Getting back to normal. Whatever that means.

As if all my slacking weren’t enough I certainly found good reason to slack some more.

My dear grandmother (AKA Memaw) had been getting sick. Well, to start at the top she had a breast lump which she flat refused to have seen. It took about 4 years to get her to finally go have the thing looked at. By the time she caved and went for a biopsy she had not only a lump but a skin ulcer due to the cancer. When they finally were able to get her to keep her appointment for her surgery (which she kept putting off) the lump had actually grown roots. They removed the breast and said the cancer was not in her lymph nodes. It seemed like a miracle honestly.  They gave her a prescription which was supposed to decrease her odds of developing another cancer. She was to take this medication for 5 years. She tossed that medication in the trash and that was that.

Meanwhile, at the beginning of all this I noticed her memory seemed to be slipping a lot. The same conversation would be on a loop for a good half-hour or longer.

“So what are y’all doing for Christmas?”

I would reply, “I’m planning to make a nice dinner and maybe go see some Christmas lights with the kids.”

“Oh well, that sounds real nice. Is there a lot of decorated houses around there where you live?”

“Yes there is, in fact one neighborhood where people drive through and vote on which house is the favorite.”

“Oh that sounds like fun….. So what are y’all doing for Christmas?”

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

I could never get mt Father to see it. He always explained it away. But everyone else could see it. She also had some personality changes, and not very nice ones either. She would be uncharacteristically snappish and edgy at times. I thought maybe she was just tired or feeling bad from her surgery. Not the case at all I came to discover.

Anyhoo, fast forward a couple of years after her surgery. She was complaining of lower back pain. The pain never went away. Again, trying to get her to go get it seen took the hand of God. When she  finally went she danced around the truth and refused to go back for a biopsy. “The Dr. said that she couldn’t say it was cancer so there’s good news!” What the Dr. actually said was, “I can’t say it’s cancer unless we do a biopsy.” Memaw had a gift for twisting it just enough to fool us all. She didn’t want to receive what was happening and she didn’t want to worry people. Well, it was cancer again. And she still fooled most of us for quite a very long time about it. I never realized how bad it was. When I called she would say she was getting better all the time, and she had a lot of good help with housework and getting to the store. Her sisters had been there helping her.

One day I called Memaw and her sister told me that Memaw was not able to get out of bed that morning and that they had brought in a hospital bed and she was now under hospice care.  This is when I really knew. Also we needed someone to go and stay with Memaw so she would be able to stay in her own home like she wanted. So I volunteered. Her sister and I rotated days. I would go there with my kids during the week, and she would come back on the weekends. I did the 2 hour drive there each Tuesday and back each Saturday for 6 weeks.

You never realize what it truly means to care for someone at the end of their life until you actually do it. That itself is a few other separate blog posts. At any rate, she passed peacefully and for that I am thankful. She suffered long and it was terrible to watch. I did have the pleasure of some good times with her at the end though. Times when she was feeling social and up to conversations, even if some of those conversations repeated on a loop for an hour or more. We also inherited her Dachshund. Thankfully he is well behaved and housebroken. Now if I can just get him to scoop his own poop…..

 

 

 

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Feeling “that” way.

Have you ever been attempting progress at something and been doing pretty good at it? That is until one fancy day you didn’t feel like doing it anymore, at least not in the way you were, yet you also didn’t feel like NOT doing it anymore? Can’t give up and can’t go on. It’s the kind of thing I would expect if I fell down a rabbit hole.

I have been in this new diet and exercise way of life. Not “diet” in the sense that I am “going on a diet” but “diet” in the sense that “I have changed my diet”. You know, in a sustainable and sensible way. Allowing for certain things that won’t have me binging like a wolf who just tasted the blood of his prey.  And trying not to eat things that do if I can avoid them, or at least I avoid these evils more often than not. It was going great. I had control and the desire to keep it up. Then one day not. Just for whatever reason the idea of logging, weighing, measuring and all “that” just felt like too much. Like it was in the way.  I had actually stopped losing weight though I maintained my intake at or below what was supposed to yield a loss. So I went to just not logging anymore. Eating what felt like the right amount. That was the whole purpose of logging and weighing in the first place, to get back to knowing what a normal amount of food actually is. So I’ve done that. Now what? I haven’t gained doing this so it’s bad I don’t think.

Do I keep at this thing? Do I stop? Do I change it again? Do I go this way? That way? The wrong way? The right way? I feel like I am floating around like dust in a sunbeam. Never settling on any surface but standing a great chance of getting sucked up someone’s nostril.

Sigh……

I never know what to do with myself when this… what can I call the feeling…. is it needy? I just wish I had a big warm hug to curl up in. Anxiety…. panic…. they usually lead to a depression of a different kind. They leave me with a longing for human contact that is difficult to get past.

 

I DON’T want to share and you can’t make me!

I keep secret food in the kitchen that I refuse to share. There. I said it. 

It may be cake, a can of frosting, a pint of ice cream, a can of potted meat, a boat load of asparagus, cream cheese. It could be anything. I sneak in and eat these items in secret. Just a bite or two here and there when I get a moment. I feel angry and annoyed when  anyone comes in during my “bite” and I have to cover up my secret food item so they don’t want some. And I get really angry if someone actually finds my stash. The usual someone is usually my husband. Though sometimes the kids may spot my secret food.  I feel irritated when I hear, “OHHHH I didn’t know we had THIS!” Or an accusing, “You have (fill in the blank here). Is there any more in there?” I have no problem telling him that if he wouldn’t pig out on everything in the house I wouldn’t have to stash it for myself.

Why do I do this? And why do I get so angry when  my “bites” are interrupted or my stash is discovered? I have not always done this. It’s a fairly new habit. Just over the past few years have I felt the need to do this.

A little insight here. Say we have a quart of ice cream or a bag of potato chips or anything else for that matter. My husband is the world’s worst about going in and devouring way more than his fair share with absolutely no regard for others who may want some. He may leave behind some teensy weensy bit that really is only a tease. Or if he serves some to the kids he gives them a whole hell of a lot more than a kid should be having. Basically any such item is never around any reasonable length of time. I don’t think it is reasonable for a quart of ice cream to be gone in a day, or a pack of cookies, etc… some of these things should be eaten in reasonable quantities.

I used to find myself stuffing my face with what ever the item happened to be in an effort to just get my share before the bottomless pit came in to suck it all up. It seemed like a chore trying to just get a damned scoop of ice cream or a couple of cookies before they were all gone. Aside from the fact that it gets expensive trying to keep food in the house it is terrible for a person’s health. My husband is a fat man. He is 5′ 11″ and 235 pounds. He lies in bed all day watching TV on his day off, he has a desk job, he eats massive amounts of garbage, he makes many trips to the kitchen in the night to snack, he knows no reasonable limit. It is not unusual for him to eat a half a box of cereal in a night. I have had to hide necessary food staples in order to preserve our grocery budget. So it’s not just treats, it’s everything really. I guess if we were wealthy that part wouldn’t matter so much. But as I mentioned earlier it is also a matter of health. Have I talked to him? Of course. My words fall on deaf ears.

At any rate. I have stopped the battle of groceries. If I want cake I buy a single slice of cake. I have a couple of bites and stash it. Later on I will have a couple more bites. When I want it the cake is there since no one knows about it. Or that pint of ice cream hidden behind the mountain of frozen vegetables, or that bag of chips hidden in a stock pot. Sometimes I get something and eat what I want of it then put it out for everyone else. Sometimes I feel guilty but then I think of all the times I refrained from eating something because I thought the rest of the family may want some and if I had any it would mean there would not be enough for them. How often does anyone say, “Hey! I think the woman who did all the grocery shopping would like some too!” Never. Ever.

I went through a time of having about zero control over my appetite or how much junk I was eating. Partly it was because I felt if I wanted something I had to beat someone else to it. I think it snowballed from there. I have always been prone to doing thins to obsession anyway. All this trying to get a bite of something while it was around did not help at all. Now that I have lost over 40 pounds and have established normal eating patterns I feel good. Part of hiding certain food comes from trying to maintain this normalcy. I have spent quite a very long time weighing and logging every damned thing that goes into my mouth. I would fall off then gain back some pounds, then get back on again. Now I see what normal eating actually looks like. I haven’t been logging my food lately but I have been mindful of how much I eat. Would that change if I went back to fighting for my food? I think it would. I’m not in here pigging out on some massive stash of deliciousness every day. But when I have a craving, especially during PMS I would like to just have a little of what I really want and not have to beat someone else to it. There seems to be a, “We have to eat this right fucking NOW!” attitude about some food items. I just think it would be nice to have it when I want it and not have to force it down just so I get to have it before it’s gone.

Am I really wrong? I don’t feel wrong.

 

Feeling guilty about my honest feelings.

My cousin was killed a little over two weeks ago. When I first heard the news I was shocked and sad. Well….. not surprised mind you, just shocked that what I had kind of imagined would happen actually did. You see my cousin was not a very nice person as a rule. That’s not to say she was a rotten person through and through, she just had this mean and spiteful and vengeful streak. She was gossiping, nasty, judgmental and would do all kinds of things for evil satisfaction. She had always been that way since as far back as I can remember. Yet she did have some kindness when it came to homeless people and poor children. But when it came down to family, friends and neighbors? Nope. Nothing nice there in the least.

In high school she began dating my boyfriend behind my back. That hurt. A LOT. She used to rob me and my sister blind when she came to our house or when we went to her house.If you had anything you wanted to keep, keep it away from her. She would tell lie after lie. I was afraid to allow her into my life after I had kids because I was afraid of what she would do. She was angry that My sister and I had kids and she did not. I assumed she would make a false report of child abuse just for spite. Because that’s just how she rolled. Turned out she had been telling the family outrageous lies about me and my children and husband to the family, and she had never even been to our home or even really spoke to me for a number of years. Even when we did speak she didn’t know a darned thing about us because I was afraid to invite her over or to visit the family because of her.

When she died I found out she had an addiction to crack. She had gone to meet her dealer, and apparently tried to snatch the drugs and drive away without paying. She didn’t count on him shooting at the car as she sped away. She was hit twice in the head after he fired at least 5 shots at the rear of the vehicle. She died instantly. I do not know how long she had that particular habit. I assume it did affect who she was to a degree. I mean she was already crazy. I do mean that about as literally as possible. Ask anyone who ever knew her in her life and they will tell you she was crazy. She was the biggest drama queen you would have ever known. She also seemed to have no fear of authority or consequences. She seemed to think she was invincible. Doing outrageous things. I assume once a person does so many things that should have ended in disaster, yet they came out lucky they develop a sense of comfort with their actions. So she was already a mental case and here she was smoking crack, also she had MS and I hear that can take it’s mental toll as well as some of the medications for it. She never stood a chance I’m afraid.

I don’t say all this to bash the dead, or to make her look bad. I say it because this is where it gets to be an emotional tug-of-war with me. While I feel terrible about how she died and all she suffered with in this life…… I can’t believe I am about to even put this out there….. I feel a little relieved at the same time. Not glad or happy mind you. But just a sense of relief underneath my sadness. Now I can try to visit family again and not worry about what she may do, or say or whatever. I feel terrible that her mother, father, and brother now have to face this grief in their life. I know she was loved dearly by those very close to her and her death is nothing to celebrate. But my feelings do conflict. My heart breaks knowing she must have been suffering underneath her abrasiveness. An addiction she couldn’t shake, an illness she would never be free of, wanting to have children she could not have. She didn’t grow up in the most stable home. Her father was a crazy alcoholic and addict. As are many other of my relatives. Somehow I never took up any type of chemical dependency. Well…. I do love my morning coffee. I also did smoke a pack a day for about 15 years. I love my chocolate. I do have tendencies to get hooked on other things. Just not drugs or alcohol. So it’s there, just in a different way. Maybe it’s hereditary? Maybe it’s just a matter of being a product of one’s environment? Who knows. I know I feel bad for feeling somewhat relieved though.

Getting my ducks in a row. (Not the other thing!)

When you get a good hard laugh when you least expect it, now there’s some good medicine! When I have a panic attack or just anxiety, I just can’t eat, or think, or function in a pleasant way. I have been actively working on this for quite some time. I have improved and hope to continue improving. Nothing makes it easier though, than a good laugh. A smile I just can’t help, a chuckle that just keeps bubbling up whether I mean to do it or not. It’s all good stuff and the very best medicine I could hope for. Dare I say it may be better than chewing someone’s ear or blogging it out.

I have always been a laugh-a-holic. Even having had so much depression in my life once a good hard laugh starts I just get drunk on the feeling and allow it to consume me. Not much is better than side splitting laughter. Laughing so hard you can’t straighten out your face, or utter actual words. Good old laughter. I believe the almighty God in heaven gave us laughter as a gift to be used as liberally as oxygen.