Thursday, January 26, 2012

Still letting go?

One of the things I've found most challenging about my transformation has been how easy the physical things are compared to the mental/emotional challenges I've gone through. As much sweat, pain, tears, and agony as I've gone through losing the weight, losing the people I loved has been 10x harder on me.

Everyone knows I left my husband after almost 11 years together. This is mostly attributed to me deciding to take responsibility in all the aspects of my life, including health and finance. These were and still are issues he refuses to address. What everyone may not know is that I've basically lost all of my friends, too. Fatties like to hang out together, that's no big secret. They like to eat, drink, be obnoxious, and make each other feel accepted within a group because they're all fat. You know what sucks? When you're not fat anymore, they hate you for it. And in the end, I didn't fit in anymore. My outlook became more positive, I no longer needed to be loud and obnoxious to deflect attention from my physical appearance.

My best friend abandoned me when she realized it wasn't just a phase. My other friends slowly became less relevant to my life, or moved away or whatever. I let go of another "friend" who only showed up when she wanted me to do something with her, like come to one of her parties or her bridal shower, or her wedding, but could never be inconvenienced to do anything with me. So, she's gone.

The very last one, the one who weathered my split and with whom I weathered her split, had to be let go. At a time for me when the tides have all turned, and my life is finally heading down the right road, and my daily outlook is so positive, how can I possibly justify keeping someone around who makes me feel bad? She's just toxic. Everything she says is negative beyond negative. Don't get me wrong, I'm snarky. There's a huge difference between being snarky and being negative. She's like a black hole. She sucks the energy out of a room. I have watched her spiral downward instead of learning to thrive; worst of all, she's in such denial about it that my words fall on deaf ears. It hurts to see someone I care for suffering. But, I can't help her; she doesn't really, truly want my help. And so, I'm letting her go. It pains my heart, and it makes me sad. She's the last person really, really connected with my old life. Just as I mourned the loss of the person I used to be, like an actual death, and mourned the loss of my husband, best friend, and family relationships, I'll mourn this.

Rest assured, when I'm done mourning all of this, my heart will truly be ready to embrace this new life I've built and continue to build. Only good things can come from bad if I'm willing to let my higher power take the reigns. Who know losing weight was the easy part?

Friday, January 20, 2012

The good, the bad, and the addict

As I was riding my bike today, I passed the local golf course. What I saw brought back a memory so strong for me, I had to slow down and press back the tears. A little girl with blond, bouncy hair followed her daddy through the parking lot holding his hand, as he carried his golf clubs over his opposite shoulder. She was literally skipping next to him through the parking lot.

While I have a great deal of bad memories from my childhood with my father the addict and alcoholic, I have peppered memories that are amazing. They're the ones I hold nearest and dearest to my heart, of the times when he was my daddy, the man who made the stars shine. Some of the most amazing memories I have are our Tuesday afternoons on the golf course when he was in the Elks Country Club League. Mind you, being a member of the Country Club used to be a pretty grand status symbol, and I drove a golf cart for judges, lawyers, pharmacists and doctors. Everyone knew us. Later in life, I came to realize that everyone knew us for not so savory reasons, but as a child I thought it was awesome to hobnob with these people. I also came to learn that I got to drive the cart because my dad was usually too drunk to drive it for us, which also explains why we would ALWAYS spend a couple hours after the round in the clubhouse eating dinner.

But I digress. These tiny snippets of my memory, of growing up a country club brat, are some of the places I retreat to when I really start to hate the person I see him as now. When you live with an addict, you spend years trying to see the best in them because you find it too difficult to see them as they are: diabolical and manipulative creatures who prey on your weaknesses to get what they want from you. You see them like that until one day, you decide as I did, that I'd had enough, and that you don't get to control me anymore. You no longer have power over me. The problem is, once you do that, they toss you away like trash because they don't need you anymore. If you won't give them what they want, they'll find someone else to manipulate. And eventually, you have nothing left to talk about.

My dad and I barely speak. My 3 little siblings don't speak to him at all. It took me 27 years to see him for what he was. And now we have no father, like he died. Only he didn't, he just can't see through his denial. And maybe he never will. Maybe he'll never see that his life is what it is because he chooses it to be so, not because someone DID it to him.

The little girl skipping with her daddy today reminded me that once upon a time, I had a father who loved me in his own twisted way, who wanted to give me the world with the best intentions. As I think back to my visit home at Christmas and how awkward our visits were, and how much I miss my dad, I remember those days on the golf course when my daddy was the apple of my eye, and I realize that's all I'll ever have.

When you love an addict, you can't like what they are, you can only love them and know that they're not capable of anything else. When you love an addict, all you can do is remember the good times you hold close to your heart, instead of all the ones that break your heart.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Contrary Motion.

Contrary motion is a term used in music to describe when two melodic lines are going in opposite directions, yet still moving the composition forward. I feel like I'm stuck in a state of contrary motion all the time. There are bits of my life being shoved violently forward, while other bits of my life are always trying to go backwards, all while time marches on.

I put myself under and through a great deal of stress last semester with all that graduation business, and was happy to do it because I reached a goal that has eluded me for some time. In the process of doing so, I let my fitness slide backwards because I was spending so much time doing schoolwork. Because my fitness slid backwards, my weight loss stopped and I even packed on about 10 pounds I'd worked so hard to lose.

So here I am again. In contrary motion. Going to grad school full time this semester will either be the best decision I've ever made or the worst. I've never been the best at time management, and at the start of this new year and semester, I find myself struggling to get a routine set up. I can't seem to get in bed before 1am no matter how hard I try, which of course, means I don't get up as early as I'd like. And my days tend to snowball from there. I desperately miss working out and the routine and stress relief it provided me. I also miss the deep, deep sleep that resulted from my 5 days/week bodily punishment. And, not for nothing, I AM NOT OK WITH WEIGHT GAIN.....ever.

That said, while contrary motion is music is amazing, in life, it's simply not acceptable. At least in my life, it's not acceptable. If I'm going to survive this semester and reach all my goals, I'm gonna have to make some commitments that are hard and fast, and happen every day. And just so I'm held accountable, I'm making them here in my blog.

1. I'm gonna get my ass out of bed by 8am everyday.
2. I'm gonna eat a small breakfast and go directly to put on my workout clothes, do not turn on the computer, do not turn on the TV, do not pass go, or collect $200.
3. I'm gonna track my food, and eat like I know what I'm doing instead of sabotaging all the work I've done because I'm busy and lazy, and being a brat.
4. I'm gonna commit to studying a little each day instead of waiting until the last minute to do everything, because that was what caused most of the stress last semester.
5. I'm gonna spend time with people who make me happy and feed my soul, and maybe just make some new friends along the way.
6. I will not get sucked into other people's drama. What happens in your life, stays in your life. I can't fix your problems, so don't ask me to or make them mine. You won't like the answers you get if you ask me to.
7. I will succeed. I have to.

Should you see me faltering, don't be afraid to call me out. I'll hate you for a minute, but love you in the end. Just because I give tough love doesn't mean I don't also need it from time to time.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Taking stock

As I sat with a group of people celebrating Eric's birthday this evening, I realized just how very completely and dramatically my life has changed. Nothing is the same. Every single person who I considered near and dear to me has fallen out of my life (including some family members) like the last leaves on the Fall trees, clinging for just another moment before they go back from whence they came.

None of the faces are the same (except my Mom and stepdad who's more like a real dad than my own), and while that strikes me with a sorrowful feeling, I can't say it's a bad thing. Why? Because the people who have fallen away were friends with someone who doesn't exist anymore. She's dead and gone. And just as I have mourned her passing, the new person that has come forth strives for a better life with better people in it. And just like a tree, new leaves have grown. The roots of the tree are the same, but her leaves are different. And her branches much stronger (and way better toned).

The group of people I call my friends these days are more like me: positive, supportive, creative creatures who feed my tree what it needs to thrive. Everyday, with more opportunities facing me than ever, a bright and shiny future on my horizon, and more determination than one person needs, I find myself boundlessly optimistic that as long as I keep growing my branches, new leaves will come along to fill them. As long as I can continue to understand that dropping old leaves and growing new ones is a natural part of human life, I think my tree will keep growing and growing and growing, and someday, she'll be so full of life nobody would dare cut her down again.