Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I don't know what to do with my arms.

I keep forgetting what size I am.

More accurately, I have no idea what size I am.

Part of this is because I've lost weight and part of it is because everyone who designs clothing for women is smoking crack and apparently it would just be so very difficult/such a blow to our ego/or just you know, SANE, to do things like put our waist size on our jeans instead of making us try on forty-eleven pairs to figure out which ones actually fit.

A few weekends ago (I think...time is going really off-kilter for me these days) I tried on every pair of "work" pants I have (I don't often have to wear such things, but once or twice a year I am forced to) and none of them fit. Some of them were comically huge and some were just plain too big. Fine, nice. Yay. Whatever. Good problem to have I guess, except it means I have to spend money. Which, despite what my bank account would tell you, is not really something I enjoy.

So I went to a store that I don't find completely repugnant and tried on pants. Out of the sixty pairs I tried on (lie, it was more like seven. But it FELT like sixty), two were exactly identical in every way except color. Same brand, same style, same size, same everything except color. One fit fine. The other I couldn't get past my hips. I'm not kidding.

I didn't buy any pants. I was very disgruntled and made ugly faces whilst trying them on. And maybe said something snarky about my butt. Twice. Maybe.

I wear a lot of dresses these days. Not because I'm fancy, just because I like them. I bought two recently (on clearance, woo!). They were vastly different sizes, but fit almost exactly the same. I should really stop caring what size is on the tag, but seriously? It would make my life so much easier if I just sort of approximately knew what size to look at.

Okay and the worst part of what happened lately? I have these mommaw arms and I just seriously don't even know what to do about it. You know what I'm talking about...the flaps. I'm FLAPPY. So I'm on my deck, enjoying the weather, I lean back and, I swear to God this is true, I catch my arm fat behind the chair and the deck railing and pinch the crap out of my own arm. Out of my own ARM FAT.

It immediately bruises and makes a huge welt and I said to Jason, "Well. This is a wake-up call."

Because what do I do? Lift the heaviest weights possible forever? Maybe? Does arm fat just not go away? Do I need surgery?

So. In summary:

I'm approaching 150lbs lost (oh my God) and my arms are still flappy.
I still have no idea what size I am.
I'm still not a supermodel.


I don't know what to do about any of this.


Friday, August 15, 2014

We need to keep talking about this. Always.

Last week, I was in the Bahamas on a long-planned, highly anticipated trip. I was busy on this trip, I guess because I'm always busy, but one day when I wasn't sunning myself on the Lido deck or snorkeling in Paradise Cove or puking in said cove (yes, really. The waves got me), I turned on the television and learned that Robin Williams had passed away.

That he hung himself.

That this man, who made me laugh for years, had hung himself. That he was gone. That it was too much...everything was too much. That he, despite all outward appearances, was not okay.

I was glad, quite glad, to be away from social media for a few days. I knew what was coming.


Unfortunately, I knew from personal experience, what was coming.


"It was a choice. A selfish choice!"
"He's burning in Hell. Suicide is a sin!"
"What a waste."

"Why can't you just smile?"
"Why don't you focus on the positive instead of the negative?"
"Why can't you just try harder?"
"You aren't sad all the time, so you must not be depressed."


I suppose, even now in the year 2014, there are people who think that what Robin Williams did was because of a horrible choice he made. There are people who honestly, really, don't understand that depression is not a choice. That there are moments, dark, real moments, in which there is no other way.

I'm not advocating suicide. I'm not advocating hurting yourself. I'm just saying...I get it. I'm saying, I have been in those dark places. I'm just saying, I'm just admitting right now, that there have been times that someone in my life has pulled that trigger and I have been envious. Jealous.

Because I didn't have the guts to do the same.



But not me. Not me, right?


Because I have everything. I have everything and even more than everything. I have a husband who loves me, I have well-behaved, beautiful, intelligent children. I have a job that pays the bills, a lovely home. A dog that I adore. I wrote a book that people have read. I wrote other things too and people read those other things and told me how much they liked them. I have friends, good friends. I have people who love me and care about me and want me in this world. There are people who value me as a human being, an employee, a co-worker, and a friend.

There is no reason, none at all, that I should ever want out.

Right?


It doesn't work that way.

Please, please, please. I'm begging you. Read this line. And then read it again. And again.



It doesn't work that way.


Depression is not a choice. Depression is not logical. You can't snap out of it. You can't just smile and watch a funny movie and then everything is okay. You can't just look at your life objectively and go, "Oh. I'm an asshole for feeling like this. Everything is fine. I'm lucky." There is always, forever, something that is missing. Something that is "wrong". You smile and laugh and make everyone around you smile and laugh and it's still not okay. You can take your medicine, you can eat the "right" foods and avoid everything bad, you can exercise every day and get out of bed every morning and take yourself to work and plaster a smile on your face, and you know what? It's still not fixed. It's still not okay. The hole is still there.

There is no one who suffers from depression because of choice. No one. There is no one who would choose to feel this way.


As I write this, I have a lot of fear. A lot. People don't judge you if you have cancer or MS or a blood-clotting disorder, but depression is different because people still don't realize it's not a choice. I can't cure my depression any more than my dad can cure his own cancer. I can treat my depression, and I do. I can't fix my brain. I can't change who I am as a human.

And you know...my fear is a huge part of the problem. Why am I afraid to let people know? Why should I feel ashamed because of things I cannot control? (This is rhetorical. I know why. I've spent so many years in silence because I know why)


There are no good answers. We are all flawed human beings...wonderfully, beautifully flawed human beings. Sometimes it is too much to bear. Sometimes we are left wondering why. Sometimes the person who gives us the most comfort and joy and hope is the one who is suffering the most inside. The one who is hiding behind their smile.


I am not fragile. I am not broken. I'm not crazy.

This is not because I'm a bad Christian or don't love God enough. You cannot pray this out of me (feel free to pray for me though, as it definitely could not hurt).

Simply, I suffer from clinical depression.


I am not ashamed.


If you need help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Please. Right now. Do not wait one second longer.

 1-800-273-TALK 

Please do not be afraid to seek help. One of the hardest things I've ever done in my life is make the first call. It got easier for me after the first call.

And please know this:

Every single person who reads this matters to me. Every one of you. You are often the brightest lights in my very dark world. You don't even know how many times one of your comments or emails or texts have made me feel like there is someone, somewhere who gives a damn. Because you matter. You matter.



Please keep talking about this. Change can never come unless we keep talking about this.




Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Things I learned today

Apparently there's a porno star named Stephanie Snow.


So. That's great news.







The end.

Monday, July 28, 2014

I totally got dissed on Facebook.

One of the many, many problems with living in small towns (which, with the exception of my years in Knoxville, I've always done) is that everyone you know knows everyone else you know. This is great if everyone likes you. This is not great if you are, you know, human.

As I am quite tragically human, not everyone likes me. In fact, a fair number of people dislike me, including several that I have to deal with on a daily basis. It isn't fun and lately it stresses me out a lot. I try to deal with those day-to-day dislikers as little as possible, and I certainly don't interact with them on Facebook. Okay, I do tend to be a teeny, tiny, almost minuscule Facebook stalker. Okay, actually, that's a little bit of a lie because I totally stalk certain people and then email my friends so we can laugh at the people I'm stalking. But that's hardly ever, really. I promise. I really don't care enough about most people to spend a lot of time doing this. Also, I'm really busy and stalking is very time consuming. Allegedly.

Anyway, I totally wasn't stalking this time (really!). A friend re-posted something and I don't even know why or how but I clicked on the link and fell down the rabbit hole and then? I found something not very nice about me.

Okay, it really wasn't nice. It was most decidedly NOT nice. It was, as the nice ladies in East Tennessee might say, "ugly".

In the comments section, someone I don't know and have never met was accepting compliments from a number of people who were saying how fantastic and wonderful and special and Godly she is because of something she was doing or organizing or something. So, that's cool, right? Yay! Wow, I'm down with this Jesus fellow so therefore I'm on board. Sounds like she's a terrific person! We have a mutual friend. Probably several mutual friends! Maybe I'd like her too, since she's so amazeballs!

Somehow I figured out this person is married to someone I used to date a really long time ago. Like, so long ago I can't remember how long it's been, but it's been a really, really long time. Like, forever.

This lady, this super Godly wife, posted that every day her husband thanked God that he married her instead of the immature girl he used to date.

She seriously did.

(Oddly, the God I believe in wouldn't be cool with someone saying something like that. Just a random aside and perhaps not important to the story)

I don't know this lady. I do know I was the only person her husband dated before he married her (like I said, small town. Gossip. I've heard things). I've dated, um, several people since then and I'm working on driving yet another man slowly insane. Hell, I've been frustrating Jason beyond words for like fifteen years. This is ancient history.

So, seriously. Wut?

I'm no threat to her, like at all.  I have no interest in her "man". I have absolutely, literally no idea why I would ever come up in conversation, even casually. Further, I have zero doubt that I was immature many years ago because 1) I'm immature now and 2) It was like twelve thousand years ago and I was pretty much an infant when all of this was happening.


So. Um. Sorry about your marriage lady. Other that that...I got nothing.



(Okay, so I do have this: I'm sorry you realize I'm way cuter that you and that makes you feel insecure)

(Okay, also? I'm sorry that your kids seem depressed and post things about how your husband yells at them all the time)

(Okay, and this? I'm sorry I looked at your kids pages too. But you started this.)




(Okay, also this. I'm not really sorry.)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

I used to sometimes write things.

Like this. I wrote this back in June 2009 and sad, sad circumstances have caused me to think of it once again.

(Eventually I'll get back to posting NEW stupid crap no one cares about. Promise)

Words fail.

One of my dearest friends has joined the Club.

There is no guide to dealing with this Club. No initiation. You are simply, miserably, thrust into it.

She's had a miscarriage. She's joined the millions of other women in this world, myself included, who are suddenly, painfully, not pregnant anymore.

She and I talked and she said to me perhaps the saddest thing I've ever heard in my life,

"It was just my turn."

Her turn. To lose. To be lost.


It's so not fair. It's so blindingly not fair that it makes me ill.


Because why does it have to be her turn? Why, when she is good and kind and loving and really wants to have a baby? Why is her turn to feel that her body has failed her? Why does it have to be her husband's turn to watch his wife cry? When they did everything they were supposed to do. When she dutifully stopped drinking her morning coffee and took all the disgusting vitamins she was supposed to take. When every day she took walks and kept herself in just the right shape. When she stopped having wine at dinner, months before, just to prepare herself.

She has to lose.

Instead of joining the happy baby club, in which you get to discuss your vivid dreams and how much weight you get to gain and your weird pickle and Wendy's Frosty cravings, she instead joins the miserable little club that no one wants to talk about. The one where you wonder what the hell is wrong with you. And why did this happen. And will I ever be normal. And why God hates you.

Even the words are stupid and angry. Miscarriage. She didn't drop the baby. She didn't misplace it somewhere. It's right where it always was. Inside her heart, which is now broken because life is so damn unfair.

She's lost her baby. 

But it's not lost. It will never be.

There are no words of comfort. Everything you say to someone who has lost her baby is inadequate. Even if you've been there. Even if you know, in some small way, how she's feeling.

She, for her part, is optimistic. Positive. It's a blip in the road, and she'll have a healthy baby soon. I believe that, strongly. It's happened for so many of my friends. So, so many. It's miserable and terrible and horrible but you get through it. You plod on. You get another test a few months later and it's positive. A beautiful little plus sign. You get another and another and they all have beautiful little plus signs. You are cautious and optimistic and maybe a bit scared for a few months and then you have a beautiful, rounded belly with a beautiful little baby inside.

I know it happens. It happens for most. I know this.

It all works out. You don't drop the baby this time.


Still. You are forever part of the Club. You wear it like a scar on your heart.


It never goes away.