Monday, February 27, 2012

The Speechless Speaker Speaks

Back in October, I was invited to speak at Recovery Night at The Emily Program, where I have been going to receive treatment for my eating disorder for the past four years. I had blogged about my angst of what to say way back in September. Click here to read about it if you missed that blog. I have finally gotten around to posting the video my friend, Katie recorded of my talk on her phone. I thought I'd share it in case you were interested in what it was all about :) Thank you to all those who came to support me that night. It meant so much to have you all there! XOXOXOXOXOXOXO (The sound is really quiet, so you might want to turn up your speakers!)

For more information about eating disorder treatment and recovery, check out the Emily Program website. That place rocks something serious.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Social Media Backlash

I get it. I know how it looks. I got slapped in the face with it again bright and early this morning after talking with my boss. I needed to take some time off from work to handle some personal shit and it has come to my attention that there are a few people that think I am blissfully gallivanting the globe and having exciting rendezvous with random lovers. OK, so that is clearly over dramatic, but hopefully you get the point. I suppose when you let people peek into your life via Facebook and blogs, they will naturally form their own ideas about who you really are and what your life might really be like on the inside. Well, let me ask you this? When you go on Facebook and update your status, do you write "Horrible nightmares again last night. I cried for two hours straight before I got back to sleep again at five AM." "Secret bondage closet was accidentally discovered by my Catholic grandmother who mistook it for the bathroom. Meeting with priest later for exorcism." Do you post pictures of yourself when you have not showered for three days and can't the gumption to leave the house? Do you litter your page of photos showing your prized Corvette being taken away in the night by the repo-man? Of course not. No matter how authentic we want to think we are on social media, we really only show people the good stuff or at least what we ultimately want them to see. For me, I often times hide behind making everything look perfect and distracting attention from negative things with humor. If you know me in any sort of depth, then you will immediately be able to spot these lovely defense mechanisms I have.

I don't think people get it and I suppose that I am partially to blame for this. I think maybe I have been a bit naive in forgetting that when I share myself and my life with others in this way, there is bound to be a small group of people who make assumptions and draw their own conclusions that are ultimately inaccurate. At the same time, there is part of me that wants to scream out of frustration, which is then followed by the desire to hurry up and explain the reality so that people do understand. Just a gentle reminder:  my whole LIFE was blown apart. If you have ever been through a traumatic event, then you know that putting it back together is a process. This process is continuing for me as we speak and to say the least, my life is under going some very big changes again. I won't go into the very personal, intricate details of the effects of these changes on my internal being but gosh, I just assumed that people might be happy to know that there is actually some positive and good things happening with this process - along with the shitty, difficult stuff that I prefer to keep to myself.

So yep, I went on a vacation. I didn't really want to get into the details of it but I am compelled to now. Three weeks before Simon died, he booked a cruise vacation for my family and his mom. After he passed, we all agreed that we were going to keep this vacation in honor of him. He so much wanted us all to be together and especially for his mother to have the experience of traveling and seeing new parts of the world - something she has never had the luxury to do in her life. So we all went - my family, Simon's mom and Clark. Does that sound weird that Simon's mom and my new fiance went on the same trip? It sure does! But guess what? She and Clark happen to absolutely love each other. This is a very unique and special situation I count as one of my biggest blessings. Did we have a good time on the trip? Certainly. Was it incredibly difficult at various points? You bet your ass it was. However, I am not going to put up pictures depicting that. Not to mention the fact that my mom, Clark and I all got the Norovirus which put completely flat on our asses for two entire days. Believe me, you should be VERY glad I did not post pictures of that on Facebook either.

I am not mad at people for not understanding because it would be unrealistic to expect that. However, I do feel mad at people for making judgments and comments out of blatant ignorance or spite. I happen to try to focus on what is good about my life because it gives me the strength to fight through the stuff that makes me want to literally move to a hermit hole in the ground and never deal with the world again. There are things going on in my life that are very overwhelming and need attention. I love sharing my life with you all, but the details of what I am dealing with are something I am going to keep to myself. I just want to make this following blanket announcement for the world: I am taking care of myself the best way that I know how right now. I am deeply grateful for those who do understand (or at least try) and continue to offer their love and support. For everyone else, I really don't know what to tell you.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Already?

Thanks to the interwebs in general and Facebook specifically, news of any sort travels faster than ever before.   It wasn't much more than ten seconds after the event, that news of my engagement was officially on Facebook. That is cool with me since clearly, I have no issue with people knowing my business. Hooray! *happy dance* I am engaged, its so exciting! However, I think I may have over reacted to someone's comment on my Facebook page when I changed my relationship status to "Engaged." The comment simply said, "Already?" That is it. Already? Nothing more, nothing less. Once I could see through my initial flair of red hot rage, I immediately unfriended her.

I think my reaction was so strong because I felt judged and like she was being snotty at me. So, what am I supposed to do? Wait some arbitrary amount of time before moving on with my life so that everyone else in the world can be Ok with it? Maybe I am being a little over sensitive about this all but I feel like I have been through a hell this past year that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Now, that I have been so amazingly fortunate enough to have found some happiness again, why would someone begrudge me that? Rude. Simply rude. The fact that I am engaged again does not in any way take away from what Simon and I shared. It doesn't mean I am suddenly "over" it all and am skipping along merrily like nothing ever happened. Clark will be the first one to tell you that. Shit, he is the one who sees it the most. He is the one that wipes the snot from my face when one of the sad moments hit. And God bless him for that. I can not even tell you how incredible he is about supporting me during those times.

I didn't want this blog to become a rant that tries to justify my life decisions to everyone, but I do feel I need to say one thing: nothing about Simon was "ordinary." If you knew him or even met him once, it was so obvious it all but slapped you in the face. Simon's love for me was no different. It was extraordinary. Simon's love transformed me. It softened me but made me stronger. It made me believe that love truly exists.

Simon also had an extraordinary and serious heart condition. Which, in turn, made our future together very uncertain. And even though it was a reality neither one of us wanted to face, we talked about it at length several times. Being the unselfish and loving person Simon is, the only thing he ever wanted was for me to be happy. He said over and over that he wanted me to find love again if the unfortunate should happen. Well, unfortunately it did happen. Meeting Clark was the absolute LAST thing I ever imagined would happen in the midst of it. But that happened too. I couldn't imagine not taking a chance on something that has turned out to be so amazing. In fact, Simon's words echoed in my mind, almost nudging me forward, "I love you and I want you to be happy. I want you to find love again because you deserve it. All I want is you to be happy." That is truly the only thing that man ever wanted. Well, that and a good cigar.

I consider myself one of the most incredibly blessed people in the world. If you think about it, I pretty much won the lottery. Twice. How many people never find true love even once in their lives? Then someone like me  has the absolute honor of loving and having the love of two of the greatest men on earth. Crazy, awe-inspiring and wonderful.

So, yes. I am engaged again and I am thrilled. Words don't do justice to the sheer amazement I feel over the way my life has twisted, turned and folded itself into the most beautiful mess. As someone totally awesome and wise once told me, "You can't stop the universe." He was so right and it is so true. And maybe I did over react to that "Already?" comment but goodness, gracious! I suppose I am allowed a bit of emotional slack on this one. And truth be told, I kinda figured I would get some kind of response like that from at least one person. I guess I just didn't expect it to sting the way it did. However, I will not let it taint or in anyway take away from the amazing out pouring of love, support and people who are truly happy for Clark and I.