Monthly Archives: July 2012

Dating Dilemmas and Discourse (the other Ds)

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The lady on the right is not me, just to clarify.

Sigh.

I have come along way, me.

I can travel on my own. I can spend a night at home with a book, or a good telly show. I have gone and met a lot of people. Some great value and some I wish I could expunge from my mind. I have a good social life. I have forged bonds with friends that were previously perhaps not as well nurtured.

I am putting myself out there. Yes, I would like to be in a relationship. But, happily, not badly enough to be in any old relationship.

The whole experience that most people have in their teens and 20s, the chase, the courting, the love and then the rejection and over and over. I never had that. I am learning about all of that now. Hopefully, with a bit more confidence and wisdom than I had in my 20s. Perhaps things are more time-critical now, but, hey, I am still young.

I know what it is to take things slowly. I had to learn that. That thing about protecting my own feelings (not at others expense, of course) – learned that too. And hell, I like sleeping on my own without somebody else in the bed slobbering or farting or snoring or kicking me. I can put full concentration into my own things and value them. That’s a new thing.

I have a stronger sense of my own value, and can walk around most of the time with my head held high. Not just in an intellectual sense, but in a way that is integrated into me, and is less assailable to outside insults.

For example: I am clever, I can perform CPR, I can make a person laugh, I cook a mean lamb roast and I have run a fecking marathon. Among other things.

I feel pretty good about myself, most of the time.

Sometimes, I don’t.

I still occasionally feel self-conscious about my appearance.

I fear that certain aspects of myself (even the good ones, like my achievements) might be offputting.

It is all a bit evocative of 9 year old me, at primary school, being the last picked for the team. That’s what I feel like, sometimes. It’s not the truth, but cannot separate the awkward 9 year old self from the confident 33 year old.

Know what makes it worse?

Internet dating. It is a bit harsh and the lack of accountability makes it all the more amusing.

Knockbacks. The bait and switch. Things that are not particularly harmful, but frustrating nonetheless.

“oh I am going to have to stop emailing you because things have just progressed with somebody else” [Sigh]

“You seem like a nice girl and we would get along well but I think I am out of your league..” [Leagues? I wasn’t aware there were any, we are not football teams]

Or this doozy:

“I usually go for more attractive girls than you but you seem clever and brains are important” [That little bit of gold was after I had politely and briefly knocked somebody back]

Or worse, people just ignoring you. That you aren’t even worth the effort of clicking “no thanks”. I once quite appreciated a guy emailing me and saying “sorry, am going to have to decline further contact”. Simple, clear and non-patronising.

As much as I say “it is their loss, more fool them” and I don’t get TOO bent out of shape, most of the time.

But it does grind on me.

Yet the orderly queue of suitable men will not, I fear, appear at my door, so what am I to do?

I have breaks sometimes. That helps clear the head.

I will just keep trying to cultivate my most awesome self. No random fucker can take that away from me.

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On alcohol (or, a whine about wine)

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I loves my wine.

Red in the summer, white in the winter. I love it with food, and I love it with cheese. I love it by itself, by myself, or in company.

I respect the grape, and enjoy the food that goes with the wine. I appreciate it.

I have also developed a liking for cocktails too. Especially when travelling where the wine is neither affordable nor good. Margaritas have been my poison of choice. They are awesome with Mexican food.

I have done a really awesome job of going out and meeting people. Expanding my social circle. Going to new bars, restaurants, hangouts.

A glass or two of wine just takes the edge off the anxiety of meeting new people. Even though I am normally quite a social person, it is still hard to confidently introduce myself to new people. Absolutely mandatory

It serves a gustatory and social purpose.

There are a few problems, though, mostly to do with overconsumption. I have been drinking too much recently. I have been having a drink on most days. I have been hammered more times recently than I had in my whole life before. My body (and dignity) does not cop it as well as it would have when I was younger. But I didn’t do it when I was younger; I have, in a way been making up for lost time.

The problems are

  • Too much wine makes me ahem flirty, or maudlin. That poses a particular problem in certain situations….
  • It has added to my spare tyre
  • The thought of a night on my own at home without grog is a bit much to bear.
  • I have a history of depression and the ethanol goes and scrambles up my happy little neurotransmitters
  • I have a family history of alcoholism. But that’s another story.

I have joined up with Weight Watchers, on their pro-points program, more on that later. The new pro points system, while allowing a weekly margin for error which would appear generous, deals with alcohol quite harshly. 4 points for a glass! It used to be just 2!

Being a glass half full person (!), I thought that this would be the perfect impetus to cut back. Save it for the weekend. Not give up entirely (I am not a quitter) but cut back in frequency and quantity. A glass of wine with dinner out? Sure. Two, three, half a bottle? No. Damn….

Perhaps I also need to make my nights at home alone more pleasant in other ways…..I have had a think about that too.

 

Owning it, episode 1. My body.

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My new life.

I have had a week of feeling a bit down in the dumps. Feeling sad and sorry for myself. It’s all necessary feelings, but it has to stop.

It has to stop now. This weekend.

New beginnings. It’s symbolic, the house is cleared, divorce papers signed. The things that tied me to Ian are gone now. It’s a hard thing to face, but necessary. Inevitable.

I have piles and piles of stuff from the old house that I will be going through this weekend, and perhaps chucking out. There is no room for it at my new place. That’s mostly what I will be doing over the weekend

Don’t have to take a great step to see the metaphor.

One of the things I have been thinking about over the past week is my body.

Or, more specifically, the way parts of it have started to bulge over jeans and stockings. The firmness in my legs from marathon training, gone a bit soft. My body image was at its best when I was doing the marathon, I was fit.

I know what I’ve done.

It’s called having a social life. Embracing it. Eating out. Drinking out. Drinking some more. (The alcohol is a killer).

A little comfort eating. Not too much. A little. More of it scoffing when intoxicated.

I have put on about 5kg in the past year, a little of it with marathon training, most of it recently. I probably used the marathon training as a bit of an excuse to eat what I wanted, truth be told.

The other harsh fact of the matter is that I am dating. People judge based on appearance. Nobody likes a muffin top. I don’t.

I have put that photo of me as a marathon finisher up as my facebook profile pic, as a salient and constant reminder to myself that I can do whatever the hell I want, if I put my mind to it.

I have had a think about ways that I can go about losing the excess mass. This is a bit of a scary thing, having spent a lot of my adult life obsessing about food and diets and grappling with some binge eating issues. I will keep my lovely therapist abreast of what I plan to do.

It will start this weekend. I am coming up with a firmer goal, and will share it. I have learned that I respond well to concrete deadlines, and benefit from structure.

I really need to get back into the exercise. I have been moping too long over my sore back. I am off to the sports doc.

I have been moping about my acne, and have made an appointment with a dermatologist.

Why accept anything less than the best self that I can be? Inside, outside.

Loving Yourself (TM)

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No flowers forthcoming? Don’t mind if I do.

 

I always hated phrases like “you have to learn to love yourself before you can love anyone else”.

Always from a person who seems to be in a secure relationship.

A bit patronising, too. And fake.

And cliched.

And what the fuck does loving yourself actually mean, hmm?

But I have struggled with this very thing. It is only recently that I have appreciated how low my self esteem actually was. Is. Can be.

Especially when things just don’t feel right. When I feel lonely, half way across the world. When the phone just won’t ring. Nobody to say “hey, how ya travelling?” [when I am shitfaced and in a maudlin mood]

All those black doggy thoughts that I was alluding to in the last post (and they don’t need labouring) become overwhelming.

It is easy to fall into that hole.

And it is precisely that time where the little nub of self esteem must roar “NO. YOU ARE WORTHY”

That’s love. Picking yourself up when you are down at your lowest.

Giving yourself a break.

Forgiving yourself your mistakes.

Not taking on board all the shit that people say, or do (or don’t do).

It’s easy to do this when things are all very hunky dory, and there is external validation. And it isn’t even that important then.

It really does help to appreciate the little lumps of gold you get from others though. Those people who lift you up, without meaning to.

Exercise makes the bum smaller (?) and the head clearer.

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I woke up bright and early this morning.

Rather than stay in bed and daydream, I decided I would get up and exercise. My back hurt, but I would exercise.

I went for a big long walk. I said good morning to my hood.

That, and last night’s self-care, are making me feel a whole lot better.

I would love nothing more than to run. I am off to the sports doctor on monday. I hope to run again, soon. I want to see my squad girls. I have booked in for a 10km race on Melb Marathon day, and I want to do well in it. Perchance a PB?

It’s not gonna happen just at the moment, the back won’t let me.

But I gots to move. It helps my mood, endlessly. I don’t have to flog myself. I can keep it gentle.

I would like to aim for 40 minutes of exercise, 5 days per week. That can be my goal for the moment, to keep me motivated.

I get candydog access on the weekend. I have some good things planned this week, so it is not so gloomy.

My curried sausages were even better for lunch.

And, on the seventh day, the Lord created mash. (Or, Comfort food, but not as we know it)

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My first post on the new blog was going to be something else. But I wanted to put this in.

This week, I’ve decided, is being written off as a shit one. I can’t do anything about it, it was always going to be shit. I am doing a whole lot of stuff that I have not been looking forward to, that needs to be done, and I’m not happy about it. I’m not going to try and deny it, as it makes me feel shitty, I will just get through it by foul means or fair.

The shitty stuff: signing divorce papers with a JP. Cried before, cried during, cried after. Clearing the last of the stuff out of the old house.

In my mind….gasp….it’s allmyfault……I’mworthless…..gasp…..Ideservetofeelshitty….gasp…..myfault…..Ididthewrongthing……I’mgonnabelooooonnnnely andneverfindloveagain….

The little black dog has scampered back into vision. It’s familiar, and doesn’t scare me as much as it used to. I know what’s going on.

To add to the black dog cacophony …….ohmygodIamnotveryattractive…….I have had a very stubborn smattering of zits on my chin, and have endured the trauma of the winter weigh in. This has sent me diving for the diet, off on a mission of puritanism, to expunge the zits and the spare tyre.

My back has been sore, the injury I sustained with marathon training has painfully lingered. I would love nothing more than to go for a run. To get some endorphins spinning, and to shift the lard.

Work has been busy.

Old self would have gone for a run, felt bad because it was painful and I couldn’t do it, then tried to have a low-carb dinner and then said “fuckit” and consumed a bottle of wine and a block of chocolate. And then felt really bad about it.

A newer thing is to say “what do you need?” Much kinder.

I need to go easy on myself this week. it is shitty. I am tired from the crying. I need to give the compassion to myself that I would readily give to my friends or patients.

So I switched on masterchef.

I poured myself a glass of Sauv Blanc.

I made myself curried chicken sausages, with mash. Healthy, warm, nourishing and comforting. I have had a hankering for curried sausages for like, a year, and the chicken sausages are a bit lower in fat than the regular ones. They tasted really yummy slow cooked.

I enjoyed making it, and I enjoyed eating it.

I had a few squares of dark chocolate

And I had a good howl down the phone to a friend.

In other words, instead of shooing away the black dog with a rolled up newspaper, I gave it a pat on the belly, and fed it  some curried sausages and slipped some white wine into it’s dog bowl, the little fucker will be slinking off with a sore belly. Take that, black dog. Harr harrr.

There will be time to do the low carbs. There will be a time to exercise. I have run a marathon, and I am not scared of these things.

The time is not now, though.

I used to eat from any form of stress. A little something emotionally uncomfortable….BOOM….to the fridge, or the restaurant. Eat till I was sick. The guilt, and the resolve NEVER EVER to do that again. And then I did.

Today, I gave myself comfort. The cooking, the eating, the enjoying, the talking. The mooching about crying. I feel better. It was what I needed.

Actually, what I would have liked was for somebody to cook it for me, then stroke my hair, then spoon me.

But failing that, what I did was good.