Humor in Recovery? Oh, yes…

HUMOR

Making light of and finding humor in alcoholism and recovery is difficult for me right now, but I’m trying. It’s literally part of my treatment plan. Hehheh. (Oh look, a little chuckle!)

Why is this hard for me? Well, I’m very serious about my recovery and the past 35 days have been a whirlwind of emotions, rarely any of them humor. I don’t find a lot funny about the way I was when I was drinking. I suppose there are times when I was goofy and outgoing, but I don’t think that’s the point of this “assignment”.

In general, I’m a very humorous person. I love to laugh and have a strange sense of humor. I laugh with others and poke fun at myself easily. In fact, I crack myself up regularly when I am healthy and in good spirits.

I’ve read some assigned passages from the AA Big Book dealing with humor. I’m also to find a story I can relate to. I do feel there is a sense of comradery at meetings and in storytelling and laughter at AA meetings is common. I love these people that I connect with. I just need to get to the point where I can be a little less serious about my own recovery and be able to share positivity, light, and hope to others through humor. To me, there is nothing funny about alcoholism and addiction, but perhaps I’m simply not looking at it from the right perspective. I’m still looking at the consequences, my guilt, the taboo and stigma attached to being an alcoholic. I know the more I attend meetings, the more sobriety I get under my belt, and the more reading I do I will find humor, particularly when I start focusing on what is positive and good about not drinking.

I’ve read some clever and witty comebacks regarding addiction, but I’m still struggling to find them particularly funny. I mean, they are funny, honestly, but I’m still stuck on the negative undertones. For instance:

 

“Alcohol doesn’t really mix well with my crazy pills…”

“No thanks, I met my quota in my teens…”

“I’m allergice and will totally break out in handcuffs if I drink…”

“Wish I could, but I used to be a raging lush and I’m test driving my sanity this week…”

 

Okay, so these are cute and clever. I would laugh (albeit awkwardly) if I heard someone say them. Why can’t I just see it for what it is? Why do we HAVE to find alcoholism funny? I can be positive and light, I just don’t see anything funny about a life-threatening disease, especially when I’m in the early throes of it.

Let’s see if, for now, I can find just a little bit of humor. That is my task for this journal post.

Okay! I’ve got one. The other day I was cleaning my room and under my bed I pulled out a plastic grocery bag. In it was an empty vodka bottle. At first I didn’t find any humor in the way I lit up like a kid in a candy store when I saw there was a sip left (I didn’t open the bottle). However, if I could see my face, it probably would have been pretty funny. I also find it kind of funny that I immediately went out of my way to toss it into the trash bag full of dirty cat litter. Ain’t nobody gonna dig through that to get it! Lol!!

Look! A laugh out loud! J  Okay, I did it. Maybe only funny to me, but hey, that’s all that matters.

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“Quiet Moments” – Anger

Anger

Today I felt anger again, preceded by last night. I haven’t felt real anger in a while. At least a month, since I began my journey back to wellness and sobriety (more on that later). I know I need to allow myself to sit in this emotion and process it, peeling back the layers like a stinky onion to find what it is masking.

I found that last night it was covering a deeply rooted fear and resentment. I felt angry as I was reading the AA Big Book. I was triggered by a particular passage and sent spiraling into my nonreligious childhood. I don’t really need to go into it here, but it threatened my spiritual journey, these old feelings. I’m going to take a look deeper at them and see what I can do about letting go of the fear and resentment my anger uncovered.

*notes for further contemplation/expansion, adding to personal inventory – “Jason B”, “Santa Clause and Easter Bunny”, “sexual relations”

Today, I felt angry and in a very foul mood that clicked on before I could realize what was happening. I was fine for a few hours after waking up and then BAM. Bad mood. Irritability, anger. It sent me into a downward spiral of life loathing and thoughts of self-harm. I did everything I could to try to get past these feelings: praying, laying down, reaching out to others, before looking into what was causing my anger, truly. Resentment. Different from last night, but still resentment coupled with anxiety.

I know this entry is a bit more rambling than the previous ones. I’m just processing this time. I figured it was a good time as any to pound it out.

Anger is an emotion, but for me it is more a symptom of some other deeper emotion (fear, hurt, guilt, etc.). I’ve had much trouble in the last 20+ years. It’s only been in the last 34 days that I have truly begun some deep, soul-searching work in this area and so far I’ve come a long way. I’m doing a good job.

My happy days have been much more and the bad days fewer and further between. Still, when the bad hits, it hits hard. How I handle them is changing. Practice makes progress. Progress… not perfection. J

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The Struggle is Real, but there is hope…

A Facebook post from one year ago (December 2, 2015) –

“PSA*** During this holiday season I expect, again, to see at least one post (if not more) about how suicide is such a cowardly, irresponsible act from one of my “friends”. My wish this Christmas is that the writers behind such posts, on any form of media, think about saying it directly to the face of any one of their 2344346 “friends” who may quietly be dealing with such issues, either personally or with family or friends, and see how effective it is. Then, I would ask them to kindly shut their $&@!ing mouth before they get a hoof from that horse they got knocked off shoved in it, get educated, and GTFO. Finally, I’d ask that anyone finding THIS post even remotely offensive, please do the honor of removing me from your life in every way possible.”

Whoa, I was angry (because I, personally, had been struggling). To this I will add something actually helpful: Call 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide hotline) if you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide (even if you just suspect it). Please… use it.

Now, here it is. My story. Take from it what you will; from another post in November after I received many questions and concerns.

“On Tuesday, November 1st, My depression, which I’ve struggled with for over 20 years now, hit an all-time low, exacerbated by an increased alcohol problem that has crept its way into my life. I hadn’t had a drink since the night before. I laid in bed, as I often did during the day and my mind wouldn’t stop spiraling. I’ve had intrusive suicidal thoughts that have increased over the last year for certain, though I can’t pinpoint when they began. Tuesday, those thoughts became too much.

I laid in bed, thinking, thinking, thinking. Should I just do it? I’d given up all of my classes, something I thrived on. It depressed me more. I thought, “What did I have? Home life is a struggle. Everyone hated me, I was never going to lose the weight again, I was getting old, wrinkly, who could love me? If I died, no one would miss me” etc. The same things I would often think and force away. This time I couldn’t force them away.

I sat up in bed and stared at all of my pill bottles of the cocktail of prescriptions I’m on for depression, anxiety, insomnia, etc. I contemplated what would happen if I just swallowed them all. Would I die or would I just become so violently ill I’d wish I were dead (which I already did). I thought some more. That’s when I got up and went into the bathroom and dug out my eyeliner pencil sharpener. I took a screwdriver and unscrewed the blade.

I took the blade and sat down on the couch in the living room, staring at it. Finally, I started to cut the top of my arm. It was easy. It didn’t hurt like I’d thought it would. I switched to the other side. I began there. I hurt myself. I stared at the blood and contemplated how easy it would be to keep going, deeper, harder, longer. I tried. It was easy. I stared…and I got very scared. I text my husband that I needed help, RIGHT NOW. He didn’t see it right away as he was in a meeting. I had to do something. I very numbly then gathered the blade and wrapped my wrist and checked myself into the ER (no stitches) where I was then admitted to the BryanLGH Mental Health Hospital, the Affective Disorders wing (not big lockdown).

I stayed there a few days. I got help. I got resources, and I opted into an Intensive Outpatiant Treatment program at the Independence center for my addiction of alcohol (that’s a whole other post). I started that program Tuesday. Things are going VERY well. Each day, I get better and better.

So, that’s that. I know this is scary. I know I’m putting it all out there. But this is my life. I know what support I have, and I’m getting more. I’m glad I was brave enough to get the help. I am okay. I WILL BE ok. I’m stronger than any of you know, it’s just I didn’t really know it myself. I am so grateful for my family and friends. “I just can’t even”. I hope through my honesty and openness, perhaps I can help save another life. The struggle is real.”

…but there is Hope. Here I am, 30ish days later. Sober. Happy. I have attended many meetings, multiple daily lectures and group therapy sessions, individual sessions, and I earned my one-month sobriety chip on Wednesday at a meeting. My last drink was on October 31st. I can’t put into words how helpful the Independence Center has been for my recovery and how grateful I am to be sober and alive. Every day gets better. Not all of them are great, but it’s been a long time since I could say I have way more good days than bad. I haven’t even actually had a bad day during this stretch, just rough patches. I take it day by day, one moment at a time. I feel better than ever, even when I get down. I’m raising my bottom, so to speak.

The AA program is a blessing to me, not only for helping alcoholics and addicts alike, but just as a way of life as a human being. I plan to live by the twelves steps every day of the rest of my life. I have no delusions that tragedy won’t strike, that I won’t fall to pieces now and then, but I am accepting that I CAN change and life is worth living.

This is just the beginning of a lifelong journey to wellness, which is, afterall, what the blog started out to be several years ago. With that, I will save the rest of my musings for another day.

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“Quiet Moments” – Wisdom

Wisdom

A person in my group the other day made the point that wisdom comes from failure time and time again. A counselor mentioned that wisdom is the application of knowledge obtained. They both resonated with me. I wholeheartedly agree, though it never really occurred to me to think that way a little more until now. For the most part, I’ve felt that failure has beat me down, and I’ve resented it. When it comes down to it, being wise comes from learning from every experience, good or bad, that has happened throughout one’s life. I don’t think it’s the only way to learn. I think we can also take from others what they have learned throughout this journey called life. I hope if anything comes from my failures, I’m able to process them, learn from them, then share them with my children so that they can choose whether they want to make the same mistakes. They might. They’ll also make their own, that I will inevitably learn something new as well.

Wisdom looks to me like an owl. Watching, listening, and knowing when to strike or fly away.  Wisdom also appears to me as a brain, listening, processing, assimilating new information in with the old, and deciding when it’s appropriate to speak or act.

Wisdom is often portrayed as old. I don’t necessarily see it that way. I’m not “a wise old lady”, but I am wiser today than I was yesterday. Wisdom is being open to change and allowing it. Wisdom, itself, is ongoing, ever evolving and changing.

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“Quiet Moments” – Value

Value

Value – “the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something”, or “a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life”

Moral – “a person’s standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do”

These term terms are often used interchangeably. As one can see, there are slight differences.

For me, there’s a significant difference: Though both come from within, I feel one has more to do with outside and others (morals), the other has more to do with the self (value).

There are many things in which I find value. I may list more later, but for the time being I want to focus on one area: Life. Above all else, I value life.

Over time, I’ve developed a sense that there is possibly more outside of ourselves and this life than can be explained. While life has been a struggle for me, and I’ve many times considered ending my own, I know that life is a gift not granted to everyone, and not long for others.

I’m that “weird girl” who at some point learned to respect nature. While I don’t necessarily believe plants and trees have feelings, who’s to say they don’t suffer. What happens if they aren’t watered or granted sunshine and care? They might grow wild for a time, out of control, but inevitably they will not be able to thrive. They suffer. Like humans and other animals that walk the earth. I learned if I’m going to take from this world, I need to give back. Plants are giving. Animals are giving. I value this. It may sound silly, but I related to the movie Avatar on a deeper level than most. The blue people (I forget what they’re called) respected life and communion. It’s a common theme throughout the entire film.

Why do I say I’m “weird”? Well, I refuse to squish a spider. It hurts me inside every time I see someone do it. I don’t particularly like spiders, but I respect them. In fact, most bugs, even if they are pests, found in my house will be caught and put outside. Am I perfect? No. Just the other day it was “inconvenient” for me to catch a bug in my bathtub and let it out. I instead used some toilet paper to flush it down the toilet. I regret this. I truly do. It make my heart hurt and feel guilty. In the event that this happens, I always say a little prayer… “Go with God”. Is there a God? I can’t say. Who’s to say there really isn’t? Regardless, the insect was a creation of something greater than myself. So, yeah, some people view this as silly and “weird” I really don’t care. I value life.

Life. A gift not granted to everyone. One not to be taken for granted. Even if it is a spider.

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“Quiet Moments” – Love

Love

Love is tricky, sticky, often times icky. Love is not easily defined for me, and certainly not by me. Love, for me, is a beautiful feeling I have for people and all life, including myself, though I struggle with the latter. I love all people in all walks of life. Some circles might refer to me as an “empath” because of my ability to tune in to others so easily. What does that have to do with love? Well… maybe nothing. Maybe everything. I feel so much, so deeply, that I simply can’t help but be affected by others. I carry so much love within me, that it often hides itself behind masks of frustration, anger, infatuation, or any number of emotions. Although it can be easy for me to hide, I feel all emotions to such great capacity. I believe this is because love is the most powerful energy surrounding and within us, that even it cannot be defined as an emotion in and of itself. I know at least this much: Love is free. Love does not have an agenda.

Love just is.

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“Quiet Moments” – Acceptance

Acceptance

I struggle with acceptance. I am stubborn, willful. I am a fighter. These aren’t necessarily bad characteristics in a person. I personally love the strength I pull from to “fight the good fight”, whatever it may be. When it comes to myself, any chance to feel strong initiates motivation and drive or lights a fire under my ass, per se. For instance, I cannot accept that I will never be well and healthy. If someone says I can’t do something, I want to make damn sure I will prove them wrong. I know that I will be well and healthy again. In this case, I refuse acceptance and it is justified.

That said, I can accept that currently I am not fully well and healthy. I can accept things need to change within me. Unfortunately, I keep holding on to the idea that if I can change myself, I can then change everything around me. I know this to be untrue, logically. My emotional side has a hard time letting go and having “the courage to accept the things I cannot change”.

It took me many years of jumping up and down on the drug trampoline, a number of therapists, and countless failed attempts to “go it alone” without medication to finally accept my depression and anxiety for what it is – an illness. I didn’t want to believe what I have is chronic or that I would constantly need to seek outside support. I know, now, through my pain and suffering, acceptance is the only way I will ever be truly healthy again, physically, emotionally, mentally. I am exhausted from fighting so hard. I’m finally letting go of my pride and willfulness and have now become more willing to seek a change that is more than just a new pill, therapist, or situation in life.

I know there are things out of my control. I’m learning to let go, little by little, and see things in a different way. As they say, perspective is everything.

My addiction to alcohol reached a point of controlling me. I have issues with people or things trying to control me. This is something I intend to beat and fight the good fight, but it will only work if I’ve fully accepted there is a problem, one that is ready and waiting to take over again. I may not be able to control many factors in my life, but this is not one of them, now that I acknowledge and understand what is happening with me. I accept my addiction. I accept change, I accept help. I accept I can’t, and don’t need to, “go it alone”. Now, I am free to move forward.

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From the workbook/journal “Quiet Moments” – topics for contemplation – “Serenity”

Serenity

It is difficult for me to recall many times when I’ve felt completely at peace with the world, tranquil, so to speak. At this juncture, I can say I have suffered with depression and anxiety for more than half my life. It goes without saying this can take quite a toll on a person and the memories they carry along with them. They’re often hidden deep, clouded by a veil of pain. It is difficult to focus and pull from the brain moments of peace. However, I can name two, to start.

Once, when I was young, I recall sitting out on the front stoop of my childhood home. It was sunny, it was spring or summer, the grass was green and the sun was warm but not hot. I couldn’t have been older than 8, maybe 10 years old, tops. Possibly even younger. I just sat there, taking it all in, seeing the world around me. I remember the breeze blowing through the trees, the leaves were green, but made a soft, soothing rustling sound. No traffic passed by on our street at this time of day.

I can’t say why, but I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “this is the best day of my life.” While other kids may have considered a trip to Disneyland to be the best day of their lives, I was happy with my serene surroundings. I can’t recall another moment as powerful as this until I became a teenager…

There’s an old myth that if you die in your dreams, you will die in real life. Unless I’m living in a dream world, I’m proof that debunks said myth. I long ago abandoned fear of death… my own, that is. This stems from a dream I had in my early teens, perhaps 15 years old. In this dream, I saw my own death. I was looking into a fountain filled with pennies and nickels. The next thing I knew; someone was holding my head underwater as I struggled to come up for air. I did not succeed. All went black as I slipped away. A moment later, I awakened (in the dream) to darkness. But I was not alone. All around me floated balls of light and energy, some floating, some zipping past. It was as if I was one of these balls of energy, and they wanted me to be with them. I was overcome with a sense of complete and purest peace I knew I’d never felt in my life. How could I be feeling it in a dream? I woke shortly after, and the sensation remained.

That, to me, is serenity. Knowing I am not alone in this world or the next, in some way tied to the universe as one. In life, with the green grass, the rustling leaves… and in death, embraced by light.

 

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40 by 40 (and Beyond) list update…

Wow. WOW. I haven’t posted since March 2015? Well, to be fair, 2015 sucked so much I’m not even going to bother going into it, though it did have it’s good moments! 2016 has been, by far, much better and here we are almost at July. Well, seeing as I had turned 39 in January this year, I figured it was time to look back at my 40 by 40 list and see how things are going. So here it is!

1 – Enroll in school again.

(I tried, almost registered, but it fell through. I am not expecting to be enrolled before I turn 40.)

2 – Get trained in another ZUMBA specialty of choice.

(Not yet, but Zumba Gold is coming up in Omaha soon I’ve been watching. I’d rather do Step or toning.)

3 – Get trained in Tabata, Power Pump, and Bootcamp.

(Not officially trained yet, but attending more and more classes so I can begin to do so very soon. They’ve been in need of subs quite a bit. Frankly, I know enough about HIIT and Tabata I could literally just jump right in and lead a class.)

4 – Get certified as a personal trainer.

(I have my exam at the end of August! Yay!)

5 – Coach a Y-Lose It team.

(I sent my boss my interest in coaching a Fall 2016 or Winter 2017 session. I’m ready!)

6 – Take a week off from everything just to be at home and take care of everything that’s been put off for so long.

(HAHAHA! That’s a funny one.)

7 – Attend a Comic Con of some kind.

(Not yet. Bummed I missed KC Comic Con and missing Gen Con again, too. $$$)

8 – Visit one of the coasts again.

(I don’t see this happening before I turn 40 in 6 1/2 months, but there’s been talk about visiting my relatives on the East coast.)

9 – Take a road trip by myself.

(There’s plenty of time! I’m considering Arkansas to see some friends. I wanted to this summer, but it might have to be early fall.)

10 – Go sledding.

(We didn’t have much snow! I refuse to miss out next winter during the times we get some.)

11 – Go skiing.

(There’s not much in the midwest, but I can get my first little skiing experience during the winter at Mt. Crescent in Iowa… does it still exist?)

12 – Hike in the mountains.

(It’l have to wait. I can hike at state parks until then!)

13 – Sleep 12 straight hours.

(BWAHAHA. Again, another funny. Not sure what I was thinking. My body won’t let me do it.)

14 – Visit a new amusement park or one I’ve not been to “recently”.

(Natalie and I are taking a mother/daughter trip in October during break to World’s of Fun again. It won’t be new, but it’ll be new going to during Halloween Haunt time!)

15 – Visit Arkansas again. Visit Uncle and Grandpa’s graves. 

(Maybe we will extend that mother/daughter trip to go just a little further south. In fact, I think that’s a great idea!)

16 – Visit Chicago and/or Vegas for the first time.

(Not likely before 2017.)

17 – Visit Iowa City/Cedar Rapids again. (Hi sis!)

(I would love to do this during Christmas break, weather permitting.)

18 – Get a bike and actually ride it. Do the nacho ride with friends.

(I got on my daughter’s bike, which she never uses, and I was not liking it at all. Nope. Feet on the ground.)

19 – Join Angela in Kayak Polo

(Usually it has been on nights I teach ZUMBA, but I will have to be in contact with her about it this fall/winter.)

20 – Do Market to Market again, with a little longer legs this time.

(Nope, I tried to join a team too late. Maybe if anyone else needs an alternate or a fill-in at the last minute!)

21 – Attend ZUMBA Convention

(I keep saying, “maybe next year”. It’s not happening this year. It is WAY expensive, and now I’m not sure I’m even interested anymore.)

22 – Read new books outside of my “comfort zone”.

(I haven’t really tried, yet. I can’t even make it through two of my books IN my comfort zone right now.)

23 – Do another show on stage.

(I teach 3, soon 4, classes at night, which makes rehearsal difficult and auditioning a waste of time. No worries, all the world is my stage!)

24 – Make a latchhook rug or pillow like when I was younger.

(Ooooh I forgot about this one! I didn’t find any previously that I really liked. I’m going to look again!)

25 – Allow myself to buy something non-frugal just for me (way out of my comfort zone). Shoes, a bag, a geeky toy, something I normally wouldn’t do.

(Can’t do it. I’m not sure what I want? I don’t wear jewelry, I’m not into shoes and bags, I have what I need as far as technology. I’m stumped. Any ideas? We did break down and buy a trampoline, but right now I’m actually trying to cut out frivolous guilty pleasures.)

26 – Take time to actually celebrate my birthday for once. It’s my special day, I should act like it.

(Big Party being planned for 40th birthday!)

27 – The same goes for Mother’s day.

(Didn’t really “celebrate”, but they hung banners and decorations, cards, flowers, and the like. It was nice!!)

28 – Color in an entire coloring book.

(I have a hard time sitting still. This *might* help, but I’ve found I don’t really WANT to sit still. I started on one of our kid coloring books, then I got a Celtic Designs adult coloring book from my sister.)

29 – Take time to show my kids the areas I spent time when I was growing up. Parks, streets I lived on, hangouts, etc.

(Did this!)

30 – Get Invisalign braces.

(I got fitted for them, but they’re expensive. Maybe some day!)

31 – Drive a monster truck.

(The hope was for this summer, but it looks like it didn’t pan out. Booooooo!)

32 – Try a new online game.

(No time, can’t sit still. I’m amazed I’ve sat this long. No longer interested.)

33 – Run a 10k.

(My first official one will be September 16th, the Harvest Moon Hustle!)

34 – Run/walk a half marathon.

(Not by my 40th birthday, but possibly the Lincoln Half in May 2017)

35 – Dress as Xena, She-Ra, or Harley Quinn for Halloween or at a con!

(I looked for a good warrior costume last Halloween and they had none. I ended up as a badass pirate queen/Captain. Think female version of Hook on Once Upon a Time.)

36 – Enter a body-building or power-lifting program then work to compete.

(I have not entered yet, but I am steadily working on my strength and bulk. I love it!)

37 – Get another tattoo.

(I’ve been thinking  a lot about what I want and where to get it. I won’t have it by 40th birthday unless it’s a Christmas gift to myself, but I want to save that money for the party!)

38 – Attend a concert at Red Rocks in Colorado

(I need to look into who is playing and when, but I did make it to one concert this year! Halestorm!)

39 – Volunteer at a shelter for victims of domestic abuse.

(I simply need to make time for this. Plain and simple. Holiday season for sure.)

40 – Try a completely new hairstyle.

(Not yet, unless you consider it getting shorter and shorter a new style. )

 

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Trying to keep moving…

Most people know I just haven’t been myself the last few months.

I am slowly but surely starting to feel a bit better. In the last two days I managed to flush 5 lbs of water and such from my body through eating better and drinking a lot more fluids. That always makes me feel better. I upped my thyroid meds a little and am taking vitamins (kinda low on iron) so I’m hoping that within the next week or two, we’ll all start to see a better functioning, happier person. If I’m anything, it’s proactive.

I’m still tired, anxious, and my entire body is regularly in a depressed state, but I know from plenty of experience in the past, diet and exercise play a HUGE part in my overall well-being. I know that after about a week, sometimes two, of proper diet my energy begins to pick right up and my spirit soars. I hope it sticks. I am a terrible stress/anxiety/depression eater and my job has me exhausted and the last few month have been very taxing and toxic. Uhg, work. Even today they asked me to come work the desk extra before I teach my class tonight (after already having been there this morning to teach a class). Between the desk and my 4 classes I teach (plus some subbing), I’m at the gym nearly every day. It used to be my “happy place”. Now I can’t wait to get out of there. You guys know that’s bad when I start to lose sight of my dreams.

So, my boss is trying to cut out my Sundays, and then I’ve decided after March I am going to go back to just teaching and only work the desk as a sub, if at all. It was a good run, but circumstances in my life have changed since I started doing it in October, and my family and friends need me at my best. I’ve also talked to my other boss about dropping one or two of my morning classes, so that I can get back to attending classes for ME and train in other areas to teach, not just ZUMBA. I got my AFAA for a reason, afterall. There has been no movement on this, though, although Friday after I teach I’m meeting with some instructors to learn/train in Barre workouts. That’ll be interesting.

I’m taking this 40 by 40 list I created very seriously. I need to take care of me, and accomplishing goals and focusing on what would/does make me happy is a big part of that. I’m trying to plan trips and looking at runs/events I can sign up for, as well as cutting my hours so I can train more… but cutting hours means cutting $$$ we’ve somehow become dependent on which makes doing a lot of this difficult. I’ll figure it out. I’ll MAKE it happen, damnit.

Okay, that’s all. For now.

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40 by 40 (maybe longer) bucket list…

1 – Enroll in school again.

2 – Get trained in another ZUMBA specialty of choice

3 – Get trained in Tabata, Power Pump, and Bootcamp.

4 – Get certified as a personal trainer.

5 – Coach a Y-Lose It team.

6 – Take a week off from everything just to be at home and take care of everything that’s been put off for so long.

7 – Attend a Comic Con of some kind.

8 – Visit one of the coasts again.

9 – Take a road trip by myself.

10 – Go sledding.

11 – Go skiing.

12 – Hike in the mountains.

13 – Sleep 12 straight hours.

14 – Visit a new amusement park or one I’ve not been to “recently”.

15 – Visit Arkansas again. Visit Uncle and Grandpa’s graves.

16 – Visit Chicago and/or Vegas for the first time.

17 – Visit Iowa City/Cedar Rapids again. (Hi sis!)

18 – Get a bike and actually ride it. Do the nacho ride with friends.

19 – Join Angela in Kayak Polo

20 – Do Market to Market again, with a little longer legs this time.

21 – Attend ZUMBA Convention

22 – Read new books outside of my “comfort zone”.

23 – Do another show on stage.

24 – Make a latchhook rug or pillow like when I was younger.

25 – Allow myself to buy something non-frugal just for me (way out of my comfort zone). Shoes, a bag, a geeky toy, something I normally wouldn’t do.

26 – Take time to actually celebrate my birthday for once. It’s my special day, I should act like it.

27 – The same goes for Mother’s day.

28 – Color in an entire coloring book.

29 – Take time to show my kids the areas I spent time when I was growing up. Parks, streets I lived on, hangouts, etc.

30 – Get Invisalign braces.

31 – Drive a monster truck.

32 – Try a new online game.

33 – Run a 10k.

34 – Run/walk a half marathon.

35 – Dress as Xena, She-Ra, or Harley Quinn for Halloween or at a con!

36 – Enter a body-building or power-lifting program then work to compete.

37 – Get another tattoo.

38 – Attend a concert at Red Rocks in Colorado

39 – Volunteer at a shelter for victims of domestic abuse.

40 – Try a completely new hairstyle.

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Anxiety…

Sometimes, I simply can’t handle it. I don’t think straight. It’s exhausting to the point that I don’t even feel like writing about it much right now. I feel like I am constantly walking on pins and needles, tense, regularly being pricked, tense and waiting for the inevitable puncture wound that will send me tumbling. Oh, and stress? Don’t get me started on that. I think I drive everyone around me crazy, at least anyone close to me. Everyone else I manage to shield from it by keeping a manageable distance. Mostly.

I was on Adderall once, for off-label treatment of depression/anxiety symptoms. It worked like nothing I’ve ever had before. My worry was gone within a day. I could look at a pile of dishes and feel relaxed and think, “heh, oh well. They’ll get done. It’s not the end of the world.” like a normal person. Unfortunately, they had to keep upping the dose when it stopped working as well, and the higher doses caused a terrible “rebound” effect with created seriously deep, scary depression. I also started having bad anxiety again caused by the high dose and had to chase all the new symptoms with other drugs. Eventually I said, “EFF this. No thanks.” So here I am.

That’s enough about that.

Random:

I like to feel things. I feel things greatly. I am very skilled at shutting it out and bottling feelings. I’ve tried repeatedly to knock that crap off. It really depends on the day. I am very sensitive to other people’s emotions and moods as well. Some people refer to this as being an “empath”, if you believe that sort of thing. *shrug* Who knows. I also see it as being highly sensitive based on my own experiences and hell sometimes maybe it simply borders on paranoia. ;) Maybe my “sensitivity” is simply me projecting? Likely. Although I do like the idea of mystical powers!

I want to reach out to people. I stop myself. I want to let them know I care, but I stop. WHY? I worry I’m annoying or that I’d make them uncomfortable or look silly. I worry about my hand being rejected. I tell myself it’s better to reach and let others know you care than to have never said anything at all, because what if something were to happen to them and you never got the chance again? But, would it really matter? Who’s benefit is the expression of empathy truly for? Them or me? Would it make a bit of difference to that person one way or another when they are gone? Well, maybe it would make a difference when they’re still here. Wow this got morbid fast.

That’s what happens when I try to put my head on paper. Anyway, I guess what I should try to figure out is why I feel the need to pull away. So what if I’m annoying. I’m still thoughtful and kind. So what if I make someone uncomfortable? It isn’t my issue, and isn’t it worth the risk if there’s a chance of making someone feel cared about? If my hand is rejected, I may still have gotten through and that might be just what they need to look back on at a different time, yes?

So… why then, if this all makes sense, am I okay to feel but still so scared to express? After all, as a warmblooded human being, I personally like to be reached out to. It’s isn’t a bad thing at all.

whispers

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Playing catchup!

Okay… so August 23rd was my last post (and the only one in 2014!!), and I can see I was in rambling mode and honestly, tl;dr. I tried to play catchup there, too. I did the Lincoln Mud Run that day. It was a 10k (6 mile) obstacle course. Frankly, it was super lame but I loved spending time with my friend. Since then I did one more 5k obstacle run and it was a blast. 5k The Hard way. I really loved the course and the scenery, and the obstacles were awesome. However, I managed to cut myself going down the water slide, and it caused me a giant ordeal with infection later and stitches that weren’t even needed.

 5khardway35khardway1

 

Oh yeah, and this happened:

afaa

 

So, yeah. I got officially certified as a group exercise instructor to go along with with my Zumba license. Since August I’ve also taken up another class I’m teaching so now I’m up to four classes a week. I enjoy it, but boy I’m tired. We’re having a Zumba Party in a week and I’ve been really excited with the planning part of it, decorations, door prizes and such. We don’t have very many registrants yet and I really hope we get more this week. If not, well it’ll be a very small and intimate yet fun party.

I don’t have much else to say right now. I’m coming down with a cold and feeling pretty wiped out. Finally got all the spammers here blocked and some issues with uploading fixed so that hopefully I can post more frequently and of things of more interest and thought. I just had my birthday. I turned 38. I’m considering one of those “40 in 40” types of posts. I mean, I’ve got two years so surely I can get quite a bit accomplished by then. :)

More to come. Lot’s more I just thought of going on in life right now that’s kind of a Big Deal. I’m tired. See you soon!

P.S. Whenever I can get this to work, it will be my new header for the blog when I decide to revamp. Thanks to my friend Landon for making the collage. It’s good to be able to remember where I was when I first started this blog and to see how far I’ve come… through all the trials along the way.

beastmode

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Anew…

Honestly, I’m so tired right now that thinking about how to formulate a post and what to fill it with is overwhelming. Certainly looking back at my most recent post a *year* ago and a few before makes it that more difficult. I feel like there’s a lot to address, or “catch up” on, but really… reopening the blog is about today and forward, yes? That’s the idea, anyway. So, yeah. If I feel like musing over and rambling about anything between “then” and “now”, I’ll do so later. Tonight, I talk about today.

Number one – I am exhausted. I did a 10k obstacle race/mud run today with a good friend. It’s something I’ve had planned for many months, but never got around to training for much. Instead, I’ve been busy regularly teaching Zumba for the last 7 months, and recently finished my first session as a participant in the Y Lose It program where I work. My boss wanted me to be a coach this session, but I’ve decided to pass and give it a go as a participant one more time. This isn’t a huge weight loss challenge for me, even though it’s what it is designed to be. Some will continue to happen, sure, but for me it’s about the relationships I’ve built, the accountability, the fitness and strength, and most importantly, gaining knowledge and experience to pass on to future participants I will be coaching next session. I just put in my forms and our new session starts up again the first week of September. My team and I will be doing the same days and times as before. We all wanted to stick together. I can’t begin to tell you how much I adore these strong, powerful women.

I’m a busy gym-goer, I’ve had to ease up some. To give you an idea, I teach two Zumba classes on Wednesdays and one on Friday mornings. Add to that my Monday morning team workout and Friday morning team workout before I teach. On top of that, my teammates and I like to meet up outside of our “scheduled” workouts for additional walks, classes, etc. and I like to attend my friend/coworker’s Zumba classes on Tues/Thurs as much as I can (I love it!). Now, I know people who do much more than this, but for me it’s a lot. I go hard when I’m there. This all helps to keep me sane. One thing I will be doing differently this session, however, is making sure I’m getting ENOUGH fuel (food) and rest/recovery. I really started to feel worn out. I’ve been doing better during our 2 weeks off with more food and rest. A big “duh”, I know, but whatever. About two months ago, I added a part time job at a grocery deli that keeps me pacing around on my feet an additional 15 hours a week, so that has definitely contributed to the fatigue. Food, food, food. REST REST REST! It sounds counter-productive to most people, but when you train like I do I guess there’s really no other option. Anyway, the end of this session will bring me right up to my two year anniversary of the beginning of this whole journey. Eventually, I will write all about how surreal things still are when I think about how much I have changed. I’ll even repost the “Before” pictures. I thought a lot about it today on the trails. I look forward to having a really good milestone to have reached about the time I’m ready to start coaching others. I feel like this is what I was “meant to do”. Well, I suppose it is right now, anyway. :)

I’m studying for my AFAA (American Fitness Association of America) Group Exercise Certification. The exam is September 27th at Offut AFB. This is a highly recognized certification and will allow me to branch out into areas I would love to teach, including but not limited to Tabata, HIIT, Power/Body Pump type classes, Bootcamps, etc. I’m quite excited about this and know I will do well. I’m training under some of the best people. I love my job at the Cooper Y and the people I work with. They’ve fast become my friends and mentors. I feel loved, appreciated, and accepted fully there. I have never felt this at any other place or with any other group.

This post is so bland and “informative”. I really just trying to pull thoughts together. I want to make posts about my experiences, especially about my journey to wellness, my personality, the people and things that make me feel and come alive. I’d like to make one of those “40 in 40” (I’m only 37, so it gives me plenty of time) bucket list deals. Yeah. That’ll be a post. Maybe a post about synchronicity. I’ve been musing over that a lot lately. I just need to be able to sit and write. Time for me to process and express. I feel so tired and my brain needs to take a giant dump. (ew.)

I still have plenty of ups and downs. I try to make light of the down without ignoring them all together. I’ve learned ignoring and bottling is terribly damaging to my health. At the same time, anymore people need to be acutely aware of my mood shifts to know when I might be sinking and need a hand up as I refuse to show it much because emotional instability or lack of control can be just as damaging. Life. A balancing act. Tricky, it is. By now, I’d fit in really well at the circus. :)

Random (linked to performing in a circus, I suppose): I did a show back in April and it was awesome. I got to know more great people that way as well. I want to try out for yet another at the end of September, but there is no way it’d work with an evening deli job. I can’t quit and I don’t really want to at this juncture. I sure do want to try for that show though… it’s the STAGE afterall… like when I lead a zumba class… it’s a chance to feel free, let go… kind of like why I wanted to open this up again…

Seems like something’s wanting to be let loose…

(rrawwr?)

Categories: Contemplation, Project Yours Truly, Random Drivel | Leave a comment

More truth…

I absolutely love this. It’s one of the most truthful statements I’ve ever heard.

That said, dude, I feel awesome. Things are very good, I just have not much to write about. I’m supposed to be journaling about some things that have been painful and blah blah, and I’m having a tough time with that, but it’s okay. Otherwise, I’m happy, healthy, VERY healthy, relaxed, and motivated.

Cheers!

Categories: Pictures, Random Drivel | Leave a comment