Archive for the ‘Mental Illness’ Category

That picture pretty much sums it up.  That is me pretty much all the time.  Nearly every day. 

Since I was in junior high, I have had all sorts of tests to find out what the heck is wrong with me.  (Heart tests, swallowing scopes to explore my digestive system TWICE, upper GI tests, blood tests, etc.)  Since I was a pre-teen, I have been told that there is nothing wrong with me (except depression).  Every few years, I get frustrated enough to go to yet another doctor and try some new tests.  In recent years, they have started to suggest IBS to me.  The diagnosis of exclusion. 

It is likely enough.  Depression, chronic anxiety and chronic fatigue (all of which I have) are highly correlated with IBS.  But, I have ignored all suggestions of this diagnosis for years now.  Perhaps it is time I attend to reality…

But, I had my reasons.  Everything I’ve ever seen on IBS management is mostly diet based and it’s a diet that I cannot imagine following:

  • No/Low Caffeine
  • No/Low Alcohol
  • No/Low Chocolate
  • No/Low Sugar
  • No/Low Dairy

Well, WTF… that is just about everything I eat. 

I am a vegetarian, because I love animals.  I will eat a minimal amount of fish, so I’m not “pure” vegetarian, but there it is.  I avoid meat and only eat fish a few times a month at most.  I only eat what little fish that I do eat for the sake of my health.  I feel a lot better if I eat it.   

Many (well, most) fruits and vegetables make me sick.  Yup, they actually trigger my IBS symptoms.  I can handle some vegetables if they are boiled beyond recognition, but I am no cook and have had a lot of trouble finding places that will serve me this kind of food.   Anyway, it is generally better to avoid fiber all together as I suffer from daily diarrhea that only gets better or worse and never ever truly goes away.  I could live on cheese and my digestive system still behaves as if I’m abusing laxatives (I’ve never taken a laxative in my life!).

Thanks to lifelong depression, I am a pretty low energy person.  Caffeine is crucial.  While my ADHD meds help both my fatigue and my ADHD symptoms, it is not enough on its own.  I need my caffeine.  I am not sure how I would achieve anything without it, even though I admit it very much triggers my IBS symptoms.

Sometimes sugar is just about all my stomach can handle.  Sometimes anything else in my stomach makes me feel like my stomach is never going to empty and I end up spending a day or two nauseas and wishing I could just vomit.  It is far more productive to just eat the sugar (candy, pastries, whatever) and deal with the sugar crashes and feelings of malnourishment than to spend a full day or two trying to push through nausea and the extra fatigue that comes with feeling that sick. 

While I am lactose intolerant, I can tolerate some small amounts of dairy and those small amounts are crucial considering how limited my diet already is. 

In previous years, I have been too diet fatigued and not strong enough in my eating disorder recovery to mess around with food journals and the like, but I am feeling like I might be able to do this now.  Maybe… but I’m not sure that it’s worth it.  I fear working with a professional to help me limit triggers might just take away the few things that help me right now.  My frustration over all this is enough to throw me into tears any time I think about it seriously.

I can normally handle a fat-hating doctor pretty well, but add to the scenario my already very emotional frustration with this (likely) IBS and I’m not sure I’ll have the fortitude to fight for myself the way I need to. 

So.  F*ing.  Frustrating. 

I don’t know what to do, but I feel the need to do something.  Maybe I will just try food journaling on my own for bit.  But, just about everything makes me sick, so I don’t really see the point.  Gah. 

So here you go fat-hating trolls.  Here is a fat person who doesn’t like eating.  I don’t ever remember really liking eating.  If I could get all the nourishment I needed in a pill, I would take it and avoid all this digestive drama.  I am so sick of being sick.

I think I’ll go cry now.



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 Good morning Fatosphere and body acceptance friends!   See… there is a picture of me and some lovely morning sunlight in the background –  this is me coming alive and starting to feel again.  Whooo hoooo! 

I didn’t realize it, but over the last year (and probably longer)  my emotions were slowly and steadily leaking away from me… and with them my inspiration for writing anything.  Initially I thought it was happiness and healthiness that was causing the block, but I’ve felt happy recently and I can still write.  In hindsight, I realize I was on meds that were so not right for me.  I didn’t realize it until I came off them for reasons that had nothing to do with emotional numbness; I just couldn’t sleep properly anymore. 

Will I be able to blog consistently now that Prozac and Zoloft are out of my life?  I really don’t know.  I am wary to make promises that I am not sure that I will be able to keep.   What I know for sure is that I feel this awakening sense of a need for connection and a desire to write again and I hope that I will be able to be more consistent again.  Wish me luck, friends. 

Waking up from a deadening of emotion since I started Zoloft (about a year… maybe even more, since the Prozac I was on pre-Zoloft also numbed me, just not as dramatically) is no fun.  The muscles I had built up for emotional coping are a bit atrophied and I feel like I’ve lost some ground.  But, there is some difficult to articulate benefit…  I appreciate emotion more.  Before this experience, I wished to be something like a machine* and not having to deal with the constant tempest that lives inside me.  I didn’t realize the good things the tempest gives me – creativity, empathy, compassion, motivation, inspiration and so many other things that I can’t think of right now.  I’m waking up to realize I am horribly lonely from alienating some of the few friends I had and losing touch with this lovely blog.  It is a large, painful loneliness I was even beginning to feel on the medication that stole most of the rest of my feelings.  I feel like I’m living with a yawning void inside of me at the same time as the sparkly parts of me are also coming back to life. 

Waking up from emotional numbness has also left me vulnerable to negative body image.  I’ve searched the web and reread the basics and it has helped, but, you know… lost ground and all that.  I’m remembering to look at my body as a partner, but also as a tool for living – a tool that I have to respect and take care of, if I’m going to be able to live life.  I am relearning that my body is not clay that my morality is stamped on and where fatness and other imperfections are not evidence of my being “less than,” bad, or even evil and definitely worthy of abuse and punishment.  Yes, I know “evil” is a strong word, but with the poor small emotional coping muscles I have at the moment “evil” is truthfully where my mind goes a lot of the time.  It is very interesting that after a year or so of being nearly impervious to body negativity that this is where my mind goes.  It seems like the world is so full of body hate that without my emotional coping muscle to take up space in my mind that I very quickly became filled with the self-loathing the world pours out by the stadium full everywhere I look. 

 Which brings me to the joy of water…

My behavior with water has travelled a pendulum’s stroke.  When I was in my early 20’s, diet obsessed and riddled with an eating disorder that I didn’t know I had, I read too many articles about how drinking lots of water helps one be thin.  So, I drank water – lots and lots of water.  I felt sloshy most of the time.  (You know, that feeling when you’re so full of water that you can hear it sloshing around inside you and your entire being feels diluted.)  I was a slave to my bladder, felt so cold all the time and something else I can only describe as water sick. 

When I was hungry, I drank large glasses of water.  Of course, this only works for so long (if at all depending on how diet fatigued your body is) before it backfires on someone so gullible and self-loathing as to try this and, of course, eventually it did for me too.  My reaction was to dehydrate myself for many years.  The thought of feeling sloshy again horrified me, so I overcompensated, which wasn’t an extremely helpful reaction either really… but at least it got me to where I am now.  I am drinking water.  I am drinking lots of water, but only according to the wishes of my body.  I am learning that it is possible to be hydrated without overdoing it to the point of feeling unwell and I’m realizing that it feels really good in the happy middle ground of water drinking.  I just feel better… more energy, less stomach trouble and all that.  It also feels so lovely to be doing something good for my body just for the respect and good maintenance of my body, as opposed to the old fantasy of being thin motivations of water drinking past. 

In fact, I am finding a new appreciation of food in general.  I am, in fact, one of those fatties who doesn’t really like food.  Ironically this not liking food has caused overeating rather than prevented it.  Listen well “fatties love food more than anything else” trolls.  I was often force-fed as a child and it has left me a very picky eater.  Often the mere thought of eating left me feeling nausea and violated, so I left off eating as long as possible to avoid the icky emotions attached to it until my body’s self-preservation switched on and made sure I overate to compensate for the constant mini-famines.  Something about having the break from major emotion and coming back to life now seems to have left me room to appreciate food again.  I am able to eat mindfully (instead of in the normal zombie-state required to avoid feelings of being violated by food for me anyway) and stop when I’m full and before the nausea of overfullness (and feeling even more violated by being overfull) sets in.  I can see food as fuel for this lovely body as opposed of just another torture devised by old abusers.  I have also been able to recreationally and mindfully enjoy food.  Yup, humans do eat for more reasons than just to fuel the body.  This is normal and healthy; the sugar cookies I made for Christmas were delicious! 

Maybe I needed to have this experience with Zoloft to learn these much needed lessons – the appreciation of emotions and my body.  I’m starting to feel a little grateful for it…   🙂  This feels like the beginning of a new adventure and hopefully one that will bring me more in tune with my body, a more positive body image and a brighter, more fulfilled life.


 *Okay, I still want to be a machine a lot of the time, but the appreciation for emotion that I have learned has made a huge difference in my life and I wouldn’t give up my feelings right now if I had the choice to.  Oh right, I do have the choice to… I could take more Zoloft and that is so not happening sleep issues or not.  😛

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The prodigal returns… or something like that.  I’ll save my ramblings on possibly Zoloft induced writer’s block for another post and keep this one on its intended purpose to ask the questions:  Why do I assume that most people are thin?  Is thin also the default in the minds of others (it sure seems to me to be)?  When 63.1% of Americans are obese or overweight, why do I make this assumption? 

I realize that in many ways I am an outlier and this may contribute to why my mind defaults to thinness being the overwhelming norm and feeling like there are really no fat people on the planet, except for the random headless fatties that are all too common in news “health” reports.  I am a loner for the most part and am probably more exposed to thin-obsessed media than the average bear due to the nature of my job and my unholy love of television.  Lately I’ve also been playing some fun role-playing videogames where, of course, the game world’s are filled with mainly thin representations of people with the random fattie thrown in here or there often portrayed as someone who is corrupt/weak morals and all that.  Even tho when I play these games, watch television and reshelve gossip rags covered in thin starlets at work I constantly remind myself that these are not realistic body shapes or sizes for most people, some part of my brain doesn’t get the message, because I have caught myself several times in the last few weeks struggling with thinking that everyone is thin – but me. 

I think the important lesson in this for me is that even someone who firmly believes in body acceptance, is in an advanced level of eating disorder recovery and spends a lot of time pointing out to myself and others how unrealistic media portrayals of the human body are can be knocked for a loop, because simple exposure to the media thin obsession matters and it can really hurt.  No matter the conscious efforts I may make to debunk for myself American thin-worship, the simple fact is that I am not in control of all my brain.  Perhaps my subconscious is paying more attention to these things than I think or perhaps my defenses against the constant barrage of thin-celebration (and fat hate – the other side of the thin-celebrating coin) after becoming somewhat vulcan-like and losing big chunks of emotional range in my psychiatrist’s last campaign to treat my depression. 

Whatever the reason and however alone I may feel with this, I know I am not alone.  Here I am reminding myself that I am not alone, even if I have felt oh so very alone with my feelings of being different and not in a good way.  And, for those of you out there who would like to be reminded, I am reminding you as well that you are not alone. 

For myself, I think it is time I get back to reading books that help empower me and remind me of feminist and body-acceptance basics.  It’s been a while and apparently I could use some shoring up. 

But what to do about the television?  There are some shows that I really really like, but I feel something  like physical pain that there are only very thin women in a lot of these shows and when average or fat women do show up they are portrayed as “less-than” in terms of intelligence, discipline or morals.  I have seen “Mike and Molly” and “Drop Dead Diva” and didn’t really like them that much.  I really tried to like “Drop Dead Diva,” but it’s just not my cup of tea.  I do like to see fat people (or evern just average would be great!  oh wait, but fat is the average – see stat in first paragraph) on TV, but the content matters and the content just didn’t grab me for the most part.  Generally I watch a lot of Star Trek TGN reruns, a few network standards (House, Lie to Me, The Good Wife) and mostly movies that I DVR off the myriad of Encore channels my cable subscription affords me.   The thought is constantly running through my mind, “Yet another super-thin woman… would it KILL them for there to be some other kind of woman in at least ONE of the shows I watch??!!”  I do like Dr. Cuddy and Dr. Troi as interesting and fun characters, but it feels like a slap in the face when shows that break ground in other ways seem as slavish as any other outlet to the worship of thin or at the very least the idea that super-thin is the norm.   I can even remember as a really young girl, feeling punched in the gut when I realized another new show that I was growing to really like had no realistic portrayals of women in it.  It felt like an attack on me personally and I realize it still does feel that way.  It is amazing to me how at the same time I can realize the media all around me doesn’t portray women realistically and some other part of me swallows it all in one gullible gulp so that I feel like I am a freak for not being super-thin.  The complexity of the human mind and all that… 

I wonder if it is time to start seeing the TV as I see the abusive relatives that I have cut-off contact from:  Sure, they have their fun times, but the abuse, shame and pain is so not worth it.  Perhaps…


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After a good while of feeling immune to the bad body thought (BBT) struggle, I have been struggling lately.  I didn’t even realize I was struggling until hubby brought up some of the manifestations of my struggle within that he has noticed lately…

What is interesting to me is the causes of this flare-up.  As I have posted recently, I have been feeling good – very good.  My automatic thinking about feeling healthy and strong was that I felt “thinner” than I ever have before – even than when I really was thin.  At first, this thinking didn’t shake me.  Then, all of a sudden, I would look in the mirror and be disappointed to see the obese me that I am in reality however “thin” I feel. 

Perhaps, even this was just a symptom though.  I have a history of eating disorders and BBT’s, for me, are often a signal that there are things going on in my life that are shaking me, maybe making me feel insecure.  It didn’t take me very long to compile a whole list of those.  It’s been a tough year in terms of emotions.  My step-dad died.  I realized my mother has many traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder which inspired a complete reframing of her behavior, my reactions, my childhood, etc.  I have had some realizations regarding my own happiness and ways to achieve it.  Thanks to my depression/PTSD/ADHD/and whatever else I have being well medicated, I am feeling more functional than I knew was even possible.  I seem to be making breakthroughs into healthier behavior in terms of self-care and patience with myself and life every day… it’s just astounding.  But, all these growth-spurts come with growing pains.  I have been having nightmares every night for weeks now.  It is exhausting.  Most of my dreams are so disturbing that no matter how tired I am when I wake up from them and no matter how early in the morning it is, I have no problem running from the bed just to escape more nightmares.  Last night, my nightmare was so bad that my dream-self became suicidal and it took me a few hours of being awake this morning to shake those feelings off.  How do I know these are growing pains?  I’ve been here before.  I cannot remember a time when major breakthroughs in my waking life did not cause weeks or even months on end of really disturbing nightmares.  It’s strange how I can be so much happier (most of the time) in the waking world, only to have the worst dreams of my life every freakin’ night.  I can’t wait for this bit to end…  Bleh!

So, yes, my stress is high and is probably not helping my body image at the moment. 

At least, I’m feeling better today.  After a talk with hubby on Saturday, I have been challenging myself.  At this point, what is helping in a strong stance in it being none of my business what my body looks like in terms of fatness or thinness.  If I cannot handle this information without abusing myself with it, it’s none of my darn business.  Second, it’s none of my business how my husband sees me.  The last few weeks, I’ve been worried a lot about how he sees me… if he sees me as feminine enough or pretty enough or cute enough or whatever.  I tried to see myself through his eyes when I looked in the mirror and what I saw was never good enough.  But, it’s none of my darn business.  The fact of the matter is, he is attracted to me – however horrible I think I look.  It is not my job to read his mind.  It’s my job to be myself and take good care of myself and share what a lovely person I am with him… not to worry about my image to the point that I make us both miserable with my self-loathing. 

Hmmm… interesting that I’ve been stressing myself out over mind-reading…  I’ve been processing a lot of abuse stuff from my family of origin and I have been remembering a lot about feeling so pressured to be a mind-reader for my parents.  They were constantly changing the rules, so that I would lose (I was their scapegoat) and yet they demanded that I should know what they wanted, what they were thinking and all that.  I wonder if I have been re-enacting some of that lately.  It is possible…  I’ve noticed that sometimes processing old wounds can lead to small re-enactments in the hear and now, because sometimes I get lost in that old mind-set… that old way of living that I ran away from just as soon as I was 17.               

On top of all that, I had a good cry over the loss of my step-dad Saturday night.  It’s Monday now and my eyes still feel tired from the tears.  Since getting to know my step-siblings (that he abandoned), I have been feeling mostly angry at him for all he did to them.  I have been feeling sad for all they went through… and sad for all I went through that they were able to validate for me by confirming similar experiences.  The sadness at his passing was on the  , but it’s back now.  I’m still angry at him and sad for his biological children, but there’s now room in me again to also be sad that he’s gone.  I think of his face when he laughed his mischievous laugh and it hurts deeply that I’ll never see that face again.  My poor dad… I wish I could’ve made him life forever…  Here come the tears yet again…

Today, I’m feeling better about my body after a weekend of challenging the unhelpful thoughts I’ve been stewing in for too long.  Given all the change this year, I predict this may well be an emotionally tumultuous year and a year I also struggle with old thoughts that don’t help anyone – least of all me. 

Ironically enough, I’ve been happy this weekend for my struggle in one respect – it has given me something to post about.  🙂  I spend an awful lot of time wracking my brain for post topics, coming up with nothing and then feeling sad for this poor blog that I don’t post on as much as I’d like. 

Right now, in this moment, I want to celebrate the good things that I’m grateful for:

 – my lovely, mischievous kitties

– my ability to take the car to the mechanic today for some maintenance without having a panic attack over a) leaving the house, b) being fat while leaving the house and c) having a change in the routine

– my education and intellect

– all the beautiful greenery outside

– the daughter of narcissistic mothers website… it has changed my life

– the fatosphere 😀

– my friends and commentors

– and last but so not least, my hot, sweet husband who lets me cry and ramble and process away without taking anything I say too literally and just lets me be me


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… never been fatter.  😉

This is ironic to those who are wrapped up in a thin-obsessed, dieting mindset, but I have little doubt that this is a reality many of us have realized who have ventured along the road less travelled – body acceptance and self-love. 

It was no difficulty to accept that my latest anti-dep (that I started last November) isn’t helping me take the weight I gained on Prozac.  I suspect it is keeping me at a size larger than I would be without antidepressants.  Thankfully, happiness and health is more important to me than image, so the fat bit isn’t bothering me… and I went clothes shopping.  I was able to shop at Lane Bryant, meaning that I have out-grown my in-betweenie status that made it hard to find clothes in conventional or plus sizes.  I was just happy that there was clothes out there that fit me.  😉 

I am going to abstain from giving my jean size, because I know there are those out there who are still so triggered by such things and comparisons just aren’t helpful anyway.  What I will say is that I, personally, have never been fatter.  Nor, have I ever been happier, felt so healthy or even felt this “thin” before.  Now, in eating disorder treatment, I learned that fat is not a feeling… hence, neither is thin a feeling.  But, living in this culture that not only things fat/thin are feelings, but also states of morality (or immorality), I cannot help but fall into these descriptions at times.  In this case, I find it is actually useful for the sake of analysis. 

What does thin even feel like?  Well… when I ask myself where the automatic thought of “I’ve never felt thinner” came from, immediately a feeling of health and strength comes to mind.  I have energy I have never had before.  I think more clearly than ever.  My body seems to strong and reliable.  I have fewer health complaints than I can remember since I was a pre-teen and all my depression/stress/PTSD-related illnesses started popping up. 

And yet… fatter than ever.  😉  In fact, obese.  Take that, fat-fearers!

I have been thin before and it never felt this good.  I don’t know if my body can even do thin without some serious eating-disordered behaviors in place (which was the case before).  In my experience, thin does not equate to health *for me.*  Oh yes, there are naturally thin women out there who are healthy as the thin women they are – I am simply not one of them.  I am a part of glorious human diversity, whether Self or Cosmo magazines agree with me or not.  I am after more than just image here… I am after real health and happiness whatever that means, even if it means being fat. 

While I haven’t been posting much (I”ve been focusing a lot on the realization that my mother has a lot of Narcissistic traits, if not full-blown NPD, and figuring out where to go from here with my new knowledge…), I have been reading here and there on the acceptance blogs.  I have read how certain polls seem to show that many people don’t believe it is even possible to be fat and happy, thus equating happiness with thinness.  How very sad.  Thinness is just thinness – nothing more.  It isn’t success or happiness incarnate.  It is a state of the body… just as fat is.

Today, I celebrate feeling happier and healthier than ever and marvel at another every day miracle that seems to happen all the time for me now… being able to realize that, yes, I’m still obese, so I might as well go buy bigger clothes to accommodate my body as it is and that isn’t a problem.  In fact, it is an act of healthy self-love and self-care.  Yay me! 

And, no, fat/thin isn’t a feeling.  Neither is thin.  I challenge the automatic thoughts, even as I analyze them to deconstruct common ways of thinking about our bodies in Western culture. 

Soon, I’ll be going for a medical check-up that is long-overdue.  I think I am ready to take on a fat-hating doctor, if that is what I end up with.  I find myself laughing out-loud (and good-naturedly) at people speaking the language of the diet obsessed in the cafe where I work.  My customers seem to enjoy my comments about food being fuel with no moral value and how labelling things as “bad” and “forbidden” can often fuel obsession and binging.  I have never felt healthier, but I have also never felt more secure within my own body acceptance and acceptance of intuitive eating.  Bring it on, docs… maybe I can teach you a thing or two… if you’ll let me.


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*Edited by AGR to remove needless apology for processing feelings and post length!!  Good grief, Sassy – That is what this blog is for!!!!  :-P*

For the past year, I have agonized over my relationship with my sister.  It’s just the two of us now.  Our grandparents and parents are all deceased leaving just me and her.   We are both married and she has two grown children…I have a dog.

My sister and I are almost 12 years apart with her being the older sibling.  My mom had two children between the two of us but both died shortly after childbirth.  My parents did not raise us to be close.  I remember next to nothing of my childhood until I was 6 or 7 years old and by that time, my sister was moving out of the house to get away from our father.  I saw very little of my sister once she moved out and that was about 40 years ago.

As I said, the last year I have really been thinking about ways to better my relationship with my sister.  The only times we’ve ever spent together were on a few holidays for only a few hours at a time or when my mom passed away for maybe a couple of days at a time.  I’ve always felt a sister-shaped emptiness in my heart though it’s been more pronounced after the loss of our parents.

I’ve made my gestures in the past year to try and get my sister to visit, to write or call.  Most of those invitations have been ignored or refused.  I’ve continued to do this up until this past weekend.

My niece, my sister’s daughter, graduated with a Masters from a fairly prestigious school this past weekend.  My husband and I were invited but I now suspect it was more for show than as a true invitation.  If you think I’ve seen my sister rarely, hearing from my niece is even more rare.

I got the invitation in the mail and almost threw it away but the more I thought about it, the more I thought I would go to the graduation.  The  graduation was 2 hours away from home so I made a reservation at a hotel and decided to make it a mini-vacation for me and hubby.  We arrived on Friday night and I emailed my niece to give her my cell phone number so she could contact me if she or my sister needed to.  I heard nothing from the family until I saw them walking up at the graduation on Saturday.  Even then, no “I’m glad you came.  I’m glad to see you.”  Nothing.

As we were leaving after the graduation my brother-in-law said he would like for us to get together later that evening so we did.  We ate dinner and then walked through downtown and enjoyed some live music.  It was a fun night but nothing earth shattering.  As a matter of fact, after spending the evening with them, I’ve decided I really don’t care for my sister as a person.  Seeing her once every four to six years may be about right for me.

Being with my sister was a very emotional experience for me and one I’m still mulling over in my head and heart. 

If you had been with us that night, you would have been able to tell that we were definitely raised by the same parents.  We both seem to put off this air of insecurity masked by legalism and judgmentalism. 

I don’t know if anyone else can see it but I can see the abuse she has suffered in her face.  I wonder if people see that in my face as well.  Something else I could see in her face…distrust.  She was closed off and very careful of her words and conversation.  I may not be very guarded of my language but I do tend to use humor to diffuse serious situations or when trust might be an issue.

From the outside, my sister looks like this to me:

  • She looks old beyond her years – wrinkles, harsh complexion, thin and worn. 
  • She crosses her arms a lot when she talks leading me to believe that she is being cautious about being around people. 
  • She looks away from me when I’m talking to her as if she might have a secret or she may have something she would like to tell me but decides not to. 
  • She smokes like a freaking freight train, one right after the other. 
  • She drinks to get drunk and to numb the pain within. 
  • Her daughter doesn’t respect her the way she should and her husband “sides with” the daughter whenever a chance arises.
  • She is obsessed with thinness and will starve herself to wear a certain size and then tell me to not eat too so I can lose weight.

When I type all this out it seems to haunt me even more.  Part of me says I don’t want to be a part of this person’s life because she doesn’t seem to want me in hers and part of me says we are so much alike it’s unreal.  We may cope in different ways with the pain and sadness of our pasts but we have the same past.  We have something that only the two of us can relate to.

When I look at her I see me!  I don’t want to see me!  But I’m drawn to her and want a relationship with her because only she understands why I feel the way I do…why I act the way I act…why I believe the way I believe.

I want to treat her as I would want someone to treat me – with compassion, with honesty, trust and love – but she doesn’t want it.

Having said all that and gotten it out of my system I also realize that I want compassion, honesty, trust and love from my sister but she is not able to give it.  She never has been able to give it and until she gets some help, she won’t ever be able to give it – to me, to herself or to anyone else.  I’m wanting something from my sister that she is unable to provide.  My expectations from her are too much. 

A call once a year, maybe an occassional email, those may be the only things I ever get from my sister.  Maybe that’s all she can give.  It’s time to move on and work on me for me.  Dwelling on wanting a relationship with my sister is a waste of time and there are so many other wonderful things in my life that I can cultivate if I’m not devoting time to a lost cause.

I think I grew emotionally this weekend and typing all this out helped me tremendously.  The visit with my sister taught me that I have so much to be grateful for.  I am NOT my sister and although our pasts are the same in many respects, I have taken different roads than her and have sought help and support from outside sources (which I don’t believe she has). 

Although I’m no expert on self worth and self love, it was apparent to me that I am leaps and bounds ahead of her on those issues.  I don’t NEED a relationship with a person (even though she is my sister) if she is going to end up being toxic to my recovery anyway.  I feel that her compulsive/obsessive behaviors would only have me sliding backwards and I’m not prepared for that.

Who’s to say that in a few years she might see the need to have a relationship with me and if she does, I’ll be willing to try.  Until then, I am my priority and I’m just fine without her in my life.

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I put so much undue pressure on myself. Pressure to be good. Pressure to be right. Pressure to be in control. Pressure to do and say all the right things. PRESSURE! PRESSURE! PRESSURE!

Sometimes I put myself under so much pressure I think I’m going to explode like a can of soda that’s been shaken. Once that soda can reaches it’s pressure point, it spews all kinds of crap everywhere and is uncontrollable.

I say all that to tell you that is how I have felt about posting here.

I have put myself under pressure to post just the right words to inspire and cause deep thought. I have purposefully avoided blogging because I don’t want to do anything “wrong”. I want to say the right thing. I want to be uplifting and a shining example for all. (Again with that damn religious upbringing to be perfect or be condemned to hell!)

When I thought I might blog about this, I came to the realization that that is not why AGR and I started this blog. We, in fact, started this blog to help journal our recovery processes with the hopes of helping or validating others along our path. If I only post about my successes and happy times, it seems to me I will appear “unreal”, “above everyone else” or maybe even “recovered”. I learned a lot by reading of other people’s journeys, about the mountains and valleys they encountered along the way…about the “realness” of their recovery journey, so it is my plan to now be real with you about my recovery journey into self-awareness and self-acceptance.

The healing process consists of the good and the bad. I have to remind myself that I cannot always be that shining example of emotional, physical or spiritual health but that I am a work in progress…and that’s ok. It’s more than OK! It’s phenomenal! I’d rather be a work in progress than one who believes she has no issues to talk about and is stagnant. I don’t have all the answers and that’s ok too.

I’m just letting you know before hand that my blogging may take a turn toward the more issue oriented, not so perfect world that is my life. I don’t want to appear to be something I’m not – a well adjusted person with all the answers. I’m just going to be me, warts and all.


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