Thursday, December 27, 2012

Right to the heart of the matter, right to the beautiful part

Probably nobody but me has noticed this, but most of the post titles on this blog are song lyrics.  Because I wanted to remember what songs I'd quoted from, and not to repeat myself, and because I thought maybe somebody might be curious, I've built a page that lists the songs and bands the lyrics come from, and links to a video of the song.

The link to this page is also on the blog front page, in the upper right.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It runs in the family, this famine that carries me to such great lengths

Today is the 6th anniversary of my starting the Radiant Recovery addiction program.

It all started with my reading this (now badly-formatted) post on one of the many diet blogs I was reading at the time, which describes the sugar quiz in Potatoes Not Prozac (scroll down the page to "Diagnosing Sugar Sensitivity"), and realizing that *all* the items in that quiz described me.  It was a scary moment, realizing how much of an effect sugar was having in my life.

At the time, I was really just looking for yet another diet plan, another way to lose the weight that simply refused to come off.  What I got instead was life-changing.

As I wrote on my old, now-defunct blog back in June of 2009, these are the things I gave up when I gave up sugar:
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • PMS
  • Crazy thoughts
  • Self-loathing
  • Worry about my weight and how my body looks
  • Feeling done-to
  • Crying constantly out of sheer frustration at the perversity of the universe
  • Anger at the unfairness of the world
  • Feeling apart from the world
  • Not feeling totally human, feeling like The Other in every situation
  • Feeling isolated and inadequate
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Taking everything that happened personally
  • Cravings, especially for sugary and fatty things
  • Hiding my "special" foods, and feeling panicked if my chocolate supply dropped down too low
  • Bingeing on sugar and processed carbs
  • Being overwhelmed by other people's pain
  • Having an incredibly low pain threshold
  • Feeling the need for The Drama, and unconsciously looking for *any* way to create it
  • Always waiting for the other shoe to drop
  • Always expecting the worst
  • Being afraid of my emotions
  • Blurring my emotions with food
I have a good life today, and it's all because I started on this recovery path.  So happy anniversary to me, and many clean and sober returns.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Unwritten songs of another day

Feeling very tender emotionally this weekend.

We went to see The Hobbit yesterday; it was good to see Jay out and about, even though it was pretty difficult on him.  The movie was both a lot of fun and really irritating.  Being at the movie was difficult for me, off and on, entirely because of Jay's stated worries about not being alive to see all the Hobbit movies. That thought kept intruding on me as the movie unfolded, leaving me struggling not to cry.

There are other things feeding into this tenderness, but that's at the heart of it.

What do I do if the final movie comes out and he's not here to see it?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pull up your head off the floor, come up screaming

My mind is playing tricks on me today.  My previous post featured a title that came from lyrics from a Big Country song.  In looking for a YouTube video for that song, I ran across one that started with singer/songwriter Stuart Adamson speaking into a microphone.  The sound of his voice drove me to tears.

I thought I knew why: Adamson committed suicide 11 years ago around this time of year, and I miss him still as if I had known him, as if he had been my brother.  I always grieve for him as this part of the year rolls around, and clearly my mind thought I needed reminding.

The trick? Yesterday was in fact the 11th anniversary of that event, and tomorrow the anniversary of the police reporting he had killed himself, rather than having disappeared, as was originally thought.

Already morose and weepy from the Clackamas mall shootings and the Newtown, CT shootings, I am grieving more.

Too much pain in the world.  I breathe in pain and breathe out light and love for all who are suffering.

And one day I will lie down where the rose was flung

I've been feeling an sense of transience lately, which has been inflecting my mood oddly.  I am living with Jay, but I don't live with him.  I'm living out of a suitcase still, which is entirely my choice, as it still feels odd to take Jay up on his offer to hang my clothes in his closet.

I live here, but I don't.

I should emphasize that this sense of transience is entirely in my head.  I am welcome where I am, and I am loved, and I belong.  But lacking a permanent base, a permanent residence, is playing with my head.

But things have been happening lately that are making me feel more grounded and less at loose ends.  Going to the Portland Revels yesterday with Jay's mother and daughter and a whole bunch of their friends and being introduced as "Jay's current significant other, the one we hope will stay around" eased my heart greatly.

And my head is just going to have to live with the ambiguity of the situation.  Just deal with it, OK?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

And your beautiful sky, the light you bring falls on me

So this is what my pre-chemo Thursday ritual looks like:

  • making sure all the laundry's done, so Jay has clean clothes come Sunday and so no-one has to fuss with it over the weekend
  • running the dishwasher so there's no shortage of dishes
  • getting out the sheet to cover the chemo chair over the weekend, to reduce Jay's contact with the velour of the chair and to keep his skin less irritated
  • taking Jay to the clinic to get his chest port accessed and his blood work done, so we know whether chemo will go on this weekend
  • doing grocery shopping for some basics to keep Jay fed over the weekend
This ritual is both soothing and anxious-making, the latter because I always fear I'm going to forget to do something important, that I'll overlook some critical detail.  That's my old tape about inadequacy playing there, and it gets ridiculously loud on these weekends.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Because maybe you're gonna be the one that saves me

Funny that this should get posted today, as I'm thinking about my anniversary-of-sorts with Jay, and the changes in my life that brought me here to care for him on this part of his cancer journey: Cancer. Canceling. Postponing. Waiting. Growing., in which Amanda Palmer talks about canceling her 2013 tour to take care of her friend Anthony, who is undergoing cancer treatment.

So many of the things she talks about in her post resonate deeply with me: the deconstruction of a life, walking away from things you value highly, walking toward things that mean more, the fear of the unknown.

So much of it resonates so deeply with me that it moved me to tears at the dining room table, with Jay sitting in the recliner in the living room, and me trying desperately not to let him know I was crying.

So now there are more people to keep in my thoughts, and to hope for good outcomes for.

Fuck cancer.

When you're learning to face the path at your pace, every choice is worth your while

Jay & I have known each other for six months as of today.

The changes I made in my life over those six months were crazy speedy for anyone who knows me well.  I'm not impulsive and I overthink everything, so to be where I am now, both emotionally and physically, feels somewhat shocking when I look back over it all.  It all feels right as I'm living it, but the momentum shift that it took me to get here, and that it all worked, never ceases to surprise me.

The name of this blog was chosen carefully to reflect that change in momentum, and to remind me not to lose that sense of forward motion.

I feel incredibly blessed that the man I fell in love with six months ago loves me, too, and that we can keep that love going in the circumstances we're in.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

When you're all alone, what do you think about love?

Wanted to report in about last night's sleep, post-writing.

My dreams were varied and numerous and often downright weird, and I woke up utterly exhausted this morning.  But there was not anything even vaguely creepy or even close to nightmarish, so I'm taking that as a good sign.

Of course, what I'm writing is clearly a direct cut out of my subconscious, so I suppose it's not too surprising that it didn't trigger me.  This is catharsis in its purest form, the drawing out of poison from a wound, and all the parts of my brain and mind are aware of that.

I'm hoping this is a door opening, and not a door about to slam in my face again.  And yes, that's my fear talking, as it always does.

Monday, December 3, 2012

And all the preaching voices, empty vessels ring so loud

Huh, how did that happen?  I just did some writing, for the first time in over a year.

It may be an interesting night, if I start up with nightmares again ... But when my brain tosses out the first and last line of a story, and then pokes me til I get some of the rest of it out, what else can I do but give in?