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Friday, February 17, 2012

another interlude.....

I am excited for vacation.   I am heading to western MA to Race Brook Lodge...I have ALWAYS loved W. MA and have fond memories of all the  WMAC races I have run there.  Race Brook Lodge  is one of my top ten favorite places in the world. 

I had an email from my friend Breakheart Dan the other day, one of the original Tuggers, he is suffering from a pretty serious injury that has made it very difficult for him to run at all...we talked about how we miss just running with friends and enjoying the scene...and that was when I realized how excited I am for the 2012 running season : ) I looked through my race calendar and it made me smile...100 m PEAK snowshoes March 3rd, the TARC Spring Thaw ultra March 18th, Em (kitten) T. is the RD and I am beyond excited to experience this new race.  April has the first Grand Tree race Northern Nipmuck on the 7th,  a tough course but loads of fun, then I have a back to back race weekend with the Traprock 50k on April 14th and DRB 50 miler on the 15th followed by another back to back weekend with the TARC Spring Classic ultra April 28 and Blue Hills Trail Run on the 29th.  I leave May 3rd for Vermont and spend the 3rd to the 13th running the McNaughton 500.....then depending on recovery I may do Soapstone on the 20th another Grand Tree race whose RD Deb Livingston is my trail running hero,  and possibly Pineland Farms 50 on the 26th.  June there is a new ultra, Nipmuck 50k, I will want to do and then the 14th to the 17th I am back to Amee farm for DR.  July I am leaving New England and traveling for the entire month...running Vol State the 12th through the 22nd or until I finish the race..then drive out west to Utah for Speedgoat and just some hiking and adventure time...back to New England for the first weekend of August for the TARC Summer Classic ultra and then really the rest of August has yet to be totally planned out, although I really want to pace Kev at Leadville so August will probably include a road trip out west : )

this afternoon I see S. for the second time and I feel there is some hope that she can help guide me along this path I have chosen to follow....it is good to feel hope...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Part 3

Before I move on with my story I need to explain that I made a promise to someone that I would not discuss some things that happened between us and this is somewhat of a problem in terms of explaining what has happened in my life from early fall of 2010 to the fall of 2011.  I do not owe this person this...I have EVERY right to be brutally honest here...but I won't. I will keep it between us because in the end I am searching for balance, lightness and freedom from my past....he is a part of my past and therefor plays no part in my future..and truth is...I forgive him and wish for him only happiness because if he is happy it is my hope his children will be happy : ) So there will be gaps in my details  I will do my best to share what is important and keep true to my promise.

So I moved in with a man and his three children.  By doing this I created a wide gulf in my family and the split has still not healed to this day. But in return I fell in love with not only his children but his mum and dad and his sister...she was like a real sister to me.  I cut out all my friends because to see them and speak with them would remind me of who I was and what craziness I left behind.  My goal was to take a huge step off the path I was moving along and then go in the absolute opposite direction.  I wanted to close the door on the past and I honestly thought that the past couldn't get me...I mean what the hell was I thinking...all it had to do was turn the fricken door knob....

I cut R out of my life and Kev could really only reach me through the phone.  My life was now all about taking care of this little family.  I gave up my apartment and moved over an hour and half away from where I worked.  I went from spending all my time focused on me to focusing ALL my energy on others and lots of it I truly loved : ) but the underlying issue I had with this was it was done for the wrong reasons.

I am thankful for the experience because for that time I had a break from my own mind.  I got to focus on something greater something bigger than me...children.  Still the issues were there....just hidden. This man, his children, his family none of them had any idea these things had gone on in my past because for the time I was with him I stopped the enemas, the compulsive exercising, and I hid the depression, anxiety attacks and BDD.  I replaced it with quiet sadness that I swallowed so as not to alert anyone.

So I am there and I am running away from my issues instead of facing them head on...I was unhappy with the loss of my running but could not find my way back to it...instead I got the idea to train for DR...I am not sure why but it just seemed to fit. I was tired and felt outside the loop and even though I was surrounded by people I felt very lonely.  I started to feel a strange sense of loss..but what was missing?  I had people who loved me and needed me...what more could I want? I realized what I was  "missing" was me..yep the "real" me with all her unresolved issues.  I talked with Kev about this and I started to talk with the kid's dad about this but he was in the midst of his own stuff and it was hard for him to understand why I was not happy....I can't blame him because he did not know who I really was...I am great with kids and I can be a loving partner but that me was under way too many layers of sadness...if the sadness and emptiness within me isn't dealt with I can't truly be the real me....and I was no longer me.
So long story short is I got very very sick and I knew in my heart that this family was not meant to deal with me getting sick..I was there to take care of them ...and not them me. So I left.  I gave everything away and kept just the minimal necessities and moved into a tiny studio above a garage (my tree fort) without a kitchen and  basically just a small dorm room fridge.  I had no internet, television and a shower that barely spits out enough hot water to get the shampoo out of my hair......just an Annie's Book Store down the street, a dive bar I could go to and not be bothered, miles of trails to hike and a commute to work under 20 minutes.  I was close to the hospital and my doctor.

Last winter and spring I was a bit of a mess...I was very very sick but at the same time I was beating the crap out of my body training for DR.  I did the winter DR right after surgery and should not have done that as I had barely recovered.  I spent most of my time training...I would work, train, read and sleep...that is it.    Too many things swirling in my head too much loss and sadness and guilt and negative emotions and all along I am STILL dealing with NOT dealing with the abuse and the anxiety and the eating issues and the BDD...training was all that mattered and DR was all there was....I made sure that nothing else came into play.

I was exhausted all the time so at night I fell quickly into a deep dreamless slumber..I  was filled with endorphins and high on training which masked the other issues...I could eat anything I wanted because my body craved fuel to continue on.  I spent most of my time alone and I was or so I thought...happy....Spring brings a huge emotional trauma that to the outside world did not seem to affect me, but that is because I am so good at hiding things.  I went to a DR training camp in May and had my stomach kicked in and yet I kept silent and focused on the task at hand.  I went to Amee farm as much as possible to train and even carried a hay bale to the summit just for the hell of it...I was on a mission and NOTHING else mattered.  I never felt sorry for myself I told no one of the pain in my body and my heart...I have always been private but heading into DR I was at the height of denial.  By June I was detached and emotionally numb...I felt like I did not deserve any close relationships..that every interaction with another person was like getting hit by a bus....I could not handle being touched and I would grit my teeth and scream inside when their was intimacy.... in truth I felt that way when someone just entered  into my personal space...touches felt like sand paper or they burned like acid..bile would rise in my throat but no one would ever have been the wiser...I was the ultimate faker....I was so good at lying to myself for so long it was pretty easy to hide things and lie to others. New friends I met around DR would never had imagined I was a time bomb just doing a slow count down....I won't go into DR...it is in an earlier post and it does not matter in regards to what I am sharing now....

July comes and I travel to Europe where an experience literally pushes me over the edge and as a result....
I just give up.
I am too tired to be crazy...too tired to take enemas,  exercise obsessively, train relentlessly....something more insidious has taken their place...few people see it but with no melodrama involved I realized that I was just too tired to want to keep going.... my greatest shame is that I ceased to care or deem my life worthy.

My entire life I have been told how strong I am...but last summer...I had given up and in my book if you give up you are weak and pathetic...so I ended last summer as the thing I hate most....a coward.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Interlude...

Sunday afternoon.....I saw a boy, maybe nine or ten, with a large gold painted box on his head in downtown Framingham...he was right there on the sidewalk....and he was dancing...

as I drove further along I saw a bright red ball dance across the street...two minutes later a yellow one and then a green one... dancing with the wind ....

I was listening to a song from a mixed CD R made me.... the singer sang sweetly that when he saw her from afar he could not move until she had walked past....I cried...
Saturday night was tough..I txted Kev at midnight....told him to take down my blog....
it was all too much....how to explain it.....imagine lying on a gurney...your chest cracked open people stare at your body naked on the gurney...what are they focusing on....bruised and battered your body is no longer connected to you but you can some how see...you alone among all these faces...some fascinated others repulsed or filled with horror...some turn away....you see....your heart....it is still beating....

I know why I felt this.....Friday afternoon was my first therapy session...I can't even start to think about how to talk about that....but I know I like her ..she wore funky glasses and she smiled when I swore...she herself is not one to curse, but I could tell my swearing made sense to her...she said it was OK to be angry..and that was what I was waiting to hear....

I fear that what I share in this blog will be found by the "wrong" person and will be used against me...I fear that I will be seen as unstable because I am sharing where I have come from and what has happened to me..it is a real fear...

S. with her funky glasses on the end of her nose told me that I am a survivor...that she can see it in my body language and hear it in my voice..I tell her I already know this....I have been clawing my way to the surface for as long as I can remember....buried under sorrow and pain I refuse to let it smother me...but I am tired right now...so I need to stop and think for a bit...I put my blog posts back up because I am a fighter...I don't want to be afraid...and isn't fear just a manifestation of what we don't know or understand...I don't know what will happen from this point on because I have no place to hide....I need to take a step back and think....things will come when they are ready...for now I just want to find my own golden box put it on my head...and dance..

Friday, February 10, 2012

Part 2...


So I was back to my own obsessive compulsive existence and my exercise obsession was now in full throttle.  I went through such serious health issues and honestly it did not phase me...I continued to run and train through a time where most people would have focused solely on their health.  It was during this time I met R. at my gym.  He told me later that he was amazed he ever gathered up enough courage to come and talk to me.  I am so glad he did.  We have been through a great deal since we first met.  He knew after our first dinner together to discuss running (I ate ice cream then went home and worked out in my home gym for an hour) that I was different (understatement of year).  He could not figure it out at the time but since that day he is one of only a handful of people who truly know some of my secrets (that of course changes with the writing of these series of posts).   With my health issues and my disordered eating my body was an absolute mess...seriously I can't begin to describe what it was being put through..and honestly I am lucky that I am still alive.... I am NOT being melodramatic with this statement. 

That year I ran my first 100 and knew then that I was truly in love with the ultra distance.  I had great running friends and spent time with R. on the cape and on his farm in Ohio.  I started to run most of my races with Kev and Stas and often had people staying at my place before races.  I was outwardly in a great place but my health was awful and I kept so many secrets.  My weight issues were there but "seemed" under control because I was running so much...it is funny though because looking back at pictures from VT100 I have one where I am pulling up my shirt and sticking my tummy out to Nipmuck Dave as in see look I have a huge belly.  What I saw when I looked in the mirror was not real to any one but me.

The following week after VT100 I headed to NY to run Escarpment  with Garry, Greg, Stas and Kev.  I remember eating at a restaurant and that night being so sick and so constipated and so embarrassed about my stomach issues (at this point I was either experiencing diarrhea or constipation due to my disordered eating  and my enema crap (pun intended) and I was sharing a room with Stas and Kev so I snuck out in the rain at 2 am and ran down the street from the MT Bike lodge we stayed at to an abandoned motel and sat in the weeds in the pouring rain hoping I could go to the bathroom in privacy.....and  I still thought this was normal. Garry took a pic at this race that ended up in his GF Nancy's trail running book. In the picture I am freakishly skinny with just muscle and sinew showing...I remember being down  to 103lbs at the time....and to be honest I thought I looked great.

Kev told me he did not think I looked great that I looked far older with no fat in my face and no meat on my bones. I was also SEVERELY anemic at this time.  My doctor was very concerned about this because my red blood cell count was so low...I was often very tired and my body would be on the verge of breaking down but I would push it and make it do what I wanted it to do purely through my strength of will and my relentless pursuit of...something...I did not know at the time what...but there was a black hole in me....

R said to me a few weeks ago "you scared me Mish because you seem(ed) to thrive only when you punish your body.   You like to break yourself down to a point of almost no return and then and only then do I truly see you are at ease"....in many ways he was right...punishment has and still is part of why I do what I do...push my body to exhaustion and physical pain and then the mental and emotional pain is overshadowed.

So now that I have researched it I realize at that time I was experiencing what is labeled exercise induced bulimia (I have never forced myself to throw up..I did that enough in the Peace Corps from giardia and dysentery  and I hate throwing up) with my strength training 6 days a week for 2 hours a day and running or hitting the treadmill every day....but I looked normal....I was told I rocked a bikini and my hot pants and yet when I looked in the mirror I saw something totally different....I saw a bloated fat pig....If I ate anything my stomach would naturally become distended..that is what happens when you put food in it..duh....and I would see this HUGE stomach and have an absolute break down and self loathing fest (without the balloons and streamers of course).

R.and I spent more time together..and what I came to realize was I could not hide these things from him.. he started to question things.  He knew something was up and he started to confront me...and this pissed me off...I guarded my secrets carefully and here was this person calling me out..who the hell did he think he was to judge me I thought..we had some HUGE battles....I had constructed so many walls since I was nine and I did not even realize I was building them..brick by brick for so many years..they were strong and high and kept the bad shit at bay and then along comes R. and he wants to tear down my walls..bastard....At the same time I started to have my walls crumble from R.'s incessant prying..I started to open up to Kev about what I was finding out about myself. Kev enabled me to call myself out in a way... I could share what I argued with R. about without being judged...R. did what he did because he cared for me, but he was forcing me to face things that I did not want to face... the anger I felt towards R. made it impossible for me at the time to speak to him and admit I knew something was very very wrong.....Kev being there as a sounding board allowed me to admit to so many crazy things I did...talking with Kev was like talking to a priest through that little house thingy in a catholic church....

Anyone who knows me knows I hold myself to some pretty high standards...no one can be tougher on me than me..so TALKING to Kev about what I would ARGUE with R. about was this strange little process that has helped me to come to the point I am at today.  It is no secret that Kev and R. are not the best of friends but they both know the other cares about me..they love me and both want me to be happy and healthy..and without the two of them I would not be at this point in my healing.

But that year I was no where near healing and in fact I was just starting to admit to issues...what did not help during this time frame were my other health crisis.  That only added to what my body was going through...I was a very sick chick.  The VT50 that year ended in a ambulance ride to the emergency room.  The doctor that treated me (while reviewing my test results) came right out and yelled at me "I don't know what the hell is going on here but if you check yourself out there is a very real chance you may die"
....of course I checked myself out.....

This was a pattern this year...being so sick I could barely finish a race.  That year at the Pisgah 50k after he finished the marathon Stas ran back out onto the course to help me get through the 50k...the last two miles I stumbled and cried my stomach and body having shut down completely and yet I stuck it out and that year Stas and I were Stone heads together...seriously...now that I have the time to reflect on that year I can't believe I did not do some long term damage...and yet at the same time I realize what a strong and stubborn person I am.

If I could channel all this relentless determination to something positive like healing myself, or forgiving myself well I would be a superstar...but no...I continued to lie to myself and make excuses although I would admit to things to Kev..but I would do it in a joking manner...in a self depreciating, funny way..like a stand up comic whose entire act is about her very real emotional and mental issues...

as an aside I have always loved and admired the comic Kathy Griffin...her honesty is so refreshing and her self depreciating humor (she rags on her self just like me) has helped me to feel like my penchant for sharing EVERYTHING is not bizarre..Kathy does it too and she suffers from disordered eating! We are like twins!
I feel like I am the queen of the ultra running D list...a hot mess who runs ultras....sometimes she finishes more often than not she DNF's because she pooped her pants....

So I head into the winter with all the same issues but I find out while I am running the winter fells race that I got into Western States...dear god what have I gotten myself into..so at this point I am a slave to (what I came to realize through even more research) is BDD http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_dysmorphic_disorder
My "mental illness" (I hate that term but then again it is just words no worse than "your fired" or "what did you do to your hair" or "what is that smell?") manifests itself in obsessive and compulsive concern over the size of my stomach...I can't stop touching it and looking at it and talking about it and it always hurts after I eat or when I don't eat or when I am sleeping or when I am awake..it is as if I am just a large Buddha belly with a nose walking around...if my tummy looks flat I am good I can go to work, I can go out with a friend I can deal with a social situation..if I eat and or I feel bloated or fat I CAN'T go out nor can I see any one socially...seriously whatever the plans are I cancel them with some excuse..I either crawl into bed and turn off the light, take an enema and exercise like a fiend, get depressed and binge eat and then take said enema and exercise like a fiend...it is always the same vicious cycle over and over and over again and it is getting OLD and I am getting tired of it but at the same time I can't stop it..I honestly have no control over it.  The depression and self hatred and disgust when I look in the mirror and see my stomach overcomes all rationality.  Family does not matter, friends do not matter, work does not matter all that matters is making the fat go away....I come to hate clothes that bind me..I feel like I am struggling to breathe when I feel my pants around my tummy..I can only wear low rise jeans that are falling off me...nothing can touch my stomach.  In fact I come to a point where I realize I can't stand to be touched..it feels like sand paper...if R. comes up behind me to give me a hug I jump away like I have been stabbed...my personal space issues become a bit severe and I start to have extreme anxiety around most social situations.  I feel like I can't breathe that I am being held under water...I feel like I am dying...this is a called a panic attack and now I know what it is I know that I was experiencing them more and more frequently the months leading up to WS. 

I am so sick that spring I can barely run..I am still rocking the gym and strength training but running is falling by the way side.  I am also now experiencing flashes of uncontrollable anger towards R. due to his constant calling me out about my secretive behavior...where I want to lash out and hurt him...I fly off the handle so easily I am starting to frighten myself.

I go into June and my trip to California sick, untrained and emotionally and mentally lost but I did an excellent job hiding all this....I make it to mile 70 (barely) and get pulled when I don't make the cutoff..back at the medical tent they draw blood and do tests and the man says that there is no physical way I should have been able to run 5 miles let alone 70 miles with my blood tests showing such low blood cell count http://www.chemocare.com/managing/low_blood_counts.asp
He asked me if I knew this and I just nodded my head...... heartbroken to even say the word yes...

I came home and that was it....I say screw it..I am done with ultra running...I lost my bliss along with my joy and happiness....gray is how I see the world in terms of running long and I remove myself from all the people who are a part of my life as a runner..the people who love me and have supported me because I am so lost to the anxiety, the BDD, the compulsive and obsessive behavior...it is killing me slowly but surely......
so I make a decision.... I tell myself I will just start fresh.. I will just not be crazy any more...I will focus on something other than me and put 100% of myself into that.  I will reinvent myself and just refuse to let the craziness in....and when the crazy surfaces its ugly head... I will just beat it back down...I will find a challenge to focus all the negative energy towards and when it comes bubbling to the surface I will just replace it with pain....I will punish myself and beat myself down and this will dull everything else..I will drape myself in pain, I will dress myself in exhaustion I will spin in front of the mirror and wear my scars as if they were diamonds...I will be too tired to be crazy....


...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Part 1 of why i am seeing a shrink or You think cigarettes are expensive.....take a peek at the going price for an enema

First off you need to read my friend Julie's latest post before you read mine:
http://rawveganrunner.blogspot.com/2012/02/me-saving-internet.html#comment-form

Julie's post is a timely one as I am heading to my first therapy session Friday.  It takes some jumping through hoops to get to see a therapist... you call them... they don't answer.... you leave message.... they call back your teaching... you tell them you will call back... you call back but you have to leave message again..... they call while you are driving.... you lose signal and proceed to swear like a pirate for 20 seconds straight not realizing they are still on line...proving the point that you have anger issues and really need therapy...they ask you questions....you struggle to "label" yourself to the woman on the other line when she asks what your issues are or what you want to speak about....The phone call went something like this:

Her: Hello Michelle
Me: Hello.  Thank you for getting back to me.  I am sorry about the swearing I thought I lost you.
Her: No problem I understand cell phones can be frustrating.  So Michelle you would like to come in and speak to someone.  From the message I gathered that you want to discuss an eating disorder.
Me: Well ummmm kind of ...it is not really an eating disorder per say...I mean I would call it more disordered eating...there are many facets... the eating is just one small part...there is more going on and they are all interconnected..ummmm
Her: OK that is fine.  I was just told "eating disorder" we don't have to specify it now.
Me: good because I don't know what the hell is wrong with me.
Her: chuckle. 

What I should have just said: I am a sexually abused disordered eating over the top anxiety filled  panic attack experiencing obsessive compulsive freak...nice to meet ya.

This is my story....and it is a long one so it will be told in parts...I am telling it here because I am DONE being ashamed and I am DONE living all these secrets.... what a better way to set myself free than share all this juicy stuff on my blog...some will read and shake their heads and think better her than me...some will think what a freak...ever hear of TMI (my answer is no..is that a new rapper?) and others may think...hmmm I did that..I felt that....wow I am not alone..
and others with daughters will say...I will have her read this post...I will make sure my beautiful daughter looks in the mirror and loves what she sees...whatever you think after reading....it is all good my friends..all good : )

So here it goes...flashback to 1979. I am an inquisitive slightly strange child who has few boundaries and trusts everyone.  We lived on a lake and every morning I would head there with my beach stuff and plop myself amongst a family and basically attach myself to them for the day.  My mum would be at the house.  At lunch time she would walk to the end of the driveway and yell  "Mishy lunch!!!!"  and I would jump over the chain link fence run up my driveway to the back porch where I would quickly inhale  my salami on Wonder sandwich then grab a quarter from mum for the ice cream man and head back down to my adopted family.  I had no fear of anything.  My mum tells a story that pretty much describes me as a child...I adopted a family of "little people" one day and  I invited them to my house for lunch and to use our bathroom...imagine my mothers chagrin when a family of little people came walking up the driveway and I informed her they were coming for lunch....hmmmmm my mum was a saint.

I loved to fish.  Old men would bass fish on my lake and I would see them early in the morning and early evening as I fished off the dock.  I remember one specific man who would walk with me to my house and ask my parents if he could take me out on his boat.  My parents would always say yes.  A grandfather figure and he would always offer to leave his license and his car would be parked in plain view of my parents.  I played "hobo" as a child.  My mum would make me a lunch and I would tie it in a kerchief and head out on the railroad tracks and all by myself would walk through 2 towns to Carlisle and then take back roads to the State Forest.  I would bushwack through the back of Hart Pond cemetery through the woods to Westford sand pits and build a fort out of branches and hide out watching the kids drink and shoot BB guns at cans...I would pretend I was an orphaned polar bear on the run from the cops and I was hiding out..I spent a great deal of time alone.  

Thinking back I did many things that parents today would cringe to hear about.  Needless to say I trusted adults....but it wasn't an "adult" that hurt me.....it was a neighbor 4 years older than me and way bigger and stronger than my skinny nine year old self.  Having a brother and sister both away at college and not many kids in the neighborhood my age to play with probably only attributed to what happened.   This neighbor not only abused me but also abused their half sister 2 years younger than me as well.  This went on for three years (the details are not important other than to say if I had a daughter and I found out these things happened to her I would kill the person who did it...nuff said) There were threats if I told, but in truth there was no need to threaten me....I was so ashamed and concerned about making my parents mad at me..thinking it was my fault....I would never have told. This abuse was not due to bad parenting.  My parents were and are amazing people who I love and admire very much.  What was going on in my mind as a nine year old I can't tell you.  For so long I blocked this out.  I have no answers why it happened or why I did not tell... that is why I am going to therapy I guess..at this point I can only tell you what happened...and not why...

So flash forward to my 20's and 30's although I have no desire to get married or have children and I live a pretty alternative life there are no red flags per say about what was to come.  I had a difficult time in terms of commitment and preferred dating instead of a serious bf and the one man I finally committed myself too (I  bought two homes with him) I refused to marry and eventually I left him knowing he deserved more than I could ever give...still I saw this as an issue of wanting different things and not caused by any deep seeded issues with me.

I hit 37...I am dating, traveling, training and running races...I have a great apartment and I am very happy.  My running has become a very big part of my life.  In fact I spend every weekend pretty much running a race. For the next three years I am the female Stone Head of the WMAC trail race series.  I broke records for number of races run in a year and points accumulated by a female...I am not the fastest but I am on those trails more than anyone.  I am coming into my own in terms of racing. Dan and I became friends and it was great because he was a free spirit like me.  We had some awesome adventures together and he made me feel like my lifestyle was ok because he was just like me.  I realize now that Dan is gone that he had some deep seeded issues...I wish he was here with me as I know he would be a huge supporter of me and maybe he could have worked on his shit while I worked on mine..I know he knows I am trying now and he is there...somewhere forever having my back...

Right after my 38th birthday I made a big decision and this seems to be the first step in a series of life choices that have lead me to this Friday's appointment ....I decided to quit smoking.

I  smoked since I was 12.  A babysitter taught me on a Wednesday night when my parents went to a bowling league (my mum would be horrified to know I shared that...they even wore matching Vidal Sassoon jeans hehe).  I LOVED smoking....American Spirits blue pack.   I would run a race get into my car and immediately light up...seriously...cigarettes candy and coffee were my joy. I am not discussing the cancer in detail as it really does not play a huge part in all of this...in my personal experience the cancer has caused me less turmoil and sadness then what i am sharing here...for me and I only speak for myself...cancer was a far easier battle to face...this one is way harder...but it did play a part in me deciding to quit smoking as my doctor said I better quit smoking!

Smoking I now know  was how I dealt with my compulsive behavior and my anxiety.  I would have a cig break  when I was anxious and it allowed me to settle myself ..it masked what was causing the anxiety and when I quit I lost a really important crutch.  It was at this point that I met D.  For some reason I started to feel like I was "not normal" for not wanting to get married and have kids so here comes this really great guy...divorced..with two kids.  Hmmmmm.  He was kind and funny and  was and is a good man and a great catch.  I was happy. I started to spend time with D and his children on his boat.  D was not into exercise like I was although he was in good shape.  He did not go to the gym or run or any of that..he spent all his time out on charters or with his children.  I always ate a very specific diet until I met D.... introduce me to an Italian man who likes good food and wine and who has children who like candy...well a new side of me came out.   We stayed on the boat in the summer a total fun party atmosphere.  Prior to D I never really drank alcohol and now I was staying on a boat moored at one of the most fun summer drinking spots on the cape.   I had come from what I now realize was a very regimented lifestyle where exercise, training and food were very specifically and in truth compulsively planned out and followed to a life with a man with two small children who lives "the boating" lifestyle.   With the amount of running and training I did and the amount and kinds of food I ate (coupled with smoking) I was always around 105.  At 5'4" I did not look anorexic but there was little fat to be seen on my body. I never thought about weight because my weight never changed.  I never thought about body issues because my body never changed.. I was in control of my day to day schedule for years and nothing nor no one came into play...no serious boy friend..and the men I dated I could take or leave in the end...no children..my time was all mine...

When I started to date D and spend more and more time with him and the kids I started to gain weight.  Now here comes the weight issue that was probably always there but never in my conscious thoughts.   When I started to date D he would question my time spent running and training and wanted me to want to spend more time with him and the kids....but I was always hesitant or weary of not having time to exercise or eating too much.  D would question "who wouldn't want to take a weekend trip to Nantucket?" Or go out to eat at amazing restaurants and drink yummy red wine and eat gellato on a warm summer night...most of you reading this will say..well those things sound lovely...of course most people would love to do those things...  and yet those very things would cause me to experience high levels of anxiety every time I would be packing  to spend time with D.  Now this is not a D issue..he was wonderful...all of this was obviously NOT normal and based on me being out of my element and no longer in CONTROL.... I started to lose my shit right in front of him.  If I was with D and the kids and ate poorly at dinner when we got home and we put the kids down I would sneak downstairs and binge on candy or frosting a brand new thing for me...I would be so depressed about eating poorly, gaining weight and not exercising I would just say the hell with it and binge...the next day I would run and exercise compulsively. If I had a race I drive there and run and then head straight to the gym and strength train for two hours.  Now I was not fat....but when I looked in the mirror what I saw back was a disgusting pig who had no self control.  My stomach was my main issue.  I would look at it and see this huge bloated thing.  I am small chested so it made it worse...my stomach would consume me and I would constantly be touching it or talking about it or checking it out in the mirror..it was the first time I had realized I had issues with compulsive behavior although it was always there it was now so out of control it was hard to ignore it.  I could not stop touching my stomach and asking D if I looked fat...I would binge late at night to a point where my poor tummy would be so bloated I would look 8 months pregnant.  The next day I would avoid food and exercise like an absolute fiend.  I started to also experience some really strange health issues...constipation and bloating and horrific stomach pain.  I was in and out of the doctors and hospital for upper and lower GI's that year.  I collapsed at school and was rushed to the hospital with an impacted colon.  I had bleeding ulcers and mind numbing pain and cramps.  I stopped having my period and it would be a three year period before I actually had a normal cycle again.  It was during one of my many colonoscopies that I fell in love with enemas....seriously...as I am dealing with pain and constant stomach distress I add to the pain and distress by becoming addicted to enemas...how can you not laugh?  I am talking not about the anal suppositories but the awful  stuff that you drank. What a perfect thing..if I binged I could just take the enema and it would make it all better..the awful taste and the pain involved well I deserved that for binging in the first place...for not having any self control and for being a pig. I wonder what the CVS in Groton, MA thought about the woman who would buy at least 4 enemas a month..did anyone want to ask me about it...to reach out?  They knew me there...I am sure they had a suspicion as to why I was buying them. The thing is at the time I was such a secretive person about everything I did...when I brought D and his kids to Stone Cat to run my first 50 I found out later that no one even knew I had a BF...I never talked about D.  never included him in my running life or my friends..I left my world back in Groton separate from his world because I needed a place to go back to where I would be in control..when I went to the cape I lived his life in his world...no wonder it hurt him and no wonder he never trusted me..my life was filled with secrets...I started at this time to carry a really heavy burden..shame..it covered me like a blanket and from this my panic attacks started as well as deep depression and I started to stop going to D's as I was at a point where I could no longer function in an environment where I did not have control over my food and exercise....so I left D and the kids.  Since then we have become good friends....he knows now what I was going through at the time and has forgiven me and is one of my biggest supporters in my quest for balance and happiness..

What I did not realize at this point but would come to understand was I could NOT be in a relationship.  I was so dependent on my regime and following a very set and rigid way of living...where all my "safety nets" were in place that any change caused me to have a panic attack or caused me to compulsively eat or and as a result of the binging compulsively exercise...change took me out of my comfort zone completely.  Now throw me on a mountain with no food and a plastic sheet and I am comfortable...have me sit in a fancy restaurant with a huge plate of friend calamari in front of me and I am not ...I am a woman whose biggest dream since the sixth grade was to go to the Peace Corps (I did) and then become a park ranger(I didn't) and live in a cabin on the side of a mtn and just take care of the trails and lost hikers.

I removed myself from dating when I left D..I could not handle the stress of going out to eat, not having access to my food and my gym..at the time in my life I would rather have run a race come home then hit the gym then grab a book and eat a healthy meal and head to bed only to wake up the next day to do it all again....I turned 39 and on the outside I seemed totally in control but on the inside I was an absolute mess.................

Monday, February 6, 2012

Numbers


7       the hours (between midnight and 3 am) I spent this past week WIDE awake thinking
2        the number of arguments over the phone I had this week about what was keeping me awake
2012 the year
2       the month
3       the day
it finally begins.....

5       the amount I need to pay to speak with a stranger
8       the number of hours I have to share 33 years of sadness


24     years ago i got my first ink
2       done by friends
3       done by licensed artists
1       done at a Hells Angel pig roast : )
6       total  number of tats as of Saturday

11,000   number of people who have *ever* finished a 100 miler in North America 




1       rank of lemon frosting on my fav food list