Thursday, May 24, 2012

You can't take that away from me. Because I will cut you. I am still a little crazy.

I know that I have been in therapy for a long time. I've spent years riding the crazy couch. Hell, I been medicated, re medicated, analyzed, tested, re-tested, diagnosed, secondary diagnosed, textbook example of all manner of mental disorders, and even locked up in the nut house for a little while there. But I took all of it in stride and worked to understand and eventually come to accept my mental health. I have been quite open about my therapy and therapists and my magic witch doctors who give me all the good pills that make my brain chemicals do all the things that they are supposed to do and stop them from just doing whatever the hell they damn well feel like doing. I learned to talk happy things to myself instead of crazy things and to recognize triggers and symptoms and episodes and flair ups and warning signs and basically how to be a completely functional member of society while still having crazy in me.

But therapy for a trauma is TOTALLY different. It's the balls. It's hard.

If you are new here...I'm divorced. Traumatically. Check my stats. Now that we are all caught up...

I've been working on this letting go of the anger thing. Apparently stored anger "only hurts me" and blah blah blah feelings. I get it. I really do. But do you have any effing idea how hard it actually is?! Hint: Really. Fucking. Difficult. My "assignments" have included several practical steps including changing my methods of communication and examining and accepting my responsibility. I feel like I'm getting there. S L O W L Y.  I can see how I am for sure changing in major ways. But I still have this habit of just blocking some of it out because it is just so damn painful. Memories hurt. Pictures hurt. I found a pen that hurt. Certain T-shirts hurt. Smells hurt. Sounds hurt. Everything hurts because I still don't know how much was real. I'll never know. Because honestly it doesn't matter. I'm going to move forward and chose to be happy either way. Dammit.

This is why I was so surprised yesterday when I was listening to the song "You can't take that away from me". You know...

The way you wear your hat
The way you sip your tea
The memory of all that
Oh no they can't take that away from me

The way your smile just beams
The way you sing off key
The way you haunt my dreams
Oh no they can't take that away from me

We may never ever meet again on this bumpy road to love
Still I'll always always keep the memory of...

The way you hold your knife

The way we danced til 3
The way you changed my life
Oh no they can't take that away from me

And I was singing along with Frankie. And I was smiling. And I remembered how this was a standard in my wedding rotation as a wedding singer. And I started having memories. Wedding memories, life memories, small and ridiculous recollections...And I was still smiling. I was remembering my life. And just for a moment the memories were pure and happy and real. And I enjoyed them. And I was glad that I had experienced that life. My memories are mine and I get to see them through whatever filter I decide to. And I felt like I had this enormous breakthrough where maybe I might possibly, just a tiny bit, be seeing a glimpse into a life without all the hurt and anger and sadness. I felt what it feels like to have let it go. It only lasted for those minutes. But it was great.

Of course, I also remember that the way you sip your tea got on my damn nerves after a while. And you left your motherfracking socks all over the house. I could not stand all the shit that accumulated in your sink and the disgusting smell of red beans and rice. I remember how you drummed your fingers on the table to the point where I thought I might actually have a defense for justifiable homicide and the incessant crackle of gun fire from those horrible war games is not at all missed. But it was you and it was life. These are the memories I keep close at hand for the times I find myself getting nostalgic and wispy...

The reality is that I had a husband that I loved very much. I had a life that I believed in and kids that were born to the man I loved. I had happiness in that life. Unfortunately the damage that has been done may keep us from ever sharing those memories together. I may never know if he loved me. But I realize that I loved and that is what is important. I loved loving and I loved being a wife. That's over. And that is hard but its OK. It ended with hostility and lies and anger that amplified the bad memories and tainted the good ones (yes "taint"). But the reality is that I find hope in being able to remember. I can remember and be thankful for the good times while creating new and fantastic memories with my new love and my new family and my new life. I can only do it for a few minutes at a time before the hurt and sadness takes control of my memories once more. But it's good to know that through the healing and the forgiving and learning how to show a different kind of love to the father of my babies and moving on, I still have my memories and kids and I have the life that shaped me...and you can't take that away from me.

I look good in mud and bruises

I don't like to be told that I can't do things.

I'm literally the reason that reverse psychology was invented/discovered (created? stumbled upon?).
OCD made it painfully clear for a large period in my life that dirt and pain and challenges were better left alone. Mud and stickiness and germs and large crowds and strangers made for potentially panic inducing and embarrassing situations. Better to avoid it. Better listen to the voices telling me I couldn't. I wouldn't like it. I would fail at it. I wasn't welcome there. It wasn't 'my thing'. Other people can do that sort of thing. I hate saying "I can't" so better to just avoid it all together in the first place.

So when I found myself army crawling underneath a web of tangled cords through a thick pool of genuine Oklahoma Red Dirt mud, I took a second to call a time-out and really evaluate how I got there. Don't tell me I can't...

I didn't stop for too long to absorb that mind-bending moment because the finish line was just ahead of me and I was going to finish this thing with a kick in the ass.

It was just over 3 miles of cargo nets and chest deep cow pond and muddy ropes used to pull out of muddy streams. It was a wall that was scary and tall and had the potential to crack open my skull quite literally. It was a trough filled with ice water to trudge across. And it was all the things I thought I couldn't do. I thought I wouldn't like it. It was dirty. And muddy. And crowded. And a little awkward for about two minutes thanks to a brief run in with people who used to know me. At the port-a-potty no less. I felt like it was a perfect place to have that little reunion. I have so much room to make jokes there. But really, it wasn't horrible. I was with my own awesome friends and my own boyfriend and was having a great day. Everyone just pretended we didn't see each other and all went about our separate ways. And be honest, port-a-pottys are just always funny. Shit is funny.

I came home bruised and sore and tired and so damn proud of myself that I almost couldn't fit my ego in the bus on the way home. Yes. We ride in a party bus. Like animals. Awesome party animals (see what I did there?) I had mud in every crack and hole and fat roll and quite possibly in my vagina although I did wear panties that day as an extra layer of protection. I figure if you are ever going to wear panties, the day you wallow in mud should be that day. I discovered that red mud stains everything. I discovered that I am way the hell stronger physically and mentally than I gave myself credit for. I discovered that swimming through a cow pond makes you smell like cow shit. I discovered that red mud does awesome things for your skin. And I discovered that I look good in bruises and scrapes when they are hard fought and well deserved.

this is my game face. Also my opening difficult jars face.
only some of them. I kept the important ones.

Don't stand up in a bus. For real. Don't.

Because when you have mud in your vagina, the best thing to do is just grind it right up in there as much as possible.
Partner, friend, boyfriend, encourager, deadly mud warrior enforcer ass-kicker.
I took a little time out for some dancing along the way.
Finish line bitches. YES I CAN.

Round 2 is on June 2nd...Who's coming with me?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sometimes you have to die to live

It's been one year to the day since she died.

It's been a long year. No longer than anyone else's allotted 365 days, but somehow longer all the same. Time changed since she died. The life she used to live is gone. I have cried for her. I have her memories and regrets. But I also have her accomplishments and her groundwork that she so diligently laid for something she never even knew. She left me with scars but she also left me some insight. I wish I had been a better friend to her, but I know that she forgives me. I have missed her sometimes. But most times I'm glad that she's dead.

Because one year ago today I came alive.

A year ago her life was twisted and turned and her guts were wretched around inside of her already anxious and panicked belly. She had been working so so hard for the last few years to accept and live with her OCD. And she was doing it. But this was not how she saw life happening. This wasn't it. She still had darkness in her. She still hadn't accepted her own strength and worth and beauty.

Marriages end. It happens. Maybe it was her disease. Maybe it was time. Maybe it was her. Maybe. Marriages end. It happens all the time. But to have it end brutally and suddenly was too much. To have another woman drive a wedge into her family and crash it into have her partner in life give up on her and pick someone was too much. To know that he was that know that he twisted up the heart and emotion of another know that the other woman deserved better than to be a know that whatever her shortcomings were as a wife and friend and partner had boiled over into this feel uncertainty and fear and pain and betrayal and guilt and worthlessness crashing in all around was too much. To hear the words and feel the blood rushing through her ears and registering the unbearable ache of the pit in her stomach and experience her heart going too fast or maybe too slow and spinning and was too much. To hear the voice inside her head tell her that she had failed once hear the voice say she was stupid to try so hard and stupid to work at fighting her diseases and she was stupid to trust and stupid to love and stupid and stupid and stupid was too much.

And the walls of mental illness that she had been removing brick by brick; the walls that were starting to crumble and allow the sunlight of truth and happiness and beauty and reality to warm her sensitive skin; the walls that kept her prisoner and convinced her that she was better inside of the diseases and the sunlight was useless; the walls that were almost more like piles of ruble under the sunlight that was shining healing light into every corner of her dark and dusty and scary world; those walls roared to life. Those walls crowded in on her and screamed at her and threatened to crush her. Those walls were angry at being removed. Those walls were ready to trap her all the way in if she ever so much as showed a hint of weakness. Those walls caved in on her. And she let them. Because it was the only place she knew. It was tragic for her really.

But she didn't know that I was there and I was glad she was hurting. She didn't know her pain was for a purpose.

So she did what her mentally ill, emotionally fragile, spiritually emptied, physically drained mind told her to. She believed that she was not strong enough, or valid enough, or lovable enough, or Christian enough, or pretty enough, or smart or funny or skinny or talented or witty or soft huggable interested full challenging respectful respectable responsible renewable reusable enough. And the pills went down one at a time with no effect. She wanted to sleep. She didn't even know how long she wanted that dreamless escape. So she took another and one more. Two. And she was hazy and saw the blood as it flowed in her damn veins to spite her, despite her, laughing at her and keeping her aching heart beating and her screaming head pounding and her ears ringing and her breath out of reach of her lungs which cried out for a deep breath but just couldn't seem to get enough and her voice which she couldn't even tell anymore if it was out loud in inside or both. And she wanted it to stop and she reached

And she cut

And I watched

And I waited

And she was scared

And she cut more

And she was horrified at herself

And she watched the red the red the red and it pumped to the beat of her life and she sat on the floor and she had nothing left and as she finally gave up with that breath she couldn't catch

I was born.

I was born screaming and with fight in me and with hissing and with spit and passion and anger. I was born ready to run on both feet and breathe deep and taste the sensations and feel the noises and smell the beauty of the world she thought didn't want her. I was ready to smash the holy hell out of those walls. I was fire and water and earth and air and I was ready to be BORN. But first...I had to get my ass up off that floor.

She'd left me in a mess. I was still a tiny little thing. I was a baby cutting my teeth on the ideas of self worth and walking on new legs in a world where everything was fascinating. I had to work so hard and still I must work. God how I have to work so hard to survive. I still have the diseases. I still have OCD and the panic and the urge to crawl in a hole and block out the light. I still want to touch and count and repeat and check and check and check and check. I mourn the life that was lost and I get angry. But I know how to live with it now. At least, I have spent the last year learning how to live with it. Because I am alive now.

I have her wounds. I have her pain. I have her tears. I have her loneliness. But I have her love. I have her passion. I have her energy. I use it whenever the circumstances of my life threaten to overtake me again. The last year has brought me peace. Not perfect peace. It has brought me forgiveness. Not perfect or instant or easy forgiveness. I have crawled and walked and run and run and climbed and jumped and I fly. I get in the mud. I eat. I laugh. I ask questions. I do it for her. I do it for me.

The last year has given me the chance to love with wild abandon and to abandon with wild and reckless freedom. I have jumped (fallen?) from a plane. I have connected to people and unconnected to other people. I have wrestled with existential and eternal themes and pondered which nail polish is prettier with which earrings. I have tattoos and I have stood bare ass naked in front of strangers. I have played and run races and gotten dirty and sticky and wild and drunk and loud and glittery and bruised and disappointed and elated and frustrated and lost driving through the streets of my own city. I own a house. I created a home. I gave myself a concussion and put my feet in the ocean. I peed in bushes. Multiple times. I go to bed without ritual and I wake up with dogs asleep on my face. I made friends. I lost friends. I lost my temper and made an ass out of myself. I hurt feelings. I kissed. I laughed. I discovered I love beer. I discovered that I'm allowed to change my mind. I discovered that I fucking RULE at kickball. I discovered empathy for the people who I feel wronged me. I discovered that there are always two sides to everything and I found the side of me that will say yes to anything at least once. I still hate strawberries. Somethings never change.

It's been a full year. A long year. But somehow shorter at the same time. Not any shorter than anyone else's 365 days but somehow shorter all the same. Maybe because there is so much life to catch up to. But I still have time to stop and remember the day she died.

It's been one year to the day since she died. And one year ago to the second she died I came alive.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Days 3 and 4 and my dog and some philosophy

Day 3: What would be your super power and how would you use it?
Day 4: Find a photo that inspires.

I'm gonna go ahead and mush day 3 and 4 together. Mostly because I have a tendency to get way behind on things but also because these are not super exciting topics to me. HOWEVER, I am really trying to finish things lately. All the way finish and not part way so I must do ALL the days. However awkward.

So. A superpower. I have a super power already. At least my ex-husband used to say so. I have a scary accurate first impression of people. Like, I-can-tell-you-are-pregnant-before-you-even-know kind of accurate impression. Once I was able to accurately peg a drug dealer within about 1 minute. So there's that as my "super" power. I think its just intuition. It's just being aware of people. It can get me into trouble when I make snap judgements. But possibly it could have kept me out of trouble a few times too had I heeded my own instincts.

I find it fracking hiLARious though that I was caught completely blindsided by the last 12 months of my life. Didn't see that coming at ALL. So the lesson learned is don't always let the first impression be the last impression. Damn. That's all kinds of philosophical.

But assuming that I was granted another skill that could be quantified as both a "power" and as "super" I think I would like to be able to move things with my mind. This would serve multiple functions for me. A) I am quite lazy. I think that telekinesis would encourage me to clean my house since I wouldn't actually have to move. Although if the telekinesis requires paying attention to said object for longer than four seconds then I'm probably screwed. I get distracted. B) I think I would greatly enjoy moving things around in public. Just for fun. C) I could very likely get my own reality show.

And now for a picture:
That's my dog. Laying on my boyfriend's head. Because she apparently loves him more than me now. Apparently.

The actual assignment for the picture was to go to flicker and explore and post the first picture and write about it. But that first picture was stupid. And the second one was just a bunch of trees. And the other ones were stupid. And I got distracted. So I started looking at my own pictures. And I was amused by my dog sleeping on my boyfriend's head and it made me giggle when I remembered taking it and that is exactly what I needed at this moment. A giggle.

So there you have it. Day 3 and day 4 all squished up into a hybrid post.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 2: Action expresses priorities

Day 2: Write about a quote and how it influences you in the positive or negative.

"Action expresses priorities" -Gandhi

I keep starting this post. I keep re-starting. And starting it again. I am aware that this has caused Day1 to be multiple days after day 2. I just keep getting tangled up in all the things I want to express.

First of all, I could hardly settle on just one quote. There are so many many amazing words of wisdom and humor and poignancy out there that influence me everyday in so many different ways. But several weeks ago, something about this grabbed me. I wasn't looking for anything in particular and I don't even know where I first became aware of "Action expresses priorities" other than that I have been reading a lot about Gandhi lately. I run in cycles of studying great thinkers and activists and humorists and basically anyone who inspires and offers an outlook I can learn from. So maybe I came across this quote in a book. Hell, maybe I found it on wikipedia. Whatever. It's on the Internet so it's true, right?

I started thinking about action expressing priority first from the viewpoint of who I am today. What am I doing actively that shows what my priorities are? Am I kind? Am I peaceful? Am I wasting time on irrelevant things? Am I pursuing lasting and noble goals? Am I actively forgiving? Because I want forgiveness to be a priority and God knows that it is work every single day to keep doing it. My priority is to let go of all of the anger and hurt but sometimes my action expresses that I still find difficulty in that. My priority is to NOT call people dumb asses, but sometimes my action is totally the opposite of that. Especially when their priority seems to be acting like a dumb ass.

So I took it back a little farther. What was my priority as an Obsessive-Compulsive? My actions would tell you that my priority was staying in bed. My priority was touching and counting and repeating and fighting and panic and fear. So much fear. Being afraid of my life was my priority. My disorder is literally defined by action. Action so far from what was truly a priority to me. My actions were so invasive and so overwhelming that I couldn't even define a priority. Just make it to the next day. Maybe. Often, I didn't even want to do that. My priority was to turn off my brain and turn off my actions and just turn off.

I couldn't prioritize my family. I couldn't prioritize my husband or my kids or my house. I couldn't even prioritize myself. But that's not entirely true. Because eventually somewhere inside me, my priority was to break free from my disorders. I wanted out. So way deep inside my mind somewhere came the first action. The first step. The first tiny little inch towards where I am now. I started taking my meds. I did ERP and CBT and I worked. And every action was expressing that my priority is to live life, not be held prisoner by it. The priority had to be me. I realized that I had become irrelevant to me. I was not worth anything to myself. I had to prioritize ME.

I find myself back here in this moment in my current life. The time it took for my actions to catch up to my priorities changed some things. Changed them a lot. And along with that came some bad and negative and horribly un-lady like actions. Time brought hurt and bad choices and opportunity to fail. Time brought amazing revelations and new people and different places. The time found a complete restructuring of inside and out. Which brings me here:

"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions."

Dalai Lama

Damn it. Because it would be way easier for my happiness to be somebody else's responsibility. I sure as hell made everyone else's happiness (or misery) my business. If someone could go ahead and take over the exhausting task of being mentally ill everyday and go ahead and forgive some folks for me and go ahead and give me all the things I want that I think will make me happy, that would be great. But there is no one magically going to make me happy. OCD controlled my actions. I control my OCD. I am in control.

And my priority is to be at peace. My priority is to be strong. My priority is to live with my illness and not hide from it. My priority is to forgive. My priority is truth. My priority is loving myself first so that I have it inside me to give to others. My priority is adventure and laughter and empathy. My priority is to genuinely want happiness for other people. My priority is to continue to have actions. Because the worst thing I could do is just stop.
"Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction."

Will Rogers

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day one: the time capsule

 I am doing a new project. Yes, I am doing this in conjunction with the already in progress 100 things I appreciate project. I never promise to finish them in a certain amount of time, but I do plan to finish. One thing I’ve learned about myself lately is that I CAN finish things I start. Providing I don’t put myself on a deadline.

So this project is 30 days of blogs for This is a network of health bloggers and advocates for all kinds of disorders and illnesses and general things that make life for some of us highly unpredictable. The project is 30 days of blogs based on 30 specific blog prompts. OK, so technically this started in April. But I do things on my own time. So blog number one of thirty is this:
Pretend you are making a time capsule of you and your health focus that won’t be opened until 2112. What’s in it? What would people think of it when they found it?

OK, unless you are new here, you know that I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It’s really a fantastic challenge all on it’s own before even adding in the anxiety disorder and panic attacks and mind-altering depression. It’s neat. So I started thinking…if I am going to try and explain OCD through a time capsule to 100 years from now, what would I do? First, I for sure wouldn’t put anything other than my own words in there. My disorder is deeply ingrained in who I am. It is part of my conscious and my subconscious. It is all around my every thought and action and decision. There aren’t really tangible things to signify this disorder. Unless you want to count the battery of medication I take everyday and hell NO I’m not burying my meds. I need that crap!
So I figure it would be more like this…

Dear future,
If you are reading this, then you must have used your super fancy GPS to geo-cache the location of this letter. I’m crazy good at hiding shit so I bet that you were totally surprised at how old this is. Anywhatever, I’ve been tasked with sharing something with you. I have a disorder called OCD. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  It has to do with my brain being all jankity and not really being able to trust my own senses. Jankity is a word we (me) like to use here in the past to mean all kinds of, well, janked. Like, my brain tells me all kinds of horrible things and then my brain decides that I need to do all kinds of other highly time consuming things to cancel out all the crap it is obsessing about. It’s exhausting. It’s terrifying. It’s alienating. It’s weird. It’s confusing. It’s my own wiring inside my head betraying me with wrong information.

I’m sure that by now this is obsolete. I have hope that by now, this disease has been isolated and understood and treated and managed. But if not, let me try and give it to you in your terms…
So let’s say that you are in your hover car and your Google implant is giving directions to your retina that creates a translucent layover of your normal vision so you can see the street by street turns you need to take. You know that your safety features in your KIA 2109 Electric Buzzard are fully engaged and there is literally no possibility of hurting yourself or anyone so you sit back to watch LOLcatz which I just KNOW you still have in the future. LOLcatz will ALWAYS be funny. And there you are, and the crazy kitten has on a 2070 model space suit which is SO 40 years ago but it’s so funny because everyone knows that cats don’t even need space suits as they have evolved to be able to fly. So silly! Suddenly, you feel a tightening in your chest and a quickening in your pulse and OnStar calls you to check on you since it read a mark-up in your vitals and you are all “No, totally fine! Just that spacesuit cat again!” and OnStar laughs and hangs up. Because cats don't need space suits! LOL Catz! But you now have this sickening feeling that somehow, someway, somewhere, you have injured someone in your KIA Buzzard. You don’t know how and you don’t know where but you are compelled to switch to manual override and circle around to make sure no one is injured. And you go around again. And again. And again. And again. And you can’t find the poor soul that surely you have inadvertently killed and you KNOW that there must be some other explanation for this. So you circle and you circle. And every time you get into the old Buzzard the dread fills you deeper and deeper and finally you can’t even bring yourself to voice command the thing to come on anymore. Safety features be damned, something is malfunctioning and you are INJURING innocent people.

And let’s say that one day you are at home and your cleaning robot (or your “iBods” as you probably call them) is ionically detoxifying all of the air filtration systems which it (she? because there is still sexism in the future?) has done a hundred times before, but this time something is different. Something is in the air. Something toxic and poison. There is dust and you are breathing it in. You can’t see it but you can feel it. It is filling your lungs and your mouth and your heart and your mind and it needs to stop. NOW. And you give iBod the day off and spend the rest of the evening scrubbing and detoxifying whatever it is that was causing you so much difficulty breathing. Scrubbing to the point where your hands bleed and you are exhausted when really all you want to be doing is watching Celebrity Apprentice with that super cute Justin Beiber III.
And imagine that you are minding your own business. You are at work or at home or in the Buzzard and you are bombarded with horrible, violent disturbing images every second of every day. They don’t leave you alone. Sometimes they feel so real that you can’t figure out if you are in some kind of simulator or if this is reality. And you can’t sleep. And you can’t think. And you start checking everything that may possibly even a little bit contribute to making these horrible visions come true. You check all the programming on your lighting and alarm panels over and over. You use video chat everyone you know constantly to make sure that your visions haven’t hurt them. You obsess. You Compulsivley try to stop the obsessions. You slowly but surely lose all the security  and faith in reality that gave you the ability to live life in the first place.

So that is what is was like for me here in the past. I have/had OCD. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. But, I want to believe that this disorder has been understood and controlled and possibly even eradicated in your time. But if it hasn’t, know this… You can survive this. You can survive this with hard work and determination and a little help from some medications if you still have those around. You can live life. You can hit rock bottom and get back up and go places and do things and actually feel secure in your life again. You can trust your senses. Not the computer chip bionic senses that you have, but your real, organic, chemical senses. You can fight back against a disease that tries to destroy you from the inside out. You can win. You can live. And you can go on to tell 2222 how amazing life can be despite mental  illness. In fact, sometimes life is even better because of it. We get to appreciate how far we’ve come.

And by now I’m sure that Walt Disney has come out of Cryogenic holding, so tell him hey for me. He will know what that means.

Don't say I didn't warn you about the end of this post Dad, or I appreciate #27-30

This post is going to be very "one of these things is not like the other". Or if you can't figure which of these things is not like the other, then maybe we should talk. Or maybe you should be locked away from civilized society.

100 things I appreciate is ticking right along. Here we are at 27 to 30. Now remember that this list was compiled in one sitting without stopping. I wrote things down as they came to me so it would be as organic as possible. Not really a ranking system, but for sure a sign of what I think about more often than not.

27) Taco Bell
In high school I could pull up to the drive-thru at my Taco Bell and they would know my name and my order. And it's not like I grew up in a small town. I live in a fairly large city. Once I didn't order as much as usual and they asked if I was sick. They were concerned. Another time I didn't have any money so they gave it to me free.

My new Taco Bell doesn't know me that well yet. But I'm working on it. I like to change it up now though. To keep them on their toes. I might order a taco or burrito or Crunch wrap Supreme. Who knows? I'm crazy! I might even get a burrito supreme!

It is entirely not at all uncommon for me to get Taco Bell after some kind of event where there was supposedly fancy pants food. Generally with food, the fancier the pants, the grosser the cheese. I don't need all that pecan strawberry glazy roasted salad made out of flowers crap. Sometimes I just want a freaking bean burrito. That's it. Save your stinky cheese and ungodly combinations of fruits and meats and unknown spices.

28) Yoga
All the fatty fat fat food from Taco Bell leads me to my next favorite

God bless yoga. It's not just exercise. It's not just breathing. It's not just something to do. It is how I literally manage not to completely blow my shit during some of the rougher bouts of panic that still occasionally sneak up on me. It started as a way to focus my ever-screaming mind and still my constantly touching and tapping and checking body. It was a way to think with the added bonus of feeling a little leaner.

Now I find myself sitting in poses and uniting my mind and body in ways that feel completely foreign but absolutely meant to be. I find peace in the fire. I find strength in the quiet. I find enormous power inside a tiny little space. I practice to be more peaceful, positive, and kind. I practice to make my body peaceful. During practice I can meditate on the times I have allowed the uglier side of my nature to take over and I can find forgiveness there and I can prepare myself to avoid those traps again. I can create and re-create and restore and love myself. I can start inside so that it will hopefully travel outward. It has become almost religious to me at a time in my life where I am consciously removing myself from organized religion.

Now don't go getting your panties all up in a bunch over that last statement. I got business with Jesus right now and Jesus got business with me. We got this under control. He's aware of yoga. And me doing yoga. And the face that I'm not so much inside church buildings these days. So you let me worry about that. Which I'm not going to. Worry that is.

But I can put my legs behind my head. Bonus.
29) Panties
If you know/read me at all, you know how I feel about really really nice undergarments. Simply put, everyone should invest in amazing panties. For yourself. Not for the possibility of other people seeing you and not for how you may or may not look in said undergarments and not for any other litany of reasons that ultimately give some one else the power. Do it for yourself. I love knowing that I feel good from the inside all the way out. Plus, if that car accident thing does happen, I'm covered. Also, knowing me the way I do, there is literally no way to predict whether or not I will be dressed in anything other than my undergarments at any given moment so I like to feel pretty. For me.
30) Sex

Dad go brush your teeth.

And I am good at it.

Or so I hear...

And for OCD once claiming every single thing I touched as "negative" and "feeling wrong" and making my skin crawl...this is for sure better than that.

Passionate, heated, comical, quick, slow, friendly, intimate, fun, destructive, committed, exploring, learning, memorable, athletic, forgettable, inspiring, free, powerful, noisy, hilarious, unsuccessful, creative, alive.

Number 31 and then some coming up soon...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Backing up the truck and unpacking my boxes

I unpacked the last box today.

The literal, not figurative box.
I moved into my house 6 months and about a week ago.  It had been someone else’s home before that. I know that because I was able to indirectly speak with them and I found some of their pictures high on a shelf in the back of a closet. It was their home that they loved and they were happy here for decades. I was honored to purchase the house from them.

I was coming from a place that had once been a home to me. It hurt to leave that place. But it also hurt to stay there. I needed a fresh start. I needed a new beginning. I needed a home. But first I had to pack up the old life and get all of that to the new place. I couldn’t do it. Remember? I had to have some of my amazing friends come and do it for me. It was too much. Too many. Too full. Too empty. Too many smells. Too many memories. I couldn’t do it. So they piled all of it into boxes and 36 sleepless hours later…it was all here. In my new house.
So today, I unpacked the last box. The last box in that room in that house that has now become my home. That room that had lots of the last boxes of the last bits of the last things of the last life that I lived. The room that I have been ignoring.

I’ve been scared of that room. I’ve been procrastinating that room. Because of the memories. Because I knew it was going to be a pain in the ass to sort through. Because it was a MESS. Because I hadn’t yet really needed that room.  But today was the right time. And now is the right time. And now I need that room for my growing home and for the changing landscape of my family. I need the last of the cobwebs cleared to make room for the life and the people that are already filling every corner of my home. And of me.
To say that I “unpacked” isn’t entirely fair. Mostly I just dumped out everything into the center of the room. These were the boxes and bags and literally anything that could be grabbed filled with literally anything that could be grabbed. There were pillowcases filled with the contents of a desk and a makeup box filled with bits of toys and markers and orange plastic practice golf balls. These were the boxes packed at 4am when organization was no longer an option. So I dumped everything. There were pictures and mementos and trash. So. Much. Trash.  2 35 gallon lawn bags of trash.

I sorted. I sorted electrical jumbles of USB cords and Christmas lights. And My Little Ponies sharing  a purse with long forgotten jewelry.
The pictures were what scared me most. I’ve been scared to look back. I’ve been working so hard to move forward. And I AM moving forward. I am living a life I couldn’t have even comprehended as a possibility and the images of the past were the last thing I wanted to see.  But they weren’t that bad. I was sad. I was nostalgic. But I wasn’t sick with hurt. I wasn’t doubled over by the punch of the betrayal. I wasn’t dizzied by the reality of how and why my marriage ended. I wasn’t overcome with the pain and the white hot anger that used to eat me from the inside out. I was sad. But I was OK.

I was OK. It was OK. The pictures were laid in a stack for my kids to decide which they would like to keep. Pictures of a family that, no matter how painfully it ended for me, was their family. It is where they came from. And I’m OK with it. It was a part of my life that happened. It was a part of life that I am still learning from. It was a life that led me here. To my home.
As I create my new life, I know that he is creating his. At least, I hope he is. Maybe she still is with him and they are creating a life together. Maybe not. Either way, I want them to create lives that make them happy and excited and fulfilled. I want them to have a home. Every day is a day that I decide to move forward. Some days I really suck. Some days I am angry and hurt and it feels like the first day I knew. But lately, more often than not, the days belong to me, truly hoping that life is moving forward for everyone involved.

As I unpack my boxes, I am learning how I was responsible. I am finding the remnants of a marriage. As I unpack my boxes I am finding how to forgive myself and I am learning what mistakes I don’t want to repeat. As I unpack my boxes, I am learning how I AM responsible.  As I unpack my boxes, I am finding skeletons and trash and memories that sting, but I am also finding hope and peace and little bits of things that make me happy.  I am finding bits and pieces of happy stuffed away into corners where I didn’t think to look. I am cleaning the space so that new life can fill its walls. As I unpack my boxes, I am surprised by what I find, but mostly I am surprised at how well I am adapting.
As I unpack my boxes, I find hope. I make room for love. I create space for family. I find parts of myself I never want to see again but also parts that never exisited before that I can't live without. And in the future, if ever I am to pack my life away into boxes again, I won’t ever be so afraid to unpack them again.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Remember that one time when I had a uterus and also how I'm naked a lot?

2 Years uterus free!! Actually 2 years and 3 days because I am right on top of things as usual. Let us take a look back at the uterus free years...

I don't miss having periods. Although I did open the console of my car today and find a tampon. So probably about time to get a little apocalyptic on that console. It's been a while.

I don't have cramps. Or awful constant pain. So that's good. Now I just have self inflicted, body-modifying, plane jumping, clumsy feet, high heels blisters, self administered concussion pain. And sometimes a hangover.

I still panic at the idea that I might be pregnant every now and then. Like, I will wake up from a dream that I was pregnant and be all "Dual! I better not be pregnant!" but usually he doesn't hear me. Because one of the dogs sleeps on his face.

Every time I see a doctor and they are all "when was your last period?" I'm all "my uterus is gone" and then sometimes they still ask me if there is a possibility I may be pregnant. I mean if anyone could spontaneously grow a uterus, it would probably be me.

I can pee anywhere, anytime. Like a dude. No stopping me for any reason. I've peed in trees and bushes and streets and behind cars and parking lots and sometimes in my bathroom.

I can do nude modeling without worry of which night of class will be interrupted by "lady problems"...
Speaking of that...

Since I've had kids that were the size of large babies, sometimes I pee when I run. Sometimes I pee when I jump. Sometimes there is just a little bit of pee. Also, sometimes there are those times when my belly aches and just gets all full of air and whatnots. And that wants to come out of my body to relieve the pressure. Bodies are smart like that.

So here is me at class yesterday...
I've been drinking a lot of water and I need to pee. But I'm nude and also trying to hold perfectly still. At the end of that pose, I smoothly shift into another that causes me much sudden pressure in the holding-in-of-bodily gases skill set. So now I am pinching pee and pinching gas. And I am nude. I am also sick and coughing. I was already trying to control the coughing because coughing is for sure "bad naked" and the antithesis to NOT moving. And then I realize that when I do cough, not only does it jiggle everything and call attention to my janky boob (which no one fails to exactly capture in their drawing freaking EVER) I also almost pee which makes me need to clinch. And I realize that there is literally NO way whatsoever to clinch anything at all when an entire room full of people is not only exposed to your ass and vagina, but carefully studying it. Also, they are then DRAWING what they see on paper. So yesterday involved the mind over body mastery of a Tibetan monk and lots of slow slow slow clinching in the hopes that it would be like the hands of a clock and barely perceptible. And all I could think was "I'm going to cough pee down my leg. And then they will DRAW IT". I think last night was as still as I've ever been in my entire life. Nobody wants surprises in art class.

And here's to another happy year uterus free!