Ergo, the Ego and the Ergot

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This Kayla is a petulant sort of girl, it seems.  All day long we commented – because this is the thing that people of our age give shits about – how the storm had not fully presented itself as per the weather reports.  We were supposed to get knocked on our asses with snow.   It snowed, but didn’t stick until just now as we were leaving work.

It is hard to say at the moment if the snow will keep us out of the office tomorrow or not.  I have my opinions, but it’s up to ol’ Kayla to help me out.   We’ll see, I suppose.

In the interim, I have to get up and put my bones on the bike and do that late night stationary biking that is both good for me and bubbly for my brain.  I’m already a touch perked and giddy because of the Moscow Mule at dinner.

Dinner.  We went to Old Chicago…which means we walked over through the intensifying but still ambivalent snowfall over to the restaurant from the house after work.  I was, actually, quite grateful for a couple different things.  Their website is great because you can put in exactly what you order – in exact detail and it gives you the nutritional info.  You don’t have to monkey around and estimate and assume and enter the wrong thing and double-check yourself in horror to realize you did in fact eat 2000 calories in one meal.  Which, according to their website, you could fall over chair in there and get 2000 calories in your mouth.  Still, Knowledge! This is why I was able to order the pizza I ordered and if I get my ass on the bike, still be under for the day.  That, and being too bogged down with the finally happening work situation that started today to eat much of anything.   That left enough room to justify one small pizza and some booze.  A little Moscow Mule in the little copper cup that tasted delicious and tart and made me feel as though it was possible to soften against the sharp edges of the world and slide down into myself without a fight.

And wonder of wonders, after eating that, I am just hungry enough to eat a clementine and drink some water and don’t feel as though I need to savage the heavens for not allowing me just a hundred more calories to eat garbage with.   Should we have had vegetables and boiled chicken.  Probably.  But there was some release and control at the same time tonight and I feel proud of both aspects.

It is odd.  It is 3 pounds and a month away from where I started.  By any scale, that is not all that much.  It is not visible, but at the same time, it is not invisible.  I feel better.  I feel like I’m working on something good.  Is it the same as any other attempt?  That, I don’t know.  I just feel willing right now to do more than nothing.

It’s What’s For Dinner

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Sitting in the dark with a peanut butter and apricot jelly sandwich, with a fan pressed against my skin at  maximum speed, feeling somewhat holy.

The room is, by my standards, and I’d guess most other people’s, clean.  There isn’t anything hiding under the bed except a giant linen bag with a zipper filled with winter clothing.  There aren’t piles like there usually are when I stop cleaning for the day; however, I already feel anxious about what’s happening with the clothing I have on now, where things are going to wind up, what I’m going to do with my plate.  I want, all of a sudden, to be alert to all of it.

That’s the story, that’s the sacramental nature of this weekend, that I worked myself to the bone to find homes for my things.  It is not perfect.  I haven’t run the vacuum cleaner yet, everything’s haphazard on the bookshelves.  It only “looks” neat.   I keep telling myself not to call this done. But I know, for me, right now…looking neat is a far better place than where it was and even that is infinitely better than where it has been…and finding the strength to maintain it instead of being frustrated at myself over not having the interest to get down on my hands and knees and fluff carpet fibers until they’re perfectly coiffed is the actual Herculean task at hand.

I wish I took a before picture.  It looks rather bare now.  I found myself having to stop and breathe because I was willing to toss everything, give away everything.  I had to remind myself that it isn’t a dorm room and I don’t have to live with everything out of these four walls forever and always.  I might someday want a crimson crush velour throw pillow trimmed with little plastic crystals..  Computer for a few minutes, the bell went off, time to clean for a few minutes, back and forth, up and down off this lowrider IKEA bed for nearly two days straight.  It wasn’t mania, but it was an intense couple of days.  I forgot to worry about why I needed to clean up and instead just did.  So now the universe has a sense of order for the moment and I don’t want to let that go. I am up one or two rung on the adulting ladder.  I want to make my lunch, pick out my clothes, get ready to maybe wake up early and exercise.  All these things that take no time at all when you’re not digging through skyscapes of clothing and paper.

So, that was a big portion of the weekend.  The other thing is that I went to the grocery store.  No.  I know.  I know.  I have been a thousand times and I will go a thousand more.  But what mattered this time was that I didn’t hurry out of there.  I am in the extraordinarily fortunate position, that I can, if I want, go to the store with a list and generally get what I want.  But more often than not, anxiety and bad planning keeps me from buying anything other than the same seven or eight things.  It’s all crap and it’s gone that night, again, more often than not.  Pizza, soda, candy, something nominally a vegetable like carrot sticks.  Some weird frozen thing (possibly, probably french fries) or some bottled water.  Depending on the time of day…Starbucks?  Because, you know, you’re breathing and you’re standing in front of a Starbucks and those five bucks might as well be spent on getting you loaded and a bit sparky rather than the exhausted mess that diet generally molds you into being.

Then I’d think, okay, but should I get some fast food before I bring this home?

I know.  Some part of me does know.

I eat out a lot.  One of those big, furry, Allie Brosh-style alots.  I attach feelings to eating out.  It represents a certainly level of security and in my mind, it hints at worthiness.   Nobody would refuse to serve me, I’ve got my money in my hand, and I can walk out with my little package and be as fancy as all the other fancy, worthy, bleary-eyed families in the line.

So I have been thinking lately about what I can do to change this habit, this addiction, this life plan without a life.  I keep going back to when did I eat like a normal person?  And the answer to that was: when someone else took care of providing you with it.  I was always helping my mother in the kitchen, starting as chief stirrer, and then, I paid attention.  Even if my mother seems unsure about this fact, I can definitely cook.  I definitely like cooking.  I just feel like somehow, I’m missing out.  I’m not proving my okayness.   But…now, after so many years of being able to grab whatever I want, whenever I want and have as much of it as I physically can get down my gullet, I wonder:  what if I just made my own food?  What if that was the diet?  Just cooking and eating at home for a while.  Just spending time with making it.  If I was a part of a family where they needed me to cook for them, what would I cook?  What would be my specialty the same way I think of my grandmother’s peach cobbler, my mother’s roast. Not trying to make food I didn’t want to eat, but just to make it and keep it around so that home food felt as good and as satisfying and as couched in worthiness as an ugly, stale-tasting paper-wrapped hamburger.

I went to the grocery store and I actually shopped.  I actually made a list and didn’t hurry myself to get out because there were too many people or out because it would be too heavy to haul up the stairs in three trips or out because I was so hungry I needed to eat immediately.

I bought a goddamned roast in the effort to recreate one of those meals.  I know I’ll have a week’s worth of leftovers, but I’m looking forward to that, too.

I know this is a bit of a psychic switch flipped.  I know this isn’t a permanent form of my personality.  I know this is not what I am used to or comfortable with.

I know this is about control.  I know this is me being upset about Mr. Confusion giving me the ol’ brush-off.  Still.  Yes,I know this is about feeling like I infantilize myself and I let myself be infantilized and wanting to say, hey, no, I can handle a few things.  Maybe not EVERYTHING, but I can keep a room clean.  I can get myself fed.  But it’s also about, hey, I like having clean sheets to climb into, I like not having to trip over my own things.  I like having food in the cupboards and knowing what to do with it.  I like who I am when those factors are going on in my life.  They also let my brain do other things because I don’t have to run the circuit of SHIT, THIS ROOM IS SO MESSY…I AM A MESSY PERSON…NOBODY NEW CAN EVER SEE THIS…SHIT, I’LL ALWAYS BE ALONE.  OH, THANK GOD, I WILL NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT CLEANING THIS ROOM.   Or some variation on some vicious cycle shit.

More to say, but I’ve said enough.

Sugar Fog

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Well, yesterday was a cheat day and I know all the pitfalls of cheat days.  Or, in the form they’re taking this year, so far, cheat meals.  But, for better or worse, trudging across the street to Old Chicago and ordering up every bread-ish, carb-based thing, I think was actually an okay idea.  Because I discovered that I don’t really like their pizza.  Or their cookie thing.  I think I never have, but when you’re in the sugar fog, you don’t really care about things like taste.  You just know that you have to stuff yourself with food.  And that was the tack for the cheat meal – appetizer, entree, dessert, leave no opportunity for flagrant, unhealthy eating untapped.  Because if you do that, then, when the meal is over, you’ll keep thinking about it and justifying more and more. So I ate a lot of carbs for lunch yesterday.

I actually went just about a whole month between them.  I told myself it was a calendar thing.  One each month so if I had one on the 31st of one, techically I could have the next on the 1st of the other, but I haven’t wanted it.  I think the ol’ Crimson Tide came into play and I’d been marathoning the Great British Bake-Off and we had a shit-ton of snow and pizza sounded pretty perfect.

But everything tasted…marginal.  Like, oh, yeah, this pizza has always had a pretty tasteless crust.  And wow, this garlic bread is oily and that hot cookie thing is so heavy and dry and even the chocolate chips tasted…it was goo, ooze, a sweet, almost burnt tasting glop.  It was all really disappointing.  I had leftovers, but they stayed on the table.  I did think, later, as I was writing yesterday’s lengthy email, that I wouldn’t mind it if I had those leftovers, but it was immediately followed by the feeling that I was glad I didn’t.  Glad that I stuck to the rules of the cheat meal and that these after-effects are things that carbs do to me, things I don’t experience while on my low-carb situation.  Exhausted, stomach like a fist, unable to focus.

I’m still going to have my monthly cheat meal because I think it helps deflate a desire that builds in me, like it or no, where I have to test the premise.  I have to be sure I want to be on this side of things.  But I re-opened my My Fitness Pal account and linked it to my fitbit and am going to get tracking my food and drink so that I can get focused on progress again.  If my half-sister does decide to have her wedding in England, I want to go, and I want to be the best version of myself not at another event frustrated and wishing I’d just worked on this in these lengthy hours I have to do exactly that.

Yeah, sent the letter off.  I have no idea what I’m doing, but it doesn’t matter.

Overloaded: Day Two Hundred Seventy-Seven

336148_5708i cannot allow myself to get sick.  I feel like it might be coming on, and I want to curl up and turn the light off that is flashing like it is guiding seafaring vessels home from behind my eyeball.  Writing this seems nigh on impossible.

i just will peck away at this keyboard until something comes out.

Today, I just got overloaded.  Too much pulling on my arm, too many emails shot like ninja stars at my face, too much need and noise and aggravation and now I feel the result.  I feel like a pile of shit with a sore throat and a head full of clutching pains.

That’s not a very alluring statement and I suppose that’s just testament to the fact that right now, right right now, I don’t really want to be sitting awkwardly in my bed with a neck that aches, a shoulder in my ear, and just one more goddamn thing that I have to do.  I just want everyone to back off and they can’t and won’t and it, has, I think, finally driven me crazy.  Or at least just filled up the decent-sized bucket of what I can take and all of the tasks and guilt and stress are splashing around like this storm  that has haunted the past week, held at bay for hours and then, when the night comes and the exhaustion lets the reins go a bit slack, it soaks the streets.

I’m watching the second 90-minute episode of the Voice which has taken up a good portion of my evening and kept me from completely flipping out.

Today, I went out to lunch with a volunteer who wanted to check in with me and thank me for being me and I feel so ungracious and ungrateful that she gave me a giant sack of crocheted blankets and hot pan holders and a jar of applesauce and I am only thinking about how I’m up to my neck in alligators and how I’d prefer not to be a pump for information and I need to get back to the office.  In turn, per usual, I don’t eat and then life, life rolls over and bites me in the ass.  I certainly have my part to play in this, make no mistake.  Of course, I also did not have the usual high-dosage of caffeine today and I think I’m going through the first terrible stage of withdrawal (I did have a few sips of coffee this morning, early) and I do sort of want to shudder and shake and murder with my own bare hands anyone who deigns to speak to me.   But doing that did mean that I was able to drive home without any major panicky (by which I mean driving somewhere I don’t intend to go to avoid what I think will trigger me.) episodes.  I keep realizing that caffeine and sugar lately just fuck me up.  When this is over, I intend to do something about that.

There are no extended metaphors here, it’s just one and done.

Tiramisu: Day Twenty-Three

I’m thirty.  Remember this, above all else, or none of what follows or ever was on this blog will seem remarkable.

It’s also not remarkable at all and what matters, what I really feel matters, is that I know I’m seen and loved today and the age I am at this particular moment is neither here nor there.

I hope I don’t have another post titled Tiramisu.  Ah, well, this is today’s Tiramisu.  Which became my birthday cake tonight and was perfect.   We went to Olive Garden because the realization that if I wanted anything to eat for my birthday, I wanted garlic bread sticks.  I wasn’t expecting to do anything tonight except perhaps to write a post lamenting my absent birthday celebration, but instead, from the very moment I woke up, I was surrounded by the kind, well-wishes of others.  My friend who I am going to see in Italy sent me an in-jokey picture.  I drove myself through some touchy, snowy roads, tense but breathing.  My boss texted me that I could take all the time I needed.  As I drove I told myself, half in jest, half in complete sincerity, that this was already the best birthday ever because I was pushing against my fear instead of being owned by it.  It was not perfect, but it was managed, with no real panic to speak of as I concentrated just on being safe.  At work, they got me flowers and we all got Starbucks in my honor.  I was given hugs and also quietude while the new boss went out on an excursion with some of the board.   There was Chinese for lunch.  I was given cards and thanked by people I care about.  And tons of people, people I haven’t talked to in years said hey on Facebook.  And then, my sister, employed and able to do this, bought me that Olive Garden birthday dinner which was delicious.  So good.  And it reminded me of the whole Italy trip and the fact that this pretty great, pretty big thing is going to happen because I’m willing it to happen.   

I think that’s all I’ve ever wanted.  To just feel like I wasn’t passing by in my life completely unnoticed, unremarked upon.

Well, maybe not all I’ve ever wanted.  But I have wanted it.  And it’s nice to get it, if only for a day.

At the moment, given how much love I felt today, it’s hard to gin up outrage or despair or even much more than a dim flickering frustration at not having one particular person to lavish affection upon me.   Staying in this moment feels more effective than worrying about what might be.  I laid in bed last night worrying about the snow until I realized that no matter how strongly I worked my brain, how aggressively I wanted that snow to not be hitting the streets, I had absolutely no impact on it.  I couldn’t stop one flake from falling.  And with that understanding made, I began to sleep.

Clamming the Nevers

Where words seemed to flow and vibrate through me yesterday, the whim of the muse has sent her off to parts unknown tonight and I find myself staring at this box even more intently than usual as though mere muscle memory will make this zeppelin get off the ground.

So, as per usual, when I lack for inspiration in talking about how I spent my day (store, parents, walked the dog, cleaned out the fridge, went to Chili’s and hoped it would somehow sate that obnoxious need to eat out and feel the watched a chef show Julia Child how to make a poppy seed cake with poached apricots which was fascinating in its unusual, flourless structure, many other boring things), I am called to focus on three areas.  What do I love?  What am I grateful for?  And the excellent exercise that calms the nerves (and clams the nevers) by bringing the joy of optimism back into my sugar-loaded and skeptical brain pan.

I love…that dear Mumford and Sons won an award at the Billboards.  Not that it matters, it doesn’t at all, not to me and certainly not to them who I admire so greatly because they do not put stock in awards, but I’d rather have them win something than not.  If given the choice.  Makes me want to do cartwheels in my heart.  Though that may just be the caramel macchiato ice cream I’m making the stupid decision to nibble at just before bed.

I love this little pair of snowflakes I’ve knocked down a little hillock, hoping they’ll catch onto some of their friends before they melt away.  I love that I am not afraid of a snow metaphor on this definitively spring evening.

I love the weather turning and my energy leaning positive.  I love any sort of feedback, any sort of social engagement where I can unleash the mind and play rather than worry about the failings of the body.  I like it when people approve of my poetry.  No, it’s definitely more than just a simple like.  I love that.  I crave that.  So much so I’ve been throwing a few things up on the r/poetry subreddit just to get a little anonymous praise.

….

I am grateful that I am able to keep myself fed, warm, dry and that I have my brain working at such a pace that I can know that I’ll be able to handle driving tomorrow.  I’m grateful that I am slowly able to get past some of my worst fears and that’s mostly through holding myself steady and doing things that will prevent those fears from coming to pass rather than doing nothing and watching myself panic.

….

Wouldn’t it be nice if I woke up early?  Got on the bike.  Faced the day with a smile, or some approximate facial spasm.

Wouldn’t it be nice if I didn’t turn back? I kinda think I can do it.  Stop on a dime.

We’ll see.  I will report back if I do.   Will report back regardless, I suppose.

 

Come On Trickster

Comedy!

I could fall asleep under the slightest pressure, say that of a fingertip placed gingerly between my eyes on my newly waxed and hairless epidermal plain.   I don’t know why Queen Mab has got her grip so tight on me tonight but I will fight her off, dear readers, to impart you with your daily elixir of bullshit and nonsense.  Keeps you strong.   Puts hair on your chest, ironically enough.   We’re all going to be hirsute motherfuckers after a few weeks’ treatment.   We’ll need to get that esthetician on speed dial.

I did not collapse in front of the television today.  You’ll be pleased to note that, dear arbiters of my behavior.   Not for the whole of it, really only one little sliver that was much inhibited by my still-ongoing struggle with Morpheus.  Not Laurence Fishburne, mind.  Just…nevermind.  Instead, I got up bright and early and made my way down to the haircut shop, um, salon, across the street from work.  The woman did a serviceable job and didn’t insist on me making an excessive amount of conversation before I was sensible.  Now it’s still long, but it has layers and all those split ends I was picking idly at are gone and it’s smoothened like all the fashion models do so I feel rather lovely about it.   The aforementioned eyebrows are tamed and whether or not I reached a diet milestone to earn it or not doesn’t matter to me at the moment because it reminds me why I want to eat healthily (and less in general).  I don’t mind my face on the whole.  Maybe I do, but it does seem to have a bit more of a glow when I’m primped up a bit.  Imagine.

And onward, vixen soldier!  I marched from there down to the library and got them to reinstate me not only as a Spectre, but also as a card-carrying library patron who can check books out again.   I don’t know the last time the card worked and I don’t know why I went so long, but I thought I’d see if they had the Dance of Anger book – and all the copies were checked out.  Boo.

But undaunted, I called my sister up and we did go to the mall.  Firstly, we went to the Mongolian restaurant.  Faux-Mongolian.  You know of what I speak.  Where I ate like a dainty princess for some reason that was either that my little sister and I were having a pretty in-depth, weighty conversation for us, and I didn’t want to go back through the line of hollering stir-fry chefs with a bowl of meat.  Another situation I look back on and think who gives a fuck?

Then we travelled all over and walked and I went to Sephora and bought a giant berry colored wine lip pencil, some brow comb things, and something else that exhaustion is robbing from my mind.

I feel centered in the just this.   I feel, too, like I need to do more but I the fairies have stolen my eyes.