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This picture popped up in my memory feed on Facebook.

screenshot of twitter conversation

Image Description:

First tweet: #GrowingUpUgly – When guys in middle school would get dared by their friends to ask you out and see if you say yes as a joke

Second tweet: How about growing up ugly and then turning out sort of okay looking but you don’t know for sure be cause your self esteem is shot and you’re convinced you look awful?

I started to write more on FB, but then could feel it starting into a rant, so I’m gonna blog about it instead. About why you should sit next to the people who look lost, lonely or not quite what you see in advertising. I’m 45 years old, and I still struggle with what I look like.

Melbourne, as has most of Australia has been stinking hot just lately. While not actually on fire in the CBD, heading into watch the cricket, I put on shorts and a t-shirt so I was comfortable. Of course my hair decided it was going to settle into a side part, I wore no make-up (CBA) and when I caught sight of myself in the mirror in the bathrooms, I sighed. Long and hard. I know I didn’t help myself today, but really?!

Body Dysmorphia is a funny thing. When I got diagnosed with it, doing my make-up meant looking at parts of my face in a compact mirror, because I couldn’t bear to look at all of my face. I am better than I was, but today and over the past few days, I’ve been struggling with it.

It’s a funny feeling, not being comfortable in your own skin. Wanting to punish your body for just being there.

I never was the most girly girl, but one thing that girls are expected to be is delicate, dainty, small. At 5’10” with ‘Maddie Man-hands’ and clumsy because I still don’t fit into my skin; my perpetual stoop to make myself smaller than I am is now causing me pain.

Thankfully my BD has never crossed into an eating disorder, instead I turned to alcohol to bury my feelings. As I’ve hit three weeks sober, my feelings are all coming up to the surface, hence me having to work through them.

Over the weekend, I had a bad stomach. I didn’t eat anything I shouldn’t have, but yesterday it was not happy. I got home from shopping and nearly wobbled over. A sure sign I’m frazzled. That and that between my shoulders is rock hard.

But I’m not scared of what I’m feeling, I still don’t understand it. Wish that it wasn’t my load to carry.

But without the bullying, would I be the one-person cheer squad that I am now? Would I be the person who says ‘Bless you’ to strangers when they sneeze? Would I be the one person who gave the CEO a kiss on her birthday, because it was her birthday?

I doubt it. I’m using it to my advantage, but boy do I wish I could go back in time and sit next to the little girl I was.

The fork in the road

Buckle up people. You’re in for a ride. This is about Black Dog and mental health…

I had a fever for three days in late August. I got better, although Hubs stayed home to take me to the GP on one day as I felt so awful with it, he was worried about me driving.

I got better, but was sniffly, put it down to hay fever and dug out my antihistamines and soldiered on.

I did the Bloody Long Walk for Mito, 35km. My left foot was sore at about 32km, but at that distance, we just soldiered on. We got bused to the start line; but at the finish line, we had to get a tram back to the City. All up I did nearly 50,000 steps that day. I got into bed when I got home for a nanna nap.

DOMS set in good and proper, I was hobbling like John Wayne, popping anti-inflammatories and paracetamol to get through the next couple of days. Still snuffling.

My DOMS subsides, my foot is still sore so strap it up and head back to the GP on Wednesday night, second visit in two weeks. She pokes it, I don’t scream, we don’t think it’s broken, but I have an x-ray referral just in case I need it.

Thursday night, my nose starts running like a tap. Friday morning, my throat is scratchy and sore. I post about disdaining the person so hard who gave it to me on Facebook.

Friday afternoon, my foot is really, really sore; I book an x-ray appointment at the hospital near work. Still snuffly and sneezing. I get the x-ray done and head home for an early night.

Saturday morning, my body says stop. Just stop.

Tuesday this week, day four in bed, I call the GPs office and get the last available appointment of the day. Third visit in three weeks. Tim looks me over and say well done on getting your ‘flu jab this year otherwise you’d be ‘properly poorly’. I say I wonder what that looks like as I’m feeling terrible.

I’ve got a secondary infection in my sinuses; of course I have. I get a script for antibiotics, and manage to take two doses before bed.

Wednesday morning, I get up out of bed and nearly fall over. I’ve got so much congestion in my head, it’s now affecting my balance. I steady myself and go about getting the morning underway.

Archie wants breakfast in bed with me so we can chat together in the morning, I bring the tray in, lay down next to him and my whole vision is disrupted, I’m hanging on to the bed so I don’t fall off it. I start to feel sea-sick with it too.

When I can move, I sit back upright. This is not good. Hubs had an early start, so was already out the house. All I’ve got to do is get Arch to school. We finish off our morning jobs, teeth, hair, reading. and I get him up the hill. Come back home, prop myself up on pillows and settle into Midsomer Murders on the Netflix.

I get lunch, tidy that away and then settle down for a nap in the afternoon. I get up and fall out of bed. I then start being sick. When I’m done, I try to get back into bed, but keep falling over. I’m stuck on the bathroom floor, sobbing. What do I do now? I text Hubs, then call him, then text him. I text two friends I used to work with. Message another friend I know is in the office, can she page the other two?

I’m still being sick every time I move. The floor rocking and rolling underneath me. I’m crying, snot, vomit. It ain’t pretty. Hubs calls me back, we agree I need help. I call 000 and ask for an ambulance. Not something you do lightly in Australia as it will cost you >$1000, that is one thing that is automatically covered by our inordinately-expensive-for-very-little-reward-health-insurance.

What with one thing and another over the past few weeks, my mood has slipped again. Not badly, but enough for the little depression bastard to start making suggestions to me. Like “You’ve got a balance issue, you could ‘fall’ down the stairs and no-one would know. It would be an accident.”

Here comes my epiphany. I’ve literally got one part of my brain telling me to end it, here’s an easy way out. Handing it to me on a platter. While I’m in the middle of being ill, snot, vomit, sobbing in fear; another part of me. Not my brain, ME. My soul.

“I don’t want you to die”.

me

My phone rings, the health line have called me back to try and work out what’s going on and triage me. We work out I’m not having a cardiac moment, or anything serious; it’s more likely vertigo. She’s going to send an ambulance out to me, it’ll be a little while, but they will have medication to help me feel better.

Fricking vertigo.

I crawl to the doors to open them up, since the burglaries, there’s a screen door on, you ain’t getting through that. I also pull on some yoga pants, I’ve propped myself back in the bathroom with a towel around me when one of my friends calls “I’m on my way” She used to be a nurse, she won’t mind the mess I’m in.

She doesn’t, and when I start bringing up bile, she rubs my back and puts a cold washcloth on my neck. We talk about all sorts of shit, laughing. She gets me some water to my level so I can clean my teeth. I loves her I do. Hubs comes home, they do a handover and she heads back to work.

The ambulance arrives, they give me a wafer to put under my tongue to help with the dizziness and nausea. We go back and forth about me heading to hospital. I’m still not sure I want to go, I’m not that bad after all, I’ve only got vertigo. When he says to me, “You’ll be feeling like you were again all night if you don’t go”, that clinches it.

I’m not going to the inns and outs of the hospital stay, as it’s a big building with doctors in it and that’s not important right now. I was admitted overnight as they were still considering me a fall risk. I’ve been sent home with stemitil that I’ll need to take until more congestion has cleared. If I move my head too quickly, I’m still unsteady on my feet. Bed rest for the rest of the week.

The doctor that discharged me this morning thinks I’ve had the flu for three weeks, the flu jab carried me through, being stubborn carried me through – but my body spoke louder. So I’m listening. I’m stopping, resting and I’m going to find out who it was that told me, audibly. I don’t want you to die.

In all my years of struggling with depression and anxiety, I’ve never had such a clear delineation between it and me. Like Eckhart Tolle’s “I can’t live myself”. It was that big.

I am not my thoughts, you are not yours. Who am I? Let’s find out.

It’s an entirely different kind of flying, altogether.

Goodness me. My post yesterday blew up a bit – I’ve had a few messages to check in on me. Honestly, I am fine. I process things better when I write, so you’re gonna get this journey, warts and all because if I write about it, then I won’t stew on it. In turn, if my waffling helps someone else, then I have done my bit to leave the world a better place.

We have a date for the funeral, 23 July. I’m booking flights this week to land at Heathrow and spend the week with Ian, heading back home to land over the weekend so I can keep a OBGYN pants off appointment on Monday 30 July.

Ladies, the things we do.

I can’t change that appointment, I’ll be waiting for ages to get in again – it’s my second review after surgery to check my stitches.

I’ve also had to pull out the 10km run I was doing (Run Melbourne) with Kath as I’m either going to be mid-air coming into land, or on the way home from the airport.

Today BossLady took me for lunch, we both had a list of things to talk about, but instead we just went for lunch and chatted. It was nice to get out the office and other than my interview, it was the longest time we’d been able to spend together on our own.

As an aside, I’ve not been there a month and my mailbox is full. To say I had a sense of humour failure about that would be an understatement. Not least because, whatever they’ve done (aside from giving us microscopic mailboxes) when you archive something – you can’t search for it in Outlook again. I’ve got some training and a meeting tomorrow, but in the afternoon I’m going to have a chat to IT to work out WTF.

I dialled into Book Club last night, in bed with a cup of tea. It’s all glamour. It was good chatting to everyone, although not the same as being face-to-face. When it was time for me to leave home I thought ‘Well, I could drive there ok, but when it’s time to go home – I’ll be too tired’.

Poor Hubs, last night I asked him to pass me my splint (like a custom mouth guard so I don’t clench my jaw overnight), he was watching the end of the Grand Prix, so I popped my eye mask on, ear plug in – again glamour puss. The next thing I remember is him shaking me awake to say goodbye as he headed off to get the bus and train to work.

I think the Valerian worked!

Valerian, the herb, not the movie

Last night it took me ages to get to sleep again. Then I woke up. Fretted. Got cross with myself. Fretted some more. Got back to sleep. I had bad dreams last night too, images I can’t shake even now. I staggered out of bed at 6:20am; bleary eyed, unbearably sad and with less than an hour to have a shower, finish lunches, get Hubs to the station, Archie to school and me on the road.

Things didn’t get done over the weekend, like Archie’s reading diary. We read every day with him, but have to justify it to his teacher by completing it. I sent him to school with three blank spaces in it, so can look forward to ‘????’ in there tonight when we get home.

I got in the car ready to whizz the wee man to school and got an alert on the dash ‘Key mechanism not working’ I only needed to get the battery changed, but it freaked me out somewhat as I’m transferring the car to my new job.

I’m tired, cranky and honestly, shell-shocked. I am not fully in my body. I have to start taking better care of myself, otherwise I’m going to fall over. I need to do some exercise to help tire me out and get me to sleep, but tonight I just need an early night. I’ve also brought some Valerian for good measure. I am making myself eat, as I have no appetite and when I do eat, I feel sick. To top it all off, my stomach is churning. Looking everything up online, so far so normal. I know it is a process I’ve got to navigate, my compass is a bit faulty.

I am so glad that I’ve got people on the end of the phone for me. I’m also grateful that Ian and I are messaging each other. Cat photos, nonsense, updates on our days and laundry. Anything and nothing. He told me off for drinking, having seen me obliterate feelings and pain before, he knows the depths I can sink to. I’ve reset my sober date to today (24 June).

At lunch time, I went to Box Hill Central – that has changed a huge amount since I last was there. I was only just pregnant with Archie, so over eight years ago. I dropped the dry cleaning in, found a pharmacy for the aforementioned herb extract. Walking round to find somewhere to get the battery changed, I got completely lost; asked for help, got misdirected out of one building and into another. Then giving up altogether, as I was heading out (in a huff) to get back to work, I walked right into the stand and got the battery replaced.

Then … I got lost coming out the car park, had to do a U-Turn on Elgar Road.

I should be able to book my flights tomorrow, Ian is off to the funeral director now. That might help, as I feel a bit lost and in limbo still.

I ate lunch today

Which is an odd thing to be proud of, but I do have a tendency to not eat when I get very anxious or stressed. My throat closes up and I have to force food down me. Last night I had some soup, a real tangy miso and mushroom (new flavour from La Zuppa that I’m loving). I managed a mandarin for breakfast, have eaten my smaller than normal lunch and just had a cup of tea with a chocolate protein bar. We’ll think about dinner when we get to it tonight.

After three days at home blowing my nose like a trumpet and with aches and pains all over, I went back to work today. HR were very sweet, “Are you sure you want to be here?” ‘Yes please. I need something else to think about’. BossLady and I have already had a conversation about my going back to the UK for Erika’s funeral; the lady who was covering my role immediately before I arrived will back-fill, so I also don’t need to worry about it all falling into chaos while I’m out.

I know I’m going to feel sad, lost, angry and so on. Grief will do that to you. But s0dding hell, last night was hell. I went to the spare room in the end. If it wasn’t my legs twitching, which wakes me up, I’d be dreaming so vividly I’d wake up. Maddening.

I’ve got Jasper stuffed in my bra today. Erika gave it to me when I left the UK, ready for my long journey. It’s a thumb stone, polished so you can put your thumb in a smooth groove and fidget with it. Jasper also came into theatre with me when I had my C-Section. I don’t particularly do crystals per se, I like them as aesthetic objects, but it was one of the things I thought of would be easily portable, a comfort and reminder whenever I felt it. Normally I’d put it in a pocket, but I’m in a skirt. Yes, I have several of them.

I’ve caught up with my emails; as in, they’re sorted, categorised and I’m working through them. BossLady’s inbox is going to take more work, she’s practically full so I need to do a major archive operation and plough through them.

I’d love to go to the gym, or for a run, but swimming with Archie last night before his lesson, (read splashing about and playing) was hard work. I’m as weak as a kitten :/ I’ll start again from the weekend. I can’t do everything.

One day at a time.

Work in progress

Sooooo, I learned that I do not honour or am proud of being sober yesterday. We had our Book Club break-up at a wonderful private house in Camberwell. We mooched around the garden, took masses of photos and were offered lemonade, fizz and Pimms. I asked for lemonade.

I got this.

Then my glass was empty, it got refilled with fizz and I didn’t say anything.

Then I asked for a glass of Pimms, because I’d already blown the week out the window.

Sigh.

I don’t got this. Today I looked up AA meetings. I need help as this is bigger than I can handle. :/

—o0o—

In other news, a friend at aforementioned party, took a photo of me that I posted on Instagram and Facebook with the following caption:

Those of you who know me, know I struggle with what I look like. It’s rare for me to have a candid picture taken of me that I like. But I love this one!
#bodydysmorphia #mentalhealth

I’ve had some messages come through about what Body Dysmorphia means, so I’m going to try to explain it; as best I can. I was in Wiltshire when I was diagnosed, so about 2001? I have hid the diagnosis, because like many mental health issues, I was ashamed of it. Only a few close friends, and I mean close, know how much I struggle with what I look like. Some days, it’s so bad, I can only do my make-up looking in a compact mirror, because then I don’t see all my face at one time.

I’m getting ready to go to work, or on a night out and I look at me in a mirror; I take care over my appearance and think, “that ain’t bad”. Then I take a selfie, because I don’t think I look too bad, and WTF is in the camera? Or someone else will take a photo and WTF is in the camera. Some photos of me will never be on my timeline, because WTF is in the camera. So far, so normal, right?

I have also been the height I am since I was 12 years old, I towered over people at school. On my first day at high school, I was told off for not telling someone the way to a classroom, because I didn’t know it. The teacher thought I was being difficult? a bully? obnoxious? who the hell knows.

I would sit down next to girls my age and feel huge next to them. I was taller than them; sitting down on anything, my thighs were bigger; my hands were bigger, I bit my nails through nerves. I took up so much space compared to everyone else. I’m lanky, gangly, walk into things all the time, stooping to try and hide it; so now at 43, my shoulders hurt.

My feet are bigger than my husband’s. I remember so clearly at junior school, one of my favourite teachers trying to address the problem of people picking on me by standing me next to the smallest girl in the class (hello Sophie if you’re out there). Talk about exacerbating the problem. It took a full meltdown for him to understand the impact of him slipping my shoes on to take the rubbish out before he understood how fragile my f*cking feet make me feel. Feet! I am so proud of them because they’ve taken me round endless KMs of running in the past few years. I’d no sooner got rid of one duff nail when Archie trod on two more and I’m waiting for them to grow out, so I’m still trying to hide my feet.

What with being mistaken for a boy for most of my childhood and teens, the feet, the entirely too big, too tall, not girly enough, short hair because it was easier while I was in a swimming pool all the time; who I am, what I look like, got warped along the way. What I look like does not match expectations and people have told me so, all my life. It’s gotten to be so normal for me, even if in reality most people don’t care, but that’s the thing with BDD, depression or anxiety, what you tell your brain make no difference, one iota.

Because the voice in your head is so loud, it deafens out everything else.

I completed a Mental Health First Aid course today, (I am aware of the irony). But you see, I’m perfectly placed to do this, because I know people. I pick up signs when you’re not 100%, I ask questions, peer intently at them, check in on you, because when you’re hiding in plain sight – I see you. Coz, I know all the secrets about appearing normal; functioning when you can barely function or hold it together.

The alcohol thing? Self-medication, because if I’m buzzing, I ain’t feeling the weight of perception on my shoulders. Perception to be all things to all people. Perception that I’m not enough. That I’m less than. That my make-up isn’t on point, as I’ve not contoured correctly, (really? ffs). That some days I can barely move from my bed because my soul hurts. That some days only the thought of Archie means I hold it together, because I don’t want him to be the child that grows up without a parent. That I am sick of people talking over me when I’m trying to say something.

BDD goes hand in hand with everything else I’ve got. But like everything else I’ve got, it doesn’t define me. It makes me, me.

Forty-five days

I’ve been sober for 45 days, the longest in years. I only nearly buckled once, when Archie had his meltdown at a birthday party. I stood in front of the wine rack and goodness me it was so tempting. I stood with my hands to my head as the bath ran; it could have been oh so easy – but I didn’t succumb. I read The Darling Buds of May instead, with my ears under the water. Blissful silence.

I’ve dreamt about drinking a glass of red a few weeks ago, in the dream I tip some down the bathroom sink to wash away the evidence, sobbing at Hubs that I was sorry for doing it. Thank you subconscious.

Some nights I sit at a set of traffic lights in our home town, next to a Taco Bill (franchise restaurant chain), where they serve goldfish bowl sized margaritas. I’ve never had one of them, but I loved their sangria. Gordon’s Gin have a new advertising campaign out. Bus stops all over the place have carefully stylised images of spirits, wines, beers. Until I’d stopped, I didn’t really appreciate how much advertising there was for alcohol.

At work I sit on the Health and Wellbeing Committee, our annual survey results are in. Nearly 70% of the people who responded said that they didn’t want assistance to reduce their drinking at this time, we don’t know if that is the same 70% that said they drunk at least one or two times a week. But we do know 45% of respondents said they drank more than five drinks on a single occasion. Talking about this yesterday, we were shocked it was so high, but at the same time around the table we acknowledged that a drinking culture in Australia is so all pervading, it is hard work to say you don’t or aren’t drinking.

Back in the UK if I said that I didn’t want to drink on a night out, it was pretty much left at ‘OK’ and that was it; here you can get the Spanish Inquisition and nth degree on why not. I’m still not sure on what to say about it yet, not that we’ve been anywhere really, but keep repeating ‘No thank you’ in my head for practice. At Book Club last month, I arrived with a bottle of sparkling mineral water, despite our penchant for vino, no one was bothered if I drank or not.

I can’t say I won’t ever drink again, I’m just not having one today, like I didn’t yesterday or the 44 days before that.

I’ve given up weighing myself. Excuse me here, but FUCK ME it’s frustrating. I got so excited about the number on the scales the other day, then within two days, 5kg appeared out of nowhere. Had I done anything differently? Had I buffalo. Hal Elrod and Jon Berghoff talk in this podcast about “trusting the process” when all else fails and nothing seems to be happening. Taking that into consideration, I’m now looking at my average KM speed when I run. This number has come down from 9.59 min/km at the beginning of January to 8.11 min/km.

I’m feeling stronger every time I go out, three times this week so far, and probably again tomorrow lunchtime, with a longer one on the weekend. Hills still exacerbate my asthma, but I run what I can, walk the rest, run again and each time it’s getting easier. As I puff my way back home, I come down a hill to the flat of the road we live on. By the time I get there, I feel on top of the world. As I said in a little video today on Instagram, if I could bottle this feeling and share it with you, I would.

I finished an awesome book this week, How To Break Up With Your Phone, ironically on my kindle as it’s not coming out as a print edition here in Oz. Before, during and after reading it I have done the following:

  • Taken the email and Twitter apps off
  • Taken Facebook app off, and changed my settings so I have to sign in every. single. time. I want to use it. I’ve also taken my phone number off, so now it’s yelling at me to put it back on. Limited my past posts, tightened up my security and would dearly like to tell it to take a long walk off a short pier.
  • Brought an alarm clock
  • I now charge my phone overnight in the kitchen, the alarm still goes off on my phone, (the clock is only if I need to know the time), but now I wake  up walk to the phone and switch it off. et voila, I’m out of bed.

In four days, I’m sleeping better, using my phone less and generally feel less angst and frazzlement. I still use it for my podcasts, music and if we’re out and I have a query, I’ll still search for the answer. But I am not mindlessly scrolling away because I have nothing better to do; it now lives in the kitchen, not in my hand.

I’m also working on the #MillionaireMorning by Mel Robbins, which is more aligned to me than the #MiracleMorning I like getting up and sitting in silence to let my mind wake up and ease into the day.

I’ve also (re)written a chapter of my book too. Here’s a piece of advice for you, if you’ve got notes, jottings or scribbles of book ideas. Put them into the cloud now. I had half a book on the Mac that got stolen, am now trying to find it again. *sad face*

We’re also working on limiting Archie’s screen time, he dug out Monopoly this morning. Not sure that he’s ready for the arguments that game always brings, I left for work this morning with him and his Dad playing Connect 4. Hubs has been signed off work with a chest infection, stayed home on Tuesday and has moved from couch to bed and back again. I can feel my chest tightening, and am coughing a bit when I get up, one of the reasons I ran today, in case I’m not up for it in a couple of days.

 

 

Shake it up

A morning blog. How out of the normal for me and that’s why I’m doing it.

Morning y’all.

My intention today after my meditation is calm. I love how the word I need for the day finds me as I sit in silence. I’ve been meditating for years, I dip in and out of it, but am trying to build a framework for my days – which more often than not start with sitting in stillness for 10 minutes to figure my shit out.

calm.jpg

I’ve been drifting for a month or so, I lost my way and had a pity party for one. No black dog, no anxiety, just wondering “What do I want?” How can I work towards a goal, when I’ve lost my goal? When I don’t know what I’m aiming for?

I saw my GP this week, my medication has been dropped back down to normal; my counselling sessions *blows kisses to V* have gone from fortnightly to monthly; and whatever funk I was in with myself the last few weeks has blown over. I love this time in the emotional fabric of my life. Coming out of a hole of anxiety or depression and feeling the breath of life on your skin again is something to be celebrated – so I am. Hence my morning blog and shaking it up today.

It’s a clean slate. New beginning and a do over. Just like every sunrise is. Take a deep breath, gird your loins and away you go.

So now what? I’m entering a period of Deep Thought, although have less programming to run, I just need to work out my own question to 42. But I do know where my towel is. So that is a start.

 

You compl-eat me

I’ve just started looking after a new Director at work. She arrived on Monday; preceded into the office last week by a handover list from a previous PA, including the Director’s food allergies and intolerances. (My official new work buddy doesn’t start work until the middle of August; but as we’re playing musical chairs at work, I am looking after this new one two-days a week as well).

Before starting one of my roles, I can remember being nervous as I tried to work out what to take to the office for lunch. Having got another office used to what I ate, or didn’t, the idea of breaking-in new colleagues filled me with dread. The couple I was living with; Mon Bears, said not to worry – I was working in Reading, nothing would be unusual. As usual, they were right. People in my new office didn’t bat an eyelid at what I had in my packed lunch. It was actually the easiest food transition I had.

It was also the office with the greatest fridge policy bar none of everywhere I’ve worked: if it was in the fridge on Friday nights, it got binned. The fridges on every floor in the building were spotless because of it. Bliss. I’ve never understood how can you forget you have food with you? I’ve never understood how people think a festering mess of slimy stuff is always someone else’s problem to deal with either, but there we go.

This was back in the oughties, when being gluten free was seen as a fad. I didn’t have a coeliac diagnosis; but every so often, I collected bread from the chemist on prescription and paid a small fortune for doing so. I had got an IBS diagnosis, but only after a locum GP listened to the issues I’d been having; then looked back at how many visits I’d had with ‘stomach virus’ and V&D symptoms over the previous few years. I was prescribed a medicine I had to take 20 minutes before I ate. It stimulated my entire digestive system to rhythmically contract like it’s supposed to, instead of fluttering, as it was wont to do.

I love the variety of gluten free food we have now, but having gone vegan a few times in my life, I can categorically say that being gluten free is far, far harder. How many replacement foods for meat dishes that would be an easy swap-out, like ham, sausages, mince and so on, have gluten or other grain proteins in to bulk them out? Most of them.

Anyhoo, I digress. How great it is that us peeps that have issues with food can share those issues and now be listened to. I’m not saying it isn’t an issue to eat out, it can be; but doing the high-protein, low carb thing (to help balance out my hormone pathway by avoiding glucose / insulin crashes) means steak, salad, cheese for dinners out with friends. Hardly a hardship.

I wish I could go back to that anxious girl venturing out on a brave new world and tell her it will be alright in the end. That’s what I’m telling myself now. I’ve had a bit of a wibble in the anxiety stakes; I am feeling better already, but it was enough of a wibble to make me think it was bigger than I could cope with on my own.

I’m getting better at the self-care thing. Wherever you are today, take five minutes to check in with you. How are you doing?

Resistance is useless

This weekend, I turn 40 years old. I’m not worried about it. Age is nothing more than a number, another year ticked off. I don’t feel 40, I’ve never been as old as I am today, so how am I supposed to know what I’m supposed to feel like?

I am worried about the surprise trip Hubs has organised for me on Sunday night. I’ve been given scant information, which is messing with my chi I can tell you. These are the hints he’s given me so far:

  • Pack a bag (I was worried I was being kicked out of home for a wee while, until he quantified it!)
  • Within 30km of home
  • Dressing up for dinner, slightly higher than is normally comfortable
  • Potential for a walk afterwards
  • Yes you can pack your running kit

I’ve asked him for more details, but he won’t give them to me. Which for someone who likes to know what is going on, to manage anxiety issues and being prepared isn’t sitting well with me. I’m hoping that he gives me more information as we get closer to Sunday, otherwise I’m worried my anxiety will manifest as rattiness – spoiling the whole thing. Continue reading “Resistance is useless”