Category Archives: Thinking

Daily Battle

I work hard at myself. Really hard.

Every day I work to fight the demons that say you are not good enough. You’re not working hard enough. You are fat. You are worthless.

Every. Single. Day. I fight to make myself believe I am strong, capable, worthy of love and friendship. I fight to believe that people like me, that I am a good person full of love and compassion and that I have purpose.

Every. Day.

Some days are easier than others of course. Some days come and go and I barely notice the work. Other days, it feels like I am trying to walk uphill, on crumbling steps that disintegrate beneath my struggling feet.

At 33, I have gotten better. It’s gotten easier. I know where the darkness lurks most often and I am more or less prepared.

I have been so excited to come home. To spend Christmas with MY family. To be cozy and warm. To be loved.

I realize, sadly, that while I do feel those things, they are a tiny, little fraction of my thoughts and feelings.

Instead, my thoughts are like this.

I need to eat, but if I go to the fridge, Mom will comment and I will feel guilty and gross inside. 

Does this shirt show my belly fat, that I have gained through stress and depression? I don’t want Mom to see it and comment on how tight it might be.

Have I cleaned up enough? I don’t want Mom to see that I have been around, lest she get mad and say I left things around.

I really want to eat dessert, but…am afraid of what Mom will say.

I am so grateful that she bought food for us to eat…but I worry she will throw it in my face later if I am not good enough.

I would like to share some of my own traditions…but…she gets mad when I try to suggest a change.

Is that Mom coming up the stairs? Please…say she doesn’t want me for something.

Please, can I just have 20 minutes to myself, quietly.

So, the demons roar back with my tears. With my intense fears. With the realization that I trult sometimes feel traumatized. The demons and darkness come back, now that their Master is around, their ally.

The daily battles get bigger and have higher stakes.

At least for now. I am working hard. Harder than ever.

No wonder I struggle.

Oh crap.

It is 10:55pm and I am JUST now realizing I haven’t posted y’all! You see, I was so awesome that yesterday’s poat was scheduled ahead so I got lazy and out of the daily habit. Tsk tsk. It is only the twelfth, I’d better get my shit together eh?

I have a pretty good post coming up at some point, but the feelings, thoughts and emotions are still settling inside me. I will say that spending days in a small room with 12 other women, all talking about how strong, capable and amazing birthing women are – is life changing.

Truly.

I’m not sure, like I said, where I am headed just yet. I know that the experience has changed something inside me for the better. It has shown me a path. A better way. It has revealed strength inside me and purpose that I couldn’t find before.

That said, I can’t say I am perfect and that the path is perfectly clear. There is work ahead. There is brush to be cleared and trails to be tamped down.

If you have ever thought you wanted to get involved in birth support, or just supporting amazing women,  I highly recommend at least checking out Birth Doula Training.

It really is life changing. 

Learning to Listen

Today was pretty great too. Of course, I am all weepy as I say this for some unbeknownst reason, feeling like I could use a good, heaving cry. The day was goos though.

Beyond learning comfort measures and all about epidurals ans C-sections, the thing I took away most was something she called “reflective listening”.

We talked so much about how to give information, not advice. How to listen and help with out letting your own bias color your words. How important word choice is, particularly when a woman is in labor.  Ie: Instead of “How painful was that contraction?” Say, “How STRONG was that contraction?” Word choicr matters. Even subconsciously.

Anyway. Reflective listening. It is a way of helping guide someone to their own decision without influencing them with your own bias.

If a mother says,

“I guess my doctor wants to induce me next week.”

You take a breath and do not respond with advice. You do not respond by saying what you would do, or what she should do. You say,

“How does that make you feel? What do YOU think about that?”

If they ask for information,  you give them the risks and benefits. Information. Not advice.

If they say something like,

“My Mom wants to be there, I suppose that’s okay,”

you respond with,

It sounds like you are unsure about your Mom being in the room. Is that right?”

It may seem obvious, but I couldn’t help feeling like, we should talk like this more often. We should strive to clarify and truly understand what someone is saying, rather than jump to answer. Pause. Think.

I am not making this make sense very well, but it is something I am thinking about. How do I learn to listen better in my daily life? What is in the way?

Do you think you are a good listener? Is it hard to just listen?

Currently

Thanks to Sometimes Sweet for the inspiration for today’s post. 

Currently I am…

Reading:  I am such a schitzophrenic reader. I have so many abandoned books, not because I didn’t like them, but because I wanted to read something else RIGHT THEN. I am at the moment, drowning myself in smutty romances in attempt to hide from stress. Drowning myself I tell you. I can’t tear through them fast enough. I have gone through this and this in the last twenty four hours. I know, I know. Quality reading.

I am also reading The Birth Partner as a requirement for my doula training which begins TOMORROW. Gasp! I love the topic but I won’t lie, it’s pretty dry.  I have the Emperor’s Edge on hold, half read. I also have Elaine Aron’s The Highly Sensitive Person continually banging around, reading parts of it as I have time and energy. It’s some heavy reading and ‘doing’ for me. Lots of internal work but honestly, if you are Highly Sensitive, think you might be or have an HSP family member, it’s a great place to begin.  (You can also see my growing list of resources here.)

Oh hey! I also am reading a TON of blogs lately! Thanks NaBloPoMo! I love having a full feed of blogs to read so keep up the great work people!

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Doing: I have spent some time each day searing and applying for jobs, but honestly? I am not doing much these days. I am lethargic from all that is going on, (as you may have read earlier this week) and I’m just not doing a whole lot. I feel guilty about this of course but some wise friends I think would categorize this as self care. I’d like to get out a bit more, but for now, I’m just making sure I am up, dressed (sort of), showered and fed. It’s a tall order these days.

Cooking: I’ve had a few days of I-have-no-energy-even-to-do-what-I-love, which suuuuuucks. It sucks to feel like you can’t even enjoy what normally makes you feel good, let alone feed yourself. Now I’ve gotten into the I-need-to-hide-from-the-pain-and-stress period of this crap, which means lots of cooking and baking.  Yesterday I had a pot of beans going all day, but other than that I laid in bed for over 12 hours, reading and napping.  A few days before that I made this Caramelized Onion Greek Yogurt Dip, which is DELICIOUS.  I’ve got Smitten Kitchen‘s Lazy Pizza Dough rising on my counter for a Mexican style pizza with queso fresco and I may try to do some baking. Perhaps banana bread or chocolate chip cookies. We shall see, it’s getting late, or at least I feel the pressure of evening bearing down on me.  (Side note: You should make the pizza and the dip. Really. )

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Thinking: I don’t even know. My head hurts. My brain is scattered and thoughts are all over the place. I want to get up and go out but don’t have the energy. Right now I just am thinking about my training this weekend and trying not to be too stressed about it. It will be 9am-6pm for three days. I’m excited but a little scared at the same time if I’m honest.

Watching:  Oh man, I am a TV watcher right now. I’ve exhausted my Vampire Diaries, The Originals, American Horror Story today. Last night it was Covert Affairs, White Collar, Elementary and The Voice.  This moment it’s Big Bang Theory and maybe some Archer for a little levity. As always, The Cosby Show is a daily occurance. DAILY.

Other shows that I am following this fall: Dracula, Reign, RHOBH, Vanderpump Rules, Top Chef, Cutthroat Kitchen

Working on: I am working on keeping myself upright. I am working on reaching out and being unapologetic for who I am and where I am. I am working on being more kind, less sarcastic, less crabby.  I’m working on writing more poetry. I’m working on putting myself out there more. I am working on feeding myself, exercising and laughing. I am working on healing some pretty deep wounds lately and I am really, truly working on understanding why they are there.  I’m working on making sure that I have a happy, healthy space.

More tangibly (or maybe not), I am working on some spiritual things. I am really giving a lot of thought into my application for the Sisterhood of Avalon. I think I am ready and am looking forward to the journey. I think it flows so well with my doula and midwifery training. I am a bit fluttery inside about it.

Loving: Pacifica’s hand lotions and body washes. I found a bunch of travel sized ones at Marshalls and have been going through them like crazy. I love the Hawaiian Ruby Guava, Blood Orange and the French Lilac. I may have to hunt down some of the spicier ones to sniff. I love scents. I’m also loving my new Sock Monkey slippers from Target.  I love them. They make me happy and are cozy on the hardwood floors. Sometimes little things make me feel good.

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Feeling grateful for: The friends who have come out of the woodwork to support me. So many people that I’ve never met, but would welcome into my home any day of the week at any time. So many lovely people that have texted, emailed, commented, tweeted and private messaged just to check in on me.  I cannot begin to tell you how much the outpouring of support has meant to me. It’s always such a risk putting yourself out there you know? It feels like one to me and I just…I am overwhelmed by the support. I can’t always find the right words to respond with, but I am listening and I feel you. Goodness do I.

So thank you if you’ve spoken to me, or prayed quietly for me. I feel the love and I hear you. I’m trying to hear you better so keep talking, keep speaking.  Thank you for being kind people.  There really are lovely people in this world. I know this for a fact.

What are you up to currently?