Life lately

It seems like when life is going well/things are going smoothly, I post on here a lot less. I feel like I don’t have much to write about at the moment — in reality, nothing could be further from the truth…but I’m just struggling to find the time to sit down and write quality posts on some fairly in-depth and detailed topics.

So what’s been keeping me so busy?
-Finishing my last semester with a full course load. I’ll begin student teaching in the fall (for an entire year!) and only have one course left to take during that time.
-Exercising. A lot more. I’m finally starting to run again, and making slow but steady progress in that area. I’ve also begun regular strength training – as with most things I get excited about, I’ve been overdoing it a bit and had to take today off to give my body a break. But that’s okay.
-Trying to be more mindful about what I’m eating. While I want to make ED recovery my top priority, I do want/need(?) to lose some weight for health reasons. I feel much more at peace with my body now than I have at any point in the past four years or so. But my doctor would like me to lose a little weight. I’m not so focused on what the scale says…but I want to feel fit/strong/healthy/badass again. I don’t care if I never get down to my lowest weight. I just want to be physically active consistently, because almost nothing makes me feel as good as regular exercise does. I could definitely make a very long post (or series of post) on the challenges of losing weight with a history of disordered eating. So to be continued for this one, I guess.
-Summer job search. While I won’t be broken-hearted if I stay in my current job for the summer, if possible, I would like to make more money and do something different the summer before my internship. I’m currently looking for a full-time nannying position and have a few leads so far. I feel kind of guilty about the possibility of leaving my current program…but ultimately I need to do what’s best for me, my finances, and my future.
-Taking care of myself. Getting enough sleep, taking time to relax, taking time to appreciate the small stuff. Not putting as much pressure on myself to achieve some ridiculous idea of perfection (which doesn’t even exist). My sinus infection seems like it may have returned, so making my own health & stress management a priority is all the more important.

Expect more regular posting sometime in mid-May, but for now I’m guessing my posts will continue to be few and far between! 😛

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Selling stuff online & forgiveness

I am not going to sell anything online for a very, very long time. We did finally sell our couch in preparation of our new one’s arrival next week, but has created massive headaches and made me feel really shitty about myself.

At first, I was being nice to everyone who told me they could come by with cash and pick it up. The first person canceled. The next people showed up, looked at it, and changed their minds. Then another person came, said they definitely wanted it, and we made plans for her to pick it up. Then she canceled a few hours before she was going to pick it up.

So I reposted it as for sale on Craigslist and in a local yard sale group. In the postings, I said the first person with a reasonable cash offer and the means to take the couch away could have it. A bunch of people contacted me who were interested. I guess my mistake was that I didn’t explicitly tell these people they were not the only interested parties. I didn’t promise anyone I would hold the couch for them, but I also didn’t tell them other people were coming to look at it throughout the day. I place most of the blame on myself for the miscommunication, but regardless, it’s a shitty situation for everyone.

So a guy who contacted me yesterday came by this morning with a good offer in cash and a UHaul. So we sold it to him. I contacted the other people who were supposed to come later in the day to tell them the couch was no longer available. One woman absolutely flipped out at me, and started swearing at me online and then calling me repeatedly. I had to block her on social media and on my phone. I’m a bit worried because she has my address (probably another mistake – it is customary to wait until the last minute to give people your address if they are coming to look at something for sale? I guess maybe I should’ve done that), but hopefully I’m worried unnecessarily. I’m naturally a pretty anxious person, so situations like this send my anxiety through the roof.

I feel much more badly about one of the other people who was coming to look at it…because they already got rid of their old couch. Yes, it’s my fault that I didn’t tell them they were one party of about four who were coming to look at the couch today. But I forgot they hadn’t seen the updated posting. I sent them two emails apologizing (profusely), and obviously that’s not going to help the frustrating situation they are now in…but I hope they are at least aware that I didn’t do this maliciously. I’m basically just incompetent. I told my husband that the next time we have to sell something (probably in a few years before we move), he can handle the entire thing…because this process is a) something I’m not good at, and b) something I don’t enjoy even remotely.

I guess I did learn many lessons if I ever have to do this again. I’m truly not a person who would ever try to scam someone or make false promises like that, but that’s exactly what I ended up doing, even though I had no intention of doing so. Because I did “hold” the couch for a bunch of people this week, who all ended up flaking out on me, I knew we really needed to get rid of it this weekend (we definitely don’t have room for two couches in our living space). I know I didn’t intend to cause frustrating situations/miscommunication for anyone, but I obviously did…and I know if I were in the other person’s shoes, I would be extremely upset as well. I know these people are strangers who I’ll probably never meet, yet here I am writing the longest post I’ve written in ages about how awful I feel.

I’m not quite sure how to cheer myself up. I mean, the couch is now gone, which should have, in theory, removed all of the stress related to selling it. But now instead of feeling stressed, I just feel like an awful human being. I guess the very small silver lining is that the second person doesn’t have my phone number or social media…but then again, they don’t seem like someone who would harass me repeatedly like person number one did.

I mean, I’m acknowledging I made a mistake. I admitted it to the person who is now without a couch. I would’ve had an actual conversation with the other person, but I don’t enjoy being yelled at and called words I would never use to describe anyone. I guess I just need to figure out how to forgive myself, which is much easier said than done. I actually just did a little Googling (“how to forgive yourself for making a mistake”) and the articles I read a) made me feel better, b) gave me some ideas, and c) helped put things in perspective a bit. I’m not a bad person. I know I am a good person. Good people make mistakes that can hurt others. All people make mistakes that can and do hurt others.

I’ll end this with a quote from one of the articles (found here):

“I think forgiveness is often confused with condoning or lack of accountability,” Hartman says. “This is a world with high performance standards. People think they need to be perfect. Yet people do things — intended or not — that hurt others. You may not intend to harm, but the other person is no less hurt.”

New York and my first tattoo

Since last updating, I went to New York and saw my favorite musical, Cabaret, before it closes on Broadway. I saw Alan Cumming play the role he was probably born to play, and was lucky enough to get his autograph and say a quick hello to him after the show.

Also while in New York, I had a revelation. Moving to New York City is probably going to be one of the hardest things I ever do. It’ll be a huge adjustment for me- I’ve lived in the suburbs my entire life. It’s a little scary. A lot scary. Very daunting. Overwhelming to think about. But I know if I don’t do it, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. I’ve never felt as fully alive and as fully present as a human in the world as I do when I’m in the city. And I owe it to myself to give life there a chance.

Today I got a giant pineapple tattooed on my right thigh. Because I love Cabaret so goddamn much. And because it was high time I got my first tattoo- I could never decide on exactly what I wanted for the first one, so I put it off for years. I’m very happy with my decision.

Why a pineapple? Why Cabaret? A lot of reasons.
1. The pineapple is a reminder to me that love is hard. Choosing to love can often be a radical and courageous act. Sometimes you can’t settle for the lowest hanging fruit – you have to climb up a little higher to find the sweetest piece.
2. The pineapple is a reminder to me that I need to do more than just love – I need to show the people I love how much I love them.
3. The most important message of Cabaret for me is that people cannot and do not exist in isolation from what is going on in the world around them. This tattoo reminds me that the personal is the political, and that I cannot ignore the bad things in the world forever. I have to take a stand. I have to work towards positive change, in any way I possibly can, no matter how small.
4. On the contrary, Cabaret is also a reminder that sometimes you do need to escape (leave your troubles outside) for a little while. And that’s okay- even necessary. You just can’t exist indefinitely like that.
5. Above all, when I listen to Cabaret, I feel unbridled happiness. I love singing those songs and listening to them, and seeing a giant pineapple on my leg makes me smile in the same giddy, carefree way.

TLDR; life is good.

What eating disorder recovery was really like

I didn’t know I was so far along in recovery until I heard someone use the term “eating disordered” last week and began wondering if that is a term that even describes me anymore.

I’m not free of behaviors/symptoms 100% of the time…but I’d say about 80-85% of the time I am completely symptom-free. I don’t obsess about food as much. I don’t plan out my binges in advance, and hide the packaging and trash from my husband. When I’m stressed, I am able to remind myself that eating to the point of physical pain is not going to make me feel any better.

I am finally at the point where I can focus on making healthy choices, and eating things that will make my body feel good, without entering the cycle of restricting, binging, then restricting to compensate for the binge, and so on.

The weird thing is I can’t pinpoint anything specific I did to move myself so far along in recovery. Rather, I think I’m in the place I am today because of what I STOPPED doing.

I stopped thinking about food as the enemy. I pretty much stopped thinking about food entirely – or at least, I only think about food in a normal way now (when I’m hungry).

I stopped making my entire life about my recovery. I tried to focus more on doing things that made me happy, and less on recovery/food/weight.

I stopped telling myself that I could only be happy once my eating disorder was gone.

Basically, the more and more I lived my life to the fullest- despite my struggles with food, despite being overweight, despite being “un-recovered”…the easier recovery became. For me, finding life — and an identity — outside of and apart from my eating disorder was the most crucial step in my recovery.

I used to have a blog about food, fitness, weight loss…and later, about my eating disorder. Now I have a blog about my life…and I only write about the aforementioned topics when I feel like it. I don’t think of myself as a person with an eating disorder before I think of myself as a student, a wife, a friend, a writer, a teacher, etc.

February: highs and lows

Highs

  • Lots of snow days
  • Bought a new TV and sound system
  • Hung out with my sister for an entire day! We ate some great Indian food.
  • The return of The Walking Dead
  • Keeping up with my work – no all-nighters for this girl
  • Figured out who I want to student teach with next year
  • Lots of time at my favorite coffee shop
  • Staying in for Valentine’s Day and making the best homemade bolognese ever
  • Continuing to watch The Office
  • Getting a great deal on a new winter coat (my old one ripped; I purchased a new one for $56…originally priced $160!)
  • FINALLY booked our lodging for our NYC trip (we’re using AirBNB for the first time!)
  • Spent time with our families
  • Bought a new couch (yup, this was definitely an expensive month) after doing extensive research…we decided to invest in something we’ll have for the next 10-15 years 🙂
  • Drake’s new album. I’m obsessed and I don’t really know why.
  • Finally felt like I got back into a regular workout routine- it feels amazing
  • Some really fun, relaxing days at work with my favorite kiddos in the world
  • Started babysitting again (hopefully it’ll become a more consistent thing from here on out)
  • DOUG GOT AMAZING SCORES ON THE GRE!
  • I’m finally eating in a balanced way (not dieting, not restricting, not counting calories) and exercising regularly…AND I’M LOSING WEIGHT. Go figure.

Lows

  • Lots of snow days
  • Lots of money spent that we hadn’t planned on spending (granted, some of it was necessary..i.e. we bought a new couch because our current couch is basically broken…but still)
  • A very stressful week to end the month- I worked 30 hours and had the two biggest assignments of the semester so far due, Doug got really sick and missed a few days of work AND had to study for the GRE..it was pretty miserable
  • Drama with the billing department of our local hospital. Luckily all is resolved now.
  • Feeling kind of lonely / missing my friends / wishing I had more close friends in this area as opposed to scattered all around the U.S.
  • Not being very social AT ALL for the entire month. We were just so exhausted come Friday that we would crash, and then have lots of school & house stuff to do on Saturday and Sunday. I’m hoping March will be different.

Some Monday thoughts

  • I need to start doing something creative again- whether that’s writing fiction, painting, drawing, or making music. Even just once a week.
  • My most recent ex (I mean, like my ex from five years ago) is engaged. I remember when he called me right after I got engaged. Seems like forever ago.
  • I have a nasty cold on the first Monday in the past three weeks that is NOT a snow day. Since my Monday classes haven’t met for the past two weeks, I feel absolutely obligated to go. But yuck. I should take some Dayquil.
  • It hit me this morning that this is my last semester (for a while, anyway,,#PhDsomeday) with a full course load. I’m going to be student teaching for a year starting in September, and while doing that, I’ll take my last class and do some kind of research for credit.
  • I have a lot of relationship stuff on my mind- family and friends. It’s not all very positive. I’m not sure what to do with all of these feelings. I should probably write about them some more, sometime. But all at once, I’m worried, sad, and feeling kind of neglected.
  • If we get significant snow accumulation tonight/tomorrow, I’m just going to hop on a plane and head down south. For real.
  • I should take a nap. I have plenty of time. But that never goes well for me … a 30 minute nap always turns into a 2 hour nap. Instead I’ll probably go to the gym.
  • I’ve been keeping a food/health journal of sorts for the past two weeks, and it’s really working well for me. I’ll maybe do a more in-depth post about it sometime.

That’s about it. Really feeling that nap right now.

Updating so I don’t fall asleep (?!)

Another snow day yesterday, and I woke up at 4am to see if work was closed. It was! But then it was 4am, and I was awake. I had every intention of going back to sleep or taking a nap, but neither of those occurred yesterday. I went to bed at a normal time for me (11:00ish) and woke up at 6:00. That’s a solid seven hours! BUT…I am absolutely exhausted this morning. We went out to move our vehicles before the plow came, I had a quick breakfast, and then promptly fell asleep on the couch from 7am-8am. I woke up and chugged my coffee, and it’s still like the walking dead (pun intended) over here.

However, I can’t complain too much. All I have going on today is a dentist appointment at 11:30 and class at 4:10. I would like to get a bunch of work done today, but we’ll see if that’s in the cards. I do know if I’m this tired now, I will probably be even more exhausted in the late afternoon/early evening hours. Alright, I’ve convinced myself to go and do something.