It’s Perfectly Normal

Those things we think and never, ever say out loud. Those dark, ugly, selfish, small, petty, irrational things we do not even dare to write in a journal. Those terrible things we think about that make us feel like we are horrible people. Guess what? It’s perfectly normal.

That is what my therapist says anyway.

Some years back I found myself in a terrible situation, a really difficult place in my life, and I did not want to continue to have contact with my family anymore. The toxicity of those relationships was killing me. Toxic relationships take a toll and for those of us that are less resilient that toll can a dangerous thing. That toll resulted in my hospitalization and near loss of my life. I almost died. I almost died because my mother could not love me the way that I needed her to love me.

Not in a “my mother won’t buy me the car I want” kind of love, but “my mother refuses to protect me from terrible people and lies about everything” kind of way that had crushed my soul for so long that I could not breathe anymore.

That was over two years ago. I have not spoken to my mother, my father, my family in over two years. And I feel guilty about not feeling guilty about that. I am a happier, healthier, better person without my family in my life. I am safer, more secure, stronger, more honest and authentic, a better person, a better friend, a better me. That is a difficult thing to accept, that you are better off without your family, that in order to be happy you have to create boundaries and limits you never thought you would have the strength to build and maintain. That you can find the strength to do those things and not feel guilty about it, well, my therapist would say that that is Perfectly Normal.

I am perfectly normal for feeling the only the smallest tinge of guilt about not feeling guilty and I can live with that.

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Opposite Day

Yesterday was not opposite day, it was a typical I am nursing a broken heart day which consisted of me not showering, not eating any healthy food, not drinking enough water, not going outside at all, binging on Netflix and indulging nervous self-destructive habits. Not a good start to 2016, but it was just one day and a girl is allowed one day to wallow right?

Today, however, I am determined to not mope about all day in my pajamas eating greasy food and watching Jane the Virgin for a second time. So I declare this 2nd day of January 2016 Opposite Day.

Instead of sulking about in frumpy dumpy PJs I am going to take a shower get dressed in clean clothes. It might be yoga pants, but they will be clean and not pajamas.

Instead of taking shortcuts in personal care I am going to shave my legs, and any other areas that need grooming 

Instead of smoking another cigarette I am going to take that nervous energy and finish unpacking boxes that have been sitting in my living room since I moved in over 6 weeks ago. This is my home now, time to make it mine.

Instead of indulging my nasty OCD habit of picking at my face till I bleed I am going to apply one of those fancy masks sitting in my vanity and then meditate while it works its magic.

Instead of shopping online for the perfect running shoes and companion accessories that I am certain will change my life and fitness habits I am just going to make do with the 47.000 items of clothing, shoes, and accessories I already own and just get my ass out there not caring if I look SO LAST SEASON.

Instead of letting a perfectly good Free Range Organic turkey go to waste because I have no one to cook for I am going to cook the hell out of that bird today and just do it for me because I love to cook. All traditional fixings included. My dog will be so pleased too.

Instead of wishing for things that will never be I will ask the universe to fill me with hope and peace and a loving heart so that maybe tomorrow I can live a little more peacefully and happy.

And instead of beating myself up for not doing all of these things in one day, or every day, and then giving up and going back to Sad Kat I will be more forgiving of myself and do my best and make a promise to myself that every day I do the exact opposite of something, anything, one small simple choice that moves me in a more positive direction.

Care to join me in Opposite Day? Which one thing will you do the complete opposite of?

Five More Minutes

Five More Minutes. That was my mantra when I quit smoking 8 months ago. I can make it five more minutes without a cigarette and counting down five minutes at a time I became a non-smoker after 30 years of being a slave to that addiction. I had quit and failed at least 5 times throughout my smoking life and in all honestly I never thought I would have the discipline or commitment to succeed.

I had a stop date in mind, but life kept happening and I kept extending that date to next week, and the next, and the next…

Life kept happening though and it became clear I would never stop smoking. This caused major conflict in my relationship, yet I could not give up my cigarettes. My cigarettes were not just cigarettes, they were a companion to me during times of deep and sorrowful loneliness, a comfort to ease the constant anxiety, an anxiety so great that it dictated my life, crippled my relationships, and crushed my soul.

During a phone interview in April 2015 I was walking around my house answering and asking questions and all of a sudden I was breathless. Walking and talking were not something I could sustain for 20 minutes without losing my breath. In that moment I realized that these companions, these aides, would kill me and I would drown in my own fluids. Not the way I wanted to die. And not the way I wanted to live. So I quit. On April 27th I quit cold turkey, no patch, no gum, no vapor pen, nothing. I wanted the nicotine out of my system and knew my fight would be psychological. I did it. I did what I never thought I would be able to do and became a non-smoker.

On this new day of this new year I find I have turned to my trusty mantra to get me through another addiction; the end to my relationship.

Past me would be in a ball on the floor howling like a wild animal – I would break, scream, yell, hit, hurt. Ugliness, plain ugliness. But it was all I knew and all I could do to run from that emptiness crawling and scratching its way through my mind. I just didn’t want to feel.

I don’t want to feel now. Every second I am stopping myself from ripping up photos, setting fire to the bed, breaking the memories of us until they turn to dust and blow away. I can make it five more minutes through this hurt. I can make it five more minutes through this loss. I can and will exhibit self-control, composure, and acceptance. I can. I must.

I smoked today. It did not make me feel better or comfort me in any way. Instead, I feel guilt and disappointment in myself that I would throw away all my hard work and injure myself over a man that isn’t worth it. Now I have to remember that returning to him would be like returning to smoking, a false sense of comfort.

We love our poisons. They do NOT love us back. The next five minutes will eventually lead to a new life and I know without doubt that I will look back someday and wonder how I ever felt despair over losing a man that I believed was the antidote but is in fact poison.