fear

Why do we fear failure? Why do we deep down overthink things and then put so much pressure on ourselves? I have been WANTING to write on this blog. But I haven’t done it. You know why? Can you guess? I have been fearing the result. I have a whole list of things to write about. Or even just ‘talk about’ as I view it in my head. But I keep getting hung up on the fact that it has to be GOOD. or maybe even GREAT. So, I don’t put it out there. I don’t do this. Which is what I want to do. Soooo D U M B.

I have this belief that my words will not having meaning. or value. But yet, I receive such good feedback when I do sit down and put my thoughts out there. So then I ask, what am I AFRAID of??? I don’t understand this block.

When my sister and I did Brené Brown‘s Living Brave class, she taught us about the SFD: Shitty First Draft. She said one thing we needed to do was sit down and just write it. Write down everything you are thinking and feeling. She said you can burn it when you are done. But the main point is just to do it. So I know this is the way to get started. I know that as a writer the key is to write. Yet, I still have fear.

And so one more time I ask myself, what are you so afraid of? That no one will read this. Or that everyone will? That people will think less of me, or differently? I tell myself I don’t really care what people think. But that is so not true. Because deep down I TOTALLY do. And I think most of us do. We want to be liked. We want to be loved. We want to be approved of.

So what you are you afraid of? What are you not doing because you deep down are afraid?

 

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new

So for the last 4 years I have chosen to follow this idea of One Little Word by Ali Edwards. It’s an idea where you let a word come to you and that is your word for the year. She can explain it better than I in this video, so watch this if you have three minutes:

https://www.facebook.com/aliedwardsdesign/videos/10159462905505018/

I’m sure my word this year seemed obvious as my OLW (One Little Word) for 2018 is new. Makes sense as I have a new house, in a new city, with a new life. But my past OLW have revealed things to me that are beyond the obvious. And we have had a tragedy in our lives. One of my son’s very best friends, who was more like a part of our family, passed away on Dec 23. We are not sure how he died but he had a drug problem so the speculation is that is what took him. Because of this and my deep sadness, I think I also have a new view on life.

It will be interesting to see what this word reveals to me as the year goes on. My word for 2017 was write. Which I originally thought I was supposed to journal more and then I started this blog. After the second post I realized that this process was also part of my OLW of 2017. It’s all so interesting how life unfolds.

The crazy thing is that I spent 10 years in a fog of depression, fearing these two letters that defined my life: MS. And now that time has passed, I am very healthy and feeling great and yet, I am new. I am 45 years old, how is anything new?

How about the way I see life? Every second is a blessing. The ability to write you this, on my MacBook computer, from my new house in my new craft room, is a blessing. I am wearing clothing I bought at a store and wash in a machine. I have food and water whenever I need it, and I even through some away when it goes bad. What a concept. I spent years wanting more and never felt full and now I embrace so much as a blessing and am always full.

Can I share a secret with you? But you can’t tell. I am sick of shopping. I have never been sick of shopping. I have been so diligent with the process of decorating this new house and staying right on budget. We allotted a set amount and that is what I spent. Talk about NEW!!! That is the new me right there. I have cleaned out and gotten rid of things that were perfectly good items because I didn’t have room for them!! What? Again, can you hear the sarcasm? I have never been this way. never. I am still verging on hoarding in my craft room, but that is a work in progress.

I will get there.

And I am happy to be back to writing. Sitting here, in my new space writing.

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Demons in my head

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I am heavy hearted. I have come to a ginormous realization, the kind that changes your life. I don’t know why it happened yesterday as nothing unusual was going on. But I have had a huge personal breakthrough.

For as long as I can remember I have struggled with my weight. My first Weight Watchers meeting was when I was 13. I can’t recall what I weighed but at the time I felt very large and had what I thought was a big tummy. Looking back I’m surprised they let me join. And since then, I have done almost every diet plan out there. I have ranged from 111-199 pounds in the last 32 years. Right now I am nearing my highest point again and this time it is REALLY REALLY bothering me.

Part of my big realization is the fact that I can not stand when I hear women berate themselves over their weight or their appearance. I am quick to correct them and tell them something beautiful about themselves or remind them that their legs work so they should be grateful. This pet peeve has come around in the last 5-10 years as I have watched the media destroy women over their appearance and it kills me. I used to be SO hard on myself at such an early age, and I let so much of it go.

Or so I thought… One part of my realization is that I still talk very ugly to myself but I do so way down deep, ever so quietly. Its almost worse to think you are kind and loving to yourself and realizing your thoughts are vicious. I am not nearly as outspoken about my disgust at my body, even in my own mind… I just call myself ugly things. I am my own bully.

In the apartment we are living in now, you come out of the bedroom and right in front of you is the bathroom counter with the mirror. You can quickly turn into the living space and not look at the mirror.  But if you are heading to the sink or the toilet, you are facing it head on. I see myself walk to the bathroom every morning and all I quietly think is ‘gross’ or ‘disgusting’. You see what I mean? My daily thoughts of telling myself I am worthless or lazy for not exercising have gotten so much better. I talked myself out of those thoughts… yet my demons still lurk.

As you all probably know, assuming you are all my friends that read this blog, my daughter has lost 135 pounds. She is 17. I have watched her transform herself by doing all the healthy things we are told to do: smaller portions, more water, no eating past 7pm, no soda, no snacking. She is a TRUE inspiration (130poundsgone on Instagram) and yet I lived with her and continued to gain weight. I am asked often ‘why did she decide to lose weight?’ which I think is an interesting question. I think she just got tired of being over 260 pounds as a teenager. And yesterday I got tired of being over 190.

Having MS is hard on a body. I remember when I was diagnosed at 27 and the doctors said I would ‘age early’. They said I would know the feeling of stiff joints and loss of flexibility before others my age due to the disease. I didn’t register what that meant. I educated myself on the BEST way to take care of myself with this disease. So I started on my regimen of MS medication and a new dose of supplements every day and I lost weight. I had lots of baby weight still on, as my daughter was 5 months old when I was diagnosed in April. By Christmas of that year I was down to 135 lbs and feeling really great. I thought I had this MS thing all under control.

And then the depression hit. By April of the next year I was so depressed I could hardly get out of bed. I was looking at a two story deck, while my children were playing next to me, and wondering if I would do enough damage if I jumped off it. I was not well. I put on 20 lbs in 2 months. I ended up having to change my MS medicine as we realized that was the culprit of the depression. I went from a weekly IM injection to a every other day SQ injection. I got better but never got as healthy as I was at the Christmas before. The depression monster started lurking around regularly, always reminding me it was right there whenever I wanted to chat.

Over the next decade I switched my MS medication again due to another bout of depression (this time it was a daily SQ injection), saw many therapists, took various doses of antidepressants and analyzed the shit out of myself. I beat myself up internally on a level that was never healthy. I acted strong and confident on the outside while I ate all kinds of junk late night and buried my pain and fear in all kinds of things. I searched for answers and slowly began peeling back the onion of my heart to figure out who I really was.

Then a few years ago I was introduced to Brené Brown‘s work. She is a shame researcher from the University of Houston and has written several books. Between my latest therapist at the time, and The Gifts of Imperfection, I started valuing myself a little more. Then in Spring of 2016 I did the Living Brave online class with my sister and Brené officially became my new (virtual) therapist. Her work opened my eyes to all kinds of things. I started seeing the world as a more beautiful place (and really meaning it.)

As my weight has slowly crept up again with this new move and living in a small apartment, I realized I am still not balanced. I was strong enough to give myself an injection everyday for 12 years but continued to secretly hide my pain in a bag of chips or popcorn. I made a million excuses to why I ‘couldn’t’ lose weight: MS, antidepressants, PCOS, you name it. I made excuses about how I couldn’t push myself physically because I couldn’t let my core get hot, while the whole time I was sitting with 50+ pounds around my middle and not exercising in the name of overall health. What bullshit.

I take a handful of supplements and vitamins everyday because I have read they help the brain. I am willing to do what it takes to be as proactive with this disease, yet I have held on way too tight to my horrible eating habits as a way of comfort. I overeat. I snack late at night. Yes, I’m gluten free, for my health…ha! But I can eat a whole box of GF cookies in one sitting. It’s not about what you eat, as my daughter has shown me, it’s about HOW MUCH. And more importantly, it’s about how much do you value and LOVE yourself? Food has always been my crutch, but no more.

I am committing to forgiving myself for the way I have abused my body. I am learning, at 45 years old, what balance really looks like. And no matter what we think, we have to dig deep down and ask ourselves what we are really thinking when we walk in front of the mirror, to the bathroom in the morning.

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