The Best Laid Plans…….

Okay, here’s the sitch with not going to school this semester.

After Mom’s little tirades and big tirades about how I wasn’t earning my keep, how everyone keeps a 40 hour a week job and comes home and cooks dinner, does a load of laundry or two and then cleans and picks up after themselves……then swinging over to I’ll be too scared with you sleeping in a camp site with a knife for protection, they’ll just take it away from you and slice you open.  They enjoy stuff like that…..You don’t care about me.  I’m afraid I’m going to die alone and even with you here, you can’t even be helpful to me for that…..  I’m going to stop now, my head is starting to hurt.  Even with all her blustering I was set on going to school.  I figured if I could work from home on Thursday, my sister coming in the evening to take care of her I could skip the traffic and nap before class and then with chemical aids like 5 hr. energy and soda I should be able to stay awake on the way home and not have to stay at the state park.  Easy peasy.  She wasn’t going to talk me out of going to school because she was scared.  I was kind of looking forward to being that close to the beach to hear it in the morning when I got up.

I talked to my bestest friend in the world and she just simply said “There are too many moving parts to that plan to work well,” and I realized she was right.  I think if she said the exact same thing as what my Mom said I probably would have listened to her.  Yes, that sounds like an immature reaction on my end, but I know my BFF wants what’s best for me whereas my Mom just wants whats best for her, so I don’t trust any of her advise.  I realize that is part of her narcissism, and I know in some ways she can’t control it.  She has to realize something is wrong with herself before she can start changing, and she will never see the error of her ways.  So after more thought and prayer and thinking as to what I could do to move my plans forward if I didn’t attend school.

So here’s the plan:

  1. I pay for my Continuing Education Credits
  2. I study and pass the test
  3. I pay the money and fill out the form
  4. I get my certificate back

With my certificate in hand by January, I will be able to look for a blood letting job and sign up for the online course for medical terminology and put on my resume that I know my education wasn’t very accredited but I am going to an accredited college that will teach me the right stuff, and by being so proactive in my education it will make me look like a good egg.  Everyone wants good eggs, bad eggs smell to high heaven, and even if you get rid of them their odor lingers for days/weeks/months to come.

One thing I found out while researching state parks for California.  They have a special pass for the disabled.  You pay $2.50 for the form processing and then you get 1/2 off your cost for camping and day use of the park.  I looked at there definition of “disability” and depression is one of them.  I realize that as things are getting better for me in that arena I will need to apply for it soon while I’m still in this maelstrom of emotions.  I want to start camping.  Glamping for longer times in the wilderness, but camping for weekends anyway.  I can afford that, it might be all that I will be able to afford for vacations in my life so I might as well embrace it now and get the stuff that I want and need for the wilderness experience.

Slowly I Turn, Step by Step, Inch by Inch

There are twelve steps and twelve traditions in the OA handbook. I’ve been stymied by the first three.

  • Admit you have a compulsive eating problem

Okay, admit you have a problem. I wouldn’t allow myself to believe it even when I admited aloud that I have a problem, even though we are required to introduce ourselves at the meeting as “Hello, my name is Pamela and I am a compulsive overeater”. Even when they are listing the things that overeaters do and I’m nodding my head in a silent confession, even when more of me oozes off the folding chair than is on the seat, I’m not a compulsive overeater. I’m not, I’m not I’m NOT!

I am.

With the lightening of my psyche, coming out of the depression and controlling the anxiety I see myself more clearly. What used to be hiding in the shadows or under all the other fluff of my life is cluster of barnacles that won’t come off by wishing, hoping or praying. My standard operating procedure in things that I don’t want to do, say housework, is to either shut the door or turn off the lights. If you can’t see it, it’s clean. Tada! I could do just that, deny that I have a problem, let the barnacles continue to infest, grow legion until they ultimately sink me. Careening is the process of beaching a ship at high tide to expose one side of the ship to scrape off the parasites. The sole purpose is to allow the ship to reach its full potential on the water. Yes, I’m well aware of the easy fat jokes I’m not utilizing, but the days of being the jolly fat girl has come to an end. In my own best interest I’ve beached myself and scrape back the shell that hides the real reasons for my compulsive overeating. Believe me, I don’t think I eat this way because I’m physically hungry. I need to do the hard work but thankfully, not alone.
 

  •  Locate your Higher Power (Heavenly Father/God in my case)

I have always had a Higher Power. Even when I wasn’t actively engaged in His good cause. I’ve always known God lives, that He loves me. I’ve been blessed with this innate knowledge that seems to have eluded most of my family. However, knowing it and living that knowledge hasn’t always gone hand-in-hand for me.

 

  • Admit you can’t handle your life anymore, God can. I’ll give it to God to deal with.

I’ve seen His miracles, both large and small, I’ve seen the power in the Priesthood, and felt His healing touch when I was sick and afflicted with things I didn’t want or need any more. Knowing that the path I’m on will only lead to a double sized cemetery plot of I don’t do something about it, I still won’t can’t seem to reach out to Him for help in this. It’s my problem, my weakness, my life and I am trying to live it as close to His book as I can. It’s like I want to be perfect now and then give myself to him as a testament to my beliefs and how I’ve lived them in the world.
Unless perfection weighs in at 300+ lbs, I’m as far away from perfection as the Mariana Trench is for shell-seeking scuba divers. Perfection isn’t for this life, I’m not even sure it’s attainable in the next, but it is the conglomeration of knowledge and our ability to act on that knowledge that perfects us for exaltation. I know this. And yet perfection seems to be my goal in EVERYTHING. This is a trap because I know I’m not perfect yet and I need to be perfect, or at least perfect in all the things I can be perfect in, otherwise I’m sinning, and as a sinner I cannot ask nor expect help from a caring, loving Heavenly Father.

Yea, I caught that little oxymoronic paradox. If He is a loving and caring Father in Heaven, He wouldn’t care that I am perfect or not, only that I’m struggling and suffering. Even if the suffering is self-inflicted. He loves me, and He wants what’s best for me. I lack faith. I have been going through a dirge of hopelessness for what seems like ever, but it twinkles back every now and again, so I know it’s not dead, but those two small words are the key. We are to have faith, even if it’s the size of a mustard seed, and when planted in prepared soil (hope) it will grow to bring shade and provide homes for small helpless animals of the meadow. I lack these things, the hope and the inner-wherewithal to act on that faith. Faith, is a verb, I know it doesn’t sound like it is, but it is. Faith without works is dead. Maybe I’m afraid of the work, maybe I’m afraid of the success, all these things need to be examined but nothing, ever, will get done unless I jump.

I’m not ready to jump.

Last night I did it. I took the first small step, well actually all three. I am a compulsive overeater. God knows this and I have turned my life and sanity over to Him. Yes, I’m still prying fingers off one at a time to relinquish full control over to Him, but slowly I’ve turned and, step by step, inch by inch I will turn my life from compulsive overeater to humble personal achiever.

 

Footnote:

[1] When I hear the word “Careening” I think about careening out of control, which is what I am, but now careening seems to represent “caring” and that is the type of careening I need done.

Who I Want To Become

Today I had a new motto sort of bubble up from the irritation from a favor asked of me today.

“Just because someone cannot be what I need them to be doesn’t mean I should stop trying to be who I want to become”

 

I wrote it down on a post-it note and stuck it in my calendar.  The more I read it through the day the more I realized what a blessing this is.  I get to re-create my life.  I. Get. To. Re-Create. My. Life.  Like scraping the barnacles off the keel of my soul and revealing the bare planks ready for a smooth departure into the future.  Well, smooth-ish, as smooth as anyone else can hope for in this life.  So, hope is returning.

The medication and settling into my own body again has opened up doors that I thought were closed off, More like boarded up and padlocked, dressers and bookshelves piled in front of the door just for good measure. Dare I say hope is returning?  I choose who I will become.  I’m excited, I’m scared, I’m daunted by the task ahead of me, but I’m hopeful.  

**WARNING: IMMATURE RANT TO FOLLOW**

Why do I have to change?  Why am I the only one that has to be the nice one, the kind one, the polite one?  Why do I feel like I’m getting taken advantage of?  It’s not fair, it’s not right and I’m not going to stand for this any longer!

**RANT OVER**

Okay, so I still have a way to go. 

OOOOOhhhhhhhmmmmmmm

Meditation. It pretty much says it all. I was incredulous at first. You hear about all these Born-Again Hippies chanting and making their lives better. How it’s the next weight loss fad. So, yes, I jumped on the fad-wagon and tried it. I don’t know what I was going to expect. Let me explain:

I had gone through a horrible patch where I wanted to just take a knife or scissors or something and just stab my thigh over and over again, thinking that would fix it or maybe cause me to feel something other than anger and disgust and anguish at my life. I settled for just pressing really, really hard with my needle and insulin and I ended up with huge rings of bruises on my thighs. It didn’t really help. Mom got her feelings hurt and her little tantrum really didn’t help either. But given time, and almost three months to pull myself back out of the whirling dervish of the emotional storm and get myself back on the voids edge. I’m still dealing with the set backs. It scared me suitably enough for me to go back to talk therapy at 7:00am Wednesday mornings. It’s helping. Right now we’re trying to figure out why I just don’t want to shower any more. I wash my hair when I absolutely have to, but beyond that, nothing. I am trying to do better, I really am.

I downloaded a about a year ago on our Kindle the “Simply Being” It’s a very simply guided meditation that doesn’t stress you out about not being able to hold your thoughts at bay long enough to do a 10 minute meditative session. I’m doing 20 minutes. The first couple of times I felt myself relax and a very agreeable and pleasant relaxation sort of just covered me. Lately it’s been a struggle. But doing it, whether or not it’s been successful or not has been a boon. I’ve been able to turn off the gushing spigot of anger when it hits me, I’m able to be patient when my mother is driving me up a wall with all her little requests and her ever so obvious mis-directed requests so she can get me to do things for her. For example, ask me to come from my room to see what I’m doing then asking me if I could get her water, dinner, desert, or whatever she needs at the time. (It’s almost funny, she really thinks I can’t see through it.)

My goal is to no longer need guided meditation, to have an hour a day to just relax and turn off my brain. Between that and the pain medication I’m taking for my stomach, I’m sleeping so much better, which again, aids in keeping my emotions in check. Although, I will say, I’m still susceptible to outbursts. I need to watch out for them. It’s silly, I know to believe I can completely eradicate all the anger and hatred in my life right now through 20 minutes of introspection three times a week, but I’m willing to give it a try.

Lulu Blue

My car is blue, and I call her Lulu.   Lulu has been having motivational problems.  The engin is fine, the tires are fine, the brakes are fine, the transmission, on the other hand, is whining like a school-boy after getting his family jewels rearranged for the first time.  It seemed like the perfect metaphor to depression for me.  I recognize the engagement of the mind, racing and racing, going around and around in circles, having everything needed for forward motivation.  Sometimes jolting forward and squealing the tires, sometimes just listlessly motoring along praying to get from point D to point E on the journey of life.  Feeling like you’re never going to get to H no matter how long you try.  Don’t even think about J, that’s completely out of the question.  I consulted a professional and he told me t get this stuff called Lucas Slip-Stop.  So, I picked up a bottle and poured it into Lulu’s transmission.  And we got traction again!  There was motivation without whining.  I had my Lulu back.

How is this like me….Seriously, you need me to spell it out.  I feel like my beat up old Chevy in so many ways, and it’s like the physical incarnation of my emotional persona.  I feel every single mile of the more than 200k miles it’s carried me through, and seriously, I’m tired of carrying it around with me. (Not Lulu though, I love Lulu, that car runs on tithing blessings).  Because of the weight of all the baggage, the dirt, the grim, gunk and other deteriorating factors in my life, I am weighed down, unmotivated to move forward.  Enter Lexapro, the pharmaceutical equivalent of Slip-Stop.  It arressted my decline and with increased use and improvement I’m able to engage better with the world.  I can even contemplate navigating my own life, I think for the first time.

Like an idiot I kept fogetting to take my social meds over this week.  And trust me it doesn’t take long for the seratonin to drain out like transmission fuid through a faulty seal.  Stuff happens at work and I’m spinning and upset, frustrated and incapable of focusing.  I was even in enough of a snit to want to quit today.  I thought I progressed enough so when something so predictable happens I shouldn’t be phased by it, it’s an indication that something is low or in need of topping off. The best and most remarkable thing is that even though I’m angry and I keep having to have to take refuge in my “happy place”  I’m still fundamentally, deep-down, hopefully happy. I’m a little worried that I won’t ever be able to get off these meds to be normal…or to what my semblance of normal should be…..but I know that I can and will get through it.

I’ve purhased a few new books:

Darkness Visible

Fixing depression through mindfulness

Jesus Wept

And another one I don’t knw the name of right now.

I recognize that I’m out of the darkness of the void but being firmly planted here on the bleeding edge of it is scary and I’m aware it’s going to take work, preparation and in sme cases a heroic effort not to fall back into depression’s strong, locked, comfortable ever-waiting arms.

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