PJH2028   18,373
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Where Am I and Where Am I Going

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Be Here Now? But where?
It feels good to be in my Sparkpage. I love the connection to you my friends and this community. I am wanting to have you and this as my place to come to -- more than a forum, this place and you have held me to my own goals and kept me company, kept me honest, kept me funny, kept me true.

I've been running away a lot - in my mind and scampering about with fears and illness and confusion over who I am and where I'm going. Some of it is midlife and menopause. Some of it is being smaller. Another friend here on Spark has written so eloquently about "Fat Me" and "Thin Me", and I realized in reading her blogs that there is a split in me there right now.

I lost big amounts of weight many times in my life. I wonder if the "fat me" / "thin me" identity crisis was not a big part of the "relapses". I think so. Granted, my relapses of the past were simply relapses. They were also flights away from the sexuality/attraction powers I thought I had wanted... but then could not handle. And so much more.

Today... 54... and my whole life is not in front of me. There is life in front of me... but a big part of it is behind. And a big part of it -- the lion's share of it -- was spent with the primary dialogue being Weight and worth.
Interestingly, WORTH / VALUE is up for me in big big ways. Because of my illness I went back to talk therapy -- to process better, to gain better skills and equilibrium 'coping with chronic illness'. The Fragility of the illness has intersected the Fragility of the unfamiliar smaller body. I look forward to building my strength back physically and seeing/experi.encing how that influences this dialogue.

FRAGILITY. SENSITIVITY. Similar. Related. But Distinct.
Worth/Value? Fat girl status was a low status for me. I bargained for status with talent and smarts. I was always looking for a safe place to niche. I have not not followed a passion. I have nurtured the passions of others. I have not aspired or acquired MATERIALLY for myself - my financial skills are oddly evolved on the one hand, and entirely RETARDED on the other.
Geneen Roth has written extensively on the link between FOOD and MONEY especially in eating disordered folks. It's good to know I'm not alone. Yet, I've been feeling down and confused and ashamed of what's undone, and afraid of what there is to be done.

Ashamed of what's undone.
Afraid of what needs to be done.

Hmmm. That may be a good simplification. Not entirely true. But close enough for the purpose of moving some of this energy, perhaps.

What Needs To Be Done?
The 15 lbs to goal wt is very LOW on the list, now. (How disarming that is in itself! For losing weight -- my whole life -- -- was TOP of that list).

What Needs to Be Done?

If I have these, they are remotified and distant from my consciousness.
In order to move forward with LOVE and ENERGY (and not fear)... I need to bring these up.
I NEED GOALS. I NEED AFFIRMATIONS. I NEED to break it down. I need to be willing to jettison the people places or things that do not fit with my next chapter. I cannot tether myself to stunted growth in order to protect a status quo. I don't know who is in jettison potential... but I feel that this is an element of what has been holding me back.

Still no good future work prospects.

Scared of upcoming new apartment search
*still on the emotional fence about staying in Chicago
*still wanting what I can't afford
*wishing joe to be more resourceful and strong in this process (And me too)
*scared of doing it wrong, of f'g up in some horrible way

Peter Pan? Puer? Potential?
Chrysallis or not? I'm coming out.

Coming Out
Coming Out
Coming Out

oh so slowly.

I want to celebrate this.
I will keep coming here in hopes of doing so.

With Love,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIGMAMAT 12/22/2012 1:58PM

    Have you ever watched the birth of a butterfly when it breaks free ? Out of the chrysallis?? It's a beautiful process really. We hatched a few last year and it was amazing. Hope you are feeling better P. Sending love your way. xoxoxo T emoticon

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CHOCOHIPPO 12/16/2012 3:20PM

    Wow, you are so insightful and your thoughts shared so eloquently. There is a definite divide that menopause gives, knowing that you are moving towards evening, that there are things you body can no longer do, is hard to deal with. Then there is the divide of fat vs. thin. And realizing that thin doesn't fix anything that has been bad in your life, other than weight related health issues. What emotional issues sent you there are waiting for you around the corner. Scary stuff, right? But the beautiful thing is that you can do this in your own way, at your own pace, in your own time. If you need to tread water and work on something else more important, you can. That is the beauty of Sparkpeople. You get to choose how, when, where and why. You've accomplished so much. How smart of you to know that you may have outgrown some of the people in your life who want to keep you mired in negativity. I made the tough choice to divest myself of a toxic step-parent and a sister who "drank her negative Kool-Aid" and though I keep in touch with my sister (it's now a Hallmark relationship or else our stepmother would pull her into tiny pieces for having any loyalty to me), I have no relationship with the stepmother who emotionally abused me for decades. And at first it felt weird, then empty, and then this beautiful peace. And with the help of a counselor, was able to quiet her cruel voice in my head and realized that I'm a very good person who sometimes makes mistakes, but I am so much of who I wish I was. I don't have the status or financial security I wish I could have at this stage in my life, but my husband found a job he really wanted after three plus years of unemployment and underemployment and I found a job I adore doing exactly what I wanted to do after a year of unemployment. All it took for us was to believe that at 58 (me) and 61 (him) that we still were vital human beings with a lot to offer. A tough road, but so worthwhile.

We are here with you, understanding much of your pain, feeling your joy at your metamorphosis and routing for you all the way! Be good to yourself and celebrate your inner butterfly!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 12/16/2012 9:36AM

    Oh Paula... you capture so much of what I think everyone experiences, those with true ED, the back and forth... accomplishing and undoing... I so get you, and this blog, and I know that you will definitely emerge into the space that has been waiting for you. The work isn't the weight, not for those with trauma or ED, the work has nothing to do with the weight... and when the weight is gone, our problems/memories/trauma are still there waiting for us to acknowledge and make peace with. That's the trickest part. I love you.

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ANNIEONLI 12/16/2012 8:26AM

    It's definitely a life phase (ie. emoticon the fat chick mental battle) that many go through and talking things (and writing) out is probably the best form of therapy. I like to say that sometimes "Life gets in the way of my best intentions" because it does...and noone can fault a person for that as long as we are trying and moving forward to better ourselves as best as we can.

Hang tight, keep talking, keep tracking, keep blogging. Put yourself on Maintenance with your weightloss goals too...focus on just staying there. It can take the edge off of having to lose those last 15 pounds and it is good practice for when you do.

We are all here to listen and cheer you on as you emerge!! We got your back Madame Butterfly!!

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Leaks or Suitcases?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Don't know what to do, where to go. I seem to be questioning EVERYTHING. And have no toehold on anything. I feel Rootless. Need community. Need work. Need structure. My relationship with Joe gives me comfort and a structure that I wonder about the overall health of.

I went on line this morning to see what’s left on the market of real estate this season (nothing). I went and looked at the condo that I insanely walked away from, that is being purchased by someone else. I still want to say that I can’t believe it what I did! -- it’s like waking up after a blackout, worse than a bender - like those movies where the guy wakes up and finds out he was accessory to a crime! Day by day I am doing better at not looking backwards but it smacks... and I must learn from it and live with it. ((There are some rational reasons why I panicked, but some of the panick is inexplicable). If I am lucky enough to find another someplace next to buy…. I am asking friends now to please help me make sure that I have someone to step by step me through the process. I cannot do it successfully by myself – this has now been proven… and it feels as though my life depends on succeeding at this. I hate being incompetent in this way; but I’d rather get help for this competency gap than continue to suffer with the consequences of my failings.

If I can't stay in my current tiny apartment with the leaks...then I may go live in my mom's lake house Michigan for the winter... maybe could travel too ... if I can figure out how to get my infusions while traveling. (I've looked for short term rentals in the city but there is so very little available in my price range. and... or... I'm Collapsed... short circuited in this area)

Should I stay with leaks? Or move to Michigan? That is the question. ?

My sister Laura believes that I should take advantage of what she sees as "freedom". I like the idea of that. Still, with so many unknowns...and my personality...it doesn't feel like freedom to me. A buddhist friend of mine has all his worldly belongings in his garage in Colorado, in a house he plans to sell, and is renting a palce on the east coast with his wife for a season... to check it out. Other people do this. Joe and I are both unemployed except for freelance stuff which is entirely portable!!

WHEN I BREATHE in the PRESENT moments...when I can be of service to others... THEN I remember my self, then I feel my own integrity and my strength comes back.

I am humiliated. I am collapsed. I need to steel myself. I need to BELIEVE IN MY SELF and in MY FUTURE. In ways that I dont right now. 155 lbs. Woohoo. That's great. And LIFE is in my face.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_COSMOPAULATAN_ 11/2/2012 7:08AM

    Paula... no more torture of what could have been. It's going to spin you until you are sick of yourself. Ask a fellow Chicagoan you trust who their realtor was and if they would use them again. It's a start. Make a wish list of the top 3-5 things you can't live without and a wish list of everything else. Have that for the realtor and let them go to work. If looking makes you yearn for what was, don't look. If looking makes you crazy, don't look. It's ok.

If everything is overwhelming, choose just ONE thing you can make a decision on for better or worse. Just one. I get in the spin cycle too and often it's caused by indecision. One decision, even if it's to take a bath and quiet your mind to allow other options to surface.

My chiro told me that the function of never having your brain shut off is actually caused by an overactive adrenal. He had some over the counter homeopathic cream to put on the back of my neck that I purchased, I slept like a baby that first time. All was quiet upstairs... so welcome.

I'm here for you. Don't get swallowed up in your spin cycle. Be conscious of it, and choose different. You know that is how patterns are undone.

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CHOCOHIPPO 10/31/2012 9:46PM

    You seem to have a handle on what you need, but you're awfully hard on yourself. I think your insight is amazing and you're very wise to know what you need and who you are. Whatever choice you make, it will be a good one with adventure in the making. Stay strong!

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SLFRISBEY 10/31/2012 10:58AM

    What ever you decide, it will be the right decision. Just relax and think of where you most want to be. I know the right doors will open for you!

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MAHGRET 10/31/2012 10:07AM

    Good luck figuring out the best decision for you.

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159.6! Omg!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_COSMOPAULATAN_ 9/17/2012 7:50AM

    So proud of you Paula. So proud.

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CELLISTA1 9/16/2012 4:02PM

    Excellent! I'm such a sloth that I am blown away when somebody actually does this. Good for you!

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BIGMAMAT 9/16/2012 11:58AM

    Awesome!!!!!! emoticon emoticon

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BUBBLEJ1 9/7/2012 4:50AM

    emoticon Well done, you!

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RUNNER12COM 9/6/2012 11:35AM

    Good job!

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KGWINDER 9/6/2012 1:24AM

    Yea Paula!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 9/5/2012 11:56PM


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BABY_GIRL69 9/5/2012 4:11PM


God bless,

Dee emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHOCOHIPPO 9/5/2012 3:40PM

    Amazing! Congratulations!!!!!!!

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CHOCOHIPPO 9/5/2012 3:40PM

    Amazing! Congratulations!!!!!!!

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WILLIAMV3 9/5/2012 11:19AM

    Fabulous! emoticon

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MAMADWARF 9/5/2012 10:57AM

    Wow!!! Congrats!!!!

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SLFRISBEY 9/5/2012 10:17AM

    Well done!!!!

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MAERETH 9/5/2012 9:47AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Barrie's Email -- BIGger LEAPS NEEDED with prosperity/abundance

Friday, August 31, 2012

Yes of course. No one who listened to anyone with as much experience as Janice would be reckless with my portfolio. My life is always shifting and in flux.and that changes how I use my money. Im not really sure what you are asking but I do believe that the women who take Janice's classes and the women who are in Janices circle Rachel Rosenberg and Sylvia for example are people that would be beneficial to you for you to be among energy wise as well as example wise.

I Think it would also be wise to move ASAP and slowly or quickly own your power more and more from that spot of having relocated. Do the exercises in the Stanney book.

A big part of my development is as you know from my immersion in the school for womanly arts with mama gena and the tools I was introduced to there as well as other work and life things that sprung or was enhanced by that work and life shifts.. it is impossible to figure out everything in advance or seperate aspects of life.

If you want to hire me to do a writing session to sort out your potential paths we could schedule that soonish.As I've known you for years I am wary of having a discussion with you for too long without action on your part as I believe this does not serve either of us. If you start making real moves and taking true risks I could definitely offer support in terms of managing feelings around having leaped in new ways.

The best I can do for you before that point is to invite you into my circle to be inspired and held in a sisterhood where everyone gives out of their own zone of genius in ways that are beneficial to all parties. As I've said before new moves are what is called for. You showed up to the swap. You met with Janice and Ralph. You have lost weight. You have packed some things and thrown others out. Keep going. I know you prob won't like my advice but it is coming from love.

Here are a bunch of things I would suggest to do some of which I have already said- 1.stop asking joe what should do. Joe will be happy wherever you are. This is ypur responsibility. It is It is not his money.
2. Take Janice's classes and do what she tells you to do without needing a guarantee. Your way is keeping you stuck. Try a new way as an experiment. 3. Do exercises in standby book.
4. Rent or buy a place to move and move there.
5. Hire me to do some writing work with you. 6. Take mama genas pleasure boot camp or mastery or both.
7. Expand your circle. When you are invited somewhere go more then not go. 8. Get the real tools you need even if they cost money. 9. Love yourself no matter what. 10. Make giant mistakes so you can learn big lessons. 11. Believe what people you trust say to you.12. Be open to wildly unconventional paths and solutions regarding everything. 13. Ask yourself what your desires are around tiny and big things and write them down. 14. Become fascinated by the Idea and pursuit of personal pleaaure. 15. Get weirder than you ever thOught tou could. You are asking what I do. This is what I do.

Sent from my iPhon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLFRISBEY 8/31/2012 10:09AM

    "Be open to wildly unconventional paths and solutions regarding everything." - Amazing advice and very hard to follow. I know you can do it though when you put your mind to it. :) Have you decided anything about moving? Hope all is well!

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Swap Meet Soiree - First!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Swap Meet Soiree/Party at My Friend Barrie's House Friday Night. Women of all ages shapes and sizes. And, mostly, younger women (30's-40's) under size 12... but clothes, pants, dresses, shorts, jackets, purses, jewelry, shoes, and more... from size 2-24. LOVELY WOMEN.

FIRSTS for ME --
I felt included.
Yes, I had my familiar social anxiety and 'outsider' feelings -- these are emotional first and 'fat' second (though i may have come by the emotional by way of a fat childhood).
Yes, there were private dressing rooms for those who wanted to not be seen trying on clothes.
Yes, all those years in the locker room at the gym and the drop in weight has me familiar with changing clothes in front of people... AND I DID
Oh my! I not only allowed other women to comment on "how does this look" but I solicited opinions! THIS is hard to believe. (I still remember the torture of changing for gym class as a kid, those horrid blue cotton bloomer jumpsuits...and mean girls with mean words).

FRIDAY Night was illuminating and healing in some way. I had fun. And... boy oh boy
I brought home some great new clothes to wear! Stuff I would never have tried on in a store...because it's not what I think I like, or not how i see myself...or might be fun but not for the money. Fun fun fun shirts and skirts and a jacket and even a pair of pointy toe lady shoes.

I jsut had to tell y'all and me to look back upon.

The STUFF in my way (in my way of making CHANGES and breakthroughs) these days is not food stuff. It's RESISTANCE TO CHANGE STUFF. It's F.E.A.R. stuff.

I just saw "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and I see myself in the inability to leave "the bathtub"---even in a storm.

HERE is what I know
HERE is "my place"
But... Immediate income challenges, plus
Present:Tuture Housing and Where Do I Want To BE down the road?????????
must be faced
must be faced

I cannot hide under the box inside the box with a crayon drawing pictures and telling stories
Not when the house is on fire,
and I'm the only one coming to get me.

Yeah... I want someone to come and add magical answers
I keep going to the hardware store for milk in these areas.
These are my vistas of rock and hard place now --
And so I celebrate recent accomplishments
partly to remind myself that PROGRESS is slow and steady.... it has a momentum...

Taking new clients or new FT work is a big commmttment but more like food, because I know that it can be mutated and changed.
Moving feels TOO BIG and too permanent...

To move, I will have to give up this apartment of 20 years (yes, 20, hard to believe but true)
Most People respond in shock and judgement (there's something wrong with me?)
Some People respond with interest and affirmation (how nice to have a home for so long)

It's going to require a BIG DECISION. All me. All on my own steam...

I need to remember....
I've been holding steady on the scale, and making good choices day to day for a number of weeks...with my food. Whoohoo for that, an accomplishment, an amazement.

I need to remember...
My UC is semi- in remission -- the Remicade works some... though it wears off unpredictably with menopause hormone fluctuations. Feels very unstable. But ... I'm okay.

I need to keep going...but tweak something (Looking Forever is a Trap)
I've been on craigslist instead of Spark every morning -- looking for jobs and apartments. Then resume-ing and emailing and setting up look-sees. And.... uh.... so far.... no break throughs. Oh, yes, met with a financial planner last week too. Shoulder/arm on the mend with physical therapist.

There is no magic bullet. No perfect coach. Or perfect diet. Or perfect moment.

Endeavoring to apply same sparky success bits to next growth demands.
1) Set attainable goals
2) Take small discernable steps in that direction every day
3) Don't be discouraged when resistance and obstacles come, because...that's life
4) Dont submit to too many obstacles and say "that's life", cuz hanging tough/hanging loose DOES mean cutting through some of that.
5) Be ready to LEAP when the bridge appears. .. so don't keep your eyes shut.

Love, Paula

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIGMAMAT 8/31/2012 7:54AM

    Your girl party sounds so fun! emoticon One day at a time my beautiful sparkfriend! Something will turn up. Sending hugs your way! T

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CHOCOHIPPO 8/26/2012 8:53AM


I too am in transition. You are obviously a loyal person. I am also looking for a job and recently moved to a new state, where I'm trying to find my "fit". You have a great attitude and you will be successful. These things all take time, which is the hard part. Taking care of yourself while dealing with these major life stressors is important. Good luck!

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