A Woman’s Heart

My heart hurts.

Most would probably read that and think something along the lines of, “Oh, that poor thing. She’s all broken up over the demise of her marriage.”

Not to sound calloused at all, but that is simply not the case. I have zero doubt that I am on the right path where that is concerned.

No, my heart aches for entirely unrelated reasons. My heart aches with sorrow. It aches with fear. My heart aches with excitement for what may lie ahead. It aches with regret for what might not.

My heart hurts.

Cherished

All of my life, I have felt inferior. For whatever reason, I have always believed all of the horrible, negative things that some people have said about me instead of believing all of the great things that the people who care about me have always said. I always assumed that the people who didn’t know me and said those cruel things were telling the truth and the people who care about me just didn’t want to hurt my feelings so they lied. At 35 years old, I have finally started to realize that it is the complete opposite. The people who have said hateful things are actually just people who are hurting and hate themselves. The people who love me have been telling the truth all along. I am beautiful. I am smart. I deserve to be cherished… and I will be, even if only by me, myself and I. ❤

Loved

Lincoln Park has never been a favorite band of mine. I never disliked them, just didn’t care much about them either way. Nonetheless, I have been deeply affected by news of the suicide of Chester Bennington.

In one of the articles I read about his death it mentioned that he was good friends with Chris Cornell, whose 53rd birthday it would have been that day. On his friend’s birthday, he ended his life in the exact same way as he had.

Reading that just absolutely crushed me, to imagine the pain that both of those men felt in their lives and especially their final moments. I didn’t realize just how affected by it I was until I brought it up for the um-teenth time and D mentioned that it must have triggered something in me.

If you are hurting and lost, please reach out to someone, anyone. You are wanted. You are loved. Please, do not give up. Keep fighting. ❤

 
National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Call 1-800-273-8255

Available 24 hours everyday

Awoken

According to http://www.addictioncenter.com, addiction replacement, or addiction transfer, is when a new addiction takes the place of a previously addictive behavior to produce the same feeling or high. “Everyone who’s battled an addiction understands the concept: You go from smoking to eating; from drinking to shopping; from sex to chocolate to working. You’re substituting one addiction for another in an attempt to compensate for a perceived ‘lack’- emotionally or psychologically.” – Jeaneane Swanson, The Fix

Addictions can very easily be transferred from one substance or habit to another. This is because individuals who have an addiction aren’t craving a physical substance, they’re craving the fulfillment of an emotional need. It’s fascinating to realize that not all substance abuse is necessarily addiction because there is a difference between addiction and physical dependence.

Lately I’ve begun to realize that I am finding random things to obsess over to get the same emotional response as I get/used to get from eating my favorite foods. I haven’t been eating enough or sleeping much this week. It’s almost as if I’ve been living in a constant adrenaline rush. I guess I’ve just been thinking of all of life’s endless possibilities and feeling so pumped to get out there and do it all. I feel like I’ve been asleep for ages and have finally just awoken. I have a whole lot of catching up to do and I am so ready to get started.

 

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Hold On Tight

Right now I’m reading old journals of mine and figured I’d share a few snippets. This first one isn’t dated. It is pretty much a random list of facts about myself and my life that I apparently felt the need to document for whatever reason. Anyway, I got a kick out of it, so, without further adieu…

“I reveal way too much of myself emotionally.

I often voice things I think my dog is thinking in a Muppet voice.

I feel very self-conscious when I am dressed up or in make-up.

I lived in my own reality as a child.

I tend to live in the past.

I have a hard time leaving the house for more than a couple hours.

I am ridiculously terrified of insects.

I have a very tiny attention span.

I don’t give myself enough credit.

Sometimes I dream of ‘true love’ and wake up missing my dream lover. scan0012 (2)

I secretly wish everyone would be my friend.

 

In high school, I was the worst shot-put thrower EVER.

 

I’m afraid of getting thin.

I’m terrified I may never be a mother.

I change words in songs to make them about my dog.”

 

 

…and, that is it. That is the last entry of that journal. Too funny. It is so wonderfully hilarious to go back and read these, especially the ones from when I was a teen before my mom died. I was so emo (although that wasn’t really even a thing back then) and I was always so devastated about everything all the time.

 

Oooh… This next one even has an illustration taped in there (the excitement just never ends). This one isn’t dated but it’s titled “Creatures of the Night”. creatures_of_the_night____by_peacefulgem

“When I was in high school I had a dream that I was wandering on a snowy mountaintop and I came to a log cabin. I walked around it and there were no doors. Suddenly, light blue fingers with long, blue fingernails slipped between a crack in the logs and then some sort of secret door opened. There stood an incredibly gorgeous, blue-skinned man/creature with long, flowing black hair and wearing a long, black jacket/trench coat. The moment I saw him, I felt a sense of completeness… and at that moment, I transformed into the same sort of creature. My skin turned pale blue and my nails and hair grew. It was as if I’d finally found my soulmate… my fellow creature of the night.
Anyway… the next day at school I drew a picture of my dream-lover and here he is.”

 

…and, last, but not least, this one is from February of 1999…

“Always, I am hurting. I entrust every part of myself to the people I love, and they see it as an opportunity to trample… To ruin anything good that may be in me… to rip out my heart… to use me… throw me away. No one is serious about anything. ANYTHING. There is no forever. I live in a dead world.”

Those last few lines are comedy gold right there. Gotta love the dramatics of teen years. It’d be interesting to go back and tell 16 year old me to chill out and hold on tight because this crazy ride that is life had only just begun.

 

 

 

 

I Am Less Than Half My Former Self

Before & After 001

 

Life is a crazy roller coaster, isn’t it? I have lost 240 pounds from my highest weight by following the Weight Watchers SmartPoints plan. This crazy journey will never end, honestly, as I am and always will be a food addict. The important part is that I am in recovery and I am currently kicking this thing’s butt!

Yesterday I went shopping for a pair of jean shorts. I went to the plus size section and there was only one pair of size 18. I tried them on and they were super short and therefore uncomfortable to me. I was bummed and ready to leave and then decided to take a peek in the “normal” size section. They had a bunch of size 18’s in different styles and colors. I ended up getting a really cute pair of Mossimo ones that cost a few bucks less than the generic nearly Daisy Duke-esque pair I had tried on before.

When I was in elementary school a lady from church used to make my mom’s and my clothes for us for a few years. I don’t recall exactly when that stopped happening. When we started to buy clothes toward the end of grade school it was from the plus section. Therefore, yesterday I shopped for myself in the “normal” sized clothing section for the first time in my life. It is a truly amazing feeling!

Earlier this evening I posted the above comparison pic on a couple of WW groups on Facebook. I received so much love and support and then there was one lady who was very insistent that my before and current pictures are of 2 different ladies.  She said that in the first picture I have a tiny nose and straight teeth and in the current pic I have a big, long nose and crooked teeth. I got such a good laugh out of her comments (no joke). I think it is so wonderfully fantastic that my accomplishment is so incredible to her that she just can’t believe it!

A lot of people asked 2 main questions about my journey, the first of which being how long it has taken me to loose 240 pounds. This is a tricky one to answer as this truly has been a lifelong journey for me in every sense of the word. I’ve lost and re-gained so many hundreds of pounds throughout my life that I lost count a long time ago. This time around I have lost 146 pounds since I re-joined WW last July after my most recent relapse where I had regained around 130 pounds. This is the closest I have ever come to being thin, and I have zero doubt that I will make it all the way this time. I know there will be future relapses, but I also am confident that they will have much less impact than in times past.

Of course, the other thing people want to know is if I have any good tips. The only tips I have are pretty simple. Track everything you eat, every day. If you bite it, write it.

Be kind to yourself. I tend to be a very caring and nurturing person towards others but unbelievably hard on myself. I’ve spent much of my life trying to take care of everyone else and now I am realizing that the only way any of us can efficiently do that is if we are taking care of ourselves.

One of the most important things for me is to constantly fight against all-or-nothing thinking. I have to always remind myself that each and every decision we make pertaining to this journey is important. Every bite that we do or do not take matters and is going to make a difference one way or another. If you accidentally drop a few eggs on the floor, are you going to toss the rest of them on the floor too? No way. That is essentially what we are doing when, say, we make some not very good food choices and then give in and decide to eat everything we want afterward.

Last but not least, my most important little nugget of advice is always to never, ever give up! We owe it to ourselves to do this. We deserve to be healthy. We deserve to be able to do all of the little, basic things that most people take for granted. We deserve to be able to walk into any clothing store and grab something off the rack. And, no matter what size we are, we deserve to walk with our heads held high among all of the other people who help make up the rich, beautiful tapestry we call humanity. Each and every one of us has struggles we deal with every day, some just happen to be a lot more visible than others.

 

See Yourself Through My Eyes for a Moment

Last night a friend of mine mentioned he was feeling suicidal. The first thought that came to my mind was, “Don’t you dare even think about taking my new friend away!”

The thought process that followed was an epiphany of sorts. I started thinking about the things he may have been lamenting. I know he struggles with health issues and addiction, but those are just tiny slivers of who he is. He is also smart, funny, talented, etc. Then it dawned on me… these are probably the same thoughts the people who care about me think when I am wanting to end it all.

I am going to think about that the next time I am the one trying to claw my way out of despair. I am so much more than all of my faults and there are a lot of people who think I am a pretty awesome chick. So, friend, the next time you’re lost in the darkness, keep in mind that you are so much more than you even know.