Gosh, it has been soooo long since I lasted posted. Gee whiz. I've been busy. Lots.
We moved house, twice. Moving house was awful, but it's all over and we're now in a lovely house with a yard and wooden floors. It's all ok now.
I lost a baby last year. Gradually, my heart got better.
I'm pregnant again. And my heart feels a little better again. I'm pregnant against the advice of psychologists("you'll be too crazy the next time"), and gynae-oncologists("it'll come back as a tumour"), and well meaning acquaintances("you'll have another child as bad as your first two"). And I'm happy! The other night I wept about something rather small, and then I freaked out about weeping.
But I'm just a bit tired, and I'm trusting my body. EVERYWOMAN gets weepy around 12/13 weeks. I'm allowed to have a little tantrum now and then, without self-diagnosing an onset of prenatal depression!
I've been reading fat blogs. Have you read fat blogs? They are really really great. They are slowly changing my attitude towards others, and more importantly, towards my own body. I am replacing the negative and harmful images of what 'beautiful' looked like with more healthy, encouraging and downright inspiring images. Some of my faves are:
(that one I stumbled across and it freaked me out a little bit, because she looks just like me! But happier!)
And heaps heaps more, I'll put more up when I find them again!
The long and short of it is thus. I was on a diet, one of the few I have actually done 'properly'(as opposed to just being paranoid about everything I put into my body, then binge-eating, then feeling guilty, etc. You know the drill girl!), and I was miserable. I was depressed. And I thought to myself, the last time I felt like this, I was on a proper diet. A different kind, but still, official. Tracking every kilojoule that passed my lips, keeping a food diary, etc. And a good friend pointed out that although I was losing weight, I was depriving my body of all the healthy fats that keep one's brain from, well, getting depressed. Things like avocados, bananas, nuts, all dairy products. Carbohydrates. And it started me thinking. Little things started to fall into place, slowly but surely. A trickle which turned into a downpour. I NEVER enjoyed food because of the constant checking, assessing, guilt and resentfulness.
Food is our fuel. It cannot be labelled as good or bad. I realized that in every area of life we label food with moral qualities. Food is advertised as wicked or divine. As decadent, indulgent, or sinful. Basically food is either promoted or attacked on the basis of it's ethics. It doesn't have ethics. Food does not equal sin. A healthy appetite does not equal gluttony. Fat does not equal ill health. Full stop.
You may not agree with me, but I don't really care anymore. I'm not aiming to change your mind. I'm aiming to change mine. Even amidst all the positive messages I am soaking myself in, I still in my heart of hearts see skinny as beautiful.
*please please dear darling reader, note that I am not saying skinny equals ugly. Everywoman has a different shape and size, and we should be aiming for what we feel about ourselves inside to be positive and bright. Some people are naturally slender, bony even. All power to you. I just need to hear about the larger people at the moment!*
I still pick up a girly mag and think that the pictures I see are the ideal, indeed the only way to look.
I'll give that one a rest for now though. It's all very well to preach, but I need to practice first!
Another big thing: we got a dog.
I've been whinging at Josh for aaaages about how his hatred of dogs was killing me inside, and how it wasn't fair of him to crush this dream of mine, and how 9 years ago when we are engaged, I thought he thought a dog would be a normal part of life.
So we hummed and haahed about it for ages, and went backwards and forwards, and I scoured the net for cuteness galore. And then it all went quiet, mostly because we don't have any money and all the dogs in the world cost upwards of $200... And then about 2 weeks ago, my mother-in-law called and asked if we wanted a dog. Friends of theirs, whose fox terriers have a litter every year, had a 7 month old puppy, free to a good home. He'd been with an elderly couple, who couldn't cope with his energy and good spirits. He was spayed and microchipped, and little, and cute.
Josh and I talked about it for a few days, and then we said yes. So last Friday we went up to meet him, and ended up bringing him home.
Ahem. Confession: an important part of this story has been omitted. So here it is. I asked all my friends. I asked my family. I asked everyone I knew:
"What do you think about me getting a dog?"
And about 99% of those polled said No. No way. Nope. Don't do it. It's TOO HARD for you.
And when people say not to do something because of the TOO HARD factor, something inside me snaps. The rebellious child stamps her foot. The ringlets that I never had are shaken furiously from side to side. How dare you? I shout inside. Why is it TOO HARD for ME, but ok for everyone else? Why do you think I can't do it? Is it because of my MENTAL HEALTH??!?!?! Is it because of my AUTISTIC CHILDREN??!?!?!?! WHY?
And so it obviously and logically makes me desperate to prove that I, Rachel, the depressed mum of two high needs children, can do it. I can do anything.
It is probably very clear to you that I feel like I have something to prove. To the world, and to myself.
It's usually not very clear to me until hindsight kicks in.
So anyways, we got this dog.
He's cute and sweet and loves people. And I love taking him for walks, seriously, as a person who HATES exercise, walking a dog is minty fresh. It instantly lifts the spirits.
He's a pain in the proverbial. He's wild, untrained, nippy, unpredictable, has an oral fixation with plastic toys and basically everything else, and is generally all-round psycho.
I'm going to blame it on his upbringing. I mean, poor pooch was shut in the bathroom by his old owners. A lot. The leash that he came with was chewed into tatters. They didn't have the energy to walk him. They obviously didn't train or socialise him. And while 7 months is still just a puppy, it's 7 months of bad habits.
And I have been very very stressed. Even when I delight in the sight of my 6 yr old playing with him in the yard, or my 4 yr olds uncontrollable giggles at his antics, I'm still stressing inside. I yell at him all the time, because ALL THE TIME he is chewing something he shouldn't be, or chasing a perfectly lovely cat, or, and this is the worst bit, terrorising the kids. He constantly leaps up at my sons face, with his jaws open. In just a week we have been able to successfully teach my son to stand still, to walk not run, to use a firm voice not squeal. And the dog still jumps at him, all the time. And Lewis is rather stressed about it. And even Maddy, who has been the doggy's best friend from day one, is stressed and frustrated.
He bit her toe this evening.
So I am considering giving him back. I feel like a fraud and a failure, and I feel like I am proving everybody in the world right. They were all right. I couldn't do it. It is TOO HARD for me.
But it will be alright.
I'll make a decision in the next 24 hours, because I know I can't keep this up. Something must give.
So, after that very lengthy disposition, I'm going to sleep. And surely, things will be clearer in the morning.