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    Thursday, February 20, 2014

    Getting It Together

    So, yeah.  I'm running through life and remembering to stop and smell the roses.  Things are going pretty well.  Mostly due to the fact that I decided several months ago to stop drinking.  Alcohol was not doing me any favors.  Amazingly, the anxiety went away despite life being more hectic than ever. 

    My stepdad/boss had quadruple bypass surgery which leaves me to run the sign shop alone.  I'm doing ok and figuring out ways to make things work, including working the second job.  I decided after much self depreciating thinking that I have much to be grateful for.  I'm working two jobs, keeping my home and the bills are paid.  I do without a lot of extras, but honestly, life has been good to me. 

    I'm still in a relationship with a man and it's been almost 4.5 years.  We still live separately.  We've been through our ups and downs and it's nice to know that someone actually loves me. 

    My weight is steady, although it's higher than I'd like. I keep reminding myself that I'm still 134 pounds less than my highest weight.  (Yes, doing the math means that I've gained a lot of weight.) I'm trying to eat healthy but it's tough on such a limited income.  Who's idea was it to make junk food so cheap and real food expensive?

    My goal is to keep getting it together.

    Wednesday, July 31, 2013

    Time To Fess Up

    I've posted here recently about being judged.  I'm coming to a point in my life where I don't care anymore.  Well, that's not really true.  You see, I'm a pleaser.  I want everyone to like me and not think I'm a complete blithering idiot. But I also have something I really need to talk about and I just can't do that with people that know me. 

    I've been struggling with a lot lately.  Not only my weight, but my propensity to binge drink.  I only drink twice a month, but when I do, look out world because I'm going to do it up big. The other problem with this drinking is that it causes major anxiety for days.  The kind that makes you want to crawl out of your own skin.  Being around other people when I'm in this state is painful.  I wish I would just get the normal hangover with a headache and weak stomach.  I never knew this was something that is quite common. 

     As far back as I can remember, whenever I drank, it was almost always to excess.  Keep in mind that I've gone years without drinking.  In fact, I rarely think about it except when I'm staying with a "friend" every other weekend. I don't drink during the week either.  The counselor that I've been seeing and I discuss whether or not I'm an alcoholic.  One doesn't have to drink daily to be one.  I despise that label like most people would.   

    Therapy has been helpful in forcing me to come to terms with why I'm such a mess.  I knew that it mostly stemmed from childhood sexual abuse.  I've seen the counselor cry during several of my sessions.  I think she may be as tender hearted as I.  It's strange to say the least but also makes me realize that the abuse was much more horrible than I ever cared to remember.

    We all screw up but my question is why can't I get my crap together?

    Wednesday, July 03, 2013

    A N X I E T Y !

    The word anxiety used to make me smirk. I thought people who had anxiety and panic attacks could control it if they tried. I saw it as a weakness, never dreaming that I'd become one of the inflicted. My theory about why it waited so long to enter my life is that I have been so wrapped up in keeping everything perfectly together that eventually the burden on my shoulders became too much and smashed me down hard.

    Luckily for me, the counselor I've been seeing has helped me begin to learn ways of controlling anxiety. I've had trouble lately though. I haven't been sleeping well. I tell myself in the morning that I'll try to sleep a little longer (both of my jobs are flexible with hours). The problem comes when my brain makes me feel like I don't deserve to sleep. "Get up, you slob! You've got too much to do to be lazing around." says my noggin. Why don't I deserve precious sleep? I feel worthless when I'm not trying to accomplish something.

    My life isn't as depressing as I'm making it sound. It just feels like it's on hold. Like I have no goals. People keep asking me about my goals. For the past 21 years, my goal has been to see that my 2 daughters graduate from college and become productive members of society. We're on our way to that. The oldest is almost 21 and in her 4th year in college. The youngest will be a Senior in high school. So, I guess after next year, I need to find some new goals. People keep telling me to go back to school. Maybe someday I will but for now, I know too many well educated people without jobs. I'll keep my low paying jobs because I love what I do.

    Saturday, June 22, 2013

    I'm Sorry

    Seems like I say that a lot lately.  I'd love to catch you up on the last few years of my life but that would take forever and honestly, who really cares?  I'm not down on my life, just being real with where I am in my journey.

    I'm glad that I had the wear with all to write the things I did here.  Recently, I've taken to putting pen to paper with hopes that no one will ever find or read it.  It's easier to write when you know it's only for you.  I've found that everyone judges my every move and it's hard to find someone to talk to that isn't shaking their head at what I'm trying to tell them.  A counselor has become my best friend even though I'm paying out of pocket.

    On the weightloss/gain front, I'm up 50 pounds from my lowest weight.  I've come to begrudgingly accept that sad fact.  My weight is exactly where my weight loss surgeon said it would be which is still down 158 pounds seven years after weight loss surgery.  I'm not nearly as active as I used to be.  I've found that gaining weight makes my entire body hurt.  I need to refocus and get back at it.  It sure makes a difference in my mental health.  I have lost the confidence I once had a my lowest weight.  Something mentally changed and I just don't feel like I have the world on their knees. 

    My daughters are both doing well.  One is a Senior in college and the other a Senior in high school.  I've been thinking a lot about how my life is going to change a year from now when the youngest goes to college.  I need to find more things to occupy my time. 

    On the relationship front, I'm still with the same guy (it's been almost 4 years).  He still lives an hour away.  I made a promise to myself not to move anyone in with me until my youngest is out of the house.  She's had a pretty rough time with the divorce and her father moving his partner in nearly 3 years ago with them.  I've found someone that I love more than I've ever loved any man.  We also have had a hard row to hoe.  I won't get into that here as I respect that he doesn't like me talking about him on the internet.  (He doesn't get the whole blogging thing.)  But, I also see that he loves me in a way I've never been loved. 

    Financially, I'm doing pretty well considering how much money I earn.  The only debt I have is my house.  My credit rating is around 800 and I'm pretty proud of that.  I'm still living in the house and my van is paid for.  Not a bad feat considering my income is about $13,000 a year.  Can you believe I just told the world that?  Honestly, I have everything I need.  I've learned to use what I have and make the most of it.  Don't get me wrong, if I miss a paycheck, I'm screwed, but overall, financially I'm squeaking by quite nicely.   Child support has been pretty much non existent since the ex can't seem to keep a job.  So, I can say I've done all of this by myself and it's made me stronger.  I remember my apprehension when considering divorce.  I was sure I couldn't make it financially on my own.  IN YOUR FACE, SIGNGURL!.  :)

    I'm still working both jobs.  The sign shop is hopping right along and I still love that job.  It's amazing to look around and see that small parts of myself that are all over the area.  I'm sure many of the signs will be here longer than I will.  The agricultural job is also going well although I don't work many hours there.  I've gotten the job down to a science so I'm there much less. 

    I miss my blogger friends.  You have all gone with me on quite the journey that I may never have taken had I not started blogging.  My hope is to come here and get brave again and pretend like no one is judging my life. 

    This is me today, looking much older but hopefully wiser. 

    Thursday, January 19, 2012


    I'm sure you all have given up on me. Sometimes I think I have done the same. I think about blogging often. I miss it terribly. There is so much to be said for having a place to rest your brain while getting support.

    Life is still a struggle for me. I'm still working the two jobs and I love both of them. I've been in the sign business for almost 10 years and in the safety business for two years this month. The agricultural job took me into the fields this summer and fall. It was some of the most physically demanding work I've ever done but it was also awesome to know that I was capable.

    My weight continues to frustrate me. I've gained about 45 pounds back. I haven't exercised much since summer and even then, wasn't as obsessed with it as I had been in the past. Gaining weight has taught me that I need to learn again to control my behaviors. The gastric bypass surgery still limits the amount of food that I can eat, even after 5 years and I'm thankful for that. My self esteem is in the crapper. I'm disgusted with myself. It's almost like I weigh nearly 400 pounds again as I look away when people look at me in hopes that they won't see me. I'm, becoming invisible again. Fat people are sometimes treated like they are invisible. At least fat WOMEN are. I don't see that happening with men.

    Weight gain has also led to periods of depression. For me, they may only last a few minutes or a few days. Honestly, my life is not that terrible. I don't make a lot of money, but I have everything I need with the exception of health insurance. Don't get me going on that rant.

    The man in my life has remained there for over two years. We still live over an hour apart. That has caused some issues in our relationship. I remain where I am for daughter #2. She's had so much change and I don't want to disrupt her any more than she has been.

    Me, #1 and #2.

    Sorry this has been depressing. Hopefully, Spring will be here and help change my attitude.

    Friday, November 12, 2010


    I have given a lot of thought recently to blogging. I started blogging over 5 years ago. I never dreamed anyone would give a crap about what I had to say. Blogging gave me the courage to admit things that I wouldn't tell most people. It brought me a mental clarity to realize that my life was not what I wanted it to be. Blogging donated the confidence that I needed to make the changes necessary to set my life in motion. Without it, I'm not sure I would have ever had weight loss surgery.

    Blogging has brought me many real life friends that I would never have had the pleasure of knowing without the help of the internet. These relationships are some of the strongest in friendships.

    I am currently still in a relationship that began over a year ago. He lives over an hour away so we mostly see each when we can. I'm content with where our relationship is and don't feel the immediate need to change things. I'm enjoying making it on my own. I never dreamed that I would be able to pay my own way in life and make decisions completely alone. It's not as bad as I thought.

    The guy doesn't agree with blogging. He thinks that it's an invasion of privacy. I tried to explain that blogging is like pen pals were back in the day when you couldn't wait to hear from your friend from afar. So, out of respect for him, I won't post pictures of him here. What follows are pictures taken during a camping trip last month that we took with my parents. It was 32 degrees but we had a blast despite the weather.

    My youngest and me on Suicide Bend at Tippy Dam. Those tiny dots on the river are people fishing for Salmon.

    Here we are on top of a metal giant grasshopper statue.

    This was a giant fire pit. The focus was supposed to be on the colors behind me in the trees but the photographer (who shall remain nameless) didn't get them in the shot.

    This is what 3 days of camping without running water looks like.

    If any of you still read this, I thank you for that. I think about you often. :)

    Friday, October 01, 2010

    Bon Jour!

    Well hello there! Yes, G-Man, I realize that I missed my quarterly post. That's because life has been so busy.

    Firstly, my girls quickly came to their senses and came home. We worked things out. I think they realize that I am one of the few people in this world who will love them no matter what.

    My oldest daughter graduated from high school 18th in a class of almost 300. Not too shabby. Because of her scholastic merits, she was able to get most of her first year of college paid for. In August, we took her 500 miles from home into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and dumped her into her new life. I was surprised to find that my child, the child who has counted down the days to when she was leaving home since she was 11, was completely homesick. I never expected that, nor did she. She's still working on being a grown up. As she says, "Being an adult sucks!" I am so proud of her. She is an amazing girl.

    Lake Superior with my girls

    Last dinner as a family

    Lake Michigan on the Cut River Bridge on the way home

    Now, onto more unpleasant subjects, my weight. I have been struggling desperately with my weight (as you can see in the pictures). I am up 20 pounds from my lowest weight. My weight loss surgeon warned me that he has seen very few weight loss surgery patients that don't gain back at least 20 pounds. I am nearly 4 years out from surgery. Most people begin to gain in the 2nd year. I don't know how I was able to keep it off as long as I have. I know that my eating habits are not what they should be. I've also found that I have been compensating for stress with food. It's really killing me inside. I feel the old fat girl creeping back into my head. I know it affects the way I carry myself. I have no self confidence any more.

    I pretty much spend my entire life worrying. I worry about my girls, money, my weight and about my love life. The stress is really getting to me. Being single is a lot of work, but I still have to remember that I made the right decision. I still have my house and recently paid off my van. The day after I paid off my van, my dad hit the front end and did $500 worth of damage.

    One of the more worrisome things I have to worry about is my neighborhood. It had been a great neighborhood when I moved in 20 years ago. Unfortunately, many have lost their houses and they have been snatched up by slum lords who rent to drug dealers. On the night of July 4th, the house across the street had a bomb detonated between the two front doors. The front windows and doors were blown off and into my house. You haven't lived until you've heard a bomb at 1:30 AM literally jolt you physically out of bed, only to hear it raining glass on your house. I have never felt panic like that. The woman who lives there was only slightly injured because "Something told her to go into the other room and shut the door". Had she been in her normal spot, she would have been dead. This is not an attempted murder case. This is also one of 3 ongoing court cases revolving around that particular property. These include several different families who have moved in and out. It's pretty crappy when you are scared to death to go home.

    So, yes, I am alive and kicking. Struggling, but kicking! I have been blogging for over 5 years. Where does the time go?