Friday, March 14, 2008

All Bent out of Shape

I poisoned myself on sugar earlier this week. This is Day 4 without it so that must have been Monday night. So Monday night I poisoned myself with sugar.

Take two rather innocuous sugar items & combine them with a sugary Grapenuts sort of cereal & the next day was pretty dreadful. I felt like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Woman for about 24 hours after & it's only to day that I didn't feel ill at the thought of raw vegetables.

So, after a pretty good run of things, did I poison myself? I've got my knickers in a twist over too many things on my calendar & too many things not yet real.

I've had 7 a.m. walks with the 16-year-old Zeke, as well as 3.30 p.m. & 9 p.m. walks. I can't really take Daisy with me because, at 16, Zeke needs to go his own pace (which is mind-blowingly slow & boring) & he's too frail to fight interference on whatever pee-mail must be smelled first. This means I either get Daisy out before or after the morning & night walks. She's getting the short end of the stick & I'm getting the shortest yet.

It's tough when one's day doesn't really end. There's less sense of relaxation &, of course, NO relaxation in the morning. I finished the second-to-the-last chapter this week but until I did, my guts were gurgling over that as well. I haven't started the last chapter yet. I want to. I want to at least take some notes. But 21 Zeke walks as well as my other dogs & the mountain of things that went to hell while I was hell-bent on finishing the chapter have left me in another kind of panic.

Panic & resentment: the order of my days. I'll be paid for Zeke &, although I swear I wrote down the dates to include this weekend, Zeke little human brother informed me Mom is home. So maybe I won't be doing any more walks until Monday.

Little down time -- little time, that is, that I could really sink into -- was the "destructor" that led me from resentment to poison, the destructor I chose.

I am tired of the cold. My hands are especially sensitive to it & yet I have to manipulate leashes so I end up taking my gloves off. My skin is rough that even cotton catches on it.

I am tired of this book that never seems to be done. I'm tired of the prison I'm in with dogs all day & on weekends, the obligation to be writing even when I'm not (especially when I'm not), a profound desire to take everything out of my kitchen & restore it all. I'm tired of being a good girl. So I poisoned myself.

Resentment & rebellion are two states of mind that I absolutely cannot afford. They are, to begin with, helpless by nature. Resentment of dogs & a book to finish is ridiculous. Resenting the cold will get me where? It's not like I can call up the North Wind & say, "We've got to talk. I've been harboring a resentment toward you." Rebelliousness over walks & writing I've committed to & been paid for is rebelling If I'm going to rebel against myself, why not do it destructively (you spend too much money! Your abstinence sucks!) or constructively: don't spend money, stick to my food plan & cheat the diseased portion of my brain.

& rebelling against the weather falls again into the category of absurd.

These have been Serenity Prayer days. Acceptance, acceptance, acceptance. Get the resentment out of my brain.

The weird thing, though, is that I'm also bent of shape because the book IS almost done. There are so many things I've put on hold for that moment -- going back to the Rooms, cleaning, working on my novel, going to the movies, reading books that don't mention the phrase "BMI," dating, seeing friends, getting my hair colored & eyebrows waxed, going to the Botanical Gardens in High Spring, going on the academic job market, returning letters & emails, taking stuff to donate to Housing Works.

& that's just a start. There is ironing to do. There is John LeCarre I want to read. There are 2 years of New Yorkers in a dusty pile. There is, slowly but happeningly, a trip to Ireland to plan...

All of that has me just as panicked & resentful & scared as the book. I've gotten comfortable out here in the Heights, putting the rest of life on hold. Zeke walked me one block across & up Montague Street last night & I realized that even one block has become foreign territory to me. I'm scared to go out in the world. I'm scared & I don't know where to start first. I'm scared & I haven't started that last chapter that will be the gate to the freedom I crave but no longer know how to use.

My head is spinning. I have inadequate words for individual people. I'm going in all kinds of directions. I wouldn't mind sample part of the poison again even though I feel good eating chicken & broccoli & kidney beans & yogurt on a daily basis.

But here it comes: one more dog to walk. Maybe.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Another Disconnect

My whompus gave out at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. I still had to walk two dogs, go in & take care of two sets of other dogs, & walk mine. I was resentful of so much care taking of animals & no time for dinner yet. I needed kibble. I didn't really have dinner in the house. When I went off to visit the first set of Italian greyhounds, I had money & cell phone in my pocket & a menu as a bookmark in Potatoes Not Prozac.

It was after 6. That was more bites out of my energy. I decided it was too complicated to order food AND carry kibble home & besides, when would I eat? I still had another set of greyhounds to go, & my dogs to feed & walk.

If you're waiting for the cookies-&-ice cream binge story, you won't get one. I had breakfast for dinner, one helping each of oatmeal & yogurt, & fell into bed. Today is Saturday & simpler. My dogs & one set of greyhounds to take care of.

Still, I need groceries. Badly. I need to do laundry. Badly. I had intended to go to the bank this morning & get a couple of rolls of quarters. But after walking the dogs & eating breakfast, my whompus said we're not going anywhere. So I didn't. I stacked the dishes in the sink & crawled into bed with the girlies & kind of dozed for two hours. From there I could take care of the greyhoundse & take my own monsters out for an hour of fetch. I just finished lunch & did the dishes. Groceries still loom, & so does whatever laundry I have quarters for. But where's my whompus???

This is one of those Fatty/Normie Disconnects & I'm pondering which is the truth.

Fatty says, "You're fat & lazy. Just face it. If you weren't so fat, you'd have more energy. If you weren't so fat, you wouldn't wonder if this is a patch of depression or a lack of energy. If you weren't so fat, you wouldn't be depressed -- or if you weren't depressed, you wouldn't be fat. Because you're fat you can't figure out why you're so lethargic today so stop trying."

Normie says, "It was a rough ten days. You boarded at Roger's house for four nights & have had Hero & Daisy squeezing you in bed all of this week so your sleep has been disturbed. You finished a tough chapter on deadline but with nerves that had you shaking ten minutes after you woke up each morning. You had three days in which you had three extra dog walks as well as having to spend more time out with Daisy because Hero needed the time to do her business as well. Why in the name of Normality would you think you'd be anything BUT de-whomped today???"

We all spend a lot of time talking about what we eat, ate, wish we were eating, exercise, stress, deadlines...but this is one of those days when I honestly don't know if I earned this lethargy or whether I deserve it because I'm fat. My food has been good -- it's not a sugar hang-over. Most days it felt good to put in four or five hours of walking dogs. Then yesterday, at 4, the batteries stopped. I told Hero last night, as I was putting coffee together for the next morning & measuring out their kibble, that I had to be really really careful not to put the coffee filter on the floor & the kibble on the coffee maker.

It was that kind of tired.

Writing about it makes me think that Normie is the right voice. I remember being thin & having my batteries run out at some point on a Friday. & a two-hour dozelet made it possible to face what I couldn't before -- dogs, dishes, lunch, blogging.

Then my Self-help Normie wants to clamor in that I should "be gentle" with myself today. & I sort of am. I took that nap. But I think I must get groceries today if I want to both productive & "gentle" with myself tomorrow. There has to be some kind of do-it-anyway clause even on a Saturday.


Two or three side notes. You may have noticed that I had my CELL PHONE with me last night. The last person in probably the whole world has gone cellular. I am ashamed that I caved.

I finally figured out the basics of my new camera (this was the week of reading badly written instruction booklets). It can do fabulous things & I feel like one of my best friends has come back from rehab or Boy Scout Camp. It really is a "toy," in the way that toys were when I was seven years old.

Last and not in the least, least, I'm flirting with an interesting man. We have made some conditions for a more serious relationship. He knows I want to lose weight but is OK about how I look now (well...with the book deadline hanging over me, I haven't had a decent brush-up -- washed, let alone colored, my hair in a week; the cold has peeled my hands and cuticles; my eyebrows are out of control; my toenails threaten to puncture socks -- the latter being what I meant by getting groceries today so I could "pamper" myself tomorrow -- I need to shave & generally do the "Merry Old Land of Oz" thing.) But just about each time we talk, he asks if I've been to the doctor or, now, if I'm worried about going to the doctor, & how my weight is.

G'rrrrrrr. This is the WORST question, isn't it? Especially because he's asking because he wants me to be comfortable with me & knows this is an impediment. It's not judgment. I'm not weighing myself & can only say my food is clean & I can walk up a couple flights of stairs with more ease than not long ago. This makes the question worse yet because I can't say, "I've lost 1.2 pounds."

I'm going to have to tell him that I'll talk to him about my food or my weight when I need to talk to him about it but that the question smacks of everyone who made me eat more when I was a kid.