Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ella estaba sorprendida!! (She was surprised)

Normally, I am NOT good at keeping secrets.  I get super excited about the idea of keeping them and seeing the look on people's faces when they are revealed,  but then I see that person and I just want to tell them instantly.  I look like the cat that ate the canary with my big stupid grin and my face is a dead giveaway.

But with the help of one of my very best friends, I finally did it.  I kept a secret from my sister for months.  And it SUCKED.  It was harder than trying to strap your baby to your chest with one of those granola mom loving baby harnesses that have no buckles and the only way to get your child from face planting to the ground is by knowing origami and having a roll of duct tape.  Yeah, it was that kind of hard.

For months, we texted and called and Amazon Prime ordered and Etsy'd our asses off planning for this party.  It was going to the be the best fake bridal shower planning, Surprise 40th Birthday Party anyone had ever pulled out of their asses.  It was complete with gold glitter cat decorations for my cat loving sister, pink and gold glitter e'rthing, booze that would rival a Jay-Z backstage after party and enough food to put you into Weight Watchers meetings for a year.

But when her car pulled up and everyone got into position, the tension was palpable.  I could literally feel the heartbeat of every person there pounding in my chest.  I don't think I remembered to breathe for a solid five minutes.  As she came up the side of the house, our friend Melissa signaled for her son to start playing "Go shorty, it's your birthday", we all jumped out and yelled SURPRISE, she had an aneurysm and everyone went home.


She was carrying arms full of baskets for the shower she was supposed to be planning, along with wine and other shower-like goodies that she almost threw on the ground, and I am pretty sure I saw a trickle of pee come down her leg when we scared her half to death and she instantly started crying.  Mission accomplished.  I believe her exact words as she rounded the corner were "What the hell is wrong with all of you?  That is terrible!"  Aw, sweeter words have never been spoken 💖

Head over to my Instagram to check it out:  

I have to say, I haven't seen my sister smile so big, or be as happy as I had seen her that night in a long time.  She was glowing, she was dancing, she was hugging, she was being hugged, she was genuinely realizing just how far the people that love her would go to let her know how incredibly special and important she is to them.

And just when she thought it just couldn't possibly get any better than that she started opening up a gift that was signed from a group of us who had donated towards it and came in eight sections.  Each piece - things like sunscreen, maracas, a margarita glass with tequila, a Daddy Daycare DVD, a tank top that said This Senorita Needs a Margarita, a calendar and finally - a signed card - told her that she has an all expense paid trip girls trip to Mexico next spring!

BOOM!  NAILED IT!  As much as we looked forward to it, and enjoyed it, I had never been so happy for something to be over.  Surprise parties are stressful and I am glad she doesn't turn 50 for another 10 years.  

Also, I have a sprained wrist.  Long story short, gravity and alcohol (and walls) are not my friend and if I want to sit on the ground after I fall I am pretty intent on doing just that, until I'm not, at which point I will sprint into the house, and into a wall.  Good times, good times.

I am available for your Sweet 16's, Quinceanera's, Dirty 30's, Lordy Lordy 40's and Bachelorette Parties for a reasonable fee.  Just don't let me drink Fireball on an empty stomach.  You've been warned.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Thigh Gaps and Knee Slaps

So, what's the deal with "thigh gaps"?  I mean, I don't think I ever had one.  Not even as an infant.  Or a fetus.  When I was a kid that was just never a thing.  Girls didn't aspire to be anorexics or Victoria Secret models.  We aspired to have enough Rave hairspray to get us through a weekend of rollerskating and drinking beer on the railroad tracks.  We wanted to make sure that we we had enough safety pins for our bleached our jeans and enough batteries for our walkmans.  I have always had stumpy limbs and I ain't mad about it because it's not only true that "thick thighs save lives", they also save cell phones from falling in the toilet when you're playing Candy Crush in the morning.  They save that last crispy piece of pepperoni from falling on the floor.  They bounce babies which create giggles, which is the best sound in the whole world.  And they look hella good in a pair of skinny jeans.  We, as women, are not meant to look like the 12 year old versions of ourselves.  We are meant to look like humans who have birthed other humans.  Like women who have loved and lost, and drank dranks, and laughed and cried and lived a thousand lifetimes.  So all you skinny bitches eating air and drinking your flat tummy teas for the sake of a "thigh gap", have at it.  I will keep saving lives with these thick thighs, and the occasional cell phone.

Another phrase that cracks me is being someone's "ride or die".  Like, where are we riding and why do we have to die?  It seems really aggressive and extreme.  Can I just be someone's "cruise and live"?  I mean in the end, I'll still be there for you, and in the meantime we can eat pizza and drink whiskey and take the back roads home, and when we get home we can watch some Netflix and fall asleep on the couch and no one has to give up their life.  I say that sounds way better than riding and dying.

I feel like the older I get, the older I realize I am.  I am always using the phrase "when I was a kid", or "kids these days".  The next thing you know I will be telling my kids I had to walk to school in the snow with no shoes, uphill, both ways while carrying my siblings on my back.  Speaking of my poor aching back....

Ok, that's it.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I'm back, Bitches.

Ok, so it's been a hot minute....or a long year since I have last posted.  To be honest, although I have a lot to say, I haven't had the words in me to say them.  I'm not even the same person I was last year, or even last month or last week for that matter, so it's hard to know where to begin when starting over.  They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  So here I am, taking that first step - or as it were that initial thud back into real life.  Because the place where I have been stuck - in my head, on my couch, in Season 5 of Pretty Little Liars, in my sweatpants - isn't the place I want to be anymore.  It isn't the place I can afford to be anymore.  My mental health, my marriage, my family, and the button on every pair of pants I own counts on me becoming a better version of who I currently am.  And I think the reason I am ready to become whoever she is, is because I have stopped comparing myself to everyone else, and to the person I once was, and realized that the only real competition I have is with myself.

So here I stand, a little more wrinkled around the edges, a little harder, a little heavier around the middle, and a little too knowledgeable about four teenage girls on the run from other teenagers without parents and with unlimited resources and hacking skills.

So, today it's raining, and the air is cool (which means my hair is cooperating and I don't look like a human troll doll), and my eyebrows are extremely "on fleek" for the second day in a row, and I am sitting here with my pants unbuttoned (at work - oh please, like you've never done it), and I have made the decision to let Hanna, Spencer, Aria, Emily and Alison figure out who "A" is for themselves for awhile while I get back to the art of yoga, being less of an oompaloompa and reclaiming my life.  After all, being lapped in the mall by a 65 year old woman with pink hair, wearing Lululemon's and rocking out to 21 Pilot's is all the shame this 42 year needs, thank you very much.

I refuse to go back to the me from 7 years ago, regardless of how "cute" or "sexy" people still tell me I was.  Being 317 pounds and barely squeezing into a size 26 jeans, and asking for seatbelt extenders on airplanes is not the life I will ever return to.  I may never be able to run again, but that won't stop me from sweating it out and building up some bangin' biceps in downward dog, or lapping the old lazy me by walking a few miles after work.

Watch out world, I'm back and I'm taking no prisoners.  Unless those prisoners are a size 10 peep-toe booties with a 5" heel in nude suede.  Then, you can consider me -A.  And if you don't get that reference after reading this, we can't be friends.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

I'm Bi-polar. And so aren't I.

I have decided that I am bi-polar.  I haven't been officially diagnosed by a doctor or a therapist or anything but one Friday night while partaking in a glass (or three) of pinot I extensively googled my symptoms and bookmarked some very pertinent pages on WedMD so I'm pretty sure I self diagnosed myself accurately.  Who needs this ObamaCare bullshit and co-pays when you have the internet and a ton of neurosis to entertain yourself with, right?

Why do I think I am bi-polar, you ask?  I'll tell you.  Or maybe I won't.  Get it?  Because I'm bi-polar.  I crack me up.  Anyway....

After a very long winter filled with lupus flares and migraines and rashes and basically wishing I was a bear that could just find a nice pot of honey and a cave to hibernate in until it was all over, I started to see the light at the end of a very long autoimmune filled tunnel.  I was finding my energy again.  The rashes were subsiding.  I didn't feel like throat punching someone every time they told me I "looked tired" or want to rip my ears off at the sound of even the slightest hint of human movement because of my migraines.  I was starting to feel less Charles Manson-ish and more like my usual smart ass, hyper, OCD self.

But then.....the body, self love, bi-polar thing started happening out of nowhere.  Because for all of these months that I couldn't work out I wasn't gaining weight, but I was obviously losing muscle and strength because I wasn't able to work out and I spent much of my time on the couch, in my sweats, taking my meds and watching the days roll by hoping that the next one would be the day that I didn't hate my body and the world.  The only marathons I was a part of were the Netflix marathons where I watched all four seasons of Girls in three days or where me and my daughter watched Mad Dogs in one sitting on a gloomy, shitty, pain killer filled day when I was questioning my life and whether it was worth living it (but that's a story for another day).

So, when I was able to put down the Amazon Fire Stick, take off the sweatpants, put on my big girl pants and start living life again, I had mixed feelings about the person that remained after what I considered to be the lowest point of my life - including that time I went through the Big C.  (Hey, remember when I went through cancer for 12 years and I was all fat and in a bad marriage and then had all my lady parts ripped out and had radiation and met my now husband and got my shit together and lost 160 pounds and got all healthy only to find out I had FUCKING LUPUS and fibromyalgia and hypoglycemia and they wanted to take out my pancreas too basically rendering me a fucking diabetic because HEY WHY NOT TAKE ANOTHER BODY PART YOU ASSHOLES and then I throat punched all the cunts that were pissing me and THE END).


Back to my story.

Somedays I feel beautiful and amazing.  I am grateful for this body and happy that six years later I have managed to keep the weight off despite all of the crap that has happened.  I have battled my depression and anxiety in silence and still not turned to food or alcohol or drugs as a comfort.  I have held steadfast to the goals I set for myself and remained in control like a FUCKING ROCKSTAR (cue self back patting).  I can get dressed and make it through the day living all 41 years of my life on earth like a beautiful, valuable human being.

But then here come those self diagnosed, WebMD, googled bi-polar days where I literally feel like the StayPuff marshmellow man in the Ghostbusters movie waddling in slow motion through the streets of Manhattan knocking over towers and buildings, eating everything in sight.  I feel like a round, blimpyity, sludge filled, disgusting, saggy, fat piece of dog shit.  I want to give up and become one of the People of Walmart wearing flesh colored leggings and Winnie the Pooh t-shirts with my Crocs and my trucker hat.  Fuck it all and pass me the Twinkies.

But instead, I went out and bought an elliptical.  And started my 30 day yoga challenge again.  And stopped leaving candy in my desk drawer.  And took yogurt to work instead of going to Tim Horton's everyday for the broccoli cheddar soup (YUM).  Some days it makes me feel like a total bad ass.  Some days I hate it, but I do it anyway because I know that in the end I will thank myself for it.  I look back at the old pictures of when I got down to my lowest weight and I just want to get there again SO BADLY, but it seems like a million elliptical miles away.  However, the saying goes that the journey of a million miles starts with a single elliptical step.  Or some stupid shit like that.

I guess the long and the short of it is that it's time to shut down the laptop and get off Google and WebMD and get my fat ass into gear instead of complaining about the things that can only be changed by actually doing the things that need to be done to change them.   I still think I rock at this self diagnosing thing though.

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Bittersweet Homecoming

I haven't had the motivation to write in a long time.  Sure, I've had ideas pop into my head.  I've even given thought to a post or two, but nothing has inspired me to write.  Until today.  Because today my mom moves home.


And you're right.  To have my mother right where I can reach her is a blessing 7 years in the making.  To not have to wait months on end, put a countdown planner on my phone, count my sleeps, or wait for a windfall to afford a trip to go see her is something that I can't put a price on.  To be able to hug her, laugh with her, have dinner with her, see her facial expressions when we have a conversation is something I never knew I would miss until she was 2,000 miles away.

But all this joy comes with a great price.  All this magnificent, overwhelming, heart bursting happiness also comes with an extreme sadness.  Because her reasons for coming back are because someone we love isn't where she was to be with her anymore.  The place she called home for seven years doesn't feel like her home without him anymore, so she is coming back to the only place that ever did without him.  And the thought of sharing all this joy without him is sad.

We would be remiss to let this day, and this happiness, go by without letting him know that we are thinking of him.  That there hasn't been a day in the last three months that we don't think about him, laugh with him, cry over him, share our anger because of him, or miss him with every fiber of our being.  There hasn't been a moment that so many lives haven't been affected by his absence.

Pieces of him never left.  Pieces of him will never return.  And with the return of my mother a new journey in her life will begin and we will all take it with her.  We will hold her hand, hug her shoulders, cry her tears, walk her footsteps, make new memories, share old stories -  but we can never take away her pain.  We can never replace him no matter how many miles distance you put between her and the place they made a home.

My mom comes home today.  Whatever "home" is or will be.  I am happy and sad and angry and feeling all the same emotions I felt the day he died, so I can only imagine that as she packs up her things and turns around one last time to say goodbye to the home they shared, closes the door and walks out, she is feeling so much more, and I only wish I were there to help her say those goodbyes.

I sit here pissed off that he is making me cry at work.  That he keeps popping into my head at the most inopportune moments.  Like when driving in my car and a song comes on the radio that reminds me of him.  Or when I randomly flip through Facebook and see his granddaughter, who is his spitting image and will never get to know him.  Or when I talk to my mom and I can hear the pain and the exhaustion in her voice.  I am angry that this is one thing in my family I cannot step in to fix.  I can be strong for myself and my family when it comes to my illness, but I can only be so strong for her and what she is feeling and it makes me hate him sometimes.

And I hate that I hate him sometimes, because I love him so much.  And sometimes....I hate that I love him so much.  Because if I didn't love him so much, I wouldn't have to feel all of these emotions.  And if I didn't feel all of these emotions, I wouldn't spend so much time thinking about how everyone else must be feeling at the same time.

Have I mentioned my mom is coming home today?  Because she is.  And I think we are all ready to put the worst of this pain behind us and move forward into the healing part that everyone keeps talking about.  The part where "they" say it "gets easier".  I hope "they" are right.  Because if they aren't I will hunt them down and cut a bitch.  For real.

Hurry home mom.  Your family is waiting with open arms.  It's been a long time coming.

Monday, November 10, 2014

We All Have Secrets

We teach our children not to keep secrets because secrets are bad.  We acquire friendships so we have someone to tell our secrets to.  We pay therapists to listen to our secrets without judgment or reserve.  We do all of this because secrets are toxic.  They are like a cancer that eat you from the inside out.  They start with your soul, and eat their way through your heart, and they continue through your body until they make their way to your mind, and then they eat their way through your thought process until you are incapable of making a rational thought.  You can’t close your eyes without seeing that thing that haunts you.  You can’t hear a song on the radio without remembering that person who damaged you.  You can’t watch the scene from your favorite movie without remembering how inept you are at feeling real love because it’s been stolen from you.

Secrets are the monster under your bed when you’re a child.  They are the stranger walking behind you in an empty parking garage late at night as an adult.  They are the eerie background music of your horror movie of a life, because at one point in your life someone you trusted put a secret so deeply in your soul that it is tangled and weaved and buried, and nothing and no one can ever remove it.  It sits there and festers and blisters and causes nothing but pain and infection.   There are periods in your life where a happiness or a moment of forgetfulness almost acts like a momentary antibiotic, and for a brief period you have some relief from that pain.  But eventually it always comes back.  Throbbing and pulsating and reminding you that you will never be normal.  You will never be ok.  Because this thing that grows inside you will never, could never, go away.  It’s a part of you, like your skin or your hair or your fingernails.  You could cut your hair or lose a nail, but inevitably it always grows back.  Just like this secret that you are always running from.

It is an unfortunate fate that I happen to share my secret with someone I love.  We bond over this pain and this break in trust in a way that no one should.  It creates a closeness, and at the same time a distance.  Sometimes the beauty you see in a person is so beautiful because it’s actually the deepest pain you can ever see behind someone’s eyes.  You are seeing the vulnerability of their soul on the very surface of their being and you don’t even know it.  You are laughing with them when they want to cry.  You are sharing in a secret that you aren’t even aware of.  Take the time to look closely, love deeply, show compassion for those with these unknown secrets, for they need the most love in this world, even though they act like they want it the least.

I have a secret.  Maybe you do too.  I’ll try to love you despite yours.  Can you say you can do the same?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I'm Fine. Sort of.

Everyone keeps saying I need to accept my body the way it is.  Stop obsessing over the number on the scale and listen to the way my clothes fit.  And my clothes have basically fit exactly the same for the last few years – with the exception of a brief freak out period where I gained 25 pounds thanks to the helping hand of a hormone replacement pill that I quickly flipped off and threw in the garbage can.  It took me a good SIX months to shed that weight, along with all the self hatred I gained along with it.  And somewhere along the way, I feel like things shifted.  My body never regained that slender “skinny” that I had when I originally lost all my weight.

I managed to stop stepping on the scale multiple times a day.  Ya know, after I showered.  After I pooped.  After I ate.  After I pooped again.  Before I went to bed.  In the middle of the night after I peed.  Counting and cringing over every single ounce gained and lost.  Now the only time I know when to take accountability for an overdose of late night wine drinking is every three months when I go to the doctor’s office for my follow up visit.  And nothing ever changes.  The scale says the same thing every single time, plus or minus a few ounces. 

Yet something about the way I feel just feels off.  Something doesn’t feel as proud.  Or as strong.  Or as confident as it used to.  Something in me feels every bit as large and uncomfortable as it did at 317 pounds.  Maybe it’s the ever plaguing illnesses that never seem to give it a fucking rest.  I mean seriously universe, kiss my expanding, middle aged ass already!

People always ask how I am feeling and I die a little inside because I never know how to answer.  I mean, do they really want to know, or do I give the standard, “I’m fine” answer because no one really wants to hear how I’m really feeling most days?  If you don’t count the hole in my heart, the never ending blood work and doctors appointments, the lupus, the fibromyalgia, the daily pain, the recent bout of shingles ON MY FACE (thank you very much Karma, that was really funny), and the unending depression and anxiety that is my everyday life, I am Jim-Fucking-Dandy.  Pop a lollipop in my mouth and dance me over a rainbow I’m so fucking FINE.

Except that I’m not.  I mean, sometimes I am.  Sometimes, I have days when I wake up and get dressed and put on a scarf or some jewelry and look in the mirror and think that I don’t look like a middle aged mom who is faking her way through being just OK.  But to be honest, and maybe this is just me fooling myself, I have been trying to lose these last ten pounds that were always my long term goal FOREVER.  Maybe they won’t solve everything, but maybe I would feel like I was finally able to control something.  I can’t make the lupus go away.   I can’t take back the fibromyalgia.  I can’t super glue shut the hole in my heart.  But I CAN lose 10 stupid pounds.  Ten stubborn, stuck to my ass and thighs and stomach pounds that would just make me feel like I took control of something in my life.

And then in three months when I go back to the doctors to deal with the things I can’t change when I look in the mirror, I can at least find a little bit of peace knowing that at least I accomplished taking back some small bit of control in my life.  It’s strange how something that seems so small and insignificant to most seems like the most unattainable to me.  There doesn’t seem to be any amount of downward dogging or 5k’ing or trampoline’ing or kettle bell swinging that I can do that will make that asshole of a scale say anything different.  There are no detox pills or stomach flu’s or bouts of face leprosy (aka shingles) that will change anything other than a couple stupid ounces.  My weight is that stubborn kid in the middle of a toy story laying on the floor, rigid and stiff and unmoving and there is nothing you can do but stand there looking at it until it decides it’s ready to move.   The metaphorical part of me wants to kick that stupid kid and tell it to stop being a little asshole, but I know that if I did Karma would only come back and bite me harder than it already has.  

I want to find peace with myself exactly the way that I am.  Maybe if it were 20 or 30 pounds it would seem more reasonable.  Like I was further away from a goal that wasn’t meant to be met.  But 10 pounds is like hanging off of a cliff and being a fingers reach away from a cliff hold that could be the difference between  climbing back to safety or falling further down.

At the end of the day, I know this won’t make or break me, it won’t define who I am or who I can become.  It’s just another chapter in the Archie’s comic book that is my life.  I hope to achieve this goal someday soon, but if I don’t I’m sure I will find something new to obsess over.  I’m sure life will throw me new curveballs and I will be standing here with my catcher’s mask and glove ready to catch them all.