Month: January 2014

Friday Night Fun Night=Friday Not So Fun Night

We have all had embarrassing moments right? I am sure as you are reading that sentence your most embarrassing moment is running across your mind. You may even have multiple moments. I think there are certain people who just attract embarrassing moments. I say that because I am a very very outgoing individual and that lends itself to some very interesting/semi-embarrassing moments.

While I have ran into a flag pole, fallen on stage during a dance performance, played a variety of food throwing games at youth retreats, accidentally posted  private stuff on Xanga in high school (o yes, I just went there); I will say what happened to me not so long ago is the worst. It wasn’t even embarrassing. It was mortifying. Yet, ad mist all that embarrassment, I learned new things about my friends and learned how to be more honest with who I am.

My husband and I have made friends with two other couples in our neighborhoods. All roughly the same age and mostly in the same area of life. After months of lacking sisterhood with women, and longing for companionship outside of my dog Winston and my husband, I have meet two incredible women and their husbands. Even all the husbands get along. We celebrated New Years together,  we hang out on the porch while the three year old of one of the couples runs in the yard with Winston. You might call us the Claire Lane Gang.

Two Friday nights ago we decided to get out of the house and all go out. So what do you do in a small town with  no bars? Go bowling of course! And not just any bowling alley a true 1970-1980s bowling alley. We arrive at the ever so early hour of 7:30. Get our awesome bowling shoes and pick our bowling nicknames for our score sheet. My lovely other half gives me $3 to go pick songs on the jukebox (a nice mix of Hootie and the Blowfish, JT, Gagnam Style, Bon Jovi, Sublime, Foreigner, Old Crow Medicine Show, ACDC), all of us are ready to throwdown.

First game is on. All of us are having a good time laughing and cutting up. Most of us girls are doing fair while the men are killing it. I am getting upset and determined to win (though I am in last place) because I am all way too competitive. After that is all said and done we start game two. Two frames in…I…GET…A…STRIKE!!!!!!!!!! I jump for joy and BAM! I fall to the ground very un-ballerina like. I hobble back to my seat brushing it off. Inside I am dying. My whole body is hurting. I have to relieve myself because I am nervous but I can’t walk. I want to throw up because I am nervous but I can’t walk. I am stuck on my chair feeling helpless, restless, and uneasy. My hubby notices that I am about to have an anxiety attack and comes over to me. Looks at my foot and tries to calm me down. I tell him I need to go to the bathroom to vomit. One of the ladies comes with me. I start crying, my head goes light, the rooms spins, and DOWN…I…GO. I fall over and hit my head on an arcade machine before one of my friends catches me. I passed out momentarily. When I woke my friend asked me if I have anxiety. To which, I honestly replied, yes.  But then I hear the words, “I do too. I know how you feel.” While that hasn’t really registered with me, husband dearest sees me fall and rushes over to me. I start bawling hysterically because I can’t walk, I looked like a fool, and now someone knows I have anxiety/panic attacks. I CRAWL on all fours to the closest door and just flop like a rug onto the cold concrete stop outside the bowling alley. My head over the edge puking, no shoes on, hair a mess, I am shivering from the cold weather and my anxiety.

The love of my life follows me outside. Cuddles me and gently coaxes me into a softer state. In between sobs I agree to go home though I hate to leave. I even talk about how everyone now knows I have anxiety. I try to keep it from happening in public but I felt as if I failed hiding it. That is made me weak. To which my husband said that was not the case. Especially since one of the ladies has anxiety too and talked to me about it. Still not wanting to believe him (because what wife with a mental illness who has a busted foot that is turning black really wants to listen to her husband who happens to be correct?), we get home (at the ever so early hour of 9:30) and nurse me back to health.

The following day while RICE’ing my poor foot, I was texting the woman who confided in me that she has anxiety. The more we talked the more we had in common. Battling similar battles, our thoughts on therapy and medication. She even said that I can start talking to her when I am starting to deal with Melvin (my ED) and and GAD symptoms. Instead of embarrassment, I felt relief. Here is someone who knows my dark side and relates to it! I have someone next door (not just a phone call away like other people on my support team), but I can just walk right over there and say, “Help me.” Or say. “I am struggling. Can you talk?”. What a wonderful thing!

To make this even better, and only in my life would this happen, I read a passage in Soulprint about embarrassment that morning at work: “Embarrassing moments are horrible, no doubt. But they are also wonderful. Few things are as freeing as a little embarrassment. It frees us from the burden of pretense, and it forces us to stop taking ourselves so seriously. In a sense, embarrassment is one way we die to self. And dying to self is one way we come to life….One dimension of humility is the ability to laugh at ourselves, and I’m convinced that the happiest, healthiest, and holiest people on the planet are those who laugh at themselves the most (pg. 95).”

I will have to agree with Mr. Mark Batterson, embarrassment is freeing and it helps open ourselves up to receive the gift/blessing/intimacy of others.

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Question: Do you have an embarrassing moment? If so what was it? Did you learn anything from it? I would LOVE to hear from you!

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Soulprint part 3

As I have done previously, once I finish a chapter in the book Soulprint, I share some passages/quotes/ideas/thoughts out here in the blogosphere. If you are not familiar with the book Soulprint is written by Mark Batterson and it is about discovering who you are through Christ. And that “our uniqueness is a gift from God”. In two previous entries I have written about my journey on starting this book and other meaningful passages:

https://imageoftheheart.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/soulprint-part-1/?

https://imageoftheheart.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/soulprint-part-2/

Here ya go, part three of Soulprint….

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“Here’s the question: If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?” (all I can say is WHOA! What a question)

“What we think of as the goal isn’t really the goal. The goal is not accomplishing the dream God has given you. The dream is a secondary issues. The primary issue is who you become in the process. We fixate on what and when and where. God’s primary concern is always who. And He won’t get you where He wants you to go until you become who He wants you to be.”

“Sometimes you have to die to the dream God has given you so that God can resurrect the dream in its glorified form. And by glorified form, I simply mean pursuing the dream for God’s glory. When you stop living for selfish purposes, the pressure comes off. And that’s when your destiny comes into focus.”

“Our attempts to manufacture opportunities or impress people are the by-products of an unsanctified ego that wants to glorify self rather than die to self. And until we experience that death to self, we’ll never come to life in the truest and fullest sense of the word.” (ouch right?)

“If you’re playing the comparison game, the better others do, the worse you look, and the worse they do, the better you look.” (YES! Who doesn’t do this? Especially those of us with mental issues and low self-esteem. That is one reason why we take up disordered eating, or other destructive habits. Not only to cope but because we think if we do *insert habit* it helps us look better when we fail). One reason that fueled my ED. The smaller and more fit I was the better I looked and hopefully people saw that over my lack of ability at whatever I thought I was lacking at that present moment).

“You don’t really care about people until you don’t care what they think. Until you have been crucified to their opinions of you, you can’t really help them the way you should. You have to die to them. And while you’re at it, you might as well die to your agenda, your approval ratings, and you reputation.”

“An opportunity isn’t an opportunity if you have to compromise your integrity.”

“When we submit our lives to God’s authority by living with integrity, then we come under His umbrella of authority. And that umbrella of authority shelters us and provides us with a supernatural covering. It also takes all the pressure off us.”

“We waste far too much emotional energy allowing others to control us in unhealthy and unholy ways.” (sound familiar? This hits home to me way too hard).

“Don’t downgrade your integrity to the level of the people around you. Try to upgrade the people around you. If you refuse to compromise your integrity, you have a shot at earning the respect of the people you work with.”

“Pride is a by-product of insecurity. So the more insecure you are, the more monuments you need to build.”

Relapse: Stepping Forward, Stepping Back

relapse: to fall back or revert to an earlier point (Webster’s Dictionary, 1991)

In any form of recovery the word relapse is a scary word. We try to avoid it like the plague. It becomes a “bad” word. Yet, it is completely unavoidable. There is no way around relapsing. It happens. The thing about relapses is that the farther along one is in recovery, the less frequent they become, the episodes may be shorter (an hour or two, maybe just one day not a week), and how we approach them changes (we are kinder to ourselves, we have our toolkit, support buddies, etc…).

When I first started recovery a little over two years ago I wrote relapsing on my FEARS list. In red ink it says: relapsing…leaving therapy/quitting it…recovery in general…among other fears. Relapse was scary to me because I interpreted it as a lack of control and that I was a failure at recovery (and ED’s LOVE to jump on the failure bandwagon). Also, I had no idea what to expect. My relapse could be anywhere from a simple day of over exercising, skipping a meal, counting/measuring my food intake, negative thoughts, weighing myself multiple times a day, looking at Muscle and Fitness or other NPC mags, taking extra fiber pills or laxatives; and how would I react. So much unknown.

Compound this on top of being a perfectionist and relapse is a super bad word/concept/idea/situation. In the perfecitonistic style  you approach recovery this way even though you are suppose to decrease these tendencies and be gentle/kid/loving to yourself. Instead you avoid anything that has to deal with relapse. While doing so, you relapse. It is inevitable to avoid a relapse. Something happens, you can’t cope and BAM you are in a relapse. Your first relapse is scary. You don’t know what to do. It can last for days! Maybe a week. Maybe two. You cry out to your therapist and support buddies for help. Finally it is over. You survived your first relapse. Like anything else, the first one is the hardest. Then maybe a week later you have another one. Another freak out, another cry out. This cycle keeps happening. You are learning to navigate this new life without another person who lives inside of you telling you how to live your life and you don’t know what to do. As time goes on you do know what to do. You have found your own personal recovery relapse tool kit. A blue print. Maybe you can feel a relapse coming on so you call a buddy. Maybe you do some yoga and meditate on positive thoughts. Or you have the ability to make a quick call to your therapist. Anything. You feel strong, empowered. Relapse can’t get you down.

Just as you think you are doing great it has been quite some time since a relapse then out of the woods a relapse comes upon you. Except this time, you are letting your ED in. He/she is coming back to roost. At first you try your tools. You call a buddy, go to therapy, chant a mantra, but nothing works. Then this feeling of laziness, comfortableness, the friendship of your ED comes back and the relapse lasts. It doesn’t stop. You can’t get it go away so you decide to let it be and have a picnic with you. Those scale weighing fits, the laxative abuse, the negative talk/thought conversations, the weighing/measuring/counting, the binges of exercise, hating everything you eat, obsessive “fat talk”  is your life again. And you just don’t… know… what…to… do….

I say all this I am here. I am at the corner of Recovery Road and Relapse BLVD. Melvin (my ED), has come back and decided to make himself a nice little home here again. I try to stay above it all but, I am finding myself lackadaisical with recovery. I am criticizing I what I eat but I follow it up with, “At least I am not restricting or counting.” I am paranoid if I am eating correctly and why I keep eating so much. My hubby tells me, “You did Nutcracker for two weeks straight and ate lots of yogurt and had a weird eating schedule.” I didn’t starve during Nutcracker. So that is a HUGE improvement (I usually eat very little during performances you know because of costumes). I now have boobs and having to deal with those while performing was a new and stressful experience which made me had them even more than I do. I keep checking my stomach to see if I am fat or asking the hubs if my legs are turning into cottage cheese.  I am becoming lazy with journaling and the 12 Steps. I just don’t want to do that anymore. I know I need to but, being the personality that gets tired of things, I want something new. Therapy has just been ok. I feel stuck. I am a four wheeler stuck in the mud and can’t get out. I may be not diving back into old habits but I am not getting out of the mud.

I am sick and tired of being this way. This is no way to  live. This is the whole reason why I started recovery. Life wasn’t as fun as it could be. With this being said and the new year is here, it is time for me to hop back on this recovery train. Start my new year off fresh and kick Melvin out. Start working the steps again, call my circle of support, have special yoga sessions.  All in the name of new life and new year.

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