Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Keeping It Going

Seventeen days until we leave for our week's vacation on a Caribbean Cruise. Wow, time is flying. I have never cruised before so I am just a bit apprehensive about it. I'm hoping the weather is great for us. The weight that I put back on over the holidays is a bummer but I have been back on track this past week and hitting the gym so hopefully by the time we leave I'll be back or at least close to the weight I was in November. I start with a personal trainer tomorrow and I'm excited about it and at the same time I am scared! We'll see what happens, but, I am determined to stick to it. Yay!

We changed health insurance at the beginning of the year. It is such a hassle for me as I have Arthritis and see a Dr regularly as well as have a IV therapy every 8 weeks. I am due for my treatment next week so my fingers are crossed that my appointment today with the Rheumatologist goes smoothly and I get an appointment for next week for the treatment. If I can't get in before our cruise then I will have to deal with the extra pain. I'm keeping a positive attitude about this.

I'm glad that I am taking the time to take care of my health and to blog. Yay, an accomplishment! Keeping it going.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Little Miss Lazy Bones

Frustration is what I am feeling this morning. Ugh. For some reason my internet connection is so slow that I'm ready to throw down this Mac! I'm going to get a new wireless router (mine is ancient) and see if that helps. If not, I may be changing my internet carrier. Would love to hear from anyone that has had this problem and how you fixed it.

On the up side I was able (after many x hitting the resend button) to order the package from the Real Estate school so that I can get going on that. I'm having mixed feelings on this adventure now. My daughter is planning on moving much closer and has asked me if I will help out with the kids. I am thrilled that they are going to be closer and that I will have more opportunities to be a part of their lives but at the same time the last thing that I want to do is put myself in a situation where I'm overwhelmed. I will just have to stick to prioritizing - my business should not be first in my life. I do have family that I love and want to be a part of - my Mom, my two daughters, my son (who is going to be a Dad for the first time) and my husband.

To be honest I have a terrible track record of following through. Cough, cough - ahem - this is so embarrassing, and humiliating to actually admit but I also know that anyone who knows me well knows this about me. For whatever reason I have had to not just 'buck up' and get things done I don't know. I think maybe laziness is a learned habit and one I intend to break. But it is hard - after-all I can't say how many people have said how spoiled I am and what a great life I have. True, but, big f*ing deal. The things that I am most proud of in my life have been when I had to work for them. I guess the best way for me to get off the potty is to just get off the potty. Maybe it's that I go to the gym today when I don't want to. Maybe it's back to setting a time limit each day that I can loaf but the rest of the time has to be constructive. I think deep down I am fearful of failure. I have learned from the past that when I face something head on that I am fearful of it diminishes in it's power over me.

Well, I must run now, gotta get my shoes on and head to the gym.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work I go...

The last few months have been a range of the worst I've ever felt and a clarity of mind and spirit. I had a one week 'vacation' at our local behavioral health hospital for a little 'rest'. I was put on medications that I have never taken before and I was not able to leave said hospital until my Dr cleared it. Talk about scary! Luckily I knew it was an opportunity for me to focus just on getting better and dealing with my diseases. I am happy to report that the medications have worked very well for me - beyond my expectations. Who knew that a couple of medications would really help those desperate and anxiety rid moods?

The holidays were wonderful. I did things with a happy and joyous heart and never felt overwhelmed by the Season, only excitement. It has taken me much longer to take down all the decorations but that's OK, who cares?
During this last few months it became really clear (again) that I must find a something to keep me busy, fulfilled and out of my head so I decided to go back to the one job (besides wife and mommy) that fulfilled me and brought out the best in me. I am going to get my Real Estate License again and go back into the business. Some reactions have been negative saying things like 'in this market?, no one is getting financing' and most have been very supportive. I do know what the market has been like. I do know that it will take some time before I make some real $ in the business. I also know that just getting out and meeting people, helping people and just being involved will feel great. I am lucky to have the luxury of taking lots of time to build a business. We don't need any income from me so this is just going to be fun for me with the real possibility of making a nice income to boot.

First on the agenda is to satisfy the education that is required to obtain my license as well as studying to take the state test again. This is what I will be focusing my energy on for the next month - 6 weeks. It is nice to not have to worry about a deadline to do this but at the same time I have goals in place. Once I take and pass the state test and get my license then I will apply for positions with a few Real Estate Companies in the area. I have a few in mind now.

I am going on my first cruise with hubby at the beginning of February for a week in the Caribbean. I can hardly wait. This is a must for us as a couple - the last real vacation we took was in December of 2006 to Cancun and it rained the entire week. It sucked. So this time I am cautiously optimistic about this one. There are many things that need to be done this month and I welcome the distractions. First off I am back on my weight loss/getting fit journey. I lost 27 lbs last year and was very close to my ideal weight until the holidays. Eh, that's ok, life is to be lived and enjoyed. I have to say though it is much more fun to see the scale go down and the jeans in a smaller size look great on me than eating all the extra goodies. It's a lifestyle that I hope to stick to throughout the rest of my life and hopefully will extend my life and quality of life. Also on my list is a commitment to purchase, prepare and deliver a meal for 30 to our local women and children's shelter. These are families displaced by domestic violence. I am really looking forward to that. I am also learning how to get the most out of my new Macbook Pro. Since I have always been a PC girl it is an adjustment but it's all good.
I hope to be more consistent with blogging just for my benefit. It's fun and cathartic to blog. It also gets me to read my friend's blogs' for updates and enjoyment.

I can just feel that 2010 is going to be the best year so far for me! Happy New Year!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I Am What I Am

Immediately after I wrote my last post I had some awakenings of what my real problem was and then it was reinforced by some exchanges with a friend. I haven't been able to express to many other people what was going on with me or how I was feeling. Mainly because there has always been shame around my addiction/depression/anxiety and also because I hate to appear 'not together'.

So the truth is that I am an addict ie; addictive personality that became addicted to prescription pain meds and then began to abuse them until my life spun completely out of control. That was my personal definition. That happened several years ago and since then I have been clean and sober far more than not but it still remains a struggle for me. When my physical health got worse over the last few years it became harder. I don't like pain in any form - most addicts don't, hell, most people don't. What can I say? I think I took in way too much pain as a child that something got short circuited and now I don't do it well nor do I do stress well. If I am going to meetings regularly and have a good recovery going then I can manage through the rough spots pretty well. Lucky me that I am also the flip side of addiction which is the co-dependent and I would guess that most alcoholic/addicts also suffer a bit from that as well. In the program we are what's known as "double winners". Yay me. So, I know my recovery is in trouble if I am abusing pain meds (obviously) and staying away from meetings or if I become too emotionally involved in my loved ones lives. Meaning for me it is when someone I love is struggling with a life issue I take it on personally - I feel the overwhelming need to make it better - that I am somehow responsible for their well being. Big red flag for me. It can tear me up emotionally and I lose perspective.

It has been a culmination of all these things that has brought me to this point of realizing (once again) that I am human, I have this frailty and I need some help along the way. I forgot that I need to keep those reinforcements near by, I forgot how important being in active recovery is for me and slowly I got to a point where I was in the red zone. Thankfully new treatments that I have been receiving for a few months has made a world of difference in my health. I am no longer in the kind of pain that I was in earlier. I have talked with my Dr and I have been off prescription pain meds completely for about a month. I have been taking care of my physical self this summer so all that is good. What was left was my emotional health and I mistakenly thought I needed to give more to feel better. I was wrong. I need to gather round the wagons now until I am stronger emotionally. I have a history of pretending that everything is A-ok with me and that I can handle it. With the help of a few friends and knowing what some dear friends are going through - their courage has given me the courage to say 'I need a little help right now'. So I have been back to meetings for the last couple of weeks - 1 1/2 hours a day in a meeting. I have some good days and I have my crap days. This week especially has been hard because of a rift/miscommunication/hurt feelings involving a very close family member. I find myself crying way too much but not sure what else to do. I have a terrible time thinking that someone disapproves of me but right now I am doing what I know I need to do so that I can get better quickly and participate fully in life again. I know I will - I have no doubt about that. I just have to keep reminding myself that I am what I am - no better, no worse. I am a human being that has some limitations and needs a little extra help sometimes along the way.

My example to write in my blog (no names) has been a great inspiration to me to remove the mask of 'perfection' and lay it out. This is for my own mental health. I am a survivor and anyone who knows me well knows that but first I must admit that I am powerless over people, places and things. I can't do this alone.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thinking Myself To Death

Gosh, it's hard to believe that it's been almost a month since I've blogged. I am not leading a very interesting life so not much to blog about. Hmmmm, food for thought, or, that does lead into what I wanted to write about. After my closet/soul clean out last month I read a comment from my dear friend, Christina, that spoke to me. She said something to the effect that I blame myself and don't take enough credit. Well, I took that nugget of observation and realized that she is absolutely right. It is BORING to continually beat oneself up over past history as well as completely unproductive. I like to pride myself for being a positive and productive person and so I have realized I have not been congruent with the person I thought I was.

My days run together with too much time thinking, thinking, thinking and not enough doing. Although I must say that I have effected change in my life this last 3 months with a new attitude toward food and exercise incorporating both into my life. Happily I can say that I have so far achieved a 20 lb weight loss as of this morning. Yay for me, but not enough for me to be fulfilled. Meaning, weight-loss and a healthy lifestyle are not enough. I have to do more with my life. I fight this depression day in and day out and I realize it is because I am spending waaaay too much time with myself. Earlier this year I applied to the American Cancer Society to become a driver, unfortunately, they do not need any more drivers so I kind of let it drop and focused on my health this summer. I had the usual tests, poking and prodding and oh yeah, the tooth work. So now that I am reasonably on top of my health I need to get on top of my mental and emotional well being. But, there has been something stopping me from really taking that step. I absolutely know in my heart of hearts that I will be happier if I either work, volunteer or take a few classes but I just haven't been able to break through this barrier of laziness/fear to actually DO something.

I have found myself spending too much time thinking (there's that word again) about what I want to do and then I end up paralyzed by indecision. How hard is it really to just pick one thing to do for a few hours a week outside of my miserable brain?? Holy crap. I know that I have a lot to offer - I have done it before. I have worked with women caught up in domestic violence; I have spoken at numerous AA meetings in the past with wonderful reception; I have spent hours in classrooms; volunteered for Jr Achievement; sold homes in a downturn; been on the Honor's roll at the college every semester I attended - so why can't I just DO it already? I'm scared - scared of not making good decisions, scared of failing, scared of succeeding, but, I think I have finally gotten scared enough of what will happen to me if I don't DO something.

To the few loving followers that I have I am asking for encouragement here. I am asking for accountability. I absolutely can not DO this alone - I need your push.

Btw, I am no longer going to regret my past mistakes OR feel sorry for myself for my past. It is so over. I am a pretty darn good person and it is high time to recognize that for myself and get my ass out there to help others and stay out of my head.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Trip Down Memory Lane... treasures in the trash

I took on a project a few weeks ago - a daunting task really. Since my divorce in 1999 I've moved countless times but continued lugging with me a couple of file caddy's full of paperwork and adding to them with new court proceedings, debt collections, etc. It's the kind of stuff you wish you could just forget but can't just throw away. Well, this collection of crap er...paperwork was taking up a LOT of space in my spare room closet (4 boxes worth), not to mention that the past 4 yrs it has been added to with crap from my present husband/life. So I decided that it was time to go through it once and for all and either throw away, shred or file. What that meant was that I had to touch thousands of pieces of paper not just once but twice. Ugh. Daunting, right?

I can say it took a lot longer than expected but then again I wasn't on any time frame. This task became a journey into my past of circumstances and situations that I would rather forget. For the most part there was a LOT of financial stuff (credit card statements, bank statements, etc) that just needed to be shredded. There were also court proceedings from my very trying divorce. Paperwork that reminded me of what lengths my ex went through to keep me from getting anything that I had coming to me. This brought up all kinds of unpleasant feelings and memories. It was painful to go through this stuff. Boy did it feel good to shred it all! It was like cutting a ball and chain off of me. There was a 2-3 yr time period during my divorce that I was just at the bottom and wondered if I'd ever be happy again. I went through financial ruin, emotional turmoil and I made some really bad mistakes - mistakes that I don't think I can ever completely forgive myself for but that I have learned to live with. I make amends today still by being the best person I can be one day at a time.

In this mountain of bad memories there was a small percentage of priceless jewels - I had saved all my children's special awards from school as well as all the awards that I received from their schools for being Room Mom, special helper, etc. It reminded me that I was a very involved parent and helped smooth over the pain of my errors. The best prize that I came across was buried in a set of medical records for my youngest child. You see I was her foster mother when she was just 6 weeks old and she never left us after that. We formally adopted her when she was 2 1/2 - before that I wasn't allowed to change her name so when the time came she already knew her name so we changed her middle name and her last name of course. I also did not have anything from when she was a newborn. She was placed in protective custody within 24 hours after her birth as her mother was a known drug user and and the baby tested positive for cocaine. I picked up these medical records of her short 5 day stay in the hospital when she was born and read through each page (what I could decipher). She was 5 lbs 2 oz, 18 inches long. She was actually pretty healthy for a drug exposed infant with her apgar scores 7 and 9. I teared up reading what the mother said (lies) and how sad it was to have to leave this baby motherless. It made my heart ache. Within the pages was something I had somehow missed before - her newborn footprints. I can't tell you how happy this made me - to have something from those early hours of her life are precious beyond belief to me.

This made the whole process worth it. And now my house is all cleaned out of old, useless, paperwork and memories leaving only the treasures that I choose to keep in my home and my heart.

All the shredded crap going to the recycle pile to be made into something useful.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Odds and Ends

It is another grey morning here in the Bay Area in a string of grey, cool days. I am beginning to wonder if we will have a summer at all! I am one of those crazy folks who actually likes hot weather - well, below 95 degrees I should say, so these temps that don't exceed the low 70's doesn't do much for me. Here it is August and we've only had our A/C on a couple of times this year. While that is great for our utility bill it's not so great for this sun lover. Usually when we take our Lake Tahoe vacation we escape the heat, not so this year, it was definitely hotter there than it has been here. I am longing for the beautiful Southern California weather and the beautiful beaches. One piece of good news is that the weather this summer is unusually cool for the Bay Area which is nice to hear that this is just a fluke and not how it's always going to be.

On the dental front - I had broken a front tooth cap while on vacation which has been annoying, embarrassing, inconvenient and emotionally painful (although not physically so). I've been dealing with this for 3 weeks now and was beginning to think I was never going to be able to get it fixed. Let's just say it involves a lot of dental work and $$$. I'm happy to report that as soon as I get an all clear from my Rheumatologist I can schedule and have the work done. Yippee!

Weight Watchers - I am thrilled to report that in three weeks I have lost 10 lbs! I have 20 more to go but I definitely feel motivated and hopeful that I will continue on the weight loss path. The timing of my weight loss and the dental work will actually work out great since Dave is planning for a really nice tropical vacation in February 2010. I should have a rockin smile and body by the time we go. Woo hoo! I'll be more careful on this next vacation with what I choose to eat - no biting and tearing on a hard crusted sandwich!

Marital bliss(?) - Well, I can say that I talked to the hubster on our trip up to Reno and spilled out all my feelings about our estrangement and how I feel like a piece of the furniture. It felt good to express my feelings to him. He listened to me and acknowledged my feelings but didn't want to respond at that time (the first day driving up). He never responded. Although he did say that he understands why I feel the way I do and he does love and appreciate me. Just being able to express myself helped a lot but I am still going to have another talk with him this weekend. He is still working like crazy. I know he does this to make more $ for our future and that his self worth is tied to his career but we can't lose our day to day enjoyment of life. In the meantime I am doing the things I know I need to do for myself.

Volunteerism - After applying with the American Cancer Society I was told that they have plenty of drivers and don't have a need for more at this time and then asked if I wanted to help with their annual fundraiser here in the Bay Area. At this point I am concentrating on getting the dental work done so that I am presentable again but I still plan on finding something that is suited for me. I NEED to find something to do outside the house. I am BORED and get depressed when I spend too much time alone.

Friendships -I am so happy that I have met some really great women since joining some and starting a Meetup group. I've been getting out and socializing which has been fantastic. I longed for girlfriend time and now I have it.. I am blessed that I make friends easily and the gals that I've been drawn to are similar to me. I adore them. Thanks!!! I highly recommend this site for joining groups of interest to you and meeting new friends. There are many, many different groups for every imaginable interest. This was how I met some great friends when I was in So Cal.

This about does it as far as catching up my thoughts on my little ole life.