Feelings aren’t facts but are they food?

*NOTE* I started writing this post almost two months ago- January 2nd. I would really like to tell you how well I am doing, having accepted the problem, I began working on making the change I need to stop bingeing. However, upon stumbling across this draft, whist procrastinating real work away, I recognized that I still am stuck here. So I share with you my struggles. Maybe this will help me get over the food thing and initiate use of real, and healthy coping skills. Or maybe you will cosign my nonsense and together we can cupcake it up until we can no longer move. *END NOTE*

Having re-read my last couple posts, I see that though not much has changed, everything is different. And not all for the better. As far as my cloth diapers, cloth trainers and anything else fluff related that’s all (unfortunately, sadly, and much to my dismay) had to be abandoned for reasons – at this point – beyond my control. It’s ok though, because when my girls come to visit (oh yea. BIG EFFIN DRAMA) my teeny tiny little sweet baby, Bean, wears big girl underpants. Even typing it I tear up. I don’t know how this growing up shit happened so fast, but I will reiterate that I DO NOT LIKE IT AT ALL.

I must move on. Find some form of acceptance and love and cherish each developmental stage as they come. Or else I will spend my whole life (and theirs) wishing they were babies and missing out on what wonderful young ladies they are growing up to be. Still, I miss the early snuggy baby days, and just keep hope alive that one day I will be in a position to procreate some more. I’m definitely not ready to not make more tiny humans right now, despite what that stupid ticking clock tells me.

I figured I oughta check in with ya’ll, it being a new year and all. I made no serious resolutions other than stop with the cookies only diet. Get back on the balanced diet wagon. Attempt to get myself feeling more normal. Well, like myself. I don’t know what normal even is anymore. Further, I vaguely remember having decided many moons ago that normal was not an appropriate state of being for me, ever. Blah. I figure that’s enough of a job in and of itself that any other improvements I make on myself or to improve the world around me will be a bonus. Also, that’s kinda like the foundation for productivity. Did you ever notice that when you eat well (meaning healthy, balanced and nutritive meals) you’re able to function better as a whole? This is my truth.

When I eat 40 oatmeal cookies in only a couple of days, after eating a pound brick of gingerbread dough and ice cream, candy, and any other sugary carb loaded crap I could squeeze down my gullet, my brain doesn’t work, my body feels horrible, all I want to do is sleep and when I am up all I want to do is yell at people. Its not the best way to operate.

I’ve been doing that horrendous-for-my-everything-thing where I eat my feelings. Any of you do that? A show of hands please… Ahh yes. Thank you. Knowing I am not alone makes me feel much better. There has been an unreal and unreasonable amount of turmoil, upset, shame, stress, horror–name the first five negative descriptive terms you can think of, they apply to my life. So here I am, crawling and clawing my way out of the REALLY deep hole I dug and then dove into, but it’s really hard to climb with all this junk food in my pockets, hands and while chewing. I need a different way to operate.

The whole problem started because I didn’t like feelings and decided I was entitled to not have them. Apparently my brain still feels that is valid, except it’s using sugary foods to numb me. The sugar numb sucks. There’s a way worse hangover to it and I gotta tell you, it’s everywhere. Calling me. Nerds ropes begging to be eating, fire balls with my name on it and a zillion donuts that yearn to get in my belly. And the cupcakes. I musn’t forget the ever-enticing cupcakes. We have become VERY close in the past year. OH, CUPCAKES. *sigh*

How do you stop eating your feelings without stopping eating? And what about when you’re having feelings after you’re already hungry, how do you know when you’ve finished with the nutritional eating and cross into emotional eating territory? Furthermore, can I (and if so, how do I) retrain my brain to stop eating my feelings and like, deal with them? They are HUUUUUUGGE feelings. The kind of feelings that lead to Lifetime Movies. What does one do?

I know some people do the opposite. They don’t eat, and or they exercise a lot. Which leads me to wonder- Can I do that? Exorcise with exercise? That seems to be the ideal idea-Crappy feelings begone. I banish thee to the nether-regions of the Stream of Consciousness (which, in case you’re wondering, flows into the River Denial) with every move I make!  PLEASE SOMEONE TELL ME HOW TO START DOING THIS.

All joking aside, pretty soon, I may be unrecognizable. I NEED to get a grip. This is my public cry for help. Pretend I’m wearing a ridiculous wig and calling people names on Twitter. I beg of you. Deliver me from this sugary hell.

 

OOOOH! Psych is on. Gotta go.

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MEMORIES

I was hanging out with my friend earlier, checking out this sweet book she has on Mandalas from different cultures. I love those.

When I was 12, I used to draw them, not knowing what they were, or properly creating them probably. In college I learned a lot more about them, as it was art school. I surmise that I drew a couple then as well. I was more into the boxes and these incredibly beautiful beads I was making though. Fast forward to the very beginning of my relationship with my children’s father, we used to watch a tv show which featured mandalas and meditation as a central theme in several episodes. Here I am now, pining away for my children, coloring them in to keep my anxiety at bay, using them as a meditative aid so that I can focus my energy on positive thoughts.

You’re probably confused. A lot has gone down since May. I won’t get into it in great detail; frankly I could get myself into trouble if I start running my mouth-er-fingers about it. Suffice it to say, I am currently spending 100% less time with my children than I was this time last year, and I miss them horrifically. As if  part of my soul has been removed and is elsewhere, being tortured.

What I’m left with is entirely too much time in my own head. However I had such a happy memory as a result of these mandalas today I couldn’t help but share it. As I scanned the images from her book into my computer so that I may print and color them, or perhaps even play with them in Photoshop or Painter Pro 2 (? some similar program my mom has on her computer. I actually rather like it. If anyone knows anything about it, please let me know. I don’t quite have the hang of it, but I’m ok with basic stuff) or MAYBE one of these days I’ll get into the correct frame of mind and draw some from scratch. Regardless,  I was scanning, and my dear friend puts on a song, asking if I’ve ever heard it.

 

This was the highlight of my day. I used to play this song every morning while I made breakfast for the girls and I. We would sing it and dance around the kitchen even during the darkest of my PPD days. It was how I coped with the fact that I had to get through another day. How I got my blood flowing. And my babies were so sweet dancing around with me, singing along. The best was when DDa would, out of nowhere bust into song: “BLAME IT ON MY ADD, BABY!”

Like the waves during high tide, I was pounded with memories. They flooded my mind and touched all of my senses. Snuggling and watching The Lorax 800 times, playing in the inflatable pool with our old neighbor, tearing up Kale chips like there was no tomorrow and laughing, singing and dancing. Just thinking of these times I am sitting and smiling, probably for the first time all day.

I have some pretty shitty ones, but right now I am immeasurably grateful for my memories because they are all I have to hold on to. I miss my babies. I can’t wait until they come home. So if you’re so inclined, perhaps say a prayer, burn a candle, recite an incantation or chant so the Powers That Be may understand, and know to allow them to come back to me. I appreciate it, and I know that even though I can’t ask them, that my sweet little monkees do too.

 

A day like any other, but calmer. But not really. Cuz Mirena.

Today started out surprisingly well. I woke to the baby jumping on me and yelling for her sister. After several attempts to get her back to sleep so I could get (PLEASE) 5 more minutes, I succumbed.
Now we are having breakfast.

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She made a beautiful garden.

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She was just happy.

All was well in Monkeeville. There was general mayhem, which is normal for us.

AND THEN. IT HIT ME. Like a ton of evil little demons. A panic attack. Not a full blown panic attack, but it was coming. I could tell. Those little green anxious demons were dancing in my gut. So as quickly and efficiently as I could I packed the kids up and took them to my moms.
She took one look at me and knew I wasn’t ok. We brainstormed. We made phone calls. We made arrangements.

By the time I got to the hospital I thought I was having a heart attack. My left arm and hand were tingling. I felt like I had a tiny person standing on my chest. I wanted to cry. My hands were shaking. My stomach was upset.

They immediately gave me an EKG which came back normal. I ended up sitting for almost 3 hours in a hallway until a room opened up.

Meanwhile I hadn’t eaten since 8am and was STARVING. So my guy brought me pizza. And root beer.

Finally I got into a room. They drew blood. I’m getting fluids. They gave me meds. The meds kinda worked. But those little green anxiety demons I mentioned earlier? They’re regrouping. I can feel them.
So I figured I’d write to you. Maybe this could take my mind off of this for a bit.

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Eventually I spoke to someone in the crisis unit. She agreed that I didn’t need to be admitted and that (HOPEFULLY) this will pass in time as soon as my hormones regulate.

By the time I got out of there I was tired, cranky, and the anxiety demons were back.

This blows. And this is only the first day I’ve had the damn thing out. Please someone tell me this will pass quickly and I will be able to function again?

 

But I can’t express enough how grateful I am for my IRL friends and family and my internet friends and family checking in on me, sending me virtual hugs and love and peaceful energy.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. You people rock my socks.

What’s been happening

I realize it’s been a while since my last post. Life was pretty busy for a while.

We found out that the condo we were renting sold in a cash deal, so we had to find a place to live very quickly.

Then the deal fell through. We didn’t have to move, our place was going off the market.

Then the kids and I got hand, foot and mouth disease, aka COOTIES FROM HELL.

Then there was another cash offer on our condo. We had to move again. And find a place. In June. At the Jersey Shore. With a small budget. And two kids. And the real estate agent harassed us to be out in 2 weeks. (Right lady. Dream on. Thanks for your complete lack of help with that.) My landlord/friend was absolutely wonderful though, so she constantly sent us listings in the area and was supportive and helpful. In the end, after dragging the kids through countless rainstorms, many apartments, condos and townhouses, we found a wonderful little townhouse in our price range, with a washer and dryer, parking, and a POOL.  Yea. We win.

The week after we moved in we had about 50 of our friends and family over for the baby’s first birthday. It was a great celebration and despite oppressive and horrible heat, I think everyone had fun.

Then the step kids came to visit for a week. This is always challenging because I have no idea what I’m doing ever, which is made worse by the fact that I’m now caring for kids I see maybe twice a year and I lose my mind every singe time.

After that I took on the task of changing out my hard drive and fixing my busted up old computer. It went surprisingly well and I am typing to you from a fully functional (though still only held together by wires) laptop. I’m forever grateful for the assistance of the friends who helped me get it done.

Shortly thereafter we all came down with an awful stomach plague, which took me out for about a week. For the record, I’ll choose violent vomiting for 12 hours over a week of terrible stomach pain, dizziness and utter fatigue every time. This time, I lost.

That pretty much brings us current. Somewhere in there the baby went from crawling to running (it was instant, there was no breaking the parents in phase like the first time around) and I have new levels of crazy to contend with on a daily basis. Today I’m caring for additional children, as DDa acquired two imaginary friends over night.

I better go. There are loud noises behind me and I’m fairly certain it’s about to get ugly in here.

Type to you soon!

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day 1: Why Am I Doing This?

WHY AM I DOING THIS??

This kept running through my mind as I sloshed the dirty diapers in the soapy water in my diaper pail. What was I thinking? Will I be able to do this all week? This seems like an awful lot of work. I mean, honestly. Is this REALLY necessary? And EEEW I JUST GOT SOAPY DIAPER WATER IN MY EYE!!

Since I had time (2 minutes per “agitation”, rinse, repeat, repeat), I reminded myself why I signed onto this challenge.

When I first started cloth diapering about 8 months ago, some of the women who helped me get started were talking about this “Flats Challenge”. It piqued my interest. I’m a person that enjoys a challenge (some would say that I like making things more difficult) and this certainly qualifies. I have two young children, am relatively new to cloth diapering, and a year ago, pretty much thought this is all there was to them anyway. Large pieces of fabric that you wrap around your baby, covered by ‘plastic pants’. Whoop de doo.

{As I’m sure I will rave on about in a later post, that’s not actually what it’s like any more. But back to my story.}

What really got me interested was hearing these sad stories: people washing disposable diapers and reusing them, babies with horrendous diaper rashes because their parents simply can’t afford to buy as many diapers as they need. What do you do in that situation? There’s no special assistance for diapers. Just food. What do you DO when you literally have to choose food or diapers?

That is why I’m doing this. I am not Donna Reed. I did not CHOOSE to be a homemaker. I got laid off. I’m not very good at this staying at home business. And frankly, if I didn’t know what I know about cloth diapers, I could very easily be in that same predicament. Diapers are expensive, and babies pee and poop a lot. I estimate that I would go through 480+ diapers in a 30 day period, with two kids being changed roughly every 3 hours. Paying about $.20 per diaper that’s $96 per month, and that’s not including wipes. Even paying per load to wash diapers, there’s still a significant financial savings there.

Again, why am I doing this?

To see if I can. To know that I can. To have the confidence to know that I won’t ever have to make a decision like, ‘Do we eat tonight, or get diapers?’ To know that if I come into contact with someone in that situation, I will be able to share this experience with them and help them know that they don’t have to make that decision either.

You may think I’m crazy, and I probably am. But I’ll be damned if I let that stand in my way.

Day 1 Notes:

I actually started Sunday because I apparently can’t read a calendar. Come Monday morning I had a pail full of lovely diapers to wash. After I talked myself out of talking myself out of this, things went fairly smoothly. What I learned is that my apartment is not a great place to dry diapers at all. After 7 hours of waiting , several panic attacks, and lots of moving them from room to room, I discovered they actually do dry fairly quickly, as long as they are getting air on them. The majority of my drying will be done in the basement from now on. Instead of being damn after 7 hours, they dried in about 2.5. The covers take a bit longer. I did 3 loads on Monday. I don’t want to have to do that again.

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