Below are the 25 most recent journal entries.
I shaved Yerger's head tonight into a mohawk. Briefly considered giving Vince that fade I will most likely give him at some point, perhaps when he is not such a jiggly water baby. He did not cry when he met Yerger so it's NOT beards that make him cry. I think babies know when you are trying too hard to make them smile, they smell the desperation, judge you accordingly, and express that judgement the only way they know how--screaming in your face. So far only Lop and Jared's brother have been cried at upon first meeting.
At the time, I was not phased at all with the reality of giving my friend of 10+ years a mohawk in my kitchen, in Oakland, while my baby watched. But now that I have read a few journal entries from 10 years ago, the moment feels like a *script I didn't write. Everything today gets weird when you take a ride on the way back machine. That's nothing new. But the more past I have, the more insane today becomes precisely because it is so fucking sane. When did that happen.
I was only really compelled to write about it because 1. I have had the itch to write all day and have been, slowly, between bouts of catering to a teething baby while stranded at home while my car is in the shop (FUUUCK), 2. I looked for journal writing prompts online and was deeply disappointed at how masturbatory they all seem, although I don't know why because journals are supposed to be about you but UGH I suck, and 3. I used to just write about the shit I did that day and while it was definitely more fun back then, it was always basically the same cycle of school, work, smoke, drink, FML. So I shouldn't feel so bad about my mundane day because everything, in the end, gets old.
So yeah. Back to that *script. I, in fact, didn't write that script. Sure I invited Yerger over to give him a mohawk, sure I carried and pushed out the baby that watched me do it, sure I picked out this house in Oakland because I liked the kitchen all this was happening in so much. But I didn't sit down and plan all this at once, obvi. Yet it matches a similar sentiment I heard in a meeting recently. Someone explained how they busted their ass to get to a Pilates class and acupuncture in the same afternoon because they really wanted to do both. "Who is THAT?!" they asked. "Because that's not me. That's not my role." Between living a life I could have never seen coming in certain parts of my past and giving up some of my will in the attempt to live a fuller, healthier life, sometimes I don't know where I end and fate/circumstance/coincidence/luck begins. The most important part is that I just don't give a fuck anymore. I don't have to care about what any of this means. It just might not be any of my business anyway. I am simply a cog in the universe and can only hope I'm one that rotates in the right direction.
I am currently watching you sleep. I can't say I do that a lot. Sure, I pop into the room occasionally to check on you and I have a powerful urge to put a mirror under your nose every time you make a weird noise in the wee hours of the night, but I fight it. I wasn't quite sure if I would be one of those moms--completely memorized by your babiness and obsessively protective of it. I was worried I would completely lose myself as soon as you arrived and would grow to resent you for it.
My sister made a pretty apt prediction. She said, "You will love your baby. But you love you, too." And that pretty much sums up the story of you and me thus far. After a demoralizing experience with breastfeeding, I quit and gave you formula. If your life depended on my breast, I would have kept with it without a single complaint. Instead, I decided not to torture myself for weeks in order to give you a marginal advantage. I got out of the house by myself a week after you were born, guilt-free. And I didn't miss you. But I kissed your tiny face to an obscene degree the second I got home, grateful for some restored balance in my life if only for that day.
I am devoted to you but I don't worship you. You're the most important thing but your dad and I are important too.
Speaking of your dad, probably the most shocking thing that has come from all of this is how much more I love him now that he's your dad. I've heard other women say that they never knew they could love someone so much until their babies were born. But your dad is still the one person who continues to redefine love for me. He's widening my capacity for it every day. I love you both in different ways but on surprisingly equal plains.
I hope when/if you ever read this, you aren't completely offended by my lack of fanfare around your arrival. Don't get me wrong. I am still convinced you are the single most important thing that has ever happened to me. I lose sleep, PRECIOUS SLEEP, over thinking about how you will grow, what you will look like, what your passions will be, what your future will hold. Your dad and I talk about how we are going to raise you more than anything else these days. And how handsome you already are. It's pretty gross. :) So no worries. You are in good hands, baby bear.
But the program of action, though entirely sensible, was pretty drastic. It meant I would have to throw several lifelong conceptions out the window. --AA Big Book
Here is a sentence I am somewhat glad to have discovered after a year of recovery. If I had come across it any sooner, it might have really terrified me. The concept of having to change the way you think has to be scary for everyone. How can't it? The way we think is precisely who we are. And when we normally think of "change," we may only think of shuffling the circumstances around us--locations, jobs, friends, maybe even habits to a certain extent. But not us. Not what comprises us at the core.
The idea that I would have to change the way I think in order to survive might have been too much for me earlier on. But now that I have actually done some of this housecleaning of ideas I have carried with me my entire life, the concept doesn't seem too big or brutal. Some examples:
1. I have my shit together.
One of the first gifts I got out of program was the profound realization that this is as untrue for me as it is for every single person on the planet. Not one person has all of their shit together, no matter how much they protest otherwise. There is always something beyond our control, something to perhaps work on. My something was of course my disease and the effects it had on my body and mind. I always pushed it to the side when evaluating how together I was. Everything else in my life was working for me, except oh yeah, that. All the while, that was my health! It was the quality of my life itself. And I ignored it. I had to ignore it if I were to convince myself that everything was fine.
2. I can get whatever I want out of life if I work hard enough.
My dad raised me with this idea of ambition. I never thought of it as a sense of entitlement because it implied earning and struggling for your goals. But its fatal flaw is that it leaves out the idea of all the things you can't control. Earning and struggling do not guarantee success. They only put you in the running for it. And some the things you want out of life may just be impossible. I, for example, wanted to eat my feelings and not die from it. I wanted to live the way I wanted to live without consequence. As much as I wanted this and as much as I struggled against life to make it so, it just never happened. How I wish I could have had a better understanding of this when trying to find a job or a boyfriend. The patience it would have granted me, to know that there is only so much I can control in pursuit of my goals, would have saved me so much heartbreak.
3. This is the way I was meant to live.
I can't exactly remember when I resigned to the idea of being fat forever. As a kid, I always fantasized about coming back to school after a summer of thinning out and growing into an entirely new body. After all, that actually does happen to some kids in puberty so I wasn't completely far off in my thinking. Year after year of that not happening, I eventually realized that it never would. That I would have to actually work hard to be a normal size. Immediately came the intense fear of that struggle and the rejection of it. I would not kill myself to be thin. I would not give up my way of life just to "conform." So I accepted myself. And I eventually learned to love myself. While that was important and I have no regrets about it, it did keep me sick. It took way too much evidence to finally convince me that I was not meant to kill myself with food. I was not destined for a deformed body and a barrage of health problems. My way of life was just a way of dying and much too soon.
Why we chose your name
Every time I say your name out loud, it feels kinda weird. It could be because I am talking to someone I know doesn't understand me so it still feels like I'm just talking to myself. Also, how can a name feel right when it's not yet attached to a face? At 24 weeks, you do indeed have a little face but I can only guess if the whole "sons looking like moms" rule applies to you or if your great grandma Rosewarn's genes have won the battle yet again and you look just like Dad. Either way, "Vincent" does not yet feel at home coming out of my mouth and I have to say, it concerns me.
I know sometimes babies come out not quite looking like their chosen names. However, if I have to change yours, I'd also have to break a promise.
When I was 14, my great grandpa died. So as you can imagine, I had plenty of years getting to know him. Most people can't really say they knew their great grandparents as well as I knew some of mine. Well, maybe "well" is a strong word to use in the case of my great grandpa. I saw him regularly enough and he was always very sweet to me. He was like so many super old people I knew as a kid and I just lumped him in that preciously pruny pile with the rest of them. That is how I thought of him for a long time, just as another old person who wanted to give me cookies and ask me how school was.
It was actually the subject of school that changed my perception of my great grandpa for the rest of my life. In the 14 years I had with him, we had only ever really had one real conversation. At ten years old, this conversation seemed to spread on for days but I'm sure it was only maybe 20 minutes. It was after his routine question of how school was going. He did seem to ask that a lot. I told him I liked school and that I was running for class president and I was in the gifted program and I wanted to be a writer. (Note: I barely made it into GATE, they basically confused my cleverness in the classroom for intelligence and let me in out of pity.)
I remember he stopped whatever what he was doing and sat down at the table with me. He then proceeded to talk, maybe even ramble, non-stop about how important school was. He told me that a lot of kids his age couldn't go to school. He was one of those kids, having to drop out in the 6th grade to help support his family of seven. He said life was hard for children when he was growing up but you had to make sacrifices for the people you loved. While he was saying this, he seemed to become more and more unglued as he went along. Finally to my slight horror, his eyes started to well up when he got to the part where he said that he just wanted to learn. Horror might be the only word to describe what it was like to see this man cry. Because I was so young and he was so old, it seemed like the world was just caving in and I was seeing some real shit for the first time in my short life.
There was a single phrase he kept repeating throughout the whole thing, the thesis of which was obviously that school was important and that I should stay in it. He kept saying, "Old grandpa is trying to tell you something." This very elderly tendency to repeat himself to an obscene degree perfectly aligned with my adolescent tendency to not pay attention to anything. The words have managed to stick with me, vividly, for 18 years. The image of his mourning yet profoundly proud face is something I will carry with me always. His name was Vincent Audino.
Now, it's not as if after this conversation I become a star student. I never have been. I've always brought in average grades and have taken the slow and steady route in accomplishing academic goals always while prioritizing other things like a social life and a job. But the fact is that I did go on to have the most education than anyone in the history of my family and that education did lead me to good things. I'll never know what would have happened to me if great grandpa hadn't taken an interest in me and told me exactly why on that particular day in time.
A few weeks after I found out I was pregnant with you, I was home alone, wondering if you were a girl or a boy. Your dad and I had already thought of family names for a boy and out of all the names in both of our families, Vincent seemed like the nicest one. It was definitely on the "maybe" list. But on that particular day, I thought about that conversation I had with great grandpa and it dawned on me that the reason he was so happy that I was in school was because he sacrificed to make it so. He struggled as a child and he struggled as a young dad (he was 16 when he fathered my papa) to make life for his children better than his was. My papa in turn had better opportunities to make a life for his family, giving my mother everything she needed to give her kids the same. Great grandpa's hardship didn't just get his family through rough times, they created his legacy. You're a part of that.
That day at home, I put a message out to the universe in case there was any possible way that great grandpa would hear it. I told him if you were a boy, your name would be his. I told him just how much he reached me and how I was going to make his memory live on in some tiny way.
So please try and look like a Vince when you pop out. If not, he may get pissed and haunt us and it will be all your fault.
I have always wanted a little girl. This is a natural bi-product of living in a girls-only household, i.e. an open-door nudist utopia where everyone says how they feel and cries at the drop of a hat. So it doesn't surprise me that I grew up to want a little baby girl, a tiny me to whom I would say "I'm your mother, not your fucking buddy," but secretly regard as my best friend in the world. What does surprise me is what happened to me when I was convinced that the baby inside me was this little person, and then it turned out to be a boy.
Some of my favorite babies in the world are boys. Shit, most of my favorite adults in the world are boys. I am historically more connected to boys than girls. Yet, when I felt in my heart that my baby was a girl, this picture of her and our lives together started to come into focus a little more every day. I saw her face, I planned her "style," I anticipated her tiny showings of personality that would be a perfect mix of me and her dad. While I really didn't picture much that can't or won't happen with my son, all of these daydreams were wiped away in an instant when I was told he was a boy. It was simply because I had never even bothered to picture a son.
At first, I giggled. I was shocked. But still, I thought I was fine. A little mild disappointment but nothing crazy. As the day wore on, I tried to imagine this new little person, trying to get myself excited. Yet I couldn't stop seeing my daughter's face, the one I had constructed. For the life of me, I tried to just leave the image behind, clear the slate to create a new one. But I can't get past the feeling that I had this baby girl and now she is gone forever. I feel like I lost my baby.
Two days after hearing the news and I am still choking back tears. I am devastated, and more so, I am ashamed and disgusted. My son is healthy and I know I already love him but I can't bother to feel joy over him because I am too busy mourning an imaginary girl. A friend told me that this happens and that I need to let go of this shame. I know I can't help my feelings, even though I know they are stupid. All I can do is believe this will pass, simply because it needs to. I need to love my boy, even more than I loved the girl in my head.
One thing in life I have always feared, and feared alike my reaction to it, is pressure. It seems every time I start to succeed and the fruits of that success become apparent to me, I am as close to stumbling as I will ever be, if not already there. I panic every time I take a new job. I know I freaked out as soon as I realized my future husband actually liked me shortly after we met years ago. And now that I find myself in my 60th day of recovery, 10 pounds lighter than when I started, the hunger or rather the fear of the hunger is almost always at the edge of my thoughts. The scary thing is that I can't tell the difference--whether I am really craving a binge or just paralyzed in fear of it.
Emotions in general, whether they be positive or negative, make the food just that much more attractive. And fear is one powerful fucker. It almost feels like the inbred cousin of sadness and stress--my two biggest triggers. I feel like I've been fighting a bear off with a stick all week. There have been times I have gotten tired, lowered my guard for a split second, only to feel a claw swipe at my face. Then I am instantly snapped back into the battle. I am far from unscathed. But still alive. Still abstinent.
I kind of can't believe no one in program has made a terrible Hunger Games pun lately. I've been wanting to laugh at those words all week. Every time someone mentions going to see that movie, I think PSH movie. I'm living a fucking hunger game. How To Play: Figure out if you're really hungry. Object Of Game: Survival. Pretty similar. If only I could have a sweet bow and arrow. That would be sick.
I have always hated the word "spiritual." Mainly because I tied it to lazy people who want to believe in god but can't make up their fucking minds on which one. Even though this was shitty and ignorant of me, I still feel like a giant hypocrite now that I find myself "gaining spiritual weight." Yes, they actually say that.
Today, I find myself to be very spiritual. One, because I kind of have to be. Step work doesn't really fly without it. Two, I have come to realize that "spiritual" means something else entirely. Specifically, it means everything, which is vague. Haha. I find spiritualism everywhere. Anywhere I am doing something routine and feeling something extraordinary. Working out, for example, has become spiritual.
There will probably never come a day where I enjoy working out. It's not something I consider pleasurable. Surprise, surprise, coming from the fatty. However, it is not as bad as it used to be because almost every time I do it, I lose myself in the process. Rather, I give myself to the act, I resign to it, and I feel myself thrive both physically and sssssspiritually. Ugh. I still hate the word.
The spiritual component of working out is definitely a result of the music I have been choosing lately. Pre-program, I would always choose something angry and fast, like Meshuggah or SOAD, to make me aggressive and pound my body into submission. Looking back, it was a bit punishing. However, it's not like I am choosing the happiest of songs these days. I've actually been stopping my shuffle on songs I used to listen to while lonely and sad as a kid. Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, Radiohead. These are not cardio songs in any form.
They bubble my history of pain to the surface. And as I remember every detail, I go faster and faster. At first I thought I was running from it. Further punishing myself. But then I really felt as if I was running with it, through it, knowing that it will never go away but that I can still exist and even advance. It's the ultimate catharsis in its irony. As the song rises, at its point where it is the most emotive, at the point where the "me" 15 years ago would draw blood, I now transcend. I check out of my body. I am all memory and experience. I am past, present, and future. And as I come back, I come to peace with these memories, recognize their results, and trudge through it, knowing that I am just trying my best to heal.
Yesterday was my 30th day of program and I celebrated by going to a meeting, which is not typical for my Tuesdays. Mark is slated to attend his first Al-Anon this weekend which I think should really help both of us adjust to my being in program. I find that I am asking certain things of him and while he is always willing to do them, he still doesn't get really get it.
In order for him to truly help me, I think he has to understand why I need said things. I even sound ridiculous to myself when I ask him not to talk about food. It sounds like I am blaming him for my compulsions. I'm not, though. I have to be responsible for my own actions. But him mentioning food in sensuous detail or asking me what he should eat or what food we have in the house always brings my mind back to food when it is on it more than enough every day. So I have to set boundaries.
And really, he should too. I'm an addict and I am bound to make mistakes that will affect him. Learning to live with an addict should be a way for him to protect himself as well.
Moving on to phase two of step one. This is something I think I have been putting off. This is the time I am supposed to admit that my life had become unmanageable because of my addiction. What I find so challenging about this part is how it will proceed to take the blindfolds off and force me to look at my life as a list of missed opportunities and shortcomings. And once that blindfold is off, it's all over. My addiction will no longer be a "safe" place for me in which to hide. It never has been but now I will know it.
I also don't want to realize that all the work I did on myself to be OK with me and my body was in vain. All the acceptance I learned was just harboring and protecting my addict. I have to remember that it's great to be OK with me. But it's not so great to settle for anything less then the best I can do and the happiest I can live. My addict holds me back and I have to call her out. So here goes.
Things Impacted By My Overeating
1. Physical health - This is an easy one. Back and knee pain, gallstones, and fatty liver were never enough for me to think I had a problem. They should have been.
2. Confidence - I can't deny that my weight was a big part of my lack of confidence. It may not have been the only part but it still existed.
3. Relationships with men - Low self confidence would lead me to desperate, self-deprecating actions. I used sex to get love and it never worked.
4. Social handicaps - Always excluded myself from social occasions that involved physical activity because it would draw attention to the fact that I was out of shape and incapable of keeping up with my peers. Also, limited my activities because of my need to always have control of my food. Wouldn't go out at certain times because I HAD TO eat at certain times.
5. Shame - Every single person who has called me fat. Every single person who has said I would be pretty if I weren't fat. Every time I was embarrassed about my body. Was even kicked off a roller coaster because the seat belt wouldn't fasten over me. Ugh.
I feel like there is more but it's getting hard to dig farther. I get so afraid that I am lying to myself sometimes about certain things but I have to remember that this is a lifelong process, one that I have just started to explore. I am bound to make mistakes and will probably never stop discovering new things about me and my disease. All I can do is have the best intentions coupled with the best of my abilities.
I am really chickening out on the whole kids thing. Today, I had to take a pregnancy test and when it came out negative, I was almost more relieved than sad, which is weird. The last time I had to test, I was equally sad and relieved. I thought I would get progressively sadder with every negative test. However, since we've taken a break so I can go to Coachella and party properly and I've thrown myself into 12-step (those two sound weird in the same sentence), having a hell-spawn has definitely taken a back seat. This realization alone scares the shit out of me.
I mean, it's not like there is much in life that I'm not terrified of. We all now how much I like to whine about shit that hasn't even happened yet. However, me going back and forth between wanting a baby NOW and not being able to care less about a damn baby in the span of mere weeks makes me beg the question, "What am I going to do when it actually happens? How the hell am I going to feel then?" It just makes me feel irresponsible, impulsive, and dumb.
Are my life and mind instantly going to change as soon as that little plus sign shows up? Nothing in my life ever seems to change just like that, in the blink of an eye. I can't imagine it being like that. Yet, who knows? Certainly not me. I just know that when there was not plus sign today, I sighed in relief and was thankful for more time to work on me and sew the last of my wild oats. But when the hell is work on myself every going to be done? When the hell will I run out of wild oats to sew? Probably never. What the fuck do I do with that?
I think I could be bipolar. If a mild condition of bipolar exists, I could have it. Of course, I could just be full of shit. Who knows? The point is that for whatever reason, I am beginning to have intense feelings and a shit-ton of nervous energy to try and figure out how to use. I have a good idea that it's because I'm "not in the food" as they say. Nonetheless, I am beginning to feel 19 years old again--scared, confused, and afraid to be alone. Going through my entire LJ probably doesn't help.
I worked from home today and I've only really been WORKING for a few hours and I feel extremely alone and am compelled to find someone to talk to. I generally feel weepy and weak. The only thing that about this scenario that is different from the constant reoccurring fits of loneliness I had when I was younger is that I'm not mad at myself. It would probably take a lot for me to get back into that whole. Not to mention, I'm not "alone." I guess I wasn't alone back then either. I just chose to bitch about myself publicly and passively but never really reaching out to those I probably could have.
What would make me really uncomfortable right now is to call one of the many numbers I have collected from meetings. And, ugh, that means I have to do it. I kinda thought I had had my daily discomfort for today when I decided to call my dad and tell him I was in program and invite him to a meeting. (He accepted very easily and almost enthusiastically, which half surprised me.) But yeah. I guess I have to use my phone and try not to resent my need for people when it rears its head.
A history of nothing as remotely cool as violence.
I am officially on my first, first step. This step is basically the realization of your problem and admitting your powerlessness to yourself and at least one other person. I thought I was DEFINITELY covered since I've basically been broadcasting this whole fucking thing from the beginning to those interested enough to read and to listen to me in person. (BTW, thanks. :)) However, Sponsor says I may want to start this step by taking down a personal history. The torrid love affair between me and food. This is something I actually don't want to share, so of course I will. Taking any and all opportunities to make myself uncomfortable seems to be working for me. So here goes.
Was never, and I mean never, thin. For as long as I can remember, have been fat and love food. Rewarded with food. My grandmother offers me more food than any small kid should ever eat and gets mad when I don't say "no, thank you." (Jesus, the things you remember.) Single mother rarely cooks. Lots of fast food dinners. Mom's struggle with weight is constant and contagious. First time I started reading nutrition labels and counting calories was at age 8. Mom on and off diets. Fills house with low-cal fad foods for a few weeks then is back to normal junk. At school, well-liked by peers and teachers but teased by older kids. Well-meaning adult strangers tell me I'm too big for my age. Sister has to punk a few of my bullies.
Thinned out in high school but was still considered fat. Still living mostly off of fast food. Don't have many memories of overeating (besides when smoking pot, which I started to do occasionally). This is me at my healthiest, weirdly enough.
Pot smoking definitely contributing to overeating. Constantly hanging out with friends out of town, am NEVER home. Living off fast food hard core. And beer. Starting to work out and lose weight. Watching my sister become a vegetarian athlete who begins to lose a shit-ton of weight. Still not interested in dieting.
Still working out while online dating. Meet Mark. Stop working out. Breaking down and counting calories after back and knee pain begins. Lose 15 pounds in two weeks on a crash diet. Eat very little during the day to save all my calories for evening. Often gorge over my limit after work. Gain it all back in a matter of months. Finally combine working out with calorie counting after best friend loses a shit-ton of weight. Fall completely off the wagon while planning my wedding. Gain weight for my wedding. Decide to lose weight before having a baby. Hire two consecutive personal trainers and count calories. Lose 8 pounds. Stop counting calories and slacking at the gym. Plateau for 6 months.
Find OA. Start to pay attention to what fullness and overfullness feels like. Counting calories during the week but almost never need to consume my entire daily limit due to fullness. Yet to exclude any certain foods from diet. Evening out meals so they are proportionate to each other. Roughly planning my entire week's dinners every Monday. Learning to avoid stress eating. Practicing other coping mechanisms. Not rewarding myself with food. No longer being afraid of hunger.
It's actually a little hard to separate my history of food from my history in this body. They are somewhat one in the same.
One day at a time is a hard concept for someone who just LOVES to worry about the future as much as I do. For example, I'm not even pregnant and I am still worrying about how I will continue going to meetings after I have a baby. Aside from more trivial things like this, I find myself worrying more and more about how this process will affect my marriage. How will the program change me? Who am I supposed to be now? If it does change me, how will Mark and our relationship adapt? What if this new person I am now becoming doesn't love Mark anymore? What if he doesn't love the new me?
This all may seem a bit extreme. I'm not an alcoholic or drug addict. My addiction doesn't affect my daily personality as severely therefore my recovery will presumably act the same way. So where am I pulling all of this from? Then today, as it so often happens to me this way, I finally figured out all at once what I'm really afraid of. I'm afraid, no, terrified of losing the weight because it may make me more attractive to other men. Yeah. I mean, fuck! Do you know anyone else in the world who is afraid to be hot? JESUS. Only I would invent something that retarded.
But when I think back about my history with men, I kinda feel that I have always been starved for male attention, as many girls who grow up with semi-absent fathers tend to be. Speaking of daddy issues, not only am I seriously afraid that all men are like my father, I also lay awake at night wondering if I am just like him too. A cheater. I wouldn't know. I've never had the opportunity. And that's what scares the everloving shit out of me. If I become hot shit and dudes start hitting on me on the reg, not EVEN on the reg but AT ALL, how am I going to deal with that? Especially during times like these when I miss the excitement of a new relationship, will I really be able to keep my vows?
And of course, like all other things I am afraid to tell Mark because I think they sound terrible, he hugged me and told me everything would be OK after I explained this to him. He even smiled gigantically and told me it was the sweetest and cutest thing he had ever heard. That my fear of extra attention and how it could hurt him was flattering. He then reminded me that not all men (yeah right, NO MAN) will be as understanding as him and that I should try to remember that before shitting on our marriage by way of infidelity. It's definitely a good way to look at it. Another good way: Worry about tomorrow tomorrow and for fuck's sake relax.
We have to go back.
As some of you may know, I am going through a hard core nostalgia phase. In fact, I think I have been doing this way before picking up on journaling again. I'm supposed to have a baby in the next year or two and that finality of the end of my youth is making me miss past eras, as epic as they were. I had a good run at being a fucked up kid. And I find that every time I try to relive old moments, I only end up disappointed. The time is not the only thing that has changed. So too have the characters and the places in which we played these roles. There is no longer an island to get back to. There is no way to find it even if it were there.
I have no idea what this all has to do with my recovery but I'm beginning to feel like EVERYTHING has something to do with it. The obvious relation this whole thing has to it is the fact that a very dear friend of mine is drinking his life away and needs help. I feel like I could finally offer some of that help. Yet I wasn't intervened on and I can't imagine how that feels. All I know is the miraculous realization of a problem. Not all of us are so lucky. Many of us need that mirror brought to our faces and a surrounding of love to allow us to heal.
So now that I am officially sucked back into my LJ, I've been reading it every fucking night to an obscene degree. It is causing me to listen to old songs and want to talk to old friends. I almost feel 19 again which is just so weird. I was miserable then. But because I find myself again with OH SO MUCH to say, that really takes me back. Writing about myself was the biggest coping mechanism I had, although I was still definitely overeating back then as I have been my whole life. However, I'm pretty sure the food was a big part in snuffing out that desire to record everything. Finding Mark really shut me up and allowed me to be happy. Shutting up and being happy really allowed me to over-indulge.
I told my sponsor today that I have always been good at pampering myself and have never been good at taking care of myself. The self-loathing I experienced as a young adult made me feel like fuck it, I should just do whatever I want because I don't matter. Coincidentally, the self-confidence I found later on made me feel like fuck it, I deserve whatever pleasure I can grab. I'm awesome. I should be happy. Without care or consequence. So now it's like I'm reigning it all in and finally finding some balance. Growing the fuck up is more like it.
I stayed home today for no apparent reason and planted myself on my couch. Watched the Swedish version of Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Like the Fincher version better, which is completely biased since I always like the first version of every damn movie I see. I really hope this whole self-help thing is not wearing me out. It's bound to but I just hope it doesn't fuck up the rest of my life completely.
At one of the meetings, someone was talking about how they juggle all the things in their life and as soon as they feel that they have all the balls in the air, they come tumbling down. Keeping everything in order at all once never seems to last very long. I'm OK with the fact that something will have to give. For too long, it was my health that was the thing to give. When I was looking for a job, when I was planning my wedding. The only time I seemed to keep this particular ball somewhat in the air was when I was dating, because duh. Gotta be skinny (or less fat) to get that man. But I just hope I can keep most of my life in order while I prioritize this. Which reminds me that I have not touched my guitar all day. Or done much of anything productive. Yikes.
What I HAVE done is managed to comb through the archives of this journal. There is a particular entry I am looking for, a particular conquest at that, but for the most part I have just been milling through everything from the beginning. It's been embarrassing and heart-warming. Honestly, I thought I was done keeping a journal of any kind. I had just become exhausted with writing about my own thoughts. But now that I have all this time to HAVE thoughts and feelings
Tomorrow I'll go back to work, back to juggling.
I read something interesting today that the compulsion to overeat is a rage response. A temper tantrum. Tonight that made a fuckton of sense to me. Usually when I overeat, it is from a sense of entitlement after stress. "I deserve this. Today sucked." "I've been good all week, I need to treat myself." Really all this is is me throwing a fucking fit over life and overeating to make myself feel better.
When tonight I had the overwhelming urge to snack despite being full, I read some OA stuff like I have heard helps. It didn't. Then I just wanted to punch a goddamn wall. After a good mope, Mark asked me if I could do anything to get my aggression out. I skipped the gym because I had killer cramps and was unable to score a cup of coffee towards the end of my work day to combat the fatigue. This was part of my super bad mood since it would be the first time since coming back to OA that I would have failed at meeting a daily goal. So I did end up forcing myself to work out at home and really do feel better now. I'm glad I didn't cave but I am more scared than ever now. I am only beginning to scratch the surface of how hard managing this addiction is going to be. For the rest of my life. It is tempting to get sucked into that terrible truth. No wonder "one day at a time" is so much more comforting.
I'm pretty sure I've used the above words as an LJ topic since Trainspotting is such an awesome fucking movie. However, today's meaning of the phrase has a slightly less sardonic tone. The topic at my Monday meeting was how we choose life. The obvious answer to this question is by attending OA. However, attending meetings is but a single facet of doing the work to take control of your life so there is much more to it.
In my case, coming to OA wasn't the result of hitting a bottom therefor it isn't like I am now choosing life as opposed to dying a little everyday. It isn't as profound for me.
I've always been a happy. little. circle.
All the way back until the time I wasn't. As soon as I remembered that particular time, it occurred to me that THAT was the moment I chose life--back when I used to be a sad sack. A miserable, self-mutilating, self-loather.
There finally came a moment when I realized I needed confidence to survive. Not a diet or exercise plan. I somehow had the instinct to know that changing my body would not solve my problems. I still fully believe that and do not take it as just copping out of doing the work--which is kind of my MO. At that point, I just wasn't ready for the physical work. Change for me always starts from the core.
So yeah. I did that. I took a long and hard road of forcing myself to love myself and it really did change my life. Phase one of Choosing Life complete. With OA, this is phase two. I feel like I have already done half the work that OA does for you by learning to be OK with me for all my flaws and strengths. Now all I have to learn is how to match my body with my spirit and how to take care of this vessel as well as I take care of the passenger within. So again I find myself choosing life by working the program. And the best thing about choosing life is that you get to--and HAVE TO--choose it everyday.
This Monday, I attended my third OA meeting. The first two I attended in March of last year. After getting scared off by accidentally attended an OA 90 meeting (where they implement a 90-day program of abstaining from all refined sugar and flour...with the intention of giving it up for the rest of your life), I decided I could take control on my own. I was counting calories and had dumped $500 into personal training. I lost eight pounds. In ten months.
All my life, I thought something would happen to me that would finally motivate me to get healthy. I thought I would wake up one day like my sister did and decide to become a vegetarian marathon runner. While I never envisioned myself becoming this skinny person, I thought one day I would simply have enough of morbid obesity and do the work to become a little closer to an average size. When I realized I wanted a baby, I thought this was the moment I was waiting for. Finally, there was a reason important enough to do the work. I tried. It's difficult for me to say that I tried hard because "trying hard" for me always means accomplishment. I try hard and I succeed. But this time, I did try. I tried harder than I ever had before. And I failed. If I can't get healthy for my baby, how can I do it at all?
Last week out of nowhere, I had an epiphany. This whole thing, I always thought it was about losing weight or feeling healthier. It's not about that at all. It's about control. I don't have it. I am powerless when it comes to food.
Alas, step one in OA--realizing your powerlessness. I believe I am finally ready to do that and to find the strength and control that I need in the program and the support system it provides.
Fuck, typical of me. The perfect way for me to finally lose weight is to talk and talk and talk until my throat hurts. And goddamn, you know I love me some therapy. I've been in and out of it since I was 12. Talking to strangers has always been easy for me. Strangers can't hurt you. In addition to OA meetings, I will also be starting group therapy for eating disorders. Monday has officially become my spa day. 10 am is my meeting, 6:30 pm is group. While spas don't normally drain you emotionally and give you homework, you gotta put a positive spin on it and not let yourself think of the lifetime of work you have ahead of you to just be a normal goddamn eater. One day at a time. This journal is officially my OA story.
I regret not keeping up this thing because the last few entries I had were bleak as fuck what with my career and/or identity crisis. Acclimating into both and girlfriend and a college grad at the same time, I think, was perhaps a lot to deal with. Yet you would think I would be freaking out more now: 25 and about to be married.
My two best friends are getting married tomorrow. Five more of my friends will be married this year. I've had enough time to gawk at this but it is still one of those milestones you just can't believe you have finally reached.
Speaking of milestones, I made my first dollar from writing last week. I told myself a few years ago that as soon as this happened, I would find my seventh grade English teacher and thank her for being one of the biggest cogs in my inspiration machine: friends, family and mentors that have driven me. And while I REALLY haven't "made it" yet, I can now officially call myself a freelance writer by profession and oh my fuck does that feel good. And it's all because of Mark. I want to scream my gratitude at Mark every second of the day because he not only chose a field that makes money, he wants to use that money to support me. Without that, this would not be happening. Mark is my hero and I'll spend the rest of our lives thanking him.
Psh. This is why people don't blog when their happy. Garbage.
Never been so busy yet so poor.
Week Two at Curve Magazine started today. More fact checking. Excruciating. I know I chugged through years and years of school to get to one specific goal and I should treat a four-month, unpaid internship the same. However, it seems way harder, which I can't figure out. I worked and had four classes every semester for six years. I was either in a classroom or at a job six, even seven days a week. Why is working less than 40 hours a week bogging me down? It might have something to do with the fact that I only make money for less than 20 of those hours. And going to work while knowing the whole time you are not earning, it blows. It's also the fact that I still feel like a kid and people are looking on me to do very adult jobs. I got tossed three writing assignments today. One of them LARGE. And it was done so with the ease of reciting a grocery list. "Hey Briana, could you do this, this, this and this due then, then, then and then? K Thanks." It almost cracked me up before it made me want to cry and cry and cry. Ok it's not that much work but I feel like I am just two minutes shy of losing my shit. Semiconstantly. But it's ok. I am in week 2 of 16. 14 more to go and then I have a slightly better shot of getting a real fucking job. I hope. Fuck. Me.
I did not get the internship. I cried and cried and spent an entire weekend playing Guitar Hero Metallica in attempts to console myself. It worked, I guess. I bounced back pretty fast and have some new prospects. My dad was a driving force behind that. At the mere mention of me "taking a break," he launches into a full-force campaign on how that's bullshit and I need to get back on the horse and blah blah blah. My dad always forgets we are girls. What finally reminded him this time was when I shakily confessed that I can take just so many doors slammed in my face...I physically can't endure "no thanks" after "no thanks." This is the point where he pauses, says he gets it but reminds me he is the last person to go to for sympathy. And that is when I remind him that I didn't ask for any.
I applied for a job with Mark's work as a Music Data Editor. Basically data entry but all music data: reviews, recommendations, etc. I also landed a sit-down with a blogging network called LimeLife that may be able to offer me a fulltime position "down the line." Fucking bleak ass journalism.
Anyway, Mark and I are apartment hunting this weekend which makes me extremely stoked. This will be my first apartment. I'm totally scared but more excited. We've been wanting to live together for so long and I've been dying to leave home ever since graduation. Not like I don't get along with mom or anything but...nigga needs her own space.
Was intrigued to read the latest issue of Interview while waiting for a haircut. Zack Effron, whom I can't help but covet, was on the cover doused in mud and looking spectacular. However, the real drool-worthy pics were inside and not of him, but of now 26-year-old Keiran Culkin who has gotten so unbelievably hot all of a sudden. Well not quite suddenly. I have never seen Igby Goes Down but apparently he was hot in that movie back in 2002 and now I must see it.
I'll tell you where Igby can go down. Daymn.
Scored the second interview for a real writing internship. They are telling me they've been interviewing a lot of candidates and that it is most likely a temp position, but they are courting me so hard and putting me through such rigorous interviews that I am hoping they are just rattling my cage about it being temp and my chances of actually getting it. They tend to do that to see if you are dedicated enough.
I'm stoked. It's in Sunnyvale and it's basically product review and fashion blogging. I've been doing so much music journalism that I am in need for such frivolity. I'll continue to do music reviews on the side since it's good exposure. But as far as regular gigs go, this internship would be so fucking awesome...despite its terrible pay. I would be taking about a five dollar pay cut from the summer job I have lined up. Fuck. Hell of a time to move in with Mark as well. Although, he wants me to take any opportunities I can get and will help me out financially. Love him.
Mark and I are about the see I Love You, Man. We both wanted to see Aliens V. Monsters but heard the 3D wasn't spectacular like Coraline. Fff.
I was going to say other things? Right? It's just been so long since I've updated myself on myself. Been to working playing adult and talking to old friends about how weird it is that we're all adults. I wonder when the shock begins to wear off.
Back. My job is a real job insofar that I have actual projects and responsibility. I am "point of contact" person in some situations. I spend all day on the phone. I have meetings. I consult. I screen. I hire. I train. I discipline. Blah. Blah. Blah.
It's a lie I tell myself because it's not a real job. I won't have a real job until I get the job I went to school for. But this one really looks like a real job and I don't hate it do it could be a LOT worse. Like having no job at all.
But still, no brags and that's lame. It is so teasing to have a fake real job because it only seems like a real job until you tell people *in Apatheus voice* Actually, I'm a journalist. We laugh and laugh.
At least I get dressed for this job, which is a step. I am 24 and I need to look nice not just on the weekends. This means dresses, boots, belts, etc on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and so on.
And at least I am still writing and am writing for a real magazine that costs money (even though I am writing for the website and still not getting paid). My resume is sexy but so was I for the longest time before I found a real boyfriend. Parallels.
And the kids call me Miss Briana even though I beg them to stop.
Have a liver.
I, Briana Hernandez, have signed up with the Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry. Please join me in saving and enhancing the lives of thousands of people in need of your help. It took me only a few minutes to sign up -- minutes that could mean years of life for someone else.
To sign up or for more information, please visit http://www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org