The dairy-addiction saga continues

Firstly, I’m fine.  I’m not blowing hobos in dark alleys for a pint of Skim Milk (and yes… I totally get the implied joke here, but I’m deliberately avoiding it.  Just so you know.)  Now, in the spirit of full-disclosure, I *am* writing this while I drink a glass of milk.  What? I *like* milk.  I swear I do!  It has nothing to do with anything else but I like it.  A lot.

As for my previously mentioned breakdown… I’ve put all of that back in the box that was in the far reaches of my mind, again.  I don’t want to feel it.  So I’m going back to pretending I don’t know.  For now, it’s the safest thing I can manage, for my own health.

So here I was, minding my own business, surfing the internet when I stumble upon this:
Cheese addiction is real! This chick says so!

But then, I see this:
 Another site about cheese addiction!

I’m not even kidding, folks…. this might be an epidemic.

The moral of the story? Despite what you may have not believed in the past from my previous post about dairy addictions, it’s happening.  It’s real.  Ones upon tens of people succumb to their dairy addiction every decade or so (give or take a few years).  But 7 out of 10 million tell the real story.

So when you see that girl who looks strung out and sad wandering aimlessly around the grocery store, point her toward the milk.  That’s what she’s there for anyway.


Taking stock in 2011

I’m still sick. Remember in the comments of a recent post when I told El Guapo that I didn’t get grouchy…. I lied. I do. And as of yesterday I hit the grouchy point. Tired, voiceless, coughing, whiny, forced to be couch-ridden… I hate it. Being forced to stay home makes me feel totally useless.

It’s official: I have bronchitis. I also have laryngitis. I also have a sinus infection. I also fell off the exam table *in* the doctor’s office and sprained my wrist. Yup… Life is pretty damn fantastic. So I took the day off work (against my will… although I did work for two hours BEFORE the appointment at the doctor). Went to get my meds filled. Bought way too much to eat because I just wanted to feel better. Went home. Ate the aforementioned food (which included, but isn’t limited to: tomato bisque, grilled two-cheese sandwich, cupcake, hot cocoa, snowman shaped marshmallows) (oh…and a rib roast….but the rib roast is for later). Made my cocoa, in my favorite cup, with the snowman accompaniment. It was fantastic. The best part of yesterday. Almost. I was alone at home, but I had good company. That was the highlight of the day.

Tasty Cocoa

Hot Cocoa in the BEST cup! Ever. Ever in the history of ever.

Slept. Slept. Slept. Watched Ally McBeal. Slept. Woke up today, still felt bad, couldn’t speak. “Called” in (it was a pathetic conversation). Slept. Watched Ally McBeal (Season 2!!). Slept. Heard this quote and it moved me to write this post.

“If you think back, and replay your year – if it doesn’t bring you tears of joy or sadness, consider the year wasted.” ~John “the Biscuit” Cage

I looked back at my 2011. Yeah. There are tears. Some joy. Some sadness. I couldn’t tell you the mixture… I don’t even know that I would want to know if it was 50/50. 30/70. 80/20. It wouldn’t matter anyway. Instead, I’ll tell you it’s been a phenomenal year. For good reasons and for not so good reasons. I want to summarize the year by telling you what I’ve learned, in no particular order.

  • We teach people how we want to be treated. As I was telling my BFF, yesterday, I’ve known that for a long time. But I didn’t learn it until this year.
  • Work is what we do, but it isn’t who we are. Being who we are is who we are. That may seem redundant. But it’s not. Trust me. If you are nodding your head, you get it.
  • I am full of very many talents. I still haven’t decided how to use them in a way that pays the bills and makes me happy. I’m not sure if there’s a way.
  • Patience is a virtue. It’s a virtue I suck at. I don’t know that I’ll ever change that.
  • Love is thrilling. It’s also destructive. If you don’t love yourself enough, you’ll never know when you cross the line between the two.
  • I wanted to learn to raise one eyebrow at a time by the end of the year. I think it adds character. I haven’t learned that.
  • I did learn how to move my ears when I smile. When I smile a genuine smile, my ears move. *That* adds character.

    If you could see yourself, just for a day, you'd see how everyone else sees you. And my God, you are fucking beautiful.

    My BFF is *awesome*!

  • My loved ones know my heart. And today I got this in the mail from BFF#1 and it brought me to tears. “If you could see yourself, just for a day, you’d see how everyone else sees you. And my God, you are fucking beautiful.”
  • There are angels all around us. Open your eyes to them and they can help guide you.
  • I don’t always know best. I need to do a better job of considering the advice that my loved ones offer. They have a better view of what’s happening, sometimes.

Finally….a biggie:

  • I will be okay. Despite the struggle, the good days will return more often. The bad days will come around less. And I will survive. Because I’m good at that.

Next week I’ll do a review of my resolutions for 2011. And then make the 2012 goals. I’m really excited about that. But it was worth taking stock of this year before I did that.

Why it’s fun to make my kid cry

To start, I’m still sick.  I’m beginning to suspect bronchitis.  BFF #1 has it, and it’s possible that I got the bug from her before she knew she had it.  I got a little better for a couple of days, but I feel worse than I did before, now.  Plus, no voice, again.  I did, however, make it to the Christmas party in my bad-ass steel-gray dress (because I was so freakin’ medicated that I could have bled pseudoephedrine).  And I looked good.  So there’s that.  Yay.  Today?  Sucking.  Whatever.  It’ll pass soon enough.

With Christmas rapidly approaching (I really should put the Christmas Tree up already), I was thinking about some of our holiday traditions and how they came about.  Here they are, in no particular order (plus the reason why we do it):

  • Frozen Pizza on Christmas Eve
    We started doing this after many years of Christmas Eve dinner with my in-laws.  They are very nice and well-meaning, but their food is gross.  Not even kidding, none of us ever really enjoyed the meal.  So, one night after the meal, we stopped at a grocery store and picked up a frozen pizza for each of us.  Later that night, we realized that we loved it because each of us got what we wanted (I am a veggie pizza girl, the kiddo likes cheese, and the hubs loves meat).
  • No family on Christmas Day
    It’s just a rule.  Keeps me from murdering them.
  • Chinese Food on Christmas Day
    One year we were so broke that we took the Christmas money we got from the In-Laws and went to the cheapest chinese food restaurant that was open so we had at least something to eat on Christmas Day.  The next year, we did it for fun.  Now we do it for tradition.

Lastly, one of the biggest traditions is one that will make me laugh forever: torturing my daughter with Dora the Explorer.

Dora the Explorer / Courtesy Nickelodeon

Christmas Dora / Nickelodeon

When my daughter (now 16 and a half years old) was only 7, we would put Dora the Explorer on TV and tease her by saying we knew how much she loved it.  She would get all haughty and stomp out of the room.  All of the sudden, we had an instant child remover!  We could put it on, at any time, and she would run out of the room.  (For the record, we’ve probably watched most of the episodes of Dora.  It works to this day!)  Because of this strong aversion, I started buying cheap Dora-themed items and giving them to her for random holidays.  Christmas, Birthdays, even Easter, once.

When she was 9, I started harping on the Dora thing about two weeks before the holiday.  By December 22nd, I had her convinced that not only did *we* get her Dora stuff, but so did her Papa.  On the 23rd, everything came to a head.

Her: So… when will be taking the presents back so I can get the stuff I want.
Me: *gasp* (giving her a stern look) Not until after Christmas!  There’s no time now!  And there’s like, 4 feet of snow on the ground.  I’m not going to tell Papa to go to the store now!
Her: Mom! (and she gets really upset now)  But it’s all Dora stuff!
Me:  I don’t care.  You need to be gracious, even if you don’t like it!  You don’t want to hurt his feelings do you?
Her: (crying now)  But…mom?
Me: Knock it off.  Be graceful, not a spoiled brat!

I know… I’m cruel.  She left the room bawling and I was giggling.  The hubs scolded me and told me that I was being mean.  So I ended up going into her room and calming her down and telling her I was kidding and Papa didn’t get her Dora stuff.  She settled down and I was bummed because I was really enjoying myself.  I get it though.  It’s not nice to scar the child.

She learned a few things, though.  She learned that no matter what, she should be gracious about gifts.  Even when it’s not the thing she wants, it’s the thought that counts.  We used to have a little trouble with her, when she was young, with being kind and polite in challenging circumstances.  One thing I won’t ever tolerate is a spoiled child, so this taught her something.

I did get the last laugh, though.  The very first gift she opened on Christmas Day?  Dora Bubble Bath.  Yeah…her facial expression was priceless. I winked, and she got the joke.  But ever since then, we have that.  I told her that I’ll give her Dora panties when she gets married.  And the great thing is she knows I will.

That’s love.

Cardboard People

I want to first apologize for being overly chatty. My annual bout with laryngitis has begun and already I’m feeling the sting of not being able to communicate freely. Not being able to talk is a fate worse than death, as far as I’m concerned. I can’t speak. I can’t laugh. I can’t sing. It all sucks. I jokingly say that getting laryngitis is God’s way of telling me to shut up and listen. And so I will….later. But this is my forum and dammit! I’ll use it to send smoke signals to the rest of the world, since I can’t talk. 🙂

Today’s random thought is about the behavior of people, and the masks we wear. Now, I get the whole “time and place” thing. We can’t (and shouldn’t) just say what ever is on our mind when ever we think it. I’m talking about something deeper. Something that defines our character. I’m talking about who we are, on the inside.

We all know that one person. That person who talks a big game but, in reality, is totally different. When they’re in groups they behave one way, and in private they are totally different. These people tend to be “boogie men” that walk around in the daylight.
(I say boogie men, but clearly I’m not only referring to men. Don’t leave me hater comments about how women are boogies, too. Trust me, I’m very well aware. It just sounds silly to say “boogie people” and I don’t care all that much about being PC.)
These are the people who you hear others talk about and think, “Really? He seemed so nice…” and you’re left with a distorted image of him because you’re not sure what to believe.

I see right through those facades, normally. I suppose it isn’t that I see it, with my eyes. I feel it. Something about that person just rubs me the wrong way. And I’ll try to work through it, but ultimately I find that they are just not nice people.

They’re shape shifters. They take on the appearance of their personality to suit the people near them. When someone else joins in, they change again. They are the personality equivalent of cardboard – shallow.

And when people are like this, it’s the very worst. They play games with other people. They pretend to be kind and nice and as soon as


If you have the depth of cardboard, you're useless

the doors are closed, they are horrible and rotten. Their dysfunction leads to other dysfunction. People who love them might make the excuse, “It’s not like that all the time” or “He just had a really bad day” or “She didn’t mean it. She was just upset.” Yeah… I don’t buy it.

Listen, I get that we all behave somewhat differently within the constraints of social situations. Obviously, when I’m at my daughter’s school, I’m not going to swear like a sailor. Conversely, when I’m at the bar with friends, I’m not going to be demure. I am, however, totally, 100% the same person, no matter what. The person whose thoughts you’re reading now would be the same person you’d hear in real life.

The really messed up part about cardboard people is that because they absorb whatever is around them, they never assume the blame. It’s always someone else’s fault. They deflect and avoid responsibility because they never fully see that their behavior is a choice. And the people who love them are left carrying the blame….not understanding what they did wrong. It’s upsetting.

No single person is perfect. No one. But I value imperfection. I value growth. I value independence and individuality. I don’t want to keep up with “the Jones'”…hell – I don’t even know any damn Jones’. But overall, I value my ability to think and choose for myself, without being a bitch, and without making other people responsible for my choices. I am who I am because I am willing to make mistakes, learn from them, grow, change, cry, laugh, feel, adapt, think, love…..I am willing to live out loud.

And this… this is the quote of the day from my favorite musical of all time: Evita (secretly, I long to play Eva Peron on stage someday)

“Better to win by admitting my sin than to lose with a halo.” ~Eva Peron

In other words… I’d rather people hate me for who I really am than to love me for someone I’m not. I feel sorry for anyone who feels differently.

Tim Tebow and the hand of God

 This post has been a long time coming.  It’s been milling about in my head for days/weeks/months.  Technically, I’ve had a very strong opinion on Tim Tebow since we drafted him back when Josh McDaniels was blowing up coaching the Denver Broncos.  Ugh…. McNugget is a whole other issue.  This is about Tebow.

Tim Tebow AP Photo: Jack Dempsey

Tim Tebow AP Photo: Jack Dempsey

But… it isn’t.

Sit tight with me, folks.  I need to give you some background.

  1. I have been, am, and always will be a Denver Broncos fan, despite the fact that some have accused me of being a bigger Indianapolis Colts fan.
  2. Beyond that, I am a football fan, through and through.  The world stops in my household on Football Sunday.  And Monday.  And sometimes Thursday.  And Saturday, during the playoffs.  Yep…. I’m that guy girl.  So this little rant of mine that’s coming is well founded.  This isn’t something I am regurgitating from talk radio or my husband.  I can think for myself. And I know what I’m talking about.
  3. I am a believer.  I don’t know how far into saying “I’m a Christian” I will go, but if you had to categorize me, yes.  I’m a Christian.

Now that you’ve got some background on me, let’s get started.

Yep… the Denver Broncos are winning games.  And yes, Tebow is leading them.  And yes, he’s a Christian.  And yes, he brings some energy that is exciting and inspiring.

I am so tired of hearing, from my fellow fans, “Tebow’s taking us to the Super Bowl.”  Are you kidding me? We win a few games and all of a sudden we’re a championship team?  Give me a break.  I don’t know how it is in other cities, but I’ve been told that Denver fans are some of the worst in this sense.  We win a few games and suddenly we’re a Championship-caliber team.

Wrong.  We’re not.  And let me tell you why.

  • Tebow is still a rookie quarterback.  He’s green, still.  He’s not accurate.  He still makes stupid choices.  He’s still learning, for Pete’s sake!
  • We can’t go to the Super Bowl with a quarterback who can’t pass consistently and accurately.  And we certainly can’t go with receivers who couldn’t catch a ball in a 3 foot net surrounding them.  Seriously!  How many balls are thrown and hit them in the chest or the hands and they drop it.  Geez!  It’s embarrassing.
  • The defense is playing inspired football.  It’s the only thing we have going for us.  But does anyone remember the ’06 Bears with Rex Grossman?  He had the worst QB rating, ever, in a Super Bowl.  And was mediocre before that.  The defense got them to the Super Bowl. But defenses don’t win Super Bowls.  And if I measure us against the Green Bay Packers (a well-rounded, solid team), there’s no contest.

But it isn’t just that.  A very good friend of mine (who is also a fan just of another team), had a discussion with me last year when we drafted Tebow.  I was pretty fired up about it, then (go figure, huh?) because we drafted a quarterback when we really needed help with defense.  But whatever… bygones.  He asked me. “Is it the fact that he’s a Christian?”  Yeah… it was part of it.  I wasn’t sold on Tebow.  And the whole Christian thing was a turn off.  I was over it.  Just play football, you schmuck.  But then I saw some interviews.  And I saw how he carried himself in the media.  You know what I found?  He is a Christian, but it’s *us* who are making that into what he’s about.  The media is sensationalizing it.  I didn’t really care.  I just wanted to see the guy play football.

Then… Tebowing.  Wow.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a quart back more polarizing than he is.  People are all types of pissed about the Tebowing thing.  Let me be clear: I don’t give a rip about Tebowing.  People are like, “It’s not Tebowing, it’s praying.”  Sure.  It is.  Who cares, though?  For some of these people, I am truly shocked!  I mean, really?  True Christians who are passing a blanket judgment on others, and for what?  For the glory of knowing that they are somehow better because they “pray” and don’t “Tebow.”  Whatever.  I know enough about Christianity to know this much:

It is not my place to know what’s in the hearts of men.  It is *my* responsibility to have a relationship with Christ, and He will take care of the rest.

Then… and this was the kicker for me today…. I hear, on the news, that some Pastor in Castle Rock, Colorado is preaching that God is helping Tebow win games.  “It’s not luck,” Wayne Hanson said. “Luck isn’t winning six games in a row. It’s favor. God’s favor.”

What. The. HECK?  I can’t claim to know God’s plan, or know His thoughts on Pro-Football.  But I’m gonna take a guess that winning/losing in the NFL doesn’t really rank compared with famine, disease and tragedy that the people on this earth face on a daily basis.  So that’s just asinine, to assume that it’s God’s favor.  You know, people on the opposing teams (and fans) pray, too.  Just sayin’.

I made a joke, recently, that seeing Tebow “Tebowing” probably ripped a hole in the time/space continuum.  Let me be clear: I don’t mind that he prays.  I don’t mind that he’s a Christian.  I don’t mind that people are mimicking him, all over the world (notice I said mimic, not mock).  I think that God does amazing things with people who get on their knees for Him for *any* reason.  That’s His business, not mine.  For once, we have a guy who’s a pro-athelete getting on the news for something other than rape/drug abuse/domestic assault/etc. and actually inspiring adults and children to be better people, to reach for their goals, and to have faith in something bigger than themselves.  That is absolutely amazing.

Here’s what I can see, as a fan and as a woman of strong spiritualism: Tebow doesn’t pray that God will help him win the game.  He’s said this, out loud.  When Tim Tebow is praying, he prays that God will give him patience/guidance/strength/focus…whatever.  The reason he is able to come back after a fumble or interception or 3-and-out series and play like it’s his first drive is because he has the divine gift of focus.  That’s all.  His faith keeps him strong and focused and determined.  And that’s not because “God likes Tebow” any more than God likes any of us.

I have long said that Tim Tebow has talent and a drive to succeed that I’ve not seen in a while.  He is, essentially, the Rocky of Football. “What he lacks in skill, he makes up for with will.”  Give the guy time and space, to grow into the NFL.  I believe in his abilities.  He’s not, nor should he, be ready to “take us all the way.”  He’s just a man.  And he’s still learning.

He makes it fun to watch the Broncos play, again.  We haven’t had that in a while.  I like Tebow.  I do.  But I’m not going to run out and buy all the Tebow gear I can find, because his future in Denver is uncertain.  But please, people… lay off the whole “God/Tebow/Christian” thing.  He’s just a man.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Who is in my head?

**Side note: I’ve started a Facebook site for theflameinside, and I’d love it if you connected with me there. That makes it easier to share with your friends, if you find a post that is particularly moving for you. Or just to hear some of the other news I’ve got that isn’t necessarily blog worthy. Check it out here!

I have found myself hearing the things I say to myself in an acute, very sensitive way. And I’ve come to a few conclusions:

  • Very few of the tapes that play in my head are actually *mine*. Often, they are other people who have said things that have stuck.

    Useless tapes we play

    Courtesy of graur razvan ionut

  • Most of the time, they don’t even make sense!
  • The person who did say it has bigger issues than I do.

Here are a few examples that fit the bill:

  • “You’re too heavy to cut your hair to your shoulders. It’ll make you look fat.” (Um….wrong. I know a few beautiful ladies who are heavier who have short hair.)
  • “You’re stupid.” (This couldn’t be more wrong. I won’t even give credence to the statement by explaining why.)

There are a few others, though, that I’ve heard in my years that stick with me. Even though they weren’t said with malice or intent. Here are two that I hear that have actually done me some good:

  • “When you run, it sounds like elephant footsteps.” (Thanks, BFF#1 – I think of it every time I run, but it forces me to shorten my stride and run with better form. And yes…every time we run the Runnin’ of the Green, I will remind you. ‘Cause it’s funny!)
  • “You can’t do that.” (I realize this is a general phrase I’ve heard a lot over the years, but it’s part of what drives me to do anything.)

This story is about those two phrases. I’m not sure if I’ve told the story before, so if I have, bear with me as I tell it again. If not, then you’re in for a heartwarming and amusing tale of foolishness.

BFF#1 told me that me feet sounded like elephant footsteps the very first time we ever ran together. I weighed about 198 lbs, and had never run (on purpose) in my life. She called me on Friday and said she’d be running the very popular Bolder Boulder (a challenging 10K race), and asked if I wanted to do it with her. I did. Sounded fun (I would come to regret that!).

So there we were. About 1/2 K into the 10K. Amongst the other 1000’s of runners were the unmistakable “whap-whap-whap” sounds of my heavy feet. (Insert her comment here.) Now… at the time I was a little mortified. All I could think of were the awful various “you’re-a-fat-girl” random tapes that I could so easily cue up. But, I did it. I performed horribly. 10K took me 1:40 to do. And I suffered for days afterward and thought, “What the heck was I thinking? I’m not a runner!”

Now, insert the other comment here: “You can’t do that.” I was determined to prove whoever it was in my head wrong. Yeah…I can. And I so I did. I started running. Small runs, at first. 2 miles here and there. Then a little more. And then a little more. And the next year, I ran that same 10K in 1:10. A full 30 minutes less. And then, I was hooked. I started running more and more and more.

The next year I really wanted to do the Colfax Half-Marathon (which is 13.2 miles). But I was a little short on cash and felt a little weird about it because, despite the fact that I could and had run longer distances, that tape played over and over. “You can’t do that.” The week before the event, BFF#1 calls and says she’s running the event as part of a relay team with the people she works with.
**Side note: I love BFF#1. She is one of two people who have known me, inside and out, good and bad, dark and bright, and loves me anyway. Nothing (and I repeat *nothing*) has ever happened between us with the intent of hurting the other. But that being said, there is an unspoken competitiveness between us. It’s a good thing. It always pushes us further and challenges us to be better people. I’m grateful for her every day.
But…all of that loveliness aside, I was like, “Oh hell no! You’re not running that event if don’t!” So I managed to come up with enough for the registration and there I was – ready to run the entire distance, alone.

There was a cool satisfaction I had; sort of an empowered state of mind. I *could* run it and now, I was going to.

Imagine my surprise when I get the call from her, the Friday before the event, and hear these words: “We’re not running it. One of the guys on our team is injured.” Wait…..WHAT?!? She was gracious, as she always is, and offered to take me to the start line. The hubs would meet me at the finish to get me home. For the next two days I lamented my stupid need to be competitive and felt like an idiot because now I was going to torture myself for 13.1 miles…and for what? For the glory of knowing I was a “real runner”?

Race day arrived. My BFF picked me up and drove me. I expressed my uncertainty at the distance. I was nervous. But, being the amazing friend she is, she just encouraged me and made me feel better. She dropped me off and I stood there, looking at all of the other runners and still had that nagging need to come clean to her. So I called. The conversation went something like this:

me: (ring ring)
her: Hey! Is everything okay?
me: Yeah….no. I’m still nervous. And I have a confession. (sigh) I was upset because you were running the relay so I signed up for the whole half-distance so I could prove that I wasn’t a loser and then you aren’t running it and now the joke’s on me because I will be kicking my own ass for the next 13 miles while you go home and relax and I’m stupid!
her: (quietly) …I know that’s why you did it.
me: I’m sorry.
her: It’s okay. I’m glad that it helped you push yourself to do something that is uncomfortable. You’ll do fine. I know you’ll do great.

And so I did it. I went out, ran 13 miles through old neighborhoods full of memories and with the support and encouragement of the people who loved me and believed in my success. And yeah…. at about mile 12 I was in pain and regretting every stupid step that took me from the start line to where I was. But after crossing the finish line I was overwhelmed with so much pride that I cried. I still have my finisher’s medal hanging in my office. It is a reminder of what I can do if I put my mind to it. (I also did the same event with BFF#1 the next year.)

This is the moral of the story: most of the tapes we play for ourselves are played when we’re facing adversity. And that’s when it’s easiest to believe. Pay attention to what you say to yourself when the chips are down. And refuse that voice admission into your choices. Some of your tapes, like mine, can be motivating. But others are destructive. What are you playing for yourself and it is suiting you? If not, destroy that tape. Replace it with something else.

I’ll give you one: “If you can control it, you can do whatever you put your mind and heart to. I believe in your power.”

And you can quote me on that.

I’m just not that into you

I’ve been having a pretty good week. Riding this wave of contentment has felt great. I haven’t been looking for reasons to be dumpy, and when some reasons have presented themselves, I’ve dismissed them and moved on. I’m not sticking my head in the sand, I’m just comfortable with not letting anxiety and depression take hold of me. It’s been great.

But it’s funny how it can sneak in a back door, when you least expect it.

So there I was, minding my own business, working on a Christmas present for my dad (I’m giving him a framed family portrait of our whole family – but having to Photoshop some people into it, which is somewhat time-consuming). I was browsing through old photos so I could find the people I need and I stumble on an old portrait session of myself with my mother. And I was thinner. And pretty. Wow… I was so pretty.

Now, two things happened:

  1. There is a really great picture of me with her, but I didn’t want her in the photograph with me. At all. Like….not.even.a.little. So I pulled it up and removed her, digitally. Which kind of messed with me.
  2. Spending that much time on a picture causes you to actually *look* at it for a while. And the whole time I’m looking at my face thinking, “You were perfect back then. Look at your face shape and your eyes and your lips. You were stunning.” Were. Was. And then….that messed with me.

And so the pain took hold. And for a while I was stuck with it. I was remembering how painful that visit from my mother was. I was remembering the emotional turmoil I was in. And then….I was remembering how it felt to feel pretty and desirable. To be fair, that picture was taken only 15 lbs from where I’m at now. But those 15 lbs might as well have been 150 lbs last night.

I remembered the mistakes I made that led me to disordered eating. I remembered the damage I caused my body. I remembered the damage I caused my soul. I started recounting all my mistakes. Friends I lied to, horrible things I said to myself….the selfish way I neglected my husband and child. I knew, in my head, that the girl in that photo wasn’t better than me. Actually…she was way worse off than I am. But she was me. And I am her. Last night, I just couldn’t escape that.

I went to bed and had very restless sleep. Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, I had a nightmare. Among other, very personal things that happened in the dream, there was an ugly little tar-covered demon chasing me. I kept trying to get away from it, but it was always right there, just reaching out to get me. It was scary. And sad. I woke up screaming and terrified.

I was awake for a while after that. And thought a lot of about what that dream meant. And it occurred to me: that demon was *inside* that girl in the picture. But not in me now. Sure, I have to be vigilant against it. If I let my guard down, it’s too easy to slip into bad habits. But that thing isn’t in me now. And it’s clear that I don’t want it.

I did fall back asleep, finally. And woke up this morning feeling a little relieved. Although it was scary, my subconscious was reminding me that I’m not in that place anymore. I’m just not that into you, Bulimia.

And then, I was reminded that I was beautiful, and real. And human.

It’s probably a break through for me. I was able to feel the pain, and move on without it. That’s a big deal in these parts of the world. It feels good to be able to move past it. Yay for me.