I think I’m packing up the blog for a while. No big deal, just feel strangely out of the blog loop and feel like working on things myself. All this I’m going through is hard and wearing it on my sleeve feels not quite right at the moment. If I feel like it I’ll be back. If not – thanks for reading and thanks for the support…
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Have been going great guns seeing Lynda, my clinical psychologist. The homework has been hard, but so rewarding and freeing!
On the weekend I finished packing up all the clothes that didn’t fit me. I gave some to a friend, some to charity, some in the bin, and some I packed up in space savers bags and they are waiting to be taken to a friend’s house. I have a drawer of things still in my bedroom and some coats but I can’t pack those up as they will can’t be crushed that much. It feels GREAT. I feel so at peace and happy. Kate was right - I am making room for another dream – a happy me.
For years I have alternated between swinging wildly from “Yes, I can diet!” to “No, it’s crazy.” I can’t keep doing that. I want to be happy with myself, finally, at the age of 35. I look back at my 20′s and early 30′s and feel so sad for what I was putting myself through. But I have forgiven myself and am now looking forward to looking after myself, establishing some much needed routine and working on what’s important to me. I know I am healthy (from that blood test I had) and I eat well most of the time. I am slowly working out ways of letting go of being so hard on myself.
Today’s mission – cancel the gym membership.
Well I have started seeing the shrink again and she has given me two horrible bits of homework. First – cancel my gym membership. Second – scoop up all the clothes that don’t fit me and get them out of my house. Both things are just about causing me to break out in hives. The reason for the homework is to try and get me to live ‘in the now’ and stop spending my time looking back with regret and guilt (friendships ending, putting on weight or not managing my fitness better) or looking ahead to the future (I will use the gym membership, I will fit into these clothes etc)
The gym membership is a contentious issue. It’s cheap but I am just not using it and the guilt is killing me. I am writing the letter this afternoon and it will be gone in two weeks. When I was asked by the shrink why I had gone to the gym so much in the lead up to my wedding I realised it was because I hated myself. I hated my body and I couldn’t bear to live like that anymore. It wasn’t about getting fitter or feeling better at all.
The clothes – oh my God, it’s killing me. I have a LOT of clothes and they are going to either go to charity or friends or be packed up and put in those vacuum bags and stored at my friend’s house. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I know I have spoken before about the clothes issues and tried to get it sorted but I feel I am finally coming towards the end of it. At the moment I feel too anxious and depressed about throwing them all out – like I’m giving up on a dream or something. I have had clothes in my wardrobe that don’t fit me since I was 15! 20 years of my life! For 20 years of my life I haven’t accepted myself or loved myself. I have wanted to be something different. I have felt guilt and shame and embarrassment and had those clothes staring at me every time I opened the wardrobe door. Lynda (shrink) asked if I could consider letting them all go but I can’t for practical reasons as well as emotional. I remember wearing some of those clothes. I looked good and I felt good and I want to feel that way again. I do not want to be an unfit size 20 woman who struggles to find clothes to fit her. So I am keeping some and hiding them, and letting others go.
I don’t know if this will work in helping me. All I know is I’m sick of the guilt.
I have felt sick with excitement and worry and potential disappointment and potential success since Friday afternoon…when I received the phone call to tell me I was successful in getting an interview for the job I applied for recently in my dream town.
Yesterday I was to meet with the father of one of my ex students who I’m friends with to go over some potential interview questions. I cried on and off all morning because I was so scared and when I got there I cried for most of the time I was there. He was very kind but I could tell one thing – he thinks I have buckley’s of impressing them in the interview.
In one way I work well under pressure. I can perform – most teachers can. I am entertaining, I am passionate. But there feels like so much riding on this job interview that the pressure is destroying me. I know that I have a very slight chance of getting it – the other people getting interviews already work at the school and it’s a well-known fact that for an outsider to get the job is something highly unlikely. But I did get an interview which means they are open to the idea of employing someone else. This may seem crazy to people who don’t work for the DET but that’s how most schools operate – if they have someone in mind they put a few people against them that have no chance and don’t interview the people who could give them a real run for their money.
It was hard seeing the dad the other day for the fake interview because I know him and there was that embarrassment factor. I am hoping that I can clarify in my mind what I want to say and how to sell myself for each point and not get in there and have my mind go blank.
I am so nervous and swinging between despair that I will fail and tiny moments of thinking I can pull this off.
Had two important realisations over the past two days.
First – I tutor this Year 11 student, and if you asked me if I enjoyed doing it or not I’d be neutral. Once I’m there at the library working with him I’m ok, but in the lead up to leaving the house I feel depressed and like my life sucks. I didn’t necessarily put it down to going to tutoring, but I think that is what that problem is. I was stopping at the shop on the way and buying a chocolate either on the way (because I was feeling low) or on the way home (because I was happy it was over). Either placating or rewarding myself with food. Now, this is something that my mother never did but I did myself once I hit that all important age of 7, which is when I first felt true unhappiness and panic. I remember coming home from school and eating heaps of junk food and really feeling happy and loved. It’s crazy – but that’s how I felt! Same with going out for dinner too – once a fortnight we got to go to that horrible burger place with the clown (don’t want to name it for random Google search reasons) and sitting there with my siblings and my mum I honestly felt loved and blissfully happy. I don’t remember having that feeling just from interaction with my parents.
I know my mum loves me and she is one of my best friends now. We have always got on very well and I know she was the best mother she could be to me given her own upbringing and history. This is something that happened in the past and now it’s time to move on and change my thinking about food.
What I did yesterday was think of the tutoring money and how it could help us. I prepared a really interesting lesson for my student and worked him hard during the hour. I felt confident that I knew what I was talking about and he really seemed to get what I was saying. As I was walking there I was visualising how proud I would be when we were out of debt and on our way to our next financial goal of buying a house. When I got paid, I reminded myself of our goals and forced myself to walk home instead of getting the bus. Did I buy something from the shop? Yes – but only a milky way – in previous weeks I have bought two chocolate bars. I won’t get over this instantly, but I really want to stop medicating my emotions with food.
Second realisation – here I am this morning trying to go through a box of paperwork that has sat on the floor of our office for about 6 months (Christ – maybe longer!) It has notes from school in it and lesson plans. And I am finding it SO HARD to go through. It’s making me feel overwhelmed, depressed and inadequate. I hang on to some of this stuff because I feel stupid. I know in theory I’m not but I worry that all those lectures I didn’t really pay attention in, all those notes I never read, all the study I didn’t do is one day going to come and bite me on the arse. And realistically – will it? No. It won’t. It’s in the past. I can always source what I need to.
Another thing I do when I’ve overwhelmed with the clutter is go shopping. I use it as a way to avoid doing something uncomfortable and as another form of self-medication. I don’t want to do that as much – I need to change my behaviour there too.
So letting go of clutter equals letting go of guilt and remorse and the potential to correct past “mistakes”. All I need to do is move forward. Instead of being anxious and overwhelmed I am going to change my thinking to believe that this is the way forward, this is what I want my life to feel like and my house to look like.
I need to let go of the guilt and accept that sorting clutter ISN’T EASY. It is HARD and draining. I don’t know why I feel it should be easy - might be something to do with the fact that I believe I shouldn’t have this sort of clutter in the first place.
I’ll leave you with something positive (for a change!) We now only have $6750 to go before our CC debt is paid off!!!
The husband got a big contract and has been working like a dog so we have put some money away for the car rego and service due in June and paid some extra off his CC (the interest free period runs out on it in about 2 weeks and we have $2000 to go on it! I really want to make it!)
I cannot believe we are at this point – too exciting. If we are able to pay off $675 per week for the next 10 weeks we will be out of debt by the end of the financial year which was our original date – yes, the one we gave up on because we didn’t think we could do it. I am so motivated now and can’t WAIT to say…
I HAVE NO FUCKING CREDIT CARD DEBT!!!
I know I am capable of this. I will get to the food stuff later. My goals are simple. And I know they are shared by so many of my friends in blogland and real life. In a way they are embarrassing too – such Western world problems! I can almost roll my eyes at them!
Goal 1: Get the clutter under control.
How? I have started small. The bedroom is clean and tidy. Everything has a place, and I don’t go to bed until everything is put away. The kitchen is the same – husband and I agreed that we wouldn’t go to bed unless all the washing up etc was done and put away. I have gone through all the cupboards and ditched all the things I don’t use on a regular basis. Everything has a place.
I feel fantastic about these two rooms being done. There are still some bit and pieces to finish in the bedroom (mainly pictures being hung) but I will get onto that on the weekend when the husband is around to help me. It honestly feels like a sanctuary. I think the two things that have saved it falling back into a cesspit are having a place for everything, even the things I don’t think NEED a place and constantly picking up after myself and throwing things out I don’t need. When I went shopping the other day I made sure I went through all the bags and put things away as soon as I walked in the door – it made such a difference.
The future? The office is next and that’s going to be a big one. It’s a tip. This afternoon I am taking everything off my desk and putting it in a box to go through as I can’t even begin to start cleaning it in the state it’s in. I will report back on the next step after that’s done.
I can’t stop thinking about this expression that I heard yesterday on another trashy show I love – Ruby. Love Ruby and her Southern ways! In the last episode she was trying to get to the root of her problem – why, at the end of a year, with help and support from friends, dietitians and trainers, she is still around 350 pounds.
I have to ask myself the same question. Why, after seeing my dietician since August 30th 2008 am I still around the same weight? Why, with a supportive husband and friends am I still the same the weight? Why, after everything I have learnt and all the knowledge I have am I the same weight? Why can’t I motivate myself and have the discipline needed to lose weight?
Because, as Ruby’s therapist said, I have a hole in my soul. One that I have tried to fill with food for 28 years. I have written about it before and I just don’t know how to get over it. I am considering going back and seeing a psychologist that I saw a few years ago to get over this. I feel there’s so much buried pain and hurt surrounding the seemingly meaningless events of my childhood and it is stopping me from moving forward. I feel quite stupid writing about it yet again but when I was watching Ruby I started crying just thinking about it. Food felt like my only friend and the only thing which made me feel loved in that horrible year. It felt like not even my own mother loved me.
Don’t get me wrong - since 2008 I have learnt so much about eating and what a healthy diet should be. I have had many small victories. But the cold hard facts are that I still weigh over 100kg. And that is ridiculous.
Surely clutter and the grind of day-to-day can’t keep me down? What am I going to do, get to the end of my life and say “If only I’d got a handle on the clutter…” What a pathetic reason to be depressed – I mean, honestly, Western world problems! Last night I went and picked up a gas heater that I purchased off eBay which is so powerful we will be able to heat our lounge and kitchen. We have the money to pay our electricity bill every quarter. Not every family can say that. I have a husband who loves me and supports me. He knows how to cook and clean. Not everyone can say that either!
So today I will do things I feel like doing – and it does involve further cleaning. Now I have a clean bedroom and kitchen I love it - my mind is clearer and I feel more in control. I am off to clean up and rearrange the lounge room so we can use our new heater tonight. Then I’m off to do more gardening. And I may even contemplate doing some school work! :0
Although it’s one of the worst shows in TV, I can’t help but watch the Biggest Loser (record on the IQ and ff through it like a crazy thing). Last week they had Rowena McEvoy talking about success and something that really struck for me was her talking about how if you want something you have to go out and get it. And I want discipline and order in my life. I want to be happy. I don’t want to be rich, I don’t want to do anything apart from what I do now, all I want to do is be happy. I want to walk into a store and be able to fit into size 14 – 16 clothes. I want everything in my wardrobe to fit me. I want to be fit. I want my house to be neat and tidy. All those things are possible. All it takes is daily discipline, picking up after myself, making sure that I have the right food to eat and exercising every day. I can do that most days. Maybe not every day, but most days it is doable.
Very interesting comments over the past few days – thanks for all your support and encouragement. I think that a lot of people get overwhelmed with things they think they ‘should’ do and also with clutter in their lives. It does feel like a constant struggle and I think that it’s OK to admit that it is! As long as I buy things, I will have to be vigilant about clutter. As long as I live in this house (and are maid-free) I will struggle with mess.
One of my problems is that I grew up in a very clean and ordered house and I always wanted the same for my own home…but it’s not like my mother didn’t work at it! If we left a mess, she cleaned it up. She made it look effortless but I know it wasn’t – it came at great personal cost to her. Almost every night was spent working – preparing and cooking dinner, making lunches, cleaning up, washing up – she did everything. And worked. And the entire time I was growing up I thought “that’s not what I want my life to be about.” I never wanted to have no time to myself and I never wanted to exist just to serve other people.
I think that’s the reason I have resisted doing things I don’t want to my whole life. I know I have to do certain things – basic things that people do every day without thinking about it – but I fight them. I always have. And I really want to get over that now.
I know too that I am hard on myself and something Jadey wrote made me really think about this. I have known I am too hard on myself – but I never considered the impact it had on me. When I read “Honey you obviously have no idea about the powerful lady that lives within you. Honestly. I have met her and she is just dying to come out” I stopped and thought. I know I am a strong person – but could my guilt and remorse (fueled by not being “good enough”) be so damaging to me that my true strength and potential cannot be released? If I stopped the guilt and the judging and looked realistically at what I expect from myself – would I be able to achieve what I actually want to in life? I have always assumed that if you don’t push yourself you get nowhere. But where have I got by pushing myself? Not far! With the debt we were in – I spent literally YEARS pushing hard to get it paid off and it never worked. We couldn’t live on the money I thought we should be able to, and the credit card debt just kept going up and up and up. When we finally snapped and decided we would take a year to pay it off it worked. We have now paid off $19,005 and are very close to saying goodbye to credit card debt forever. What if I took that approach to everything I wanted to get done?
When Nola wrote “Just keep breaking it all down into small chunks…that’s all you can do.” I was determined to do that. I am taking the house cleaning one room at a time (for those not in too terrible a state.) For something as bomb site-like as my office – it’s one surface at a time. It’s too easy to become overwhelmed.
Another thing I don’t do is take time for myself to do things I enjoy. I too often dismiss things I really love because they take up too much time – and I should be doing something else! I should be cleaning! Or throwing things out! But on the weekend I went to my Uncle’s house and he has a great garden…lots of lovely plants and a veggie patch. You can tell he has spent a lot of time and energy on it (like my Pa did) and he has got so much out of it. Well – that’s what I want! I love plants and gardening, and I rarely spend time in the garden. Today – that’s pretty much all I did. And I feel calm and happy.
So the plan for the rest of the holidays is do what I want for 90% of the time. I need to give myself a break.
know wh I am not normally this down in the dumps but things have just got on top of me this year.
School holidays are here and time to (miserably) assess how this year is going.
Debt wise, we are on track – but to a new goal of getting out of debt by the end of the year, not the end of this financial year. We have a few big expenses this year, it would have killed us to keep paying off the Credit Cards at the rate we were going. We will have paid off an interest free deal with DJ’s too (bed and vacuum) by then as well, but not the car…it will just have to keep chugging along. I want some savings, damnit! Not just paying off fucking bills!
I had a car accident last weekend and have to pay the $600 excess to get our and the other loser’s car fixed. Not thrilled about that – the money will be hard to find, but I am tutoring a student and doing market research sessions to help a bit.
Work: A permanent job should be coming up at my school next term so hopefully in a matter of weeks I will be permanent! That will make me feel a lot better…That job in my dream town I applied for? Culling happens first week back so fingers crossed, however I seriously have no chance of getting it. Five temporary teachers at the school are applying for it and 9 1/2 times out of 10 it will go to a teacher already at the school.
Term 1 saw me not bring any work home with me. The plan was to get all marking and planning done at school – that went ok for half the term but then the exhaustion set in and I was doing nothing I didn’t absolutely have to. I am now behind in marking and planning and am trying to get the energy to tackle it – but energy levels are low. I feel too stressed about the work I have to do to really relax these holidays and am worried that I will go back to school tired and burnt out.
Weight: I can’t even talk about it…
I have spent most of this year not coping very well. In day to day life I feel fine, no-one would suspect I feel low, but when I sit here and start writing I think that nothing is going the way I want it to. There are things I should be able to control and I can’t. I should be able to keep my house clean, lose this fucking weight and keep on top of my job. But I can’t. And I haven’t been able to all my life. Seriously – even when I was at school I couldn’t keep up. I procrastinate and faff about instead of just getting in and getting the job done. When I left Uni and started working, I would spend the whole weekend trying to get my room clean and organised – it never happened. How on earth do I change?
Ok, so what doesn’t work – trying to complete a huge task all at once. Like cleaning my house. I can’t do the lot in one day.
Today I am going to:
- Finish cleaning up our bedroom and get all my clothes away (and some taken to vinnies)
- Mark one lot of marking – something easy
- Walk over 10,000 steps
- Go to medicare to claim back some of the doctor’s visits I’ve had
That’s as much as I can do. I am sick of having a huge list and having it sit here and not get done because I am completely overwhelmed.
I have to try looking at the positives too. Last week I faced a huge fear of mine and went and had a blood test. Yes, I was hysterical but I did it…and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to. Surely I can get over anything if I can do that? I really want to have the sort of life I dream of but at the moment the path is blocked by clutter and lard.