’d be lost without you!)

Basically, my unhappiness with the effects of the pill, which was given to me to manage the PCOS, spurred me to look into in on the weight loss website and that brings us back to where we started.

Me. On the floor.

I found a couple of support “teams” for sufferers of PCOS that are trying to lose weight and I started reading some of these women’s stories. It was all I could do not to burst into tears on the spot. Hearing about the pain and suffering that they’ve been through that is so similar to my own and yet so individual brought all of the fear and stress and frustration bubbling out of the little hole that I’ve been stuffing it into as I’ve been prioritizing “important” stuff.

Is it weird to say that I had no idea how much it had been bothering me? Suddenly, I found myself faced with this bitter, raw place at the center of all the negativity that I’ve been struggling to escape and it was like a light clicked on. (Dammit. I need a tissue.)

When I looked at someone other than myself with the same struggles and worse, for the first time, since it wasn’t me who was suffering, I could admit how much it sucks and how unfair this random toss of the dice has been. Because it wasn’t me… Because it wasn’t just me being a big baby. Because when it’s happening to someone else, I don’t have to pretend that it’s okay. When it’s not me I don’t have to pretend that it’s no big deal just because it’s not life threatening.

And it does suck. It sucks big, hairy donkey balls. It sucks to find out that parts of my personality that I’ve been proud of could be because of what this disorder has done to me. It sucks to know that in treating it, some part of the core of who I am changes a little. And maybe you don’t really notice it, but I do and it makes me sad. It sucks that it’s harder for me to lose weight than it is for a “normal” person. It sucks that people are shallow and I am judged too harshly for something that I have limited control over. It sucks that there is no known cause or cure.

But it feels pretty damn good to be able to face it. And it feels pretty damn good to be able to admit it. And it feels pretty damn good to know that I have people who love and support me and do what they can to make it okay. (Seriously, bad day to wear mascara!) It feels pretty damn good to know that there is something wrong with me and I’m not just a failure. And it feels pretty damn good to look to the future and see promise and hope.

Thank you for putting up with my emotional colonic. I love you guys.

More about beds!!!

As if I would forget that I left my last post with a bit of a loose thread! PSHAW! (Pshaw is a GREAT word, BTW. Go on. Try it! Fun, huh? Go forth and use it today!)

NOTE: Happy Monday all! I could have sworn I published this on Friday, but apparently not! Enjoy!

As I mentioned, the first night on our “new” bed was fantastic! Right to sleep, quick as you please! The next few nights, however revealed something evil about our new acquisition. SO HOT! And let me tell you, in South Texas, extra hot is not something that one goes in search of. We have plenty of hot and we don’t need any more, thank you very much!

Also, I generate heat like you wouldn’t believe! Lying on the new mattress pad seems to rebound the normal body heat and send it into solar proportions. It took a few nights of discomfort and tossing and turning for me to realize what the problem was. Thanks to this quasar of heat between myself and the mattress pad, I was having trouble falling into anything deeper than a light doze before I would wake up, irritated for no observable reason.

To be honest, the warmth of the bed as the memory foam gently cradles you is rather nice. HOWEVER, as you may or may not know, when you go into deep sleep, your core body temperature drops when you sleep and allegedly for deep sleep to occur without interruption, your skin’s (and muscles) temperature makes a huge difference. From what I’ve read, a room temperature of 60 – 68 degrees (F) is optimum and deviating from this too much can cause restlessness. And LET ME TELL YOU, I was way over that with our new mattress pad.

Cue: frantic music with time-lapse footage of chubby woman with frizzy hair tossing and turning in bed as husband sleeps peacefully.

So, yeah. That’s been fun. But with a combination of a slightly cooler nighttime air conditioner setting and kicking off the sheet, some sort of equilibrium has been achieved. Thank goodness the acquisition of the heat retainer occurred when I was on vacation or you would have seen a very grumpy work Melme indeed!

Bits and Pieces: Glasses, mattresses and other things.

This promises to be a somewhat scattered post as I try to process [some of] the events of the last week or so. I’ll try not to bore you… But just in case, here’s a picture of a monster I made out of clay last year:

He has since been sanded and painted, but I don’t think I have any other pictures of him. ON TO THE POST!

My Spring Break ended yesterday and I was just too distraught about it to write a blog post. Well, not really. I was actually pretty “busy” yesterday. I worked in the morning and then took the second half of the day as a personal day to get my lovely husband some new glasses to replace the ones he “HULK SMASH!”-ed at a crazy party on Saturday. (Actually, he broke them on Sunday as he gently removed them from his face to take a nap, but my version is much more interesting and involves a mosh pit. In reality, there was a tiny snap and his lens fell lightly onto the bed. BORING!) Apparently eyeglass repair is a dying art and none of the places we took them to could fix them on a Sunday afternoon. BAH! Some of us are BLIND without our glasses, people! What’s you’re problem?!

Fast forward to yesterday: The people at the eyeglass place were the most helpful we’ve ever dealt with before and, miracle of miracles, they had the lenses he needed in stock (That NEVER happens to either of us!) and we were able to get them in “one hour”. (Not including the time it took to find the frames, get the eye exam and nail down what options package we wanted. What options? Are we buying a car here or something? Eesh!) So, off we went to waste an hour while they readied my baby’s new eyes! Yay! New glasses!

Anywho, the other “event” that occurred during my absence from the internet (I am just the worst at keeping up with things while I’m on vacation, aren’t I?), was the “fixing” of our bed. You see, when we got married, we were mostly broke and bought a really cheap mattress set and this, let me assure you, will not happen again. It worked out fine for a while but as time has gone on, it has gotten less and less comfortable. The problem is that beds are expensive and with only one income at the moment, we’re not exactly rolling in the dough. So, we’ve been stuck with a crappy bed that makes my back hurt if I sleep on it for too long.

So, I decided I was fed up and we at least needed to get one of those mostly useless foam egg-crate things, if not an actually mattress topper. Off to Wal-Mart we went! I eyed the egg-crate foam thingies, doubtful, now that they were in front of me, that they were going to do anything at all and my eye wandered farther down the aisle… Memory foam!

I’ll admit it… I’m not ashamed… Much. Yes, it was a spurge, but it was still less expensive than buying a whole new bed and OF COURSE we needed new sheets for our “new” bed, right? >_>

::cough:: So, home we went, and several laundry loads later, ah! A new bed! And it was glorious! For the first night, anyway… (-_-)

And with that, dear friends, I leave you. Duty calls and I must teach now! Have a fantastic day!