Monthly Archives: November 2014

The “Tired” Trap

yawn

I think I have mentioned this before- that people tend to get the impression from me, because I am animated and expressive, that I am just brimming with energy…well, let me tell you, NOTHING could be further from the truth. I am the girl who once fell asleep in a bowling alley- while it was open for business, and PACKED- across several hard, plastic, bucket seats. When I am tired, my day is over, period. There is nothing anyone can say to talk me out of sleeping, and no place that I cannot fall asleep at, if necessary.

This sounds like a dream come true (hahaha) to insomniacs, I know. The problem doesn’t seem like much of a problem at all when you would LOVE to be able to sleep. But, on the opposite side of the equation, you have me, Rip Van Winkle’s love child, who can’t resist the Siren’s call of sleep, even when it’s like, I don’t know, five o’clock in the evening. The time change this year, and the shortening of the days has destroyed me. The minute it gets dark outside, my body is like- “Okay, time to roll it up for the night.” Meanwhile, my kids are like “Mom, we haven’t had dinner yet.” I have coined a new moniker for myself lately, as a direct result of having to stay up later than my body clock thinks is just, and so my body trudges on while my brain sleeps. It is “Mombie.” See? Like Zombie, only with “mom” in the front.

On Friday, I went to bed at 6:30 in the evening and slept until 8:30 the following morning. Now, that is just ridiculous by ANYONE’S standards. My four year old went to bed with me, and watched TV until probably 8 before she fell asleep. I don’t know what time I went to bed Saturday night, but last night, after Camryn’s birthday party insanity, we both passed out around 6:30, only she woke up at like 8, woke me up by pulling my hair, and placing a cold, empty bowl over my face (she has gotten creative, I guess). I got her whatever she needed and then promptly went back to sleep. With her, of course.

The thing is, I used to be able to just take a nap, and then move on with my day. Now, I know, ideally, if you are going to bed as early as I have been, taking a nap at 6:30 is not very smart- any naps should be taken by like noon, at the latest. But it seems to me that, lately, I can’t ever wake up from a nap, not completely. I usually just go with things until they start to bug me, and this is starting to bug me. I am sleeping my entire life away. I am up right now, but I could totally go back to bed and continue to sleep, indefinitely. As a matter of fact, it seems like the more I sleep, the tireder I get. Which makes no sense at all, except that it is what happens. Hmm…

So, first and foremost, I am going to strike the words “I’m tired” from my vocabulary. Sometimes, I say things so much that I start to believe them.  Second, no more naps. I am going to push through- God knows there are plenty of things I could be doing around here besides sleep. ( On a side note, I think that may be precisely WHY I am slinking off to sleep all the time. Total avoidance of other, less enjoyable chores and things to do). Third, I notice again and again, that when I am exercising, I feel a thousand times better. In the build up for Camryn’s party, I wasn’t able to find time to walk or go to the gym, but I am going to do both today. I guarantee that I will feel less exhausted by the end of the day. I don’t know why that works, as it seems to be the opposite of what a tired person would do, but it does work. There is also the whole general nutrition side of things, which I have written about before,  and I know that the foods I eat effect me greatly. I think it was Saturday night that I caught myself musing “I have not eaten one thing that was good for me today.” And it was true! It wasn’t even challenging to eat like I had a total death wish, either. Easy as pie. (hahaha, I am just full of unintentional jokes today)

So, here is the plan- walking, working out, if not NONE, then at least LESS crap food. No naps. Oh, and water, water, water. And finally, no more saying “I am SO tired.”

UGH.  Just talking about it is making me…less energetic. So, how about you? Have you, or are you now, stuck in the tired trap? How did you get out? How do you plan to get out? Are there any tips you may have for me? Seriously, please share, because this whole situation is just BUNK. I need your help!

Today

today

I am a grown woman. I have been through, and overcome, a lot. I am still not where I would like to be. But today, I am going to relax. I am going to do all of the things I need to do, like I always do, and it is going to be enough, the way it always is. I am going to stop beating myself up, and when the haranguing in my head starts, I am going to shut it down.

I am not even close to perfect. I never will be. Today, I am going to get over it. No one else is perfect, either, and if I ever got to be…well, it would be pretty lonely, wouldn’t it? I am flawed and immature, uncertain and conflicted about what to do next. So what? I am also hilarious, strong, curious and thoughtful. I am pretty great without changing anything. Today, I am going to appreciate my hopes of improvement without being tortured by them. The battle that goes on and on inside of me is wearing me out, so I am waving the white flag. Fine. I’m a fuck up. Whatever. Can we move on now?

Today, I am going to make the most of everything I have, instead of worrying about what I might run out of, what I don’t have, and what I will do in the event that I need something I can’t get. I will enjoy things the way they are instead of being upset that things aren’t going the way I had imagined them. I will like myself, instead of feeling disappointed. I will give myself credit for everything I do rather than scold myself for the things that I don’t.

Today, I am going to stop looking for happiness, and instead, just be happy. Everything doesn’t have to be so HARD. Life can be different, messy, weird…and still be wonderful. How many hours have I thrown away on worry, how much joy has been lost trying to meet an expectation? I am over it. This is the only life I can live right now, and I want to enjoy it.

I am me, this person, right now. There is no way around that. It’s very simple, yet I have made it into something difficult, as I tend to do. Today, I am letting it go, for my own peace of mind. Lets see if the sky falls, or the world stops turning. Somehow, I think it will be fine.

Sometimes, Obstacles are the Best Thing Ever.

Apparently, you can stop without completing the circle. Barely.
Apparently, you can stop without completing the circle. Barely.

I write about all sorts of things on this blog- really, whatever I feel like writing about when it comes to me. I know, now, that maybe that isn’t the best way to approach a “successful” blog venture (whatever the hell that is supposed to be), that if you want to attract a huge following, you should find an angle, find a particular “voice”, and then stick with that. Well, just so you know, I have no intention of doing that, at least, not today, and not in the foreseeable future. I started this blog because I love to write, and I wanted to write about things that I felt like writing about, in a place where I could share those thoughts with other people.

What is funny, though, is that I have been going through something recently that I haven’t wanted to talk about with anyone at all, not even myself. The last two days have been particularly bad, and the last thing I wanted to do was write about it here. Which is ridiculous, because what I am going through is real, and scary, and something that needs to be talked about, because I know that someone out there is going to relate. I haven’t wanted to talk about it because I didn’t want to upset or worry anyone, or have people think I am weak or stupid, or somehow less awesome than I am. But that is foolish, and I am not going on with the charade.

I have come so close to relapsing in the past two days, it is kind of a miracle that I didn’t. I don’t really have any explanation for why I didn’t, other than God must really be looking out for me. That is the only thing I can come up with. I had that anxious knot in my gut that told me I was on the ride now, and I couldn’t get off until I had seen it to it’s logical conclusion- which is always me, getting loaded. I have never before been so far gone and managed to escape without putting something altering in my body. Only this time, I did,

I made phone calls to people I shouldn’t have called. By the time they (invariably) called back, I couldn’t follow through with my mission for one reason or another. I visited places I shouldn’t have gone, and, by nothing other than the grace of God, or someone looking out for me, there was nothing there that I was looking for. I felt sick every time I got in my car, because I knew that I could not be trusted, that I was out looking for trouble, and this time, I might find it. I don’t know how I made it through, I really don’t.

Here is what I didn’t do- I didn’t call my sponsor. I didn’t reach out to anyone in recovery for help. I didn’t go to a meeting. I didn’t use any of the tools that I have learned over many, many years. Because I didn’t want to be talked out of my feverish quest to fuck myself over. I wanted to self destruct. Or, at least part of me did. There was also another part of me that was in there FREAKING OUT, begging me to stop, please, please stop. I wasn’t listening, though.

I want to share this with you now because maybe you can relate- I know people without problems with addiction just can’t get it, and that’s okay. I mean, it even sounds crazy to me, when I am feeling exceptionally well- like “why the hell would you want to mess up everything you have going for you?” I forget just as easily as if it had never been me. Then, one day, you go from going along just fine to total inner chaos. I didn’t want to wreck all the peace and happiness I have found, I just wanted, for a minute, to be who I was. Just for a day. But it is never a day, it is always more, and thank God, I didn’t have to go any further to remember that.

I don’t know if I am out of the woods yet. I woke up this morning just feeling incredibly grateful that the knot in my stomach had lessened, that I was still clean, that I didn’t open my eyes still determined to ruin my own life. I kept thinking “I am going to ruin Camryn’s birthday if I get high, there is no way I can pull this off.” and it’s true- even though her birthday isn’t until Sunday, in my heart, I knew…if I gave in today, Sunday was no longer going to be about Camryn. Nothing was going to be about anything but me, because that is how it goes.

So this morning, I thanked God profusely for the obstacles he put in my path over the past few days. I am so grateful right now for the phone calls that went unanswered, and the returned calls that I missed. I am so grateful that there were no drugs in the places I shouldn’t have been. I am so grateful to be sitting here, still feeling…everything.Thank you, thank you, thank you God. For the obstacles in my path that kept me clean, and for getting me through this. I am more grateful than I can adequately express.

Beautiful

It’s a beautiful morning here on the peninsula- still, the way only Sunday mornings ever really are, gray, misty, quiet. The only sound I could hear, as I sat out on my front porch with my mug of hot, strong coffee, was the clang of what I believe to be buoy bells- I could be wrong about that, but in my head, that is what those clangs are.

But that is not the kind of beautiful I want to talk about right now. I had an interesting conversation with my mom, yesterday. It probably wasn’t very interesting to her, but it stood out to me. It went like this- we were talking about my youngest daughter, Camryn, and how she is just getting cuter every day. I said something to the effect of, yes, she is just lovely, but it’s her personality that really takes it over the top for me, and my mom says “No, I think she is just beautiful, just a pretty girl.” To which I replied “Yeah, she reminds me more of Aisley (my older daughter) all the time.”  Then my mom says, and this is what got me thinking- “Now, don’t take this the wrong way, but I see a lot of me in her.”

This is Camryn, who looks just like my mom at this age
This is Camryn, who looks just like my mom at this age

Now, why would I take that the wrong way? I was confused, and told her as much- I was honestly not connecting the dots. “Well, ” she said, “I don’t want you to think that I am saying I am beautiful…” And the conversation went on, and then I was in the store, so I had to go, but her words stayed with me.

At first, I was baffled, but then, after a while, I was sad. My mother, one of the most beautiful women out of all of the mother’s I have ever met, doesn’t want me to think that she would be foolish enough to call herself beautiful. More pointedly, my mother doesn’t think that she is beautiful. Now, I struggle with this all the time, and I understand, but when your own mother, who happens to be so pretty that people are constantly commenting on it, says something like this- it really strikes a chord. And I have something to say about it.

This is my mom and I on my last birthday- she is gorgeous
This is my mom and I on my last birthday- she is gorgeous

Listen, ladies, lots of you may know this on a certain level- that there is more to beauty than a flat stomach, and a pleasing face- but when it comes down to it, I think we have a tough time internalizing and believing this truth, as it applies to us. But you know what? Fuck that. You are beautiful.

You look in the mirror, and maybe you see ten or twenty extra pounds, but your mother looks at you, at this person she loves, and she sees you vibrant and healthy, and everything you have ever been, and all of the things you are going to be. She sees you, and you are beautiful.

This is what you see.
This is what you see.
and this is what you are.
and this is what you are.

You see a picture of yourself, and you see gray hairs coming in, or crows feet, or maybe a face you don’t even recognize as your face anymore. But your children look at you, and they see the person they love more than anyone else in the world. They know your soft, cool hands that would soothe away nightmares, and the safety of your embrace, and the way you know what they really need when no one else does, and you are stunning. Nothing in the world could mar that kind of beauty.

we love you exactly as you are.
we love you exactly as you are.

You maybe don’t even bother with the mirror anymore. You long ago lost the idea that anything about you could be appealing or pretty. But let me tell you, your grandchildren? There is no place in the world they would rather be than in your lap, snuggled into your arms. There is no better place they can think of than your presence. You are the most beautiful person in the world.

This is beauty you can't mess with.
This is beauty you can’t mess with.

You may not fit the format that has been laid out before us- maybe you are too skinny, or not skinny enough, not quite there yet, or past your prime, maybe you hate your thighs or suck your stomach in, think your legs are too short or your boobs are too small. Maybe you spend a lot of time wishing things were how they used to be, or just different than they are now. Well, stop it. Because someone, the most important ones, look at you, look into you, and they see all of the things you ARE. Your great laugh, and your sharp wit, your kind heart, your willingness to be there, the ease with which you give.

Gorgeous laughter
Gorgeous laughter

Whoever you are, wherever you are at in your journey through life, you are beautiful. Way more than just a pretty face, my friend. And that includes you, my beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful, funny, strong, mom. I love you. I would be proud to have daughters just as radiant as you are.

My beautiful mother. And me. I'm not so bad, either.
My beautiful mother. And me. I’m not so bad, either.

The Life You Choose.

This may be the best quote ever.
This may be the best quote ever.

Do you ever have moments of clarity, where the truth about things is so clear to you that it is startling? Or, maybe, the thing that is revealed to you, simple as it is, is not at all the truth you were hoping for? I think it is pretty human, and therefore, normal, to want a certain thing, or things, to be true, to hope for certain outcomes…and it may even be normal to grapple a while with reality before the pain of that struggle becomes hampering, and we can relax enough, usually out of exhaustion, for the true nature of things to be revealed to us.

I don’t know. Every once in a while, I have these reality checks that come floating down from…somewhere, and they invariably tell me some glaring truth that I missed, while I was busy complicating things with my own over-thinking. The latest one was probably the worst so far. “You know,” my head whispered to me, “If you don’t take care of yourself, no one is going to make you, no one is going to fix you, and no one else can save you. If you don’t do it, no one is going to do it for you.” I mean, yeah, obviously, but I don’t think I was thinking that way. I think I was still trying to ride the wave of “Well, I don’t do drugs anymore.” Which I don’t want to downplay- not poisoning myself on a daily basis is, and always will be, a big deal. But it isn’t everything. There are other things that must be tended to.

The fact that I haven’t been tending to those things becomes evident when I start to slip into despair and depression, like I have written about recently. I don’t want to get dressed, I don’t want to get cleaned up, I don’t want to clean my house (well, I never want to do that) or open my mail, or go outside. I know that doing all of these things will make me feel better, but I don’t want to do them. I want to drop out of life. Not die, I am not suicidal, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t want to participate in the parade anymore. Because I am burrowed down into my little “safe” spot, miserable as it is, and it seems like an awful lot of effort to get going, to get up there on the level with you other humans, and stretch my legs, start to feel better again.

So, the other day, I was standing in my kitchen, and that is when I thought that thought- that “Yeah, go ahead and stay in your little hole, but life is going on all around you, and you are missing it. Stay here, but no one is going to drag you out into the light. You have to do it. You have to be responsible for you, and your happiness, and the fact that you are missing out.” It was like my subconscious was giving me a stern talking to. I was not very receptive. I went and lay on my bed in protest, in my pajamas, at four in the afternoon, and drooled into my pillow while watching some horrible reality show on MTV.

But the conversation (that took place only in my head) wouldn’t stop playing over in my head. I knew it was the truth, and at the bottom of that truth was that I was hurting no one more than myself, by refusing to get on the ride. I was missing out. That is what life IS- the motion, the action, the discomfort, sometimes. It brings with it laughter, and joy, and happiness. You can’t just pick and choose which experiences you will have and which you will skip over- that is not really living. By leaving my sweats on for days, and refusing to get outside or do anything, I was refusing ALL of it. Not just the hard, boring, uncomfortable, scary stuff, but the great part, the best parts, too. And it was up to me.

So, I went on a few rather grudging walks. The light started to inch it’s way closer. I took a bubble bath and put on clean clothes. A little closer. I took out the garbage and answered the phone when it rang. I felt better. Then, the day before yesterday, I really WANTED to take my dogs for a walk after work. I couldn’t wait. The minute I was off work, I was out the door, and we walked and walked, and halfway into our walk along the beach, I realized I was doing it- I was taking care of myself, and I felt better.

Yesterday, the need for a nap was, like, gone. I just didn’t need one. Just like I didn’t need a pill, or a therapist (although I do have one, don’t get me wrong) or a cheer squad to get me through it. I had the answer, right in my own head, or heart, or soul- wherever the truth about ourselves comes from- it was in me, all the time. I just needed to be willing to listen. I wish I didn’t need to be in such a sorry state before I can hear my own inner voice, and I guess that is something I will work on. Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you. Now, back to writing the novel. Have a wonderful Friday!

If Only You Were Here…

Lupine-1

Dear Grandma Eileen-

It has been so many, many years since I have heard your voice. Just so you know, I keep a picture of you on my refrigerator door, sitting there, at the end of that big oak table around which we shared so many happy meals, cups of coffee, games of gin rummy. My God, how terribly I miss you. I miss the smell of the make-up on your cheek, the sound of your voice saying “Corty”, or “Sweetheart” while you held me close in one of your wonderful hugs. I miss dialing your number and hearing you answer with “Mmm Yel-low.”

I miss being able to go home to you- I can go to your house any time I wish, but it is hard on me, now. Since you are not there, it just isn’t the same. I miss the way you loved me so much, you could look past the mess that I had become, and still see the sweet little girl inside of me. It is a gift, to be loved that way. I wish I had known it at the time. But I was very young, still, and terribly selfish. I was also very sick, and angry, and lost. I hope you have forgiven me for hurting you, wherever you are now.

I love you, still, and I miss you, always. If I had a magic wand, and I could go back in time, even just for a night, I would choose to go back to when I was a child, before you or papa were gone, just so I could be with you for a little while. How safe I felt then, and loved. I knew that when I was with you, there was nothing in the world that could ever hurt me. I am so grateful that you gave me that feeling, I am grateful for it all the time.

But I don’t have a magic wand. I only have my memories, and I do my best to keep them sharp and clear. I can’t change who I was, or take back my less kind moments, but I can remember the love you gave me, and the way it felt, and I can honor you by trying to love my children in that way. So that is what I do. I am not even nearly always successful, but I hope you can look down on me from heaven, and be proud of me. I hope that more than anything.

I was just thinking of you this morning, and wished that I could talk to you. This is the only way I could make it happen. I hope you are happy where you are, and that you look in on me, from time to time. I miss you, grandma. Thank you for loving me. It changed my life.

Love,

Courtney Loreanne.

Dear Glamour Magazine

Here is another old one for your reading enjoyment. I am still in the Nanowrimo race, and not quite ready to throw the towel in. So, I am recycling- FOR YOU. Please, don’t let my efforts be in vain. 🙂

After The Party

Dear Glamour Magazine:

I have been a subscriber to you off and on for the last fourteen years. It has come to my attention recently that you and I have nothing in common anymore, much like a friendship you outgrow over time. The main difference being, of course, that you and I were never really friends- you were always more like that super put together chick with the great skin and ridiculous figure I would run into at seven eleven when I had last nights make up under my eyes and chocolate smears on my sweat pants.  Yeah, that’s pretty much how you made me feel, like you were smiling politely to my face but the minute I shut your cover, you were whispering to all your anorexic super model friends “Did you see what she was wearing? I mean, seriously, why even BOTHER?

I understand you are…

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Routine Maintenance

I am re-blogging one of my older posts because I am in the throes of nano-insanity, and trust me, this is a lot better than anything I could come up with today. I am busy trying to crank out 1,500 words of fiction, so I can be a world famous, best selling author pretty soon. And you can say, “Hey, I read her blog!” And I will totally sign copies of the books you buy from me. Have a wonderful day.

After The Party

Recently, I had the extreme pleasure of being sent for my first mammogram…although I am only 36, I had been having some increasing pain in my left breast- so much so that I finally went to the doctor to have it checked out. Mind you- living, as we do, in this wonderful age of Google and WebMD, I was already a complete basket case by the time I got there. I found myself waiting in my doctors exam room, in that thin, blue, paper “robe” they give you, fighting back tears, sure I was lugging around a boob full of stage IV cancer. I lay there on the exam table, fondling myself like a sixteen year old boy (only I was looking for lumps, thank you.)while salsa music played through the speakers in the ceiling, making me feel like I was in some bizarre indie movie. Right before my doctor came…

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Weird Dreams With a Moral…have you had them?

dream-messages

I don’t often go into all my weird New-Age-y, kind of off beat, belief system, and I don’t know that I will go too far into it right now. Let’s just say I believe in lots of things that do not show up in the bible, and leave it at that. However, I am going to talk about dreams here. That is one thing that we can all agree we have in common, right? We all dream about stuff. Even people who claim they don’t usually dream (of course they do, they just don’t remember them) do occasionally have dreams they remember.

Lots of times, I have dreams that are, by anyone’s definition, a little…weird. Like, I generally have at least one or two very spiritual dreams about people who are close to me and die, right after they die. After my grandfather, whom I cherished, died, I dreamed that rather than him, my grandma had died first, and he was sitting at his kitchen table, lost, broken, and alone. I knew this was a message for me, from- him? God, maybe? My subconscious? It was a message from somewhere that things had to be the way they were. That, even though my papa had seemed like the strong one in life, living without my grandmother would have broken him. That things always happen as they are supposed to. That would have been odd enough, in and of itself. But years and years later, I was talking to my mom, and found out that she had had nearly the same exact dream after his death. Now, either one of us is lying (MOM), or there is something bigger at work here. I’ll let you decide which explanation works best for you, but I know what  I believe. We are not alone. There is more, WAY more, happening that we can’t see, and this is a comfort to me that I can get nowhere else. My “weird” dreams inspire my faith in a way that going to church just never could.

I dreamed about my paternal grandmother two nights in a row, in the days directly after her death. We had not been speaking when she died. In the first dream, she was very confused, and wasn’t sure where she was, or how she’d gotten there. She was with a friend of hers that used to live across the street from her in Fresno, Sally, and I honestly don’t know if she is actually alive still or not. In my dream, she was not. She was the guardian for my grandmother, helping her adjust a little before she went to heaven. It was another weird dream, where I could see the walls of Heaven from a back window of these “holding areas” that looked a lot like San Francisco row houses. Also, the houses grew from the roots of a giant tree, and the actual tree WAS Heaven, so…whatever that means. The next night, I dreamed I was at a train station with my grandmother, and she was getting ready to leave. But before she did, she wanted to tell me a thing or two. One of the things was that she understood why I had been so angry with her, and that she was sorry. Another was, that we were just alike. “Don’t be like me,” She told me, hugging me tightly. “You are surrounded by SO MUCH love. Don’t WASTE it.” That dream will stay with me forever.

Last night, I had another weird ass dream. I dreamed I was hanging out with my cousin Carie, and, though I don’t remember the details exactly, somehow or another, she died. It fell on me to have to tell her husband. There was much more to the dream than that, but I woke up with the meaning of the dream echoing in my head- you have all these people who just want to be part of your life, who just want to love you. Do not take that for granted. One of these days you might wish like hell you had been different.

Do you ever have dreams with a loud and clear moral? I mean, I can’t be alone in this, right? I am never alone in any of the other strange shit that goes on in my life. Oh, and by the way- these are just a very, very small sample of the meaningful but strange dreams I have had. I dreamed of my friend Sara the day after she died, and she told me she loved me, as we walked arm in arm through a beautiful forest. We walked to the edge of a lake, where her wife, Krissy, was swimming sadly way out in the middle and she said “Isn’t she beautiful?”, and everything about that dream reminded me of Sara at her best- calm, serene, and she was so peaceful.  I dreamed of my friend Jake, only months after he died, and he told me he was so happy where he was, and that this was exactly how everything had to be, and he was okay with it. He radiated joy. Everything I ever loved about him shone out of him, and none of the things I had disliked were there.

So, what do you think about all that? And, as a side note, I just got off the phone with the very cousin I dreamed about last night, and guess what? She just got out of the hospital, having had a septic blood infection from her sinuses. Coincidence? I think not!