Friday, September 18, 2009

Looking Forward

One GIANT component of pulling myself up and out of the pit has been not only looking forward to a place where I no longer felt the way I did, but also having things to look forward to, just to get me through each day.

One of the articles I read about grief stated that you should surround yourself with things that comfort you. Again, folks? This is what worked for me. I'm not saying that ANY of what I did will work for you or anyone else you know. Find something that you think will work for you and run with it. If it doesn't work, try something else. Keep trying until you find YOUR peace.

1) Ice Cream---I dropped quite a few pounds during my time in the black hole. Yes, I hit my danger weight and I went below it. But I was also continuing to exercise every day and I wasn't showing any physical signs (or mental for that matter) of the return of my eating disorder. Stress, sadness,'re gonna lose some weight. One afternoon, during Hope's first week of school I took some Ben and Jerry's out onto the patio with me while Claire was napping. It didn't solve anything. I cried before and after I ate it. But it did taste GOOD and I could stand to push a few extra calories so that went into the plus column.

2) Walking---This one was a big one. I continued walking every single day even at my lowest. Everything I said in my previous post about my walks still rings true. I had days where knowing I was going to be able to go for a walk was the only thing that saved me. The endorphin boost gave me enough energy to simply do the dishes, grab a shower, and go to bed. Again, I still felt miserable...I still wanted to crawl into a dark closet and stay there...I still cried constantly...sometimes even DURING my walks...but I made it THROUGH. I'm still walking...and while I'm walking...I'm SMILING...and singing too!

3) Music---Music has always been a great healer for me, but for some reason this time, it brought more hurt than help. There were some songs that I had grown dependent on that I simply couldn't listen to for a very long time. So, again, one afternoon during naptime, I went out to the patio with my laptop and a couple of brand new Rick Springfield CD's. I figured, if that boy couldn't help I might as well give it up. I was right. I reopened my heart to someone who has been writing perfect lyrics for years...and he's still doing it. Once I let him in, a rush of others followed. My MP3 player is now loaded with, of course, my two Steves, RS and 3 Doors Down just to name a few. And yes, some nights when I'm walking? I am singing...loudly...and no...I DON'T care if the people sitting on their front porches or working on their cars or sweeping their driveways hear. I don't even care if they look at me funny. You know what I do? I wave at them. Oh yeah...and I smile! ; )

4) Bed---Yes folks. There was more than one time during this time period when I would look at the clock and say OUT LOUD, "In just 12 more hours I can go back to bed." Sad, yes, but again, something I was looking forward to. I have started going to bed an hour earlier than I used to. helped.

5) Grant---For those of you not familiar with "my Grant" you can read that post here. My subconscious decided that I obviously needed a visit from Grant. I haven't had a dream about him well...the last one I remember was shortly after I got married. And yet, here I was, sharing a park bench with him. It was as with all the friends or best siblings. He was trying to make me laugh, and succeeding as always...shoving my shoulder with his, trying to push me off the bench. Me being me? Doing the same thing back. It was WONDERFUL and it lifted my spirits for that entire day. You know...I wonder if he has dreams about some wild haired redhead he's never met that always makes him laugh? Yeah...I'd still love to meet him in person.

6) Sitting On The Bed and Talking To God---God and I have had our ups and downs over the years. I didn't really know Him personally until, I don't know...the late 90's? There have been a lot of trust issues lately. I'm fairly certain He's glad to have me back learning what I've learned about Him. Once Claire is busy doing her thing downstairs in the mornings I head upstairs, sit on the side of the bed, and talk to God. Praying? I suppose, but not in the "conventional" sense of the word. I don't think conventional prayers use the rather colorful language I do. Again, I'd like to think that He's happy I'm turning TO Him at this point, rather than AWAY. Most mornings I cry...yes...still. Today is a day of all out happiness and peace...and I still cried this morning. Obviously, I needed to. I will continue with these morning talks for as long as He'll have me.

7) Trying Something New---For me? This means getting out of the myself. You've read about the road trip. Well, I also had a girls' night out with two friends from high school that I haven't seen for almost 30 years. Yeah, I laughed myself silly that night. THANK YOU Jane and Sherri! One Sunday I meandered around Barnes & Noble by myself, sipping a peppermint hot chocolate and picking up books I'd never even THINK of reading. I bought two of them. I can't say I'd ever buy anything like that again, but I didn't HATE either one of them! HA! This one is an ongoing deal folks...I'll keep you posted.

8) should probably be sitting down if you aren't. And you might want to read this post if you haven't already. In that post I had said that I was done with piercings. Well...not exactly. I got two more twelve weeks ago. Oh stop it...they're all in my ears...I've got nine now. Piercings people...not ears...keep up will you? Also in that post I asked what y'all thought of tattoos.

I've been thinking long and hard about tattoos for many years...I believe that post was dated 2005? I decided long ago I wanted a saying done in Chinese characters. A couple of years ago I came up with a great idea and then chickened out. Several months ago I found a young lady online who will translate your great idea into Chinese specifically for a tattoo. Again...filed it away.

After the henna tattoo was gone...I missed it...and it had only been around for a week! The more I thought about it, the more I knew I was ready. I contacted Kathy at After several days of working together, she told me that the idea I had really didn't translate, it was too specific, and to do it justice it would take a ridiculously long string of characters not suitable for a tattoo. She offered to refund my money as she was out of ideas. I told her to give me a few days...let me think about it...let me look around at her site which holds a WEALTH of ideas. I decided to do what I had basically done when I chose Hope and Claire's middle names. I was going to choose three characteristics that I want to display in my life...Mel's life...this Mel that I am becoming. I chose the characters, asked Kathy if I chose the correct ones...I was ok on two of them, she corrected my third. I chose font, size, placement etc. It took about two weeks via email to come up with what I was looking for. And she is an angel...I have NO problems recommending Kathy to ANYONE who would be interested in her services. She is AWESOME! Once it was finished, she emailed me the design in PDF format. I took it downtown, got a price, and an appointment for the next day.

Did it hurt? Not really. Would I do it again. In a heartbeat. These pictures were taken about a week afterwards. The ink has since gotten a lot brighter. Are y'all ok? Do you need to excuse yourselves for a bit? Get a glass of water? Dang...that Mel's gone middle age crazy or something...

So what traits did I choose? Reading vertically from left to right the characters read: courage, passion, balance.
And no...Mel hasn't gone middle age crazy...Mel is just finally learning how to LIVE.
Below is one of my newer theme songs. Yes, if you live in my neighborhood, chances are very good you've heard me belting it out once or twice.

Be blessed y'all...and don't forget to SMILE! %^ ]

Be Good To Yourself by Journey
Runnin' out of self-control
Gettin' close to an overload
Up against a no win situation
Shoulder to shoulder, push and shove
I'm hangin' up my boxin' gloves
I'm ready for a long vacation

Be good to yourself when, nobody else will
Oh be good to yourself
You're walkin' a high wire, caught in a cross fire
Oh be good to yourself

When you can't give no more
They want it all but you gotta say no
I'm turnin' off the noise that makes me crazy
Lookin' back with no regrets
To forgive is to forget
I want a little piece of mind to turn to

Be good to yourself when, nobody else will
Oh be good to yourself
You're walkin' a high wire, caught in a cross fire
Oh be good to yourself
Be good to yourself when, nobody else will


Carolina said...

Oh Mel, I love that (I wouldn't have it tattood on my shoulder OR anywhere else, but still...) Courage, Passion, Balance. Much better than 'shit happens' ;-) Wise choice!

Funny thing is that just last week I started typing 'be good' in stead of 'big hug' under some emails or comments I wrote. Hmm.

Be good Mel! And a big hug!

Carol said...

Well, Mel....the tattoo is more than wonderful in person. Perfectly perfect for you, dearheart.

The next time you want to go into a dark closet....pick the one where you stored Hope's Tooth Fairy Doll. She'll make you smile, 'kay?

It was so so great to see you, Garry and the girls today. No...not great...awesomely wonderfully magical. Hope and Claire are beautiful souls....just like their Mama. I had the best time making those white-haired dollies with them. I know I'll remember it for a long long time. I hope they will, too! Just being with them made me smile. All day. Even tonite, and I'm padooped. Those beautiful beautiful girls. (someone should write a song about them!)


Mel said...

Carolina love, "shit happens" is still good too! :) As always, BIG hugs back...and some for Biggles too!

Carol, you know I love you...and yes it was awesomely wonderfully magical seeing you again today...and that guy that was hanging around with you! I asked Claire what her favorite thing about YP was. She said, "Popcorn!" I asked her what her second favorite thing was. She said, "Playing with Auntie Carol and Uncle Jim." Later I asked Hope the same thing. Her first favorite was, "Helping Auntie Carol make dollies." Second? "Eating popcorn." And of course my mind hasn't stopped thinking of how to make Asian eyes on dolls now either...thank you very much! ; ) xoxoxoxoxo

jay said...

You're not crazy! Well, if you are, I am as well. Hmm .. I guess we both might be ... Nah. We're good! LOL!

I don't have a tattoo, but it's only because I have fears of being allergic to the ink. I'm allergic to lots of things. I'd want a little tiny greyhound head, I think, maybe with my first dog's kennel number on it - or maybe my husband's name in a secret place.

I was with a group of ladies (not one under thirty-five, some in our fifties) who had tattoos done in LA a year or so ago. Most had no existing tattoos, they just 'went mad' together. No-one has regretted it.

Your tattoo looks really pretty! Yay, you! :)

Mel said...

Jay---I love you...I REALLY do! I think I *am* crazy...but I'm going to embrace it! ; )

Your comments reminded me that I didn't share the story of GETTING the tattoo. I think that will be my next post because THAT was priceless.

Thanks as always my friend...

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