Warning! (D is for Don’t)

Don’t ever agree (even to yourself) to commit to something you aren’t sure you can follow up on.

I’m only on the fourth day of this A-Z blogging challenge and already I feel more disconnected and disjointed from my writing then I have for a long time. Perhaps it’s because I’m sick with a cough and cold so the only thing I can think of is when I can go to bed.

I suppose an alternate title for this post could be titled Dried Up Creativity. That would be fairly accurate. I’m hoping I can gather more enthusiasm (E) for tomorrow.

On Coughs, Colds, and Carrying On

My head is aching from
This lousy sinus cold that’s been going around.
The Tylenol I’m popping just isn’t cutting it.
As soon as one cough drop is finished I start
Another one although the soothing action promised
On the wrapper is limited at best.

I feel miserable
And long to crawl under the covers to sleep it off
But I continue to carry on,
With a pocketful of cough drops and Kleenexes–
some used, some new.
At this point, I don’t really care.

Chugging from a bottle of Sudafed,
I sign the field trip consent form,
RSVP to a birthday party,
Search for a missing rubber boot
And listen to my eldest
Do his daily Home Reading.

Woman Blowing Nose (Mojpe, Pixabay)

Woman Blowing Nose (Mojpe, Pixabay)

I’m a mom.
There’s no time for me
To have a cough or a cold or
God forbid,
a combination of the two.

There is only cough syrup,
Kleenex, and
Carrying on.

If you would like to contact me about this post or about anything else you’ve read please email me at: judyamy74(at)gmail(dot)com or tweet me @JudyAmy74

 

A-B: Anyone Can Have an Eating Disorder

I’ve been considering doing this A-Z blogging challenge and I’m already 2 days behind, so I thought I’d knock off two letters at the same time. It’s a topic I’ve written about before but tonight I stumbled across the following article:

http://www.bustle.com/articles/16685-im-a-fat-woman-who-had-an-eating-disorder-and-no-the-two-are-not-mutually

In the article, McCarthy talks about how her eating disorder went unnoticed by doctors, friends, and family because she was overweight. I find her story to be really sad, and I completely relate to it. In a way, I was lucky. When I began my long journey through anorexia and bulimia, I was thin. When I was considered as “cured” as I was going to be by doctors years later, I was even thinner. For many years, when I opened up to people about my eating disorder, they immediately felt sorry for me and had nothing but words of comfort and support.

Over the last four and a half years (basically since I had the twins) I have gained a lot of weight, and many would now consider me fat. It’s what I call myself when I look in the mirror, not in a “You go, girl!” sort of way, but in a “You’re pathetic!” way. I’ve noticed something though in the last few years. When I open up to someone about my eating disorder, I am now met with surprise, off-colour jokes, and outright disbelief. (“Everyone thinks they had an eating disorder.”) and I’m pretty sure the reason they respond like this is because of my weight. Many people assume (and tell me) that I was bulimic only and not also anorexic, because, well, I’m fat.

This harms and hurts me more than these people can know.

When you have experienced an eating disorder, the issues never go away.  I weigh more than I ever have in my entire life and yet I continue to have eating and food issues every day. There is never a day when I am free from feeling disgust, shame, guilt, or disappointment about eating. And when I try to reach out only to be pushed away because of my weight, it really affects me.

This is a very real issue. The bottom line is that anyone regardless of size or shape can have a serious eating disorder and if someone reaches out to you, listen. Don’t judge them based on your misperceptions. Believe them and believe in them. Everyone deserves this, not just the stereotypes.

If you would like to contact me about this post or about anything else you’ve read please email me at: judyamy74(at)gmail(dot)com or tweet me @JudyAmy74

On Facebook, Losing Touch, and Grieving: Remembering Carole

On Tuesday morning, I did as I usually do: went to the bathroom, swallowed some Wellbutrin, and grabbed my phone to check my email and Facebook. I don’t expect to find anything earth shattering when doing either of these things. Mostly, my mailbox is filled with Gap discount codes, the latest issue of Lenny and reminders from my child’s school. Facebook is even less eventful–people sharing articles that rage against Donald Trump and parents worrying about over scheduling their kids while simultaneously complaining about the city’s swimming lesson registration system.  My Facebook page is pretty benign and for the most part, pretty boring, although there are lots of cute baby pictures at the moment. (Thanks M & T!)

Tuesday was different. As I was scrolling down, I saw the notice “C.H. was mentioned in a post.” Someone that I didn’t know, and who I wasn’t friends with (Facebook or otherwise) had written: You will be in our hearts forever Carole. You left us way too early. This made absolutely no sense to me. C.H. was around my age and had kids my age.

That’s actually how I met her: She was one of the first people I met at a mom’s group I went to for first time moms. Her daughter was about three weeks older than my son. I remember Carole as being kind, loving to laugh, and full of life. Could this be the same woman?

It was. Googling her name brought me to the page with her obituary. She was just shy of 43, had a seven year-old daughter and a six year-old son. Her daughter was in Grade 2, her son in Grade 1.  I hadn’t seen Carole in a few years–we had both moved out of the old neighbourhood where we had met, and life got busy. The last time I saw her was just before our kids started Kindergarten. We stayed in touch via Facebook through likes and comments, but I’m not sure I would have used the term “friends” to describe us, more like “good acquaintances.”

When I scrolled through Carole’s Facebook page looking for clues, I found none. She had kept her illness private, away from the public eye of Facebook. I reached out to another mutual friend who told me that Carole had been diagnosed with a tumour in the fall and that the doctors were confident following the removal of it. Unfortunately, the cancer had spread to her liver and she went into palliative care at the beginning of February, but was able to return home for her last weeks.

This death has hit me really hard. I’ve been crying on and off for the past few days. Although we had drifted apart, I was still interested in Carole’s Facebook anecdotes about her son’s allergies and the pictures of the cakes she had made for her children’s birthdays. Facebook filled me in on Carole’s life when she was alive and this time it filled me in on Carole’s death.

I cried because in many ways it took Carole’s death to remind me that I am alive. I am alive with my children. She is not. And that’s a really hard thing to come to terms with, regardless of how close we had been.

Having children the same age is what makes it the hardest. I remember sitting beside Carole at the Mom’s Group, holding our brand new babies and learning how to keep them safe, when and how to feed them healthy foods, and how to deal with teething. I remember one time feeling extremely overwhelmed and discouraged. Carole was so reassuring that we could do this–be good mothers to our children.  And then immediately after, telling me that she was expecting again, wanting her children to be close in age. I was still struggling being a mom to one, and I admired her confidence and strength to do it all over again so soon. But Carole knew what she wanted and she was ready to love another.

Today I sat with my oldest, who brought me into Carole’s life and held him tightly when he asked me if I had been crying. Yes, I said. Because I love you so very much. I thought of Carole’s oldest child, who used to play with my oldest. Carole is no longer there to hold her or her brother tightly. Carole is not with her children that she loved so much.  And I am. And my tears return. And that’s okay. Strindberg wrote: Why do people cry when they’re sad?” I continued . . . “Well,” he said, “because sometimes you have to wash the windows of your eyes to see more clearly!”

I see clearly now how very fortunate I am to be alive.

P.S. Cancer sucks. If you feel so inclined, here’s a link to honour Carole: http://www.cancercare.mb.ca

March 19 Addendum: Today’s Facebook Memory from 5 years ago was a note from Carole saying: Hey thanks for the great visit yesterday! It was nice to catch up. C. spent most of the afternoon asking ” where MooMoos” aka Harris…. Bittersweet. They say only the good die young. In Carole’s case, this is 100% true.


Strindberg, A., & Carlson, H.G. (1983) Strindberg: Five Plays. Berkeley: University of California Press.

If you would like to contact me about this post or about anything else you’ve read please email me at: judyamy74(at)gmail(dot)com or tweet me @JudyAmy74

 

A Moment of Hopefulness: For ML

Rainboots

Photo by Holeysockart, Pixabay

The icy water
In my boot reminds me that
Spring is on its way.
(And also that I need new rubber boots)

If you would like to contact me about this post or about anything else you’ve read please email me: judyamy74(at)gmail(dot)com or tweet me @JudyAmy74.

Notes: This morning I had the pleasure of meeting up with a dear friend who posed the question to me: What are some moments of hopefulness for you? It got me looking at things in a new light today and noticing that most of the time the moments of hopefulness in my life creep quietly into small places and spaces, like the crack in my rubber boot. The icy water confirms that I am alive. What are your moments of hopefulness?

Soup’s On!

soup

Photo by: Buu Dang, Pixabay (dangquocbuu)

Soup’s On!

I pick up my spoon
And contemplate leaving you
As you slurp your soup.

                                    –J. Amy

Today’s haiku brought to you by WordPress and their Daily Prompt.

If you would like to contact me about this post or about anything else you’ve read please email me: judyamy74(at)gmail(dot)com or tweet me @JudyAmy74.

 

Stats, Slumps, and Stopping

This poem is in response to WordPress’s Daily Prompt which reads: Go to your Stats page and check your top 3-5 posts. Why do you think they’ve been successful? Find the connection between them, and write about it. 

I don’t usually look at statistics–I enjoyed the end of the year summary from WordPress, which told me where my readers reside (this I find interesting)–but overall, I don’t find them to be particularly beneficial or noteworthy. Not surprisingly, my top posts in the last few days have been the ones I wrote for the Daily Prompt, and the About page, not because they’re the best, but because the Daily Prompts have a higher visibility than my other posts. And the logical next thing to check out is the About page when visiting a new blog.

I’m still working through a bit of a creative slump, so I’m finding these prompts really helpful. It’s like a task for me to complete and even if it’s not my best work, something’s better than nothing.

Enjoy. Or don’t. I won’t check my statistics page!

The Statistical Connection

Seeing my statistics makes me
Think about what I am
Actually trying to accomplish with this blog.
The dream was to share a bit of my writing but since
I have such a fragile writer’s ego I worry because the
Statistics tell me that I have many followers but
That there are way less views in relation to followers.
I‘m not sure if I should keep trying to do what I do or if I should
Change things, but one thing is crystal clear: I need to
Stop looking at statistics.

If you would like to contact me about this post or about anything else you’ve read please email me: judyamy74(at)gmail(dot)com or tweet me @JudyAmy74.