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Monday, April 22, 2013

New Directions, or the ever shrinking Deb

So, here we go again.

Much has transpired. Too much, perhaps, but much nonetheless. I have considering reconnecting with my self-centered self these last few months and, finally, I have the strength to it. You see, before, I would say something, something like "jeez, what a spoiled little girl that woman actually is" and three people would send me e-mails saying "how DARE you, I'm never reading your blog again, EXCUUUUSE ME!"  Well, in spite of everything, that kind of thing hurts my feelings. Because somewhere between the "who the hell ASKED you to read it?" and the "Go fuck yourself" there was actually a very non-confrontational woman who just wants people to like her.

Now...this brings me to my hiatus. Vacation. Absence. Okay, nervous breakdown.

It started way back when. Probably about the time I learned to say "Mama" and unleashed the psychopath my mother was but I digress. More recently, it started the Saturday morning last summer I couldn't sleep.

I was sitting in the unholy mess that is my apartment, at the desk, screwing around on the computer. I was staring at a large pile of laundry I had sitting in the living room. It was there because I had decided, for some unknown reason, that if I stacked it up in the chair it would end up clean, folded, and would have put itself away. No dice. I looked at the laundry, I looked at the lame ass farm I was tending and thought, "what the hell, laundromats open at 5am." I grabbed the bags, headed to the car and ended up at the local mold factory of a coin op (now closed, btw). I went there because it was in a shopping center that contained a supermarket, a CVS, a nail shop and a Western Bagel store. Yeah, the bagels were a prime motivator.

So...I did six loads of laundry, sat outside and had an onion bagel with cream cheese and a cup of coffee, and loaded the car. It was 8:15 am. Pretty sure no one was up, I drove around the long way, aimlessly cruising the streets, enjoying the warm morning and dreading the heat that would be here by 1 pm  I cruised by another shopping center. There was a supermarket, a Starbucks, a cut rate hair cutter, another nail shop, and a Weight Watchers center that hadn't been there a month ago. I turned in, parked, and walked in.

I had spent the entire time I was savoring my toasted bagel thinking about the fact that I was killing myself. My weight had gone up to astronomical proportions, my eating habits were abysmal, I hated myself, my life, and I waddled. I would lie in bed at night wondering how long before my own weight smashed my heart.

My old leader was there. Registration was free. The program was changed. And I was ready.

I drank my water. I ate fresh vegetables and fruits, I kept track of what I ate and how much. Slowly, steadily, I began to shrink. I found I was now trotting down the stairs in the morning, dead center, no hand rails needed. I had lost 20 pounds by Thanksgiving and I was wearing new jeans, a size smaller. I ate sensibly at Thanksgiving, relishing the company. I had pie, I lost half a pound that week, not a lot but I was in good shape.

As Christmas approached I found myself not keeping scrupulous track of my food intake. I went to my meeting and was down .8 of a pound. And I panicked. I was struck with an indescribable terror. Instead of accepting the fact that my weight loss WASN'T as high as it is normally instead of trusting my instinct and my logic and being pleased that, in spite of my carelessness I had acquired enough good habits to keep myself moving in the right direction my emotions were telling me something was dreadfully wrong. I spoke to my leader who said the loss looked perfectly fine but told me to go see my doctor and assure myself that I was as healthy as she thought I was.

I hadn't been to the doctor in years and I wasn't about to go now. He would yell at me for not being there in years. I knew it. He would give me bad news. I gained weight between Christmas and New Years which should have made me feel less scared. I got back on course and made 26 pounds. I couldn't bring myself to celebrate, to shop a little, to pat myself on the back. I didn't realize I was on the way to a personal hell.

It was a scant week later when a co-worker, new to the job, working for my supervisor and acting with a pushiness and arrogance I was unused to told me I was to meet her at 4 pm so she could supervise me while I cleaned out a storeroom. I told her I was busy (this was true). She demanded an accounting of just what was so important and when, exactly, did I expect to be finished. She explained to me that I didn't do anything that was very necessary and I was to meet her at 4. I said, fine, whatever you want. Se told me SHE didn't appreciate my attitude as she was taking time off from her busy day to help ME.

And I imploded. I began crying like a child (no, not in front of the size 0 bitch). I couldn't stop. Several people expressed concern, as if they actually liked me. I ended up in the HR reps office and, an hour later I went home for the day. I can only imagine what happened when the HR rep called my boss and said I would not be back that day. I hope Miss New Found Authority crapped a brick.

The next day, a Friday, I broke down and went to my doctor. He hugged me while I continued to cry, said I had every right to melt down, gave me several prescriptions, took some blood and referred me to a therapist. I went back to work five weeks later and 8 pounds heavier. I slept all day and stayed up all night, breaking the monotony with peanut butter and butter sandwiches at 3 am. Yep, that's right...peanut butter and BUTTER. I made mac and cheese and pot pies. I let the cat pee on the carpet and the dishes pile up in the sink. I went out only when necessary and didn't enjoy myself. I stayed in bed and watched all 31 Days of Oscar on TCM and "Kit Kittridge: All America Girl" on HBO. I watched it about seven times in a row. Then I watched a movie about a girl who's father got laid off and her mother went back to work and her teacher thought she was incorrigible and then her father got a new job and they were going to have to move and her aunt got married and the kid saved the day. I watched it three times in a row. I don't remember the name but Sandra Oh was the teacher. I was glad my last name is not now nor was it ever "Oh".

I went back to work because we needed the money. I am still fragile and a bit slow to fire up, but it's coming around. I went back to Weight Watchers and began to take the weight off again. My doctor encourages this by saying I am so pretty. If I didn't know he was Jewish I would think he was a nun, they used to tell me stuff like that. Have you even SEEN my nose? It's not a nose, it's a beak.

I started back slowly but the weight is coming off again. I am okay with that now. It has made me vulnerable though, and there is less to hide behind. I now know my job is unfulfilling, my mother was controlling, my husband so detached as to be non-existent and I am lonely. There is more to go. I wonder how I got to be pushing 60 and been so afraid. Not of life. Of myself.

There is 100 more pounds to lose. I took my first step at 9 months (I walked early, my sons walked at 9 months as well)  and the journey I started then is just beginning. For me anyway.