Thursday, January 24, 2019

I thought I had a plan....

I was wrong.

I seem to be wrong a lot here lately.

To be perfectly honest, 2018 was really hard. It was hard on a lot of people. For many many different reasons. And to everyone out there who has gone through anything, ever, my heart goes out to you my friends. "Just give it time" and "Things will get better" aren't exactly what any of us want to hear. But in times like this, those people who say those things, they don't mean any harm. They just really don't know what to say. "I'm sorry" and "Are you OK" gets old real quick. And quite honestly, it isn't anyone's fault. They truly are sorry. They truly want to know if you are OK. They truly think that with time, things will get better. And in some respects, they might. But the reality of the situation is this. You don't have to be sorry...and ... No, I am not OK.

There are days where I wake up and think "OK. My heart isn't trying to break completely in half. Today might be OK!". Then there are all the other days. The days where you drag yourself out of bed having not slept for more then a few hours. Where the nightmares and visions in your head haunt you while you struggle just to get to the bathroom to take your shower. Getting out of the shower, looking at yourself in the mirror and being disgusted for a totally different reason then your nightmares and visions had swimming around in your head. Pushing all of those things aside and telling yourself to get it together, you have a job to do! A family to take care of! Animals that need you!

So that's what you do. You shove all those things down, take a deep breath and do what you need to do. Because not doing those things isn't an option. Ever.

And so now I am here. Trying desperately to recover my beautiful, wonderful, handy boxes. Boxes? you ask! Why yes! Thanks to an amazing friend of mine, I started using "boxes" to handle life a few years back. It was the best thing I could have done for myself at the time.

Box 1 - Things that concern you and you can do something about
Box 2 - Things that concern you, but you can't do anything about
Box 3 - Things that don't concern you
Box 4 through 100 - EXTRA in case of spillage.

When things got crazy, I put them all into their appropriate boxes. When things got crazier, I struggled to decide which box certain things belonged in. When my world seemingly fell apart, my boxes ripped apart and scattered in the wind. I have tried multiple times to get my boxes back in order. The tape isn't sticking very well and I am fairly certain that all of them are waterlogged from the torrent of tears they have weathered. I need new boxes. They will serve the same purposes but they will be a bit larger, water proof and possibly made of metal.

There will be an extra box this time. It will be titled "My Brother". And before anyone says anything, let me explain. Yes, he deserves his own box. It will have a lid and a lock and possibly be electrified on the outside. The best possible place for my feelings about my brother are in that box. Locked. Protected. Safe. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my brother. More then he will ever know or understand. I HATE the person he has become. The person he has CHOSEN to be. And that, that is something I can't do anything about. I know this. I understand this. But the amount of ANGER I have AT him, OVER him, FOR him is suffocating. If I put anything to do with my brother in any of the other boxes with other things, they get contaminated. Tainted. At that point, there is no point to my boxes. They will fall apart, crumble, turn to ash and all those things I thought I had a handle on will be there. Laying right in front of me. Taunting me. Clawing at me. And then the illusion of control, because lets face it, control really is just an illusion, is GONE. And that is just one more thing for me to be ANGRY about.

Which brings us to this. The last conversation I had with my brother, I tried everything I could think of to NOT fight with him. But because a fight is what he wanted, its what he got. HE did this. Not me. I have done nothing but bend over backwards when he needed me. Every accident. Every rumor. Every break up. Every time someone hurt him and he couldn't handle it. I was there. And, God help me, I will be there when he really needs me in the future. But at this point, I can't handle the lying, the manipulation, the guilt that isn't my own being forced upon me. And I told him so. I have to protect my daughter at this point. And so here is where we sit. My own brother is not welcome around me or my daughter. He is toxic to everyone he comes into contact with. And until he realizes that this is no one's fault but his own and CHOOSES to make better decisions, it will stay this way.

So he gets his own box.

I don't really care about much these days if I am being honest. Everyday is a struggle, whether the people around me see it or not. I have gotten pretty good at hiding those silly things called emotions. Its only when my boxes are all over the place that things leak out. I go through each day the best I can. I try to keep myself busy because my brain loves to make me think of things I would much rather NOT think about. There is a lot of anger and sadness that I hold on to. No amount of "I'm sorry"'s could help that. 99% of the time, the anger overrides every other emotion in my body. Its irrational and stupid, but that's where I am currently. Its where I have been.

My weight loss journey is pretty well at a standstill. I don't care about eating better. I don't care that I feel like complete shit when I eat ramen noodles with a bologna and cheese sandwich. And I certainly don't give two shits about anyone giving my fat ass side eye while I do it. I. Just. Don't. Care. Until I look in the mirror of course. Then, then I care. Why am I this way? Why can't I just get my shit together? and then...Whats the point? None of this matters. So I lose weight and am 'healthy'. So what? Will that really change the person that I see in the mirror? Will that change the WAY I see myself? I'm thinking NO. Even when I was much much lighter, I always saw a fat cow in the mirror. Always. I don't know that I will ever see anything other than that. And that causes me anger too. Because Damn It! I am strong and beautiful and smart and funny. I have given birth to two children, one being an Angel. I have accomplished things I never thought I could. I have ridden and trained some amazing horses. I have overcome fears and stood up for myself after years of just lying down and taking it. I am pretty fucking awesome. I have the best friends anyone could ask for. I ROCK! So why do I hate myself so much?

And then, then there is the gaping hole in my heart. The hole that I cant seem to fill, to fix. The hole that is far bigger then I, or anyone, thought possible. I'm not ready to face that quite yet. Not in writing at least. Hell, just my husband mentioning it brings me pain beyond belief. I wasn't ready then...I'm still not ready now.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Life Happened...and It Sucked

My last post was in June of 2018. Today's date is October 2, 2018. As my title says, Life Happened...and It Sucked. 

A lot has happened over the last 3-4 months. 

On July 4th, I stood in a hospital room with my Mom, Uncle and good friend, Rich, grieving the loss of one of the most special people in my life. My Aunt had been sick for a while at this point. And after some very recent other discoveries, we truly believe she knew she was dying long before anyone, including the doctors, ever thought it was even a possibility. She was fun loving, spontaneous, curious, insanely smart and kind. She loved nature and the stars. Growing up she was pure Chaos Theory and I loved her even more for that. She threw caution to the wind but always had a firm grasp on reality and consequences. She was my favorite person growing up. I wanted to be just like her. 

Me and Shelley in the 80's

She had a lot of loves in life. She loved knitting, her animals, friends and family, parties and drinking and the news. Yes, the news. LOL. She has knitted countless animals for Gwen. Scarves, pot holders, gloves, etc.. She always had animals, mainly cats. And she almost always had at least 1 dog. She loved her family and friends and even when we all annoyed the hell out of each other, we knew she would be there if/when we needed her and vice versa. Shelley had a life long love of all things outdoors and photography as well. 

Her Morning Glories

Sissy, Shelley and my Mom.

Shelley and Tesla Bella

Shelley and Herald


Left - Right  Sissy, Shelley, Mom, Tim.  Siblings


Shelley took this picture of Gwen and Herald. She then had it
printed on a huge poster and sent it to Gwen. Its on Gwen's wall to this day. 


Shelley - 1995

Shelley and Granddad at the Tuning Board. We were a music family! 

Shelley and Cass

Shelley and Gwen

That last picture is the last picture I have of her and Gwen. It still hurts to look at it. Honestly, this whole post is causing me a whole lot more pain then I thought I had left.

I have to remind myself everyday to remember her before she got sick. Before we knew she was sick. Before the weight loss, hair loss and muscle loss. Before the anger and tears. Before the shaking and memory losses. Before we lost her. Completely and undeniably lost her. I try to remember the sound of her voice, but cant quite bring myself to listen to the PICKLES song that has her voice at the end. I try. Most days I succeed. Those other days...I don't. And its like we are all there in that hospital room all over again. Between the Crohns and the Cirrhosis of the liver, none of us stood a chance of saving her, but we liked to believe we could.

My Mom and Dad took on the task of moving Shelley to their home when things got to bad for her to remain on her own. My Mom put her work on the side lines to care for her sister. She turned her living room into a space for Shelley to have for herself. In a house full of 2 dogs,a cat, and 4 other people, she moved Shelley's dog, Herald, and cat, Tesla Bella, home to be with Shelley too. Tesla Bella had been diagnosed with cancer 2 years prior to Shelley getting sick. The vets told Shelley Tesla Bella might last 6 months. We now know she stayed for Shelley. She knew Shelley needed her. Not even a week after Shelley passed, Tesla Bella gave up. Mom took her to be with Shelley. A month later, we had to say goodbye to Herald as well. He had developed a severe lump on his head. The vets said it was just bone, but the severe changes in personality and temperament were enough for us to believe it was more. Dad took Herald to be with Shelley as well. Mom promised Shelley she would take care of Tesla Bella and Herald. And I believe she did. She did exactly what they needed. And I know with every fiber of my being that Shelley approves of the decisions that Mom has had to make on her behalf. The Dr's gave Shelley 6 months to a year to live when Mom brought her home. 3 months. We got 3 months. Not nearly enough time.

The night of July 3rd we all sat in her hospital room. Taking turns holding her hand and saying things to hopefully get her to open her eyes and tell us all to stop fussing over her. It didn't work. The medicines (3 of them) to keep her bp UP wasn't working anymore. The breathing tube was something I may never understand. She always told me she never wanted that, yet she was the one who requested that damn thing be put in. My Mom truly believes that she thought they would put the tube in and in a day or so she would be better and be able to come off it. Her body gave up. God called her home. And now, we had to let go. So, we did what we used to do all the time. We sang to her. We played some of her favorite music. We took her off the medicines. And we waited. None of us wanted to leave even for a second. The morning of July 4th, I posed the question to the dr. "Is that tube the only thing keeping her here?" He looked me dead in the eye "Yes. Her organs are shutting down. Its the only thing keeping her alive." We made the decision to remove the tube. Within 30 seconds she was gone. Just like that. Just...gone. July 4th will never be the same. My heart will never be the same. My families hearts will never be the same. And yet, we have to heal. Or that's what we are supposed to do.

My Mom carries guilt she has no business carrying. Guilt for things she had NO other options for. Guilt that is eating her alive. Guilt that is killing her. I finally convinced her to go see a dr and a therapist/counselor. There is 10 times more crap going on as well that she is having a really hard time dealing with. I am my Mom's person. And I love that I am her person. But I am biased. I am biased in my opinion of how things have happened and continue to happen. It isn't safe, yes safe, for her to discuss certain things with me. My immediate response is anger and outrage and an overall need to murder people and that is not what she needs right now. Maybe later, but not now. Right now, she needs someone completely unbiased to listen and talk her through things. I am not unbiased. I am unreasonable and volatile. I know this. I accept it.

My Dad lost his father last September. He has not dealt with the death of his father, and quite honestly, I don't know that he ever will. They were so very much alike. We used to tease them that they even wore the same types of shirts and tucked their glasses into the same pockets. It was cute, and I can now think of those things and smile. My Dad is struggling. I don't know how to help him either. He isn't a talker like my Mom. He is a "bottler". He takes all those things and bury's them inside himself until the bottle explodes - I get that from him. Thanks Dad! ;)

There are so many other things going on. Things that I cant control. Life Happened...It Sucked. My whole family is basically in its own war zone and I can't fix it. Things are still happening and I cant help in any way shape or form.

When everything started happening with Shelley I started smoking again. I also quit cooking as much. I completely fell off the Whole 30 band wagon. After she passed I tried to get my shit together, but I just couldn't do it. I couldn't convince myself to do much of anything really. Other than going to work and coming home to sleep, I was completely useless. It was the first time in a really long time that I actually said out loud "I think I need help". And my husband jumped into action. He told me a few weeks ago that seeing me like that was heartbreaking. Knowing that I was stuck inside my own head and couldn't find my way out made him worry, a lot. It has taken me some time, obviously, to come to terms with things on my own. To tell myself that I can do this and even though I feel incredibly guilty about it, life must go on. I am currently trying to quit smoking, again. I have one few and far between at this point. I am getting myself back on track with the Whole 30. I am back to having some energy and a want to do something more then lay in bed and cry.

I wont use the hot sauce next time. Holy Spice! 

I added Shrimps! It was FANTASTIC!

We didn't really care for this one. 

I needed something to keep my brain busy as well. I don't have horses anymore and quite honestly my back is making stall cleaning and such kind of hard on me - Oh yeah! I found out that on top of my degenerative arthritis in my back I also have a slipped disc! Yay me! Anyway, I decided to join Scentsy as an Independent Consultant! I am loving it! Lots of cool products and smelly stuff! I love smelly stuff! It has definitely helped me out of my funk and given me something else to focus on. I feel like I have purpose again, as opposed to feeling like I mean nothing.

I will try to be better about updating now that I feel like I can talk about things a little better. This post was incredibly hard to write. More so then I thought it would be. My friend Lisa told me a while back that its OK to not have my shit together all the time. I'm starting to see that she is right. It is OK to not have my shit together all the time. I'm only human. But at what point do I look at myself in the mirror and tell myself "Enough!"? I think I'm there. At that point.

Oh! We are also in the process of MOVING! Yep. Moving. But that's for another post!

Thank you all for listening/reading/riding this crazy train with me. I'm struggling, but I'm getting better. We all are. One day at a time.


Current Weight: 272.3 lbs

Friday, June 15, 2018

R6:D15 - Falling Off The Wagon

Current Weight: 260.6

This past Saturday, the 9th, I weighed in at 253.6 lbs. We left that morning with the girls for a surprise trip weekend! I picked up Chrissy Friday night and surprised the girls with a sleepover. They thought we were going bowling Saturday morning. It was a weekend full of fun and laughter and lying...lots of lying! Damn inquisitive children!

The Saturday morning trip started with...a nap.

Every single time we road trip these two crazies end up asleep! Like they party hard or something! LOL!

We spent Saturday at Busch Gardens - are you shocked? Its like our favorite place to be! I didn't take a whole bunch of pictures this time. We had a great time!

We headed to the hotel that evening. The girls really wanted to go to the pool, but we still had to grab dinner and it was already 8:30 pm. We decided on Pizza Hut. By the time we had eaten it was 9:30 pm and both girls looked ready to pass out. I promised to take them to the pool first thing in the morning. They were out within 5 minutes of hitting the bed.

True to my word, I took the kids to the pool first thing Sunday morning. We had the whole pool to ourselves and the girls swam for about 2 hours.

The original plan was to go back to BG Sunday morning, but we decided to hit the Yankee Candle Store instead. That place is awesome! They have a whole Christmas Wing. The girls love going there!

Chrissy comes running into Yankee Candle to Will. "My tooth fell out!"
LOL! I took the tooth and put it in my wallet and off they went! 

From there we headed to lunch at Cracker Barrel! Yum! ( Yes, I am aware this is supposed to be a Whole30/Diet Blog. Shush!)

By this time we had convinced the girls we were headed home because they had school on Monday. Yeah, remember me saying we did a lot of lying. That. From CB we headed 8 minutes away to Great Wolf Lodge! I wish I could post the video of the arrival, but its on facebook and I'm not sure anyone who isn't friends with Will will be able to see it.

We headed inside to get our wrist bands so we could go play in the water park until check in at 4. Lucky for us, our room was already ready! So we parked the car, got everything into our room and headed to the water park! No pictures for us in the WP. I left my phone in the room and went to have fun!

We got tired of waiting on the elevator real quick and started taking the stairs everywhere we went. All of all 4 floors of Great Wolf. 13K steps on Sunday alone! After the WP we headed to get our wands for Magi Quest! We had a blast!

Pretty certain the girls were still talking when they fell asleep Sunday night. It was a fantastic day!

Monday morning we headed to breakfast. I swear I think we ate more on this trip then we have in the last year!

After Breakfast we headed to create their critters! The critters came with a game that took us all over the first and second floors of the hotel. Super fun! **Fun Fact - Magi-Quest takes place on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floor**

A little bowling!

A little speed racing game!

Some 4D theater action!

The Wall of Candy!



And Ice Cream!

I think its safe to say that fun was had by all. Will and I let the girls go play in the water park on their own. We went and rode some rides and hung out in the adult only hot springs and the wave pool. The little sharks found us in the wave pool...we ran for our lives! LOL.

We headed home Monday evening and arrived at about 9:00 pm. The girls were so tired that they didn't even want me to blow up the big mattress. They just wanted to sleep in Gwen's bed. Poor things didn't make it 2 minutes before they were both snoring. :)

Needless to say, I did not make it to the grocery for the week and I most certainly didn't prep any meals. So we have kind of been winging it this week. I did have chicken and pork tenderloins in the freezer, so I have been able to stay compliant for dinners and both of us take leftovers for lunch. Breakfast is the only issue at this point.

Tuesday morning I got on the scale. Now, I would like for everyone to remember that while we ate nothing compliant this weekend, we were also extremely active. I'm certain that we went up at least 50 flights of stairs on Sunday and Monday and we walked around BG all day Saturday. That being said, on Tuesday morning, my weight was 263.6 lbs. In 4 days of not being compliant, I gained 10 freaking pounds. All of that is the food. All of it. But you know what...I don't care. I will lose that weight again. I had an amazing time with people I truly love. We laughed, we played, we got exercise and now we all still need naps! I am down 3 lbs since Tuesday. I'm not mad.

Out pottery creations came in on Wednesday! They turned out super cute!

Chrissy - Left     Gwen - Right     Me - Middle

Last night I got my walk in! It felt so good!

When I got home I threw together Buffalo Chicken and Broccoli. This has become one of my favorites! Its super easy and super filling. The original recipe calls for 1/4 cup hot sauce. That's not happening in my house. The first time I made this, I used 1 tbsp. This time I used 2 tbsp. I think 1 1/2 tbsp is gonna be the magic number. I served it over cauliflower rice, but really I think its great without it. 

Today is our little girls last day as a 3rd grader. I am so exceptionally proud of her. This coming year has lots of changes. Her last day at daycare will be the 29th of June. She will be spending the summer with a friend down the street and then come the school year, she will be riding the bus with her as well. Everyone is super excited about this change and I hope it all works out! 

I made the comment to Will this morning that I am considering taking pictures of everything I eat. Part of me thinks it will keep me better on track. The other part of me thinks I will just not take pictures of the things I am not supposed to eat to hide things. We are going to be back on the STRICT whole30 starting Monday I believe. No more little cheats here and there. I also think we will be holding off on going back to BG until the second weekend in July. That should help with the food situation. BG has such amazing food...its hard not to eat when you are there! 

I promise I will get back on track and add to the Whole30 portion of my blog soon. At this point, this blog has kind of become more of a Tell All instead of just a Whole30 journey. I think I might be OK with that. 

See you all next week! :)