Friday, 31 August 2012

When it gets ugly

The Ugly....

There's nothing for it - but to be completely raw and honest.

Sometimes life just seems to stink for a bit.  A bit of background info would probably help set the scene here....
  Seven and a half years ago, my husband and I had just had our fifth baby.  My husband ran his own fencing contracting business, which after starting from scratch five years earlier was just starting to pay its way.  I didn't work outside the home, as we were homeschooling our other children.  My husband had just returned to work for the year after Christmas break, when an accident happened at work, leaving the man working with my husband with life-threatening injuries, and Jamie (husband) with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  He has always struggled with depression and anxiety, but this accident really tipped him over the edge.  He spent the next 6 months in bed while I tried to hold everything together.  After many hours of therapy he was doing better, but could still only cope with a few hours of work.  This went on for months and months, and he was always sick and fatigued.  After about two years, when his fatigue got to the stage that if he walked to our front gate - approximately 12 metres away, he had to spend the rest of the day in bed recovering.  He was then diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  We also added our sixth child to the family.  During this time, our only means of income were Family Payments from Centrelink and a Disability Pension.  It has been so, so tough financially - our roof leaks because it is so rusted, we have rotting floorboards outside our bathroom door, our screen door blew off our house and so on.  These sorts of things just have to go by the way side, when you are juggling if the children's school shoes can be glued together one more time, so that you can replace the pair of pants that got a hole in the knees or put petrol in the car so that you can go to a family birthday party on the weekend.  Financially, things have been  rotten.  Jamie still struggles with his anxiety, our relationship has struggled with the demands placed on it, I have been scraping the bottom of the barrel emotionally and physically for way too long, and our 16 year old son with Aspbergers, has for many months turned our family on its head.

So in a previous post I mentioned a job prospect for Jamie.  He didn't end up with that job, but as a result ended up with a 4 week contract with the strong possibility of it becoming permanent.  You can imagine the excitement in our house!  A regular income!  He has completed three weeks, but was told today, that the permanent position has gone to someone else.....aaargh!   Jamie had some part time work, that he had to quit, in order to take up this contract, so now we're back to barely any income again.   The 7 hours of part-time work I've found and Centrelink.  Now I know, in my head, that things will work out somehow, but I can't help the avalanche of feelings that are rushing in.  I'm so tired of that juggle.  I'm so tired of not being able to fix my house.  Of not knowing if we should get our lawnmower repaired, because the car is so old and tired, that it will probably need major repairs any day now.  I'm tired of only being able to afford old, tired, broken cars that always need fixing.  I'm tired of having to always tell the kids, 'No, sorry, we can't ever go see a movie together, we can't afford it.'  I'm tired of having $200 left in the bank for the next week, to try and feed my family nutriciously and still put fuel in the car.  I'm tired of hoping I will have earnt enough Everyday Rewards and Fly Buys points to be able to get gift cards, so that I can buy my kids a Christmas present.  I'm tired of how draining I find it trying to help Jamie maintain a somewhat positive view of life, when it's fairly easy to think it all looks bad.  I'm tired of how when he doesn't have something to occupy his mind - he starts feeling bad about everything, mostly, it seems, about how badly I'm meeting his needs.  I'm tired of feeling like I'm doing everything I can possibly do, to hold this family together, and make it work, and yet it's still such an uphill battle.  I just don't feel like fighting anymore.  I know there's really no such thing as normal, but I so wish for that fantasy - the white picket fence, the happy children, the motivated and successful husband who works, and a mutually rewarding and satisfying marriage partnership.  The icing on today's 'special' cake - my oldest and dearest friend, who lives interstate,  is currently in my state, for her Mum's funeral, and I can't go because my car is at the mechanics and I'm at work trying to pay for it!  So I can't be with her, when her own life is awful, awful, awful.

A little spark of light......

I haven't eaten this away.  No chocolate.  I've even been in the shops, and not bought any.  I am SO pleased with this.  Its taken white knuckled determination all the way.  But, I've done it. 

There is much to be grateful for, I know.  We are together, we are mostly healthy, we have warm beds, we aren't hungry.  I'm not looking for pity.  I'm frightened this sounds like one big dramatic Days of Our Lives style, sob story.   I just need a way to let some of these INTENSE emotions out so that I can think clearly again, and find the way forward.  And, besides, I don't have the energy to pretend I'm feeling super pumped right now - cos, I'm just not! 

I'm grateful to have let the feelings out.  I'm grateful for the space to do so.  I'm endeavouring to focus my energy on the little sparks of light.  Thank you.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Full Immersion

On the 27th August 2012, Round 3 of 12wbt begins.  Seeing as this is my fifth round ( I think?!), you might imagine that I have this all under control, that I will be breezing my way through the next twelve weeks.  I guess if that was the case, maybe I wouldn't be beginning another round.  I have A LOT of work to do.  There is excess baggage.  Not so much weight, but mental baggage.  It feels like the final frontier.  The last wall to tear down.  The final hurdle.  I think, I can confidently say I am an
exerciser.  Can I confidently say that I'm not an emotional eater?  Hell no! Do I feel like I have both hands on the steering wheel of my food choices?  No way!
It's here that I'm focussing my goal setting.  I'm not forgetting the scales, or the stopwatch - but what goes on in my head is priority number one.  This round is all about remaining conscious (and no, this is not connected to alcohol consumption at all!).  I know how to train with integrity - its time to really eat with integrity.  To be present when I'm eating, to be paying attention to what I'm eating (anyone else noticed when you're eating emotionally, you barely taste it?).  To be sitting down.  To be eating in full view - no sneaking things in when no one is looking - so, yes I'm giving up the excuse, that if no one saw me eat it, the calories don't count!
My strategy for succeeding - FULL IMMERSION!  I am surrounding myself with reminders of my goals.  Pictures, inspirational quotes, snack ideas,  and distraction techniques for moments of weakness are my new wallpaper.  My diary is full - red flag days noted.  Training times locked in.  Flourescent cards with reminders of my goals are in places I go to often - my bag, my purse.  My phone has an alarm set to remind me to re-read my goals every day.  I'm taking notes of Michelle's videos.  I've started a scrapbook full of pictures of fit, strong women who look amazing, who I aspire to be like.  I'm aiming to be consumed with inspiration and determination, rather than thoughts of food, and how I'm going to work those calories off that I shouldn't have consumed.  Finally, I'm going to pay attention - to my thoughts - not to buy into them, but just to notice them.  Notice the stories about myself that I've taken on board as truth.  Notice the negative self talk.  Notice my triggers that send me to the shops (like you - my kitchen has been cleaned out - no junk in sight!). 
I'm thinking this could be the most challenging round yet.