Wednesday, April 20, 2011

American Parking Lot

(That's carpark to a lot of you overseas readers.)

This morning I looked out of my window and three cars were parallel parked all in a row right outside. I'm not a cars person, so forgive my less-than-exact descriptions.

First there was a bright red, big ol' SUV. Then a little blue compact car. And last was a kinda beat-up white pick-up truck, with a ladder rack attached to the bed.

And I had one of those weird analogy moments as I often do. Here were these red, white, and blue cars, all totally different but well suited for their purposes. They might not even get along with each other; compact car might not like SUV's gas mileage and environmental impact, SUV might think pick-up's job is menial, and pick-up might laugh at compact car's tininess. But even if these cars are totally different and not at all serving the same ideology, they just sat there together looking shiny, ready to do what they could.

It'd be cool if people could do that too.

Monday, April 18, 2011

"I was where I needed to be."

Someone sent me this a long time ago and I like it. I thought I'd posted it already, but apparently not.

The House Was Quiet on a Winter Afternoon
by David Young
Someone was reading in the back,
two travelers had gone somewhere,
maybe to Chicago,

a boy was out walking, muffled up,
alert on the frozen creek,
a sauce was simmering on the stove.

Birds outside at the feeder
threw themselves softly
from branch to branch.

Suddenly I did not want my life
to be any different.
I was where I needed to be.

The birds swirled in the dusk.
The boy came back from the creek.
The dead were holding us up

the way the ice held him,
helping us breathe the way
air helps snowflakes swirl and fall.

And the sadness felt just right,
like a still and moving wave
on which the sun shone brilliantly.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sweet Connections

Not sweet like lovely. Sweet like sugar.
This post is more for me than you, lol!

Three things sugar does to me that I genuinely don't like (some of the side effects I can either ignore or don't mind that much):
evening mood swings

That's all I have to say about that for now.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sugar Versus Self Injury

I may have mentioned this before, but it occurs to me that I use sugar in much the way I used to use self injury. When there's an emotion I'm not comfortable with, I tend to want to get rid of it rather than welcome it (I know, to some of you that may seem like common sense, but I believe there is great value is being able to tolerate and get along well with emotions). The quickest way for me to get rid of a feeling was self injury, and is now sugar. Sugar kinda numbs me out... much like marijuana or an opioid sort of drug might (not that I've ever tried any of those... ahem... hi, grandma!).
So I'm gonna try to treat my sugar addiction in ways similar to how I treated my cutting addiction (yes, people, self injury can definitely be an addiction). When I was stopping self injury, it was important that I have other means of coping in place, in order to keep myself safe (and by safe I kinda mean, not suicidal). It was important that I address some of the underlying reasons for my self injury (that has turned out to be quite a process, but immensely helpful). And it was important that I not take away my most familiar and effective coping mechanism all at once, cold-turkey style.
So I kind of have a plan of attack with sugar. Right now I am not drinking anything with a sweetener in it (aside from honey). I am also only eating more "natural" sugars (ie, No hfcf or highly processed white sugar stuff. I'm still eating things with evaporated cane juice, fruit juice sweetener, etc). So that's phase one of my step-down.
As for dealing with the underlying issues, I'm doing individual and group therapies and continuing all that kind of work.
As for alternative methods of coping... I want to hear your ideas! What do you do when an emotion is uncomfortable?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Commentary Later

Or maybe I will never get around to doing a commentary. But here is a poem a friend just showed me:

The Rider
by Naomi Shihab Nye

A boy told me
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him,

the best reason I ever heard
for trying to be a champion.

What I wonder tonight
pedaling hard down King William Street
is if it translates to bicycles.

A victory! To leave your loneliness
panting behind you on some street corner
while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas,
pink petals that have never felt loneliness,
no matter how slowly they fell.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Great Things


Knowing when to say enough

Thich Nhat Hahn


The smell of freshly cut lawns
(Haha, at first I had "grass" instead of "lawn" then decided someone would take that the wrong way)

The beach
(Hey, cool! When I googled the name of the beach my family goes to in Florida, this was one of the first pictures that came up. And it's source was.... my blog, lol!)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ruminations on Plus Sized Jeans

I've never really been ashamed of my scars.
I know a lot of people who self injure(d) who are terribly uncomfortable with other people seeing their scars. They wear long sleeves in the middle of summer, or cover their arms with make-up, or never ever go swimming. If someone does ask about where their scars came from, they don't answer. Or they lie: a vicious cat, a barbed wire fence, a car accident... But for years and years now, I don't mind who sees my scars. I wear what I want to wear, and if someone asks me what happened to my arm, I say "I used to cut myself" (I have a different answer for kids, but that's not out of shame).
But what I really am ashamed of, is my weight. Shame. To the point where I do things like seriously considering not going to see a bunch of my high school who are getting together near me in a couple of months. Just because I am so ashamed of the size of my body.
And yeah yeah yeah, diet, exercise, blah blah blah. I know all that. This post isn't about that. This is about the fact that right now, today, I am fat, and I am ashamed.
So I was kinda thinking about that the other day... because really, I would love to see these friends again. I use sugar in a lot the same way I used to use self injury. I find that sugar dulls me, emotionally. When I have enough sugar in my bloodstream, I don't feel lonely or afraid or angry or whatever else it is I don't want to feel.
So, if I'm not ashamed of the scar-looking scars on my arms, why should I be ashamed of the scars that look like a big belly and chubby cheeks? I came by them both the same way. I did what I felt like I had to do to be OK with whatever was going on for me. I still do sometimes. And while I want to find and am working on finding better ways to cope, how could I blame myself for taking the best care of me I know how to in the moment?
Maybe my plus-size jeans just mean "Fuck you, hard times. I'm still here, and you aren't" just like the scars on my arms do.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Computer Curfew Leads to More Clean Laundry!

So, lately I've been only allowing myself to have my computer on from 10am to 10pm. Since I don't have a TV, the computer is pretty much my only source of media (I do have a separate CD player, though, so music and such is still an option).
I try to be up by 8am, so that leaves me about 2 hours in the mornings when I'm out of bed but not on the computer. I get a surprising amount of stuff done in just two hours!
And today I noticed an interesting trend. I usually turn my computer on right at 10am, but even with it on I find that on days I've observed the 10am curfew (some days I've cheated) I am way more likely to do things other than being on the computer, even during the hours I'm allowed to be.
I guess maybe it's about habit-building...? Like, in the mornings I'm building the habit of doing other stuff, so it's continuing through-out the day?
Hmm, I bet this theory is applicable to a lot of other things. Like maybe if I just make a commitment to exercise for 5 minutes each day (exercise is one of my big sticking-points... I just don't like it much) then the idea will carry over and I'll either start wanting to do it longer, or do it more times through out the day. Hmm....

Haiku Haiku

The five, seven, five
of simple mindfulness is
a deep, quiet joy.

I really like haikus. In fact, a friend of mine likes to give me a random word and I write a haiku about it on the spot. Granted, they aren't marvelous but it's fun.
For one my prompt was "LMAO" (that stands for "laughing my @$$ off") and my haiku was:
a word that means to laugh so
hard your butt falls off.

Probably that is some horrible sacrilegious use of haiku, which really is an elegant art form in it's simplicity. Sometimes I go for that, too. But either way, haiku are fun.