In For Repairs

You know how sometimes if you don’t ever tune up or fix the little broken things on your car, and it rattles and bangs and in general doesn’t work right? But instead of fixing it, you just adapt. So when the windshield wiper doesn’t work right, you learn to lean to the right in the rain so you can see out of the one clear spot, and you stick your arm out the window when you turn because the left turn signal doesn’t work, and you learn to accept the way the steering wheel vibrates on the highway.

I feel like I was doing that with my life. I’d let all these minor issues build up until I’m limping and hunched over. But I’ve become so accustomed to it standing up straight and walking tall feels awkward and uncomfortable.

As I continue to dive back into recovery and working on myself again, I can feel those minor issues beginning to be repaired. I might still be getting a bit of a backache at the end of the day from standing straight, but I’m doing it anyway, knowing that eventually being upright will be my new normal.

I’ve begun working with someone on my issues, and I’m really looking forward to facing down some of the big stuff I’ve been avoiding. Well, by “looking forward” I really mean “slightly terrified but still hopeful” and I feel as if I’ve rebuilt my sober foundation enough to begin that work. It’s going to be hard, though. I’m looking at some real deeply rooted shit, and it’s going to take time.

But I’m glad I’m doing it, and I feel grateful that I’ve come back to myself enough to make changes.

………

I’m going to continue to keep comments on this blog closed, and not for the initial reason I closed them. Yes, it’s been incredibly freeing to not have to read and delete comment after comment trashing me, my life, and my family – there’s no doubt about that. I feel like I can take a deep breath again.

But there is also a certain freedom in not having ANY comments, good or bad.

One of the biggest criticisms I’ve heard over the last, oh, six years or so, is that I’ve stopped being the writer and blogger I was at the beginning. While this is obviously true –  no one is static, and I’ve changed over the years – there is no doubt that at some point I began writing less for myself and my readers, but for a larger audience of other bloggers, corporate sponsors, and potential publishers. This has led to some editing of my writing that made it different. Don’t get me wrong – I’m proud of much of the writing I’ve done over the last decade of this blog. I really am.

However, since I’ve decided that this blog is no longer a path to either revenue or fame (nor, in fact, is blogging at all), I feel a passion again for writing here that I’ve missed. By removing the comments, I find myself thinking less about the audience while I’m writing, and more about the truth as I feel comfortable sharing it. Because I can write free of both cruel comments AND pats on the back, it flows more like water, like it used to when I first started writing here.

I do miss people sharing their own experiences with me, though. Thankfully, a few of you have emailed me directly to share stuff and that makes me happy. But I believe, in all honestly, that writing without positive feedback will help me be more humble and honest. I’m not longer “just a blogger, standing in front of readers, asking you to love me.” I am not editing what I write to control your perceptions of me (because clearly, THAT was totally working). This is better.

So, for now, comments are staying closed. Thanks for reading anyway.

Futility {Just Write}

I’m listening to Handel’s opera arias, but the soaring notes are competing with my neighbor’s lawn mower. She works nights as a nurse, and once a week she comes home and mows the lawn after her shift. If I had a lawnmower, I’d mow her lawn too. No one should have to work overnight and then mow a lawn. But in our nine years in the suburbs we’ve never purchased a mower, choosing to just hire neighborhood kids to mow our lawn, a hint of city stubbornness that shows we probably should have stayed in the city. When we move back into town, I will not miss the constant buzz of lawn care.

This morning I started the day with slow stretching, then I went into my office and danced. Long, long ago I used to dance every morning to classical music; a sort of meditation/exercise thing that calmed me and made me feel good each day. Today, though, I felt horribly self-conscious, sure Tori would come running upstairs to see what I was doing, and she’s see my fat, lumbering body trying to find grace. So I stopped after only a few minutes, even though no one was watching. Even the dog was asleep on the office chair, uncaring that I was twirling in front of her.

Work looms as I write this. I’ve had a huge work load taken off my plate – I’ll only be writing for Babble a handful of times a month now, instead of every day – and I feel a pressing need to fill that time with something else. It’s silly, though, because for the last two months Babble has been down more often than not, so I wasn’t posting there anyway, and I’ve allowed my client work to increase and fill that gap. So I don’t really have any extra time after all. Yet I still feel a hollow space that I should be filling.

That’s the overwhelming theme of my life: I feel a hollow space that needs filling. I’ve tossed everything into that space to fill it; first food, then booze, then men, then drugs, then food again. Always with the goddamned food. Just thinking about it I feel hungry. Seriously, right this second, I feel hungry, even though it’s been less than an hour since my healthy breakfast of greek yogurt with paleo granola, blueberries, and chia seeds. In a personal dichotomy, I feel both virtuous and ravenous at the same time.

Sometimes I think I am so fucked up, but I’m reminded over and over again that I’m really just shockingly normal and not at all original or unusual. I am no more fucked up than anyone else, even if my twisted alcoholic pride would love to believe that I am just the WORST.

Goodness, my brain is going in circles today.

At a recovery meeting this morning I was reminded of the futility of trying to control other’s actions and that it’s my number one job to allow people to be who they are at any given moment because when I try to control people I merely exhaust myself and make myself sicker. I found myself thinking about that and wondering if it applies to the Supreme Court, because I cannot believe the decisions they’ve handed down in the last week. I cannot believe that for some fucking reason corporations get to be autonomous people that can make decisions but women fucking don’t. I am so goddamned tired of fighting for the rights of my body and my daughter’s body, and I am constantly shocked by the people that say things like, “Why is it such a big deal? Each company should be allowed to choose what they do!” It makes me believe the worst of people, and I don’t want to believe that. I want to believe people are inherently good, damn it.

God, I’m so fucking tired.

It’s only Tuesday. I have to believe this week will improve. But right now I kind of want to go back to bed and cry.

 

I sporadically enjoy participating in Just Write, an exercise in free writing, created by the lovely Heather.

Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone Decision By Supreme Court Causes Blogger To Lose Her Fucking Mind

Philadelphia, PA, 10:38am EST: While innocently working in her office and listening to Morning Edition on NPR, blogger Cecily Kellogg of Uppercase Woman heard this report from Nina Totenberg regarding yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on McCullen vs. Coakley, also known as the abortion clinic “buffer zone” case in which anti-choice protestors claim clinic “buffer zones” violate their free speech.

In discussing the ruling, Ms. Totenberg mentioned that Justice Roberts referred to clinic protestors as “counselors,” and Ms. Kellogg’s head immediately spontaneously exploded. She spent some time then scraping the brain matter off the wall and reassembling her head and then turned to the actual court ruling to verify that such a clearly ridiculous statement could actually be true, even though Ms. Kellogg has deep and abiding respect for Ms. Totenberg’s reporting. “I just couldn’t believe it could be true,” She said. “I had to read the decision to see for myself.” Unfortunately, Ms. Totenberg’s reporting was – as usual – accurate. In the original decision, the Operation Rescue clinic protestors are described as “counselors” six times, by both Justice Scalia and Justice Roberts. For example (Eleanor McCullen is the plaintiff and a member of Operation Rescue):

“Are we to believe that a clinic employee sent out to “escort” prospective clients into the building would not seek to prevent a counselor like Eleanor McCullen from communicating with them? He could pull a woman away  from an approaching counselor, cover her ears, or make loud noises to drown out the counselor’s pleas.”

“A woman enters a buffer zone and heads haltingly toward the en­trance. A sidewalk counselor, such as petitioners, enters the buffer zone, approaches the woman and says, “If you have doubts about an abortion, let me try to answer any questions you may have. The clinic will not give you good information. At the same time, a clinic employee, as instructed by the management, approaches the same woman and says, “Come inside and we will give you hon­est answers to all your questions.” The sidewalk counselor and the clinic employee expressed opposing viewpoints, but only the first violated the statute.”

“I just can’t believe it,” Ms. Kellogg stated. “I’ve engaged with these protestors before, and in my personal experience, they weren’t offering any counseling. They were merely yelling and shaming those that entered the clinic, rather than offering any of the quiet support you general receive from someone counseling you. Some, in fact, actually physically assaulted the women attempting to pass by.” Ms. Kellogg begins to quietly sob. She adds, “While I understand the free speech elements of the case, how could they refer to the protestors as counselors?”

When pressed, Ms. Kellogg began babbling incoherently and then stood up and began throwing things around the room while gesticulating wildly and stomping her feet.

Additional questioning will be attempted once Ms. Kellogg returns to her normal calm demeanor.