Fifteen years today, in fact.  Bet I have your attention now, huh?  Yeah, it’s true…

     It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted here.  I’ve been busy, and I thought I was doing well; but now I think I was just busy.  A couple of days ago that hermit-crab-without-a-shell feeling came back.  This after I had a few really vivid and strange dreams which I believe were probably caused/influenced by my own meditation and questioning.  You see, I’ve been having some very tangible “symptoms” – maybe of depression, maybe of life – lately.  Part of me is naturally horrified by this development; and part of my is thinking, “This is a concrete thing to work on!”

     First, a little history about me.  I have mentioned my weight issues in the past, right?  Well, this has been a life-long struggle for me.  My mother was morbidly obese and died young as a result, indirectly.  All my life I knew how unhappy she was about it and how she worried that I was following in her footsteps.  I mean, when I was a little kid people always told me I looked “just like” my mom.  To me, before she died, that was really not a good thing – it meant I was fat and unattractive (even though people often described my mom as beautiful “in the face”).  Many, many, MANY times, as I helped her put on her shoes or dry off after a shower or get up out of a chair, she got teary-eyed and said, “Don’t be like me.”  (I should add that this was all before I was 18 – she died 4 months before my high school graduation.)  So I always “knew” on an unconscious level, probably, that I was NOT a pretty girl.  I was overweight all through school despite all of my sports, bike riding, horse stuff, and playing outside.   The “pretty” girls could do cartwheels and back bends, but as hard as I tried, I couldn’t – and I really tried!  I was pretty good at sports and I LOVED riding and being with horses, but I wasn’t a stand out talent.  My crazy curly hair was a style advantage in the late ’80s when everyone else was getting spiral perms, but that was my only good physical attribute as I recall.  Otherwise, I was a nice, friendly, relatively smart girl (but not the smartest in my class – and I knew it!), kind of a tomboy, but not pretty, not poplar.  Just regular – at school.

     At home I was the oldest child, the responsible one, and, according to my siblings, the favored one. (For more on this, read my previous posts.)  At home I was even less “cool” among the kids than at school.  Same at the barn.  I was among the 2 or 3 other girls whose parents didn’t have a bunch of money, so we didn’t have fancy horses, we didn’t go to shows every weekend, we only took one lesson a week; so we didn’t get a lot of attention from our trainer even though we worked really hard, helped out moving jumps, cleaning tack and tack rooms, even rehabing lesson horses who had been injured.  We were just “regular,” nothing special – but we loved our horses and being at the barn more than anything.  As you might have guessed, these other girls were also less popular and/or pretty away from the barn, so we bonded.

     Here’s the thing:  I never though too much about all of this!  I had friends and a horse.  I was the third smartest kid in the class, and we were all “friends,” really – some of us were just closer than others, right?  And it’s not like I was the only overweight girl in school, either.  I certainly knew I was less “ugly” than some of my friends.  I was just sort of “regular” – what’s wrong with that, right?!

     So why is this stuff coming up now?  Well, I’ve gained back ALL of the weight I lost in 2010 – I’m at 197 lbs. as of March – and, more troubling, I’m overeating.  We’re not talking one extra serving of rice here.  I mean sometimes two huge burritos in one evening.  It’s really bad, and I can’t seem to stop myself.  And, I can’t seem to get my ass of the couch to exercise either! I don’t understand.  I know exactly what I can do to change this situation, but I can’t get myself to do it!!!! Depression, you say?  Well, maybe…probably…but symptom or cause?  I’m taking my meds every day, but that’s about the extent of my self care at this point.  Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed and ashamed of myself.

     However, I’m trying to learn from all of this because I truly believe that we are here in this human incarnation to learn.  All of our experiences, challenges and talents are intended to teach our souls something valuable.  So, since I’ve been feeling so incapable of attacking this problem in a more direct, pragmatic way, I’ve been searching for the root cause of it all.  Because it’s not just my weight – it’s how I value myself, it’s how a manage my money, it’s how I relate to other people.  It’s all related.  I have recently come to know that I have my very own “team” who are here to help me.  I have guides, angels, ancestors and they want to help me learn and be successful in this life.  I’ve been meditating/praying and asking them for guidance in this troubling time.  “Please help me to understand why I keep gaining weight, why can’t I let it go, what am I afraid of, what can I learn here?”  This is what I have been searching for lately because this I can do.   And with it has come the dreams and the exposed feeling…Really, a couple of days ago I wanted to hide away somewhere safe….then, on the drive home from work I started thinking, “Hermit crabs have to find a new shell when they grow – this is growing.  Lean into it and see what happens.”  Then I came home, ate too much, and zoned out on TV – numbing.  The next day (yesterday) I was grumpy – a very not me way to be.  Everything annoyed me.  And, no, this cannot be attributed to PMS – I counted my days to be sure.  So I think/feel like it had to do with this “growing” business.  Thursday I felt sort of sad and unsure of every experience I had growing up, and on Friday I was annoyed.  Sort of like grieving?? Hmm…

     Clearly I’m still working through all of this, and I’m not entirely sure what is the best way forward.  I’ve been reading a new “self-help” book:  The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner.(I know, I know – Who reads these things?! This chick is crazy!)  Well, here’s why I think it’s actually not so weird.  Massage, acupressure, acupuncture – are these really so weird anymore?  It’s kind of the same idea with “tapping.”  There are these energetic meridians in your body – which includes your mind, and that’s the non-Western medicine part of it all.  If there is a blockage in the flow of energy it can and will manifest some how – physical pain, illness, disease, or mental/emotional dis-ease.  Tapping is just another way to work on these “blockages.”  They (EFT people) talk about the amygdala and training your brain to respond differently to your triggers, and that may well be.  For me, since I’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time with bodyworkers, I know very well that the pain in my neck may have a “mental” or energetic origin.  I’ve felt emotional release when a knot is worked out of my body.  I’ve had really good experiences with polarity therapy/energy work.  So tapping is like that in my mind, except I don’t have to pay someone to work on me – which is good because I can’t afford it!  Anyway, in reading this book and opening myself to guidance/messages from “my team” I’ve become aware of all this past stuff – call if conditioning, memories, trauma – whatever!  In the past I would have totally discounted the whole idea.  I went to traditional talk therapy and I didn’t really find it helpful to rehash every little pain in my life.  It seemed to give those experiences more power and importance than I felt they deserved.  But here I am, almost 39 years old, still struggling with the same problems – so I have to take another look at this mess.  I haven’t actually started tapping yet (why not? what’s holding me back??) but I am looking at my life experiences in a new way.  When these memories come back with all of the associated mental and emotional pain that I didn’t feel at the time, I feel like the little girl who I was needs an advocate…and a hug.  And I’ve never been big on the whole “healing your inner child” thing either!  It’s change and an opportunity to learn, and hopefully grow.  It’s uncomfortable, but that’s OK, right?  I mean, I fell off my horse a few times, I fell every single time I tried to do a cartwheel, I even failed a test – VERY uncomfortable experiences, but I survived and I learned.  

     As for the sex thing…oh GOD!  That’s probably wrapped up in all of this somewhere too, right????  I mean, it’s a trust issue…or something.  I don’t know!  One thing at a time.  I have lived my entire life without a serious relationship with another human being – that kind of relationship at least.  I’ll live a bit longer without it, too!  There are more pressing matters at hand now, so sex will have to wait…again…

     For now, I have to focus on myself – as in “my – self.”  I’m kind of a mess…but I’m aware, I’m paying attention, I’m going with the flow…I’m going to do my laundry! 

“Baby steps…”

“Just keep swimming.”

4/13/14:  P.S.  Just so we’re clear, all that stuff about my mom, although completely true, is NOT the whole story.  I love my mom and I miss her every day.  This is just one story, one part of our relationship.  And people still tell me I look like her…