Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cleanliness is next to craziness

This not sleeping thing is slowly driving me insane. Last night, I came to the office... and went a little OCD. I cleaned a lot. It is almost unrecognizable as the same place I have worked in these last few months. Today, I'm sitting here... And for some reason, the completely clean office is making me crazy. I can't handle it. What the...?

I am so weird.

Most people feel better when things are clean. I feel antsy, nuts, and I am reminded of the days that I would do this to my own room. ALL night, I would clean and clean. I would hang up my clothes on matching hangers, perfectly spaced from each other. Everything would be perfect. Not a speck of dust or anything out of place.

It would make my mom so happy. And then I couldn't touch anything in the room. I would just sit there and look at its perfect cleanness. At the worst times, I wouldn't sleep on the bed for fear of ruining it.

I learned to back off a lot while at CFC the first time... It hasn't been a part of my life for the last twelve years, and today?!? I can't handle that I had to put trash in the trash can. It needs to be taken out... right now! If there is trash, its not perfect, and then... we all might die! (I recognize this is not a rational thought... which is one reason I am writing this - getting it out there, or something - and I am NOT taking the trash out, even though I really, REALLY want to.)

It turns out I am crazier than I ever thought...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Take a rest, then move on when you're ready

While at CFC, I got to go on one outdoor activity. We were supposed to go repelling. I am not sure how, but I convinced Kortney to let me go. As we started hiking up, I was tired, I was dizzy, I had to rest.

I asked Clair, "I know its good to rest when I need to rest, but isn't it also good to push yourself? I mean, if I just let my body rest when it wanted to, I would never go anywhere or do anything..."

Her reply has stuck with me for a year now. She said, "If you are hiking and you start telling yourself, just a little farther, and you have to give yourself major pep-talks to keep your feet moving, and you aren't enjoying the hike anymore, take a rest, then move on when you're ready."

We did that. We rested a lot. We moved a lot slower than I had ever moved on a hike before. And, I had a great time! (We also got lost, and ended up hiking much farther than we needed. By the time we caught up to the group, I had missed repelling... It was worth it though. I found I could hike a lot if I just took it slow.)

Since then, I have found that idea works in life. I am really good at convincing myself to endure things I don't HAVE to endure. I can keep going when it seems impossible. However, I don't enjoy life. I miss out on things, and it usually isn't helpful.

Seeing her tonight, reminded me, and it was a good reminder. It is actually okay to rest... as often as I need, and I'll make it much farther than if I try to run up the mountain.

Center for Change alumni

Today was the Center for Change alumni event. It was supposed to be all day... I was overwhelmed at the idea of spending all day there, and I had work to do. My plan was to go at 1-2 ish... I got there at 5.

I got to hug several friends. I got to look in their eyes, and see how hard they are fighting. I got to be with people who understand me, and I don't really have to say anything.

Dr. B. came and sat next to me during dinner, gave me a hug, and then another hug (from Randy Hardman). I love that man! I love how gentle he is. I love how kind he is. I love how... himself... he is. He spoke on spirituality and recovery.

The two things that stuck out to me the most were, Listen to your heart (and the research that supports that the heart actually has its own neuro-activity). He's been telling people to listen to their hearts for at least the last twelve years, and probably longer. The second thing was to develop the language of spirituality, so you can understand how it speaks to you.

I thought of all of the quotes, the little promptings, the phone calls from friends, the music lyrics, and just the amazing miracles that I have experienced that have kept me moving along.

Jenni Shaefer spoke and sang her new song. She did awesome! She talked about how she had stopped playing the guitar ten years ago, because she wasn't good enough, blah, blah, blah. Then, this year, she started taking lessons. It was a good story. She was reminding us to pursue our passions, and I thought about how different I am... I am pursuing all kinds of new things: I wrote a song (and am writing more), I am drawing, I am horseback riding, I am singing, I auditioned for a play (and plan to audition again), I am designing ties, I am reading a ton of different books on different subjects (when I can concentrate long enough to read), I am playing with poetry, and I am sure I will add more new things to my repertoire as time goes on. Two years ago, I was working, and that's it.

There was a sharing session, but I ditched out again - I chose to sit next to a friend, who I love tons, and I just wanted to hear everything from. (Yes, you! I want to hear all that you have to say, and I can't get enough of your words, your wisdom, your heart! Sorry, I am not so good at subtlety, especially when I am writing...)

I was challenged to sit in the big cushy chair - the one I never sat in the whole time I was at CFC... at least not when there were other people who needed the chair more than I did. I took the challenge, and it didn't kill me. No one else seemed to be TOO uncomfortable. (I expect someone else to sit in that chair next time though!) We sang the new CFC choir song... I might be a little biased, but I do believe ours was much better!

We finished the night with a drumming circle. Beating things was nice.

And as is tradition, we finished the night with the song,
"Listen, Listen, Listen to my heartsong.
Listen, Listen, Listen to my heartsong.
I will never forget you, I will never forsake you.
I will never forget you, I will never forsake you."
It took me a while. Then, all of a sudden, I heard myself singing. I heard Lauren singing. I heard the women around me, and my heart started jumping, screaming, and making all kinds of noise inside me.

I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I wanted all of that "stuff" inside to get out and stop plaguing me... I couldn't believe there was still so much stuck... after all this time, after all this work. I'm glad I was there, and I'm frustrated.

I told Rita I wanted to help plan next year's alumni event... so I expect all of my friends to be there if at all humanly possible. Be aware, I will probably stoop to such horrible things as guilt trips, holding things ransom, and idle threats. I decided we should do a "talent show" of sorts - let everyone share their talents and passions. Again, beware... no one is safe.

Only someone from CFC...

Tonight was the alumni event at CFC. They served me dinner, however, two hours later, I was starving... not sure why. I normally can handle waiting in the evenings, but tonight, I was HUNGRY. I was to the lightheaded, dizzy, shaky, place... and there was no food! (At CFC of all places!)

I had a granola bar in my car. I ate that, but it was rather gross... At least it did the job, I felt a little better. When I got home, I ran to the fridge saying, "I had a granola bar for snack, but now I need some real food. I need... ice cream!"

Dann's reply, "Only someone from CFC would say a granola bar isn't real food, but ice cream is."

Probably true... and I really enjoyed my ice cream.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Go, go, go Joseph

I went to Justin's play tonight (Joseph and the Amazing Techinicolor Dreamcoat, he plays Simeon). I went expecting to laugh, to see Justin sing and dance, and to waste a few hours. I have never seen the play, but I knew it was pretty silly. I did not expect to be touched.

There is a scene when Joseph is in the prison cell... all of the kids and other prisoners start singing, "go, go, go, go," really softly... Then the narrators sing,
"Go, go, go Joseph, you know what they say
Hang on now Joseph, you'll make it some day
Don't give up Joseph, fight till you drop
We've read the book and you come out on top"
And suddenly, I felt encouraged... lifted up... strengthened... I can do this! I know who wins in the end, and its ME!

(As a side note, Justin did a great job! I had a blast watching him. He is getting really good, and it is so fun to see him progressing in something he loves as much as singing and acting.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Little Victories

I know I haven't been here for a while...

I have spent this week up at the LDS Booksellers Association Convention. I have enjoyed doing something different. I have loved watching people's reactions as I show them the pins I helped design. I have loved meeting people who's names I see all the time, and putting faces with the voices from the phone. It was just fun!

I would like to share a few other "little victories" from this week:

I hate spending money on myself, but there was a necklace that I LOVED! So, I bought it.

I went hiking with a friend. I wasn't feeling too hot, but I thought if we just started moving, I would get better... I didn't. I asked if we could stop hiking and go back. I have never "quit" early... but I think it was the best thing I could have done for me! My biggest concern is how she is handling it... and I hope she will go with me again.

I set boundaries with another friend. She has been taken over by an eating disorder, and talking to her is not easy. I told her that I wanted to see her, but that I couldn't spend the time we were planning on. I felt stronger (with a little help from Amanda) after talking to her. I love her, and I would do almost anything to help her, and I am also taking care of me...

I don't sleep much... being up all night makes me hungry. So, I am now regularly eating snacks at night too... Nothing scheduled, just eating when I feel hungry - no matter what time it is. WHOA! Actual - for reals - Intuitive Eating!

We went to a campout for our ward. Ward campouts have been huge, big, tremendous triggers for me... The people, the environment, everything about it brings on eating disorder craziness. This time, I ate dinner, and actually talked to a few people... meaningful conversations! (I actually talked about ME, which I don't do much, and it didn't even kill me.)

Tonight, I played RockBand with Justin for forever. No worries - just chillin' and hangin' with my little bro - like a normal person does.

And now, maybe I am going to sleep... like a normal person does.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Lessons on selfishness

I wasn't going to go to Relief Society today...

But I did.

And guess what the lesson was on: Yep! Selfishness. We started by talking about how to lose all your friends: Frown, Be Grumpy and Cranky all the time, Never share, Whine about everything, Tattle, etc.

And immediately my brain was spinning with how much I suck... I don't smile all the time, in fact I cry and frown a lot. I am grumpy and cranky way more than any one person should be, I have so much, and I don't share it all (the thought that came to my mind was our cars, my job, and food...), and I whine... I talk about my problems, I tell people I am in pain, I suck! And finally, I have told people about abuse. I should have kept those things to myself. No one wants to listen to a tattle-tale... and I am just a 30 year old tattle-tale!

I prayed. I told the Lord how I wasn't sure this was where I needed to be, but I was there for Melissa. Help me to get something good out of the lesson, and if nothing else, help me survive it.

And then, I thought of all of the people I feel angry at. I am angry at them for being selfish. I feel angry at them for only thinking of themselves. I would really like some of those people to hear this lesson and to understand what they are doing. Maybe I shouldn't be angry that they are teaching this... there are truly people who need to hear this.

And then I felt guilty. SOOOO guilty. We are told to take the lessons and apply them to our own lives, not to think about how much I wish this person or that person was here to listen... I AM SO SELFISH AND EVIL! I HATE MYSELF!!!

At this point Rachael pulled out a quote by James E. Faust.
"Many years ago I was in a professional association with two older, more experienced men. We had been friends for many years and found it mutually beneficial to help one another. One day, one associate sought our help on a complex matter. As soon as the issue had been explained, the first thing the other associate said was, “What’s in it for me?” When his old friend responded so selfishly, I saw the look of pain and disappointment on the face of the one who had invited our help. The relationship between the two was never quite the same after that. Our self-serving friend did not prosper, as his selfishness soon eclipsed his considerable gifts, talents, and qualities. Unfortunately, one of the curses of the world today is encapsulated in this selfish response, “What’s in it for me?”
And then I knew the definition of selfishness: Selfishness is asking, "What's in it for me?" NOT, "That will hurt me, so I won't do it." It may result in the same final action, but selfishness is truly about our hearts, our motivation, and only I can know if I am being selfish or not.

A few weeks ago, I came up with my own definition:
Unselfish - putting what the Lord wants for us ahead of what we want for us, or what others want for us...

Rachael said something similar, but she breezed right over it. I wanted to point out to her what she had just said. By that definition, sometimes NOT giving other people what we want to give them is actually far more selfish than giving. I wish I would have said it, but I didn't... The lesson moved on.

The end of the lesson was harder on me... They talked about sharing everything we have, serving others, making sacrifices for others, and putting the needs of others first. All of which sent my head spinning, sent me back to times with Larry, and caused some minor freakouts.

Although this lesson was hard, and I am currently having some brain malfunctions... I can also tell I am different. If I would have heard this lesson six months ago... I can't even imagine how it would have worked out. I don't think I could have survived it.

Discussions on nutrition...

So this entry will be short... Because the discussion on nutrition was short. In Relief Society, I was sitting next to the handout, "Healthy snacks."

In my world, none of those things could even be considered a snack...

Celery with fat free dressing... NOPE! Not a snack... I am not sure that even counts as food...
Rice cakes... (Unless you're "binging" on them, haha...just kidding) Not a snack!
I can't remember the others... I know it talked about low-fat cheese, no fat whatever, and anyways...

Since I was sitting next to it,at the end of the lesson everyone came back and talked to me about it. Melissa picked one up, and I said that looks gross... would you really eat those? (I feel a little bad about that, because I hate it when people judge my food choices, but well... I was saying it for me. It had nothing to do with her.) She said she needed to eat healthier... I told her she ate fine, and she didn't need to worry about it. She folded it up and handed it to someone else, and said, "I decided I won't eat "healthy", so someone else can have this." I told her she was my hero, which got me the response, "Well, yeah you guys that are naturally skinny, shut up!"

I just wanted to teach them about Intuitive Eating. Intuitive Eating is learning to listen to your body, understand yourself and your nutritional needs, and it is just so cool! So much better than rice cakes and celery! But they wouldn't understand... it goes against what so many people believe. And it is so frustrating!

And then Melissa said, "God made good food to be enjoyed, didn't He?" and walked away.

Really, she is my hero! At that moment, although I know she didn't understand what she was doing... I felt like I wasn't alone. I felt like I could be strong against my eating disorder. I felt like the silly handout was just that... silly. I am afraid if she wasn't there, I might have obsessed, or gotten caught up in a conversation with people about their exercise and diet habits, or something else equally destructive to me. Instead, I walked away too.

Don't Quit!

I love poems and quotes. I used to memorize them all of the time. I would practice writing them right-handed (I'm a lefty.) whenever I would get bored in church or at meetings. I have forgotten a lot of them, but like music, sometimes they come to me as answers to prayers at certain moments. I like this one, and it came to me today. I am feeling a little frustrated with life.
DON'T QUIT - Author unknown
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit -
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late
when the night came down
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint to the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar,
So stick to the light when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

I feel weary. The road seems all uphill (right now), and goodness gracious, I would love a rest. Today, it all seems so far... so much to do... and I feel so tired of doing it.

Fortunately (or unfortunately - it actually has worked both ways), I have a very hard time letting myself quit. Today is a day I am grateful for my ability to push on when things seem worst.