Friday, July 28, 2006

My new "sidekick"!

Not that I have a following, but if I did, I have been told that I would be a blogger slacker! I am sorry it has been a while since I have opened the recesses of my mind for all of you folks. It's been a bit crazy in there and I thought it best to keep it tightly sealed off from the public for a while. I envision the yellow police tape around my head. Oh well. In any case, welcome!

I did something really cool this morning with the DP--who by the way skipped out on work--bad girl that she is! We went KAYAKING!!! I was so excited. There are several reasons for my probably overly enthusiastic amazement at this activity.

It is no secret-though maybe it is to some-that I am on the larger side. I used to be very athletic, however, injuries and PCOS have gotten the better of me and I have put on some weight. I have a great desire to do fun things and occasionally seek out fun things to try, however, I am very limited at times by my size-or should I clarify, by my perception of my size.

There are lots of things I could probably do, but I don't since I worry and obsess over what others would think of me doing those things. For instance, I like to go walking and being outside in nature, but I sweat like I pig. I am not exaggerating or being melodramatic. Everyone in my family sweats horribly and so do I. I would rather stay inside where I know people will not be staring at me then to go and do the things I would like. This has been a great cause of contention in my relationship.

So back to kayaking. We were asked this past weekend if we wanted to go kayaking by some friends of DP who have never met me. While I thought that was a great idea and nice sentiment, I worried that it would be a very embarrassing adventure. I had visions of being told they didn't possibly have anything that would hold me, or worse, that I would sink. We declined and went about our weekend. DP did some research on the floating wonders, and lo and behold some of them do have a larger capacity. I was feeling hopeful.

Then, earlier this week we were at an LL Bean store and we found a life vest that fit me wonderfully. I even did a dance in mine-which was captured on film. The photographer shall be sentenced to death should that video ever make its way to being seen. But I digress.

I have a life vest. It is red. You can't miss me in my life vest. I feel confident. We decide to try out the kayaking thing on our own to see if it can in fact happen, and if so, could we actually DO it. We found a local place and decided today was the day. Despite the gloomy forecast, the sun was shining and we were encouraged to ride out there anyway. We get there and I grab my trusty red safety vest and I am ready to go. We meet some dashing young folk who look us up and down and rattle off the names of boats for the other young lads to fetch. I could tell one of the them something to the effect of (I have taken the liberty to translate the code here) "Get the JUMBO size kayak and pray that this one fits in. "

We get out to our kayaks. I get a yellow one which I soon learn is for two or three people, yet I am the sole passenger. . . DP get an orange thing, and after brief instructions from strapping young lad number 3, we set out.


I was very thrilled that finally it seemed I had found something I could do that 1)my size didn't seem to be a factor, 2)my various ailments were not affected by the activity, and 3)I truly enjoyed and felt I could confidently do with other people,.

After about 45 minutes, DP and I switched kayaks to see how the other one felt, and I liked the one she had much better. It supported my back much nicer and just overall felt like it was a better fit. We landed back on shore about an hour after we started, and I had a new found appreciation of the activity. The boat we settled on and liked was called "the sidekick". Imagine that, not one, but TWO options for me.

It just felt nice to be kinda free, and to be doing things other people do and not be so weighed down by my size and worrying about what others thought. It was fun to be our there enjoying the day and learning something new. I think we are ready to call the friends up and invite them kayaking!!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Unexpected gifts

It has been a while-things have been a little-and I do mean little-bit busier at work, so I have had less time to screw around on here. We ended up not going swimming last week due to a storm that was looming-so we went out to eat instead. It was a good time. I also had dinner with a really good friend who has seen me through the worst of the worst and still loves and cares for me. She and her partner have been foster moms for a baby for about 9 months now and we had dinner. It was great to be in such loving and accepting company--as well as for me to be reminded how far I have come since she and I became friends up on a mountain about 10 years ago now. How we are growing up . . .

I had therapy this week and we discussed body image . . .and how I would be so much better off if I never had to worry about how I looked, or worry about what other people thought about how I looked. As far away from my eating disorder as I get, I still feel as if I will have this lurking body image distortion for a long time to come. It makes me sad because no matter how good everything else around me seems, the disdain I have for my body feels like it can overshadow any of that. The good doc and I will continue to work on that, among other things.

Today's topic is unexpected gifts, and I named it so for a couple of reasons. Yesterday in the north eastern part of the world, we had a major thunderstorm which knocked out power to a great number of people. However, before the storm, DP and I had a date--with the cutest 8 month old baby boy. He was so damn cute, and since it has been hot and our pool is broken, I was on a mission to find an inflatable pool for us to all hang out in. I went to Wal-mart, and needless to say that the 99 degree heat had cleared out any and all things water related from the store. I was off to Target. I was NOT leaving without something I could fill with water and sit myself in. I wandered around and finally found the water toys section. I searched and searched, no pools-DAMN it I thought . . .Then, out of the corner of my eye, hiding behind a blow up palm tree sprinkler, I saw it. It was a large round inflatable pool, complete with a bench and 3 cup holders!!! How perfect. I snatched that thing up and inspected it. It had come open, but the pool seemed to have been untouched. I walked through the store and felt as if I had to be on guard. I had the last pool . . .I felt so victorious!!

Home I went with my find and DP blew the pool up while I entertained the small rolley polley child. Did I mention he was CUTE? We only blew up one ring of the three ringed pool as we could see it was getting late and a storm was rolling in. Just as we got to the porch, this wild wind blew in and we were being stormed upon. The lights went out and it became very hard to keep our little friend awake between the flicker of the candles and little to do. Good thing baby toys are mostly battery operated.

DP and I found a yatzee game and played by candlelight for a bit until we went out and sat on the porch and rocked for a bit-in the quiet without the pressure of TV, phones, computer. It was nice.

Today the job had no power and we were able to leave this morning after they determined that the power would not be back on any time soon. So I scheduled a massage and will leave soon to go. DP is still at work and just reported to me that she is a "sweatball" They have little power and no AC-good thing she will have a new job soon!

It reminds me how good my life is and how much I love and appreciate those around me. I only wish I could remember that when my negative thoughts get the best of me.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tut, tut . . . looks like rain

What a wonderful, hot, humid, sticky,and gray day! Seriously, it is YUCKY outside. That's ok though, because I am inside and later we will take a friend of ours swimming. She is disabled and cannot go swimming with just anyone, or when it is too chilly-and this weather is perfect for her to so swimming and not be too cold-so I will be grateful for the yucky weather at least for a little while.

Things have been ok the last few days. I went to therapy and I told her about keeping this blog-was very surprised she knew what a blog was! We had a good session, and she said she liked hearing me trying to be so positive. I really do try, I just get stuck, and can't figure out how to undo so many years of bad behavior and thinking. We talked about the bathroom thing and how it connects with my OCD and how I can try and work myself through doing some things differently.

I started going to a small group that is run through our church. It is a women's group, and I would not have thought I could be so in tune with these people-and this church, but I have really come to like it and find that it helps ground me in some way. The women in the group have been wonderful, and even know I am a lesbian and they still let me come. I don't get the sense they are allowing me in their group so they can change and influence me either-they seem genuine.

I have had a tumultuous church history, and yet I am still drawn to it for some reason. I grew up catholic, and stopped going regularly after I was confirmed. I started then going to a Presbyterian church during high school because they had a youth group that I liked. The leader of the group was going to a Christian college at the time, and I wanted to go there. Mostly because it was far away from home, but also because I knew at the time I was a lesbian and thought it could "fix" me. I was kicked out of that church right before I graduated high school because I confided to the pastor that I thought I was gay. He basically said I could come to the church, but I would not be allowed around the children or be able to help out at all.

I went to college and within the first day met many other gay and lesbian folks, and decided god had used the school to show me that being gay and a Christian was indeed ok. Of course, I would not learn that for a while since I was too busy getting high and trying to come to terms with my past and what was currently happening at college. I gave up church for a while-until I found this one I go to now.

They are so contemporary and really speak to me in a way that I haven't ever felt. I really connect to music, and they have a band and do a nice blend of contemporary music and Christian music. The pastor preaches in shorts, you know, real relaxed. Even my dad likes the church. He has gone with me a few times. They told me early on when I inquired about their comfort level with me in their church that their job was not to judge, but to provide a place where people could experience a relationship with god-however that looked to that individual person. Wow. I have been hooked ever since. Now that school is done and I am not working crazy hours, I was free to investigate a small group, and I am really glad I did.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Monday Morning Musings

Another weekend down the drain . . .We had a good weekend. We saw "The Devil wears Prada"-which was a good movie-though I thought it placed too much emphasis on weight and size. While I know that you cannot have a movie about models and fashion without busting on weight and size, but at one point in the movie there was a celebratory toast to a woman losing weight and going from a size 6 to 4. I just didn't think it was necessary . . .

We also went to see some open houses this weekend. We are several months away from looking seriously for houses, but it was eye opening to see what houses in our price range look like. I am sad to think we cannot afford more of what we want, but also very excited at the possibility of getting something we CAN afford and making it into something we really want and like. DP has great vision and helps me to balance the feelings that what we are looking at is NOT what I want. She is able to look at a place and see its potential more than I am . Another reason I love her to death!! It feels weird to being doing such grown up things like looking at, and for houses.

So now we are at Monday. I wish work were more exciting-I am thinking that having too little work is very excrutiating. I know some would think it is great to be paid for not doing much, but I am not one to be content with nothing to do. My supervisor is in today, so I am hoping we can talk this afternoon about some more projects for this week. I fear talking about it too much as I don't want them to think they don't need me. I think my position is integral to the functioning of the program, but it needs some work. I also know that my supervisor is probably under some sort of pressure to be sure I am kept busy, but it is hard at times since she is only in several days per week.

Another spin on my lack of work is that it's giving me time to reflect on myself-and get paid for it!

I have therapy today, and we have been working on the whole idea of giving up the past and making more space for the present-thus the catalyst for starting this blog. A real time way to look at the decisions I make and how I think about the world around me. I know that I allow myself to be carried away by my negative thoughts since that is easier and more true to what I know and can excel at-

Looking at things in a whole new light is difficult for me-I have been so embedded in my head that it is hard to see other points of view at times. This is embarrassing to me since I am supposed to be able to step outside myself as a social worker and be able to show empathy and regard for others. I find I have to really talk myself through situations where it has little to do with me and force myself to focus . . .on others, on their needs, on their pains and hurts, on their joys and praises. It all has very little to do with me, and I need to be reminded of that sometimes. I used to take it very personally when parents of the clients I would work with would get angry and mad, and someone told me once "You know, it is not always about you" maybe they were having a bad day or they are just needing to vent-that doesn't mean that I was some horrible person who could not satisfy everyone at all times in all circumstances. I am only human . . .I am only human, right?

Friday, July 07, 2006

The pooper

Ok, so I have a fear of public restrooms. I don't like them, and I find it hard to do my business while there are other people in there. I work in a place where we have like 7 stalls, music playing, nice bathroom.

I have noted that there is definitely a "number 2" stall (from here on out called the pooper). It is the last one in the row, a handicap stall that has not one, but three different kinds of spray should you NOT smell like roses when you go. There is also a single bathroom/shower room available, but that it a bit far away in the building.

I wonder if people know automatically when you go in the pooper that you are going to poo. I mean, what if you just liked that toilet and preferred it over the others. This afternoon I walked in the bathroom, needing to poo, but there was someone in the bathroom, and I did not want her to SEE me going into the pooper stall. So I went in another one-and waited for her to leave then went into the other stall.

I think that I think FAR too much about the bathroom and am not sure where the shame comes from in needing to deal with normal bodily functions. . .

Sure, it is probably related to past stuff, but this is what I am battling-how much energy does it take me on any given day to worry about the toilets, and how is that serving to help me toward a better life, or hindering me from it? What purpose does it serve for me to think so much about that stuff?

This afternoon's ramblings

This day is going very slow. I worked late last night and only got about 5 hours of sleep last night. Sleep and boredom do NOT a good combination make. Oh well.

On my mind today is several things. The first started as a result of having lunch with a co-worker and her daughter who is now working part time for the summer here. We spoke this morning and then we all had lunch together. This is the first time I have sat with these folks for any length of time. It is nice outside so I have short sleeves on-and that means that my self-injury scars are all out there for the world to see. :(

I have had to come to terms with the fact that I have so many scars as a result of self-injury. I have not cut in several years-I am VERY proud of myself for that fact. I began doing it at age 12, when I didn't think that scaring would last this long and look this bad. I started to hide it better as I got older, but the damage had already been done.

I am sure I think about it far more than other people do, but being in a helping profession, I can't help but think that many people who see it on my arms MUST know what it is from-unless they really believe I had it out with a jaguar . . .I am very self conscious in general, but especially about this topic.

We are eating lunch and I see the daughter looking at my arms. She didn't say anything or look horrified, but again I just felt pained by the past that continues to haunt me. I was able to move away from the thought and focus on what were were talking about-which was ME graduating from GRADUATE school. Those were happy things-no need to linger on the bad thought, right?

Overall, it was a good lunch and I felt good that I asked them if I could join them. I have been eating alone lately since the regular lunch crew is off for the summer.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

And so goes my day

I started a new job in May. I hadn't actually graduated yet, but the job seemed right and the opportunity there. Here I am. I don't ever have much to do. I think my supervisor underestimates how efficient I can be, so when work is given to me and should take me days-I finish it in little time. I have learned to spread things out . . .w a y o u t!! I am also housed in a cubicle-which is way new to me since I have always had an office. Always might be a bit of a stretch since I have only been working this type of job for about 5 years. Oh well, it is a job with a very decent paycheck, thus I shall stop complaining.

It is raining today, and despite having 5 days off, it was hard to get going this morning. It was very dreary out, and I am not sure if that made it harder or easier to get up. My partner comes home today after a weeklong trip, and I am anxious to see her. I miss her while she is gone, though I know I am supposed to like being with myself and having time to myself.

I don't do well with time by myself. I never have. I guess the thoughts in my head end up getting away from me and the next thing I know I am feeling crappy about something. I would like to be able to better manage the thoughts in my head.

I figure, hell, I am a smart gal. I should be able to interrupt the cycle, right? How hard can it be to stop myself-use the tools I have learned over MANY years of therapy, and just stop the god damned thought. Like when I am sure my boss is telling me something because she is mad at me, or I have done something wrong. How about just thinking it is not all about me for a change, and maybe she is simply communicating???? Same goes with partner-I get so anxious that I will say/do/be the wrong thing that I end up being too compliant-complacent-and I know she doesn't like that either.

The first step of the journey is admitting the problem-well, I have a problem and I want to be committed to changing it. I want the happy life, the one I am choosing, sculpting, and creating as I go.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Starting new?

So, I am giving this blog thing a try . . .we will see how it goes. I hope maybe it will give me some more immediate insight into where I am-exactly where I am at this point in time. I am on a journey to give up the fantasy life and create more energy and space for the life I have NOW!

Wish me luck!