Friday, July 13, 2007

SNAP OUT OF IT ! ! ! (yeah, right . . .)

I did not begin this new blog in order to be a hit-or-miss writer, certainly not one who disappears. So what happened? Or more precisely: what happens to me? Where do I disappear to? Short answer: my bed. Long answer: keep reading.

First of all, I need to vent a bit, regarding the 'advice' of my title (which I don't endorse, by the way . . . at least not in the way it's usually meant). I HATE when people who do not really understand or personally suffer from an honest-to-goodness chemical depression (not just a bad day, PMS, or 'the blues') offer that gem. It's even worse/harder to hear (& 'snap out of') when the depression is chronic and part of the roller coaster that is manic-depression, as is my case -- not being a victim, I swear . . . just the facts, y'all. I'm sorry if anyone reading is one of those folks, and I know the intention is usually good. But the thing is, that advice is highly unrealistic. If we could, doesn't it make sense that we would? Like, in a second???

Well, I would, but past experience (going back twenty years now) and all the research I've done on my bipolar disorder, and depression in general, tells me that's just not gonna happen.

Having said all that . . . sometimes something will happen that does kind of snap you out of your state of the living dead . . . not enough to actually pull you out of the black hole you've fallen into, but enough to bring you to some awareness of how truly paralyzed you've been. The brain starts to slowly creak back to life (having thoughts other than the utterly morose and morbid thoughts it's been hyper-focused on). (how long was I gone? how long has it been since I was in any way functional? when was the last time I called a friend, or even returned a friend's worried call? do I still have friends? when was the last time I showered?! why do my eyes always hurt, and how is it possible that they can still produce so many tears after all the crying jags? . . . ). Something happens that is at least enough to make you realize that it's that time again . . . time to reach out for help . . . again. (why is it so easy to forget to do that? well, I guess the paralysis doesn't help much . . .). That reaching out, though . . . that in and of itself is enough to clear your head just enough to feel again, to feel something besides pain . . . something perhaps akin to hope.

So there you go. That's where I've been. This was a particularly deep, particularly dark black hole. Inky, moonless-night-starless-sky black. I'm doing my best to climb out of it (wish it would tone my thighs too! oh, well . . . one thing at a time, right?) I have been down here before, and although I do my best to keep from coming back, I know that realistically I'll be back again. I need to find ways to keep myself from going so dark and deep. I need to remember the reaching out part sooner.

I DON'T want this to be me life. I don't want it to define me, and yet I have to find a way to work around real limitations without letting them become full-on incapacitations. I hate the way this thing has stolen chunks of my life, even though I now know that it's a real disease I didn't ask for. I am going to try to stop regretting and beating myself up, and I am going to do my damndest to make the most of my future. ( I'm astonished that I just referred to my 'future' as if it's a given . . . big step considering where I've been . . . now that gives me hope!)

Saturday, May 05, 2007


Honest to God, folks, I thought that last post might be my actual LAST POST. Do you ever feel like there is no way to ever deal with all your problems because, even though you seem to be able to list them as separate items, they all meld into one giant impossibility of a mass that can in no way be dealt with individually . . . just as that sticky messy mass . . . seemingly impossible to pull apart into its parts and dealt with, as both experts and caring friends say . . . "one at a time"? That's pretty much how I was feeling, and even have still felt on more than one occasion, in the nearly two weeks since I last posted. I have written since then, but, of course, deleted it all. Why? Dunno. That perfectionistic thing I mentioned a while back.

I had also decided that the blogging community would not be able to handle seeing my guts on the page like that, and that perhaps I shouldn't have exposed them so graphically. And, if such were genuinely the case, I would not use this medium to write, since it is my goal to be completely honest here, ugly, pretty, or banal. I was truly shocked that anyone even bothered to comment on that post, and so lovingly at that. It is always such an incredible thing when one runs smack into the beauty and goodness of human beings, especially ones you only know 'virtually.' But perhaps that is an even truer way to know someone? At any rate, I feel that my 'internet' friends are real friends whom I care about, and who, astonishingly (damn, there's that pesky low self-esteem thing; swat that, will you?), care about me; the whole phenomenon is absolutely honest and satisfying and lovely. Thank you so much, Honi, Denise, and Mae. I cannot begin to describe the way you guys . . . your words, your generosity, your empathy . . . well, you guys helped lift me from a very dark place. And it's good to have a reference point (this blog) to look at and see that I don't always feel this hopeless and wretched. I think I just had to get all that stuff out at once, see it in black and white, send it out to the world at large . . . and survive. Guess what? IT DIDN'T KILL ME. Seeing my stuff out there, staring it down and not feeling it crush me . . . somehow, that was healing. Even more healing than writing in the journals I've kept since the age of five. It scared the hell out of me to do it, but the payback was this: at the very moment I hit "PUBLISH," I was relying on the tiny bit of faith I had left. That faith got me past the fear that I could not survive the exposure, to myself and to the world (I did!) . . . the fear that someone would say something mean (you didn't . . . God bless you!) . . . the fear that I would crumble, or perhaps just stay in the fetal position forever (I didn't!). It turns out I have more faith than I thought. Having well and truly purged emotionally, so clearly and publicly, I now feel ready to begin.

To that end . . . I am posting whatever comes out of my twisting, turning brain tonight, and I will feel good at having done so. And that's absolutely true, I'm finally noticing . . . that thing that happens when you feel as if you could not possibly do _________ (fill in the blank) . . . you could not even fathom the mere THOUGHT of facing that huge or miserable task . . . then, somehow . . . by accident, or on a dare to yourself . . . you do a TINY LITTLE BIT. And suddenly, you feel just a little motivated, just a little capable, of doing more . . . and so you do!!!

I recently had this epiphany at the toilet . . . not while on it, but as I washed my face near it. I noticed cat paw prints on the lid, and decided, since it wasn't the 'gross' kind of dirt usually found around toilets, that I would just clean it, right then & there . . . so I did!!! Then the lid looked so nice and white, I thought "hey, what if I clean another 'non-gross' portion, like the top of the water tank?" . . . so I did!!! Ten minutes later, I was done cleaning that toilet, top to bottom, and I was stunned at how easy it was, as well as proud of myself (I have been REALLY DOWN, peeps!).

Then I remembered something I read twenty years ago in an issue of Vogue that focused on successful people (mind you, this was back in the day when I did not lack motivation for ANYthing); I don't know why, but that quote has always stayed with me (maybe so it could kick me in the ass now?). It goes something like this (obviously, I'm paraphrasing; 20 years, folks . . . ): 'Motivation follows Action, not vice versa. Most people wait around to do something until they feel 'motivated,' but that's not the way it works. First you act, then the motivation to keep on doing that action builds.' This is babysteps, people! I have always known this, somewhere. How did I forget it? (I certainly have my theories, c.f. last post)

How can I use it now to create the life I want . . . and deserve? I think this blog will be key to succeeding, to creating the lifestyle I choose . . . re-discovering the parts of myself and my life that fell to the wayside when the terrifying swings of bi-polar took over and I stopped trusting myself . . . finding more ways to heal, after trauma and losses (I thought I'd already done this, but obviously there's still plenty more to sort through . . . like, with a bulldozer, maybe? <=] ) . . . visualizing the life I do want, what I'm willing to do to get there, what it will include . . . healthy, life-nurturing choices . . . spiritual centeredness . . . acceptance of my abilites and limitations, and being my best self in a way that, unapologetically, takes both into account . . . that loving connection I feel with my husband, whether we are a family of two or three or four . . . feeling good in my surroundings . . . feeling good in my skin . . . So I will continue to write. I will write my heart and soul out. Feel free to read. I will not hold back. I hope you don't either. ;~)

Monday, April 23, 2007


It is 1:57 AM on a Sunday night/Monday morning, and I have just eaten a small Fuji apple. This is very unusual for me. Not the insomnia part, unfortunately, but the apple. I am trying to live my life better, but I'm not doing such a great job. The apple, I think, was my attempt to counteract all the negative shit I put myself through, not just tonight, but EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE. Don't worry; I really am going to tell you my 'dirty little secrets' today (still tonight for me). I have to, or I'll implode. Plus, as they say, "we're only as sick as our secrets." Once they're not secrets . . . who knows? There may be hope for me and my life yet . . .

Have you ever been in therapy? (I have, but I also live in L.A., where nearly everyone has). The way it often goes is this: you go in, planning to focus on some issue in your life that needs resolution, and the first few sessions with your therapist are fairly 'safe,' getting to know each other, talking about that main issue in a kind of intellectual way, seemingly delving into the whys and wherefores of the thing . . . and then if you're lucky (that is, if you really want to change your life), maybe around the 4th session . . . well, all hell breaks loose, and suddenly your neat little issue explodes into at least 50 inter-related and very messy problems that you have absolutely NO IDEA how you will ever pick up off your therapist's nice, clean floor, much less solve.

That is precisely how I feel right now. I thought I was going to blog my way into a thinner me and, along the way, become healthier, get pregnant, carry that pregnancy to term, and live happily ever after as a slim (NOT skinny), healthy mom. I thought I could keep this blog somehow uplifting, both for myself and any possible readers, and, though I was intending to keep the main focus weight and health issues, I also thought I would be addressing other "issues" from a more positive frame of mind than I had in my previous, short-lived blog.

Well, folks, guess what? It's our 4th session. I've been wanting to write for days now, even through 3 migraine headaches in one week, but I couldn't. I didn't seem to know what I wanted to say. Tonight it finally occurred to me: I need to be brutally honest, even though I am terrified of doing so. Perhaps the migraines were my body's way of telling me to get this crap out of my head and into the world, where perhaps I can DO something about it all. In no particular order, here goes . . .

1. I have Bi-Polar Disorder, which I think of in the far more descriptive, older terminology: manic depression. It went undiagnosed until I was around thirty, by which time I had done some pretty reckless, sometimes funny, sometimes scary and self-destructive, things in my life, and had also achieved what some think of as quite a bit of success in my field (several graduate degrees, etc.)

2. As if that were not enough, I suffer (and it really is suffering, if you've ever experienced it) from chronic, free-floating anxiety, sometimes only mild, usually moderate, too often full-blown panic attacks.

3. I had a physically and emotionally abusive first marriage. I'm only now, more than 15 years later, beginning to admit the trauma of that. I don't think I've actually freed myself from the demons of it, though. And I'm pretty sure there are demons from that era that still lurk . . .

4. I want to have a baby so much, always have . . . but I can't seem to carry a pregnancy to term, though I've been pregnant several times. It's been a while now, but I am terrified of having another miscarriage, losing another baby. I am more terrified of not ever getting pregnant again, having turned 40 a few months ago. I know women are having their first babies into their forties these days, and my own mother had me at 41 . . . it just doesn't seem to help that I know these things.

5. My husband and I realize that it's time to get back on the baby ride, but there's one other MAJOR thing holding me back. Remember the mental health issues I mentioned? Well, I take medications to keep them under control, and to keep me functioning in a relatively normal way. I am being weaned off them by my doctor (who's great, by the way), but the one that's holding up the baby effort, holding ME up, is the one I take for anxiety. Not only am I physically addicted (I've never said that before; I didn't like saying it. At all); more importantly, and terrifyingly, I am psychologically addicted. I do not know how I will get through the day, my life, the anxiety I feel so very often, especially when I have so many real worries: no money (many times it's not even hand to mouth); fertility worries; an elderly mother with whom I'm super close, but whom I am solely responsible for (no siblings, no other family anywhere close by); the stupid but really upsetting fights with my husband that happen way too often; our two kitties' healthcare needs that are going untended due to lack of money (they're indoors and eat healthy food, but still . . . I worry . . . are ya noticing a pattern?); my feelings of spiritual disconnection, and on and on and on . . . I think if I could have some success in the weight department, that would help me to tackle other things. Not saying that losing weight would 'fix' my life, but I do have to start somewhere, and at this point, it seems the most manageable, and symbolic, place.

6. My apparent inability to keep a clean, clutter-free house. Again, I know lots of principles that should help in this area, but I can't seem to get off my butt and apply them. Everything just overwhelms me. I know, I know . . . babysteps . . . but I don't seem able to take a single one! And sometimes, if I do manage to take one or two . . . I get stuck again, and the sense of failure just makes me feel like things will never be right.

7. My fear and anxiety about my job. I seem to be doing so well at this new one (I usually start off this way, cuz I'm smart and personable, but then I get fearful, and I'm pretty sure it translates into incompetence; bipolar folk often have job issues because of their highly stress-sensitive natures), but I feel like the more responsibility they give me (which they are, at an alarming, though flattering, rate), the more I feel like I could, at any moment, fail. This is the one that's keeping me up tonight. I have a private session with two students in the morning, and I'm not sure it will go well at all. I don't feel prepared; my clothes no longer fit (since I regained 10-12 pounds of the 22 that I had lost, buying new clothes and making alterations along the way), so I have no clue as to what to wear . . . not indecision here, just reality; I'm not likely to sleep at all, so I worry about even being coherent and getting through the day; I can't even fathom the idea of showering, it seems so exhausting!

I also can't fathom the idea of continuing on this rant anymore tonight. (Doesn't mean I'll be going to sleep, though). I wasn't always like this, but I feel beaten down by . . . I don't know . . . years of struggle and loss. If you met me, I swear you wouldn't be able to 'tell.' I'm aware of the fact that I sound classically depressed, but when you're trying to have a baby, more meds is not the answer. I've meditated in the past, but I'm afraid (surprise!) to rely solely on that to bring me peace of heart and mind. Exercise? Another thing I can't seem to do, even a little (I think, 'what the hell's a little gonna do?). If anyone is reading this, I am grateful for your time and patience. I think I feel a bit better for having done this. I hope I haven't scared you away . . .

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


(This is for HoniB and FatMom, my personal coaches, though they may not know it . . . I'll let you all know if their letters of resignation appear anytime soon!)

Like exercise, blogging requires discipline, yet another one of my muscles which has turned to mush. I am in the midst of one of my infamous PMS-induced migraines, this one lasting two days so far, so I'm only writing to build the habit. Maybe doing so will help me build other good habits? (soooo many to choose from . . .)

Migraines are a bitch-and-a-half, though, aren't they? Like a really bad flu + really bad hangover + two-ton truck driving over you . . . then backing up, and doing it again . . . and then once more, for good measure. Yes, yes . . . I know, I know . . . if I were taking better care of myself, eating properly, exercising, meditating, making sleep a priority, "Loving Myself", I might not be in pain right now. Also, if my COBRA insurance had kicked in and I didn't have to pay $311.00 for NINE(9) Imitrex pills (yes, my friends, that's about $35 per cute little triangular pill!), I would also be out of my misery. (BTW, who do these drug companies think they are? I mean, I know they're in with the devil, but . . . do they? Someone should tell them! What about all those folks who can't afford life-sustaining-type meds? I know there are so-called 'programs,' but i don't trust a word that comes out of the pharmacetical industry's a$$ . . . uh, mouth. It's like all those tobacco websites telling you how to quit smoking or keeping your kids from ever starting . . .bah!!!)

OK . . . I believe that was a tangent . . . but the point is, I am exercising the 'blog' muscle, right? RIGHT??? C'mon, folks, I'm an only child . . . I neeeeed the positive strokes.

I do want to mention that Denise ( ) got married last Friday, so, if you 'know' her, or even if you don't, drop her a line.

Also, please send out your support to HoniB( and FatMom(, both of whom are embarking on exercise programs today, and next week, respectively. They ROCK!!!

Well, kids, I'll write more when the demon beast leaves my body . . . Thanks for listening to me gripe!

P.S. I know I sound like I'm scoffing at the 'love yourself' thing, but I'm not . . . just not good at it yet . . . something to explore, most def.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


I loved being part of this community last summer (on my now-retired blog), instantly felt welcomed by you wonderful people (I would like to name you all, but I've forgotten how to create links!) who so very early offered me your support, and, I feel, friendship when I started "The Unbearable Fatness of Being Me." It felt like an ideal time to deal with the issues that were (& are) keeping me fat, and to do so within this incredible community. At the time, I was also looking for a job that would supplement my husband's income, but that would also keep my stress levels low enough so that we could concentrate on getting, and staying, pregnant (we've had issues on that front as well . . . more on that later). But, hard-headed as I am, I powered my way into this teaching job that I suddenly desperately wanted (I get like that . . .), at this super-duper big-name school.

I knew what my body needed to be nurtured, and to eventually nurture another life, but the over-achieving me got caught up in the pursuit of something entirely opposed to that goal, something that seemed too good to pass up in a field that I am passionate about (teaching). Long story short (too late, I know . . .): the 'awesome' job nearly killed me. As usual, the kids were great (high school) and, as is not so usual, the pay was also great; unfortunately, the administration was not. Ninth circle of hell stuff, folks, I kid you not. A seriously disturbed principal and a few loyal minions = stress levels through the roof. No time to nurture a pet rock, much less myself, my husband, a pregnancy. I didn't have time to sleep, much less get pregnant, much less blog. Not just writing, but even reading my faves! I feel pretty guilty about that (I get like that too . . .), but I hope you guys will understand.

I finally had to make a decision: would I continue to trade my life's dreams and what little sanity I possess for the prestige and money (which was certainly helping A LOT) of that job??? I hated leaving 'my kids,' but the answer was an unequivocal "Take your money and shove it, you freaks!"(the admin., not the kids, natch). Actually, it was more like a meek "I quit" (it takes some serious emotional damage to make me meek!). And though hubs and I are pretty strapped for cash now, our priorities are getting back in focus once again.

So, okay, something happened that kept me away, but now I'm back . . . why not just continue my old, barely-used blog? Did I really have to go starting a new one? Well, yeah. Here's why: put simply, my focus has shifted. Though I'm still intent on losing weight so that I can feel the way I used to in my skin (or at least begin to feel good in it again, even if it's in a new way), there are other areas in my life that I now see as inextricably linked to that goal (which I'll get to later), and I am no longer thoroughly disgusted with myself. Therefore, I didn't think I could continue to write under the title "Unbearable Fatness." It just didn't feel right. Ya know?

See, one good thing did come out of that job: because of the insanity of it all, the over-work, the too-busy-to-eat (WHAT?! Yeah, for real . . . I know, crazy, huh?) . . . anyway, in 6 weeks I had dropped 22 pounds like . . . like, um . . . well, like I didn't think was possible for me to do! Obviously, it wasn't the healthiest way to do so (I've regained about 10 pounds in the couple months since leaving), but I finally saw that it was possible for me to lose weight. You've got to understand: I went from not-even-conscious-of-weight-skinny-chick to my present self, classic-struggling-with-weight-what's-a-portion-emotional-eating-dietschmiet-chick. I had no idea how weight loss occurs, not in real life, not on my body. NOW I DO.

I don't have a real plan yet, but consciousness is a good first step. So is this blog. I promise I'm working on the details, including how much I actually, and realistically, want to lose. I've got lots of things to sort through, past and present . . . and future, of course. I will say this, though: those twenty-two pounds did not put me very close to my old 'goal' weight . . . but having them off me felt damn good!!! It gives me a whole new perspective, for which I'm grateful. And I'm grateful to be back in the webworld. Thanks for stopping by. You guys are the sh*t!!!

WHY A NEW BLOG??? (or . . . What's in a Name)

If I go into explaining where Ive been, or what the hell happened to me for . . . (calculating here) . . . eight months(!), I'll never start this new blog, which I am commited to. Or at least, I am commited to being commited to. I am fighting some major perfectionistic-thus procrastinative (new word) tendencies here, so please, kind folk, be patient. You always have been, so I'll just stop that train right now. This is me starting. Now this is me going to sleep, promising to continue in the morning. ;~)