3 Christmases ago I hit a deer

It was 5 in the morning, and I was driving to my job to help make breakfast for the youth at the shelter I was working at on Christmas morning. It was dark, and all I remember was there was a deer and it ran in front of me and then hit the side of my car. I remember staring him or her in the eyes and then it ran off. It was a moment that I will never forget and try to tuck away. I mean I hit a deer, on Christmas morning, while I was trying to drive to work to do something nice for some people. There was no damage to my car, and I was okay, well besides the anxiety of it all.

Well today, I walked around the block, well, several blocks, for about an hour and on my way back, in the exact spot I see this woman pulling something tan from the road… In the exact spot I had hit the deer 3 Christmases ago. I walk closer and I notice it’s a fawn, it didn’t quite have any spots anymore, but it definitely was little and it was breathing. I watched her, and there was this younger guy that walks up. He was the one that had hit the deer, and he explained it as the deer hit him. Which in this day and age, lets get realistic, I mean… The deer probably hit him.

I didn’t tell him about my story, because I didn’t think it was appropriate, but I did say that I was sorry that it had happened, patted his arm, and asked if he was okay. After he let me know that he had called someone and he was okay, I walked away. I didn’t really think I needed to keep standing there interacting.

I mean what else can you do? And what did it all mean? I mean I had this amazing walk where I was listening to someone’s story about their life, and I was feeling pretty good about myself, and then I walk into this literal deja vu. WTF?

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It’s September

So I haven’t written all summer… and I should have. I’m getting over this idea that I go through these periods of writing and not writing. It’s okay, I’m writing again, and I’m grateful for these moments of clarity.

I moved out of my ex’s house. I wrote earlier that I probably truly wouldn’t be able to take care of myself there, knowing that it would never end the way that I wanted it to. So I had to leave. It’s not something I really want to write about right now, but I’m sure it will come. Just know that it was one of the hardest and easiest things I’ve ever done.

I spent the majority of August, playing and taking care of my new place and the fucking fleas that still live here. I’m calling my landlord Tuesday in hopes he has better news and hopefully send these fuckers packing, they are not welcome here..

Either way, it’s September now and I’m trying to look up into the world in a new light.

Yesterday was tough, I cried all day because I didn’t feel good about things. I was sad because it suddenly sunk in how lonely life can be with out waking up to your person, and going to sleep with them by your side. You are suddenly solely responsible for yourself. Your own eating, your own waking up on time, your own bills, your own everything and not to mention your emotional well being. I ended my day among friends, while watching friends, drinking diet coke with vodka and smoking a cigarette. It was exactly what I needed, and I felt okay about it. I don’t make a habit of smoking, but I’ve been known to throw back a few every once in a while.

I went to sleep last night with this new mindset in mind. I was going to go for a run. Well… Walk run… okay mostly walk. But I did get a wave from a cute guy recognizing I was out taking care of myself. Now I’m not going to dive too deep into this because I want to write a post in a bit how I hit a deer with my car probably 3 Christmases ago…. It will make sense when I write it and the weird symbolism in it.

Anyway, It’s September, I have a lot of ideas, I have a lot of things that have changed besides my current relationship status, and I have goals to write more often.

 

 

May 6th

My childhood home has been vacant for the past three years, and recently I had a realtor friend of mine take me there. It was a weird, time warping experience.

I lived there from ages 6-14. What I remember from this experience was a collection of memories filled with community, grief, sadness, solidarity, joy and well all of the things. My house was white, the tiles were pink, the master bath had a jet tub, and it was two stories. There was a back yard, and my dad had built a swing set for me to play on where I spent many hours alone conjuring potions and sweet memories.

The road up to the house was over grown, uncomfortable and sad. I think I had this weird underlying expectations, at the same time had no expectations. The house itself had one large change, and other minimal changes. It was green on the outside with a purple door and the land surrounding was overgrown and changed (there were more outside changes than inside changes).

The person had rebuilt the back deck, added a hot tub and a door off of the back master bedroom. They had also taken out the swing set my dad had built, the garden beds, and planted trees where my dad’s RV use to live. My memories of the space though were so present, the nostalgia was there and then it hit me: I cannot get back any of it. It was gut wrenching.

I wasn’t really expecting to get any of that back by visiting there, or even by dancing with the idea that I could even buy the place.

What I did get out of it, was that no matter how sad I was there because my dad was so yelly, it was a reminder that he did do nice things for me. As an adult I value that swing set memory more than I ever had. I appreciate it more now because when I was a child I didn’t understand or value the time it took to him to build that swing set. At the time I was fairly selfish, and impatient. It was the one memory I had of him that didn’t include traveling, playing video games, or sourdough pancakes. It was the one thing he did that was outside of his comfort zone, it was something he did for me. In all that I’ve processed about my childhood, him doing nice things for me wasn’t something that I’ve been able to see.

 

 

 

 

Snow day!

Remember when you were a little kid and you prayed and prayed for a snow day? Once it started to snow you would sit by the window, and watch it fall, or go outside and run around, make a snowman out of hand fulls of snow that barley even covered the ground. Or… Stayed up late, watching it fall, and praying for school to be canceled. Only to wake up and there is more snow on the ground and school actually has been canceled!

That’s like me today, big kid snow day!!! YAY! And I’m using it to my full advantage. I laid in bed this morning, so tired from staying up the night before, fully taking advantage of the not having to wake up early for work thing. So it was 9 am when I blinkingly opened my eyes. I groaned a bit, and closed them, wishing to be sleeping again, but said NO RACHAEL.

Backing up a bit, I’ve been watching Glee re-runs. I know I know, cheesy right? Well, after the last year I’ve been sitting on the couch a lot, playing video games and watching TV. I’ve been running through re-run after re-run of the same old shit, and well… Glee makes me happy. So I started to watch it, and I started to get excited with all of the dancing and movement that takes place… So before going to bed I googled some youtube beginners dance videos to prepare for the next day, well… I wasn’t sure if I was going to actually do them, but I knew I had to at-least start somewhere.

So… This morning when I woke up. I thought about coffee as usual, and a shower, and then I thought.. Well if I’m going to shower today at some point, I should work out, and if I’m going to work out I need coffee. I pulled out my work-out clothes from the bottom of my dresser drawers, and put them on almost unwillingly, took my socks from my top drawer and bobbled down the stairs. I didn’t have any coffee at my house, and assessed the road situation with the snow. (PS it is still snowing) The main road looks fine, but in order to get there I’d have to plow my driveway. PERFECT OPPORTUNITY FOR WORKING OUT… DID I DO IT. NOPE!

I did make some green tea, I did pull my laptop out and set it up for a work out video. I did two-15 minute intensive dance video’s. A friend was writing to me through out the first one, so I took a lot of breaks, and the second one I went right through. I mean 30 minuets isn’t a lot, but it’s a start right?

I also have a small coaching business on the side and at this time I only have one client. She had written back to some questions I had asked her, and I jumped on board with responding, and here I am writing this post.

My short term goal: Work out for 30 min three times this week, or every week at any point in the day.

My long term goal: Get up early, like 6 am early, and work out for 30-45 minutes every morning.

Mindful eating.

This weekend in addition to my painting, I tried being mindful in other ways.

We went out to lunch yesterday and I caught myself in the moment, being in the moment and allowing myself to stay present with my food. Okay, with the chips and salsa, and some with my entree also. We went out for Mexican somewhere we’ve never gone before. They obviously make their own salsa there and it was tasty. With every bite, I stopped and paused, I was trying to figure out what was in it. It didn’t dawn on me for another 5 minutes that I was actually being mindful when I do this. I mean as an obvious lover of food, figuring out what is in food…  is second nature. It was a surprising moment in my day catching myself being mindful

I also spent a few more countless hours painting this weekend, and writing.

Mindful eating is hard for me to do… and It’s something I need to prioritize more over the next few weeks… and years of my life.

This post was short, only because the last one was a bit long and I wanted to include this. Thank you for reading.

 

I AM… Whatever I say I am.

Before I even knew what I knew when I wrote the last few blog posts I started changing the way that I was thinking. I mean… Come on, who wouldn’t want to stop that vicious and violent cycle running through your brain?

I started a painting series that is called “I AM”. (Painting has always been apart of my self care, and my own process.) I started creating this series before Thanksgiving and it came to me as I was seeing all of the signs around be say things like “Be Thankful” or “Be Grateful”. I grew up in a church that used affirmations to create change with in ourselves, so if you say something enough in your brain, you start to believe it, and then the goal is you become it. It’s a little cheesy. Anyway, when you read signs like that, it says “be ___________”, whatever that blank line is, it says BE that… Like you are not already that? Or you hadn’t been all along, or you are not right now.

My idea around the “I AM” seriese that I’ve been creating… is that when you read it as “I am Thankful”, it’s more action oriented. You don’t have to be it, you are it. It’s affirming you are “_____________”. I started to play with this a little more as a tool to help change some of my negative spiral thinking.

I had them all over my house for a while, and then I pulled them back and put them in my craft room so I can see them when I enter. It’s like a wall of positive self compliments. What’s better than that? I had some paintings that I painted that were all of the negativeness from my brain and body, and I replaced them with the positive ones. I will post both pictures. 🙂

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Parallels of two

I am not sure If I’ve written about this before, but with this food addiction stuff I’ve always felt like I was two people. The girl, the human struggling to be Rachael, and then the addict, something bigger and almost outside of myself that wants me to stay in this victim, shaming place with food, and my body.

Recently I have found even more parallels between these two that I wasn’t really expecting. Because I’ve been doing these patterns on and off for so long with weight loss and gain, I became really good at understanding what those felt like. It was late one night and I was on lots of cold medicine, but I saw the parallels between how I felt as a kid with my father and how I felt when I was totally out of control with my food and the spiral thinking.

Growing up I was always walking on egg shells and was always trying to make my father happy. I was always waiting for him to get angry, I got good at predicting his yelling, though it never stopped the way that I felt when it happened. I felt rejected, hurt, let down and left always dreaming for more. I quickly learned how to check out, and disassociate. It didn’t matter what you said back to him, he would make it your fault, he would harass and bully me.

I remember one time as a child, my mom was being yelled at, and I jumped into defend her. I remember his yelling switching to me, and me feeling all of those things I just mentioned which I did quite often in that house. I remember going into our computer room, locking the door, and sitting in the closet with my arms wrapped around my knees. My body felt shaky, or anxious and I felt like I did something wrong, or that I was the bad guy. I felt ashamed, I was to blame, and like I did something bad. Which eventually translated later to “I am bad”.

Of my lowest times, when I felt like I hit rock bottom with my food and body stuff… I remember I was about 240-250. I cannot remember exactly how much, and it doesn’t really matter the number, but it wasn’t my highest. I was in college, alone in my room, and I was sitting up against the wall, in the furthest corner in my bed, with my arms wrapped around my knees (as much as I could with a bigger body). I remember feeling full to the brim of food, anxiousness, uncertainty, starving for help, on the verge of a panic attack, scared, stress, fear and… well you know the feelings when you’ve lost control.

Both experiences, all though were different, were similar in how I was reacting. I essentially, just kept this abusive person with me all along with my body and food. I mean he did tell my mom once that I needed mental and physical help with my weight. That didn’t help my perception of myself and my body, at all.

Sorry for this long post… I promise I’m almost done. When I decided to stop the dv with my father, I stopped talking to him for a while. Because he couldn’t hear very well, he argued with me in email, IN EMAIL. I can’t remember what I said to him at the time, but it pretty much said “I’m done”. I tell people now that I stopped talking to him because I was tired of being abused as an adult. I was tired of having my expectations of him be shattered all of the time. I was tired of feeling like, maybe this time will be different and then allow it to continue to happen. I was exhausted physically and mentally. I had to change my perspective and approach in our relationship if I wanted anything from it, and of course my expectations. We can’t change anyone but ourselves.

I had attended like 5 alanon meetings, let go of my expectations. I grieved for months, and maybe still do today to an extent about what I would not get from him. It was hard, and since then I have taken the emotional piece out of our relationship and approach things tangibly, and factually. I let him know what is happening in my life, and do not engage any sort of emotion with him. Once, he yelled at me on the phone. I said… “Dad you can be angry, but you do not get to yell at me”, then he told me why he hated talking on the phone. I learned my lesson, while standing my ground at the same time.

A lot of this food and body stuff will shift in time, as I let go of the control and the dv aspect of it. I am seeking a new relationship with myself which includes building on positive thinking, being in the moment more with who I am. All of this is hard, and new to me, and I’m sure there will be plenty of grieving.. And I’m ready for it.

Something Positive.

Not sure if I mentioned this before, but a month or so ago it became suddenly important that I had to be apart of my own growing food process.

After watching that documentary series on netflix by Michael Polland, I realized that something I had been missing was the slowing down of all the things. (Which is hard to do when you are ADD.) But none the less I knew I needed to slow down the cooking tasks, so much so they would become mindful and not so much of a chore…

One amazing way to see process in your food is to have a garden, nurture it and see it grow. My boyfriend built me a garden bed for my 31st birthday and his grandma and my mother gifted me garden supplies and starts.

I planted them and have had such joy in watering them every day and watching them grow. It has brought me so much happiness.

A part of this hobby that has been important, has been the time that I get in caring for it. It forces me to get out of the house, walk around my yard, soak up the vitamin C, and care for something else for a change. It’s pretty amazing actually.

Watering my plants has become one of my favorite things to do as of lately. I come home, sometimes will have a cold beverage in my hand, sun glasses on and walk around my yard with the spray hose just soaking my plants while I soak up the sun!

Afterwords I sometimes sit on my back porch with a book and my cold beverage relaxing and soaking up the goodness of all that I have in my life in this moment. My garden, all though small, is my sanctuary and I never ever ever thought I would ever say that.