Friday, August 29, 2008

Simple Soup.

After the emotional turmoil and triumphs of today, (blog post about it tomorrow) I wanted something simple and soothing for dinner. I'd made Alaskaboy a seafood tomyum, but I didn't want spicy. Certainly didn't want heavy after the pizza I'd had for lunch and cheezits for snack.

In a saucepan I brought some water to boil along with a clove of garlic(sliced) and an equal amount of fresh ginger(in chunks so I could remove when eating).
Threw in an orange roughy fillet, cut into chunks; a sploosh of rice vinegar and tamari.
Added some dried wakame.
Tasted soup then doubled the wakame.
Let it all simmer until almost cooked and tossed in some spring onions.

Debated adding some dried shiitakes about halfway through the cook time but realised even that was gonna be too strong a flavour. Simple, subtle, slurpilicious soup was all I wanted.

In the serving bowl I put about 3/4 cup of cold cooked rice and poured half the soup over it. Balanced the temps out beautifully with a little extra mouthfeel amongst the fish and veggies.

Finished off with a glass of pineapple juice and mineral water.

(Got the rest of the soup for lunch tomorrow. Yum!)

EDIT: Not lunch. It ended up being breakfast along with a toad in the hole or egg in the basket or whichever name you know it by.


Harbour Crossing, Auckland

I can't get to NZ to swim the race, so I've agreed to be there in spirit, while I swim the distance at my local pool.

My current longest swim is a 65 minute 1500m...with rest stops scattered here and there. This swim is 2800m non stop. That's 122.5 laps of the pool. Yeah, it's a 25 YARD pool, not 25 metres. Don't know how much that'll affect my times, but since I'm not really racing, I'm just hoping to be able to complete the distance on the day, that doesn't really matter all that much really.

I am looking forward to the challenge. And really excited about swimming this virtual race with the marvellous Marshy! We're even hoping to synchronise our watches and actually swim "together". 7:30am Auckland time on 16th November and 10:30am Los Angeles time on 15th November. Cool huh!

Anyone else want to join us?


Thursday, August 28, 2008

On The Level?

Part of what therapy has taught me is that I settle into ruts quite well. I hang on to things or routines long past the point they're useful. I've become bogged down in two different ruts recently: Intuitive Eating and Exercise.

Chapter 14 of Intuitive Eating is titled: Honor Your Health--Gentle Nutrition. I've given a few half-hearted attempts at progressing to this chapter, but up until now I've continually sabotaged myself. I do eat intuitively probably 95% of the time. But, I'm also eating most things full fat...because I can. The danger there is that I'm missing the moderation part of the equation.

I've noticed I've been putting a little more oil in my stir fries. A little more butter on my toast. A little more of this. An extra mouthful or two here and there. And without regular exercise this has added up over the recent weeks. The difference is that I haven't freaked out about it. I now understand what Alaskaboy means when he says, “Oops, I've put on a few extra pounds, time to make some smarter choices for a bit.”

Those extra bits I've been shoving in my gob were in response to an earlier suggestion I could now start making those better choices. “But that's DIETING!” Is what my subconscious has been screaming at me, so I've been a little heavier handed than usual when dishing up. When my mother suggested other lower fat sources of calcium than cheese, I pouted and told her point blank, “Both my body and I want the cheese.” But you know what? She was right. The book was right. Alaskaboy was right. And I was scared.

My days of swanning about in my personal candy store are over. Growing up means not only emotionally but also in regards to personal responsibility. During my most recent bout of PMS I drank more milk than usual, had fat free vanilla yoghurt on my granola, plus still having cheese, just not as much of it as usual. I also varied the kinds of cheese I had. And you know what? My world didn't end. I was still emotionally and physically satisfied, but I'd made a few little healthier choices that still allowed me the calcium I was craving. Not only cheese. That was just my go to feel good drug of choice.

Some more examples of smarter choices, yet still intuitive eating. Yesterday's breakfast was an egg sandwich with kewpie mayonnaise and a tomato lettuce salad with rice vinegar. Lunch was granola with yoghurt and hadn't tided me over as long as I thought it would, so I was a bit peckish before doing aerobics that afternoon. Instead of having tuna smooshed with mayo and lemon juice on crackers, I smooshed the tuna with a smidge of Ranch dressing and a touch more lemon juice than usual, and ate it with celery sticks. Knowing I'd had mayo and carbs for breakfast and that dinner would be Indian food, I went for the lower carb options for both lunch and snack.

And just like that I realised I could lose the weight I'd recently put on—without deprivation. Not dieting. Moderation. Responsible and mature eating. But not always. There'll be childike eating and emotional eating. That's what Alaskaboy meant. You've let the reins out for a bit, now pull 'em in a little tighter for a little while. Just not TOO tight, which WOULD be dieting.

My exercise rut was even easier to overcome. Yesterday during aerobics I was struggling. Really struggling. All I could think of was how hot I was, how badly I was performing and how soon I could stop without feeling like a total failure. Now, logically I knew why I was struggling; the room was 5-8F/3-5C warmer than I've been working out in; I was still in the latter stages of my period; I was sleep deprived; and I'd gained those excess pounds of fat. Emotionally all I was doing was beating myself up.

All of a sudden I thought to myself. Wait a minute! Last year, when you were down to a weight you were happy with, and you were exercising regularly and at a level that made you feel strong and competent, if you felt like this you thought it was fantastic! If you were tired, you modified or slowed down and kept going. If you were slightly sore it meant you were improving your fitness and building strength. What's so different about now?

I'd just finished telling Alaskaboy that I was almost at the end of my rope and I'd have to stop soon. But when I had that thought I knew it meant LSED was winning and I was piking out! So, I modified. And I sat out a few of the weight reps. But I continued. And I went another 20 mins until I knew I really had reached my stopping point, without overexercising either. Afterwards when I told him what had happened, he was so proud of me. But I was even prouder of myself.

Little changes. A little more productive effort there, a little less of something else there, plus a whole lot of awareness everywhere equals balance. And that's what I've been avoiding. Taken it to the next level. Making choices. Being aware. Consciously looking after myself. Now I've got both feet firmly planted on that next step up, and you know what, the view isn't as scary as I thought it would be. The pendulum has swung through both extremes, now I'm ready to try some balance. And no I won't be getting out my spirit level and looking to place that little bubble squarely in the precise center of balanced. That's not true balance, that's really perfectionist/diet thinking.

Oh! Wanted to add this. Reading a post today about exercise recovery, I went back and looked at my various training schedules over the last few years. It helped me realise why sometimes I could exercise regularly for months on end, and other times why I burnt out in a few days/weeks. It had nothing to do with my basic fitness level, but with how little recovery I was getting. Hear that LSED? If we plan some more recovery days, we can get fitter easier. No more weeks of busting my tits followed by weeks of nothing. HahaHA. I win!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tag: I'm It!

No Fair! It's come full circle. This was one of the deliberately hard questions I asked Marshy during her Ask Marshmallow series...and now it's come back to haunt me as a meme.

Thanks Cmae! (no, really.)

I'll tag:

And anyone else who reads this and wants to do this. If you don't have a blog, feel free to email me or reply to this post with your answers.
Now, onto my answers.

What is something you'd love to say to your younger selves of 2, 5, 10 and 15 years ago? (Doesn't necessarily have to be the same thing each time.)

Two years ago; I know that you're stressing big time about not being able to have the fancy dress party full of your family and friends that you'd wanted for your 30th birthday. I know you're lonely. But, your birthday will be even more special than you could ever imagine. Besides didn't you do the fancy dress for your 18th AND 21st birthday? Stop rehashing the past, time to do something different! As for being lonely and homesick? This too will pass. You're learning from both your ups and downs and soon you're gonna be more contented than you've ever been in your life. You'll learn to love and respect yourself, truly and deeply.

Five years ago: Take a deep breath and RELAX for fuck's sake! Stop stressing about your weight. If you keep exercising as insanely as you are...your wedding dress will be too big for you and you'll spend all night hitching the shoulder straps up and trying not to trip over the hem. The dress fits perfectly now and you look gorgeous! You're married already. This one's just an excuse for a party and presents and because you both want some sort of church wedding. I know you're missing people. That's an unfortunate side effect of marrying someone from overseas. You're doing what's right for you and Alaskaboy, which means you miss out on some stuff but you'll gain a whole lot too. Besides, you know you're happier with him there than you would be anywhere else.

Ten years ago: Yes, this is a dead end job. Yes you currently have no friends and are miserable. Guess what? After only a few more years you'll be working your dream job, living with your soul mate, have more friends than you have time to keep up with properly, and they'll be true friends. Have patience. Be kinder to yourself. And most importantly: Trust your instincts. You'll know what that means when the time comes.

Fifteen years ago: You are fabulous just as you are. No one in this shitty school appreciates the real you. You are loyal, loving, caring, strong, courageous and perfectly you. Those other girls are jealous of you. Truly they are. It's why they bully you so much. I know you don't understand why they play the mind games they do, and feel miserable when you play along. Be as true to yourself as you can. In time you'll leave school and move onto bigger and better things. They'll have no part in your life than any other bad memory. oh and those boys you're pining for? They're just that; boys. One day you will meet the MAN of your dreams and he's even better looking, smarter, sexier, honest and loving than you imagined he'd be. And so are you!


Monday, August 25, 2008

Making a Mesh of Things.

These last few weeks have been really hard for me emotionally. On different days, or sometimes all within the same day, I find myself being the emotional equivalent of a 5 year old or a teenager or a young adult. Other days I feel like I'm a hundred and wise as the ages. My inner perfectionist with her black and white thinking is having an incredibly hard time with how messy emotions can be and the thousand shades of grey there are in life.

My creative side has taken the word enmeshment and run with it. I'm seeing my relationships, my history, my environment and everything else as one big piece of mesh. All the individual strands have been woven in by me, but some I've included because I've been told they're necessary or I've grabbed them up blindly from what's been lying around. Now I'm faced with the task of unpicking the no longer necessary strands without endangering the structure as a whole.

The hardest part for me is figuring out which bits are actually my strands. Not all strands I've picked up or been given by others are bad, but I need to work out which ones I no longer use or need. And with each strand I discard I feel like I'm betraying other people. Each strand that is uniquely mine I'm having trouble recognising as worthwhile. For so long I've defined myself by how others see me and how I interact with them that I'm not sure how to stand up and say "Hey this is me. Like it or lump it. Accept or not, I'm still gonna be me."

One moment I feel like a bull in a china shop. I'm bludgeoning everything in sight with my self assertions. Other times I feel like a mosquito in a tornado. No matter how much fuss I put up, I'm swept away by everyone's disinterest. And like that poor beleagured mosquito, I'm tired. I'm sure this is a good sign that I'm getting down into the gritties and my safeguard alarms are blaring like all hell has been let loose. I have to keep rooting out and tearing away those strands. I NEED to know who I am. I need to see my family, my friends, the world as an adult. I can't keep hiding as a child. By can't I mean can not do it any longer. I'm more tired of reacting to old cues and buttons than I am tired of digging.

Sorry this is kinda vague and rambly today, but I'm trying to make sense of how I'm going to grow up without feeling like I'm losing my family and sense of place in the world. I feel like I'm riding free without my training wheels for the first time. But, unlike riding a bike without training wheels, where you're reasonably sure if you peddle hard you'll stay upright, I feel something completely different. I feel like the parable of the blind men and the elephant. Before I can ride the bike I first have to find out what is a bike? And each part of me is blind and groping for its best understanding of what a bike is. And of course, they all disagree.

My inner perfectionist is freaking the fuck out. She wants everything laid out in completely square lines for the mesh that makes up me. Funny thing is though, if I wanna make a solid safety net, the lines can't run endlessly at ninety degrees to each other else I won't be able to twist it up from flat on the ground without breaking it. Tangles are messy. But knots are a form of tangles. And if I carefully unravel the tangles I can leave supporting knots in place rather than ones that put a chokehold on growth.

And perhaps I could even ride a grown up bike. ;)


Saturday, August 23, 2008

My Hero.

The last two sessions with my therapist, I've begun doubting my recovery. It feels too easy. Even she has never seen anyone make such fast inroads to their issues. I'm also a little confused. I feel like my brain has done a bait and switch on me. I went in convinced I still had a lot of work to do on one particular issue and we've done much more extensive work on other things entirely! In fact several things I thought were an issue aren't even a concern anymore!

Dammit! How do you let go of something without being aware that it's slipped from your brain? I expected a big momentous fanfare or something instead of a quiet realisation weeks later that it's no longer an issue; that I'd not only forgiven but was on the verge of putting it completely in the past where it belongs.

Also, this week I had nothing on the breakthroughs outside of therapy. (Well at least I thought I had, towards the end of the session subtler small victories popped up to say, “Oi! What about us?”) So I asked lots of questions and let my doubts out. Also, my fears that I was in some form of denial or something re: forgiving. We also talked a lot about my fears of how to eventually raise a well-adjusted child in today's weight-obsessed misogynistic society.

The Olympics has been helping to reassure some of my past body issues (oooh look gymnasts AND swimmers with all different kinds of body shapes) and infuriating me on several other levels (Why do they STILL report about men and women athletes so differently? GRR!) It's also helped Alaskaboy, and me, realise why I have difficulty with overtraining my current body. Merely by pointing out how to correct his form, or watching him fail, as he's tried to perform what, to me, are simple gymnastics or strength training moves we've both admitted how strong/flexible my body used to be. My brain thinks my body is STILL that way. So of course I get frustrated when I can't do even an eighth of what I believe I should be able to do.

One REALLY gratifying moment was when he realised just how much valuable training advice I've given him over the years...even if he'd previously blown off some of that advice. He now understands why I've been suggesting certain ways of training or doing things. This week I've really enjoyed coaching him. It's also been awesome sitting there watching the diving/gymnastics/swimming/athletics etc and commenting on things during the event, that the commentators then say the same thing during the slo mo replays. (He's loved it because he's getting even more out of it than what the commentators say some times...and I've loved it because it's rekindled my love of watching sports. Just watching for the sake of watching.) It's been REALLY awesome enjoying the sports and athletes as what they are, instead of judging their bodies and my own while beating myself up because I can no longer do that.

And judging bodies is an issue I still have. I read an excellent post over at Shapely Prose yesterday about how women's bodies are scrutinised from the moment they step outside the front door...and sometimes even behind that closed front door. (Warning could be triggering for some.) After reading about half the comments, I was a bit peckish. My plan was to nibble a bit of leftover chicken dish, take back the sample book to the upholsterers and order our couch reupholstering. (woohoo!) Instead, what happened was I ended up mindlessly eating my way through the whole bowl of ajvar chicken. Yep. The comments did trigger me.

I'll be bringing this up in therapy next week. Because I've finally figured out what I've been having trouble articulating in therapy. How deeply angry and insulting I find it that that shit still happens. That people, me included, feel it's perfectly all right to voice judgments about other people and their bodies. I'm especially pissed, and fearful, that women are still treated like pieces of meat, and that with some people even a lack of response can be seen as a reason to escalate the harassment or take it to a physical level. Perhaps part of my recent sangfroid is the fact that I'm back in a “safe” body. A body I perceive will help me avoid leering and inappropriate comments from men. (Because it's all about our own perception.) I still get diet comments from women, but I know how to deal with those. I don't know how to deal with my own discomfort at comments from men. No doubt stemming from leftover feelings that I was unable to express as a child/teenager.

Looks like I could have some temper tantrums and teddy bear cuddling in my near future. And it's the extent of those sessions that I'd completely forgotten about. This hasn't been easy for me. I imagine this is what women, (and men) get like after childbirth. They forget just what they went through (or saw their partner go through) else they'd never go through it again. In a way I've let go or dulled the intensity of how I dealt with some of my previous stuff. All I could really remember was what I'd been doing recently. How easy, comparatively, it's been to express my emotions. I guess like childbirth it's getting through the blood, sweat, tears and swearing to get to the reward.

I've worked bloody hard over the past several years to get to this point. I must remember that. Like my therapist said, I've had the luxury of the time and a safe place to do all of this work. BUT! I've also had the motivation and the courage to do it. All of us should remember that. We could have continued blaming the fat for all our problems. Instead we're digging deep to uproot all the ugly stuff, fighting those scary monsters and rescuing both our past and present selves. Birthing our own heroic selves.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Quick Jot.

Wanted fried rice for lunch but didn't want Asian flavours. I wanted Mexican food. So I made this up as I went along.

Putting it here so I remember this. Will need to get measures of everything next time I make it.

sauté for a bit:
chopped orange capsicum, 1 small
chopped raw chicken breast, 1

roughly chopped garlic, 4 cloves
cumin, sprinkle,
dried oregano, bigger sprinkle,

after a bit add:
roughly sliced green/spring onions (4, I think)
chopped 1/6 bunch fresh cilantro/coriander
canned diced jalapeños to taste

after they soften add:
old rice, preferably a couple days in the fridge (makes better fried rice)
fresh juice of 1-2 limes depending on size

stir to incorporate and warm through, then add:
several grates of extra sharp white cheddar cheese

once cheese melts, add:
a sploosh of salsa.
another chopped 1/6 bunch fresh cilantro/coriander

s/p to taste.

Will be interesting to see what Alaskaboy thinks when he gets home and tries some. LOL Sometimes my intuitive food creations don't please anyone's palate but my own.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Been Scarce.

Sorry I haven't been around this week. I got a bit carried away watching the gymnastics the other night. Alaskaboy had never done a handstand before. After getting increasingly frustrated with trying to explain it to him...I went and did it--handstand, not husband--up against the door.

Well, that is my muscle memory told me how to do it. I got upside down with one heel against the door and the other leg just above waist level*. right wrist promptly said "Fuck you, lady!"

Three lots of ice and 48 hrs with a bandaged wrist before I felt comfy enough to go nekkid today. Wrist is still not happy, Jan with lots of typing though, so not much time at the keyboard.

Got lots to tell yas hope to be in typing trim ASAP.

*not too bad considering I'm 230+lbs AND didn't warm up at all LOL


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Wanting What I Need.

This post has been a long time coming. Mainly because I really didn't know what I wanted or needed. In some ways I still don't. I've been so sewn up in being a daughter, a wife, a sister, a granddaughter, an author, a chef, Scruffy's Mum, etc that I didn't know who myself was. The psychologist had a word for that this week: Enmeshment.

Again it's a simple word that she's given me after a whole round of talking on my behalf and it all suddenly clicked. For ages I've been saying to Alaskaboy that I feel like I imagine teenagers feel when they go away to college. In essence, that's exactly what is happening. I'd lived at home for 27 years. As a teenager I'd tried to cut my apron strings and they'd tied them again. As an adult, they'd tried to cut them but I tied them tighter than ever before. Consequently I was tangled in a morass of the damned things.

Over and over again this happened until we were all enmeshed in each other. (Particularly me and my mother.) Even from all the way over here, they were stretched to breaking point, but they still held firm. Over the last few years some have come unravelled while I've been looking the other way. Some I've consciously teased apart until they've dropped free. Yet others are pulled so tight I don't know HOW I'm gonna get them undone.

The super tight ones are the ones I have tied extra well because being an adult is scary stuff. As long as I continued to look to other people to how I should behave and compared myself with them, I didn't need to see if I wanted to even be in the same kitchen anymore. And that's been hard.

Recently I've realised that no matter how close I am to my family, I'm not always the same as them. Love is complicated and perfect, but also perfectly messy which screws with my perfectionist tendencies. I learned that with my husband. Now I'm learning it with my family. Sometimes I'm wrong. Sometimes they are. Doesn't mean we love each other any less. It simply means we're individuals, with differing opinions and different likes and dislikes. Different needs and wants.

So, what do I want? What do I need? (lists in no particular order)

Clean water to drink.
A varied diet.
Social and tactile contact.
Regular contact with my loved ones.
Exercise on a regular basis.
To write and to read.
To love and be loved.
Safe and comfortable place to live.
To laugh.
Self respect.
Freedom of self expression.

To own our own home.
To spend time with both our families every year
A dog
Best-selling career
Return of my ability to eat whatever I wish to.
To have no allergies to anything.
Self acceptance.
Fitness level I'm happy about.

That's all I've come up with so far. And I've been thinking about this for a long time. Some of those needs I felt strange putting up there. Needs are supposed to be things that are vital to your survival. Surely some of those things are wants? But no. The thought of any or all of those things being taken off my list makes me distinctly fearful. Those needs are all vital to my survival as a sane human being. The wants, not so much. They'd be wonderful, but I can do without them...I think.

I do find it interesting that I've put Self Respect in Needs but Self Acceptance in Wants. Even more interesting that I've got them as two seperate things. I guess for me because respect and acceptance can be two different things. I can't always accept what I hear other people say, but I can respect their right to say those things. I can't always accept a person has different views or ways of doing things than me, but I can respect it. I'm not quite all the way there with this Self Acceptance stuff, but I can look myself in the eye and respect what I see, who I am and the journey I've made to get here.


Friday, August 01, 2008


The first session with my therapist didn't entail much other than me trying to fill her in as quickly as possible about my issues. After the session was over and I was getting ready to leave, she mentioned she has some ideas about how to proceed and that I'm definitely wanting validation. Just that one word has led to a storm of epiphanies this week.

I went back through my archives to earlier this year when all of a sudden I was putting on stacks of weight. There it was; the Magic Mirror Letter. I had many fabulous responses from people I sent it to, but the ones I've really wanted to hear from, mainly my parents, I got no reply. Well, okay I got an acknowledgment that they received the letter and intended to write a reply, but they haven't gotten around to it yet. Logically I know they've been busy. Very busy. Working six days a week busy with health issues of their own and my Nan's to deal with. Logically I've understood that.

Emotionally I haven't. Emotionally I've wanted a response from two of the most important people in my life. Emotionally I've been like a hurt child. I haven't liked feeling that while I know the logical and sound reasons why they hadn't had time to reply yet. So, I ate. And. Ate. And ate some more. Once the therapist used the word validation, I knew I'd keep eating until I resolved this issue. So the next day I called my mum.

And we talked for four hours about a whole range of stuff. Including the fact of my being emotionally wounded from their lack of response, despite my adult knowledge of why they were late with it. And she understood what I was saying. She had assumed that because we were talking every week on the phone that they were doing enough to satisfy my emotional needs. It also came out that they knew they weren't good at expressing their emotions so as we were growing up they encouraged me and my brother to talk about our feelings. Only problem is, now that I'm needing to hear deep emotional stuff from them, they're in a bit of a bind. LOL They've always been good with hugs and kisses and I love yous...but this requires a bit more

Also, the reason I didn't go to a therapist for so long was because I was trying to deal with my emotions, by talking about the past incidences with the people involved. That wasn't working out too good. It was damaging my current relationships with those people instead of resolving the past issues. Those issues are mine and in order for me to deal with them, I needed to talk to a professional about them. Someone not emotionally invested in the past or my recovery. That statement right there was a huge kick in the head for me when it first entered my brain. I've been raised to talk things over with friends or family, but sometimes they can't help.

Friends, that's another issue too. Over the years Mum has told me that her and dad always "knew I'd have trouble with making friends. Because I used to say even the stray dogs I brought home were my friends." Everyone was my friend, instantly. I'd fall in love head over heels straight away...and be disappointed later on if the friendship ended or they didn't live up to my high expectations or love me as much as I loved them. My basic world view is that everyone is honest and everyone should be friends with everybody. So, on that one key point, I'm the emotional equivalent of a five year old.

This week, on the phone I got from mum the usual line about knowing I'd have trouble making friends...but then she added that her and Dad tried their best to help me through it and minimise my hurt. What an emotional world of difference those few extra words made. We knew you'd have trouble. To We knew you'd have trouble and tried to help. And hearing that extra bit on the end helped me to realise they're still trying to help me, because I still have the same problem.

They're also very frustrated that I'm still making the same mistakes. That I'm keeping myself alone in the house more often than not because I'm afraid to make bad friends again. The reason they've been telling me to get out and about and find hobbies and things is because they know I need the social contact. TRYING to explain to me the difference between social contacts, acquaintances and friends. It wasn't until this week that I understood the emotional difference. And understood why I've been having such a hard time.

Ever since moving here I've been leading with my heart, as per usual. Seeking Friends wherever I go somewhere new. Alaskaboy's workmate's wives; women at his work; writing groups; the Australian expats group; the water aerobics class. I've even avoided joining a crochet class because I was afraid I wouldn't make any friends there. Excuse me? I've been avoiding social chitchat and interaction because they might not be potential Best Friends Forever. WTF?! Even though I knew how much I enjoyed the light bantering with the older ladies at water aerobics, I was avoiding another chance for the same thing with a different group of people.

I work from home. Alaskaboy can't supply all my emotional needs. My other Friends and family are scattered far and wide. I know all that.
What's wrong with gathering some Acquaintances?
But I tried that! {waaaaaail}
No, you tried looking for BFF and when it didn't work out, perhaps because you pushed too hard or we just weren't suited as acquaintances, you fell into the Black Hole Of Calcutta! What you're needing is nothing more taxing than workmates. Someone you have a good time with when you see them, natter about stuff, and then go home to your own life.
You have Friends. Some of those acquaintances may become friends in time...just like your other friends have stayed around as the other acquaintances dropped by the wayside. Everyone is an acquaintance at first and it takes time and shared experiences to learn if they'll stay that way or not. They have to earn your trust and vice versa.

And when I look at it like that, it's such a simple thing. But like all my "simple" discoveries it's a hugely profound one. I already have people in my life who can give me the validation friends and family give you. I am working on self-validation too. Over and over I've been saying I miss going out for coffee with people. And I wasn't listening to what I was really saying. I'm missing social interaction. Validation that I'm an interesting person, I still have stuff to talk about, and that I'm not gonna go stir crazy alone in this job of mine.

I don't need to join a softball team or a Master's swim class. Those are things I did in my past. Currently I'm interested in crochet and home crafts and water aerobics and swimming laps on my own. Social interaction can be found doing those things. I work from home. I may always work from home. I may never earn money from my writing. (Again something I'm still struggling with and I've covered that before: both my mother and grandmother worked full time outside the home and earned money.) But as my Mum said to me today, so what? Stop comparing yourself to others.Comparing myself, and hanging on to comments/beliefs from the past I'll cover in another post.

Last thing I wanna say is WOW! I've had a huge week. I've eaten intuitively at every meal since Saturday. I mean completely intuitively. I'm eating every few hours and a whole lot less than I thought I needed over the course of a day. But I'm satisfied when I go to bed and hungry again within an hour of waking up. Two mornings in a row I even woken up a little earlier than usual because I was hungry. I had a nibble and was still tired, so I went back to bed. The next days I didn't over eat at dinner time to stop me from needing the early morning snack. I still ate til I was comfortably full and stopped. It was like my body was testing me or something because since then I haven't felt the urge to wake up and snack. In fact I'm sleeping deeper and better than I have in a long time.

Funny thing is, the shirt I tried on recently and was so upset that it no longer fit, is fitting better again.

All of that from stopping when I'm full plus feeling my emotions. It's still eerie how easy it is compared to dieting. I'm hoping that this time, because I'm working with a therapist on my core body confidence issues and leftover trauma from the sexual abuse, rather than the surface layers of those problems, that I can keep this up beyond the points that I've previously choked because of said issues.