Regretting Choosing From Fear and Friends and Knitting

Regretting Choosing From Fear

It was cold here yesterday. Super cold.  I had yoga scheduled and I could not wait to go because the yoga room is always toasty warm.  And since it was sunny, I knew the sun would be pouring in making it warmer…And I knew the floor would be warm because the room has radiant floor heating.  Since, I am always cold these days, I was excited to go to yoga. Of course, I wanted to go for all the usual reasons too…But I really wanted the warmth yesterday.

And yoga was deliciously warm and my Instructor was her usual supportive and kind self and I was actually pretty relaxed and still feeling pretty present (leftover from Thursday).   It was all good.

And then we got to the end of our session…And I made a choice based on fear and ended up feeling a bit disappointed.  It was time for our Savasanah and ever since the flashback, my Instructor lets me find whatever place/position I want to be in to do Savasanah. And I have been choosing to sit on the floor with my back against the wall.  Which I did yesterday.  But it was not what I wanted to do.  What I really wanted to do was to lay on the hardwood floor (not even on my mat) and feel the warmth coming from below it.  And I briefly considered it as I slid my hands across the smooth, warm wood as I made my way towards the wall.  But…I was afraid.  I was afraid to lay on my back and open myself up to the possibility to another flashback.  While my body hungered for the comforting warmth of the floor, my mind just couldn’t allow the possibility.  <sigh>  It wasn’t until later (like a few hours later) that I felt the disappointment…That I really wished I had just let myself follow my  instincts and relax on the floor.

Ah well…regrets are regrets.  I will have the opportunity to make a different choice another time.

Friends

I spent the afternoon at J’s house with her and her baby.  I enjoy J’s company, she is very sweet and it was nice to see her.  When I was driving there, I realized the last time I saw her was when I had the tachycardia at work and had to go via ambulance to the ER.

Of course, J wanted to know how I am doing.  And I didn’t know what to say. I sort of answered vaguely and broadly.  She asked if my symptoms were improving any…How do you say to someone, “Well…not really.  I am kind of doing it to myself since my symptoms are caused by my eating disorder, which I have been unable to curb.  Until I get the calorie restriction under control, I won’t see an improvement in my symptoms.”? It seems kind of heavy for general conversation.  Although, I am guessing J would be a safe person to actually share that with, I feel very self-conscious about all my psych stuff and chose not to share.

We just hung out and chatted and admired her baby.  I love J, as she likes to share her baby, every time I go, right after I take my shoes off, she asks, “Do you want to hold him?”  Of course, I always say, “Yes.”  So, I held him and walked him to sleep and then held him in my lap while he was sleeping.  We talked about cloth diapers and when her baby was awake again, I showed her how to diaper him with a cloth diaper and then we tested the soaker.

And we spent a long time sitting on the floor while baby climbed on us and over us and around us, while dribbling drool and occasionally gurping spit-up on us.  It was heavenly! (I love, love, love babies!)

Here is Mr. Cutie Pie in his soaker.  Of the three different sizes I ended up sewing for him, the largest fit the best. (Sorry the picture is blurry, cell phone camera+moving target does not lend itself to the best pictures!)

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I told his mom that I would happily make him some more covers and she invited me back to her house to make some there and then she could help me make them.  It sounds like a plan to me!

Knitting

Since I spent most of the day out of the house, I didn’t get a ton of knitting done, but I did get two and a half or so more stripes done on the blanket square.  I am not a super fast knitter to start and since I started back up again, I seem a little bit slower and my hands get tired pretty fast.  I imagine in a couple of weeks, that will improve…For now, it means the knitting is somewhat slow going. It feels like it will take me forever to get four squares done! That’s okay though…I am a process knitter, not a product knitter (it is the same with most other handcrafting I do) so I don’t mind the time spent.

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Bitter Disappointment and Yoga and Hating Myself

Bitter Disappointment

Yesterday had a rough start.  I was really upset that I couldn’t go help SS with the nursery set up and stuff.  I had been looking forward to it and I really wanted to help her and then I had to bail.  I was angry (with myself) and frustrated and I ended up being grumpy all morning about it.  I threw myself into baking (pumpkin bread for ds, biscuits for the dogs) and working on my Art Therapy homework to dull the emotions I was feeling.

Yoga

By the time yoga time came around, I was still having tachycardia and I just plain felt crummy…Some days the low calories catch up with me and I just feel fatigued and weak and blah.  Yesterday was one of those days.   But I was not going to miss yoga.  I am a stubborn sort of person and I was going to yoga come Hell or high water.

And I did go. I started off by asking my Yoga Instructor if we could talk for a couple of minutes before we started.  I have only seen her once since before Christmas and so much has gone on over the past month, I felt like it was important to touch base.  I mentioned the tachycardia episodes and the low calories as the cause and also that I was currently feeling tachycardic and tired/low energy and just not myself.

You know the nice thing about my Instructor?  I told her all that stuff and she didn’t even bat an eye.  I am always prepared to be judged or rejected…But nope.  She listened, thanked me for talking with her and then did a yoga session that perfectly met my needs for the day.  It was not super strenuous, which was good because I was tired just doing the poses we did.  My Instructor has a knack for that…somehow (even when I don’t express a specific issue) our sessions are always just what I need at the time.

While we were doing yoga today, I was watching my Instructor and I was struck by something. It looks like she is really comfortable being in her body.  You can just tell by the way she moves and the way carries herself.  I almost asked her about it…but let the impulse slide.  But as I was watching her, I was wondering what it would be like to actually be comfortable in your body…And more specifically, what would it feel like to me to be comfortable in my body?

Hating Myself

My relationship with my body is one of pretty vile self-loathing, criticism and judgement.  I probably cannot adequately express how much I hate my body.  Part of it is an extension of my general hatred for myself and part of it is being disgusted with my body and therefore hating it.  I am not sure I will ever like my body.

As part of my Art Therapy homework, I made a representation of myself.  Any time I do this, I am just filled with an intense self-hateful rage and overwhelming urge to destroy whatever the representation is.  The hate is so vicious that I just want to shred or smash or scratch out the Me figure.  Lots of times, I represent the feeling with a big red X over the Me.  I don’t know why making Me representations triggers this.  It also triggers quite the nasty spiral where the urge to shred transfers to my physical body.  And that intense loathing and body hatred just spikes to pretty much unbearable levels.

I wonder how this self-hatred plays into my eating disorder, cuz I bet it does.

The Art Therapist and my PNP have both told me that my minimalist eating counts as self-harming behavior.  I am not sure what I think of that.  I am not doing it to hurt myself.  I am doing it to #1. Not gain weight, #2. Have control over something before I lose my shit, #3. Lose weight to be healthy. None of those reasons have anything to do with self-harm. In fact, they all seem to be the opposite of self-harm.  Now, maybe the AT and PNP would point out that the extremeness of my calorie reduction is bad…But really, I don’t care.  I am pretty sure I am fine…Just as long as no one asks me to increase my calories.  That would make me un-fine.

Now…You might think that me saying that I am fine directly contradicts what I said about feeling crummy today.  I choose to ignore that contradiction.

Good Things, Good Day

Good Things, Good Day

So, I finished the stealth project yesterday. I am very pleased with the way it came out and it isn’t even perfect! Shocking, I know!  I will post pictures tomorrow as I am delivering it today.

See this little bundle of baby?  (She wished to remain anonymous, so we will just admire her sweet baby hair.) This baby bundle is making my friend SS very happy.

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SS has been waiting two years for “The Call,” the call being when you hear from your adoption agency that there is a baby waiting for you. And last week, they finally got The Call!  I am sooo happy for them.  And just think, Miss Pixie will be a big sister now!

This morning, I am going over to her house to give her a hand prepping for the new baby’s homecoming.  She has lots to organize and unpack and a crib to set up again.  I can’t wait to go because I can’t wait to see my friend beaming with happiness.  🙂

And maybe now, you have figured out who I made the stealth project for. 😉

After I help out SS for a while, I will come back to the Snowy Hinterlands for yoga.  It has been two weeks…Maybe even two and half weeks since my last yoga.  I have missed my instructor and I have missed my yoga.

I think today will be a good day.  I am looking forward to it!

Oh…And yesterday, I also started working on my Art Therapy homework.  I am making a sort of “map” for the AT of everyone on Team Heidi.  None of them actually know each other, even though they are in contact with each other.  This will be a way of showing the team and explaining how I relate to them/what their role is.  I will post pictures of that too when it is done.

French Knots and Ugh…Appointments

French Knots

I am working on a stealth project….Meaning that the recipient reads my blog, so until it is done and delivered to her, I cannot post complete pictures nor can I say what the project is.  However, it involves French knotting sequins to felt…and lemme tell ya, I have a lot of French knots in my future!

I started this project (cutting the felt) a few days ago, but then had a perfectionist melt-down about it.  I am having a really hard time right now with any art and needing it to be perfect.  I even had a melt-down about it (complete with tears, I believe) in Art Therapy yesterday.  I haven’t felt this rigid a need to have things be perfect in a long time.  And at the moment, imperfection= utter failure.  No pressure, Heidi….Just make it perfect, completely and totally perfect and all will be good.  Ack!  It’s a wonder I am not losing my mind….Oh wait…I am losing my mind.  <sigh>  Then maybe it’s a wonder I haven’t already lost it!

Switching back to French knots….French knots make me think about my paternal grandmother.  My sister and I used to spend a week at my grandparents every summer when we were elementary school aged.  It was my grandmother who taught me to make French knots.  I was never really close to her…She wasn’t a warm and snuggly kind of person, but she did teach me knots.

Anyway…a sneak peek at the stealth project:

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Ugh…Appointments

Art Therapy:  I cried again in therapy.  I asked the AT if I was going to cry every time I come now (since I have cried every time for the past several sessions) and he said, “I hope so.”  Damn.  I am not fond of crying (perhaps understatement of the year).  But strangely, it seems…well…it’s not okay with me, but it seems okay to do in therapy.  Like, safe person, safe office, safe to be vulnerable, safe to leak feelings, safe to cry.

[Please note, if you read the previous version of this post…There is a redaction here. Something I need to think more about.]

The Nutritionist….Another fail for Heidi.  I do not know how to make myself better. I do not know how to make the changes expected of me.  And I am really, really torn because a huge part of me says to just quit seeing her…Then I won’t have to worry about my eating.  Now, I am not one to run away when life gets hard (therapy comes right to mind!)…But this is excruciating.  And yet, in my mind (that tiny rational part) I think I should keep going and getting the help

Anyway…this week’s goal (at which I am sure I will fail) is to eat a balanced dinner: Protein, Carb and Vegetable.  I am sooo screwed.  She actually wanted me to eat a cup of rice or quinoa as my carb for my dinners and I about had a panic attack.  I finally talked her down to a half cup.  And did I eat any rice or carb with my dinner last night?  FAIL.  I even had the box of rice in hand, and then quinoa and I made the mistake of reading the caloric content and that was the end of that.  Right now, I have been eating 600-650 calories a day.  I can’t just add in a ton of carbs…it will throw my whole routine.  Well…I suppose I could, I would just need to exercise a lot to make up for it…

Hey…but at least the dentist appointment went okay!  I had forgotten how much I like my dentist. And I had a new hygienist, who was…ummm…quirky?…but really, really nice.  And I am not one to turn down a few quirks, so I am glad I met her and scheduled my next cleaning with her.  Hmmm…I wonder how much I will weigh when I see her again in 6 months….

And here is sneak peek #2:

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Olfactory Triggers and One More Day

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Olfactory Triggers

Ages ago, we bought a different brand laundry detergent.  I don’t even remember why we bought it (because I have sensitive skin and we always buy the unscented/dye free stuff), but I cannot stand the smell of it.  I used it the other day without really thinking…basically I just grabbed the wrong bottle. I bring this up because this particular scent brings a vague tickle to my brain…an association of this scent to something bad.  Somehow my brain says, “This scent = child molester.”  I don’t know exactly where that comes from, but it is not the first time I have experienced that connection.

Scents and odors are very memory triggering for me…Both in a good way and in a bad way.  A particular scent can transport me back in time to the feeling of the time.  Kind of the way music can. For the most part, it is okay.  But certain scents…they get to me.

That student-teacher who was inappropriate with me when I was a freshman in high school…She wore a particular cologne.  And whenever I smell that cologne (like when I am out in public and someone has been around who is wearing it) I am transported back to all of those feelings from when I was a freshman.  And I feel edgy and unsafe and it triggers my anxiety and PTSD.  And it does all of that before I can even process what is happening.  It crashes past the rational part of my thinking and right to the trauma recesses of my brain.

There are a few particular scents like this.  Certain colognes and semen being the worst offenders.  (I have a lot of issues with semen…but am not sure I am brave enough to go into it in detail.)

The funny thing is that I don’t necessarily even realize that there are odor connections with events/things/people/feelings until I am away from the originator of the scent (away both physically and in terms of time.)  It’s not until a scent takes me back to certain feelings that I realize that it is a trigger scent.

And like I said, it’s not all bad.  Some odors have very positive associations, like dh’s bay rum cologne.  That scent association is safety and love.  I could just sit and smell it all day long!  Or scents that remind me of babies, Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo, baby powder…They pull forward feelings of tenderness and love and that yummy feeling of snuggly babies and peacefulness.  Just thinking about it makes me feel calm.

Anyway….So, as I was sitting here on the couch and snuggling under a freshly laundered blanket and all I could smell was that oppressive “child molester” laundry detergent.  Yuck!  I tossed the blanket on the floor and will get it into the laundry pile to be rewashed and decontaminated.

And we won’t be buying any alternative laundry detergents again!

One More Day

Just have to make it through today and then my routine will fall back to normal.  Art Therapy tomorrow at 8.  Nutritionist later in the day.  Hopefully, I will hear from my Yoga Instructor and be scheduling my yoga for this week….Things will be back to the way they should be.  Plus I have a PNP appointment on Tuesday and then see my Physician on Friday.  As a matter-of-fact, if yoga works out, I will see everyone on Team Heidi in the same week!  That pretty much never happens since I don’t see my Physician that often.

Another Year: Endings And Beginnings

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Another Year: Endings And Beginnings

While I was sleeping last night, the old Solar Year ended and the New Solar year began, though we will not see it for another couple of hours yet, when the sun rises.

I am really glad to see last year gone…But not all of it.  There are parts of last year that I want to carry with me into this year and beyond.

The hard part of last year was my depression…And though I have had worse years with my depression, until 2015, I had never felt crushed by such hopelessness and end-of-my-ropeness.  When I started the year, I had pretty nearly given up completely.  And the year continued to challenge me.  I don’t think I have ever felt as suicidal as I did this year.  I felt so suicidal, that at times I scared myself….And I have been in my head a long time…It takes a lot to scare me!  And paired with the suicidal thoughts were thoughts of self-harm and an occasional self-harming action or two.  Not a good year.

But all of the bad brought a lot of good to me.  First of all, I am still here.  And I am in one piece.  The resilience that I was sure was failing me….I still have it!  And it feels stronger as I end the year than when I started.

I have grown closer to dh as I open myself up more and more…I think I have finally figured out that he loves me no matter what and that my depression is not going to push him away.  It only took me twenty years to figure that out…But the fact that I got there is pretty huge for me.

I have rekindled friendships this year and started a new one.  I like having friends!  When I first became depressed, friends were the first thing to go.  I just couldn’t hack it.  But now, I really look forward to seeing and talking to my friends.  And I feel lucky because the friends I have right now, the “real” friends, they know about me, the Real Me, and they still accept me. This kind of boggles my mind…But I am going to just accept it and let it inspire thoughts like, “Maybe I am okay just the way I am.”

And of course, one of the biggest “goods” that came out of this year was the development of Team Heidi.  The AT, my PNP, my Yoga Instructor and the Nutritionist.  Every time I turn around, one of them is there reminding me that I am strong and that I will make it and that I have worth.  I don’t always see these things for myself so it is really nice to have frequent encouragement.  Plus, they all share the same goal as me, they want to see me as a happy and whole person who can enjoy her life and manage the ups-and-downs without crashing.

I had no idea that I would be building such a team.  Nor did I have any idea that I would build such a strong team.  They all are passionate about their work and it shows.  And each one has a different approach and perspective, but they complement each other perfectly…Kind of like pieces of a puzzle fitting together.  And I trust and feel safe with each person on my team.

All that “bad” from last year? It brought me an abundance of good. Funny how that works.

So…As the sun rises this morning, and I look ahead to the new Solar year…What do I want?  I have been thinking about this for the past several days….What do I want?

I think what I would really like is to learn that I am safe in the world.  And that I am okay.  And that I do have worth and that I matter.  And I would like to start to like myself and to feel whole and exquisite.  And I would like to take care of myself spiritually.

It seems like a lot to want…And it will not be easy getting to the point where I feel all those things…But I feel like I am finally on the right path and have the right support and the strength and resiliency to get there.  This is such a far cry from the beginning the year when simply being alive was a day to day struggle. But, I am already not the same person that I was a year ago or six months ago.

You know, I think the biggest thing I have been able to awaken over the past year (and this took lots of help and support from Team Heidi) is Hope.  I don’t feel hopeless anymore.  Sure…I have moments of hopelessness. But I don’t feel like my core is full of darkness anymore.  I think a little seed has started to stir inside of me and that if I nurture it just right, it will start to grow.  It kind of makes me feel like hugging myself!  Maybe there is actually hope for me!!!

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Yoga Poses and Nutritionist Homework and Art Therapy Homework and Pottery

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Yoga Poses

Yesterday was yoga.  I have to admit, I was anxious….And the whole time, I couldn’t settle my brain.  Well…maybe not the whole time, but I was easily distractible.  And when we hit the end for Savasana (which we did sitting) I was totally on edge.  But…I was sitting with the sun on me a little bit, and I just absorbed the feeling on the sun and its brightness through my closed eyes.  And the YI did the shortest Savasana ever…which was okay with me.

We started our session by talking.  She asked about my goals and I had printed out my blog from yesterday, so I handed it to her.  That way, she got the goals and the thinking process of how I arrived at the goals.  And then she talked about how certain poses, the ones that open up your chest and front can open up things inside your body, like trauma held in your body, feelings, etc.  She noted that last week we had done a lot of those poses and ended in a reclining Savasana which created that very open body posture.  So, while I had been thinking that yoga had nothing to do with the flashback…Maybe it did.  And you know what….that’s okay.  I will take it as feedback from my body that I need to apply myself more in therapy to express myself, because it looks like if I don’t, it will find a way out of me anyway. (And I would much rather have stuff come out on my terms rather than in flashback form.)

And speaking of feelings and stuff coming out…My YI made a point of telling me that whatever feelings that I want/need to express during yoga are okay, that she won’t be thrown by expression of feelings.

Nutritionist Homework

I have been making an effort with the things the nutritionist wanted me to work on.  I did have an afternoon snack 4/7 days this week.  I have been diversifying my food repertoire.  Initially it caused me a lot of anxiety…now it just causes me some anxiety.  I have been trying to bump up my calories some…That has been a lot harder.  At least when I see her this afternoon, I can say that I have been really trying and I won’t have to feel as ashamed.

Art Therapy Homework

Monday, the AT gave me a homework assignment to go with the dead-and-buried me picture. He wanted me to work on how I would get some nurturance and light into the darkness.  He gave an example of ventilation into mines, and how if a mine caves in the first thing they do is pump oxygen down to help the people.  So…what and how would I send nurturing down to my buried person?

I am working on the project, but it isn’t done today as it is in clay and the clay is still drying and then I have painting and gluing and such to do with it.

Pottery

And speaking of clay….I picked up my bowls last night.   I didn’t stay and do anymore work as there is only one session left and not enough time to really get a project going and finished.  I decided that three extra classes were enough and I will just take a break until the next session in January.  In January, I am going to work on honing my wheel skills.  I can’t wait!

Anyway…here are the bowls:

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