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Middle-aged Woman; Interrupted

18 Oct

you-are-not-your-mental-illness

Most, if not all, of my knowledge of bipolar disorder comes from movies and TV shows, namely, A TV show I watched last year called Black Box, Apparently I’m the only person who watched it because it is no longer on, probably took it off to make room for Snorkeling With the Stars, or some such nonsense, anyway this is not about my disdain for reality television shows, this is about my shocking lack of actual knowledge that was not obtained through television shows and/or movies. In the show ( If you didn’t click the link above, you should) because I’m not going to outline the whole show, just my thoughts on the show and what I gleaned about being bipolar from watching the show. My thoughts were that sure her highs were high and her lows were devastating, but if she didn’t stay on her meds, which she didn’t want to because she felt like they dulled her personality, she got to make out with super hot doctors during her manic highs, and she felt very sexy and fearless ( this didn’t seem so bad to me) this is the only thing I thought bipolar disorder was, they showed a little of the lows, but she lived through them and I was no stranger to depression, especially post- stroke,As I say in my set I got through it with a handful of benzos and a fistful of lunchmeat and the movie Pacific Rim on repeat, I didn’t realize how low a manic low could be, I also learned about bipolar disorder by watching the movie The Silver Linings Playbook, I even wrote a blog post about my love for that movie and the foresight in that post is insane. This is all leading up to my own recent diagnosis of bipolar 2 disorder, rapid onset,which I never knew even existed.

This past week. I was laid off from a job it had taken months to find, I had the job for two months and I liked it, and was feeling like I was getting my mojo back as far as comedy and being a decent, present mom again, my personal, dating life was non-existent but I had gotten so used to that it was a non-issue. that lay off, and some other things I over thought to the point of constant anxiety, both of which should have been small blips on the radar of my life, turned into reasons to actually plan ending my life. I Googled all of the pills I had in my house and according to Yahoo answers,even my pills were failures and I didn’t have enough of what I needed to actually do me in, and I had no money to go buy sleeping pills and I didn’t want my children to find my body (somehow this was worse in my mind than them not having a mom at all for the rest of their lives). I thought I could go out in my neighborhood, maybe my neighbor’s yard and die there (that’ll teach you to steal my fucking lemons from the lemon tree in my yard) but then the thought of being peed on by dogs, grossed me out and I decided then that I needed to not be alone so I called my friend Cara and she came over bearing ice cream for me and alcohol for her, I told her of all my plans and said I would call my psychologist tomorrow but if I was honest they would commit me for having a plan. Tomorrow came and I called and he said “skip coming here at all go right to the Psychiatric Hospital” and I did and they asked me to voluntarily sign in which I decided to do, the psych hospital happens to be connected to the rehab hospital where I spent several weeks right after my stroke, I bring this up because the first day I was there the tech from the rehab side who had tested my INR (coumadin level), came to test my INR on the psych side, he said ” so how have you been?” and I said “I’m in a psych hospital, so what do you think?” he said “there’s no shame in that your life has gone through a major strain just after the stroke alone, whatever brought you here means you were living it and that’s a good thing” ” living it as an absolute failure” then I had to go in for an initial evaluation with the staff psychologists. Immediately I started to cry as they asked me about my past, especially careless and impulsive actions with no thoughts of consequences….umm…that’s kind of been my “thing” my whole life, I fly by the seat of my pants, it’s part of being creative, right? I won’t go into detail but I’m very lucky I didn’t end up a Lifetime movie of the week, they asked about manic episodes of staying up all night with scattered thoughts, that’s creativity too, right? I would do that and write(some people clean) not this girl, sadly. those things coupled with my extreme depression and suicidal thoughts over admittedly minor things, and my super high score on the depression test detailing my feelings of being a worthless failure and awful person in general, the doctors mentioned bipolar 2 as a diagnosis, but didn’t officially give me that diagnosis that day but many days after several more meetings with psychologists and group therapy sessions, and mentioned starting me on a mood stabilizer called Lamictal and staying at the hospital for a few days, by this time I resigned myself to it and said sure, I walked into the common room with all the other patients and was struck by the range of ages, Living in a college town, I was expecting mostly college age people but this mental health shit didn’t discriminate, there were college aged people all the way up to a 90-year-old. I plopped down in a huge blue chair and sat there so much, they started referring to it as “Amy’s chair”, I quickly learned that this was very different from the rehab side, and almost the exact opposite in the sense that we were constantly busy with therapies over there to the point of exhaustion, here we had  group, psychologist meetings, and food every two hours and a library cart where I chose a novel called “Catching Genius” that I read in one day. I looked around that first day and couldn’t find a thing that I could use to kill myself (which I’m sure is by design), but we did have DVD’s in the common room and I thought I could break one of those and slice open my wrist if I needed to but I wanted the movie to be something funny, like Die Hard, death by Die Hard struck me as amusing,Luckily we didn’t have the movie Die Hard, I got my first dose of Lamictal and within hours I was feeling a bit better, I was on suicide watch still so every 15 minutes, I had to talk to a nurse and tell them how I was feeling, I guess I wasn’t progressing as fast as they wanted so they raised my dosage. Quickly, we became comrades in this place together, some like me were there voluntarily, but most had been baker acted and were planning to make things as difficult as possible for not only the staff but themselves. One night there was a coup over the tv and one of the patients who referred to himself as “the court jester” took a vote (written on the back of a coloring sheet written in crayon) but he soon found that the techs intervened after he got unruly because he wanted to watch football and when he couldn’t he wrote 1-900- abuse (in crayon again) and slipped it under the door to the always locked nurses station. they did not find that amusing in the least. It was 8:30 but I went to bed at this time. I heard the next morning over breakfast that “the court jester” had a full-blown fit and called his mom and a lawyer. he was mad at all of us for several days. After I finished my book I passed the time playing cards and coloring, I colored a Halloween picture of a minion that said ” Going Batty”, I found that delightful but this just cemented my knowledge that I am a horrible artist.There weren’t many DVD’s or tapes to watch but there was the Blue Collar Comedy Tour but I made it clear that if forced to watch that I would become homicidal (I chose my words carefully because had I said suicidal, I wouldn’t have been out in 3 days, they would have made me stay longer) There were some beautiful things to be found in this harsh environment, however, we were allowed to go outside in the courtyard if accompanied by a staff member, someone had written in chalk “not all those who wander are lost”by J.R.R. Tolkien, one of my dear late friend Brett’s favorite authors, someone also drew a kick-ass picture of a giraffe that made me happy. In group we had to write a plan for our after care for trigger events to prevent a relapse or what to do if we do relapse. I realized while writing my plan that I have a HUGE support system in friends and family and I can live with this bipolar 2, and most importantly, I want to live. I’ll forever be under the care of psychologists, therapists, psychiatrists, but all of these people want me to succeed (whatever that looks like).

I think it’s extremely important to find what works for you, I’ve seen the meme about just taking a walk in the woods when you’re depressed and not needing to take any meds (brought to you by Tom Cruise I presume) I can tell you if I had taken a walk in the woods the day I checked in, I would have found the sharpest stick I could have and plunged it into my chest, pharmaceuticals and extensive therapy is what I needed. find what you need and if you are feeling worthless and un- loveable like I was, take a chance on yourself and get some help. Speak kindly to yourself, be your own advocate. You’re worth it and let’s lift the stigma surrounding mental illness, let’s talk about it.

1 (800) 273-8255

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English, Spanish

A for Effort, but Louis C.K. Does NOT Speak for This Fat Woman

13 May

All over my Facebook feed today, I saw  posts referencing last nights episode of the FX show that I have just discovered, Louie.  I know, I am late in discovering the show, but in my defense, Louis C.K. really reminded me of someone who I disliked and I have been unfairly punishing him for having the face that he does, and while I respected him as a comedian and found him funny, I just couldn’t bring myself to watch the show.  I have forgiven Louis for being genetically cursed, and we’re cool now.

I DVR the show and hadn’t watched the episode and had planned to tonight. Today, thanks to Facebook and every site being connected to every other site, (really, I can’t tell who the original poster is, but if Huffington Post has something, then Gawker does, then Slate, then Jezebel might if it’s related to women, then Huff Post Women does…and it goes on and on) I saw that on last night’s episode, C.K’s titular character (every time I use the word TITULAR I giggle, then I make sure I am using it correctly, then I giggle again…because tit) is asked on a date by Vanessa, a woman who works in the comedy club where Louie works as a comedian.Vanessa is *GASP* a fat girl. A fat woman. She’s fat. Louie turns her down and they end up going for coffee and wandering around the city and getting to know each other where, depending on which site you read, Vanessa launches into a speech that is either “magnificent” and she gets all sassy and speaks for all fat women everywhere by calling Louie out on his shallow reasoning for not wanting to go out with her (which presumably is simply because she is fat) OR she gives a speech that is male apologist bullshit that was written by Louis C.K. himself (as the whole show is of course) that does nothing but make excuses for men like Louie who are taught by society to not want to date fat women.  Excuses and apologies.  If you don’t watch the show and you are confused regarding the name, Louis C.K. is the comedian/writer whom the character Louie…um…C.K. I think… is based, on the show called Louie.

louis ck

As a fat woman myself, and one who has tried to preach body acceptance and being comfortable in one’s skin, fully realizing that picture looks different to everyone, I was excited to watch the show so that I could form my own opinion on this groundbreaking episode. I assumed it would solve so many problems that exist in the world today regarding body image and fat shaming. I hope your tongue is firmly planted in your cheek when you read the above. I don’t think Louis C.K. has the ability to bring about that kind of change, but if he DID, I would welcome it (and he’s right about common core testing too).

I liked the episode, as I do most episodes of Louie.  However,  Vanessa did not speak for me.  I don’t “blame” the men like Louie who have turned me down, as Vanessa does, and of course there have been men who have turned me down. I don’t now, and don’t as far as I can remember, look at my weight as anything other than what it is. This is my body style, this is my body.  Right now,  I am on the heavier side than I am the most comfortable, but not by much. The thing is, for whatever crazy reason, I don’t land on my weight as a reason to be rejected. I just feel like there are SO MANY other reasons why someone would turn me down (and yes, that’s funny…but it is true). I assume if I’m flirting with someone and they are not reciprocating that they don’t like brunettes, or that I snorted when I laughed, or that I was just too sarcastic for them, or that I looked disturbingly like their mom or ex or someone they despise, or more often than not, that they are gay. Me being plus-sized is really towards the bottom of the list of things that I feel badly about, even though everywhere I turn it seems that people are telling me I SHOULD feel badly about it.

I have mixed feelings about the character of Vanessa and the speech overall. I feel like her character does tend to reinforce the stereotype that fat girls are desperate, and should basically bribe someone to be interested in them. In the episode, Vanessa gives Louie a couple of hockey tickets that are said to be worth over $1000.  She does this because she is leaving her job at the comedy club and she wants to do something nice for Louie. When she gives him the tickets, he asks her out for coffee, even though when she asked him out before he turned her down. Vanessa and Louie laugh and have a good time until Louie tells Vanessa she’s “not fat” which sparks the speech linked above.

vanessa

I want Vanessa to be a bad ass and realize that browbeating some guy to hold her hand who doesn’t want to is beneath her, but she’s only 30-something, it took me at least another decade to get that.  I also want Louie to see her for the seemingly funny and feisty woman that she is, and not just her body type. On the other hand, perhaps Louie wasn’t turned off by Vanessa’s weight at all. She comes off EXTREMELY desperate, and maybe that’s what did it. Whatever the reason Louie wasn’t into Vanessa, I want Vanessa to realize that just because he isn’t, there will be others who will be.   I have a physical type that I am drawn towards, but all bets are off if that person can’t make me laugh. Who knows what Louie’s type is and what his triggers are. Human beings are complicated. He is ALLOWED to not be into her though, and she is ALLOWED to be pissed off about it, of course.

I like seeing people who look different from what we are used to seeing on TV, absolutely. I WANT us to get past this obsession with body types. I don’t know if people will think differently about women who are fat because of one episode of Louie, but I do think it’s probably a good thing that so many people are talking about this episode. Fat shaming is a real thing that actually exists, and that is ridiculous. I’m still waiting on the fat woman character who is incidentally fat, it is not a plot point, not anything she is bitter about, it just is who she is. She can be a giant mess in other ways. Maybe she’s divorced, and has two sons. Maybe she’s trying stand-up comedy. Fine, that’s me, but I would be a fantastic character. Think of all the people I would annoy because I refused to be concerned with my weight. It would be so much fun.

 

Good as NEW

20 Feb

good as new

It is well-documented that I have had my share of broken hearts.  This blog became way too “Dear Diary” for a while, but when I need to process something, I write, and I needed to process my feelings about tumbling headfirst into something (someone) that ended up hurting me and I wrote about it at length and made everybody uncomfortable in the meantime but if Taylor Swift can turn her heartbreak into songs that make her a lot of money then why can’t my blog do the same? Yeah, it can’t. I cannot guarantee that I won’t devote a large portion of this blog to future broken hearts, but I can almost guarantee that there WILL be future broken hearts, because YOLO. I think I am reaching the age where I will not be able to use YOLO and not sound silly. What? I reached that age 20 years ago? That term wasn’t even around then.  I think I see the point.

While I am absolutely over the particular situation that plunged my blog into having the same emotional maturity as a Sweet Valley High book, and in fact, me and the guy I tumbled for (no, not Boy George) are friends, when I was going through my little melodrama, I kept hearing the same things over and over. Those things were said with the best of intentions (hopefully, or some of you really hate me and are passive aggressive jerks) but they were just not helpful.

In the interest of being helpful and friendly (though who am I kidding, I just told someone I’m not getting any friendlier and I have nothing and nobody to blame. I was born this way. Like Lady Gaga) I thought I would compile an easy to use list of things that are acceptable to say to your friend who is nursing a broken heart.  To make things easier on me, I will be using the pronoun HE.

  • Instead of saying – You dodged a bullet, which did nothing but make me feel like a HUGE masochist because at that time all I wanted was to be shot with that particular bullet over and over again, try saying I PROMISE, you will feel better. I am here to listen. Time will help. Let me buy you a drink/ice cream/clothes to soften the blow. 
  • He  is acting like this because he got scared of the powerful feelings he was having for you. While I do particularly enjoy this one, because it lets me live within the delusion that someone was so damn enamored with me that they would rather thrust themselves onto the sword of douchebaggery to try and drive me away rather than just face up to their feelings, their oh so strong and real feelings for me, I have sadly seen the movie He’s Just Not That Into You enough to know that is probably not the case.  Saying this makes you sort of an enabler and it is not helpful in the long run.  Try saying I PROMISE, you will feel better. I am here to listen.  Time will help. Let me buy you a drink/ice cream/clothes to soften the blow. 
  • Telling someone you were way too good for him anyway is kind of like the first bullet (HA…bullet about a bullet). At the time it is usually said, it’s difficult to wrap your head around the fact that someone deemed not good enough for you, was at that very moment rejecting you. It’s like Inception or something and I still have not seen that movie but I will continue to reference it when I feel it is appropriate.  So this means I am actually not even good enough for the people who are not good enough for me? This leaves me with no options whatsoever as far as dating. Those who are not good enough for me don’t want me, those who are too good for me presumably don’t either. This is the definition of Forever Alone.  Try saying I PROMISE, you will feel better. I am here to listen. Time will help. Let me buy you a drink/ice cream/clothes to soften the blow. 

Perhaps you are noticing a trend. In all seriousness,  my friends did an excellent job coaching me through my broken heart(s) and holding my hand and letting me angrily text them that YEAH, that guy IS acting like a jerk, and I DO deserve better, and I DID dodge a bullet, but I had to come to those conclusions on my own.

Being the one with the broken heart sucks, but being in the position of helping a friend try to recover from one is not very fun either. You all were right, I feel better, and in part it’s because you all were there to listen to my incessant rambling.  Also, I couldn’t help but notice that there was a disturbing lack of drinks/ice cream/clothing bought for me in my time of need. It’s okay, you can catch me on the flip.

thank_you_for_being_a_friend

PS  – I so greatly appreciate every single person who tried to make me feel better and cheer me up at that time. Every comment those blogs received, every text message, every Facebook message, every Tweet.  Thank you and much love to you all.

Happy Galentine’s Day AND Happy Valentine’s Day

13 Feb

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and today is, from what I understand, Galentine’s Day.  What, prey tell is Galentine’s Day? Galentine’s Day is from an episode of “Parks and Recreation”, a show starring the very talented and hilarious Amy Poehler as well as an equally talented and hilarious supporting cast including Nick Offerman (and his EPIC mustache), Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari,  Rashida Jones, Chris Pratt, and Rob Lowe. See? Why aren’t more people watching this show? Including me actually since I don’t watch it on the regular either. I know, I suck, but in my defense I just now figured out how to program my DVR.

Anyway, Galentine’s Day is a day invented by Amy Poehler’s character Leslie Knope,  to celebrate the women in your life. It doesn’t matter if your gal-pals are married or otherwise attached, Galentine’s day is a day to let the gals in your life know that you love and appreciate them. Here is what Leslie Knope herself has to say about the day –

What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lillith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.

Sounds like fun! I am extremely fortunate to have an excellent support system of women near and far that I call friends. Some are family members, some have been my friend for over 30 years, some for not that long, some I haven’t even met in person but thanks to social media we have become friends. I share in their lives and they share in mine. They are my biggest cheerleaders and I know when I need anything, they are there. We have cried together, we have laughed together, we have gotten outraged together over my seemingly endless bad luck regarding relationships, and we have nervously laughed at my sometimes terrible decisions, because if WE can’t laugh about not being able to stop texting someone who clearly doesn’t want to be contacted simply because I think I thought of the PERFECT way to explain why I sent so many texts to him BEFORE, then who can?

So to my gal pals I say Happy Galentine’s Day! I love each and every one of you and I thank you for being there for me.

galentines

As for Valentine’s Day, I grew up with a father who felt it was important to give his daughters Valentine’s presents and/or candy and/or flowers and because of him, the day is much LESS about having a romantic relationship than it is to shower those you love with love, and a balloon or little box of Scooby Doo bubblegum balls (spoiler alert, that’s what my children are getting from me this year).

I have my fair share of stories of Valentine’s Day plans that went terribly awry. My personal favorite is when I was dating someone and we had plans for him to come to my house for dinner, this was when I was in my 20’s so when I say “my house” I really mean a crappy studio apartment. I searched all day for a heart-shaped baking pan and I made a delicious yellow cake and topped it with whipped cream and strawberries. Rick never showed up that night or called until the next day.  I don’t remember why he couldn’t come over, but I do remember that over the course of about 6 hours while waiting for him, I ate that entire cake with a fine white wine (just guessing since I don’t remember but it was probably from a box).

I’m not involved in a romantic relationship this Valentine’s Day, BUT I can guarantee you, I will feel loved and I will show love. I will be spending the day with my two favorite Valentines, my kids, and I will tell them that I love them, just as I do every day, and I will hug them a little tighter than usual and I will tell them that no matter what, their mom will always be their Valentine, and this will creep them out immensely, but hopefully when they are older they will carry on the tradition of looking at Valentine’s day as a day to show appreciation and love to everyone just a little more than they do every day, and that being single on Valentine’s Day is not a big deal.

And I may or may not, just for old time’s sake, eat a whole cake with some wine.

heart-shaped-cake

 

 

Who’s Funny? I AM, DAMMIT

12 Feb

I’m tough. I AM tough, dammit.  I have lived through many hours of unproductive labor, two C-Sections,  open heart surgery, a whole lot of other surgeries, personal attacks, multiple broken hearts, and sometimes people on the internet call me names, and yet, I live. I lived through all of it.  Some would say I’m worse for the wear but I don’t think I agree with that.  I am definitely scarred, literally and figuratively, but dammit, I’m here and I’m tough.

YET…I am not tough ENOUGH.  I know this about myself. I get my feelings hurt and take things to heart more than I should. Not ALL the time, but recently I was reminded just how thin my skin really is, and how I absolutely HAVE to work on just…for lack of a less awesome term…not giving a fuck sometimes.

Not long ago, I met someone cool and I INSTANTLY wanted to be his best friend. His BFF. I thought he was funny, he thought I was funny, and we talked all night the first time we met. Seriously all night, and it was wonderful. I felt like I might have found a really good friend who would be around forever. He reminded me of my Brett.  We clicked instantly and had the same sense of humor.  We talked a lot over the next few days but I could tell something was just off and the day before  we had planned to spend together working on my comedy material and eating pizza, he blew me off.  Something came up. It was an abrupt turn around from where we were a few days before.

To say I was cool about the whole thing would be a lie. I came in like a wrecking ball and if he was sort of on the line about my sanity, I sent him enough texts trying to explain why I was so hurt about being blown off that by the time I was finished, I have no doubt he had firmly crossed that line into CrazyAmyLand.  I KNEW this, yet I could not stop. I really wanted to explain, and I really wanted to still be his friend, and I really wanted to just turn the clock back. This was in the span of a WEEK you guys. A WEEK.

crazy

I could see he was reading all of my texts, yet he was not responding,  and why would he?  He doesn’t know me that well and he doesn’t know that I am in fact, not insane. So now I’m in that awesome place where I feel so stupid for my actions, and lack of impulse control, and sad that someone I thought was cool does not feel the same about me.

The thing is, he’s not my Brett. Nobody will ever be my Brett, and I can’t forge a friendship with someone in a week that is anything like the friendship I had with Brett that we nurtured for almost 30 years. It’s not possible, and it’s silly to try.  It’s not silly of me to miss Brett, and I do every day, but it is silly to try to replace him.

Even when I was in the middle of Bad ChoiceaPalooza 2014,  I knew part of my motivation was that I desperately needed him to think I was funny, because I thought he was.  For any of you who don’t understand that, let me try to explain. Making people laugh has been my goal, my defense mechanism, my way to endear people to me, my entire life.  Considering I contacted this guy because he is a working comedian in town, and one I found funny, I felt like if he didn’t think I was funny then I wasn’t. It. Is. NUTS.  This is called having very little self-esteem and faith in the fact that I AM funny and that I CAN get up on a stage and make people laugh and that I don’t need anybody’s approval or help.

When I’m up on stage I need to be prepared for whatever happens, including hecklers, or drunks, or drunk hecklers.  I can’t let them shake me. At this point I plan to agree with whatever negative thing is said about me when I’m on stage. “Get off the stage, you SUCK” would be met with “I know, I really do”. I don’t know if this will work but it’s all I’ve got right now.

I wish a thick skin was something I could just purchase on ETSY, but I’m afraid it is something I will have to work on myself. I have made friends with my self-destructive streak, I have sat down with my broken hearts and made peace, now it is time to KNOW I am funny and that I have nothing to fear on that stage.  Learning the subtle nuances between being passionate and not closed as far as my emotions are concerned and going crazy and having no impulse control is a lifelong battle, I’m afraid. For NOW, getting myself up on a stage and conquering that fear is where my main focus lies.

owl

Never Fear…It Is STILL My Year

21 Jan

I am such a good planner that I went ahead and got the health issues and hospital stay out-of-the-way first thing in 2014.  Sometimes I amaze myself…with my own stupidity.

The congenital heart defect that led to heart surgery about 4 years ago that makes me tick (literally and figuratively I suppose) requires that I take blood thinners. Forever. Forever and ever. The amount of blood thinner in my blood must be monitored weekly by in my case a clinic that must be the busiest clinic in the south because every trip there from beginning to end, travel time included, is about 3 hours.   If my levels are relatively stable, the clinic visits go down to once a month. I never managed to be very stable and it felt like I was spending a lot of time at the clinic. I have learned through a series of bad decisions on my part that spending a lot of time at the clinic beats spending 2 nights and 3 days in the hospital, or any time at all in the hospital.

I don’t know if I am so terrified of committing to anything that I felt the need to break up with my medicine or if I really do think I’m invincible, but after hearing lots of stories from friends and loved ones about people who knew people who had a stroke after being off of their blood thinners for two days and stories of people who died, and 1 very curt doctor who had me in tears, and my sister who really could make lecturing her life’s work, I realized that no matter how busy I am, or the fact that I moved, or that it was the holidays, I can’t mess around with my health like that. While there is no doubt that I am fabulous, I am not immortal, and my kids deserve to have me around  to torture them with my long drawn out speeches about injustice in the world. They need me around to make more vision boards and badly sew pillowcases for them. I’m their mom, and there is only one of me. I want to be around for them and I want to be here to see them bring home their first girlfriend, or boyfriend, because whoever they are is who they are and of course I love and accept them, for whoever they are (at this point they would be screaming at me to give it a rest.)

In the spirit of near-death collisions, I have put up another profile on OKCupid.  The latest iteration of my profile has been up for about 36 hours, and I have received some interesting messages,  including one from a man who says he has a Master’s Degree, yet his profile is riddled with spelling errors. I mean, where did he type his profile that NO spell checks noticed that one of his favorite books, presumably Water for Elephants, is not Water for Ella Phants, unless Water for Ella Phants is a book about a woman named Ella Phants who lives in a desert and is on a quest for someone to bring her water, and in that case, color me red.

 

I have received two messages within 12 hours from the same man, who I guess thinks surely there was a computer glitch and I didn’t receive his first message because why would I NOT immediately write someone who took so much effort to not fill out anything on his profile and who sent a message telling me how much better my hair looks straight rather than curly. Thank you for your unwanted and absolutely unnecessary opinion, man whom I will never message.

My absolute favorite so far is the man who simply sent me a message saying “u don’t look fat”.  I presume I brought this on myself because in my profile I have the audacity to state that while I am not a tiny little person, I am “comfortable in my skin”. This translated to him that I was fishing for compliments I guess, and in his mind, the worst thing a woman can think of herself is that she is “fat”.  What I really want to put on my profile is “don’t worry, I will never ask you if my butt looks big in anything. I have SEEN my butt, it is fantastic, and looks big in everything.”

Ah online dating. Honestly, at least I get a lot of really hilarious and hilariously bad stories out of it.  Keeping an open mind. HEY, maybe I’ll meet someone at the clinic.

peace love joy

Aren’t We ALL Hookers?

18 Dec

A few nights ago I took advantage of the free HBO preview that I am receiving for a few more months and watched some quality cable programming.  Game of Thrones? No, but I’ve heard that’s good.  The Newsroom? No, but I am dying to see that. So it must have been True Blood? No, but you’re getting closer. I watched a show called Cathouse: The Series.

I’m not going to lie and say I started watching the show thinking it would be about ACTUAL cats living in a house. I knew what I was getting into.  The show was about the women who work in the Cathouse and their relationships and less about the men who frequent the establishment. I found it fascinating and not at all sexy honestly, especially when a man came in dressed as a clown. THAT encounter was one that was shown and I really could have lived without seeing a guy in full clown makeup living out his desires. Not because I’m a prude, whatever works buddy, but I just hate clowns, and don’t want to see them happy.

Something I found interesting is that the clients are offered a menu of services that the ladies offer. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find one of these menus on the internet, which is both surprising and sad. I found A menu that looks like it’s from an establishment like the Cathouse, but I cannot confirm or deny that this is THE menu. It’s pretty vague but I think  I can figure out what most everything is except “Salt and Pepper”.  I am going to assume it’s sex with someone dressed like one of the Golden Girls, because that amuses me.

cathouse

When I was watching the show, I realized that my romantic life post-divorce could be featured on a menu as well.  No no, don’t set your computer on fire, I am not going to discuss sex acts (on THIS blog anyway…wink wink).  I had an epiphany that what I was offering cost ME a lot, including my self-esteem, pride, sense of self, but came free of charge to the men who partook.  I don’t BLAME them. If I walked into a store and everything was 100% off, I would probably go crazy too.

If you’re totally confused, allow me to present the FORMER menu to Cafe A –

The Super Speedy – In a hurry to get things moving? This meal is best if you have no life of your own and are really just looking for someplace to live. Also known as the guy who moved in with some girl 2 days after we stopped seeing each other because I moved too slow.
cost – This guy actually did pay a price, the girl stole money from him.

The Carnal Knowledge – Also known as there is absolutely no way this is going anywhere, but let’s have sex.
cost – Nothing to either party. It’s an okay option, but you’ll be hungry again right after.

Comfort Food – Also known as the girlfriend experience. All the trappings of having a girlfriend including emotional support and carnal knowledge, but without paying the price of exclusivity or commitment.
cost – Free! For the guy. Cost to me? Far too high.

The Full Geisha – Are you absolutely starving for affection? This is everything you could ever want, served on a pedestal. Don’t mind me, I’ll just be down here trying to find my self-esteem and pride.
cost –Free! For the guy. Cost to me? Years of therapy and rebuilding.

There it is in black and white, more or less. All the years of therapy have led to THIS, this sad display of how little I valued myself.  However, don’t feel bad for me. The kitchen is closed and we are under new management and these items are no longer offered. Well, MAYBE The Carnal Knowledge. Talk to me in a few months. I KID I KID.

cathouse2

 

Finding the Inner Woot

17 Dec

Thank you so much, guy picking up trash on the side of the road, for taking the time to say “WOOT” at me as I drove by. It’s almost like you KNEW that I was coming from an appointment with my therapist where we talked about needing to find my self-esteem within, rather than letting somebody’s opinion of what they think of me color my self-image.

Granted, you probably only saw big hair and sunglasses, and while I admit, I’m having a good hair day, your opinion of my hair, whether you agree or not (and let’s be honest, that “WOOT” might as well have been a “HEY LADY YOUR HAIR LOOKS FABULOUS”) doesn’t change that I feel like my hair looks fantastic today, and even if it DOESN’T look fantastic, I am still “woot” worthy.

Self esteem is such a strange thing. I recently found some old pictures of myself from when I was in high school. MAN, I was pretty. I was so pretty, and yet I never FELT pretty then, because I didn’t have a date to the junior prom, or the senior prom, or honestly EVER, but it’s a shame that because I didn’t have that kind of validation,  I just didn’t feel pretty. I knew I was funny, I knew I was nice enough, but nope, don’t put me in that box marked “pretty”. That was not for me.  My dad told  me I was pretty. My mom did, my sister did, my brother even might have, but I just didn’t feel it.

My BODY image, as far as being comfortable in my body, was good, and still is. However, self-esteem goes far beyond that. My self-worth, overall, was in the toilet, and it had nothing to do with not being a size 6. I felt like something was just OFF with me, because all of my other friends were fighting the boys off. In high school I had boobs, I had gotten my braces off, yet I never had one actual date.  WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME?

As I got older, my self-esteem got better because I worked on it, but it’s incredible how a lot of those old demons rear their ugly heads as soon as they sense a chink in my self-esteem armor, meaning,  I let the opinion of others affect my own opinion of myself. It’s like those old feelings are just waiting to remind me how I’m not really any good at anything. I’m certainly not pretty. I’m a terrible mom. I’m a bad person. Oh and that guy in elementary school that you had a crush on? He never liked you. Or the one in middle school. Or the one now. Those demons are jerks.

I am fully aware that I let things consume me. I am passionate. A friend commented to me after reading the series of posts I did a bit ago after it felt like my heart had been put in a Cuisinart that I “go big or go home”. I do, and that’s not going to change. That is part of who I am, and that’s okay. It is not okay for me to beat myself up for every bad decision I have ever made or assume that because one person doesn’t feel about me the way I feel about him that must mean that there is something fundamentally wrong with me.

So, while I really appreciate the “woot”, I am working on building my self-esteem up from the inside. I don’t want to become addicted to your “woot”s and feel the need to go litter in hopes that you will be called out to pick up more trash tomorrow because I need that “woot” to feel good about myself. With or without your “woot”,  I need to be my own “woot”er.

And, for the sake of this post, I’m going to assume that you were “woot”ing for me, and not for the University of Alabama tag on the front of my car. If you were, that’s cool too. With or without your “woot” I am pretty “woot”able.

self-esteem

I Will Accept Crashed. I Will not Accept Burned

11 Dec

I had a thought last night when reading something on Gawker with a headline that went something like “owner of company delivers smack down to customer”. Of course I can’t find the actual piece I was reading, or anything like it to link here, but trust me, Gawker sometimes has emails or Facebook status updates that have headlines like that. My thought was how I really hope I don’t end up on Gawker because of my last few posts under the headline “watch woman crash and burn after stupidly short non-relationship”.

I know, I am breaking one of my own rules, no guilt for genuine emotions or feelings, and my feelings and emotions are genuine. I will accept crashed, but burned? No, not burned. Crashed, yes, but crashed and okay. Crashed and re-assembling.  Crashed and getting myself back into therapy, but NOT because I was so devastated that I am falling apart, not that there is anything wrong with falling apart. I think we can all agree that I’m okay with falling apart if you learn something putting yourself back together.

Back into therapy,  because while half of me still thinks I’m pretty awesome, the other half of me got sucked into the old mindset that of course somebody is not going to be as crazy about me as I am about him. OF COURSE.  Because I don’t deserve that, because of choices I made in my past. And that’s not okay. That’s destructive,  and while it took me a while to get half of me to feeling awesome, the other half needs to follow suit. Or at least meet in the middle somewhere.

My ex-husband, who I hurt more than anybody with my past choices, has told me more than once that I deserve to be happy. If HE can want that for me, it’s so crazy that I have such a hard time convincing myself of the same thing. I want someone that I am wild about to be wild about me. There. I have sent it out to the universe.

My life-long friend Brett, who passed away in October of 2012, told me more than once when I was crying my eyes out over some boy, or something  (and in more than 30 years as one of my closest friends, he witnessed a lot of tears from me)  in a totally baffled tone, “but you’re Amy. You’re awesome”. Yesterday, Brett’s sister, and my friend, said those words to remind me that I need to get into my head that being Amy is  enough, because I really am pretty awesome.

No I’m not.

I am however,  still hilarious.

I-am-enough

I am enough.

I am toast.

The Wisdom of a Broken Heart. Again.

10 Dec

Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart.

Washington Irving

There are probably a few things you’ve learned about me from the last few posts

1) I write when I’m processing emotions
2) I have a lot of emotions to process right now
3) I’m an Aquarius

The first and second are the most important, though if you’re into astrology then maybe the third will give you some insight into the first two.  You may be asking yourself “why the hell doesn’t this girl invest in a diary and stop hitting publish on every damn thought that enters her head?” To that, gentle reader, I say this IS my diary. I have always written, always poured my heart out via my fingertips.

I thought about not publishing this series of miserable posts but after the first one I received so many comments from people who could relate that I thought I would continue. Also, I’m a total hippie bullshit freak and feel like if I can write about what’s in my head, it will help me to process these feelings and send them out into the universe. I know, right? Trust me, half of me is making fun of the other half just for typing that.

I have read a lot about shame and guilt and how those particular feelings can color our entire perception of ourselves. I have first-hand experience with both shame and guilt.  Without going into a lot of detail in this particular post, I branded myself with a giant scarlet A,  and made sure that nobody could hate me more than I hated myself, for years.

After I spectacularly drove my marriage into a ditch, I kept myself in a painful jail of guilt for many years.  I stayed in a relationship that was less of a relationship and more me trying my damndest to be the exception to the rule and trying to “fix” someone.   I stayed put either actively engaging in fix-mode or beating myself up for actively engaging in it. It was a no-win situation for my psyche, and I did it to myself. Cue the shame and guilt.

Guilt is deadly. Even now, I have a hard time accepting the choice I made to cut someone, the someone who these recent posts have been about, out of my life because after he told me that he didn’t have the capacity to care about me the way I cared about him, it just wasn’t good for me to be in contact with him anymore. It wasn’t healthy for me, and I absolutely hated the emotional wreck that I had become.  When he told me towards the end to let him know if I needed anything, my retort was “I need everything. That’s the problem I think”. Everything meant exclusivity.  And he couldn’t do it.

I have written about one of my favorite books called The Wisdom of a Broken Heart, by Susan Piver, and how it has taught me to give my feelings validity, and how not to be stuck in a cycle of guilt, or to be afraid of my feelings. I also learned how to just be still with my emotions, and ask myself what is happening to cause me anxiety. Once I realized that I was truly experiencing anxiety attacks waiting for him to tell me he was dating someone else, I had to be calm, and let go, and write 10,000 blog posts about my feelings, rather than stay engaged and inadvertently make him feel bad just for feeling the way I did, and make myself feel bad because of the way he didn’t.

So I stopped, because every single time I talked to him I thought surely it was the time when he would realize how amazing I was. It was killing me. And it hurt. And if I could figure out how to still talk to him and not feel like I was constantly being rejected, I would, but I don’t know how to do that.

I know this is not where I live. I’m sad. I’m hurt. I miss him every day. I’m a little angry. I’m Taylor fucking Swift.  However, this is not where I choose to reside. So now I’m working on telling myself that it is not a bad thing to do something that is right for me, even though it is so hard and it hurts. And I realize that even after all the work I did to pull myself up out of the jail of self-hatred and guilt that I had put myself in for years, the jail is still just right there, waiting. It’s up to me to keep walking by. I sentenced myself. I can pardon myself too.

heart

J. A. Allen

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