Monthly Archives: July 2010

Happy Friday #16: sushi!

(on Fridays around these parts, I take a little time to make sure that all the happy things happening in my life get a shout out)

What can I say?  In some ways I’m such a straightforward person:  give me sushi and I’m happy.  That’s really all it takes.

And between going out this weekend for a monthly sushi-and-chat date with a friend of mine, and a trip to Vegas where I’ll make at least one stop at the sushi place in Caesar’s, I’ll be over-the-moon ecstatic.

That’s all.  Move along, nothing to see here.

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Gossip girl

I’m feeling guilty.

I’ve got a really great friend who’s going through a very tough time.  I’m probably her closest friend and while we don’t talk often, when we do talk I hear all the details.  And, I do mean ALL THE DETAILS (there are images now in my head that I’m wondering if swallowing some bleach will remove).

And I don’t mind listening and providing some feedback.  She’s got to make her own decisions, but needs a sounding board to see if what she’s thinking is even making sense anymore.  I’ve been there — the feeling that my thoughts have been swirling in my head for so long that you wonder if they even are in the same universe as Logical and Useful anymore.

But, it’s hard to listen to sometimes.  I worry about her.  I’m pissed at the one person who’s the cause of her problems.  And frustrated because I can’t do a damn thing about it.  I know it’s not my business; their marriage will sink or swim no matter what I think about it (though sometimes I think a baseball bat to his head – just a love tap to knock sense into him! – might help things).  I hate my impotency and inability to make her situation any better.

Her stories stay with me, buzzing around my head like little negatively-charged mosquitoes that need to be squashed.  And so I spent time last night emptying my feelings to another friend of mine, one whom I trust completely and has no relationship whatsoever with my friend or her husband.

And I felt like SUCH a gossip.  Like I was betraying my friend by telling her secrets.  If they ever do happen to meet, I know that the friend that I dumped on last night will have a pre-formed opinion of my other friend.

There’s no taking it back now, and frankly, I feel better for having talked about it and gotten some feedback of my own on what I said and did and offered as advice and solace.  But I’m still left with the lingering icky feeling about my behavior.

Does this make me a bad friend?  Internet, what say ye?

Happy Friday #15: Good Eats

(on Fridays around these parts, I take a little time to make sure that all the happy things happening in my life get a shout out)

All the head spinning and emotional spewing around here has made me hungry.  And for all the good sorts of things:  ice cream, chocolate, big fat juicy burgers and chips galore.  Along with the gorging on everything in sight, my running/biking and other such healthy stuff has taken a dive.  Food and exercise have a seemingly inverse relationship in my life right now — a lot of one, not much of the other.

So, this edition of Happy Friday is more of a looking forward kind of thing:  I’m hoisting myself back up on the healthy eating bandwagon (the hoisting made much more difficult by the extra pounds I’ve packed on!)!

Back about a year ago, as an experiment I went entire month without eating sugar or sugar substitutes (fruit, however, was allowed).  No sweets, no candy, no donuts in the morning, NO DIET PEPSI (OMG-OMG-OMG)… no nothin’.  And you know what?  It felt good and wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be.

I KNOW!  No sugar and I didn’t end up either disintegrating into a pile of dust or going postal, threatening people with candy canes that I had sucked down to a sharp point.

This time, I don’t think I’m going to do the no sugar thing — frankly, I’m far too enamored with Chobani’s vanilla greek yogurt to do that — but I am going to stop with the sweets and cookies and ice cream and such.  Tracking calories. Eating reasonably.  And hopefully nudging myself back into shape and dropping a few pounds while I’m at it.

This weekend I have a 10-mile trail run that I’m signed up for.  I’m nowhere NEAR being trained for it.  My only solace is that the friend I’m doing it with? Yea, she’s trained even less than I have.  Now, I know I’ll make the distance, despite the hills and lack of training and heat and humidity… but will it be fun? easy? fulfilling?  Probably not.  But it’s my kick-off. My “Welcome Back to the Land of Healthy Living!” event.

And how can that NOT be counted as the stuff that Happy Friday is made of?

A guaranteed honest response

(I’ve started using the service Plinky to occasionally generate ideas for blog posts…. The question posed this time was, If you were guaranteed an honest response, what would you ask?)

Ever want to know what other people think of you?

I admit it — I do.

Of course, I’d like these honest responses to be tempered with a little bit of tact, but I’d like them honest nonetheless.

And I suppose I’m a little more discerning than just that: I actually don’t care one bit what a lot of people think of me. But there are a few people in my life that are enigmatic enough about their true feelings that I’d love to know what’s on their minds when they think about me and our relationship.

I mean, aren’t there days when the idea of being able to read minds is quite appealing? Really – rather than guessing if that other person has the hots for you, wouldn’t it be nice to just KNOW that they think you’re the one for them?

Seems to me that being able to ask the question and be assured that the answer you’re getting is authentic, would be a goldmine.

Of course, you still have to ask the question.

Which could be difficult.

But… worth it? Without a doubt.

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Chit chat

The talk therapy has begun.  I’ve now had 3 sessions, and I think I’m finally starting to see how this could help.

I really did go in thinking that I wasn’t all that broken.  Nothing went astoundingly wrong in my childhood (although, I was NEVER allowed a Slip ‘N’ Slide growing up because my Dad said it would ruin the lawn… oh, the abuse I endured!), fairly normal upbringing and from the outside, I look happy and successful and well-adjusted.

Thing is, that well-adjusted person?  Yea, she exists outside my house in the public realm.  She’s the face I put on for the world to see.  But I get home, and with a sigh, discard the mask.  I sink back into my chair and know that if people knew what I was REALLY like that they’d never be friends with me.  And then I eat lots of ice cream and potato chips to cheer me up.

And this issue of feeling like I’m almost two different people — the one everyone knows and loves and the not-so-lovable person I am at home — has made therapy difficult.  Here I am, sitting in front of this relative stranger, and everything inside me is screaming at me to act all normal and happy so she’ll like me.  I spend so much time posturing and acting out my impression of a sane person that turning it off is just short of terrifying.

I have to consciously remind myself:  her job is to listen to all the dark things that are in my head.

And that she won’t judge me because of them:  her job is to help those dark thoughts go away.

But it’s still tough for me.  Opening up and feeling vulnerable, even in a place that I feel completely safe in, brings all sorts of emotions to the surface.

It’s a start, though.  And when I force myself to give the details and to not gloss over the parts that I don’t think are ready for public consumption, I feel freer and less burdened for having shared it.  Especially when my therapist doesn’t respond by running out of the office yelling, “Crazy person! Crazy person!”.

This is all good.  But while I can see the good, I’m still not necessarily seeing the ultimate path — the way from unhappy to everything’s peachy.  And being the person I am, I have a hard time with the not knowing where I’m going.  I like having a plan and spot-checks along the way to make sure we’re headed in the right direction.  But, I’ve jumped into this head-first, understanding that this will be a murky process at best.

What do I know?  I know I need to change how I view myself — I’ve known this forever — and am hoping that my shrink will provide the tools for me to get to that place, since I haven’t been able to do it on my own.  I also know that I’ve got to reconcile my public and private versions of myself, so that when I’m in a relationship I don’t feel like they’re getting the prettied-up version of Laura.

More than anything, I want to feel authentic.  That’s all, really.

Tug o’ war

It’s already late for me — 8:30pm on a Sunday night already means that I’m shorting myself 30 minutes of my aspired-to 8 hours of sleep a night.

But, I’ve been avoiding this place here.  Writing.  Putting the thoughts down.

And you know what?  Ignoring doesn’t mean that they go away.  Mostly they just spin out of control in my head, not doing anyone any good.

I’ve been struggling lately with one friend in particular:  what I want and expect from her, what I’m actually getting, whether or not she’s a positive or negative force for me right now.  It’s so hard sometimes.  To want nothing more than to be that one for a friend but knowing that they don’t necessarily want you in return.

It’s the being confronted with evidence that any sane person would analyze and say, “She just doesn’t really like you that much.”  And despite this, I keep persisting.  I seem to find a million different excuses, reasons to keep hope alive.  To think that maybe if I just give her a little more time, have a little more patience, that maybe she’ll see how I might be good for her.

It sometimes feels like a game of tug of war.  I pull, she pulls back, sometimes one of us inches closer, being drawn in to the other.  At other times it feels like she lets go of the rope completely, leaving me to wonder if I should come back tomorrow for another game.  Or if she’s had enough and is done, taking her rope and going home.

And every time I come to a conclusion — “I will not care so much anymore!” — she’ll go and do something that once again rekindles hope.  Just maybe…

It’s in this limbo that I’m living right now.  Stuff and issues and crap mostly out in the open.  And a resounding silence as an answer to my questions.  Which means…?

I can’t figure it out.  I’m tired of trying.  I’m not a drama kind of person, but she’s got me starring in a one-woman act.  I just need a deus ex machina to fall from the sky and make everything all perfect.  I’ll wait for it.

Destination: Ten years from now

(I’ve started using the service Plinky to occasionally generate ideas for blog posts…. The question posed this time was, What will your life be like 10 years from now?)

It’s funny, because in some ways, 10 years seems as far away as it did when I was a teenager — the era of your life where time stands still and you can’t even fathom being in your twenties. I mean, that was OLD.

In other ways? 10 years is a blink of the eye. A snippet of time that will pass before I can even acknowledge it whooshing by.

In another 10 years, I’ll be the big 5-0. I think I still have the same hopes and dreams for the next 10 years that I did 10 years ago… to find that special someone, to figure out a way to be happy and satisfied with whatever the current moment holds, and even perhaps manage to become independently wealthy so I can give up the 9 to 5 routine.

There are a lot of ways that I’ve made progress on these goals in the past 10 years, so I’m optimistic that the next 10 will see more steps forward, moving towards some of the things that I long for in life. All while enjoying what I have and appreciating the journey to get there, knowing that the getting there is usually more meaningful than the arriving.

Happy Friday #14: Let’s talk

(on Fridays around these parts, I take a little time to make sure that all the happy things happening in my life get a shout out)

Remember how I talked about finally going to see a therapist?  It finally happened.

It came at a point where I was starting to get a little down.  I hadn’t been explicitly doing research on depression, but in the matter of a few days, I came across two things in my internet wanderings that started low-level alarms in my head.  The first was a quote (which I can’t appropriately attribute to anyone, sorry):  “Depression happens when you’re too strong for too long.”  I read that and thought, YES.

The second was a passage on Mommy Loves Vodka from her husband The Daver, where he talked about depression being a self-perpetuating cycle where all you want is for people to notice that you’re not doing well and wanting nothing more than for them to reach out and offer help.  But then also knowing that if that someone were to step in, concerned, you’d tell them you were fine anyway.  Yup, that feels like my life, all too often.

And so, when the email that came late Tuesday night telling me that the therapist I had contacted had an opening, it seemed like perfect timing – a sign from the universe letting me know that there’s always something that can be done to take steps forward, to make progress on becoming the person you want to be.

I’ve had just one initial appointment, and it was good.  I was on the verge of tears almost the entire time – not that we were covering very emotional territory, but I think it was overwhelming just knowing that I was finally doing this (this is my first time ever talking to a therapist).  I worked hard to be completely honest, despite an incredibly strong drive to present myself as this normal, well-adjusted, happy person (my default behavior).

I’m proud of myself for taking this step.  I can’t exactly see the end game and how it’s going to help, but I’m positive it can’t hurt and am pretty certain it’ll push me towards a better me.