2020-05-29 “Everything’s cool as long as I’m getting thinner”

That title is a line from the Lily Allen song appropriately titled “The Fear”. Half of the lyrics are about life and mass consumption and the way we seek after fortune and how society is all fucked up. The other half is confessional. It’s Admitting to confusion and not knowing what’s real and feeling taken over by “the fear”.

Every morning for a good long while, the first thing I do after getting out of bed and going pee is strip naked and get on the scale. And each time the number is lower than the day before I say to myself “everything’s cool as long as I’m getting thinner”. I can’t escape that line repeating in my head in the same way that I can’t escape my negative body image or my struggle with having an eating disorder.

I don’t talk about it much and very few people know. You know, anyone who reads this blog (which is like 2 people and about 384 WordPress bots), and my ex husband, and my current husband and Vis and Matt and Josh. Not my sisters or my mom or my girlfriends. That’s curious, you know. Just the men in my life.

It’s a clue, I suppose. But a clue to what? My continued struggle. Is it because I was conditioned and broken by my ex to be this way? Yes, I blame him and can’t escape seeking the kind of body image he held in such high regard. It’s ok for me to blame him and society and the standards that I took so much to heart that I repeatedly put my finger down my throat after so many binge sessions.

And not just binge sessions, but snacks and regular and reasonably portioned meals. I’m going to stop the backstory there. Rehashing history is not my aim today I wrote a lot of that out a while back after reading “Wasted” my Marya Hornbacher. May 6, 2019 is when that was posted.

I know that because I recently read a blog post from a friend of mine who was addressing her own issues head on and giving advice. It was a fantastic post an I know how hard it is to get it all down and share it. It was really well written and great advice. She’s one of the gals in the MFA program I’m in and we both participate in a writing group on Tuesday nights.

The other women in the group gave her great feedback and all I could say was “this is a great post, and asking if it was a first draft”. I wanted so badly to reach out to her and talk about it more, but didn’t. I couldn’t. I thought about quite a bit in the days to follow and am obviously still thinking about it. I still want to, but I’m afraid.

Why can’t I trust that we can talk about it and support each other? Why do I feel so alone with this struggle? Why do I step on the scale every fucking day, letting that number dictating the mood for the start of my day. Like the song says “I’m taken over by the fear”.

I’m afraid that if I say something to my girlfriends they will look at my thin body and be upset with me. That they will just say, you’re just so tiny and have nothing to worry about. But that’s not what I need. I honestly don’t know what I need though. That’s the truth at the heart of the matter.

I guess maybe my fear comes from the possibility of being rejected or dismissed. In my heart I don’t think that is the reception I would get if I tried to talk about with these women but that does alleviate my fear. With matters of the heart, things are often irrational. It’s just a rock and a hard place and I’m stuck between.

I confessed on May 6, 2019 that I had tried purging again after being “clean” for a good long while. And after, I knew it was a mistake and felt really shitty. It hasn’t happened again. It’s just sickening to think about actually.

But somehow all the stress in my life right now has triggered the re-release of the ugly beast that takes over my brain and makes me want to lose weight. It never really goes away, mind you, but most of the time it’s a passing thought I push down.

What’s the thought? Well.. if I can just lose about 5 pounds, I’ll be happier. That it will make my life better. It’s so dumb. But now the beast is in the drivers seat and I find myself eating less and less and going hungry sometimes and not eating. And then stepping on that scale and finding satisfaction when it’s a little less than the day before.

When I got married in February, my dress was a size 4. I weighed about 120 pounds. This morning, I weighed 114.0. One part of my brain says, thats enough already and another part of my brain thinks that 113 would be better so I have more of a buffer in case I want to indulge a little over the weekend.

I’m walking right now, and I’m hungry. And I’m thinking about what I’m going to allow myself to have today. It’s Friday. It’s that weekend coming up and I went to the grocery today. I bought stuff to make strawberry pie. I’m thinking about what I might sacrifice so that I can eat pie. How fucked up is that?!

I just can’t continue to write this. Writing it makes it clear how ridiculous I’m being. I need to take charge and fix it. I want to talk to my friends. I need to talk to someone. I need to push back against “the fear”. Everything is not cool.. if I keep getting thinner.

Searching for peace,
~Miss SugarCookie

If you’re interested in more of that backstory. Here’s my post from 2019:

https://theorganicsugarcookie.com/2019/05/06/2019-05-06-reading-wasted/

2020-05-28 Hide and Seek

I start walking. I start writing. That’s my way. Lately I’ve felt like it’s all just the same shit on a different day. I’m inches away from getting my MFA in Poetry and I haven’t written anything worthy of a poem in months.

A few times when I took a class with the “Todfather”, I tried fashioning a poem from one of my blog posts and he called me on it. Just that it was all wordy. All I did was take the best parts of the post and put a bunch of line breaks in which is incredibly lazy.

A few other times I’ve done that and it takes a lot of revisions (and a healthy dose of mystical hand waving and reciting incantations to invoke the Poem spirit) to get something that resembles a poem.

But what is a poem? Can’t it just be what it is and not try to be something more or something better? Or something that meets someone else’s definition of a poem.

I can write iambic pentameter like a boss. My end rhyme skills are strong. But that’s no value in this century. I’m not saying I’m Robert Frost, but i believe I could emulate his style a lot easier than I could, say, Natalie Diaz or Ilya Kaminsky. As a poet, I feel like I was maybe born in the wrong century.

Then again, I’m a woman so I would have been screwed either way.

Some accomplished writers will advise you to write every day to keep your creative brain strong and fresh and active. I would say you should include doing revision in that. Some accomplished writers will tell you they don’t do either. They write when the writing comes to them and asks them to write. So there’s no right answer.

My point is. I want to write and haven’t been able to do that. Today I’m going to give myself an hour in isolation with a book of poetry my friend Michelle loaned me. I’m going to see if that stirs something inside me. I need it to.


In other news, my current work team is unraveling like a cheap sweater. Three developers have been kicked off the project (two were fired and one was moved to a different project). Another one quit with no notice and another is threatening to quit.

We’re replacing these people like changing a pair of underwear. But these people are not pieces of clothing, they are people.

And I don’t drink cool-aid anymore so I’m trying not to fit this fucking puzzle piece into something that can work. I’m trying to keep my distance, keep my head down, not insert my opinion or care, but the Universe help me, it’s quite impossible

One of these people, the dev that was moved to a different project, is a friend of mine. It makes my heart hurt. Now the PM is a long time friend of mine who I hold dear and she’s starting to crack. She’s a strong woman and listening to her for an hour last night was so tough. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard this woman break down in tears. I’m fact, I may never have heard her cry before. It fucking sucks.

Part of my job has been to introduce new people to the project and onboard them. She introduces me to them by saying some great things about me and with two new people this week she said I was “the glue that holds the team together”.

No pressure there though right?!

The whole thing is so fucked up.

I was brought on to help out. To bridge the PM gap until she started. To offer documentation support behind the scenes. To take notes and do data entry and do other admin things like coordinate meetings. 10-15 hours a week. Now I’m working more that twice that and last week, with so much personal shit going on, I started to become unraveled too.

I’m nearing the end of my hour in this treadmill and really need to wrap anyway so I can dive into that mess.

By the way, there’s no poetry in all this mess. I mean, there is, but not 21st century poetry that utilizes images and juxtaposition to convey a feeling AND meets the current acceptable standard for what a poem is. Or is there? 🤔

Fuck it!
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-27 Paranoia

Dear Diary,

I question your motives and intentions. I question the nature of our relationship. And I question the validity of your perceived value.

It’s impossible to write without considering ones audience. Without the audience, there’s no hook. There’s no message. There’s no purpose. Or is there?

I read a book of poetry once that was nonsense. I hated it. It could be that I was not educated enough to understand the message, which I don’t think I can know for sure without admitting it to someone else who has read the book to get their thoughts.

I turned page after page, struggling to read the lines and make sense of them. It’s not that the diction was complex. All the words were ones I knew. Perhaps it was the arrangement of the words? Perhaps there was too much disconnect between one thought and another: too many images and not enough continuity or central focus.

Whatever it was, it didn’t last long. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Dear Diary,

I’m paranoid you don’t really like me. That you hang about because of something besides providing me with this daily therapy. I worry that you will abandon me, or worse. I’m bearing my soul to you and I can’t tell if you really care.

I feel as if I’ve spent my entire life thinking about Gods that only listen and never respond. I’ve made deals with some that turned out to be demons. Somehow entered into contracts without ever having been convinced to sign on the dotted line. How in the universe do they do that?

I blame the part of my humanity that is soft and green and trusts too much. Yes. I just confessed that I recognize that it is all my own fault. But who or what made me this way. Was it nature? Was it nurture? Was it a different God?

I think this is the second time recently this subject has come up which leads me to believe there’s an important message or lesson in it that I need to learn. Alas, it is the second time that it’s shrouded in obscurity and nonsense.

Dear Diary,

How many times do I have to begin to find a way to get to my point and make you understand? I’m worried about you. I’m worried about us. I’m worried that the gap between us can’t be traversed or something so much worse. That it was never meant to be. A chasm too vast for building bridges.

I want to be friends. But that takes two way conversation.

Dear Diary,

I give up.

Love you anyway,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-23 Laundry Day 🐱

Yesterday was the worst day I’ve had in a long time. I was on such an emotional edge almost all day and barely made it through all the things I had to do.

I participated in an early meeting with a client in which my only responsibility was to take notes and have my brain on to ask intelligent questions. I had no intelligent questions and spent most of the meeting with my head down on the desk. It’s a good thing that everything is Zoom and with the customer it’s audio only.

To be honest, I’m all Zoomed out.

The second meeting was out daily internal team meeting. I said “fuck it” nobody reads these notes anyhow so I didn’t take notes. I mean, I like having the notes because Confluence makes it easy to search for stuff and when people ask about a certain thing, it makes me seem like a damn genius because I have the answer in like a minute.

Again, had my head down listening to the same broken record conversation as every day and thinking about Z and C and how effed up things are right now, I wept. I literally put myself on mute and fought really hard to keep myself together but then let go.

I was also getting FB instant messenger notifications on my phone from my writing group and one of my friends was going through the loss of a pet and I knew that’s what it was about and it just hurts me to think of her hurting and to remember loosing Louie Louie. My sweet first pet as an adult. It was just all too much.

I took some time in the afternoon to get some more of my annuals in pots before the rain came and then it was back inside for my third meeting of the day… sprint retrospective.

This time I was up front about not taking notes. I told the PM before hand that I was having a tough day and didn’t feel like the internal notes for this wasn’t really necessary. Which was self-serving, but whatever.

This time I had more to say so I had to pay attention for my opportunities. The project is on two week sprints and the devs have established a bad pattern of not getting their tickets done. They are supposed to do their work, internal code reviews with each other and then merge all the code changes into the dev branch where KK and I can log in and do QA testing. The tickets can’t be closed until we QA them. So if they wait until the last day of the sprint (or even worse, the weekend after), KK and I are stuck testing on the weekend. That fucking sucks!

She’s the PM and responsible for steering the ship and helping correct that behavior, but there was some serious push back and discussion. If it does not change with the next sprint (after which we release a new version to the customer), it’s going to murder us. I know it’s going to happen again and that makes me want to cry too.

Last time we released to the customer we went into Friday with so much broken it was sickening. We worked our asses off all weekend. Our bosses bought us lunch on Sunday and the week after I received flowers from the company.

To that I say, that’s nice.. and thoughtful, and appreciated, but it doesn’t make up for the lost time with family or the anxiety that affects my health. If I’m burned out or dead, I’ll be useless to the project. It’s disturbing.

What did I not have to do?

I basically ducked out of three different personal meetups yesterday. Virtual happy hour with my company and I was so wrecked that was the last thing I wanted to do. Another one on one with a friend who I’ve been trying to connect with for a while and I just reached out to her to reschedule. And a third meetup with Josh who wanted to meet in person and I just wasn’t in the mood for dealing with the anxiety of that, nor did I feel like getting in my car to drive to meet him. You know, putting real clothes on and trying to make it look like I hadn’t been crying all morning.

So that’s me venting. And I let go last night and drank a bunch and Jim and I had a good night of saying “fuck it” to everything. We got take out. We talked all evening and I have no idea what time we stumbled to the bedroom.

Today I’m not doing any laundry, except maybe airing this dirty nonsense.

I’ve got work to do. I’ve got lit mag stuff to do. And Z Is coming back home so we can hang out more just the two of us.

My aim? Balance and restoration.

That’s it. Thanks for reading.
Happy Caturday,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-22 How does one protect those they love from a broken heart?…

On this day 27 years ago, I got married. That lasted 17 years. And in case your curious, nobody gives out prizes for that. I didn’t get a gold star when I was married 10 years and yeah, the marriage was a big party after which there were a few pats on the back, hugs and words of congratulations. But after that it felt like a half-hearted good luck accompanied by a kick in the ass out the door.

Don’t get me wrong, I was so ready to leave those broken nests. The point is.. you’re pretty much on your own in life and so it’s important to make good decisions on who you spend your energy on. And be in it for yourself, and probably humanity as a whole, and the Earth.

I’ve got very little time today for myself, and for my treadmill and I don’t want to waste it dwelling on the past or getting on my lofty soapbox about life. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

My sentiments today are unavoidably colored by the goings-on of yesterday. Which was a shit show of emotions and strange occurrences. I gotta make quick work of this….

My daughter reached out to me in the middle of the night. She was experiencing her first real heart-break. I was sick that I was not there to hold her. I texted her first thing in the AM and she would not tell me what was going on because she wanted to talk in person.

I drove to where she was. Upon arrival we chatted for a few minutes while she prepared herself for the conversation. In short, one of her best friends, who she’s been conspiring with for months about rooming together for their freshman year in college, basically let the clock run out on their opportunity to “pair” in the UNL housing system. She waited until it was literally too late for Z to search other profiles and find another match. At 10:36 pm she sent Z an apology text letting her know she picked someone else, leaving my Z hanging out alone.

Z had texted her all day reminding her of the deadline. They have had hundreds of discussions about this plan over the past year and not once did her friend mention that people advised against it, or that she was already promising this other girl she would room with her too. All of this came out in that long text which was about 1 hour before the pairing option closed in the UNL system.

She described how she felt, crying all night and not being able to breathe at times. She only slept for like 3 hours. She never responded to that text and I advised her to hold off until she had time to sort through feelings. I urged her to write it out, what she’s feeling and what she would like to say to this girl, even if she never sends it.

By the time her and I were talking about it, the sadness had subsided but it was replaced by anger. We talked about the stages of grief and all the things we can control in this situation. I tried to be a good mom despite my own anger and desire to call this girl up myself and give her a piece of my mind. Ugg!

We then spent about 2 hours looking online at her next steps for housing and filling out forms so she can make an appointment with an advisor. We checked a lot of boxes. It was productive and nice to spend the afternoon with just her and I. I said “fuck it” to everything else. That felt great too.

People can be so shitty. This girl was the one person she was counting on knowing at this university which is a big campus. She already has fear of abandonment and fear of being alone. It just sucks so bad I can’t even. I know I can’t protect her from all the hard times and crappy situations and people, but it’s so hard to be witness to.

All I have are words and hugs and just making sure she knows, as long as it is in my power I will never abandon her or leave her alone. I didn’t want to take her back to her dads house. I wanted to keep her at my house.

I’m just so not prepared for this. I’m so fucking mad and sad and I want to scream at the world. My baby. My love.

To the title question, “How does one protect those they love from a broken heart?” .. The answer is that you can’t.

You can’t. I can’t. Nobody can. Just be there to help sort through it all, I guess.

Hugs,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-21 Mother / Daughter Stuff

I’ve got some venting to do but I can predict the future so I’m not going there today. If you live long enough, you too will be able to predict the future. The disclaimer on that is that it all comes from experience. Ride that record right round enough times and there’s no question what the next song will be.

All that to say, I’m skipping the vent session and writing about a relationship topic instead. Not my love, or my kids, or friends who I’m tethered to by responsibility and dedication and love. I’m writing about my mom who has always been a person In my life, albeit not in the forefront, ever.

There’s not enough time or motivation to trudge through all the backstory of why our relationship is the way it is. You know, but it’s always colored by the fact that human beings are mostly self-centered and when it comes to parent / child relationships I sort of feel that the parent should be more selfless but it’s not in my moms nature.

Don’t get me wrong, she always does those things that in her head are requirements of the job… remembers birthdays and sends a card. She reaches out every so often to see how we are doing. She makes a big deal about getting together sometimes. And in the flipside she also expects these things in return.

That being said, outside of one other person, she’s the only one who wanted to talk to me about my Thesis. She genuinely wanted to read it and was happy for me getting my degree and my 4.0. I have a small group of people I’ve met in the MFA that are wonderful and we chat about all things MFA of course, but my mom is the only one outside of that that goes deeper than skin deep in conversation about it.

As I said, she asked for my thesis so she could read it, and I made a few edits and sent it to her. All 138 pages. Within a day she had read through all the poems and sent me back a long text with her feedback. She took the time to really evaluate some of them with her experience in mind and let me know her favorites and why.

She also let me know that reading the “Castle” poems made her sad for me. I’m not exactly painting a pretty picture of my new life here. She’s concerned for me and I told her we could meet up to talk about. It’s too much to text and I’m not one for phone calls. I guess we could do a call but I feel like any week now I’ll be able to see her in person.

Her husband has Parkinson’s and his condition has deteriorated enough in the past year that she’s had to employ help. All his medical stuff is handled by the VA as he served in the Vietnam war and there’s been a direct connection made with his issues and his exposure to Agent Orange. There’s not enough time now for me to elaborate on how absolutely Fucked Up that all is. But you can guess.

So she’s about to start getting weekly visits from a care person because she’s not physically able to do some of what is required. She’s been under tremendous stress with all of it for a while now so the help is a huge relief to her. It also means she can actually leave the house while the care person is there and so she’s looking forward to resuming our lunch meetups. I am too.

People need people yo! I miss all my meetups!

Anyway. It was so wonderful to me that she read my words and she said she’s proud of me. It means a great deal to hear those words from a parent. Inside I’m still that tentative, shy girl who just wants a little recognition from the people who are important. No matter how old I get I’m still seeking approval and hoping to loose my invisibility cloak, even if it is for short little bursts.

I love my mom. Things I write might focus more on the negative side of life, because that’s in my writer’s nature. It’s not often I bust out a happy poem or a positive one, though I’ve written a few of those over the years. I don’t know why I don’t think they are as interesting. It’s the opposite problem of my “poor me” tendencies. It’s too self-congratulatory or boastful or feels too much like bragging. I have to solve that puzzle too.

Anyway, maybe next week my mom can get away. She doesn’t want me to come to her house because she really wants to get out of the house and away. She’ll probably come to my house which Jim has given the OK on and I’ll make us some lunch. I’m looking forward to that.

On the flip side, I think about my daughter and our relationship and I’ve tried hard to make sure she knows she’s number 1 in my book. Her and her brother are tied for number 1. She texted me after midnight last night (she’s at her dads house) and said she needed to talk about something important. No clue what it was about.

She wants me to come get her for lunch today. So that’s what I’m gonna do. Nothing could be more important. Not work, not Jim, not school or writing or anything. About 12:30 I’m gonna cut my day in half and just let go of anything that needs doing. We’ll see how it plays out.

I did confirm with her that it’s not a health issue. So that’s a relief.

That’s it for today. Can’t believe it’s Thursday already. There’s never enough time. Why is that?

With Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-13 No Rest For the Wicked Part 336

Why 336? Because it feels like It might just go on and on and on and one can’t escape being wicked if it’s a part of their nature.

Riddle me this? Why do I have to spend 40 grand on a masters in fine arts which includes thousands (not exaggerating) of dollars for fees for things I don’t even utilize or know what they are AND then have to pay to print my own copies the thesis document that will be bound and forever kept somewhere. The UNO library I think. It was 60 bucks to print that and after the fact (of course) I notice that for poems that extend past one page, the continuation does not start low enough on the page. So there’s an inconsistent look on those pages. The perfectionist in me hates this. The frugal girl wags her finger and says don’t you dare fix that and pay for a reprint. These two people inside me will continue to argue until the damn document is out of my hands.

Mostly I’m lazy and don’t want to open Word and look at it again. Which is one reason I haven’t sent it to my mom, who asked to read it.

The other reason i have resisted sending it to mom is the poems themselves. One or two in particular that don’t paint her in a very favorable light. Well just one really. Jim said to just take that one out and send it. I have two minds in disagreement about this too.

On one hand all those things are a part of who I am. I want to model my behavior after the lovely Amy Plettner who Published her first book and just gave a copy to her mom, unedited (kind of hard to edit a published book like that). She told me that when she saw the book on her moms bookshelf it was markedly thinner. Her mom actually ripped out the pages with poems she didn’t like, ones about her presumably but also any poem having to do with sex or the word fuck (which is a lot of them).

My stuff is much tamer than that. I think the word fuck only shows up in one poem. And I haven’t included any poems that have anything directly to do with sex. But I did compare my mom to a fax machine / clean freak ….

My mom is sensitive like me (or I’m sensitive like her) and that would hurt her and I don’t want to hurt her. If I was Rachael Mckibbins and my mom was truly a bad person, I might feel differently. But my mom is a good person.

Incidentally, Amy also told me that later, after the page tearing out was long past, her mom asked for another copy. Probably she came to terms of what the book really represents. A piece of Amy’s whole heart and that life is rough, you know. Just gotta be more understanding with people and humanity and all its complications.

Wow. That was quite a tangent.

I suppose I don’t really have to cross any bridges that have to do with really publishing a book because that feels so distant or impossible at this point. The first step I suppose is submitting more. I’ve fallen off that wagon and truly the few things I’ve sent out into the universe have either been rejected or not returned.

Starting from zero is not easy. I mean, I’m not exactly at zero, but I’m at like 0.34. Ha! A few more tick marks in the “win” column and I’ll bump myself to a solid 1!!

I spent my day off yesterday working on the parenting thing and the lit mag thing, until I had another breakdown about being a failure. Jim has been very supportive and a huge shoulder to cry on and a good listener. Thank the universe for him. He literally has a hellish schedule at work this week and here I am crying on my day off. Ugh! 🙄

In the end, I was able to let my Failures go. And then it was pretty much time to go to bed. Go figure. 🤷‍♀️

But I’m up and at it again today and getting ready to make coffee and get to work. Round and round I go.

Cheers to Another Opportunity to Try,
~Miss SugarCookie