Accentuate the Poisitive

There is the quote by Emerson or someone famous like that:

“Your attitude determines your altitude,”

My attitude, then, has me tunneling through life.  I know I’m tired, I know I’m a little burnt around the edges, but I don’t need to be so negative/nasty about they way I describe taking care of Mom.  For example, people ask how I’m sleeping, and I tell them I’m getting used to hearing Darth Vader on the baby monitor…..again, an attempt at humor with the intent to let people know just how put upon I am.  I wonder if this is something I do for everything?  Do I make sarcastic and caustic jokes about things that I have committed to because I’m regretting the promise and not liking the work load?  I don’t want to be seen as a victim, but when someone asks how I am, ‘fine’ doesn’t quite cover it.  I want to warn them if they are younger than me to move close to a home where you can visit your difficult older parent daily, if you have always had problems being in the same room with him taking in your parent will not magically make you and her get along together.  That is the mistake I made.  You can’t make anyone change, you can only accompany them on their road and support them love them and be present for them.  I need to stop telling people to move as far away from their parents, in an almost too small house or in a house close to an old folks home.  I can refer them to read “Coping with Your Difficult Older Parent“.   It helped in getting that aspect in my life put in it’s place so I could work on the anger, low-self esteem, eating compulsively, anxiety, depression, and everything else that I’ve been dealing with.

Okay, so changing my attitude with Mom should help me…. will help me.  Even if it’s just adopted the words when someone asks how I’m doing, “Fine.  Really, I’m fine”  No snarky comments about Darth Vader, no side remarks about her attitude or her roid rage.  Maybe I can shine up my personal reality by “Eliminate[ing] the Negative”

Small Victory

I had a goal in March that I wanted to be able to fit in to the opera seats at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco. The last several operas required some creative sitting and resigning myself to not getting up during intermission without the Jaws of Life providing assistance. I’m not even going to get into the pain and bruising that goes along with it.

So the past two weekends I sat down and though I didn’t clear the arm rests easily I could position myself without going in at a 45* angle and then with brute force and with all my weight force the other hip into it’s confined space. VICTORY!

True not the victory I had planned, but no one can deny it is still a victory.

The Evolution of Abstinence

Food abstinence isn’t enough there needs to be more for me.   I realized this after troughing through a Chipotle burrito bowl a few days ago that though it was lunch, and I’m suppose to eat lunch, I wasn’t abstaining. I was shoveling it in my mouth as fast as I could to bury and silence the anger attacking me. Though it was the letter of the law the Spirit of the law was shattered.  However, it was still abstinence because I was eating a meal.

Everyone is supposed to define their abstinence, I have yet to really come to terms with what mine is….and I have yet to have a full week of abstinence.  Perhaps I’m expecting too much of weakling self.  I hear talks of people taking to abstinence right away, like a duck to water but I’ve not been that graced yet.  I tried to go on a diet earlier in the year.  It lasted all of three days and then cookies arrived and….Yum…..  Need I say more.  I realized then the work that it takes to start a diet; planning, cooking, thinking, was too much all at once for me.  My bandwidth for life in general is still quite limited with full-time work, part-time work, family, friends, working out and church.  I needed to start slow.  And slow I go….

My first abstinence was eating three meals a day with healthy snacks if needed.  I’ve never really stuck to eating just three meals a day my whole life.  I’ve started it, and I give it a good try but then I’d oversleep, don’t eat breakfast and eat a huge lunch to make up for it and then huge dinner, snacking all through the day and “tasting” while I cook.  I was fairly successful with that abstinence Monday through Friday, the weekend not as good.  The boon of eating three meals a day meant that I was taking all my medications in a timely fashion as well.  The way I worked the eating aspect of the program (since I’m sponsorless) is I would write down in my OA journal the date and the topic (Meal Plan).  The first paragraph is the Serenity prayer, then my meal plan of what I knew I could get a hold of for the day, then the Young Womans Theme slightly tweaked for the fact that I’m not a Young Woman any more and some of the things I’ve done.  It was a solid 10 to 15 minutes of writing.  Then I lost my hands (Okay, I didn’t lose them.  I know where they are, I just can’t use for that much writing without my thumb and wrist threatening to go on strike)  Writing it down first thing in the morning helped me to keep it in the forefront of my mind.  I use a program called Happy Ritual where every day you can tick off what you’ve done and then track it over the weeks and months.

Second Abstinence was to add exercise.  So, like I do my morning meal plan I would write out what I would do for exercise.  I put that on my Happy Ritual, both what to work out and that I’ve committed to it.  I need to move every day.  I’m good at the committing but not good at the doing.  At least not of late, but you know what we say ONE DAY AT A TIME.

Third Abstinence is to add Emotional abstinence.  Which is where I’m at now.  I can’t eat when I’m angry, I can’t eat when I’m bored, I can’t eat because I’m frustrated or when I want to celebrate.  I need to be mindful, and yes, there are books for that.  I wish I could ingest the book and then have it be so.  Learning and fiber in one fell swoop would be very helpful.  To help with this I’ve started praying again, and yes, I have to put it on my HR because I will forget and I am addicted to check-off things because it makes me feel productive.  I commit my food every morning to Heavenly Father, then when I’ve got a few minutes I type it into my To Do list for the day.  Google Task lets you do sub tasks so I can spell out Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner AM Snack and PM Snack and if I want desert I can put that on as well and as I click them off it gives me a percentage of how much I’ve accomplished for that task.

I will eventually get back to writing it down, I think it writes it on the brain when you sweep the pen across paper leaving an guide map for the day and then sleep sort of erases it, well things like this anyway.  Important things are normally filed before it can be erased.  Kind of like a blog.

I’m curious as to what the next step in my abstinence will be, and when it happens, gentle reader, I will let you know.

Control is an Illusion

I know this. I’m not stupid. Yet to gain the serenity promised in the SERENITY PRAYER I need to exert the kind of control over my life that I’ve never really wanted before. I need to become a machine. I need to make a list, check it twice, and then methodically, mechanistically go through each one with the promise there will be sleep at the end. It doesn’t help that my goal of coming off the anti-depressants isn’t working as well as I’d hope and staying in bed hiding among the varied dreamscapes I find there is all I want to do.

The lack of meds, the lack of control over the type of control I want in my life and the anger that’s welling up in me for having to have to shut down a goodly portion of my emotional life again in favor of sanity is making me want to take back the realization of March 2013: my name is Pamela and I’m a compulsive overeater. Maybe I’m not. (Anyone else catch the compulsively long run-on sentence?)

I am. I know I am. And try as one might you can’t unknown something without a fairly major stroke. It’s just right now it seems like one more thing on my over crowded to-do list.

Mom Was Wrong – Finally

Okay, so she’s not nearly as right as she thinks she is and far more times than I give her credit for. Mom mad a prediction for my last birthday…..I would be dead. Obviously I’m not because I don’t think wifi or smart phones would be allowed in the space between death and judgement, so she is WRONG. I know it’s petty to take such pleasure in that statement.

However, it’s not like I’ve stood still for this past year. Though it took me 9 months to join OA and I’ve just now started exercising I am making strides. I’ve reduced my meds and it looks as though I’ve gone down as far as I can on my Lexapro I’m hoping exercise (crap) will take care of it and I’ve heard yoga is a good drug replacement too. Again it comes back to caring enough to making myself a priority….I know all this I’m not totally feeling it right now. That’s suppose to come as I work The Steps. And again that goes back to caring enough to make myself a priority. Just like a dog chasing its tail; these are the days of my life.

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