The Egg


Last I left off, I was having a moment of clarity and obsession in the middle of the night with a bottle of Gatorade. Since then, I have managed to completely change my life and the direction of my health.

This is a big thing for me. As much success I have had in other areas of my life, I had as many failures in caring for myself. I wish I could say that it was totally a result of work/life imbalance, because honestly, I had myself believing that too.

It wasn’t.

I know now that the struggles with infertility wasn’t the real issue either. It was tragic, yes, but not the crutch that hindered me from being a better version of me.

It was simply, me, being unkind to myself.

Putting myself last because I never, ever knew any differently. Since forever.

It is probably a blessing I don’t have a daughter. Somehow, I am sure that I certainly would have carried on my own insufficiencies into another human.

I have a plastic Easter egg in my desk at home, once shoved into the back corner of my junk drawer. In the egg, I wrote words on a slip of paper. It was an assignment I received at a weight watchers meeting in 2005. For the umpteenth time, I was trying to preserve any part of me that I could. Control SOMETHING, anything…. I was in survival mode, really. My WW leader asked us to each write a promise to ourselves and put it in the egg.

I wrote…
“I want to love me.”

I stuck that purple egg in the drawer. I knew it was there. I knew it was there each time I failed, fell off the weight wagon, again and again. I knew it was there each time I sunk my spoon into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream because I wanted to deaden any emotion that even came close to admitting failure. I remembered it was there when I cried because I made a mistake, a bad decision, hurt someone, or let myself down.

Yet, in four years I just left it unopened. I figured I would eventually toss it out next time I purge the junk drawer. After all it was JUNK…. Right?

JUNK because I just couldn’t take seriously the thought of ever loving myself.

Then, the ultimate low. The last straw that proved that I was insignificant and not worthy of any goodness. Failing at completing my family, losing confidence in my professional worth, hitting rock bottom.

Then, with almost impeccable timing, my body started to revolt. It was pissed off over being mistreated and discarded. I got scared. I spent the last 6 months in a revolving door of doctors. My bones ached. I couldn’t walk. Was I depressed, sick, or going mad? I suddenly felt all of my 44 years crashing down on me. Tentative diagnosis as of now, Fibromyalgia and sleep issues, waiting another referral to rule out more bad stuff. Merely the tip of an iceberg, but a step to knowing.

A wake-up call indeed. It was time to get my temple in order.

This was my rock bottom.

I remembered the egg. It wasn’t going to gather dust any longer. I finally opened it this past January, and renewed my promise to me.

Something is different… this time. I can’t put my finger on it. I still have days I feel like I am 90 years old, but I also have days I feel I can conquer the world. I changed the way I view food. Which is insanity in my mind anyway… I have this bad habit of never breaking bad habits. But here I am, three months later, and finally giving myself the time to heal and be renewed. I am not going to let anything chip away at the progress I made. It shows on the outside.. I am a pound shy of 30 pounds lighter. In physical weight. Probably even lighter on an emotional level.

There is no reason I should feel so good while feeling so bad.


But I do.

Strangely, my newfound love is catching root in the oddest of places. My husband, my son. They don’t see the positive change around us, but I do.

I still have a long road ahead. But for the first time ever, I am walking in my own shoes, feeling my heart, accepting the unclarity of life, and not afraid to fail.

My egg, no longer collecting guilt and dust…

…now, my lucky charm.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Beach Bummed

Well, July just flew by.

As promised I present you with photographic evidence of my spray tan. It looked great (ignore my mean face). Even coverage, no streaks, and no orange glow. I methodically used the blocker lotion on my hands, feet, knees and elbows as directed… and it was easy. Would definitely do it again, and especially for a unique occasion. For those of you who asked, the tan was via VersaSpa (not Mystic) and I chose the medium tone. I am intrigued to try the dark tone, but a little scared. Maybe on a week I know I don’t have to go anywhere just in case.

So, l took my new tan on the road to Hilton Head, SC for our 10 day vacation. Didn’t you wonder where I went?

We had a great time, as usual. This is the 6th year we’ve made the 12 hour drive. Sure, there was bitching and moaning being trapped in the car and dreaming of an exit on I-95 with a Starbucks, but the pain is worth it in the end when we see the sign that takes us to our home away from home.

David was like a boy obsessed this year. For one, he couldn’t wait until he got the opportunity to go crabbing off the pier at the resort. He and hubby caught five blue crabs (catch and release), and they were in heaven. I particularly don’t get the enjoyment of standing in the sun over a creek with fish smell lingering in the air, but to each is own.

Secondly, after David spent a week trying to make friends at the pool, he met a girl (insert oohs and aahs and curious eye rolling here). Is this when it starts, age 8?? Really? Goodness. Unfortunately, their courtship was short-lived.. she left the next day. However, he had a ball and I got a new friend too… her mother is the same age as myself and through conversation I found that she had her daughter via fertility treatment. We traded war stories, and it was really unexpected.  It was like meeting a mirror image of me, and so glad I got the opportunity to chat with her. Thank goodness for Facebook to stay in touch. Sadly, David is left only with a picture of himself and his new friend-  plotting how he might charter a boat to see his southern sweetie. I am still trying to help him understand that TN is not on the coast. lol.

We spent most of our days poolside, and if you follow me on Twitter, I posted a few pics along the way.

We were almost too lazy to spend time physically ON the beach. Too much preparing and effort. Plus, I admit it, I hate getting sandy.  Hate it.  However, we did take walks and collected seashells.

The thing I love about HHI is the relaxation factor. It’s the only place I’ve vacationed where I feel truly rested.

After all the turbulence this year, I wanted that feeling more than ever. Problem is, once I shut down it’s hard to boot back up. We got home on Monday and I’ve spent the last 48 hours walking into walls and navigating my foggy brain through the day.
The reality of being home was kind of a downer. You all know the feeling. Back to the grind, and to-do lists.

Speaking of  to-do’s, I am making a doctor’s appointment for myself this week. Been feeling off for the last few weeks and some oddness going on with my fingernails looking weird and my hair falling out in bunches (has been for the last 6 weeks). The hair loss is worrying me.  Really bad.  I am asking for a thyroid panel at my regular doctor when I get in, among other things. Surely, five years of shooting up hormones hasn’t affected my endocrine system, right?!? I can only guess the crap my body is going to give to me now after putting it though so much over the years.

For naught of course.  Another post for another day.

So, I am back, sort of. Give me a minute and a latte and I will be ready to rock and roll.

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Worst kept secret!

I have a secret.

The worst-kept secret in the world.Many of you already know, but for reasons I can’t quite explain… I just couldn’t write the words here until today. I could in other places, but just not HERE.

Argh.

Let me cut to the chase…

If your remember, this time last year S. and I were in research mode for domestic adoption. Well, we managed to examine every recess of every local agency last Spring, and by June of 2010 we had an agency, a wonderful case worker, and about a billion items added to our to-do list. As of October, 2010 our homestudy was complete and we were officially granted “waiting” status.

Yes. We are pre-adoptive parents.

So, back to the disclosure part. This is not a secret, of course, but knowing there were so many readers (cyber and IRL), I didn’t want to divulge because not everyone in our real-lives knew of our plans. It’s much like that weird space in the fertile world for infertiles. Those who have experienced the challenges of infertility wouldn’t dare announce a pregnancy prior to the 4th month.  Go ahead and chuckle, because we ALL know exceptions exist (how many of you can write a book on that? raise your hand!) but bear with me on that thought.

Bygones.

…that’s sort of where my head is on this. The last thing I wanted was someone in real-life carrying the message to random people in our circle, and those people telling friends, and so on. We are excited about it, and so is David. We are equally as petrified. Walking that line has proved daunting, so there was an odd comfort in knowing that we had this big secret that wasn’t public knowledge yet.

And, to be honest. I was very nervous to write this here. I’ve struggled so much in having “hope” in my life again, and this blog had become a diary of failure. Some days, I couldn’t bear to look at the archives staring at me on my front page. Years and years of dashed dreams. What if I added to that sorrow? Adoption is also a risk, and not every story ends the same. What if I fail again??

I decided that this new chapter in our lives, completing our family and taking steps toward our dream doesn’t have to be pushed to the back burner because of my own fears.

At the same time, this place won’t morph exclusively into an adoption-themed blog. Sure, I may post something now and again, but I have other outlets for my writing on this topic. This place will remain the story of my family.

Having said all of this, I also came to the realization that there was just no downside to spilling the beans.  It became a ridiculously silly hang-up on my part.  I am just darn tired of living in the shadows, and you all, as my support, need to know.

So there you go.

A new chapter already begun, and lots of memories to come.

I promise not to hold out on you any longer.

Pinky swear.

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Avoidance Theory

I have had a recurring dream over many years. In my dream I am in my childhood home and feeling a sense of dread. I never really understand the “why” of the situation, I just seem to land mid-stream into this nightmare of sorts. Whatever is spooking me sends me into utter panic, running from room to room, locking each exterior door and running to the next.

And then, standing still.

So still I can hear my own breath and it sounds so loud in my head that I am sure whomever is on the other side of the door can hear me as plain as day.

I spent some time recently on one of those “dream” websites. You know, the ones that define objects and common dream themes. Apparently, my locked door dream is a symbol of avoidance and much of the interpretation has a lot to do with whether you are on the locked side of the door. Locked side = shutting ones self off from someone/something.

It dawned on me that I have developed an avoidance of many things over the last few years. Whether my mood is up or down I still practice the art of avoidance.

I guess I’ve always been a little withdrawn. Even in earlier years I was always comfortable with people and experiences- having anxiety initially, but once I warmed up I was outgoing and gregarious. I always had that shy girl inside me, but I was 60/40. Sixty percent outgoing, forty percent reserved.

Infertility was the fuel on the fire that turned that ratio upside down. Now I am more 40/60, maybe even 30/70. I find it really hard, even with therapy, to be that person I was. I have great days where I see the light, and dark days (like today) where all I feel is grief and loneliness.  The only place I feel grounded is here, at home, in the company of S. and David.  The outside world is a constant source of stress and unfamiliarity.

I still am trying to appreciate myself as a new and improved person (with some extra wisdom and compassion) but I’ve developed some bad habits that are slowly changing me and not always for the better.

I know my triggers, and spend far too much time avoiding them:

  • Arriving on-time exactly to David’s school events- it reduces the amount of time I have to mingle with the happy moms.
  • Buying baby wipes at my local warehouse store- to avoid trolling down a baby aisle in a regular store.
  • Unopened magazines that I just chuck in the trash- (backstory) I had subscribed to a popular parenting magazine for school-aged kids but won’t read it after I browsed a few only to realize 70% of the content was baby-related.
  • I’ve gone from that person…  a person who doesn’t hide a thing about the ups and downs of life to a person that finds it easier to small talk through an entire conversation and engage the fake smile just to avoid and move on.
  • Even my Google Reader doesn’t go unscathed. I have many friends I’ve met online over the years, and although I follow and read all their posts, often I feel like I can’t comment (or don’t want to because I feel like I don’t belong). 

It has been so very, very hard.

As many times that I give myself a pat on the back for meeting a situation head-on, there are a million more instances where I tend to fade into the background and avoid feeling… well…

…feeling anything.

The old adage, “You reap what you sow…” has never been more true that where I am today.

I am to blame for the state I am in.  Just me.

And that truth is becoming very hard to avoid.

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