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.

Figuring it out, and why I wish I never did

They say that knowledge is power.  But I tend to think that ignorance is bliss.  Not knowing that you don’t know is a wonderful thing.  Sometimes knowing the truth brings pain…. I don’t always think that knowledge is power.

I had a good holiday, for all the right reasons.  I enjoyed time with family and friends.  I got to spend the days with my daughter and the hubs, and togetherness is truly what Christmas is about, for me.

But… in one fell swoop, I was suddenly reminded why I have a sincere disdain for the season.  I don’t want to share all of it, but it was related to the sexual abuse I endured for years as a child.  Suffice it to say that I really had no memory of the awfulness until Saturday night.  And it all came back to me.  With one swift movement, I went from trying to enjoy the day to really being consumed by the memories of one of the worst atrocities I’ve ever lived through.  It hurt.  I hurt.  I still hurt.  I cried and cried and cried.

I went on, through the weekend.  I mostly slept.  Besides still being on the recovering end of bronchitis (which is, in itself, exhausting), I just felt like sleep was the better choice.  I was tired. But I tried to be amicable.  Cheery was probably more than I could manage, but pleasant was as far as I could make it.

Xanax has helped control the mood swings.  Thankfully.  But unless there is a pill that makes you forget things, I sort of have to soldier through it, for now.

I fall between anger and sadness and guilt and self-loathing and disappointment and emptiness.

In a hole_Courtesy of Amy Holsinger

This is what I feel like.

For any of you who have faced depression and anxiety,you know what an oppressive companion it can be in your life.  I’m trying not to listen to the terrible things that are playing in my head.  But coming to terms with the terrible things that others have done to you can be a challenge.  I get the whole “forgiveness” thing.  Truth-be-told, I don’t want to.  Forgiveness is defined as releasing someone from retribution or debt; concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake.

Here’s the thing: I won’t ever stop demanding retribution.  I won’t ever release him from it.  I won’t ever conclude resentment.  I won’t, and I will not.  I know all about the bullshit, “Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.”  Nope.  Forgiveness is also something you give to someone who deserves it.  And he doesn’t.

And I’m angry about it.  Still.  Knowledge isn’t always power.  I was fine in the blissful ignorance that I kept company with.  As far as I was concerned, I just didn’t like the holiday.  It was fine with me.  But now I know.  I wish I didn’t.  Knowledge isn’t always power.

“They say time heals everything, but I’m still waiting.”

P.S.  My apologies to my readers.  How much does it suck to read this boo-hoo sad story?  I’ll get back to semi-normal soon.  I promise.

On a clear day you can see forever

It is with a great amount of joy I tell you that the fog is gone today. I feel so much better – like myself, for a change. I don’t know how long it’ll last, or whether or not this is just an illusion of delirium (since I’ve been struggling so much lately), but I am feeling better. Empowered. Stronger. Maybe the meds are finally adjusting. Maybe this is just a good day.

I couldn’t tell you why. I just woke up that way. Like the days when I am down, I can’t put my finger on the difference. Especially when things are good, I especially don’t want to foul it up. So I wish I knew what the big difference was.

I did drink milk last night. Apparently milk contains opiates and, while the internet tried to convince me that I was addicted to dairy, I’m convinced that it was just a craving.

Wait… what? Addicted to dairy? Yep. Not even kidding. I typed in “dairy cravings” and this website came up that said that I could possibly be addicted to dairy. No joke! It appears that too much milk makes me a dairy junkie. I *might* as well be doing heroin, except that milk doesn’t require a needle. So that’s what sold me on it. That and the fact that I can take my opiates dairy in many forms: ice cream, cheese, sour cream, yogurt. Heroin comes in only one form: misery. So I’m sticking with the dairy. Maybe it’s just me. But seriously, anyone considering heroin should try a glass of milk, instead. No nasty needle marks AND you can make it chocolate milk, if you’re feeling wild.

I’m feeling like anything is possible. Today, at least. If a turtle had more faith in possibility, or just more faith in general, could he run faster? Who said that turtles are doomed to sloth? And if we had named a “sloth” a “zippy”, is it possible that he’d be a little quicker? Right now, I’m totally blowing your mind, aren’t I? Aside from the physiological dictations of each species, my point is that we allow ourselves to be boxed into a label. Someone, somewhere along the line, told us that we were worthless. So we own that and carry it around with us. Just one little thing on our back. Then, another thing: we’re stupid. Onto our back it goes. Add another. And another. And before you know it, that one rock has turned into a shell. And we hide under it. Our “limits” become our protection.

I say screw that! I’m nobody’s turtle. I am whatever I choose to be. I’m bright. I’m funny (admit it… you smiled when you read the whole sloth/zippy thing). I’m pretty. I’m capable. And anyone who says differently is full of crap.

Today is clear. I can see for miles. And I’ll proceed as far as I can. Stay tuned. You never know what’s around the corner for me, or for you.

P.S. A special shout out to Brian Christensen and Guapo who were unrealized angels sent to me. You were pivotal in today’s mood shift. And that goes to show, folks – there is power in kindness. Lift a stranger up today. Be nice. It’ll mean the world to them.

It comes and it goes

As I promised I would, I am updating on my progress with the new meds.

It’s been good. The first week was horrific. The time it took for my body to get used to the medication was just awful.

But then it happened… I felt better. Like the fog was lifted; I felt capable again. I had a great week. Not that I didn’t experience frustration and disappointment and even anger at some points… but I was able to tolerate the emotion and move on.

Yesterday I felt it coming… I dunno. It just sort of felt different. For no good reason. I just felt funky. I went to a Halloween party, which was fun. Some of my favorite people in the world were there, and that was nice. Good company; good music; good times. But I was different. I felt like I was on the outside, looking in. I got compliments on my costume (which was a sexy Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz), and I felt good in the costume. It was short and showed off my boobs and not unlike *anything* I normally wear for Halloween. I was totally comfortable in it.

But I was distant. I didn’t feel like I belonged there. I didn’t overly socialize. I kept to my “safe-group” which consisted of about 5-6 people who know me best. BFF #2 was enjoying herself (which she should; after all, it’s her party). She was doing shots, talking with her guests (at least most of them). I’m happy that she was having a good time. I, on the other hand, didn’t want or feel the need to be involved in that.

We spent our time there and decided to go home a little after midnight. As I was getting ready to leave, she said, “I didn’t see you at all during this party. Like… at all.” Okay, she was right. But I said, “Well, I was down there (meaning the living room) and you were up here (in the kitchen/sitting room).” She said, “Well, down there is where all the anti-social people were!” All I said was, “That’s true.” We said our goodbyes and I went home.

But it is really fucking with me, on a number of levels. Let me first disclaim that this is *my* issue and not hers. I am not angry with her, because she didn’t know that this would mess with me. But…

  1. Why is it *my* job to socialize with other people? I didn’t see them coming down to socialize with me. None of them introduced themselves or came down to say hello or any of those things. They stuck to their group, and I to mine. So why is it on *me* to be that person?
  2. I honestly don’t care about them. As I am getting older I find that I don’t enjoy big group settings. I don’t like it. I like small settings, where I feel like I can have meaningful conversation. I don’t want to spend any time in “small talk”, which primarily consists of bullshit that you only say to fill the awkward space. Maybe that’s just me…
  3. On the other hand, and to BFF #2’s point, I *used* to be that girl. I used to like meeting new people and socializing and getting out in front of people and being that girl that everyone remembered because I was so friendly…. what happened to me?
  4. While I don’t really care… I have all this anxiety that I should care and I should be doing something to not be this way. But every fiber in my body is telling me that I just don’t feel like it. And I can’t seem to get my heart and my mind to agree on it.

So today I am barely pulling through. I spent most of the morning in tears. In bed, wide awake, praying to God for relief. I finally got up, made breakfast. And finally… took a Xanax. It’s mellowing me out. Which helps. Not crying anymore. Not feeling out of control.

But the feeling of hopelessness remains.

It’s just one day, I know. It’s okay to have regular emotions – happy, sad, angry, disappointed, excited… but what’s really throwing me, today, is the expectation that I’m not sure is someone elses, or my own. And what should I do about it?

I dunno. It comes and it goes, I guess. Which is fine. Tomorrow’s another day.

Why reliving the pain is necessary

In our lives, we all have “before and after” moments.  There are these defining moments that literally define us, and change the course of our lives from the inside out. September 11, 2001 was one of those days that changed everything.  There was before.  Then there was after.  That one day is etched into my soul, like the ancient carvings in walls.  The images inside my mind tell the story life, forever changed for me.

This was a generational moment; the “where-were-you-when” moment.  I have a story.  I turned on the news that morning while the hubs and I got dressed for work.  I saw the first tower on fire.  And then…. I saw it.  That second plane, forever in a slow-motion loop in my head, slammed right into the second tower.  The camera was so far away from the buildings, it looked like a small plane.  At the time, I had no idea that it was a jet.  And what’s more, I had no idea that it was full of people.  It was unconscionable…. people?  In the plane?  On purpose?  I couldn’t wrap my head around the implication.  What did it mean?

And then the reports started coming in…. 4 planes.  2 crashed already and then… the pentagon.  And then, the lost plane.  And then… that plane down.

I remember the fear.  I remember the pain. I remember it all.   I remember the little dots that I thought, at first, were pieces of debris.  I remember the horror that sunk in when I realized those dots were people, plunging to their deaths.  I remember wrestling with the comprehension of the choice they had to make.  I watched the towers fall. One, first…. and then the other.  I remember the initial reports of “up to 10,000 people who could be in the buildings.  I remember the magnitude of that number to me…. 10,000 human lives.

But the thing I remember the most was the aftermath.  I was glued to the news for days on end.  I cried, sometimes openly, with the people who were grappling with the tragedy at Ground Zero.  I remember being touched by the workers, both professional and civilian, who showed up determined to find life in a pile of death.  But most of all, the images that I see in front of me, as I write this…. I see the people searching for their missing loved ones.  I see them; pictures taped to their chest as they walked about, doing anything to get on television to plea for the return of their loved ones.  Some of them found their missing person.  Many of them didn’t.  And that fucked with me.

I was a professional photographer, at the time, and suddenly I found more value in the gift I possessed.  I shared it with everyone.  One of the reasons I will *always* photograph someone who needs it is because of those painful moments after 9/11.  I will never deny someone a photograph.  It is why it will never be about the money.  It is why I share my gift, freely, with everyone I can.  Because for many of those people who wandered the streets with the smiling faces of their loved ones attached to their bodies – those photographs are all they have left.

It changed me, forever.

So why relive it?  Why allow myself into that space that is filled with so much pain that it’s hard to find room for light, let alone acceptance?  Because we have to.  My daughter was only 6 years old when that happened.  We shared a little with her, but kept much of that agony to ourselves, because her mind should remain unfettered by terrorism and the fear we had come to carry with us after that day.  But now, 10 years later, she is able to talk with us about it.  I can ask her questions and make sure that the reverence of that tragic day is carried on.  Did you know that she thought the terrorists were instructed by Saddam Hussein to hijack the planes?  Did you also know that she thought that it was the military that they killed?  She didn’t realize that civilians were in the building.

And this is why we have to relive it.  Because there is a whole generation of kids that are fed misinformation by the internet, ignorant adults and kids who don’t know any better than she does.  Sad, really.  But the truth is that it is our responsibility to make sure that those kids know what really happened.  We have to relive it because we belong to a society that forgets about things as soon as they are off the cover of People Magazine or off the home page of TMZ.com.  We have to remember, lest we forget.

This is not the time for conspiracy theories.  This is not the time for anger with the government.  This is not the time for retaliation.  This is not the time for blame.

It is time for honor and remembrance.  It is the time for love and for togetherness.

Go forth, this weekend, and love your fellow man.  Love yourself.  You are loved.  That much I know.  So love back.  It’s the only way we truly defeat the evil that changed our lives.