Who gives a shit

I am a recovering recovering alcoholic. This was a huge part of why I cried so much too. I started smoking weed and drinking when I was thirteen years old. When I look at my children now think about what I was doing at their age I am mortified. I was a child. A small, emotional wreck of a child.

I knew myself only in relation to other people. I was a good girl if people were happy with me. I was a bad girl if they weren’t.  When people were disappointed in me I felt that in my guts and it physically hurt – drinking took that hurt away. But the problem lied in the fact that I was constantly disappointing people and trying to numb the pain that caused me by making choices that would cause people to give more disapproving looks than affirming and more “you should have’s” than “good jobs. Because of this cycle of personal hell I was in,  I knew myself to be someone selfish, that made poor choices, and was afraid to do anything that took any work. When I look at those descriptives of myself now, it’s totally crazy! I am NOT any of that. At all. I was a messed up kid that just wanted to feel better and went about it in all the wrong ways…. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t worthy of love, or selfish, or lazy. Basically – not only did I not have any tools in my toolbox, I was at the candy store looking for the hammers. One plus one equaled 10. And I was confused as to why everyone else knew the answer was 2.

I lived this in this pattern of drinking away my feelings until I was 32. I had recently gotten divorced and was feeling like a bigger failure than ever. I knew I had some sparkle somewhere in me, i knew it somehow, but I couldn’t even begin to know how to access it. After totaling a couple cars, I stopped drinking and starting going to meetings that literally saved my life.  I was able to realize that my way of doing things, reacting to things, wasn’t working. I left the candy store and was officially introduced to the hardware store. Now I had never used these tools before and they were heavy and hard as shit to use.  I didn’t know how to be pro active or create the life I wanted. I only knew how to avoid the shit that was thrown at me.

I think this is SO common for all of us. We create habits. We create patterns of existing. They don’t have to work for us to keep using them. We use them because they are all we know.  When they don’t work, but we keep using them, keep doing the same thing over and over. It’s insanity. How could we not come out of self destructive patterns feeling horrible about ourselves. The way we act, the way we respond, is who we know ourselves to be. But it’s not because we ARE that person, it’s because we don’t know any different.

Now for me, and remember, this is just my experience. My problem was not alcohol. My problem was the fact that I didn’t know who I was outside of my relation to someone else. The Alcohol was my solution for a long time and it sort of worked. Until it didn’t. I had to get to the ROOT of my dependency and that was my dependency to others and what they thought about me. Their ideas or thoughts or opinions of me did not make me who I was. It’s funny to think that I was a people pleaser because I did everything possible to displease people, but it was because of the constant pain of that displeasure that caused me to drink. And act out. And drink. And act out.

I had to stop giving a shit.

I give less and less shits every day…………  my life is mine to live. Not selfishly, but I get to make my own decisions, and not do things perfectly, and apologize when I screw up but believe I am worthy of love regardless.

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I have mom issues

When will I stop talking about my mom hurting my feelings or frustrating me? When (and more importantly HOW) do I stop letting her have that control and power over me?   I am 40 damn years old and I am still whining about my mom.   I gave up, over 10 years ago, needing her approval……… But I am sick and tired of hearing her DISapproval.

As I have mentioned I have two kiddos – and they love their grandma. When I share my frustrations about my mom with friends of mine and then they share how I should (there’s that word) appreciate my mother because they lost theirs and would give anything to have her back and get to see her… it breaks my heart (and makes me feel guilty).  These two things keep me coming back for more. The abuse doesn’t leave marks, it isn’t blatant……… but it’s passive aggressive, manipulative, and filled with “shoulds” and disapproval.

I have talked about this stuff with therapists (ad naseum), I have meditated to stay present and centered, and most importantly I am learning how to change the way “I” behave….I am learning new words and phrases like “you could be right” and “no”. I am excusing myself politely from conversations. I am not feeling guilty anymore when I leave after a three hour visit that in her eyes should have lasted much much longer….. and it is getting better but today – she got me riled up again.

that’s all – if i am using this as a sounding board to be honest and talk about my growth even when it’s messy and not pretty – here it is. my mom pisses me off and I am pissed off that I let her piss me off…… i want to tell her to PISS OFF.

Alone and I LOVE it

It’s my weekend without my kids. I am a divorced mother of two teenagers who are the source of so much delight. When they aren’t here I do one of two things. I either stuff my schedule so jammed packed and feel super exhausted by the time I see them on Sunday afternoon that I need a nap OR I don’t leave my house, silence the phone, and don’t wear pants. This weekend was the later. I watched too many romantic movies to count and ate a lot of junk food (I SOBBED at Elizabethtown and ate the shit out of cookies and doritos). My back hurts despite my occasional trips to the kitchen and bathroom for exercise and numerous rolls on my new foam roller (which i am OBSESSED with). I typically eat pretty clean so my stomach is a mess. My kids are going to get here at two and I am going to attack them. We are going to go for a hike, or a walk, or a bike ride, ANYTHING. I really need to move.

On the weekends I spend at home, I don’t “always” spend them on the couch. I also like to soak in the bathtub for way too long and read and sleep in there. I will sometimes also surf the inter-webs for hours and hours or lay in the sun with a good podcast or book. I am reading “Go set a Watchmen” and “The New Jim Crow” now. Both are great, but not yelling at me to pick them up. So this weekend – it was netflix.

I didn’t always do this. I grew up thinking that being home by yourself was not a good enough reason to say no to something. In my early 20’s – I didn’t want to be the person at home on a Friday and Saturday night because I was fearful I would be viewed as a “loser”. Which was clearly my own judgmental issues. Later in my early 30’s I was told it was “isolating” and not healthy.  So I would force myself out often with people I didn’t really like. Only in the last year have I allowed myself to say “no, thank you, I have a hot date with myself”.

So this morning, I read this article that pretty much describes me (with the exception of cringing when my kids get home clearly). I really love being alone. More than a lot of people around me. I work with people for my job all day long and thoroughly enjoy what I do (yoga teacher) and genuinely smile when I see students. But after being around so many people all day, I rarely want to hang with folks socially. I am just too drained and they do end up annoying me.  I am also co-dependent (which I am working on). These two things combined make me often feel like an asshole often when declining so many social events because I would rather be alone (“events” sounds fancy- it’s not 🙂 ) – and then I read something that says out loud what I have been wondering in my head the whole time?!?! …I am a narcissistic asshole?!?! ..  I don’t know if I am an introvert or an asshole – but I love my time alone. AND I can handle folks in small doses – so I am confident I don’t hate mankind. I am going to continue listening to myself – choose to call it “self care” – and go from there.  🙂

Growing up at 40

I can’t believe I am starting a blog.  It actually is kind of comical to me.  People have asked me if I would write something for THEIR blogs and I have declined under the guise that I am not a writer and I would most definitely do their blog a disservice. And yet, here I am. But – this is MY blog – so if I am doing it a disservice, so be it.

Over the course of the last few months I have become someone who journals. I did it because it was suggested to me after a rough breakup and it’s something I have always wanted to do. I have always liked the “idea” of journaling. I can’t tell you how many beautiful notebooks I have purchased at Target and a fancy pen – only to make only one entry and then file it onto my bookshelf.  This time, it has stuck. I think mostly because I have become someone who “shows up for myself” more now than ever. Whether it be writing, meditating, or taking the time to prepare good food for myself.  This has been a gradual process, but the reward has been astonishing. I am getting to  know myself and doing things I would never have done before out of fear of what others would think. I am surprising myself and honestly, I am my most favorite person to hang out with now.

All that being said I still have such a long way to go. I will end up getting into those specifics I am sure later – but sufficed to say – I am going to start going through this process of journaling publicly. I know I am not the only grown ass adult woman out there trying to figure out who I am, really am, and then struggle to move from who I am in my work, relationships, and even when I am by myself. When I say publicly, I don’t even know if anyone will ever read this – and i am not going to give my name.  I want to ensure I am totally honest, like stream of consciousness honest – and SO FAR when I attach my name to something I still filter (enter facebook).  Many friends tell me I am the most authentic person they know – which is an honor for sure, but it also means there are a lot of us fakers running around out there.  A lot of times I don’t have a clue as to what I truly want or what my opinion is about something…. But I am slowly learning – and I hope you will come along for the ride and maybe learn something about yourself as well 🙂