Sunday, May 27, 2012

Jumping off...

I have had another article published on Mamamia - bam, just like that. Sent it off,  and 24 hours later, 91 people have read it.  Some people I do know, some people I don't.  Crazy stuff.  And good friends of mine are telling me that I should write a book.  Whoa.

I guess I'll look at the reasons why this scares me!
- because it might be crap, and everyone will laugh
- because writing is something I enjoy and if I make a job out of it, will I still enjoy it?
- what if I suck? What if I don't suck? What if it's really good and I sabotage it?
- Richard is not keen for Alex or he to feature in this book.  He says he just doesn't know that everyone needs to know everything about us.  So I'm wondering if I need to still write it autobiographically, or do I write fiction?
- I know me, and I like approval.  What if I get addicted to people approving of me and feel bad if they don't.  I guess the answer to that is, to find other ways to define myself that don't centre around what I do.  Which is kind of why I'm not rushing out to get another job - there is a lot of work to be done in the house, etc, but I don't want to jump into something else so that I don't have to think about the reasons why this last job didn't work out. I feel that I need to work on the ways I respond to conflict and the reasons that I do what I do. (see previous post on approval!!)

Reasons why I like it:
- Gosh, I love writing. If I could make a living out of it, then I would feel soooo happy!
- I am slightly/moderately/very egocentric and like the idea of my name being on the title of something, of achieved something, of everyone telling me HOW FREAKING AWESOME I AM!
- I love the feeling of constructing a sentence, and modifying it, of searching for the right word, of encapsulating what I am thinking and feeling. Of sharing that with other people and having them say "yes! That's how I felt, but I didn't know how to put it into words".  The bible says not to hide our lights under a bushel.  Maybe it's time to kick that bushel to the curb and just go for it?

Watch this space :) :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

9 years sober today!!

One day at a time, the days turn into weeks, the weeks turn into months and the months turn into years.

Yes. They do.

So what's different today?

I have been married for nearly eight years.  (that whole thing about not getting into a relationship when you first get sober? Totally ignored that.  Met Richard when I was 3 weeks sober. I looked upon our meeting as my reward for not drinking.  It is a lot easier to focus on your recovery when you're not in a new relationship, but that's why everyone gets into one.  We don't want to focus on us when we could be focusing on something else - food, smoking, another person?  Lucky for me that Richard was Mr Right, and is along for the long haul.  He's been my rock)

I have a five and a half year old son. His name is Alex. He is beautiful.  Today, when I wake up, I know that I won't have embarrassed him with my drunken antics, I won't have endangered his life by driving drunk.  I may embarrass him in other ways, but at least I don't have to worry about the ones that I can't remember.

When I have a good time, it's real, and not the product of a glass of alcohol.  It's a lot harder to have a good time when you're sober, cause alcohol is a magic carpet ride into the land of "gee whiz, everyone is HILARIOUS tonight!!".....everything seems funny until you wake up with vomit all over your new jacket, no money, the car parked at a crazy-jaunty angle in the car park and a sense of dread at the missing hours in the night that enabled you to get grass stains on your back.  Yes, it takes more effort to have fun without alcohol.  But it's real, and it lasts.

I have a good relationship with my family these days. I particularly have a friendship with my sisters, instead of always needing to be rescued by them.  My approach to family occasions would be something like the line in that song "I love the good times that you wreck..."..... I could be counted on to pick a fight, to get too drunk, to show up with only half an hour's sleep and a massive hangover, reeking of alcohol.  The fact that I have my sisters back is proof of their capacity to forgive and my capacity to change.  It hasn't been easy, but it has been so worthwhile.  My parents and I have a better relationship too, I am more able to look after myself and others than to always be the one needing scraping off the road.

I respect myself these days.  Don't get me wrong - I desperately miss alcohol sometimes.  I miss the ease that it gave me, I miss the ways in which I could be the life and soul of the party.  But, the buzz I got from alcohol was shifty.  I could never predict which nights would be the "wooohooo sister, we is having fuuuuun" and which nights would be the "you skanky ho, get away from my (ex)boyfriend, Ima punch you in the stomach".  And no, I didn't ever get violent when I drank...but that didn't stop me from copping a punch in the guts once when an equally drunken lass didn't appreciate me giggling and dancing with her ex boyfriend.

And I started to become less trustworthy. I took to drunk driving.  I took to getting friendly with inappropriate men.  All the people I hung out with went home and I started hanging out with the hard party crew.  And, as your parents would tell you - guess what comes with the hard party crew?  DRUGS! Drugs are bad, mmmkay? Although they seem like fun when you're drunk.  I was such a try hard, chameleon, trying to fit in with the people who I thought were the coolest.  So when the people I hung around with started talking about drugs, I took on the lingo, and became so good at it, that everyone thought I was a speed freak.  What a compliment, eh?  So, when a cool guy offered me a line of speed at a party, thinking it wasn't my first....I felt so complimented that I had to accept.  Are you surprised that I was a natural? They couldn't believe that it was my first time.  And that made me feel like I was good at something.  Good at taking drugs? What a talent.

I was starting to lose myself in the last days of my drinking. I felt like I was walking a line between a semblance of sanity, and tipping off into lu lu land.  That could have been the pills I was taking when my new friends brought them out.  I still like club music, but if I ever hear any songs about "I was so f#$ked up", It gives me the chills and I have to change the channel.  That's what it's like... everyone comparing how out of it they are, and how wasted they are, how they can't see and it's sooooo cooool to be so wasted.  Did you know that you gurn and grit your teeth when you are on drugs? it's really bad for your teeth.  One of my friends, a hairdresser, had to have a few of her teeth removed cause of the drugs....and I have a missing tooth that reminds me of the ways that I started to neglect myself.

I'd always, always wake up feeling awful, alone and dreadful. Ashamed, guilty, dreadful.  None of my other friends seemed to feel the same way, or if they did, were wayyy in denial.  I knew things were bad when, after a particularly bad bender on a pill (which I didn't want to take until I got drunk), I couldn't leave the house. I hadn't driven, I had the car there, I could have walked to the shops.  But I couldn't physically leave the house.  It was like the paranoia and guilt were weighing down on me and stopping me from getting out.  I didn't feel safe.  I had no choice but to eat my flatmate's chocolates.  This caused trouble, as it would.  But I felt it was justifiable.  My behaviour was out of control.  My housemates staged an intervention. I cried and told them it was none of their business.

I kept on drinking and dabbling in drugging.  My life got worse.  Then, one night, I went out drinking with some friends.  I had started drinking quicker and quicker.  The good, fun part of my drinking lasted for less time each time I drank.  I'd go straight from "this is awkward, small talk, let's get pissed" to "dribbling, slurring, I just need to lie down for a sec", without a pause in the middle for "waheyyyyy!! Girls are having funnnnnn tonight!!".  My drinking had really ceased to be much fun for anyone.  That night, I crashed my car into a soccer field, completely missing the road to the highway I had to travel home on.  As wake up calls go, you can't get much bigger than that.  I was in a blackout. If I'd got on that Highway, I'd almost certainly have killed myself, or someone else.  All the other points in my life, I'd ignored the signs.  But here was one I couldn't ignore.

Two days later, on the 25th of May 2003, I attended my first AA meeting. I was 26, and sure I was too young for this program....but the stories I heard, I identified with. I craved the peace that the people there had.  I admired the way that they had turned their lives around.  I was arrogant, and thought I was different, but I stuck around.  Things got a lot better from then on.  Not right away, and not always.  I still struggle with my addictive personality and with being "different".  I wish I could go out for a fun night with the girls.  I wish I could sit down with a fun glass of wine.  But I'm just not confident that I could stop at one..... And my husband and son have never seen me drink, and I want to keep it that way. I just can't guarantee what would happen.  So I will keep trudging this path of happy destinies and enjoy life on life's terms. I value what I have today, and a single glass of wine could undo that.  It's just not worth it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Eating me up inside


Well, since I've left Weight Watchers, I've been on a journey of self discovery regarding my weight.  The ways of containing my weight that seemed to work whilst I was with Weight Watchers, have left me.  I didn't want to go back to meetings, it seemed like a bit of a comedown to be sitting in a meeting as a member. Isn't that a crap way of thinking? So, I have tried a lot of things to manage my weight.  First, when I left WW, it was like "wooohoo, I'm not a leader any more, lets just eat everything in sight.".  So, my weight stayed the same for a while, especially as I was exercising a lot.  But after a couple of weeks, I hit the 100 mark again.  Ugh. I feel so much better about myself when the scales say "98", as opposed to "100". And if they say "94"....well, that means that I'm an awesome person, right?

Ugh.  So I tried protein shakes, I joined the gym, I let myself have one day of eating whatever I wanted, I tried to restrict, I went for long walks.  All of this culminated in me weighing 107 kilos.  That's right - since I've left WW, in January, I have put on nearly ten kilos.  And whilst I know that this doesnt' make me a bad person, I wonder if there is something wrong with my metabolism? Because I don't overeat that much...I just seem to be able to put on weight extraordinarily easily.  It sucks.

So - I had been eating vegetables, vegetables, vegetables. So many vegetables that my tummy was bloated, the scales werent' moving and I felt more and more down on myself.  I've since quit the Fast Food place that I was working at...that I'm sure didn't help.

I ended up at a place where I never wanted to be again - crouched over the toilet, trying to get rid of some biscuits and chocolate that I had just consumed.  How had I got so low that I was punishing my body with food again? This is more than just input in and input out.  There is something wrong with the way that I think about food.

My answer was to reach out for help- in group therapy. I know that one of the reasons that Weight Watchers works and worked for me is that it involves talking about my feelings surrounding my weight.  And the food isnt 'the issue - it's a symptom of a greater problem. Address the problem and you'll solve the symptom. So, I've been reading a wonderful, amazing book that my friend Kellie wrote about her recovery from an eating disorder and many other ways of disordered thinking.  I am victim of all of these things as well - and I want to get well.  I am no longer going to deprive, starve, overfeed and overeat vegetables. I am going to listen to my body, tell it that I love it, drink lots of water, do exercise that I love, feel good about the food that I eat, and not beat myself up about the times that I slip and overeat.  I have been fighting this demon for over 20 years, and all the other ways of fighting it have failed, time and again. 

This time I am going to love my body and stop panicking and trying to lose weight.  I made the mistake of stepping on the scales with PMS last night, and it said 109. I panicked, so went and ate two vegemite sandwiches. Punishing my body, it doesn't make any sense, but that's where my mind goes - and that is the thing that keeps me overweight.  I need to let go and give God control of my weight.  My ways do not work, they just don't.  If I practice loving my body and nurturing it, it will become second nature and I will no longer feel the need to overeat and punish myself with food.

Wish me luck! :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Danni Minogue

This is a previously unpublished post from 2008 :)

I've been uploading more songs onto my ipod, and am plundering the depths of my music collection....Danni Minogue "everything I wanted"....oh how I loved that song and the album it came from, can't remember what it was called. It reminds me of moving furniture around in my tiny flat in Narrabundah, where I lived with my little cat Xena. They were some lonely times, I tell you what. I existed just to go out on the weekends, and if I didn't - I had nothing to do and no-one much to do it with. I just had party mates, or my other friends were in relationships and I felt sooo alone. Nothing more alone than a Sunday when you're single and apart from Church, you haven't spoken to a single person all day.

I think that's why I love music so much, because a song can catapult you back into memories of another time. I am one for playing a song over and over again and having it represent how I feel at that time. Thinking about the songs on my depression list, make me think of a particular feeling or episode...a time when I was not well in myself. I love the power of music. I am part of a group in Facebook that says "why yes, I do frequently burst into song". I am always singing to myself and if someone says something, I can usually think up a song that has those words in it.

I hereby present 10 songs that make me happy:

1.Walking on Sunshine, by Katrina and the Waves - I can remember geting a bit tispy with my girlfriends and heading out to the RSL club to dance to this song. I loved it, everytime I hear it I can see the three of us dancing around like we were having the time of our lives. It also reminds me of my husband...he makes me feel like I'm walking on sunshine. aww.

2.Unbelievable, by EMF - this song is the title song for angst and tenage rebellion. I hated moving to Taree from Canberra in 1989, and my friends and I learnt the song words and would write them in letters to each other. I loved EMF, particularly the hunky lead singer James, and bought many copies of Smash Hits from Borders newsagency in Taree. When I moved to Canberra for Uni, my good friend Laura was also an EMF fan and knew all their songs, they way I did. We often would walk along or sit and quote their songs.

3. Xanadu - or any song from the Xanadu soundtrack. I love this movie. I love it because the first time I saw it I was about eight and it embodied all the romantic dreams I had about love. Love breaks down all barriers. I liked to think that I would be good at rollerskating if I really tried. But I didn't ever try, so remained one of those people who pulled themselves along the edges at the rollerskating rink. The girl next door, Tracey, and I would watch the movie while saying the lines. I got to play Sonny cause I was taller, and she got to play Kira.

4. Kiss from a Rose - Seal. I spent much of my late teens and early twenties yearning for my one true love. I didn't have much success with the guys (don't know why, as I had long dark hair, long dark eyebrows and very dark lips. Gothic? slightly.) and I was slightly bitter, as my friends paired up with guys. I remember sitting in a nightclub in Taree, listening to this song, vowing that one day I would meet someone who would feel like this about me. It was also in the soundtrack for Batman and I loved Chris O'Donnell at the time. hehe. Oh, and cause my hubby is so great, we had this song as the bridal party walked into the function centre at our wedding. yay!

5. Crazy in love - Beyonce and Jay-z. I remember hearing this song around the time of my sister Jen's wedding, where I was paired with Richard (my gorgeous husband). I had a massive crush on him and was too scared to speak to him, but overcame those feelings at their wedding and talked to him a fair bit. He invited me back to his house with some of the other bridal party and his best friend Jamie dropped me home. The next day my sister Angela drove me back to Canberra and all I could talk about was Richard. We stopped at Wagg and I bought a mix cd that had this song on it. I listened to it all the time, and whenever I hear it, I remember that weekend!

Life changing discoveries

Oh my goodness gracious me - sobs were on the menu at my session with my psychiatrist today.  It was tough!  I went in to discuss my latest job meltdown - hurling abuse at coworkers isn't the way that I want to behave.  The last few times that I've spoken to him, he's been approving. I have had my issues and I've brought them to him......and he's been in favour of the way that I've solved the problems.

I've evolved a lot from the lady that I used to be. I was once angry, hurting those who I assumed were hurting me, I validated the way I behaved by the feelings that burned inside me. I was a mess.....I can still go back there, too. 

I was so angry at my psych cause he said that BPD wasn't an illness, it's a personality disorder, it cant be cured by medicine, it can be cured by hard work, and he was explaining in all this detail about what BPD was and what other diseases are and how they're cured  -
and I was like - wt, how is it not an illness? i felt like he was saying it was my fault, I wanted him to agree with me and then I felt like he wasn't getting what I was saying and I got cross...and he was getting cross at me getting cross - and he wasn't telling me what he wanted me to say, so I was like "listen to me, I am sick, I should be on medicine, you've said it's an illness before'

But I think he was making a point of how quickly my temper turns when someone disagrees with me.He said its part of my abandonment issues, that I think if people don't agree with me then I get afraid that they're gonna leave and so I get angry so that I can end things, not them

And he said if you can't work through this here, you won't be able to get through this in life!

I was soooo angry at him, I was like "you are the psychiatrist, I don't know what you want me to say" and he was like "well thats' where we have to leave our session today" and I was like noooooooo I need closure! don't leave me being cross with me!!"  and that's when I realised that he was right. I get a huge knot of fear when someone disapproves of me - don't leave me, don't disapprove of me. Love me. Like me!! Please!!!
I am crying as I write this because it is such a truth - soooo deep to my core. And i know why he pushed me so much, because it is something I need to get past in order to stop repeating the pattern of approval seeking behaviour. I just find more people to approve of me and repeat the pattern. This is core stuff for me. It's scary as hell. I wish I knew why I was like this. I am starting to remember some bullying that I think is perhaps to blame - the trauma I guess?

I was sobbing in the office when I came out but he was so proud of me when I said "I am arrogant and I want people to know that I am the best at everything but I don't want to try unless I'm the best - and I need people to tell me I'm the best constantly" - he was like "that's what I wanted from you - you needed to come up with your own solution to your problem" - it's so much easier to get angry and run away than confront what is wrong.

I'm going to confront this. I am going to work on my approval issues. I am going to get well and stop repeating these patterns - I am going to be God's creation and proud of me, instead of trying to be what I think I should be.

Peace out.