Thursday, January 31, 2008

Depression Confession #2

This is why I'm a really Bad Person. Because I am weak. Because I email Bad Old Boyfriends.

I don't quite know what sent me in the direction, but I suspect it was alcohol and access to a computer. It happened in Kauai. It was just so beautiful and magical and every where you looked was another INSANELY IN LOVE couple holding hands, gazing lovingly at each other, kissing each other tenderly. I WANTED TO GOUGE MY EYES OUT I WAS SO DAMN JEALOUS.

And I was feeling lonely and missing, not just him, but the IDEA OF ANYBODY. And I had had 2 glasses of wine, 1 and a half Mai Tais and two beers. And had access to a computer. So I tickeled the keys and wrote that kind of email you write when you want to SEEM ALL UPBEAT, HAPPY, MYSTERIOUSLY ON VACATION AND LIFE COULD NOT BE BETTER & I AM IMPLYING, BUT NOT OUTRIGHT SAYING, "You should be soooooo missing me. Yeah! You should."

Of course, within minutes, he shot an email back to me. AND I LIKED IT. I liked it because it made me feel powerful and desirable and miss-able. All things I had NEVER felt in the relationship. (Yeah, I pick real winners, ladies.) I knew it was not because I WAS SO GREAT but because I AM A GREAT DISTRACTION.

I was his and he was mine. When we were together, we were in THE FUN ZONE. If we stepped out of The Fun Zone (deep talking, getting to know each other on "another level," tell me your deep, dark secrets, etc.), HE RESISTED, I PERSISTED, then fighting (us), crying (me), silence (him).

I have come so far in digging myself out of the DEPRESSION HOLE (there's only like 32 more feet to go and I can finally see daylight) that I don't know WHY I would do this (especially with someone that treated me so yuck-ily.)

I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.

It wasn't just the Mai Tais, I know there is some bigger meaning there and I have to figure it out so I don't do it again. Give me a day or two. I am also open to any theories you have or chastising you want to give.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I guess I should really have said, "resolution" because I want to give you an update on how I'm doing with mine (I originally posted them in "It's A Good Time To Make Lists!").

But the word "resolution" creeps me out because it's such a cliche J1 (January 1) thing to do and then bail on by F1. Besides, I want a REVOLUTION, not just a RESOLUTION. I want to be GROWING and CHANGING and CHALLENGING myself all year long.

My two year hibernation insists that I do.

So once a month, I'm going to throw out an Big Ol' Progress Report on my revolution:

1) I want PINK hair.
PROGRESS: Currently on a scale of mildly insane and bat shit crazy, I look majorly insane. See, when you get depressed, you forget about things like eating right, exercising or running a comb through your hair. It was sort of cool when my blonde highlights grew out because "peek-a-boo" roots were all the rage in the magazines. AND I LOVE TO BE ALL THE RAGE, even when I'm barely leaving my apartment for weeks at a time.

So I'm off to my colorist for some blonde highlights (I DESERVE IT! MAKE ME BUTTERY!) He will probably pass out from my Homeless Chic hair. And if he doesn't, he certainly will when I consult him on how to go PINK.

2) I want to go to Italy.
PROGRESS: Conversations are happening. Talks are moving forward. APRIL is the goal date.

3) I'm going to write a book.
PROGRESS: I am begging, I am pleading, my TV agent to get me a meeting with a Lit. agent in New York.

4) I'm going to lose forty pounds.
PROGRESS: I have been eating so clean and healthy, it's crazy. The fact that I got on the WW scale after Kauai and had only gained .4 pounds MADE ME INSANELY ELATED. To me, that was like LOSING FIVE POUNDS! Right now, I'm up .4 but never really considered THE BIG START until after Kauai, so I am quite excited. (CONFESSION: Need to move more. Typing doesn't count)

5) I've always wanted to run a road race. Even a five K, I don't care.
PROGRESS: The problem with having a blog is your friends read them and then they make you do stuff you said you'd do. S has us doing two road races in April. Very exciting & terrifying). I hope there is an ambulance standing by.

6) I want to redecorate my apartment.
PROGRESS: I am going to do a whole POST on this because this is MAJOR. Not major what I'm doing, please, my budget is like, a nickel. Just MAJOR, the anxiety about change and LETTING GO that it brings on.

7) I want to make something. I've narrowed it down to: POTTERY, SOME KIND OF JEWELRY MAKING OR I've always wanted to learn how to upholster furniture.
PROGRESS: I did see a class at the CC for silver smithing. THAT SOUNDS AWESOME. I gotta find that catalogue.

8) I want to volunteer.
PROGRESS: I go for my orientation on Feb. 6. I AM SO EXCITED!!!. I'm going to teach kids with cancer how to write. NOTE TO SELF: Learn how to write.

9) HAVE MORE FUN! Every day carve out time for FUN.
PROGRESS: This is tougher than you would think. How about FUN every other day? NO! Must stick with REVOLUTION/RESOLUTION!!! Must make a fun chart with pies and graphs to keep track of all the FUN I am going to have.

10) Investigate my life, figure out who I am and stop repeating patterns that are learned and that have hurt me.
PROGRESS: It's all in the journaling, Baby. This is a tough one. But no one said a Revolution was going to be easy.

PROGRESS: ZERO. Enough said. But I will physically attack someone and throw them down in the street and mount them if that means I can report more progress next month.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

How I Lost 50 Pounds (& Became the Bomb)

I really got my "Hello Kitty" panties in a bunch when I wrote "A Clarification and A Shout Out of Love" about this not being a dieting blog. BECAUSE IT ISN'T. Because there are a million of those. Because I want THIS to be more SPECIAL than THAT.

But there is another reason, too. It's because, in the past when I have become OBSESSED with DIETS and dieting and measuring and points and fat grams and carbs and carrots and corn have SO MUCH SUGAR!, I AM NOT REALLY LIVING. I always thought that being CO-DEPENDENT meant you had to be co-dependent on a person.

Then I heard this.

A friend said that being co-dependent means using someone (or something) else's chaos or dysfunction or depression, as a WAY TO NUMB YOURSELF. You totally concentrate on this other person or thing AS A WAY TO NOT DEAL with your OWN LIFE and FEELINGS.

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.

That's been me & dieting. I'm one of those people who gives up EVERYTHING so I can GIVE it to SOMETHING else... I'm co-dependent... on dieting. The more I IMMERSE myself in it, the more I get to put off living my life because I'M TOTALLY & ONLY DEVOTED TO IT. I am worshipping at the alter of Lean Cuisine!

So that's why this isn't a dieting blog. Because that is not A COOL WAY TO LIVE. I don't want to ignore my life.


When I wrote "You Are Not Alone," I got an avalanche of comments from people saying that are sick and tired of extra weight they are carrying and they have shame or pain over it. AND IF IT'S ANYTHING I HATE IT'S WHEN PEOPLE FEEL SHAME & PAIN.

So I want to tell you how five years ago, I lost fifty pounds. I was overweight. I was OVER myself. I had just emerged from a job I hated and saw becoming a sitcom writer as a DREAM and a WAY TO LIVE MY DREAM LIFE. All the things I ignored while I had worked my previously HORRIFIC JOB, I wanted back - self-love, time to take care of myself, meeting boys, looking cute in jeans, no neck fat.

Yes, I did some dieting. I switched cereal for egg whites and turkey bacon and added fruit. I threw the bread off my sandwich at lunch and added a double salad, double broccoli (my office Nickname) or double anything green. I stopped eating after 7pm and cut way back on booze and sugar. And yes, I moved, I ran, I ellipical-ed, I biked, I jumped and jacked.

But that was 30% of the work. THE OTHER STEP I TOOK WAS LIFE CHANGING.

I kept a journal.

99 cents saved my life. Every doubt I had about my new job, I wrote about. Every fight with a sister, parent, boyfriend, co-worker, Starbucks barista, idiot who changed lanes without using his turn signal, I wrote about. Every fear about where my life was going and with who, I wrote about.

I NEVER PUSHED DOWN ONE MORE FEELING. I never had an emotion "eating" at me. I got to stay present, focused and could look back on good days when I was having bad days and smile, "Look how far I've come!" Instead of numbing out with food, I pushed through the hard stuff and put it on paper.

EVERY DAY, I felt more fearless, strong, in control, FIERCE, motivated and truly, amazing.


The second I stopped... the weight came back on. It was after my cousin died and the pages were too painful to face. I didn't want to cry or be sad or to be angry. I DID NOT WANT TO FEEL ANYTHING. If I didn't write it down, it could not be happening.

Only it was happening. So I numbed it with sleeping, inactivity, Cheetos, Doritos and the occasional (everyday) donut. Soon it was five pounds that came on, then ten, then twenty, then more and more and more.

I was stubborn though, I WOULD NOT WRITE AND I WOULD NOT FEEL.

So I am saying to you "You Are Not Aloners" who REALLY WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE - get a journal. It's not about making your diet better, IT'S ABOUT MAKING YOUR LIFE BETTER. It's about seeing your fears on paper and then realizing, they don't have so much power anymore. It's about making a list of goals and then keep going back to them until you accomplish them.

IT'S ABOUT not getting so lost in this HURRY UP world, because if you write it down, YOU ALWAYS KNOW WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU WANT & HOW TO GET THERE.

You will be amazed by how something that takes 10 or fifteen minutes EVERY FEW DAYS will GIVE BACK TO YOU 100 fold. I'm going back, more committed than ever, to the pen and the page. Not just to get back to size 8 jeans (though I CANNOT WAIT!!!) but so I never lose myself again.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Afterness

I'm sad. I feel bad for feeling sad. Stupid, really. It's all about that very famous actor who died at 28, all alone, who I never knew, who I can't even say I was an amazing fan of. Just that he is gone and I know all about the Afterness.

While all so much is speculated about his death, who knew what and when, all I can think is... for his family... it all starts now. Their hearts will be heavy and filled with regret and sorrow and questions and regret and regret and regret.

Everything is all right and then there is that phone call and you are never the same again. In ways people can never describe. You feel different, things look different and you feel like you physically packed up and moved away from the person you once were.

And the internet is a monster that will tell you details that you will never want to know and can be the gap between two mountains that widens so you can never jump to a healing place. I learned the hard way, you do not google the details of your loved ones death. You do not want to hear a witness say they never saw so much blood in their life.

I know I'm not grieving this person's death, I do not know him. I am grieving the parts of my cousin's death that I have packed up in a box and tucked under the bed. Then when someone else dies, same age, circumstances that make no sense at all, it's like all those bits of grief and suffering emanate from the box and once again, the house is haunted.

But his family... that tears me apart.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Importance of Thrilling Yourself

When I was fourteen, my cousin Michael died. He was seventeen. He was skiing. He was on vacation. He was doing something he loved, doing something he was good at, doing something he'd done a million times.

If there was ever a pivotal point in my life where the road diverged and I could have chosen the Adventure Girl path or the Fearful Follower Girl path, it was then. And I chose the latter.

A trained beach life guard, I became afraid of the ocean. Then heights. Then going fast. Then slipping. Car accidents. Bicycles with peddle brakes. Walking under ladders. Trees that looked like they could fall over at anytime. Power lines. Dogs. Possums. Microwaves. The Easter Bunny. You name it, I became afraid of it.

Because in my world, things that are bad will probably happen with no warning, no notice and make no sense. One day you are doing something you love, the next day, you are gone.

But I don't want to be that way any more. Because all this FEAR doesn't amount to much LIVING. Yet it's amazing how ingrained it is in me. The other day, still in Kauai, we go to get snorkeling gear but I don't rent any. What's the point? I will be too afraid. It will be a waste. IT (the gear) will sit in the sand TAUNTING me.

"A five year-old can do this." Shut up!

"Last week, a eighty year old with two hip replacements did this." I said, SHUT UP!

After a while, my friend offers me his snorkeling mask. I put on it on, dip my face in the water. FISH EVERYWHERE! Yellow ones and blue ones and green ones and orange ones and some that are yellow, blue, green and orange all at once! It's like nothing I've ever seen before. It's like "Fish TV." A woman is shooting fish food out of a tube and they are swarming her. SHE IS GIGGLING WITH DELIGHT.

The more confident I get, the more I push the fear away. Soon I am submerged, then I am swimming, I am pointing, I am leading the way. I AM HOGGING THE GEAR and I don't care. I am thrilling myself. Not just what I am seeing with my eyes BUT WHAT I AM FEELING IN MY HEART.


The next day, at the waterfalls, I don't just want to look at them, I WANT TO BE IN THEM. My bathing suit isn't on but WOULD IT BE SO BAD TO GET MY CLOTHES WET? No. So I sit on a smooth rock and use it as a water slide into the waterfall. (It's a small rock, but IT STILL THRILLS ME, because the feeling is SO UNEXPECTED and therefore JOYOUS.)

What else scares me? What else can I do? How can I get back on that ADVENTURE path I turned (running, screaming scared) from? When an opportunity presents itself how can I say "YES" instead of the every predictable and resounding "NO."

The more you do, the less you'll fear.

Surfing, rock climbing, canyoning, parasailing, parachuting, zip lining, hot air ballooning, snow boarding, roller blading, ocean kayaking, kite surfing, skim boarding... more and more and more and more...


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Your Fat Is Not Fooling Anyone

I'm in Kauai and my BATHING SUIT ANXIETY is at a ORANGE LEVEL (sweating, nervous stomach feeling, debating faking an illness so I can stay in bed so no one will SEE ME IN IT.)

Then I think, "I'M IN KAUAI." C'mon! It's AMAZING! It's BEAUTIFUL! There are things to swim in! Get that pink spandex, girdle-like bathing contraption on!

I resist. I could have put it on at the house. Then at the clean, non-hepatitis getting bathroom at this cute little shopping center. No.

Not ready.

Because... I'm embarrassed. How I will look. But my butt reminds me of two cats fighting in a bag. Really, want to know what my butt looks like? Put sweat pants on. Now, go into your bedroom. Get two pillows off the bed, fold them in half. Now put them between your sweatpants and your bum. If you can stack a shelf of books on that bum or someone can rest a cocktail on it, THAT'S MY BUM.

In Kauai. With that bum. And now I'm supposed to be HALF NAKED in front of my friends like that? With CHUB RUB thighs?

MADNESS. Then I think, "Your Fat Is Not Fooling Anyone." Meaning, do I somehow think I look like Kate Moss in my regular clothes but it's only when I don a BATHING SUIT, that my body EXPANDS ten-fold in front of them and to THEIR ALARM and HORROR, the secret is out and they are shocked to realize I AM A CHUNK.

No. My fat is not fooling anyone.

And would these friends, who are so loving and cool, and probably more loving and cooler THAN I EVEN AM TO MYSELF, ever want me to MISS OUT on SNORKELING and SWIMMING and GENERAL WATER TYPE FROCKLING AND FUN because I did not want to be seen in a bathing suit?

Get over yourself. And I did. Because sadder than the thought of me in a bathing suit was the thought of me being IN THIS BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING place and sitting out on the full enjoyment of it.

So I changed in a gross Port-a-Potty (my punishment for not previously getting over myself). AND I SWAM AND I SNORKELED AND I FROLICKED.

And nobody cared and neither did I.

You've missed out on too many good times because of how you feel about yourself. I know. Don't do it again. Okay.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Clarification & A Shout Out of Love

Thank you guys for all your AMAZING comments on "YOU ARE NOT ALONE." I love them all and there are so many I want to address but... I've been busy working on my tan in Hawaii.

There is one I do want to comment on, though, someone said: "Ok Enough of this - i want to lose weight, i want to forget the pain stuff. I want to see a post which says, i will lose weight, and a post two months later saying , i have done it. Thats what i want to see."

Here's the thing... THIS IS NOT A DIETING BLOG.

This is a journey out of DEPRESSION and part of that depression has been weight gain (I have like, 2 extra butts). But I'm not going to be posting exercise tips and what I ate for the day.

Because THIS is deeper than THAT.

I told my friend S when I knew I was going to call the blog "100 Days in Bed" that I should set a goal to GET OUT of the mess I was in - in 100 Days.

It's brilliant! It's amazing! No one in the history of blog writing HAS EVER come up with a better idea. I will probably be put on the cover of some blog type magazine!

S said, "This "getting out of your mess" in 100 Days thing - that's a gimmick. This is life. It may take you 100 days, it might take 10,000 days."

Oh, right... "LIFE." (eye roll)

So, you won't see in two months that I "lost all the weight" or that I'm "over the pain."

You're stuck with me for A LOT longer than that! It didn't just take me 100 days to get here, IT KINDA TOOK ME... ALL MY LIFE.

In a lot of the comments from "YOU ARE NOT ALONE" a lot of people did want some ideas for how I'm trying to change or how I'm staying motivated and I will get more specific about that. BECAUSE THAT IS THE JOURNEY WE'RE ALL IN. And I think we'll ALL get there faster, INSPIRING each other.

But I want to really dedicate some time to that.

After I get home on the 23rd... but before my tan wears off. I promise! :)


I'm in Kauai! (Having major bathing suit ANXIETY, but I'm telling that part of myself TO SHUT UP!!!). Trying to remember how INCREDIBLY LUCKY I am to have found myself on an unexpected, incredible vacation in PARADISE with three of my closet friends. I'll write soon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

YOU are not ALONE

Because my self-esteem is completely tied to the number of hits a day I get, I, sometimes, (many times) go to Sitemeter and check on who's looking and for how long. Sometimes, the thing that will crack me up is someone googling "Dirty, Naughty Girls" and then they find my blog.


Today, I noticed a girl had googled a topic that lead her to this blog and I looked closer to see what the topic was and...


Because she googled, "I AM TOO FAT, NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE ME." (Which led her to my entry, "Oh, My God, You're So Fat! Congratulations") I wanted to jump through the computer and fly through the internet and land in her bedroom, living room, library, coffee shop, dorm room, where ever and GIVE HER A BIG FAT HUG.

Then we would sit down and have a CUP CAKE (Red Velvet) and I would say, "You are not alone."

I have felt that way at this weight. I have felt that way, 20 pounds lighter than this AND I HAVE FELT THAT WAY, five years ago, AT MY HIGH SCHOOL WEIGHT, on a work retreat, wearing the cutest TANK-INI with cherry blossoms and abs and Renne Zellweger arms and still FELT THAT WAY.

I even felt that way, AT MY HIGH SCHOOL DANCE, at a perfect weight, though still wearing a girdle EVEN THOUGH I attended the dance with my sort-of-cousin AND OBVIOUSLY WAS NOT looking to get any. (Though I did feel a little heat as we uncomfortably slow danced to some Whitney Houston song.)

It makes me sad that I so COULDN'T SEE MYSELF, even at the most perfect weight, that I had to continue the FEMALE TORTURE of dieting, gaining, hating myself, RINSE, REPEAT.

So of course, I want to save someone who is going through that. DON'T BE ME. I could DIE admitting this. But remember, when my shrink told me, "YOU ARE NOT YOUR BODY?" And I was like, "Yes, I am! I am my Body. I am my Fat! Every problem I have is because of this! (Dramatically grab BACK FAT in defiance) I'm outta here!" Maybe she was right.

Maybe I HAD TO THINK, "I AM MY BODY... I AM MY WEIGHT, I DON'T DESERVE HAPPINESS UNTIL I'M THIN," MAYBE I had to think that, I had to believe it, because if I didn't and I wasn't obsessed WITH ALL THINGS DIET & WEIGHT LOSS... I would really have to LIVE.


So I would say to this girl, "You Are Not Your Body" and "Don't Stop Living and Doing The Things You Love Because You Got A Little Junk In Your Trunk." Have fun, people with ample bosoms and stomachs and thighs deserve FUN. Write in your journal, stay ON TOP OF THOSE EMOTIONS. Get a Girl Gang like I have that you can talk to. GO TO THERAPY, it's AWESOME. But don't isolate, don't get under the covers, DON'T PUT off LIVING because of your WEIGHT. Because you are not your body.

You'll get there, just like me, just like all of us. Because YOU are not alone.

Tell Me You Love Me

What's kind of a cool phenomenon is when ever I post about something SUPER SERIOUS, like my cousin passing away or my Mom's subsequent nervous breakdown or how I, a sitcom writer, plunged into a deep dark depression and became hooked on sleep meds (I swear, I could have my own LIFETIME movie, y'all) - when I write about stuff like that, NOT only do I get the most hits, but people will read for like, 30 minutes at a time.


But then no one will really comment. DO I SCARE YOU THAT MUCH? Is my honesty FREAKING YOU OUT?

Let me break it down. I'm started off really writing this for myself BUT reading the amazing comments over the last few months I realize, I AM YOU AND YOU ARE ME. We're all going through the same things.

If I can help more, I want to.

So tell me what you think. Even if it's anonymous. Even if it's, "You are really freaking me out right now." Or "It's not nice to talk about your mother that way." Or "WOULD YOU PLEASE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE????"

Cause, girls, I aim to please.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

How It All Began Part 4
"Grief, Despair & Ambien"

So when we last left off, it was two years ago and I had just heard the news of my cousin’s death, and in a state of unstoppable SOBBING, wondered and worried (but not in any particular order): how I would compose myself enough so I could go to work and not seem like an insane person; once I did compose myself enough and not resemble an insane person, how I would ever be FUNNY enough (I was on a sitcom as a writer at the time), as not to get FIRED; how was I ever going to keep my relationship afloat when I refused to be near my BF when I was CRYING, yet could not stop crying and

How I was ever going to face my aunt, uncle and cousin at the funeral WITHOUT ripping a hole of grief and pain in me that I wondered would ever heal.


My favorite anti-depressant commercial is the one where they tell you, “Depression Hurts.” No shit. Then the lady takes her drugs and goes from a crying mute, rocking herself in the corner to a happy, zany, peppy person who’s PLAYING WITH A KITTEN. It was a commercial that I often made fun of.

Now I want to be like that lady. I want to feel good enough to play with a kitten.


The doctor was kind enough to give me some anti-depressants. But I wanted sleeping pills (I WANTED IT ALL). He was a smart doctor and not about to give a girl who hadn’t showered, hair matted, was dressed in what can only be described as Pajamas as Daywear and who had cried so much she was heaving hiccups SLEEP MEDS that could kill her.

Good move. But when I have my mind set to something, I get it done. I now had not been to sleep in 36 hours and I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t take it because I couldn’t stand to be conscious that long, where I would have to play the tape of David’s murder over and over again in my head. I had to sleep, I felt off kilter and off balance and I knew going home for the funeral IT WOULD ONLY BE 100 times worse.

“Mom, you have to get me some sleeping pills.”

My Mom is a shrink. I know, it’s crazy.

Mom, “Oh, I don’t know about that.”


Mom, “I can’t write my own daughter a prescription.”


And so she did it. And I slept as soon as I got home and the next night and the next and the next.

And that began my two year odyssey of being addicted to prescription sleep medication.

Friday, January 11, 2008

How Could THIS Have Happened????

On Fridays, me and my friends go for a weigh in. We all want to GET SWIMSUIT SLIM, so it's great to go and root each other on.

Today, I had a feeling IT WAS NOT GOING TO BE PRETTY. And I was right and it wasn't.

You know when you step on the scale at WW and the woman reading your weight falls silent and gives you a case of "THE SAD EYES," the news is NOT going to be good.

In my case, IT WAS BRUTAL. I gained 5.8 pounds. I waited for her to rip my "Bravo" stickers from previous weeks off my card. She did not. She is a kind woman.

So there I was, putting my shoes and sweater back on, feeling ANGRY and DISAPPOINTED and MORTIFIED and EMBARRASSED.


Well, I didn't weigh in in the three weeks I was away, where I could have noticed the uptick at 2 pounds and immediately addressed it. That's HOW IT COULD HAVE HAPPENED. And, how on vacation, I had to eat BAKED STUFFED SHRIMP (They don't make it this good anywhere!), eat at my favorite PIZZA place like four times (You can't get it this good on the West Coast!), then there was all the WINE and BEER, oh and "The Nutty Irishmen" (deliciously alcohol infused coffee) my sister E and I would drink at Sunday Brunches (We deserve it! We're on vacation!)

(CRINGING) Oh, and the Chinese Food (three times) where the Crab Rangoon (fried wontons with pillows of cream cheese and crab - that's low in fat and calories, right?) melts in your mouth (and apparently, lives on your THIGHS).


The good news is I had dropped almost 4 pounds before, so it's not a HUGE SET BACK. The other good news is NOW THAT I KNOW HOW IT HAPPENED (eating too much, moving too little, not keeping my food journal), I KNOW HOW TO TAKE BACK CONTROL.

The weird thing is, YOU'D THINK THAT THE WEIGH IN would have me plunging under the covers, DIVING INTO THE DEPRESSION BED, but INSTEAD, it just makes ME WANT TO FIGHT HARDER.

It's not just about diets and weight. (Although, I SALIVATE "Crab Rangoon Style" thinking about zipping up my size 10 jeans.)

It's about wanting to treat my body like a tropical paradise instead of a stanky crack den. It's about HONORING a promise I made to myself. It's about BEING PRESENT and ACCOUNTABLE and REAL. It's about NOT GIVING UP when the news is BAD. It's about SETTING GOALS and having a BLAST while I ACHIEVE them. It's ABOUT CELEBRATING the BEST SELF I can be.

All the same things I want from LIFE.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Let's Talk About Sex... Again

My Mom and I are having a tearful GOOD-BYE in the driveway yesterday.

ME: "Mom, don't cry, I'll be back soon."
MOM: "But we didn't even get a chance to look at the catalogues."

You know... for her vibrator.

I swear she said it as sincerely as if she was saying, "But we hardly had a chance to spend any time togther." ("LOOKING AT VIBRATOR CATALOGUES!")

So I'm back on the West Coast and a tad exhausted, though very happy NOT to be sleeping with a wormy Chihuahua in a twin bad anymore!

I have something good for tomorrow, I'll post then :)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Let's Talk About Sex

Let me set the scene. My mother and I are in the hospital waiting room before we go see my Grandmother. She says she has something she really wants to talk to me about.

Let me add that my mother has a Prayer Day for each of my family members and went to Church three times this week, once for Sunday, once for January 1, "The Feast of the Blessed Mother" and once January 6, "The Feast of the Epiphany." She is a GOOD GIRL. When she dies, she will be cannonized faster than Mother Theresa.

And... Action.

Mom: "I really want to talk to you about something."
Me: "Sure."
Mom: "I think I want a Vibrator."

Inner Dialogue: "Do Not Laugh. Do not laugh. Do not LAUGHHHHHHHHHHH."

Me: (tentatively) "Okay."
Mom: "And I would like you to help me pick one out."

INNER IMAGINATION: I pass out, I'm spayled face down on the waiting room floor. Nurse: "We've got a Code 51: Daughter down due to too much info about Mom's SEX LIFE! We need a crash cart and a time machine to erase the last five minutes of her life."

It's not over, folks. Mom has a CATALOGUE to show me.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Why Depression Is the BEST Thing That EVER Happened To ME

I'm still here on the East Coast and I just picked up this book of my Mom's THAT REALLY BLEW MY MIND. It's called “Circle of Stones: Woman's Journey To Herself” by Judith Duerk.

Before this trip, when I looked back on my depression, all I saw of it WAS WASTED TIME IN BED. (And not the good kind of wasting time in bed.) I would beat myself up about those sad days, “I could have traveled, I could have written more, I should have worked out everyday!!!!”

THEN I READ THIS BOOK. And my mind got blow.

Here's why. This woman defines depression AS A GIFT. What? How can that be possible? How could a life in sweat pants, under the covers, crying, eating Cheetos and Doritos and missing out on life, BE A GIFT?

Here's what she writes in the book:

“It is often, finally, a woman's own pain and sadness that makes her change her life. FINALLY, it is impossible to deny her feelings any longer.

Depression comes as a gift, bringing the chance to strike root in a deeper ground inside oneself. Depression comes as a gift forcing you to listen to your TRUE SELF.”

Wow. And “wow” like, that's totally true. I have never been MORE AWAKE IN MY LIFE since my depression, MORE IN TOUCH WITH MY GUT, than since my depression, MORE AWARE OF WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE… even WITH THIS DAY than since my depression.

The book goes on, “What if a woman allowed herself to listen once again to her own sensitivities? To listen to the ways in which she is unhappy? What if she allowed herself to trust what her tears are trying to tell her?

What if a woman were to allow herself to trust her own unhappiness and TO MAKE LIFE CHANGES? What if she trusted her anger, her irritation, her illness, even her depression as SIGNS THAT HER OWN LIFE WAS CALLING TO HER?”


After I read the book, I just started typing.

Depression called me, beckoned me, it said, “I know, it's hard to slow down. It would be so much easier to be moving 1,000 miles an hour, RUNNING HERE THERE AND EVERYWHERE, and never have to think about anything, including how UNHAPPY you are. But how did that work for your mother? Yeah… not so good, huh?

I know you want to be happy, SO JUST STOP. Lay down. I know you're scared because you don't like to be alone with your thoughts. I know it's going to feel like darkness, it will be scary. But in that aloneness and in that quiet, dark space, you will start to hear yourself. THE SELF that's in you. Can you hear it?

Hey, it's me! WHY HAVE YOU BEEN IGNORING ME? There's things we gotta do! I mean, yeah, we gotta get over David's death and we gotta figure out why you always get into these bad relationships and confront some fears about your Mom. But then WE'RE GONNA GO LIVE IT UP!

“Remember how we used to go on ROAD TRIPS just because? Ooo, and how we'd go to CONCERTS that were sold out, all by ourselves, and scalp tickets and DANCE OUR FACES OFF? How about POOL HOPPING? Oh, and WEDDING CRASHING IN EXPENSIVE DRESSES from Saks Fifth Avenue with the tags still tucked in the back so we could return them???!!! WE USED TO LIVE, LIVE LIVE!!!!

Don't you miss that?”


“She's still there, you just got to listen to me, which is really you, and I'll have you two reunited in no time.”


Thursday, January 3, 2008

Why Wafting the Scent of Taco Bell Out of My Car is Essential to My Sanity

Let me start off my saying, I am NOTICABLY CHUNKY over this time last year. Let's say thirty pounds. Which considering I comforted myself with all things comfort food, comfort drink (adult beverages) and a lifestyle that can only be described as BEDRIDDEN, I'm almost proud to say IT'S ONLY THIRTY POUNDS. I mean, that is only, what, 2.5 pounds a month? After two years of sloth-like depression - I'D SAY CONGRATU-DAMN-LATIONS/

However, to my parents who value APPREARANCE (read: thin/skinny/emaciated-even-better) over all, I knew this 30 pounds was gonna be a BIG FAT PROBLEM. (Get it, “fat?” I know, I'll try harder.)

However, I, being the Manipulative Mind/Reverse Psychology Expert that I am (essential to my survival), decided to launch a pre-emptive strike in hopes I would NOT HAVE TO HEAR from my MOTHER about my chunky HIPS & THIGHS.

“Mom,” I said, “My friends and I all joined a weight loss club… I'm already down 3.2 pounds.” (True & True).

Apparently, after seeing me (Chunky Hips & Thighs & All), she couldn't hold her tongue (I thought after 24 hours I was in the clear… I'll never learn). I should have known when she came up to my room to “have private girl talk” that she was going to have something to say.


Even after I said I was addressing it, even after I said I felt I had finally turned a corner and was getting back into working out (not true but I'M GONNA, I'M GONNA TURN THAT CORNER, even after I said I found this conversation kind of humiliating.

I said, “I think what I've been through the last two years, I'm not ashamed that I got depressed and gained this weight.”

She was lost in her own thoughts, “What are you ashamed about?” I said, “I SAID I'M NOT ASHAMED.” She said, “Everybody has problems.” “Really,” I said, “Everybody's cousin gets murdered?” (I know, bitchy, but her DISMISSIVENESS pushed me to the edge. And I did leave out, “And EVERYBODY'S Mom has a nervous breakdown a month after the trial?”

But she didn't even hear me. Instead she was busy turning the HUMILIATION DIAL from “I Really Think You're Being too Sensitive, Dear” TO “I Will Crush Your Self-Esteem into A Power Like Substance.”

She said, “Is this why your not dating much… BECAUSE OF HOW YOU LOOK?”

At that point, I was so blinded by my anger that it actually made me go deaf. I can't remember anything that was said after that.


My Grandmother's in the hospital. My mother and I are going to visit her. I go to gas up the car. It's 1:30pm and I've only eaten a bowl of cereal. NOW THAT I HAVE THE FEAR OF GOD OF EATING IN FRONT OF MY MOTHER, (My older sister hasn't eaten in front of my mother in over 20 years. My mom sent her to fat camp two years in a row as a kid. My sister was maybe six or seven pounds overweight. Maybe.)

But I know I'm going to be hungry. We could be at the hospital for hours. That's when I see THE MECCA THAT IS TACO BELL. As I pull in front of the menu, my heart starts beating faster. “Mom will smell it on my breath!” “WHAT IF SHE CAN SMELL IT IN THE CAR?”

“Can I take your order please?” “Yes, um, what on the menu smells the least?” “Excuse me m'am?” “Would you say, a chulupa or a gordita smells more?” “Uh…a chulupa?” “Then I'll have the gordita.” “Can I get you some hot sauce with that?” “Dear, God, no! The scent of that will get trapped in the upholstery for months!”

I get my food and start driving home. It is raining. It is 20 degrees. Still, I drive with all four windows down. Rain is coming into the car, it's all over me and the seats.

I intermittently drive, take a bite of my gordita and WAVE ONE ARM AROUND TO GET THE SCENT OF DELICIOUS OUT OF THE CAR. I think it's working.

SHE'LL NEVER KNOW. I'M SOOOO SMART. I AM SOAKING WET. I am a grown woman who can't eat in front of her own mother. I feel ridiculous and stupid and angry all at the same time.

I SAID I WOULD NEVER BECOME THEM. I would not be “a sneak.” Like how my Mom said she quit smoking when I was twelve but she was still sneaking outside until I was 19. I would watch the orange glow of the cigarette and I would know. Or like my Dad. He hides a 30 pack of beer in his car and will only sneak in three or four at a time. He'll only drink it after she's gone to bed. The evidence goes in the recycle bin which he takes out. NO ONE IS THE WISER.

I don't want to be like that. I have every right to eat a 250 calorie bona fide taco with chicken (protein!), cheese (calcium!), sour cream (dairy!), lettuce and tomato (FIBER GALORE!). I could EAT TEN IF I WANT TO.



MY LIFE IS MY OWN. But only if I don't let myself become them.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

An Amazing, Enlightening and A Little Bit Frightening New Year's Eve Dream

When you are in therapy, dreams mean everything. Once I had a dream that I was running away from wolves and masked men dressed in black. In the dream, I find a little girl. I grab her by the hand and at every threat, I SAVE HER. When I tell this to my shrink she says, "You know that little girl is you."

This is profound to me... that I am strong enough to save myself.

Now, I'm not in therapy but LAST NIGHT, New Year's Eve Night, I have this amazing dream that I feel WILL BE SOMEWHAT LIFE CHANGING. Here it is:

I dream I am doing laundry. I unscrew the top of the detergent and there are two stickers around the spout. One says something like, "Will not take tough stains out." I'm upset, I NEED MY TOUGH STAINS TAKEN OUT!!!

The other sticker says, "The help you give to other people will be your legacy." In the dream I smile, a smile so BIG & BRIGHT it wakes me and I realize, I SMILED MYSELF AWAKE. I have this feeling like, now I have NOT only found my PURPOSE but that their is some greater EXPECTATION of me. And it thrills me and scares me at the same time.

But mostly, I feel this RELIEF that now I know what to do with my life even IF I still have to figure out how.