#MicroblogMondays - I Finally Go to the PSI Seminar

 (not a microblog by any stretch of the imagination.)

April 29, 2018 

SG invites me to a informational meeting for this seminar because he just went through it and found it useful (he says super powerful and transformational). I seriously think about firing him and on May 7, 2018 meet him for coffee to discuss said invite. Newsflash, I don’t fire him and that meeting helps me to start understanding how much he cares and how he can support me. He also becomes this annoying mosquito in buzzing in my ear for the next several months until I relent and get myself an informational meeting in December. That doesn’t go well, but I sign up for the 3-day Basic anyway.

Friday February 8, 2019

I show up anxious, scared, but determined. I’m determined to dive in, after all, to even get through the door has taken sheer force of will and fighting my ingrained survival instinct. My therapist is on-board and encouraging. Discussions with SG have been helpful, plus he’s there and I know I have a supporter in the room. S is happily’ish taking care of the kids while I spend 3 10-hr days in a hotel ballroom a few miles from home. I try to sit in a chair waaay in the back and am gently prodded to move up to the students seats as I chose the staff seats. I sit in the back row tense and taking deep breaths trying to slow my racing heart.

The seminar starts and the facilitator is amazing. He’s dynamic and engaging, and I immediately know he is the guy I need to have guiding me through the process. He eases us into the work, starting with classroom style lecture/interaction. Soon though, we move on to some practice in sharing and visualization exercises. At one point, I force myself to get up and share to the 60+ people in the room. I don’t want to, but again, determined. The night closes and I’m like, ok, I can handle this, strong emotions come up, definitely have things to think about. Later that night I have a revelation that is pretty damn profound and educational. I don’t sleep all that great.

Saturday February 9, 2019

Feeling just the teensiest bit more open to the process, I barely make it to my seat on time in the morning. I’m starting to move around a little, not quite the back row. As we begin, it becomes clear we’re going a little deeper now and I’m ready. At one point in the afternoon I make myself share again. This time it’s a bigger realization and I’m kind of having this….whoa moment. At 7:00pm something happens that breaks it all open, shows me the exact thing that has been holding me back from happiness. I start crying in the last hour of the session, graduating from tears streaming down my face to trying to contain full-body-wracking sobs while sitting in a chair surrounded by people. People around me comfort me, giving me hugs as we leave and I don’t look at SG as I walk out the room feeling broken. S takes one look at me when I come home and is worried, I try to talk to him about it without telling him exactly what happened to trigger the realization, and he starts to understand my reaction. I write for a couple hours, sleep 4 hours, get up and write more. In the morning, I ice my eyes trying to get the swelling down so I don’t look so horrible walking into the class. I’m marginally successful.

Sunday February 10, 2019

S suggests we have a family outing to my favorite breakfast place in the morning, which is exactly what I need before facing the class again. I make sure to get there early, staying silent until the doors are open and it’s time to sit down. I get an encouraging hug from SG, then sit in the front row, next to a woman I’ve just met, supporting each other. I encourage her to share with the group as she’s telling me she wants to but she’s really scared. She tells me to go first. I have to sit down and face everyone for this, but the only person making me do it is me. I start by talking about what I realized the night before and how much it hurt. The facilitator stops me from rambling at one point and starts guiding me through questions. I’m shaking, I’m crying, my voice is breaking. I get to the end and he says “What are you going to do about it?” “Change it” I get applauded and sit down. Several people share including my new friend and it’s interesting how different everyone’s experience has been. After that, I feel lighter, and open. People start randomly telling me how awesome my share was, how amazing I am, how brave and courageous and how much they identify with what I said. One woman told me she thought I was the most beautiful woman there (!?!). The rest of the day becomes easier with exercises that are pretty fun and kind of mind-blowing. SG and I get an opportunity to share with each other through one of the exercises and it’s such a connected experience that I feel all the last vestiges of anxiety and fear of our relationship fall away. By the time we close, I can hardly walk 5 steps without someone stopping me to tell me how much I’ve impacted them during the class, how different I look and what a major change has taken place from Friday morning to Sunday night. I finally go up to the facilitator to thank him and he CRIES. He tells me I’m magnetic, that he was drawn to me Friday morning as I sat there stonily resistant and what a huge transformation I’ve had to Sunday. He tells me I’m ready to go, to grab on and become the leader I want to be. He tells me people like me are the reason he does this work. The manager of the Denver area and someone who has brought this organization to several different cities tells me that my share was amazing and he says to me, “This lady is ready to MOVE.” These two guys see EVERYONE go through this training. I’m flummoxed, awed and reeling: All I did was...what?...kept getting up and sharing how learning about these concepts was forcing me to look at different things in my life; I allowed myself to completely break down among strangers and I then sat in front of them talking about why I broke down and how what I realized has affected me, my family, all my relationships. SG is ecstatic, “You did it!!” When I get home that night, I drop my bag to the floor. Look at S and beg, “Please come on this journey with me.” He stares, “Whoa, what happened?”

The realizations

  1. I’m modeled after my step/adoptive father. My mother tried to make me into how she sees him, a brilliant scientist. I tried to become him, but couldn’t live up to the expectation, and didn’t want to be him.
  2. I saw myself as my mother in a crucial part of the weekend and realized that the very person I’ve never wanted to be, I’ve become in a significant way.
  3. My dreams died the moment I stepped onto the Colorado School of Mines campus at age 18. I didn’t want to be an engineer, but it was expected of me. College is where I learned to put the blinders on, choose a path and barrel down it without stopping to think about consequences or who’s affected.
  4. In being walled off from people and developing the survival instinct to push people away, I’ve been warring with myself.
  5. The big one.... I am passionate about protecting people.

It took the fight of my life to walk into that hotel ballroom. In order for all these things to happen in 3 days, I needed to be already working on breaking down beliefs that weren’t serving me. I needed the buzzy mosquito of SG not letting me blow it off entirely, and I needed it validated by my therapist. Lastly, I needed it validated by my place of work. Because I have this one-little-thing-called-communication holding me back in my job, I asked if they would pay for the training as part of me working on a performance element. Without hesitation, my boss said yes. I asked again at the end of this training, whether they’d pay for me to travel to do the 7-day seminar in the fall. Again, no pushback, just a curiosity of what was it in the 3-day that made me so enthusiastic? (the woman who is hardly enthusiastic at work) So, they’re paying for me to travel and immerse myself into the actual change of the beliefs holding me back. Now that I’m aware of them, it’s time to break them all down and build new ones centered around worthiness and how I want to show up as a person, wife, friend, mother, colleague and leader.

 

And I thought it was a cult. 🤣 

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Don’t know what #microblogmondays is? Check it out here .

#MicroblogMondays - Whole30 Week 2

Non Scale Victories (NSV)

  • I didn’t drink alcohol for 12 days

  • I did a tough snowshoe hike and stuck to the plan

  • I ordered off restaurant menus and customized to fit the plan

  • I find it pretty easy to do the food even when on the go

  • Overall feeling pretty good through the day

  • No blood sugar crashes (I didn’t get them often anyway, my diet was pretty ok…)

The things that are bugging me and making want to bail

  • My sleep sucks. I’m sleeping more and not feeling rested when I wake up. I’m remembering dreams and they aren’t fun.

  • My energy has kind of returned but I don’t feel great

  • I get really tired early at night

  • I don’t feel like doing hard workouts or lifting weights

  • The diet is stressful

  • I tracked my calories for the 16 days I’ve been on the diet. It turns out to be a high fat, pretty high protein, low carbohydrate diet. I feel like I’m doing it wrong

  • I’m feeling anger and expressing anger in all the wrong ways. I lost my mind more than once and last night broke down completely, screaming at the top of my lungs, the kind of primordial scream that comes from deep within. No reason, no major triggers, just everyday stressors of kids and work. THAT SUCKED.

  • I’m traveling this week and today had a headache since I woke up.

I don’t know how I'm going to hold on for another 2 weeks. I’ve fallen off the “don’t drink alcohol wagon” and while I tried my best to follow the diet at the restaurant tonight, the “mixed lettuce” salad was really iceberg served with a creamy (dairy) house dressing. I used very little dressing, but still, it’s dairy. The entrée was compliant. I drank 2 glasses of wine. I ate two croquettes, fried balls of goodness (non-compliant). I kind of don’t care.

I wish I could do diets like these more easily! When it comes to meeting my own expectations, it’s a mighty struggle.

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Don’t know what #microblogmondays is? Check it out here


#MicroblogMondays - Whole30 Week 1 aka Suckville

As I sit at my dining room table writing this, S and I are barely speaking to each other. Why? Well, because, as it turns out, the first week of an elimination diet turns Geochick into a low-energy emotional wreck.  

I hear that it’s going to turn around, but as of day 9, I’m full on into what feels like permanent PMS. (I actually am in PMS at the moment, so it’s probably a shit-tastic combo) . My kids have triggered me umpteen times over the past few days and today I lost it when X wouldn’t do his damn OT exercise that takes a whole fucking MINUTE and may actually help out many of his issues. I yelled at X that we were paying too much damn money trying to help him get better and pointed out all the things that are “wrong” with him. Yeah. Awesome parenting a 7-year old anxious child there, dumbass. Oh, it was horrifying. There’s been other temper tantrums on my part too. Fucking hairtrigger is where I’ve been the last few days.

Day 1 was a bit of a struggle because I didn’t go shopping beforehand so for the first part of the day I tried to cobble together whatever I had that fit the diet. In case you haven’t heard of the Whole30 here’s the rules in a nutshell: No dairy, soy, grains or pseudograins (quinoa), beans, peanuts, alcohol or added sugar of any kind. Eat only whole foods. Do that for 30 days. Try not to get sick of eggs and meat in the process.  So, day 1, I went shopping in the afternoon and did some meal prep for the rest of the week.

Days 2-4 were ok’ish. I got all my meals prepped, figured out snacks and did a decent job getting into an eating groove. One of the things about Whole30 is to try not to snack and to make sure you’re actually getting hungry in between meals. I know that I have to break up my first meal of the day around a workout when I do something intense like cycling classes, but for the most part I’m pretty good at feeling hunger in between meals. The big problems started to surface on day 4 with cravings and low energy. I didn’t plan my food well and ended up exhausted by swim lessons, trying to wrangle both kids then get them fed afterwards. 

Days 5-7 the shit really hit the fan. I didn’t feel satisfied even when I ate enough calories, and I was craving ALL THE FOOD. I’ve never wanted cheese so bad...or crackers. My energy was super low and I found myself relying on coffee. By day 7 the cravings were starting to subside and I managed to get through Friday and Saturday without drinking alcohol despite the fact that S opened a bottle of wine. (Yeah...sooooo supportive that one)

Day 8, I went on a way too long snowshoe. It was a training hike for a hut trip and it was supposed to be a bit less than 5 miles. Well, we got to a point where we were going to be adding at least a mile and a half to the hike, or continue back down the trail for the 5’ish we originally planned. I was exhausted (still low energy), and I had a hot spot on my heel. But did I listen to my body and tell them I was going back to the cars to wait for them because I didn’t have another mile and half in me? Naw, why the fuck would I listen to my body? When I realized I had made a mistake, they had already left me in the dust, ice was building up on my snowshoes, and I was ready to throw all my gear down the mountain. I finished the hike (7.2 miles or so) utterly exhausted, angry with myself and with a quarter sized blister as a trophy. 

Today I’m completely exhausted mentally and physically and my back is strained. The blister hurts so bad I can barely wear the one pair of boots loose enough to get on my foot without crumpling to the ground in pain. This, in addition to the meltdown I mentioned at the beginning of this post.

This detox period better end soon. 


#Microblog Mondays - Reflections on a Year

This definitely feels like a year to reflect on given all that I’ve been going through emotionally. Here’s the rundown:

  • Jan 1, 2018 I started the New Year with a wicked case of Strep Throat. blah.

  • In February, I jacked my neck and back worse than it’s ever been before. I couldn’t turn my head, could barely drive and had to travel for work. It took several physical therapy sessions, chiropractic and stretch to get it back to semi-normal.

  • After said neck jacking, Stretch Guy (heretofore to be known as SG), took the opportunity to push me harder to see this network chiropractor guy he knew. I’ll never forget SG asking me “Do you trust me?” I stared. “A little? 20%?”. I relented.

  • In March, I started network chiropractic 3x a week combining it with therapy once a week. After a month I added stretch back into the mix. Whoa. Where’s the time to work? We also took a big family vacation to France, the first of what I hope to be many adventures. It was fun, difficult, and exciting. I fell into depression partly because I was trying to reduce my celexa. Bad idea. I went back up to a full dose. In the starting stages of EMDR, I had to deal with a 360 degree review at work in which I was roundly attacked by a few people. They presented to me an image that I hated.

  • In April, SG offered the beginning of several things that pushed and pulled at me in different ways. An invitation to check out PSI was extended because he had completed a 3 day training, and was really excited about it. I freaked the fuck out, had the almost-firing talk with him and learned that he truly was offering this because it helped him and he wanted to help me. It led to me questioning why I was so resistant to letting him help me.

  • May was a blur of work, travel and struggling through all the therapies. EMDR was intense.

  • June found me traveling to Boston to meet my biological uncles. It was a strange trip for me and I was happy to have my brother with me to be the curious one. I mostly shut down my emotions just trying to get through it.

  • In July, struggling to make sense of the trauma coming up in EMDR and the emotions surrounding my visit to Boston, I shattered. For the first time, I reached out to SG for support outside his office and he was right there offering an ear. I couldn’t deal with my parents and a decision was made to put them on hold until September. I didn’t communicate that to them, instead just tried to fend off my mom’s inquiries.

  • In August, I finished EMDR and got shingles three days before my 100 mile bike ride I had been training for the whole season. I tried and succeeded in completing 73 of the 100 while the rest of my group finished the whole thing. I also had a fun and supportive email exchange with SG while I was hanging out waiting for S and the kids to show up at the finish line festival. One of many tiny steps toward accepting his help and support. I also had another work breakdown where after all the work I had been doing, I felt blindsided by negative feedback from a team member and my superior. After much introspection, I changed my outlook and requested to work part-time. It was the first time in my 20-year career that I made a decision for me instead of working towards pleasing a boss, or achieving a promotion.

  • September was Baby A’s birthday and we invited my parents. My dad ignored me and S and my mom acted weird. I felt emotionally strong enough to have a conversation with my mom that revealed some things and also showed me that right now, it isn’t enough.

  • In October I cut off communication with my parents. I also felt a shift to starting a transformation. I reached out to SG asking for more support and that was really hard to do, yet I knew I needed to lean on him. He happily responded and it signaled another shift in our relationship. I started working part time, and it wasn’t the super relaxing schedule I hoped it would be.

  • In November, I found the source of anxiety surrounding SG. More growth, more vulnerability, and more sharing. He shared that he himself got to a point where he almost fired me as a client. Growth on both sides! We both pushed through our respective crap to be able to support each other. I attended Soul Speaks.

  • In December, I finally caved and attended a PSI informational meeting with my therapist’s blessing. I had an anxiety attack, SG was supportive through it, and I realized I need to be doing shit that scares me the most. So I signed up for the 3 day training in February. We had our Christmas the way we wanted it and it was fun and relaxing.

Wow. What a year!

#MicroblogMondays - On Yoga

Way back in my infertility/adoption waiting days I attempted to get into yoga. There was a great studio near my house where all the teachers embraced the spiritual as well as the physical practice, and while it made me uncomfortable (all that spiritual stuff), I somehow knew it was something I needed. So, I went there regularly, sometimes mixing it up with Co.re Po.wer which was, to me, purely about the physical aspects, almost like going to a gym.

It lasted a couple years, Baby X came along and I started learning about cultural appropriation. I balked, stopped going to yoga and did other things instead.

Over the past several months, I’ve gotten back into the practice, and not just the physical practice. As I continue on my spiritual awakening, broadening my horizons, being open to new ideas, I’ve come to realize that there is a difference between straight up cultural appropriation and approaching the practice with respect. I’ve found two yoga teachers who approach the practice with respect and lean into teaching those of us in our class about the spiritual side, setting intentions, learning to love ourselves so we can love and serve others.

I know we are skipping over the religion aspect in that yoga is directly related to Hinduism, and I don’t know how to reconcile that. I don’t like religion. I don’t believe there’s a G.od. I have finally come around to the idea that I’m firmly at.heist. At.heist with a broadening belief that the Universe itself is comprised of energy (it is…scientifically speaking) that connects and draws us together.

So, if I don’t practice or believe in the religion which originated yoga, do I have any right to be one of the millions of middle-aged white women practicing it?

I think so? I think it’s ok for me to embrace the spiritual side of yoga and meditation, learning about myself in order to be able to show up in the world and be a positive influence and a leader. I’m not sure I’ll ever not cringe at walking into someone’s home and seeing representations of religions they don’t necessarily practice. I’m quite sure that people who are not Orth.odox Chris.tian (how I was raised) put up Icons in their houses, so it makes me uncomfortable to see a Bud.dha or Gan.esha in someone’s space. I may get better at asking the questions to draw out why they have them, trying to let go of my judgement.

Is that ok?

 

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p.s. I signed up for p.s.i seminar in February. Holy crap. 😬 

#MicroblogMondays - Resistance is

futile.

It took less than a year for Stretch Guy to get me here:

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Remember this post? It was all about how I completely went off the deep end thinking he joined a cult and was trying to recruit me and I almost fired him over it. Oh wait, I didn’t share all of that at the time…Yup. Since then there’s been more EMDR, intensive therapy, sharing, growing, letting him support me, hearing his experience, him joking that he’s going to get me there…me resisting, resisting, and more resisting. Since I’ve acknowledged I need more support and help from him through all this healing stuff, and he’s been right about everything else so far…I’ve finally agreed to go to the presentation. Therapist #3 is completely on board. She got so excited I thought she might get up and do a happy dance right in front of me.

sigh

Bring it.

Don’t know what #MicroblogMondays is? Check it out  here

Don’t know what #MicroblogMondays is? Check it out here

#MicroblogMondays - Gong Bath

you read that right…this ISTJ engineer, unfeeling, skeptic attended a gong bath and loved every second of it.

I’ve been finding that yoga is resonating with me in a way that it hasn’t before. During a candlelight class I attend, the instructor plays the tanpura, and her playlists are intentional with the flow she teaches. There’s something about how she conducts the classes and her messages that pull emotion out of me. I’ve cried through grief, happiness and everything in-between in her class. So when she started promoting a gong bath she and her partner hold, I became curious. I’ve known about gong baths since my old days of attempting to connect with yoga during the adoption wait, but I was always resistant to trying it. Now that I’m responding and feeling more, it was time to give it a try. I made a decision at the last minute to go by myself when I realized it was the last one of the year and I didn’t have time to line up a babysitter so I could drag S with me. When I showed up with my two yoga mats, a blanket, a pillow, a notebook, and water I was nervous not knowing what to expect. I got there 15 minutes before it started and the room was almost full. Choosing a spot near the back observing how others were set up, I set myself up. Mistake #1: didn’t notice that there were thicker mats to borrow that would have been way more comfortable than my two thin yoga mats. Mistake #2: not doing any stretching before lying down on my back. I’m all comfy in shavasana after an hour of yoga, not so much after a long work day. My back was tight, the floor was hard and I found it hard to stay still. The bath started with a guided meditation followed by singing bowls and other instruments before moving to the gongs. Ok, I am a huge skeptic (I know, you’re sooo surprised), so when she talked about the gongs being tuned to the Sun and Saturn, and the journey we were all going to be taking and the forms it could take, I internally rolled my eyes and thought…yeah yeah…how is that possibly going to happen? Especially since I was sober! Well, I didn’t fly through the cosmos. Instead, the vibrations of the gongs rolled through my body causing me to breathe fast and deep and I felt like something was trying to burst out of my chest all Alien-style. The. Whole. Time. It was scary and intense and I found my mind crying out for help imagining people in my inner circle hanging on to my hands to guide me through it. About half way through the gongs, I had to roll onto my side to minimize the vibrations for a while. When I resumed shavasana, the sensation was the same and just as intense. After the gongs, rattles and drums were played to calm it down. I was spent, amazed, shocked, and I can’t wait to do it again.


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(And then I ran into my network chiropractor as I was leaving and that was totally weird.)

#MicroblogMondays - The Complete Transformation

I have been remiss in posting what my hair looks like 100% completely free of color. It’s taken a while for me to get used to it, and to bemusedly navigate the stares, stammers and roundabout questioning from people I haven’t seen in a while…

Overall, I’m happy to have made the change. My hair is evenly silver for the most part with quite a lot of white around my face and it looks pretty cool. The texture is something else though. When my hair was colored, the dye helped to calm down the naturally coarse and wavy/curly texture. Absent the coating of dye, it’s been quite a learning curve to figure out products and styling techniques as I grow out the short ‘do to something that I like more. While I look good in pixie short hair, it’s not me, and I have a weird perception that because I have gray hair that’s short, now I look like all those 60-year olds rocking their short gray ‘dos. I’m growing it out to my usual jaw-length short hair.



…today I’m an 8/10. It’s been a pretty decent run of feeling good despite some significant challenges, and I didn’t dip below 6/10 after that chat with my mom.



0.5 #NaBloMoPo Day 5 The Good Ol' Days?

 

 

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I graduated high school 25, TWENTY-FIVE, years ago. It doesn't feel real to realize all my high school memories are at least 25 years old. A reunion was planned and I was going to attend. However, a fundraiser for X's school and S's attendance at the Great American Beer Festival got in the way and I quickly dropped the idea of reuniting with my high school counterparts. High school was really difficult for me. I had a few friends, but largely was a nerdy ballet dancing flute playing depressed teenager whose parents were controlling. And I don't keep up with anyone from high school other than the very occasional peek at F-B pages, because, you know we're "friends".

Did you like high school?  Do you look forward to your reunions?

#MicroblogMondays - Depression

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I'm depressed. 

I'm medicated.

It's not a magic bullet.

I was trying to explain to S what depression feels like, because all my family sees right now is me not happy and on edge. I spent the entire summer dealing with anxiety with the buying of a house, selling of a house, and all of it not on my preferred timeline. Now that it's done, we've moved in, we've sold the other house, we've put the money back in S's IRA, recast the mortgage loan with the proceeds of our house sale....it's flipped. Depression is back in a big way. I spend a lot of time in my head trying to reframe and give myself a break, and I'm less than successful. I spend a lot of time wanting/needing/craving a break from life in general.  I took Friday off of work in the name of self care to watch movies while editing X's school directory, paint my nails and ride my bike. That was great, but the house was still a disorganized mess that needs to be cleaned. I swear it won't feel like it's my house until I have everything where I want it, and it looks like a mid-mod style freaking Nor.man Rock.well painting. As if that will cure the depression once and for all. I know it won't, but it's one thing I can control. 

The hard part about depression is that it never goes away. When I started therapy 4 years ago I thought I just needed help through a life transition. Then there was a name put to my symptoms. Then there was medication. Then I worked on a lot of crap. Then she moved. Then I took a break and things were pretty good. Then I needed more therapy. Two years into that therapy, I'm figuring out that I will be living with this for the rest of my life and I'll never be "cured". Medication takes the edge off and evens me out, it doesn't stop the thoughts. The imposter feeling, the inner critic telling me I'm not good enough. That is present 100% of the time.