Day 804 – Something to Share

Dear Sobriety,

One of my sisters in sobriety shared this today and I am absolutely bursting with excitement to share it with all of you!

If you ever think you’ll never see the light at the end of the tunnel, take a moment to click this link for an exercise in gratitude. You will soon see that the light has been surrounding you the entire time.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PMjZ98sxzQ0&feature=youtu.be

Sending much love and good vibes to you all!!

🥰🤗🥰🤗🥰🤗

Day 1,174 – The Neck Saga Continues

Dear Sobriety,

Went in to go over my MRI results today and exclaimed a huge, “YESSSS!” when the doctor told me I wasn’t faking it. 😛 Dear goodness! It’s nice to actually have “evidence” that there is actually something that is causing all this painful nonsense. Lucky me always has to go above and beyond too. Not only do I have one disc bulging, but I actually have three. Two are mild and one is herniated. The herniated one is actually pressing on my spinal cord. He told me there’s nothing serious, but damn that sounds freaking serious to me.

Next steps: neck doctor is handing me over to their pain management specialist in the same office to do trigger injections. Now I just have to wait for them to get the insurance to approve trigger injections, then schedule the injections, then get injection. That’ll be followed by restarting of PT and hopefully some well deserved relief. I was so proud of myself for telling him I hadn’t had any headaches in the last two days and as soon as I walked out of the office to my car, one kicked in. Oy. There is at least a little more light at the end of the tunnel. I’m quite looking forward to the next crazy thing in my life to talk to you all about because this subject is getting way old to me.

I have been doing some very, very light yoga for upper body that I found on Prime. Here’s a link to it. It’s a 40 minute very slow floor stretching video and so far the furthest I’ve made it is 16 minutes. It’s so freaking weird how quickly my arm tires out sitting on the floor stretching. The first time I did it, I made it 12 minutes before my arm was literally shaking like I’d been pumping some serious iron and getting Arnold ripped. I never would have guessed how seriously a neck issue would mess with other parts of your body, but I guess it makes sense.

I appreciate all the support I’ve received on here! Just taking it ODAAT (One Day At A Time) and doing my best to move forward (very, very slowly).

Sending loads of love and light to y’all!

The kitties say HI too!

Day 1,172 – The What Ifs…

Dear Sobriety,

A whole slew of damning ideas of what’s going on with my neck and shoulder have been flying through my head for a while now. MRI was on Friday and results review is on this Tuesday. So glad they were able to get me in as quickly as they could. I think the scariest what if that has popped up in my brain space is: What if nothing wrong shows up on the MRI?

My 95 year old arthritic toe has been giving me fits for about… oh… five years now. I go in every few months to my podiatrist’s office for a cortisone shot which does nothing to fix the problem and is probably only making it worse in the long run. I went to a foot orthopedic specialist last year or maybe 2019? It’s all blurring together anymore. He told me the same thing that my podiatrist said, “It’s not bad enough for me to do anything.” Why? Does that mean the pain levels I deal with on a regular basis mean nothing? I guess I should wait for you to call me and tell me that it’s bad enough to do something, huh?

At my last podiatrist’s visit, November 2019, they took new x-rays of my foot and told me that yep, the arthritis is getting worse. Soooooo… can you do anything yet? Nope. Just continue with the cortisone every three+ months as needed. I really do not understand how people deal with arthritis on a regular basis because this is literally in my right big toe. That’s a very small joint. The pain has been bad enough for me to nearly fall while walking. Quick suck in of breath, stop, wait, continue to limp to wherever I need to be or else walk with terrible form to try and avoid that toe from bending at all.

Ugh. Yesterday was horrible. Since January 21 I’ve had headaches every single day of varying severity. Yesterday was the worst so far. I’m sure the rain all day didn’t help either.

One thing that is stuck in the back of my mind is from a blood test I had in 2018. I left the blood lab and on the way home I got a call from my doctor. That. Is. Not. Normal. The office personnel, sure, but not a call from the actual doctor about 20 minutes after you’ve left. My white blood cell count was noticeably up. Since then I’ve gone to follow up with a blood/cancer doctor (which is scary as sh!t, btw) and apparently this raises WBC count is my “new normal”. Does that even make sense? So what’s in the back of my mind is that something started then and my body has been trying to fight it off and it’s finally manifested into something physical. So many thoughts swirling in this over-active noggin of mine.

Looking forward to hopefully getting an answer and plan of action for something on Tuesday. But then the what ifs start… And what if it’s nothing? Is this my new life?

Day 1,168 – Part Deux

Dear Sobriety,

Thank goodness we’re still talking. Yesterday… ugh. I feel like I’m still recovering from it. If you’d like to read about the 7th layer of Hell, feel free to over here. Thankfully the rest of the day wasn’t as terrible. I had my follow up with the neck doctor and he’s decided to hold on my PT sessions until further notice. Thank goodness! Do I think they’ve been beneficial? For my shoulder, yes. For my neck, f*ck no.

Got a call from the imaging office and have an MRI scheduled for Friday! Follow up to review results the following Tuesday! I think there’s some light at the end of my vertabraeic (real word) tunnel! All I want to do now is get my oil diffusers running, snuggle cats and wrap myself in a blanket with a mega cup of hot tea. That sounds absolutely magical.

No way I life by myself

Aside from my parents and sis, I’m so freaking thankful for Butthead right now. My parents get to see me at my worst, but Butthead gets to see me three levels beyond that. Hey, guess what? Just because you get sober doesn’t me life stops for you. Sh!t continues to hit the fan and blow back on you. You’re still gonna have crappy days. Sometimes multiples at a time. But you’ll be better apt to deal with them. It’s still going to suck big, hairy balls, but think about it: if I was still drinking on top of the amount of pain I’m in, I’m fairly sure I would not be alive. For serious. Between pain, depression from pain, pain increasing depression because I feel like I’m not living my best me right now topped off by a bit more pain, I would have made a super f*cking bad decision that doesn’t allow me to hit the reset button afterewards.

For today, I’m grateful I have such a strong support system surrounding me. There’s no way I would be able to get through this without them. Non-alcoholic beverage of choice cheers to those you put up with my nonsense on the daily. You guys are freaking rockstars!

Take a minute today to thank your support system. And if you don’t have a reliable one, I’d highly suggest putting in the effort to build one. You never know when you’ll need a shoulder to cry on and I know, for me, I need multiple.

Day 1,167 – Vacation Day from Hell

Dear Sobriety,

It’ll be a miracle if we’re still talking later. I took the day off today to go for my annual primary care visit as well as a follow up from my neck doctor. I assumed I would be getting a blood draw, so prior to my 9:30a PCP appointment, I guzzled about 85 oz of water. (That’s 10 oz over my daily goal of 75 oz). I’ve learned it’s easier to draw blood from me when I’m water logged, so I make it a point to do this prior to every blood draw that I know about. Seeing as how I’ve had some white blood cell count issues, I’m used to the drill.

Also, you might need to know that most women will schedule one doctor appointment around the time of their period. That would be the OB-GYN because there’s going to be some action happening in that area and, for me, I feel better and less gross when she doesn’t have to deal with blood when she’s already dealing in my hoo-ha area. I do not schedule a PCP appointment around my period, so it was just dumb luck that I happened to be on it today.

9:27a arrive at PCP office, check in, update my insurance card on file.

9:32a go back to patient room, blood pressure check, chit chat with the overtalkative nurse going over my meds with me. I had my shoes off to get weighed. When I sat down after my BP was checked, I started putting them back on and the nurse told me that I need to keep them off and strip down to my panties and put the gown on that has been so nicely set aside. My first thought is, “wtf kind of appointment is this?” I had previously seen this doctor twice. Neither time have I been asked to derobe. I do it anyway.

9:38a awkwardly sitting on the exam table in the gown. Pain shooting through my body from my neck and trying not to bleed on anything.

9:40a it is so freaking hot in here and that is not helping at all. Start sweating and breathing erratically through my face mask.

9:45a hear someone making a phone call… is that… is that my doctor doing a telehealth call with a patient when I’m already 15 min over my appointment time sitting naked in her office trying to stop squirming and fearful there’s going to be a spot underneath me when I get up.

9:50a it is a Telehealth call. Oh that’s wonderful that that woman is a vegetarian. I have got to get up and move around. Stiffness is soaking in everywhere. I get up and rearrange my clothes that I had haphazardly thrown on the chair when changing into the robe assuming that the doctor would be in shortly and I sit on the side chair. No blood spots so far. Thank goodness it’s a light day.

10:00a F*CK THIS SHIT! I cannot breathe in this mask. The telehealth call is STILL going on. I give her 5 more minutes. Pain is literally shooting through my body. I’m don’t even want to amuse myself by looking through the cabinets.

10:05a I start putting my clothes on. Throw the gown on the sink where I got it. I have to get out of here. I cannot breathe. Everything hurts. F*ck this. I’m out. Dressed and out the door. No one notices. I’m 15 minutes into my drive home before I get a call from the doctor’s office. They must have noticed I left finally.

I’m so glad I left. I ugly cried the whole time home. I probably shouldn’t have driven at all. I was literally convulsing from how strong the sobs were being retched through my body.

Finally at home. Called mom and dad. First thing mom says is, “Do you want us to come over?” God I love my parents. Always there no matter what. They talked me off the ledge and I finally calmed down. The kitties got wet food and I’m about to head out the door for the neck doctor. If it’s anything like the PCP, there will most definitely be a part two to this.

Forgive me for the horrific grammar. I just needed to get this out.

Oh and just realized that I have been pushing out of my mind that my very favorite teacher in the world passed away from a short bout with cancer. She was such a beautiful soul.

Jeeze louis. Here’s hoping part two is much better than part one.

Day 1,164 – Self Reflection

Dear Sobriety,

I want to take a moment to thank myself for not giving up on me. To thank myself for doing what I can to continue to try at life. To reflect on the fact that I’m proud of myself for putting effort into whatever actions I can take to create a positive on my neck, shoulder and overall mental health. While I feel I’m at my wit’s end most days lately, I’ve still been walking. I’ve still been eating healthy(ish). I’ve still been doing my PT exercises. I’ve still logged in for work and tried my best while I’m on the clock. I know that my effort is not nearly where it is when I’m 100% healthy, positive Monica, I have not stopped trying to make a difference.

From my walk this morning.

Today, my lovely arthritic toe decided it’s going to start f*cking up with the rest of me. I could have easily given myself a raincheck for walking today, but I didn’t. I needed to drop my rent check off, so I walked slowly to the office to drop it off and once around the big lake and back. I’m proud of myself for that effort. I know how much it positively impacts my mental health and I also am aware of the fact that my mental health is sh!t right now, so I put the effort in to doing what I can to help myself.

I took a hot shower this morning and actually shaved my legs. Do I have anyone to impress aside from myself right now? No. Do I enjoy the way my legs feel after they’re shorn and properly lotioned up? Absolutely. I did that for me. I put effort into something I knew may positively impacted my headspace and I think that’s the reason why I’m actually writing right now.

Despite the fact that I feel like every part of me is in the toilet currently, I’m still doing the small things that I know may help. My essential oils are diffusing in all three of my diffusers. I made a mad scientist oil concoction yesterday and I am so in love with how it smells. I have incense burning. I love watching the smoke curl and swirl throughout the air. I put on a prehnite crystal necklace because you never know when crystals will help. I ordered a copper magnetic necklace yesterday because my dad has a copper magnetic bracelet that he swears by now.

My mad scientist essential oil lab.

I budgeted in my upcoming doctor/PT appointments and I ordered groceries Thursday. I’m really proud of myself for that. I hate looking at my money, but I sure as sh!t love spending it. I didn’t budget in any of my appointments for the end of December/beginning of January and that was a bad idea. As much as I hate finances and trying to budget, I know that I’ll be able to not charge any of the upcoming appointments and still be able to eat plenty.

So, Monica Sue, be proud of you because you haven’t given up. You are taking action to positively impact you in different ways and I know how hard it is to do that especially since the it feels like the world is working against you right now. I’m proud of you for being you.

Day 1,163 – Dumpster Fire

Dear Sobriety,

I don’t think I had heard of the term “dumpster fire” until last year, but what an appropriate phrase! My emotional / mental health is a big ol’ stinking dumpster fire right now. And I hate to write about this again (I wish I had some amazing, positive, encouraging, helpful topic to write about), but it’s really dragging me down. Word vomiting the other day seemed to help get the crap out of my head a little, so maybe that will help again.

Wednesday was a no pain day. I didn’t even realize it until the afternoon when I noticed I hadn’t felt or heard myself grunting throughout my movements during the day. FYI, grunting is a bad sign for me currently. My body apparently needs to try and exorcise the pain by giving it a voice. Just so you know, this does not make it any less unpleasant. When I realized there had been a severe lack of noises escaping my mouth/throat area, I go so excited! But I limited activities because I already done f*cked that up the last time I was feeling well.

The first day I was on the steroids, I ended up washing my curtains and stretching my arms/back to pull them down, put them up. Not the best idea for my current physical state, but I wasn’t hurting, so I felt cured and actually didn’t even think I needed to limit myself until I put the very last panel up. As I did I thought, “Huh… I probably shouldn’t have done this.” Of course, this is after I realized everything at this height level in my apartment needed a serious dusting, so I did that as well.

Also on Wednesday I went for a follow up with my shoulder doctor. He pushed and prodded and had me resist against him in multiple directions. No pain! No pain! So continuing PT for neck and got a renewed Rx for shoulder to continue strengthening. Woohoo! Such good news!

Yesterday (Thursday) was PT. I am still so knotted up in my neck and traps. For example, my PT runs her fingers along my neck and just down my spine and back along my shoulders and it’s like a mini machinegun is rat-a-tat-tat-ing with the amount of knots that her fingers are running over. As she was working on the sides of my neck, there was a pull on the freaking front of my head and so she started working harder. At least 45 minutes of a 60 minute session was spent working to dig knots out of me. This has been the same each time.

When I got home… I tested my limits to see where I could stretch without pushing myself… and I screamed. I literally screamed from the pain. There’s an almost constant state of dizziness that I’m fighting through. Thankfully it hasn’t been strong enough to bring on any actual nausea. Every time I turn my head, there’s creaking and cracking sounds that reverberate inside my skull.

I’m just so done. I am just so done with this. I went to Fresh Thyme yesterday to get some new essential oils cause I didn’t think I could wait for Amazon to deliver (also, Fresh Thyme actually has some store brand oils that are great quality and a very decent price). When I walked out, I had a bag with three different oils (two blends and a patchouli), patchouli incense, single use bubble bath stuff, chapstick that I grabbed at the checkout, a dark chocolate maple syrup candy bar at the checkout, a premade salad and a pint of mint chocolate chip gelato. The salad and the gelato are gone. And I don’t even give a flying f*ck. I ate that entire container while watching the new Pet Sematary and felt a little better mentally and didn’t even feel guilty at all.

I’ve spent over $300 on copays since the last week of December. I’ve got two more PT appointments scheduled for next week; a follow up with the neck dr; annual visit with my PCP. I don’t budget for this kind of expense. But did that stop me from spending the f*ck all on essential oils yesterday? No. I got one called “emotional rescue”. Obviously that was calling to me.

I just… there’s absolutely nothing positive I can say at this time.

So I will share my favorite Bernie Inauguration Meme:

Day 1,161 – My Sympathy Meter is Broke

Dear Sobriety,

I can’t stand complaining. This includes coming from myself. That’s why I’m glad I live alone. I tend to complain less when it’s just me and the cats, because all they’ll do is silently judge me with that “you’re the only one who can make a change” look followed by, “oh yeah, and we’re hungry too” stare.

Is my sympathy meter broke? I can emphasize with people all day long. I enjoy letting others know that I understand where they are coming from and that they’re not alone.

Maybe I need to take a step back and start with the basics. Dictionary.com, thank you very much.

Sympathy: feelings of pity or sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.

Empathy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

See? The sympathy’s definition is only about misfortune; whereas, empathy can be about any feeling. Blech. I’m skeeved out just reading it. It sucks all the happy and sparkles out of the air just mentioning it. Sure, misfortune sucks, but if you’re going to sit on your gump all day long and complain about it, how much progress have you made on getting yourself out of said misfortune? I would assume a big ol’ zero. And that, my friend, is your own fault. I think that’s where I turn off.

Am I just a b!tch? I don’t think so. I think I just don’t like listening to people complain without taking any action. ORRRRR… to go in a different direction, listening to people complain because they’re left with only one choice and that choice isn’t their number one.

Maybe the thing is that I just need to b!tch. And for that, I want to thank you for stopping by to take a minute to listen. When I hear people talk about the short end of the stick or some other amazing and uncreative euphemism, all I want to do is scream at them and tell them to lube up said stick before they so unjoyously (real word) shove it up their own a$$ before the largest audience they can muster.

This is where I need to “detach with love” and my lovely Al-Anon parents have mentioned to me. They’ve used this on me too – Drunk Monica was BIG into the pity parties. And I’m still guilty of them from time-to-time. We all have our own setbacks. But I don’t sit and wallow in my own filth (literally and figuratively) the way I used to. Because it doesn’t do me any good. I’ve finally learned that negative attention is not the same as positive attention. Sure, it pays off with an audience the short run, but that’s about it. As time goes on, you’ll find that your audience has dwindled until you’re only surrounded by likeminded people. Misery loves company.

I’m always happy to share tidbits with people having problems or share some of my experience. In fact, I absolutely love that. If my lessons learn can help someone else avoid the pain had during, I’m all for it. That’s why I read so many books on how to unf*ck yourself. People are writing them for a reason.

I feel like I’m hopping all over the place with this, but I think what I need to do is to go back to the “detach with love”. I offer advice when asked; said advice is not taken; situations have not changed and then I feel like I’m responsible. I think that’s where my frustration comes from. I know I don’t have all the answers and there’s no way I could save all the Monica’s in the world (that is daunting to just think about), but I get emotionally involved when I share something that has really helped me and the advice falls on deaf ears.

Maybe I have a double standard? I don’t know. This is something for me to think about and come back to. I’ve just had it swimming around in ye olde noggin tonight and needed to word vomit it out so I can sleep better.

As I’m google image searching for sympathy v empathy, I’m learning that compassion is one step further than empathy. Hmmm… interesting.

I think I would be a terrible parent because I’m of the mind that, “you’ve made your bed, now lie in it” with the bonus of, “or figure out how to get a new bed”. Maybe I’m just too independent? I don’t like accepting help from others (which is not necessarily a good thing). It does hurt my pride, but there are times when we have to suck it up, buttercup, because you really do need the help.

I don’t know. Word vomit completed. Thanks for going on this absolutely insane, randomized journey with me.

PS, do not google “why is it hard for me to be sympathetic”. You will be pinged as a psychopath.

Day 1,159 – Fear…

Dear Sobriety,

Today I have the day off work, so why wouldn’t I wake up at 4:00a and get my walk in before journaling? Yeah. I’ve done both of those already. Figured I might as well be productive on my day off as yesterday and the day before I won the award for most naps taken in a two day period. Woohoo! I love naps. I think as an adult, I’m trying to make up for what I missed out as a child (sorry, mom!).

Yesterday I started digging into a book that has been gathering dust on my shelf for a bit now: Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies. I am in love with this book already. My previous boss suggested it to me and I am so thankful she did! Wait wait wait… after typing a couple of sentences, I realized how out-of-whack this post was going to end up being, so instead of starting in the middle, how about I start at the beginning? And end at the ending?

“Growth”

I love calendars. Calendars and clocks. I don’t know why, but they make me happy. I ordered my 2021 wall calendar from Nicole Piar (she created the Oracle deck that I purchased last year). Of course it’s more Spirit Cats because Spirit Cats make me happy. When I put it up before the end of December, I noticed that on January 1st, there was a small note, “Declare your word of the year”. I was immediately hit with the word “growth”.

Year one of sobriety was essentially me learning how to adult on my own as an adult. That sh!t is not easy either. The majority of my time was spent just trying to figure out things I actually enjoyed doing because I realized at 36, I had no f**king clue who I was or what I liked. I still have limited knowledge, but I’m learning more every day.

Pulled from Oprah.com

Year two of sobriety was a continuation of figuring out who I am, but was so freaking tumultuous with real life being thrown in my face (new apartment, identity thievery, the ‘rona, new job), that most days I was just happy to have made a conscious decision to not drink that day. I removed the excuses from myself and, while I may not have always moved forward in a continuous motion, at least I didn’t step back. I must have prayed for patience. Heaven help you if you ever pray for patience because your patience levels will be tested.

Year three of sobriety has been interesting to say the least and we’re only… hmmmm (mathing in my head) Good Lord! Only two months in; however, I feel like Years One and Two have prepped me to make Year Three a year where I make positive changes for myself. I’ve had a lot of sh!t bombs explode in my face and I’m still here to tell the tales. I’d even venture to say that I’m no longer just surviving… Dare I say living?! Dare! Dare!!

Now we’re caught up. So yesterday I started reading Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies and I am absolutely in love with this book! For one, the author love glitter just as much as I do and two, I think it’s serendipitous that I picked this book off my shelf when my word of the year is “growth”. So far I’d describe it as a very constructive, real-life how-to guide at creating a more positive version of yourself. My motto on life is if I’m not learning, I’m not living. With the lovely double negative there, I think you get my point. Anyway, Tara Brach is mentioned in the midst of one of the exercises, so of course, I had to get my Googles on and find out more about her.

Pulled from Oprah.com

This morning while walking, I queued up the most recent podcast by Tara Brach. It’s about “cultivating a courageous heart”. This is something I needed to hear. I am still having a lot of very reactive feelings when it comes to Butthead’s family. And as much as I hate being the “bigger person”, I know it does me no good to sit and wallow in negative feelings. I think one of the things that is holding me back from digging in to root causes is because I am 99.756493658% sure that I won’t have to see these people in real life for at least a year. The thing is, despite that, I’m still hung up on it. That’s only holding me back from being a better version of myself.

What would I really like to do? Yell, scream, cuss at them and try, in some very condensed way, to make them feel like I did when sh!t went down. What good would that really do? Nothing. In fact, if that ever actually happened, I’d prob pop an artery and that wouldn’t be good at all. The podcast today was about finding compassion and handling the reactivity from negative people, places and things. How perfect is this??!!! See? Serendipitous.

It’s hard to find compassion for others when you’ve been hurt so badly by them. And I know it’s something that’s going to take a lot of time to heal still. My therapist and I have already discussed this ad nauseum, so it’s been on my mind since Butthead and I started seeing each other again. For me to heal fully, I am going to have to take action.

After journaling today, I think I’ve pinpointed where I’m hung up: my anger stems from fear. Fear of being discarded without a second thought by people around Butthead. They’ve influenced him before to this level, so in my opinion, this is a very rational fear. I’ve lived it once. How do I allow myself to be vulnerable in order to find compassion?

Looks like this one is going to need some thought…

Sending love and light!

Pulled from Oprah.com

Day 1,158 – I like big butts!

Dear Sobriety,

Welcome to part two of the unexpected, unscripted body image blogs. If you haven’t read part one yet, pop over here to read.

This one is easy for me to write because I’m copy/pasting a response to part one from one of my real life friends – let’s call her “P”. I know I can always get honest feedback from her. We met at work in the smoke pit and before we started to get to know each other, I would purposely not on purpose listen to her talk to her mom on the phone. The thing is that P was born and raised in Germany and so I would get to listen to what I thought was a horrific argument in German, but she has repeatedly told me they were probably only talking about the weather or other mundane things. Cracks me up just thinking about it!

To learn more about her, feel free to pop over to her FB Page Burg Bellevue and coming soon blog. Mini description of what’s to come for her: “Join us on our adventure to go tiny, build a farm, build a castle and build our biggest dream yet! A page about homesteading, horses, tiny house living and sustainability. And Castle stuff…. (Yes, really, we’re building a tiny castle…)

And from that intro, please enjoy her comment to part one of an unexpected two part blog:

From an equally tall woman, hear the following psa loud and clear please:

Bmi was made by men for men and then "translated" to women because women are small and dainty and therefore any woman above 5'7" will show up overweight or obese if they're not anorexic. This is because the linear formula for men was followed "down" for women in height and then back up at a smaller % weight for each inch height cause women are "little". Boobs and hips and butt aren't allowed to weight anything, only male lean muscle mass weighs as men do. Et voila, a scale that measures men distorted poorly for women.

I know this because at age 20-25, the military obsessed over my height, weight and bmi on a semiannual basis. Every year for years. I was always "overweight" on height/weight, so I had to get "measured" to confirm that my weight is accumulated in the right parts of my body for a mathematical formula to determine that I don't "fail" the PRT (physical readiness test) no matter what my actual athletic performance was. Let that sink in for a minute. Even though my athletic performance met all the standards at better than average I still have to get MEASURED to determine if I'm physically FIT enough and not overweight. This is, obviously, ridiculous. But the military isn't exactly made for women.

At age 35 I hit a midlife crisis and decided martial arts will fix it. At age 36 i was in THE best physical shape of my adult life. Including military times. I used to beat the crap out of 20 year old men. I had cardio, strength, balance, flexibility, mobility and technique. The bmi chart called me overweight. Inspite of being physiologically the closest to the tall, lean and athletic beauty ideal you could be without getting paid to work out for a living. I have smashing photos to prove this. Overweight my ass.

At 38 my life burned down and I deteriorated into serious depression (as opposed to my usual incurable depression) and in a matter of a couple of months I stress starved a solid 20lbs off without trying. That's the ONLY time in my adult life my 5'10" ass was ever not "overweight" according to bmi scales for women. I was also unhealthy and weak af.

I'm past 40 now. I've gained at least 25 maybe 30lbs back since the last major depressive episode. According to bmi charts I'm "overweight". I wear a size 10 to 12 today, depending on the brand. I miss being in fighting shape because I miss being able to move, lift, DO like I used to. I do not miss the constant injuries but the pain from being sedative sucks too so either way you're eating ibuprofen lol.

I've sincerely had VA doctors absent-mindedly look at my charts instead of me and suggest that I should loose a few pounds "for my health" during my fighting days. It wasn't until I started laughing they looked up and went oh... ok... maybe not. 🤦‍♀️

I don't own a scale. I haven't that I can recall as an adult. I weigh myself at the doctors every couple of 6 months or so. Because at age 20 the military taught me that the numbers are complete bullshit. Bmi, height and weight are useless for women over 5'7". If you feel like getting a displacement test, that'll give you a better idea. But why bother?!

The numbers that are ACTUALLY important are your blood pressure, lipid numbers and fasting glucose. What you should pay attention to is your heart rate after 15 minutes of moderate continuous cardio and how long it takes to get back to resting. Especially as a smoker. (I'll never get that shit together lol.)What's important is that your clothes fit comfortably and you don't have to buy a size bigger every season.

Long story short: tall women fall out of the bmi chart no matter what "shape" you're in. Because bmi charts weren't made for women. Throw away the scale and buy a blood pressure cuff and glucose meter instead. Walk because it's good for you. Eat consciously because heart attacks kill not because size 6 is enough vogue.

Seriously, at 5'10" and solid muscle with a body fat percentage low enough to disrupt my menstrual cycle (this approaches anorexic bmis by medical opinion) I showed as overweight because tall women aren't measured correctly by the charts.

Also, I haven't seen you in person in a hot minute but from the pictures you post I can affirm that you're in far better "shape" now than your old days. I saw you daily back then. You "look" WAY healthier now. Not just the size of your waist, hips or booty. But your face. Your eyes. Your skin. Your hair. You've got a healthy shine to your hair that's new because before sobriety it wasn't there. It was dullish. And your skin is clear, hydrated and not nearly as brittle wrinkled as during the drinking days.

If you need confirmation, side by side compare your favorite recent photograph to your "blood pressure episode that landed you in the hospital at work" picture. You'll see what I mean.

In summary: Fuck bmi for tall women. It's bullshit. Thanks for coming to my TED talk.💖😎

And back over to Monica. I think the reason why I value her insight so much is because it is full of experience and fact. I know reading through this the first time, I gasped a couple times, laughed a couple more and felt myself nodding throughout. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in this, but it’s horrifying to see what crap someone has been through because she didn’t measure up “properly” on a scale that is skewed (IMHO).

So, with that, I want to end this with a healthy cry of “THROW OUT YOUR F**KING SCALE!! AND TELL YOUR BMI CHART TO SUCK MY OVARIES!” ❤

Love and light, y’all! Happy Sunday Funday!

Day 1,156 – I like big butts?

Dear Sobriety,

Why am I so obsessed with my weight and BMI? I’m a tallish woman and (IMHO) proportioned well. Sure I could use to lose a couple of pounds – as I’m currently settled ~174 lbs – but I’m very happy with the way I look physically now. Which is a miracle like no other for the person who’s had body image issues since high school. So what’s my problem?

My physical self and I have come to an understanding: I try not purposely f**k you up and you reciprocate. The motivation behind my walking is more so for my upper body, get blood pumping to push out inflammation and mental health. I’m not actively trying to lose weight, but, at the same time, I am being very aware of how I am fueling myself. I would have assumed I would have dropped at least a couple pounds by now in the last three months. Instead, I’ve actually gained. BUT my clothes fit better. I feel better. I think I appear to be a little more toned sans clothing. I use the argument that muscle weighs more than fat and apparently I’m actually building some up. SO WHY AM I STUCK ON THIS??

Is it a social thing? I actually don’t compare myself with other women anymore (for the most part – we all have our weak moments). I don’t want to be anyone but myself anymore is maybe a better way to put it. In the past almost three years, I’ve stayed at a consistent size which I am quite happy with, but this dang number is hanging over my head. And heaven help me if I use a BMI chart… that doesn’t even give me a chance. It immediately says I’m obese.

I finally took my scale out of my bathroom and put it under my dresser so that I wouldn’t be able to obsessively weight myself every morning. Then, for some reason, after I walk today, I decide to use the height/waist comparison and I’m still overweight in that category. Lord knows that I know everyone is different and there’s no chart or scale that is able to categorize everyone as an individual, but I am still hung up on it. Ugh.

That had nothing to do with alcohol or sobriety. Just needed to get the rant out of my head an on “paper”. Hopefully that’ll help me let it go and move past it. We shall see. For now, the scale is staying under my dresser and I think it’s time to hug a cat or two.

Sending love and light to you all!!! ❤