It’s Not About the When It’s About the How

When will I learn… I’ve asked this question a thousand times. I realized if I stop asking myself “when” and start asking myself “how” I can avoid heading down the self deprecating path to shitsville. I hate shitsville, it’s a terrible place. Shitsville only offers up stress and self doubt.

Instead of defaulting to time (when) to fix my issues I reach for actions (how) to resolve them. Asking myself “how can I problem solve” instead of “when will this end” has helped me move past my troubles. As I turn my when’s to how’s I’m able to figure out solutions that keep me moving forward. I don’t want to be stuck, I just can’t always find the words to move past my stuck.

Asking with a “how” instead of a “when” changes the conversation. In changing the conversation we change our out come. “When will I start to live in the moment?” This is like waiting for a day and time for our problem to be solved, not leaving room for problem solving, this keeps us stuck.

“How can I start living in the moment?” This demands us to act, puts our minds to work finding solution that keep us moving forward. (Wish I had figured this one out in my youth)

How to love, how to forgive, how to be happy. It’s all in the doing not in the waiting. Life can be difficult at times, learning to let go of “when” will it be better and focusing on “how” I can make it better seems to be the piece of the puzzle I’ve been missing. 

I’ve been Living In An Addicts World

I’ve done the work, I continue todo the work, I have a great therapist. This post is about my moments of clarity. If you are reading this and connecting with me, I am with you. If you are wondering what’s wrong with me, you and I are in different places, and that’s ok. 

There are moments that I have as a loved one of an addict that linger and haunt me. Full disclosure, there are so many I’ve lost track. The particular one that stands out for me, the one where the downward spiral ended, was when I realized I was working harder for his sobriety than he was.

My ability to read a situation and problem solve was not an attribute rather an achilles heal. To say those things out loud, to acknowledge I could not veer him from his path, was devastating. A switch was flipped. I no longer felt responsible for him, his actions, his excuses. A wieght lifted. (Insert audible sigh) “I’m going to be in charge of myself and my kiddo that’s it.” became my mantra. If all that wasn’t  hard enough to swallow I had an “ah ha” moment that kicked me where it hurts. I’m part of the problem not the solution.

Sweet Mary and Joseph!!! “I’m part of the problem”. At this point I wasn’t sure which way was up.

If you have your very own addict you know my struggle. If you are knew to the world of addiction buckle your seat belt. Addiction slowly sneaks into our lives. It quietly twist things around. It invokes fear and sadness, delivering confusion and angry. Then when it feels like you can’t take any more the family implodes and the real tragedy begins. 

The break down of love and compassion. All the life we’ve lived, the life that made us us, criticized and ridiculed. We tourtured each other emotionally, placed blame. We pulled apart and strangled all that was sacred to us. The things we said, the nasty way we spoke to each other… I wouldn’t change a thing.

All that has happened has brought me to a place of understanding that I never would have gotten to if it wasn’t for the long drawn out process of getting myself to this place of self awareness.

My husband came home from rehab. (lost count of how many times he’s gone). He left broken, he came home a different kind of broken. He’s was angry and lost and willing to give it all up as long as he didn’t have to work at sobriety. Didn’t have to face the self hate he carried.

What happened next… I never saw it coming and I really had thought I’d seen it all.

Laughter Can Distract You From Yourself

Every 4 weeks I visit a waxing salon to get my face, armpits, and downstairs cleaned up. Every 4 weeks I struggle with the embarressment and disgust I feel over my large C-section scar/ akward abominal scar/ strange bellybutton scar from the many surgeries I needed to put my insides back to good after having my daughter.

I see a great gal, she laughs with me instead of giving me that “no stop it, your beautiful” speech. It’s truly refreshing to have someone agree your front side doesn’t exactly look like the norm. Today, in her adoring smile, she said “you look amazing with your clothes on.” I nearly peed myself laughing. She knew just what to say to lighten my awkwardness and make feel comfortable.
I wish all humans were so kind. Thank you friendly neighborhood waxing lady, I’d be lost with out you.

Side note, my daughter was worth every scar. I wouldn’t change a thing.

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I Hate That The Number Matters

I’m 38 (so close to 40). 5’2″(with my shoes on). I wear a size 10 pant (31 in a fancy brand). My shoes are a 6.5 (small feet make for poor balance, but a great selection at the store). I’m 148 lbs (on any given day could be 154 lbs, I get super bloated). I know it shouldn’t, but some of  these numbers bother the hell out of me.

The 38 thing really doesn’t, it’s only when doctors start talking about the new an exciting things that have to be done because I’m aging, then I’m bothered.

5’2″ well, that’s a tough one. Somedays short is where it’s at, other days I’m spending $200.00 to get my new pants taken up. I’d rather be spending $200.00 on more pants, maybe a top.

Size 10, now there is where we hit complicated. The world media is telling me I should be a size 4. My very wide shoulders and hips are saying nothing smaller than an 8 for me. It’s enough to drive me crazy. I’ve learned to ignore the numbers in my clothing, it’s better that way.

My only sadness I have around my 6.5s is if they were more like 7.5s would I be less clumsy, just a thought not a complaint.  🙂

148 lbs is where I loose it, I know if I feel good in my clothes the number shouldn’t matter, I hate that the number matters! For years I obsessively weighed myself each morning. The out come of my day sometimes rode on that number. I had to brake up with my scale, it’s been freeing. But I’m back on the crazy train.

I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have lived in the Marlin Monroe era where curvy and mature were sexy and sought after.

I was out with a friend recently, so excited to see her, when it came time to order she order veggies, she is a vegan, and I ordered a fish dish and we each ordered wine. No apps, we passed on the bread, the waiters response was “Watching what we eat ladies”, he had the biggest grin on his face, as if he’d just won a round of trivia pursuit. What an ass! So two sized 10 women ordering delicious fish and veggies gets perceived as two big ladies who need to drop a few lbs. I had to dig deep not to tell him to shove it. “NO”, was my brilliant response. It’s a hard truth to swallow that 5’2″, size 10 women are considered to be large. I believe if we had ordered apps, bread and big meals he probably would  have  thought to himself  “those big ladies need to ease up on the intake”. It shouldn’t be this way. There is no way around  hearing peoples perceptions or opinions, but I would love it if those perceptions and opinions had a broader scope on women’s body types.

I’m sad that my struggles will one day be my daughters (efforts and fingers crossed it won’t be). I wish the ideal women was portrayed larger and curvier than a 12 year old boy. Slender and svelte, I am on your side. Tall, tight and toned, I get it, that is beautiful. But could short and wide join the ranks of ideal beauty, PLEASE.

P.S.

We were both, my friend and I, wearing fantastic outfits, our hair and makeup was flawless. That waiter has a lot to learn on how to get better tips. The art of giving compliments should be his next college course.

I Ran Till My Legs Hurt More Than My Heart

Today the memory of a painful moment in my life came rushing in. I have to admit I was a bit taken back by its timing…

I’ll never forget, I was carrying the clean laundry, I had just set foot on the first step to head up stairs. He was yelling, we were always yelling at each other, I stepped back and put the laundry basket on the floor, sat on the first step and laid my head in my hands. I had been so unhappy for so long there wasn’t any fight left, I stared at the hard wood floors wondering how we got to this point, wondering when I lost myself, hopping he’d stop yelling. I chuckled to myself, as if I had just seen a funny Saturday night live skit, then the weight of realty hit my chest, my heart was pounding, I got flush, couldn’t breath. I looked up to see my running sneakers next to the front door, I put them on, I dragged my panicked self out the front door and I started running. One block, two blocks, three blocks with every pounding step the realization of my situation and the action I needed to take became clearer. Ten blocks, eleven blocks, I don’t want to live like this. Nineteen and twenty blocks, I’m not a yeller, how did I get like this!!!! What’s wrong with me? Can I be saved? Wait, I don’t want to be saved… Get me off this crazy train!

I ran till my legs hurt more than my heart, than I ran till my toes went numb. I fell to the ground, gasping for air, tear filled eyes and told myself “Get up, the owner of the yard I’m laying in will call the cops. Get up, don’t let this take you down. Get up, you need to discover what happy feels like”.

As I rounded the corner back to the house (my lungs burning, my legs hurting) I could see him waiting for me on the front porch, befuddled and confused he shouted out “You alright?” I didn’t respond right away. He repeated him self. Now, just a few feet away from him, I swallowed hard and blurted out “I want a divorce, I can’t live like this!”.

My ex-husband and I did’t separate because we didn’t love each other, we separated because the reasons we got together were no longer there. If you love something set it free. I didn’t like who we’d become, who I had become. I no longer felt the joy when I looked at him. Smiles were replaced with scowls, laughter with yelling. No one should live like that. I had stood in the silence of our dark secret for far too long. It was time to start dealing with the real issue at hand. His addictions.

I’ll never forget that day, the day I took up running.