Home again, home again. Home again, now!

I had a wonderful two week (almost) visit back to Wisconsin to be with my parents for Christmas. I was also able to see and catch up with a lot of friends and previous colleagues. Seeing my elderly father settling into a daily routine, in his independent living apartment community, and stick to it despite having company, gave me a good feeling. He and my mother are comfortable there and have made a lot of friends. My dad gets out of the apartment for a coffee hour and lunch every day – which means that he is seeing and interacting with people other than my mother. When they were still in their house, he would often go for a week or more seeing only her (or me when I went over.) That was stressful for both of them! We all know what it’s like when you spend too much time with only one other person. Even the best relationships can get ouchy! Although my mom has been able to come and visit me here in California, and will again, I doubt my dad will be able to due to physical limitations. That was why it was so important for me to go see them over Christmas.

my son, dad, mom and me

Peter, Dad, Mom and me

Dad, Mom and me

Dad, Mom and me

father and daughter

father and daughter

I also was able to have Christmas with my sisters-in-law and their families. A long tradition on Christmas day, of rotating homes, will no longer include our house unless they all decide to come out here one Christmas! It was a long day starting with picking my son up at the airport after his overnight flight from San Francisco. Then it was back to Grandma and Grandpa’s for a belated Christmas Eve time (when my family usually does Christmas) before we headed down to the in-laws.

My niece and her husband

My niece and her husband

Anxiety always plagues me over the holidays. I know that the get togethers are all about family, but the eating disorder part of my history and mentalness always kicks in and can’t quite do the food thing very well. I don’t purge, but I do over eat and eat to cope with anxiety, little depressions and any little thing I harbor. I’ve never felt able to talk to others very much about my food issues. And there are so many issues that touch upon it!

Peter and his second cousin  (I think that's what his cousin's son would be?!)

Peter and his second cousin (I think that’s what his cousin’s son would be)

drummer boys!

drummer boys!

Spending all that time away from home also drastically impacted my ability to get any exercise or spend time meditating. The weather didn’t make me feel like walking (cold, snow, gray, wind – all the reasons I moved away from Wisconsin winters!) as well as being in my parents small apartment. LOTS of just sitting occurred. I can feel in throughout my body – like a slug. I desperately tried to meditate every day. I think I was successful only once. Every other time, either the phone would ring, someone would walk in or, if I tried before bed, I would fall asleep.

But I am home now. It was a wonderful visit, but it was time to come home. Seven hours of flight time (2 legs) and a mad dash through the Houston airport have gotten me : home again, home again. Home again, now!

Time to go meditate then go for a much needed walk!

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‘Twas the night before Christmas and a little anxiety crept about …

English: Christmas food of Poland, Sanok

The holidays are hard for me though. In addition to the general stress of them and family and trying to be on my best behavior and not argue at all, there’s the food, food, FOOD! It triggers the eating disorder part of me that I’ve also struggled with – failingly – since I managed to stay pretty thin until I went into treatment for bulimia at age 29, but it’s been a downhill battle and increasing weight gain ever since then and my weight is now up about 80 pounds from when I when into treatment! That does a ceaseless number on my self esteem and really makes being around boundless quantities of food distracting. I learned this summer that my bulimia was actually another form of self harm. Unfortunately, my body got to the point that throwing up felt like my chest was being ripped wide open, with no purging results, so I’m left stuck with ingesting food that becomes extra weight.  Sometimes I can kind of forget about my body image … until I see myself in a picture or mirror. And then the self loathing returns. And I want to purge … but I can’t. And I haven’t been self harming (burning or cutting), and know I should keep away from that but would really really really like to – so here I go into the remainder of Christmas Eve and onto Christmas Day with more food, food, food and smiling and not telling. I feel like the size of the Abominable Snowman. I can feel my anxiety bubbling up and ready to seep out or every crevice as if my body was made of porous  building blocks.

I do love my family, every one of them!

Raging Lunatic – The movie

Raging lunatic. The term is familiar to most people. Those of us with mental illness may call ourselves crazy (lunatics) and have episodes of raging. Before I was ever diagnosed with anything, I wished I was diagnosed as crazy  – because then my behaviors would make some kind of sense. And that brings me to today.

On Thanksgiving, I had commented on a post about my anxieties around the holidays and how I often fly off into a rage. Another commenter replied to my comment and suggested that perhaps I might want to video one of my episodes of raging to see what my actions look like – RAW, from the outside.

I wonder about doing this, if I could even coordinate it with a camera being at the ready, if my husband or son would record it if I was raging at the other … the emotions. Would it help – hurt – trigger? Has anyone else done something of this kind before? If so, what kind of result were there? I’m intrigued yet it scares the h#ll out of me to think of what I would see and to know that’s what my husband and son see when I’m like that.

The Ugly Truth.

Me.