Monday, December 31, 2007

The End of the Year

Holy Cow, it's been so long since I blogged that I forgot my password to Blogger! That is a bad, bad sign!

I can't believe it's been almost a MONTH since I wrote here. The month of December went by so fast, with so many holiday preparations at home and at work, that I hardly had time to do anything "fun" -- reading, needlework, etc. And let's face it, I basically "gave up" when it came to food and exercise. Not admirable, but I'm not going to deny it, either.

In a way I'm glad 2007 is almost over. This has been an incredibly tough year for me. While there was no single thing that stands out as a tragedy or a terrible experience, something inside of me seemed to have waved the white flag of surrender and ... not died, but went into a deep hibernation.

The majority of this year I've dealt with low to mid-levels of depression, with a small period of anxiety attacks thrown in for good measure. I'm still trying to sort out how much was physical/chemical/hormonal and how much was psychological/emotional issues. I know both were involved, and it was a lethal combination that has wreaked near-total devastation on my food and weight issues. I've gained back a LOT of weight, way more than I'm willing to admit here in print, although in January I've got a doctor's appointment that will not be a pleasant experience. However, I'm hoping at this appointment to rectify some mistakes I've made with my medications as far as my PCOS is concerned. I'm convinced switching medications at the beginning of last year had a lot to do with my weight gain, lack of energy, mood swings, etc., and I'm going to get on my knees and beg if necessary to go back to what was working before.

I'm not saying it was all biological. I know I got mentally burned out on the dieting, which evolved into a vicious cycle of restricting and binge eating. I thought I was getting a good handle on Intuitive Eating and Conscious Living, but my depression kept getting in the way. I know I still have a lot of issues to work through, the core reasons behind my disordered, emotional eating, and at my last therapy session I asked Dr. K. to begin helping me go through Karen Koenig's "Food and Feelings Workbook." I think having someone to answer to and a deadline to complete the chapters will help me to quit procrastinating and do the work that needs to be done.

I realize now that the last couple months I've been dragged down by huge amounts of negativity and pessimism. I find myself resentful, grumbling and angry way too much. It's been so hard for me to look for the positives in anything, and it's sure hard to feel good about myself when I can't seem to find the good in anything.

I know it's incredibly cliche to jump on the New Year's Resolution bandwagon, but I find myself looking at the new calendar and wanting to make a fresh start. Part of me is scared, because traditionally the January through March period is usually my most depressed part of the year, and I can't bear to think of feeling worse than I do right now. I already feel like I'm scraping bottom, and if I get any lower I'll be underground. It seems like I have no where else to go now but up.

On that note, I have decided to let go of this "Onederful Bound" title and start a new blog. I need to reassess my goals and aspirations, and at this point I can't make it a number on a scale. This is NOT a farewell; I need to write and express my feelings now more than ever. But looking at that title reminds me too much of my self-perceived failure in this one aspect of my life. I think a starting fresh on a new, blank slate may help to let go of the negativity that has taken hold of me.

Don't worry, I will link the new site to this one so anyone who still wants to (those of you who are still checking in on me, my apologies again for my long absence) can find me.

I hope everyone had a good Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc., and will be able to celebrate the new year. We're having a party at my house tonight, and I'm hoping to paste on a happy face and enjoy myself.

I promise, I will be back.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Cleaning House

I know I've been missing in action here in blogland. The holidays are taking a lot out of me: there was all the cleaning before Thanksgiving; at work doing a lot of work ahead of time to prepare for my days off; all the work and preparation on the actual day; cleaning up afterward; visiting with relatives in from Annapolis; my daughter and I catching a cold; then continuing to clean and decorate for Christmas.

I do feel like I've been in a haze, a holiday haze: going through all the boxes in the attic, lugging down the artificial tree (I just can't justify chopping down a living tree every year, plus the expense of them) and all the lights, ornaments and other decorations. On Friday I did a commando shopping trip, bouncing from store to store like a ball in a pinball machine. Over this past weekend I've been working on the Christmas cards; I send about 50, and it involves looking up addresses, signing them all, and yesterday I had a photo shoot with Mabel and the dogs that was incredibly difficult to coordinate.

This past week I've been a woman on a mission: I got sick of my husband and I snipping at each other about our disorganized basement (that I'm still waiting on him to remodel) and decided that something had to be done. Since I'll die an old woman before he would ever organize the stuff down there, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. On Thursday evening I spent a couple of hours on it, and Saturday morning I attacked it again. Even though Hubby swears someday he's going to build more shelves and give me more storage, for now I did the best with what I had, and it looks so much better.

In addition, knowing that bad weather was on its way Saturday night and Hubby would not have any time to do it because of deer hunting, I decorated the front porch for Christmas, too. He claims he's going to put more lights up on the shrubs, etc., I didn't want the front of our house completely dark until Dec. 24th.

Finally, I got sick of asking my husband several times to clean the dog poop out of the back yard and did it myself. It must have been at least a month since this was last done, and I spent at least an hour trying to pry frozen dog turds out of the grass. Mabel helped me clean the other (non-poop) garbage/dog destruction out of the yard, and in addition to my two big buckets of fecal matter, we also amassed a garbage can and a big box full of destroyed dog toys and chewed up wooden lattice from our deck.

Even after that I still wasn't done. I kicked the dogs out of the kitchen and thoroughly cleaned it, too. By the end of the day I was exhausted. I was achy and sore and all I wanted to do was curl up in my comfy chair and watch the season finale of Torchwood. Of course, Hubby came home all full of energy and wanted to go Christmas shopping in Pittsburgh -- which is over an hour away from our home! There was no way I was leaving the house at 6 p.m. and fighting the Christmas shopping crowds after slaving in that house all day.

Lately I feel more like a maid or servant than anything else. There are so many obligations placed upon me; I find myself forced to do so much endless "grunt" work because no one else will. I seem to be inheriting the fate of my mother and her mother, taking on the brunt of all the household responsibilities because the husbands in our lives don't take on what we feel is their share.

Okay, my husband cooks dinner. That's great, and a lot of wives probably envy that. But I'm not sitting around eating bon bons while he cooks. I'm setting the table, getting out condiments, drinks, etc. I usually help carry serving bowls to the table, too, and have to run back to the kitchen because he rarely remembers to bring serving utensils. And once the meal is over, my family instantly vanishes, leaving me to clear and clean the table, put the food away, then wash the dishes, clean the stove top and counters and put everything (kitchen gadgets, spices, ingredients, etc.) back in their places. You can tell he learned to cook in restaurant kitchens and is used to having dish washers take care of everything: in a regular meal he uses several different knives, multiple pots and pans, bowls and sheet pans, then puts the finished meal in separate serving dishes. When he does actually put his tools in the sink he never rinses anything, so by the time I get there all the sauces, cheese, etc., is dried on them, or else he stacks the sink to overflowing and loads up the top item with water, which then topples over and spills all over the kitchen when I'm trying to empty it. There are times I feel like telling him not to cook dinner any more because it seems to make more work for me than if I cooked myself.

I know I sound resentful, like the stereotypical wife who feels overburdened and under appreciated by her family. I'm not writing this to martyr myself to the world, although sometimes I do feel that way, I admit. I do try to voice my needs and my desire for help, but the usual response is "I'll get to it," yet hours or days later I still wind up doing it myself.

The good thing about this past week and getting so fired up about tackling these projects is that it gets me moving and energized. I have less time to sit around and eat; instead of sitting around brewing on my emotions and thinking about binge eating, I'm working off these feelings with scrubbing, lifting and other chores.

My eating still isn't great; the holiday season has brought lots of high calorie foods into the house and they're hard to resist. But at least I'm not sitting for hours ingesting them all until I'm bloated and sick.

Again, sorry for the absence here on the blog. But rest assured, I haven't been idle. I've been thinking a lot as I vacuum, dust and organize, and I'll try to relate those revelations here as I find time.