Stick in the Mud

Whenever I try to figure out how I became such a stick in the mud, I am mindful to stop trying to figure it all out. One thing I have always liked about myself is that I haven’t spent much time pondering, why this or that happened to me.

Last May, for whatever reason, I started getting severe migraines at an alarming rate. Sure, I’d had migraines as a teenager but they were sporadic. I could take to the bed for a day and then, move on with my life. Last spring, it became completely different and nearly constant.

Now, I know that I’m not the only one who suffers from chronic migraines, but in the past, I thought, “Meh, it’s just a headache, so no big whoop. Suck it up.” One of my dearest childhood friends began suffering with chronic migraines as a child and she still suffers. It wasn’t until last spring that I truly understood the challenges my girlfriend was up against.

Migraines have mostly ruined the last year of my life. They’ve battled with my relationships, my ability to be at my best at work, at home and absolutely anywhere I happen to be, and therefore, my sense of identity and self-esteem took a big hit.

I haven’t wanted to address the truth about this, even to myself. I mean, seriously… it’s just headaches. “Take some aspirin and move on. There’s a freakin’ pandemic going on and I have no right to complain about anything!”

Of course, I have been working with a neurologist who I believe is the bees knees. I trust him implicitly. We’ve tried a slew of medications and procedures, most of which I cannot pronounce. Last week, in partnership with my neurologist, we embarked on a totally new regimen. So, I’m writing this today because I feel better and I want anyone who’s reading this to know there’s hope for chronic pain sufferers. I’ve had time and space without my head hurting and it feels like a miracle. I’m sharp, funny and loving; all of which I desperately needed to be reminded of. It’s eerie as to how much my chronic pain seemed to alter my identity. In my own painful head, I became so completely miserable, I thought I would die. (And sometimes, the pain was so bad, I felt like I wanted to die.) Today, I feel more “me-ish” than I’ve felt in almost a year. I am very grateful for it.

So, if my clear, pain-free head continues, great. If not, I will keep trying new things to try and help myself.

For chronic pain sufferers, I see you and love you exactly as you are. You may be feeling 100% unlovable, but it’s just a lie your pain is telling you.

You are lovable, exactly as you are.

Me too.

Can/Can’t Canteen Can Can

…my smorgasbord of feelings…

It’s fully impossible for me not to notice AND acknowledge that when I reflect on my *smorgasbord of feelings over the past five months, it’s almost always associated with food. (see aforementioned reference to *smorgasbord)

Okay, it’s more than a casual food association. It may not even be “almost” always, but ALWAYS. My moods and feelings are like a vulnerable-loving-forgiving-physically-stagnant, casserole of emotions, covered in crispy french fried onions, located on an all-you-can-eat buffet of mostly unpredictable, hungry/foody/full feelings.

Buffet…Smorgasbord…Canteen…Chow Fest…FEELINGS.

It’s so interesting, because these days, I am generally peaceful. In many ways, I have never actually liked or loved myself (and others) more than while this pandemic has been going on. P. S. I am thinking about food right nowcheddar cheese on an egg bagel with honey mustard

Okay, I’m back.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll see that my daughter, Charlotte, has been baking and creating decadent treats on nearly a daily basis. A key fact is, I am not overindulging in her amazing culinary creations.

Bearing witness to Charlotte’s visionary process has helped me understand myself better. My imaginative and often funny thoughts of food – casseroles, carbs, KETO, vintage gelatinous “aspic-tacular” platters, buffets and canteens are all really healthy ways of coping with:

  • Missing people
  • Craving human touch
  • Concerns about money and being able to provide for my kids
  • My worry over other people’s health
  • Wearing pants inside out and backwards
  • Simply wearing pants
  • Wearing pants that, once fit and now feel like medical-grade compression wear
  • Seriously though… I’m not going to list everything. This is the last bullet point. You catch my drift.

Like you and most everyone, I’ve had to sit (long stretches) alone with myself. I never, ever forget that we’re collectively in this trauma together and not being alone, even though I’m physically alone sometimes, is incredibly comforting.

Also, even if I’m a little more than slightly flabby, I’m really not too shabby. I imagine the same is true for you.

So, even though I ate two dinners last night, (and thought of food even more), it’s not the end of the world. I mean, it doesn’t happen every night and in evaluating what transpired in that extra meal, one could say that I just had a really early breakfast. (Three hours after my original dinner.)

On a physical front, I KNOW I have to move my body more. I haven’t been too into “getting physical,” until I decided to start dancing at least 45 minutes per day.

Oh fine. I’ll move my tush.

Today, I danced for 90 minutes. As I moved my body, I thought about the aforementioned, vintage gelatinous “aspic-tacular” platter. I laughed as I danced, because the committee in my head was entertaining. It was hard to breathe, but I just kept going.

I even danced a “Can Can,” that I think seemed more like a “Can’t Can’t.”

But, it’s all okay. I mean, everything I mentioned in this post is okay.

Sure, I hope I eat only one dinner tonight. I pray that I’ll dance as hard tomorrow as I did today.

And all the while, I hope I can continue to laugh at and enjoy all of my food associations, my temporary flab and life on life’s terms in general.

I’m sending you so much love and virtual hugs. Please be gentle with yourself. You are a gift and very brave to be walking through this surreal time.

Stay safe and healthy. I hope we can have dinner together, (just one) soon.

Directions on Escaping Your Private Hell

ESCAPE ROUTE: Make it less private.

Ask for help.

Tell the truth. Continue reading “Directions on Escaping Your Private Hell”

A Love Letter Redux to Juliette

The original letter I wrote to Juliette four years ago can be found here – “For Juliette: A Love Letter You’ll Hate (For Now)”. I write my daughters fairly often, but this one stands out and serves as a sort of unspoken grading tool for how I am doing as a mother. I give myself a “C” grade as a mother, but the important lesson here is that I don’t accept my own “C” grade. I trust the trustworthy people in my life instead. Continue reading “A Love Letter Redux to Juliette”

The trickiest of all technical difficulties

Over the past several weeks, I haven’t published any blog posts, but have authored at least 200 articles in my head. The reviews have been mixed, according to the reviewers who reside in my head.

Continue reading “The trickiest of all technical difficulties”

Cutting, Keeping & Nurturing the Right Ties, Redux

Things have changed since the original post, but the peace really hasn’t.

I originally wrote this blog post a few years ago about my ex-husband and daughters celebrating our wedding anniversary together. Some people found this pretty weird, and others celebrated our vastly improved relationship since we chose to exit our marriage. 

Either way, this is our life and how we choose to live it.  Continue reading “Cutting, Keeping & Nurturing the Right Ties, Redux”

The Wrinkle in Working to Fight Aging

I really love getting older. This is absolute truth. I also have this theory that working so very hard to fight aging, ages a person. Pfft.

Continue reading “The Wrinkle in Working to Fight Aging”

And, the ‘Worst Mother of the Year Award,’ Goes to…

Not me.

Also, it’s a stupid award that should be banished forever.

Other awards off of the top of my head that must also be destroyed:

  1. Ugliest Woman on Earth Award
  2. Human with the Most Hideous Moles Award
  3. Best Self-Deprecatory Human on Earth Award
  4. Most Unlovable Living Being in Universe Award
  5. Best Aspic and Other Gelatinous Creations Chef Award

Wait. #5 is kind of cool. That one can stay. Continue reading “And, the ‘Worst Mother of the Year Award,’ Goes to…”

Not Being in Love: A Love Story

When I find myself questioning my decision to open myself up on such an external level, (and I question it with great frequency), someone ALWAYS approaches me about how something I’ve shared helped them in some way. Sometimes, a reader simply feels less alone, and breathes a sigh of relief that the committee that lives in their head, (and has way too many meetings), isn’t much different from mine. Continue reading “Not Being in Love: A Love Story”

Mirrors, Photos, & a Reality Touch

Ever since social media took flight, I have posted a slew of photos of myself in various states of being. This act has garnered a mixed response from my family, friends, acquaintances and virtual strangers. Some people see it as incredibly vain while others perceive an exceedingly confident woman who finds her physical appearance and its twists and turns, interesting.

It’s really neither of those things, I think. Continue reading “Mirrors, Photos, & a Reality Touch”