Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Duty

Time seems to go in slow motion when anxiety has me in its grip.  I hate the way it makes me feel light headed and a little dizzy too.  The acid rises up in my throat, burning.  And the constant swallowing because my mouth is salivating because it feels like I’ve been punched in the stomach. 

I bring that up because now the next higher up has concurred with my immediate supervisor and their supervisor that my restricted duty status not be extended any further than it has already gone.  My stomach feels like it’s been used as a punching bag right now.  She was the one that went to bat for me last time and now she’s not batting for me anymore. 

It feels hopeless now.  I knew it was going to pan out this way.  I just knew that things had been going to well for me that something bad had to happen to me to burst my bubble.

I hate feeling pessimistic.  Especially when I can’t remedy it by having a thought marathon to work out the problem like in this situation.  I don’t like not being able to do anything about something.  I don’t like feeling helpless and out of control.  I don’t like the complete uncertainty of it all.

I work in a jail and our rank structure is paramilitary.  For instance, my immediate supervisors are called sergeants.  The sergeants’ supervisors are called lieutenants.  Above the lieutenants are captains.  The captains answer to the major and the major goes to the chief deputy.  Above everyone is the sheriff himself. 

Right now, my request has gone through the sergeants, lieutenants and the captain.  The next person to review it will be the major.  Apparently, he will request to meet with me in regards to this matter, but I don’t know when that is supposed to happen because after tomorrow, I’m out from work for at least 2 weeks.

My life seems to hang precariously in the balance right now and it’s swaying back and forth with the uncertainty of everything.  There’s no telling on what side it will stop or if it will just fall to the ground below.

It’s times like this that I wish I had a more active social life, so that I could distract myself with my friends.  I don’t like obsessing over this.  It does me no good to continuously think about it.  But I just keep bringing it up, trying to solve it, trying to work through it and find a way to make it work.  I don’t like it.

My hands are tied in this.  I’m at the mercy of others that only look at the big picture.  They don’t see the little picture, the details.  They don’t see me, they only see numbers.  They only see that I have been on restricted duty for 6 months and that the shift is hurting for staff.  They don’t see that they could possibly be ruining my life.  They don’t see the mechanic bill and the payday loan I have to pay.  They don’t see me.

Yea, sure, if I get demoted, I’ll only lose 10% of my paycheck.  But I can’t afford even that.  That’s $4500 a year, gone.  That is essentially my entire move to Oregon fund right there.  That’s $375 a month.  I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills, let alone save up enough money to do anything…meet Jessica in Vegas or move to Oregon toward the end of next year.  And that is just unacceptable to me.  I have to do whatever I can to make sure that doesn’t happen.

I wish I could stop thinking about it.  It’s consuming me from the inside out.  All I’m doing is sending out negative energy when I should be doing my best to send out positive energy.

I wish that my grandparents had put me on their church’s prayer list for my job worries and not for the surgery.  I know I could use the spiritual back up that would provide.  Just knowing that others were hoping that things turn out favorably for me would be enough for me to think more positively.  Sure, being on the list for the surgery seems like the appropriate thing to do and, don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate the thought behind it, I’d really much rather have consideration for my job and financial issues right now.  Those are what are really bothering me.  Those are what I really need as much strength as I can get in.

And obsessing over it all isn’t doing me any good.  All it will do is to cause my food to not settle and for me to have irritable bowel moments.  And that’s never any fun.

It makes it almost impossible to sleep.  I toss and turn, never getting comfortable.  My body temperature goes up and I start sweating under the covers.  I have a migraine from my blood pressure being high for so many hours in the day.  I turn on the a/c because the cold helps when I get migraines.  I have to take a sleeping pill if I hope to sleep at all.  And, sometimes, that doesn’t even work.  Sometimes, the anxiety is strong than the sleeping pills.

Things have not always gone well in my life, to say the least.  I have my share of problems and troubles.  Sometimes, I think I have more than my share.  But, as I’ve said before, “god” (or what/whoever is out there watching over us) would never give me more than I can handle, so I know from knowing that that I can do this, that I can solve this.

There are times when I just want to give up.  It’s times like this when I am thankful for the “happy pills” that my doctor prescribes me because, without them, it would seem immeasurably hopeless, more so than I would think I could handle or want to face.  I just want to curl up, sleep forever and never wake up again.  Thankfully, even without the pills, I don’t think I would ever be able to do that.  I love my life too much.  Yea, that sounds like a contradiction and, sometimes, it is, but it’s still the truth.  I do love my life.  I love living and having experiences, even if they’re bad ones.  I still learn something new about myself or the world around me and I love that.

One thing that I have planned to do that may make things a little easier on me.  Frankly, it’s the only solution I can come up with to even begin to attempt to fix the situation that I’m in right now with work.  My doctor has given me 2 weeks off from work to recover from surgery.  I cannot go back on restricted duty.  I just can’t.  Keeping my job as it is right now depends on that.  I will explain myself to my doctor and tell him I either need more time off from work or that he must release me to return to my regular job.


I stepped on the scale last night.  It registered another 3.2 pounds lost!  That’s a total of 8.4 pounds in a month.  Hooray for me!  I feel good.  I’m off my acid reflux pills and only have to eat 1 Tums every couple days.  I know that as I continue to lose weight, there will be a point where I don’t have any reflux problems at all.

I know that stress probably helped my weight loss along somewhat this week.  And I’m okay with that.  I still ate what I needed to eat each day to reach my points for that day.  I’m doing good.  In fact, I think, as of today, I’m going to add a second boiled egg to my afternoon snack.  More protein is good for me.  Besides, I almost always have a few points left over at the end of the day, so why not use that deficit to eat another egg.  1 just never seems like enough to me.

My daily points have gone from 35 to 34 and now to 33.  I’m proud of this.  It means I’m making progress.  I’m already going to have to buy smaller pants soon.  I’ll be a size 14 before I know it!

I’m almost back down to my pre-injury weight.  I’m excited about that.  That means that, as long as I continue to lose a little bit of weight each week while I’m off from work recovering from surgery, I will be able to fit into my uniform, even if just barely.  This is good news for me.  I was so worried that I wasn’t going to fit into my uniform shirts.

I am so happy that the weight loss seems to be going so well for me, especially when I thought I wouldn’t lose anything at all since I wasn’t able to exercise.  I know I keep coming back to that, but it really is something that caught me off guard.  I didn’t think I would actually lose anything.  I thought I would basically just maintain the weight I was at.  But, no, I’ve lost almost 9 pounds so far.

The only time I really feel hungry is between breakfast and my mid-morning snack of a can of tuna.  Once I eat that can of tuna, I’ve got protein in my system and then I’m good to go for the day.  Every time I eat after breakfast, I am having some amount of protein.  Protein is important to maintain that feeling of fullness, of satisfaction.

I know so much about nutrition from my attempts at bodybuilding and the times that I have done a suedo-vegetarian diet and regular diets too.  I know so much that, if it were allowable, I could probably test out and get my degree in nutrition without taking a single class.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Looking Pretty

Tomorrow is my last day of work before my surgery.  It’s only a half day, so it’s not too bad.  I get off at noon, which is good because I need to cash the check that my parents sent me and go pay the court fees on the two tickets I got the other day so that they’re taken care of. 

I really couldn’t be more excited about my surgery.  I’m still worried about my job.  Things are really just up in the air for me right now regarding that. 

I imagine that 2 weeks is probably enough time for me to heal enough and get over being too sore enough for me to return to full duty.  I’ll have my staples out by then.  I have a pretty high pain tolerance, so that will help me out too.

I need to buy a new pair of pants for work.  With all the weight I’ve gained this past year, I don’t fit in the pants that they issued me anymore.  I’m just hoping I can squeeze myself into my uniform shirt still.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to pull that one off, thanks to the little bit of weight I have managed to lose recently.

Maybe, if I am able to get back to work as quickly as only 2 weeks after surgery, maybe I can start doing activities not too much longer after that.  Of course, they did tell me that it should really be as close to around 2 months after the surgery before I do anything really active.  But I should be able to get away with walking more, hiking, and using the elliptical machine on a regular basis.  I would say maybe a month to 6 weeks after surgery, I should be okay to go kayaking with Doug.  And then at the 2 month mark, I can start going on bicycling trips.  Oh it will be so nice to be able to do these things again.

I really miss riding my bike and doing more things outdoors.  Sure, I didn’t do a whole lot out of doors all last year thanks to being completely in love and enthralled with Jon-Pierre and then due to the herniated discs in my lower back.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss it right now.  In fact, it makes me miss it even more than I otherwise would, more than if it had all just been due to my injury.  I yearn for it.  I love being outside. 

The weather yesterday really made me ache for being outside.  It was sunny and mild, about 80 degrees out.  It was perfect for a 3-4 hour bicycle ride, or a little bit of hiking with a picnic, or for a day of kayaking.  Just perfect.

I want to go on a camping trip this year sometime.  Sure, it will probably be just me and the dog, but that’s fine with me.  Maybe I can get Doug to go too.  I want to go to Big Bend National Park.  I’ve never been and I always hear great things about it.  If Doug doesn’t have camping gear, then I’ll have to buy some.  I’ll buy a tent and an inflatable mattress and a sleeping bag.  Hell, should probably buy those things anyway, just so I have them and also because I’ll most likely end up camping alone.

I found and bought the perfect swimsuit yesterday!  It’s exactly what I had described to myself as wanting.  Black, with a skirt just long enough to hid the lumpiness of my hips and thighs.  It is a size 16, but it’s tight enough that it will still fit me when I’m a size 14 or even a 12.  Now, I just need to have and heal from surgery and buy a life jacket so that I can go kayaking with Doug.  It’s a very classy cut suit too.

Something else I will be able to do is to workout on my lunch break at work.  I’ll be able to do 45 minutes on the elliptical machine they have in the workout room.  Of course, that’s the only thing they have in the workout room.  There used to be a treadmill too, but they took it out and moved it elsewhere.  But that extra 45 minutes of cardio on the days I work will help out a lot as far as weight loss goes.

I’ve decided not to sell my bicycle.  I’m going to fix it up instead.  It needs a new crank.  A decent new one of those runs about $150 and up.  The chain slips too, but replacing the crank may actually take care of that problem as well.  There is also a place where I can volunteer (minimum of 20 hours in 6 months) and learn how to fix bicycles!  How cool is that?  So, I think once I’m doing better from the surgery, that I will start to volunteer there.  It would be so awesome to be able to work on my own bicycle.  I need to have the crank for the pedals replaced because the bearings are pretty much completely shot.  Also, the chain needs to be either replaced or tightened because it slips every now and then.

I’m going to a small renaissance fair early next month with my friend Denise.  I won’t have much money to spend due to the payday loan I have to pay, but it will still be a good time and it will be fun to get to hang out with Denise outside of work.  I still need to meet her doggies.  She has 4 dachshunds.  I want to take my doggie over to meet her doggies so they can all play together.  My dog really needs to be socialized more often, just like I do.


I wrote my Aunt Marilyn the other day.  She had sent me a little package with a darling Christmas ornament that was a snowman that said “daughter” on it and some dragon earrings.  Unfortunately, I can’t wear the earrings because they’re the kind where the front of the dragon is on the front of the ear and the hind end is behind the ear.  I have zero gauge holes in my earlobes, so I can’t wear them.  I’ll probably try to sell them on eBay for like $10.

I love my Aunt Marilyn.  She’s an awesome lady.  When I used to go and spend time with her when I was little, people used to think that we were either sisters or mother and daughter because we looked so alike.  We both had strawberry-blond hair and blue eyes.  Now, we both bleach our hair. 

I used to spend a lot of time with her when I was a child.  At one point, she had a couple horses and I remember us going for horseback rides on them.  I remember eating deer liver with onions and loving it at her house with my dad.

I love writing letters.  I love telling people what’s going on with my life.  I also love receiving letters.  I love hearing what is going on with them.  I don’t care if it’s handwritten or typed or emailed; I love it all.  I love having that communication, that connection, with them.  It makes me feel like a part of something.  It makes me feel like I’m important because they took the time to write to me and they think enough of me to let me know personal things about them.


My Valentine’s present to myself arrived the other day, a pair of grey boots.  I love the boots.  I love the style, over the knee.  They are so comfortable too.  There’s no heel to them, so they won’t make my feet hurt if I have to stand up or walk a decent amount.  And they’ll go with just about anything, especially casual dresses and skirts.  Skinny jeans too, once I’m slim enough to wear those again.  And the color, as opposed to black, will go with most everything color-wise, without being overbearing in any way.

Something else I’d like to focus on is looking my best at all times.  That means maybe wearing makeup everyday and flatironing my hair everyday so that it lies just right.  That means buying clothes that flatter my figure and not disguise it or do insult to it.  I want to take pride in how I look and not worry about looking bad or frumpy.  I want to be considered pretty, or at least good to look at.

I’m not unattractive, but I feel that way a lot lately.  I’m overweight, so that doesn’t help in the slightest.  But I’ve started getting my nails done on a regular basis.  I bought a pretty watch.  I’ve been paying attention to how my body looks in the mirror ever since I saw a picture of myself from my birthday party when I realized just how fat I had actually become.  I was horrified when I saw that picture.

It’s getting close to me having to buy a size smaller jeans.  I’m excited about that.  My size 16’s are getting a little baggy on me.  I tightened up my belt one more notch the other day too.  So I know I’m making progress.  I weigh myself today.  So we shall see how much I have or haven’t lost this past week when I step on the scale after work today.  I’ve already gone down a shirt size, from 2XL to just regular XL.  My end goal shirt size is medium.  My goal pants size is a 10/11.  If I can make it down to an 8/9 that would be great, but I’ll be happy with 10/11.

When I’ve reached my goal weight of 170, I will by myself a new belt.  That’ll be the final stroke.  The new belt will be my certificate of achievement. 

I have a pair of jeans that I used to wear all the time when I was smaller and can no longer fit in.  Once I can fit in those jeans again and have a little room in them, I will know I have reached my goal. 

Of course, I will continue eating simply and healthy and if I can lose an extra 20 pounds and make it down to 150, that will be great.  I’m not going to actively try for that extra bit of loss, but if it happens, then great!  I will also continue Weight Watchers for a little bit after I’ve finished losing the weight I want to lose.  Once I’m comfortable that I can maintain my weight loss, I’ll terminate my Weight Watchers membership and go to using SparkPeople.com. 

Everything I want to do is all about taking the best care of myself that I can.  I want to look good and feel good in every way possible.  I want to be meticulous.  I want to wake up 30 minutes earlier so that I can put makeup on every day and straighten my hair.  I want to iron my uniform and make it look sharp and professional.  I don’t want to look like a wrinkled slob with pimples.  Like I said before, I want to be pretty.

Part of my plan is to get a new gym membership at a better gym.  I currently have a membership at Planet Fitness, but they don’t offer any classes.  I want a gym with classes and also with a true 24-hour schedule.  So, my choice is 24-hour Fitness.  They have a real 24-hour schedule and they offer classes and there are 2 locations right near my apartment.  I want to take spinning classes, kickboxing classes and pilates classes.  If they have a kettle bell class, I’d like to take that as well.  I just want to have fun with my gym membership really.


I have plans to see my friend Jessica in Wisconsin this year.  I’m really hoping that I’ll still be able to do that.  The first option is driving up to her place, the original plan for that falling in July.  The back up plan, the one that will probably more than likely happen between the two, is meeting up with her in Las Vegas in November.  I really think we’d have more fun if we were to meet up in Vegas.  Although I’m sure her kids are great, I’d really rather have a girls vacation where we can have fun and show off our new slimmer bodies together.  So, I’m shooting for that one.  Which means as soon as I pay off the mechanic, I need to start putting money aside for Vegas.

I haven’t seen Jessica in over 15 years, yet her and I have remained close friends.  We even went for many years without talking at all.  I’m not entirely sure how we reconnected.  I think she called my mom or sent a letter to my parents’ house for me.  That seems to make the most sense because that was before MySpace and definitely before Facebook.  I didn’t even have my own computer at that time.

When I talked to her on the phone for the first time in about 15 years 2 years ago, her accent caught me completely off guard.  It was so thick.  I remember I was having bicycle troubles.  I had gotten a flat and I didn’t have any money.  Between her and my friend Louis, a credit card was called in over the phone and a new tube was purchased for me and I was saved.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Making it Personal


Things seem to be starting to look up for me again.  My parents agreed to loan me the $300 and today, today my truck passed the safety and emissions test.  So, now my truck is completely legal again.  Hooray!  No more worrying about getting pulled over.  No more worrying about how I'm going to pay the court fees for the tickets I did get.  No more worrying about the courtesy officer towing my truck.  I pick up the FMLA paperwork from my doctor’s office today, so hopefully also no more worrying about being demoted at work because if I'm on FML then they can’t legally touch me. 

Of course, the doctor only signed the paperwork with 2 weeks off work for me.  Aaargh!  Oh well.  Maybe I'll be lucky and I'll feel well enough to return to full duty after that 2 weeks.  Or, maybe I'll still hurt like hell and he’ll give me more time.  Only time will tell.

I have the wonderful ability to heal quite well and quite quickly.  I'm wondering if this will rear its wonderful head with the recovery from this surgery.  I really could use the rapid healing gene I inherited from my father to kick in on this one.  I would like to see if I'm feeling well enough and not too sore to return to full duty after the 2 weeks post-op.  On one hand I pretty much doubt it.  But, on the other hand, a body can do surprising things sometimes.  Maybe my determination will shine through and I can will myself healed.  The power of mind over matter is truly something to behold.

I'm not going to hold my breath or anything equally as silly as that.  I will do my best to keep myself devoid of expectations.  I want to approach it with a clean and clear mind.  I don’t want to disappoint myself with this.

Surgery is less than a week away and I couldn’t be more excited.  I’ve been keeping my mind busy with chores such as what should I wear to the hospital.  I really hope that this is my light at the end of the long, dark tunnel I have been in for 6 months now.

I am very nervous too, but not about the surgery.  I trust the surgeon, so I'm not worried about that.  What I am worried about is the state of my job.  What will be the final decision on my restrictive duty extension request?  Will it ultimately get denied and, if it does, will I already be back on full duty so it won’t really matter?  Or will it get denied too early for me to return to full duty and I have to pursue legal options to fight it?  Maybe I'll get lucky and the higher ups that still have to review it will take mercy on me and will find it in their hearts to extend my request.  I'm not putting much stock in that option, though.  I just have a bad feeling about this and I don’t like.  It’s completely out of my control.  I don’t like it when things that have to do with me are out of my hands.  I don’t like not knowing how my immediate future is going to go.  I don’t like being insecure about my standing at my job…my job that I’ve been at for almost 8½ years. 

I know it’s not personal, but how can I take it any way other than personal when it feels personal?  I feel like my feet have been kicked out from under me and I'm not able to regain my footing and just keep falling back down.  I feel like the other 8 years that I have worked at this job have been for nothing, that they mean nothing…that they could just consider throwing me away or, at the very least, to the wayside, without much thought to it.


I was up at the pre-crack of dawn this morning.  4:30 in the morning.  Sure if it’s a day I work, no problem.  But I don’t work today.  It’s my weekend off.  Every other weekend, I get a 3-day weekend.  It’s nice.  One of the perks of working a 12-hour shift at the jail.  I’ve attempted to keep myself busy so far today.  I’ve started 2 new paintings, which now gives me 4 paintings that are half done and that just await the addition of their subjects.  I walked the dog for 2 hours.  Accomplished making my feet and my back hurt and then went right back to boredom.

I’ve read a little of the book I'm currently reading, A Bad Bride’s Tale by Polly Williams, this morning as well.  So far it’s a good book.  I’ve read her other book and I really enjoyed that.  Sure, I’ve been on a memoir reading kick lately.  Guess I just need to occasionally take a little break from them and get some good old fashioned fiction in the mix.

Caught one of my best friends, Eileen, on the instant messenger and talked to her for a little bit.  We talked about doing a “happy hour” at a pottery studio for one of our girls nights out.  I think it’s a fantastic idea and actually look forward to it.  I could make a nice (hopefully) vase and then paint it before I take it back to be glazed.  I love doing anything artistic.

Speaking of doing artistic activities, I have plans to visit an outdoor sculpture garden with my friend Doug this afternoon.  I'm going to take my camera since I’ve never been before.  Hopefully I'll get some good shots.  Maybe I'll even get inspired for my paintings. 

Whenever I type Doug’s name, for some reason I always add an “h,” making it Dough.  I don’t know why.  It’s not like he’s fat, he’s not.  Or that he’s soft.  He’s sweet, yes, but I don’t think he’s soft. 

The sculpture garden was very nice and I took some good pictures of the sculptures and it was nice to be out in the open.  However, it was smaller than either of us had anticipated and it only took about half an hour to tour the whole garden.  I did buy a postcard of a bronze cat sculpture that I framed in a blue picture frame.  The frame compliments the blue and green of the weathered bronze of the cat.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wall of Me

The good news is that my parents agreed to loan me the money and are mailing me a check for the $300 I begged and pleaded for.  I really am lucky to have such wonderful parents that care about my welfare.  I just feel dirty for even having to ask them for such a favor when I’m 33 years old.  I mean, seriously, shouldn’t I be able to handle this on my own?  Shouldn’t I have money saved up for times just like this?  Yea, I should, but of course, I’m horrible at actually sticking to a budget.  I need to remedy that.  I need to make a strict budget with money to be set aside for savings.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to do that until I’ve paid off the mechanic and/or the payday loan.  I will get there, though.

It just pains me that all this trouble I’m having is just delaying my move to Oregon.  The good things that will come out of this are that I will have a vehicle in better condition and that I will probably still be at my job when I hit my 10 year anniversary.  So then I’ll have another certificate to place on my “Wall of Me.”  Yes, I have a “Wall of Me.”  What is that, you ask?  Well, it’s a wall that I have dedicated to my accomplishments, much like when you go to a doctor’s office…his actual office, not just an exam room…where he has his diplomas and awards framed behind his desk.  These certificates I have include a handgun qualification, my honorable discharge from the military and valedictorian of my corrections officer training course, among others.

I once dated a guy who thought the idea of me having a “Wall of Me” was an incredibly self-centered thing.  The ironic thing was that he was incredibly self-centered and egomaniacal.  He was obsessed with himself.  Frankly, I don’t see why it’s such a bad thing to be proud of your own accomplishments.

Currently, my “Wall of Me” resides in the entry way to my apartment on the wall behind the door.  Not everybody that sees it when they come over.  So, while it’s in plain view, it’s still sort of a private thing.  I like that.  I put it up for me, after all.

My parents loaning me this money means a lot to me even though it’s a bitter sweet thing.  Like I said, I felt dirty after I got off the phone with my mom last night.  I felt dirty that I had to go crawling to mommy and daddy and beg them to get me out of a jam that I had gotten myself into and couldn’t get myself out of on my own. 

I hope that this is the last time ever that I have to beg and plead to my parents for help.  It’s just ridiculous that I had to do it now.  Things were going so well for me and then bam! all of a sudden things are completely screwed up and I was left standing there with my thumb up my bum wondering what hit me, a semi truck or a train? 

Something else that will help is that I have already sold one of my Wii games and I have someone that is interested in buying my Wii console.  So that’s good news.  Every little bit helps, really.  I haven’t yet put my bicycle up for sale.  I’m really not sure if I want to part with it.  At least, not until I’ve bought a new (or new-to-me) road bike to replace it.  I really want to be able to ride a bicycle when I’m recovered from my surgery. 

I need to be able to do as many low to no cost activities so that I can so I can save up money.  I also want to do as much active activities as I can so I can continue to lose weight and be fit again.  That means a lot to me.  I lost sight of who I was and what I was about when I met Jon-Pierre.  I really let myself go for him.  I thought I was happy, but I really wasn’t.  I guess I’m pretty good at lying to myself.

That always happens to me.  I lose sight of myself and my goals whenever I meet a guy.  It didn’t always happen, though.  There was a time when I was able to maintain my individuality when in a relationship.  That was before Vance.  Vance really broke me down emotionally.  I dated him when I was 22 to 23.  We were only together for about 13 months, but in that time he did a lot of damage.  He had gotten me pregnant and then kept going back and forth with whether he thought we should keep the baby or terminate the pregnancy.  Eventually, and at the last moment, he decided that we couldn’t afford to keep the baby, so I went to the clinic and had it terminated.  It was not a fun experience for me.  It was horrible and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.  He then proceeded to call me a murderer for getting an abortion. 

He had been cheating on me almost the whole time we were together.  In the end, he got another girl pregnant and left me for her, saying that “at least she won’t murder my baby.”  He put me through hell and I came out of it very worse for wear.  I had lost all confidence in myself and proceeded to embark upon a long journey of self-destructive, controlling, and emotionally abusive relationships.  I want to be done with that pattern. 

I want to have a healthy relationship and the only way for me to do that is to abstain from any and all relationships beyond friendship and get to know myself again and find my inner power and freedom again. 

I don’t want to become just a female version of the guy I’m dating.  I want to retain my identity and be my own person.  I want to have my own will.  I find only frustration when I adopt his mannerisms, his habits, his thoughts.  It’s never a good thing to actually lose yourself in someone else.  When you do that, you lose a piece of yourself that you may never be able to get back again.

Sometimes, I wonder if I’m not meant to be single.  Or at least not meant to be married or in a long-term, committed relationship.  If that is how it is, then I suppose I could be fine with that.  Of course, it would be nice if there was a way to know that that was the plan for me.  There isn’t.  So I just have to wing it and hope that I don’t get hurt too badly in the end.

Sometimes, I feel young.  Other times I am painfully aware that I am 33 and aging.  Each day, I look more and more like my mother.  It doesn’t help being overweight either.  My mother was overweight the whole time I was growing up and well into my adult life.  She’s recently lost some weight and I saw a picture of her and she looks fantastic.  Which is more than I can say for myself.  I look frumpy and like I’ve let myself go.  A year ago, I was fit, vibrant and felt young.  Not so much anymore.  I just feel as though a great weight has been laid on my chest.  It’s hard for me to breathe or move without feeling it.  I’ve done so much to mess up my life in the last year.  I’m afraid I’ll never get my life back.  I was happy.  I didn’t need anything.  I didn’t want anything.  And yet, I threw it all away for a guy.  Just a guy.  No one special.  Just someone who knew the right things to say at the right moments and filled me up with romantic promises and expectations only to let me down with the truth, that he was lazy and commitment-phobic.  He teased me with thoughts of the beautiful and perfect engagement ring he had already picked out for me and told me how much he wanted to marry me and grow old with me, only to drop me like a bad habit and quicker than a hot potato.

Sometimes I feel optimistic and I think everything will turn out alright.  Sometimes, the pessimism over no one wanting me or loving me is just too overwhelming for me to fight through it and come out unscathed.  I’m okay with being unattached in love.  I’m okay with that.  Really, I am.  There’s no convincing myself of this, I know it to be fact.  I’ve been there before so I know it’s not bad.  I know it can even be fun. 

We all want our knight in shining armor to come riding up gallantly on horseback and pull us up onto his horse and ride off into the sunset with his strong, secure arms wrapped around us, making us feel safe and warm.  Well, wake up, because that’s just not going to happen…ever.  You might get lucky enough to find a man that doesn’t mind scrubbing dishes or putting down the toilet seat, but you’ll never find that 100% chivalrous man.  You’re going to have to “settle.”  That’s right, settle.  I know, evil word, but it’s the truth.  I know when I have looked for the “perfect” guy for me, my criteria has changed a little bit over the years.  It used to be that I was looking for someone witty, kind, generous, stable, attractive, fun.  Now, if you were to ask me for my man criteria, you would hear “not an asshole.” 

I am definitely getting older.  The way I dress is more about practicality than ever before.  It used to be that I didn’t want to wear a dress or a skirt or pretty heels because what if I got in a fight.  Now, it’s all about looking “classy,” not sexy.  What the hell?  When did I become a fuddy-duddy?  A stick in the mud?  When did staying up past 9pm become such an ordeal? 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Defeated

I have a feeling of defeat over this whole financial issue.  Last night when I went to go to bed I had overwhelming anxiety.  Not too too overwhelming, but enough that I had to take a sleeping pill because I was so wound up that I couldn’t get myself to fall asleep.  I slept really good as a result, which I really needed to do.  I didn’t sleep so well the night before. 

If you have panic attacks, then you are familiar with the sensations associated with them.  But, if you’re not…  When my anxiety is acute, my heart pounds in my chest and my breathing feels constricted.  My thoughts race at 100 miles an hour and I can’t get them to slow down or to stop.  I feel hot, even if it’s cold and my face will even flush with heat.  I will become fidgety and be unable to relax.  I will also feel like I’ve been punched hard in the gut.  It’s fight or flight at its finest.  It’s not a pleasant feeling. 

I used to assuage my anxiety and stress by smoking cigarettes.  Since I quit smoking over a year ago, I don’t have that coping mechanism to quell the rise of anxious feelings.  I quit smoking and had started working out.  However, within a couple months of meeting and beginning to date Jon-Pierre, I stopped going to the gym. 

It was shortly after that when I became hyper sensitive to how Jon-Pierre acted in certain situations.  He seemed to me like he was being secretive; not wanting me to see what he was doing and typing to people on the internet in instant messages, usually to other women.  He also would sometimes act somewhat suspicious, making furtive glances over his shoulder at me to see if I was looking at his computer screen.  That’s how I found out about the little internet romance that he was having.  I caught him red-handed, as he was typing back and forth with her.  One of them, I’m not sure if it was him or her, typed “I love you.”  After panicking for a few minutes about what to do, I confronted him about it, asking him if he regretting being with me and if he was sure he loved me.  When he said he wasn’t and he did, I then asked why he was saying those things to some other woman.  He managed to turn the whole thing around on me and make it my fault since I was the one “invading his privacy” and reading over his shoulder.

It also didn’t help that I wasn’t sleeping much while I dated Jon-Pierre.  I would sleep an average of 3 hours a night.  I would take an hour or 2 nap in the afternoons between.  But that wasn’t enough.  Nowhere near it.  I was suffering because of it.  My judgment was clouded.  If it hadn’t been, then maybe I would have done the smart thing and left him when he lost his job.  Then he never would have moved in with me and he never would have been yet another leech, sucking the life and trust out of me.  I would have never experienced all the heartache and anxiety that I experienced as a result of my relationship with him.  I would have never developed such an unhealthy obsession that revolved around him and induced all sorts of stress related bodily functions and malfunctions.

I have to find a healthy way to deal with my anxiety.  It does its damnedest to drive me crazy.  It’s like nothing else I’ve ever felt before.  I just want to be rid of it.  In a few months, I can get a new gym membership and start working out on a regular basis, which will take care of a good deal of the anxious feelings I’m having.  But it won’t take care of all of them.  My writing is a good outlet for me and I plan to keep it up.  I enjoy writing.  A sense of calm comes over me when I write and I really like that.  I’m able to focus my thoughts and even enjoy them.  And one of my favorite things to do is to take a long walk and actively think about things and work issues out.  Sure, I talk out loud to myself when I do this, but I try not to make people that may be close enough to hear me think I’m totally bonkers.

In the process of trying to work through the issues that I’m having right now, I decided that it would be best if I were to sell a couple of my things.  That would take a huge weight off my shoulders as far as things go.  I’d be able to get my inspection taken care of and maybe even have enough money to take care of the court filing fees for the tickets I got for expired registration and expired vehicle inspection.  And if my parents are able to loan me the money I begged them for, then I know I’ll be alright and I’ll be able to sleep at night without having to take a sleeping pill, which is what I prefer.

I listed my Wii console and the four games that I have for sale last night on Craigslist.  I already got one response for both the console and the games combined and 2 responses for the games by themselves.  If I can sell those, that will help me out substantially.  I’ll be able to fix the emergency brake and get my truck inspected.  The apartment office called me back while I was at work yesterday and let me know that the courtesy officer was okay with letting me have a little extra time to get my inspection taken care of.

I’m also going to list my bicycle for sale.  That was a hard decision for me to make.  I love my bicycle.  I’ve had it for over 10 years.  I’ve had so many adventures on that bicycle.  I’ve rode hundreds of miles on it.  I will miss it incredibly.  What cinched the decision to sell the bicycle is that I haven’t ridden it in about a year and I won’t be able to ride it for at least another 3 months from now.   But when all my finances level out after I’ve paid off the mechanic and the payday loan people, I’m going to buy myself a road bicycle. 

I am thinking about possibly selling my CDs as well.  I could just ask $2 a piece for them.  I don’t have the cases, but I’ve loaded them all into my laptop, so I really don’t need the CDs themselves anymore.  I’m not sure if they would actually sell, but I suppose it’s worth a shot.  My friend Jessica in Wisconsin is the one that suggested selling my CDs.  She said she had sold a bunch of hers for $2 each.  If I could do that, it would help a little bit.  Every little bit helps me out just that much more.

Something else that would help, but I probably won’t be able to do until after I’ve recovered from the surgery is to empty out one of my storage units and put everything in one.  I want to rebox everything anyway and clean it up a bit.  The boxes are all old and falling apart.  Some of them have been in there for 13 years.  Also, there are stuffed animals that I can donate to Goodwill or to the women’s shelter.  That would get rid of a few boxes.  Also, I may have some old books that I could sell to Half Price Books.  I wouldn’t get much for them, but I don’t need them anymore.  Also, I have a chest freezer that I want to sell in my storage unit.

I think that everything is going to be okay when all is said and done in the end.  It’s going to be really tight for a while, but I’ll get through it.  I’ll be more mature because of it as well.  More self-assured.  More confidence in myself as well.   I may even be more independent too.  How so?  Because I will have figured out, on my own, how to solve what seemed like an insurmountable problem in the beginning.  Sure, if my parents help me, I will have gotten a much needed assistance, but I still figured everything out on my own.  And that counts for something, don’t you think?

One way I’ve been able to cut some stress out of my life is my promise to myself to remain single for the remainder of the time that I’m in Texas.  This may seem extreme, but really it’s not all that excessive.  I just remember back to the last time that I was truly happy and balanced and that time was when I was single for 2 years.  I got to know myself pretty well and even loved myself.  When I let men back in my life before I was really ready to date again was where I made my mistake.  Since I really wasn’t ready to date yet, I got myself into a wrong relationship right off the bat.  It lasted for 2 years but was over at the 6 month mark when he accused me of cheating on him because he snooped in my email while I was sleeping and read into something he found in there and threw a huge tizzy fit.  I had nothing to hide, if he wanted to read my email, all he had to do was ask.  I should have just let him leave, but instead, I talked him back because I didn’t want to be alone.

As a result of that relationship, I started having money problems.  He would be unemployed for long stints of time, so I was stuck supporting both of us.  I fell behind on my rent and utilities payments to my roommate at the time.  It also didn’t help that not only did he not have his own vehicle, but he didn’t even have a driver’s license.  I really don’t know what I was thinking when I agreed to date him.  I know I got guilted into it by a mutual friend of mine. 

How did she guilt me into it?  Well…this is where you look at me like I just grew a second head.  I allowed her to weave the guilt in me by telling me that I had to date him because he had spent so much of his menial paycheck on the two dates we had gone out on.  Yea.  I fell for that shtick, believe it or not.  I’m a na├»ve romantic at heart. 

I fall for things that people tell because I want to believe the best in people and tend to ignore their faults and shortcomings completely.  And that right there has gotten me into situations where I am in a relationship that has turned toxic, whether it be a romantic or platonic one.  I allow myself to be used and abused by these people.  They siphon off of me like piglets at a sow.  It’s a pattern that I seriously need to break, hence the self-imposed abstinence from all relationships beyond friendship for up to 2 years.  I need this separation from that which causes me the most anxiety, from that which rends my heart into itty bitty ragged pieces.  I need to grow a spine when it comes to romance.

In less than a week, it seems, my life appears to have gone to complete shit.  I get my truck back, but only after overextending myself to do so with a high interest payday loan.  Then, my truck won’t pass inspection (hopefully only) because the emergency brake wasn’t adjusted properly when the mechanics replaced it.  And now, my immediate supervisors and the one above them have all recommended that I not be approved for another extension of light duty.  I mean it still has to go through 3 other people, but if the supervisors closest to me have all recommended that it not be granted, then what exactly do you think the other 3 people are going to say?  That’s right.  They’re going to go along with everybody else.  And all this means that I will have to deal with a union attorney while I’m all loopy on pain meds from my surgery.  Just what I wanted to do while I’m trying to be stress free and recover from spine surgery.

It is so hard (but somehow also almost effortless) for me to stay positive, but somehow, someway I actually manage to stay positive.  I don’t know how I do it.  I’m not even sure I want to know.  I’d think it’s a whole ignorance is bliss thing, but it’s not because it’s not like I’m ignoring the problem.  I’ll work through it and figure out the best course of action for me and then I just kind of set it aside and get hyper, like I have to work out the negative energy that I allowed in.  It’s kind of like a calm after the storm.  It’s in that calm that I relax and feel like everything is okay and taken care of and that there’s nothing for me to worry about, even though I could have totally been freaking out not 15 minutes before.

Of course, I talk with someone else who is on light duty at my work (they’ve only been out for 4 months while I’ve been out for 6), and it dawns on me that if I’m out from work on FMLA (family medical leave act) that they most likely won’t be able to legally touch me.  So, when I faxed the FMLA paperwork to my surgeon’s office, I included a note that said to make sure I was off work for at least 3 weeks, if not the full recovery time and that the “desk job” I would be working consists of repetitive standing and sitting, which could potentially be bad for the lead that needs to scar itself to my spine so that it doesn’t move around and then they end up having to go back in and fix it.  So, maybe I don’t have anything to worry about.  Maybe it’s going to be alright. 

Maybe.  We shall see. 

All I know is I’m not holding my breath until next Thursday when I’m so high on pain meds that I can’t tell my ass from a tea kettle.  At that point, I’ll be able to put it in the perspective of it doesn’t matter at the moment and I’ll worry about it later.

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