Thursday, March 08, 2012

Marching to the Tune of a Different Drummer

In the last few months, I've had various friends get engaged, married, pregnant, buy homes, and do other grown up activities that I have yet, if ever, to do.

It's no secret that I have a weird phobia about marriage and having children and just being a grownup in general. I have been proposed to once, had two long-term live-in boyfriends, and I am all about being in relationships. I'm good in a relationship. Not always great, but I enjoy them. So why the fear of the ultimate commitment, I have no idea.

A few weeks back I had invited some friends over for dinner. They just happened to have recently bought an apartment and we were sort of celebrating that as well as I thought it was time I started having grownup dinners in my not so grownup apartment. I mean, I've lived there for SIX years and the only entertaining I do is a Super Bowl party once a year and, you know, bedroom entertaining. But I now have a table that seats more than 2 and I am also a pretty good cook, or so I think!

I didn't realize how stressed out I got about having people over-not because I don't enjoy it but one of the things that my ex-ex and I used to do was have dinner parties and we had some sick kitchen stuff. He was slightly gay, and enjoyed trips to Willams Sonoma more than the average, well, anyone, male or female. We had every kitchen gadget you could imagine, and somehow managed to stuff them all into our 2x2 foot "kitchen" where we prepared elaborate meals like cassoulets and roasted chickens and root vegetables and pies and cakes of all sorts. Sadly, when we broke up, he got all the kitchen stuff save for some herb graters I bought and maybe a few old pots. So as I started in on my cooking for that night's dinner, I realized that I didn't have the right pan, or even steak knives. I literally had to run out to the 99 cent store and purchase - you guessed it! - 99 cent steak knives (3 in a packet!) and hope that whoever was using them didn't end up with a broken knife dangling from their hand. Quel embarrassment.

Anyway, I was dealing with all of those shenanigans and then the Birthday Present showed up, and I just verbally puked all over him. In the course of the day's preparations, I decided that he was not ready for a relationship (after 3 years...mind you) nor did we want the same things in life.

To be fair, I am not even really sure what those things are. I mean, there are definitely things that I like that he certainly does not (getting up early, sun, daylight, vegetables) and vice versa. But as I was crying like a lunatic at him and telling him all the reasons why he was so NOT into this, it dawned on me that one of the things I was agonizing over was my lease. It was up, and I was being given the option of renewing for one year, or two. I KNOW the right thing to do is renew for two. My emotions were getting pissed that I couldn't bring myself to have a conversation with my boyfriend of 3 years like "so, where do you see this in a year?" I think because, mostly, I'm not ready to have that conversation. It's like I want HIM to want to have the conversation, but I don't even know what I would say if we had it.

I tend to get very caught up in what others are doing. The fact that my friends are getting married, buying houses, having babies, and doing grown up things does not mean that it is time for me to be doing those things. See how I did that there? Talked myself right out of it :)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Eye Eye Eye

Well, it's 3:30 am so what better time to start writing again than now? I tried with all my might to go back to sleep but it ain't happening so lucky for you all I've got some stuff to say.

I really thought I had posted more recently than Thanksgiving-how the fuck did 2 months go by I'll never understand but believe me I thought about it a lot-- I guess thinking and doing are two totally different things though, huh.

The last few months I've been on a bit of a downward spiral, to be honest. I honestly don't know how people age gracefully and deal with chronic illnesses and life-threatening situations without needing to be on heavy duty tranqs 24/7. I'm serious. I just booked an appointment with the rapist who I haven't been to in almost year because I thought I was "done' with therapy, but I'm now realizing that I can't handle all the curve balls that have been thrown at me lately.

The latest bullshit is a new and exciting development in my eye called Irisitis. It's really fun-I highly recommend getting it. I don't even know how to tell you to get it because no one really knows for sure. All I know is I woke up one morning and my eye was bright red, and swollen. It looked like I'd been punched in the face. And it hurt like fuck and balls. Like crazy hurt. I do not know from eye doctors as I have never had to go to one for vision reasons, so I made an appointment with my own doctor and saw the PA who promptly told me to RUN to the eye doctor NOW. Apparently this shit is caused by unknown autoimmune disorders and can make you blind. Yay. Double yay that I buy art for a living and need my eyes to be, well, functioning.

So, here I was, possibly going blind, and possibly dying from some underlying disease that hadn't been pinpointed yet. Besides being scared shitless of all that was to come, I also literally have been mostly blind in one eye for a month because I have to dilate my pupils twice a day in addition to 2 other drops that go in every two hours, literally. If I'm in a meeting, or at a party, or dinner, or having sex, I have to excuse myself to put these asshole drops into my eyes, or else I will miss my dose and my eye will blow up like a balloon. Also having one eye dilated makes me look like a psycho killer so I hate going anywhere because I get weird looks and my friends who don't know what's wrong with me do that little dance where they want to ask but they don't want to I haven't been going out much.

Thankfully, the eye doctor yesterday gave me a good report that I am healing and I can stop dilating during the day and I can ease up on the drops. So there's that. I still don't know why this happened. When I went to my own doctor again for the bloodwork to be done she made me feel a ton better, that I wasn't actually dying of anything and that this could have happened for NO reason or any number of reasons and the eye doctors were upsetting me for no reason. So I stopped thinking I was going to die.

Oh also this could be caused by having celiac disease, which I was diagnosed with. I don't know if I mentioned that lovely tidbit. Of course I didn't know about this possible correlation, and I was stress eating,  I do recall almost and entire pizza was ingested one night, among other things-so I'm sure that didn't help with the healing process, nope.

That being said, I am down 22 pounds which is pretty much unbelievable considering I don't even feel like I'm doing anything consciously to lose weight anymore. So what does that mean-I guess I've stopped "dieting" and made it my"lifestyle" like they're always telling us to do, right?

Anyway, the worst part about all of this health shit is that I'm proving more and more everyday that I am a total wuss and I have serious issues with all of it. I have several friends this year who had to deal with a lot more serious stuff than I, and they faced it with maturity, and were brave, and came out on the other side just fine or at least intact and sane. I dread the day I am faced with anything that is truly serious. And so does the Birthday Present I'm sure. Poor guy has been dealing with 50 mood swings a day from me. Hence the upcoming therapy appointment!!!

I'm trying to focus on other things that keep me from obsessing about myself, some of which are:
-finding a video production class that doesn't cost a million bucks
-guitar lessons - finally
-Kundalini Gong Yoga which I swear makes you feel like you've taken a hundred Xanax
-running, again -I want to start doing races after a 4 year hiatus

So. We'll see.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Giving Spanks

I'm not usually a big fan of the holidays. So much ado about nothing, I say. Scroogey McScrooger over here hates the fake sentimentality, the commercial superficiality, the giving of meaningless gifts because it's expected. I also have a new reason to hate the holidays-I'm scared to fucking shit that I'm going to become a whale after spending days upon days eating and drinking myself to oblivion. There, I said it.

In addition, it was exactly one year ago that my poor neighbor was murdered next door by her own son, and Thanksgiving day last year was the day my friend UK's cat decided to fall ill while we were ingesting post-Thanksgiving cocktails and just went ahead and died in the cab on the way to the emergency room. So I had a pretty shitty and foreboding feeling about this Thanksgiving.

I'm not one to do the recap of fun things I did this weekend like a grade schooler writing an essay about summer camp...but I owe it to myself to remember just exactly how amazing this past weekend was, because for the first time in probably EVER I feel completely happy and satisfied after a holiday.

Thanksgiving Day was a bit of a worry for me, as the Birthday Present was coming to Sardi's with my family for lunch (we never eat home cooked Thanksgiving anymore-too much to cook for too few people, so Sardi's is our go to). He's met them before but as I've mentioned in the past, they are funny little people, and I just never know what I'm going to ended up being really pleasant, and daresay I think they might like him, so yay.

As in the last several years, my sister and I crash our lovely friends' celebration with a bottle of wine, complain that we're too full but eat the awesome spicy nuts that they make and the heiney hurting hot sauce cheese spread and then we have to move on to the next destination but we never ever want to.

This year, another good friend decided to open up his place to have "orphan Thanksgiving" and about 15 of us showed up with potluck-some really freakin amazing food which I definitely partook of, I also brought a pumpkin pie (low fat, but of course!) which I allowed myself to try-in between the stuffing of our pieholes I caught up with so many awesome friends that I haven't seen in a while including Bandaid Crush and his friend from LA who I adore and who is in this reality show.

Birthday Present and I thought we would meet up later in the eve but I rolled myself out the door and down the street to my sis' house as I couldn't even make it in a cab back to Brooklyn. So full, so drunk, so lazy...ugh.

Friday I went to the Birthday Present's house and we met his parents in his nabe for Thanksgiving #4 at an Italian/Mexican joint in the burg. Wasn't sure how that would work out but it's actually kind of great-if you're feeling like a burrito, they have that-but if you want pasta, they have that too. Sometimes you just don't know, right?

Saturday I was lucky enough to join this hotness and her friend who is now my friend, with their posse at this evil little piece of greatness where they have unlimited different flavored mimosas and this thing called a Perone which is basically a wine bong. There were a lot of different techniques witnessed with Ms Pants in the lead I think, what with her no gag reflex and all. Somehow, I was able to continue on and spend the rest of the day on the LES tagging along while DB and Ms Pants foraged for street art and introduced me to Lady Pink. After a few more drinks with them they moved on to greener pastures, I had my first pizza in 2 months (delicious, btdubs) and somehow found the energy to meet another gal pal back in BK on my whirlwind day of deliciousness before crashing at my pad, finally, with sleepy kitties in my sleepy bed.

Last but not least, I got in a much needed gym day, met Not Sister for pedis, then met Real Sister for Marilyn Monroe. one last glass of wine for the weekend, and a new Turkish place where we tortured the poor shy waiter with our loud ridiculousness. But in the end I think he was amused. Two Cheese sisters in once place is usually too much for most people.

I think I need to post all this mostly for myself, to remind myself that I have a fucking lot to be thankful for, that I am surrounded by people who rock and who make me feel like I rock, and that I can get away with an anxiety free stretch of time. Oh yea and also that the holidays don't have to suck. Finally.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Martini Musings

While I munch (yea, I said munch) on my kale salad and plain baked potato, I sit down to the very daunting task of catching you all up on my last few months. And by you all I very definitely mean all 3 of you, but I know there are at least 3 of you, so I'm sure you're a little curious to know how I'm faring with all the "I can't breathe" anxiety bullshit, and everything else.

Well, let's start off by saying that I had a beautiful panic attack in front of the Birthday Present last weekend that was just off the charts. Dare I say, he was scared shitless. I do believe he thought I was dying. As I was gasping for air, I had to reassure HIM that I was going to be ok. Lolz.

But after that, I actually have been panic free KNOCK WOOD. That was almost 2 weeks ago. So the biofeedback might be working.

Part of the biofeedback process is getting 3 very big notebooks and filling them up with the 3 things that cause me anxiety-one is the actual anxiety itself, one is my relationship, and lastly, my job. I put this off for several weeks, but once I sat down to write about the anxiety, it all came flowing out.  The relationship notebook is empty. I can't bring myself to write anything. That is NOT to say that there is nothing to write. Hmmm.

So basically, what I think you guys don't know is that I had gotten my blood test results from the doctor and they told me I was borderline diabetic. This was a shocking revelation, but not a surprising one. From the time I was old enough to eat, I can remember being obsessed with sugar, which is handed down from dear old dad. And guess what, dear old dad also was told several years back that he was borderline diabetic. So like father like daughter-I got this piece of news and became obsessed.

Since my first doctor's visit back in September, I have lost 13 pounds, with about 25 more to go. I can honestly say I'm the thinnest I've been in 10 years. Whoop! I had the balls to try on a pair of bell bottom cords that I haven't worn since like 2004 and they were big. So I kept them on and wore the shit out of them. Bell bottoms or no, they fucking fit for the first time in forever and I rocked that shit!

 I don't eat most foods...and that includes sugar..and this is utter bullshit because I am amazed by food and completely dependent on food as my emotional crutch and my happiness.  No fucking more! I'd rather starve than have diabetes, or feel like my throat is closing up. I don't miss desserts but I do miss being carefree about things. I also had to give up coffee. I drink iced coffee 365 days a year. I think I may have figured out how to get around that-I started cold brewing a half-caf blend at home and watering it down with a LOT of ice. Day 2 and I haven't had anxiety, reflux, or palpitations I may be home free. We'll see. And oh my GOD this is a boring conversation. I may have to start a new blog so I can talk about this diet crap for the people who actually care!

My contract at work got extended another 6 months. So instead of being unemployed right before Christmas, I can actually buy gifts like a rock star and maybe even go on a much needed VACATION. Maybe.

So I guess things are a lot better than they were the last time we talked.

Friday, October 07, 2011

My Body is a Temple of Doom

Every couple of years I go through the most annoying phase where I have strange, debilitating panic attacks. These are absolute bitches, causing me to question my health and my sanity, causing me embarrassing moments in public, and causing me to become a hermit because I never fucking know when it's going to hit or why.

These are of a different calibre than the others, as they start with me having difficulty swallowing. Being an old bitch, I've got a zillion health problems that mostly involve my digestive system, so I initially thought it was a reflux problem. But I have no idea really, and neither does the doctor. So far.

While waiting to undergo a battery of tests, the doctor has me going for Biofeedback (she also gave me a sexy little prescription for Xanax that I have yet to fill - I know, I know, what am I waiting for?) I had never really heard of Biofeedback or at least never really paid attention to it, so I didn't really know what to expect. I spent the day before the appointment in a total state of panic (what else?) imagining myself being strapped to all sorts of electrodes that were going to record my brainwaves and good god what if my brain waves were broken?

Thankfully, none of that actually happened, in fact, it was a very nice session where we chatted about anxiety in general and she taught me how to abdominal breathe when I felt an attack coming on. She even told me that difficulty swallowing was a big anxiety symptom and that I was not alone in feeling that way. So..yay for me.

Only towards the end of the session did the question of possible causes for said anxiety come up. I thought about it for a second and I honestly said I couldn't think of any. Until I started thinking of many:

My boyfriend's father was diagnosed with stage four cancer last year
My next door neighbor was murdered and I heard the whole thing
I watched my friend's cat die in her arms as we were on our way to the animal hospital
I walked into another good friend's apartment to feed her cat and find that cat dead on the floor
A good friend got (and fought) cancer
Then another friend got cancer
My close friend's parents died suddenly, one after the other, with no warning, leaving her an orphan
My cousin's husband died in a plane crash
I am going to be unemployed again in a month and a half
My future = uncertain

So, thanks to biofeedback, I was just able to give you the summary of my last year. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

He Said, She Said

The Birthday Present and I have been in a relationship for almost a year now. The first six months before that don't count, since we "sort of" broke up for a month in between, but I think we have determined since sometime in March of last year, we've been "back together".

Of course, while it was all happening, neither of us would dare to call it anything, or make a big deal about it, or even talk about what we were doing with each other. We just sort of did it. We had decided to be "just friends", and I truly thought that's how it was going down. But everytime we hung out as friends, I was just a leeetle too excited to see him, just a leeeetle to eager to touch him somehow, kiss him goodbye smack dab on the mouth, wear clothes that were a leeetle too low cut. You know how it is.

He went to New Orleans last year during Valentine's weekend. I sent him a picture of my boobs, you know, so it would seem like I was there for Mardi Gras right there with him.  What a good friend I am!

The shit hit the fan when we went to see Muse together, tickets we had bought before we broke up. And since we were all friendy and shit, of course we were going to go together! And since we had such a good time at the show, we were gonna hang out after and have drinks. And since he lives a block from the venue, it would only make sense to go back to his place and watch movies. And since we were lying in the dark in his bedroom, it would only make sense to get naked and have the best sex we'd ever had (and the one thing we always had was good sex) because I mean don't YOU all do that with all of your friends?

I just remember waking up the next morning and never wanting to leave. In all the time we had dated for the six months prior, I never remembered feeling that way. Something was different, I'll never know how or why, but hot damn I was going to have more of this sex with the Birthday Present and still be able to maintain our cool and easy friendship.

Or not.

Fast forward to this past Halloween. We are crazy about each other. We are calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend, openly, to each other and our friends. I couldn't be happier, except for one thing. I'm pretty sure I've fallen in love with bastard, in fact, I've known it for months. Probably since like May. I knew I couldn't say anything, wouldn't say anything, it was the biggest secret I have ever had to keep.

So I'm pretty sure this guy loves me too, I'm 99.9% sure that he does, but you can't exactly shake someone and smack them into confessing their love for you. Although it almost came to that.

He'd keep saying weird things like "good thing I like you so much" although one night we had a fight about something and I said something like "If I didn't give a shit I wouldn't be so mad. And I really, really give a shit". And he said "I really give a shit about you too, Cheese". And I thought to myself, "I think in a weird way that only two people as dysfunctional as we are could do, we might have just said 'I love you'"  But that doesn't really count.

So Halloween night, we went to this party at The Bell House, and it was awesome with writhing, dancing, sweaty costumed people, and disco lights, and loud thumping bassy music. You could barely hear anyone talk, but at one point, Birthday Present said that horrid little phrase again..."It's a good thing I like you so much." I just lost my shit. Like a lunatic. I started yelling over the bassy music that I knew just how much he liked me, he didn't need to keep reminding me. He looked genuinely shocked. "You know I say those things to be funny, right?" he asked me?

Uh, no. No, I didn't.

I told him I had no idea how he felt about me, and he looked at me in utter shock. Right there, under the disco ball, over the bassy music, my Birthday Present said "you know that I love you, Cheese." Very matter of factly, as if he were telling me he had a splinter.

Uh, no. No, I didn't.

I started to cry. I mean, the man is confessing his love for me, finally.  Even though he thought he already had. He swears up and down that he has said it before. I asked him "do you think I'd be crying like this if you'd said this to me before? You have never said this to me before." And then we proceeded to have an argument about whether he had or hadn't said "I love you" to me before, over the bassy music, under the disco ball.

He concluded, "Do you think I would deal with your craziness if I DIDN'T love you?"

Touche, I guess.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Be Still My Heart

Although I've had (shitty) insurance for the last year and a half, I truly hadn't set foot in a doctor or dentist's office in that entire time. My last gyno appointment was in December of 2008, where I left with a mammogam prescription in hand, that ended up hanging on my refrigerator with a souvenir magnet from London. I kept getting postcards from the dentist, asking, no BEGGING me to come in for an appointment, as with every passing day my gums were being reduced to rotting flesh. I chose to pretend that I was invincible and that the need for doctors was completely wasted on me, and that was where I was happy to stay, until the day of the Broken Toe.

I started a new job in a satellite office for a very large company in a very small department, and one of my new friends was a yoga fanatic like myself. I started taking classes with her at her cool, downtown yoga studio in a loft in Tribeca. Unfortunately for me, the cool, loft studio also gets really hot, and people get really sweaty, and the floors are made of wood, and bare feet on a sweaty wood floor when you are me = falling down and breaking a toe.

I collapsed onto my mat and showed my friend my swollen big toe. It was breaking before our eyes. "It's fine, it's not broken" she said, not very convincingly, as it turned purple and started curving in abnormally. I hobbled out of class and somehow made it home, spending the night with an ice pack on my foot, every five seconds looking to see if it had miraculously gone back to normal. It hadn't.

As luck would have it, I was able to find a podiatrist who could see me the next day, but the crappy insurance I had been avoiding using all year demanded that I get a referral from my "primary" physician in order to see the podiatrist. When I called the primary care physician, they told me I hadn't been to see them in a bajillion years, and I'd better get my ass down there before I dropped dead of something.

I didn't think anything of it, but my stupid toe created a complete fucking domino effect of doctor's appointments. Well I guess it's not really my toe's fault, but I want to blame it on something other than me just being old and feeble.

While at the doctor, she whipped out her stethoscope and took a listen-nothing abnormal about that. What I didn't like was when she let the assistant take a listen, and the assistant said, very confused, "Her heart doesn't sound like other hearts." What what what?  The doctor smiled and said very nonchalantly, "Oh, that's just a murmur."

Excuse me?

I was incredibly freaked out at this news, because at my age I had never been told before that I had a heart murmur. I didn't even really know what one was. I asked her why she wasn't going to tell me and she said it was really no big deal.

Easy for her to say!!

She referred me to a heart specialist, which of course I put off going to as long as possible, because why did I want to go there so he could tell me I had a bad heart and was probably going to die soon, right? I mean, if I was going to die, I'd rather just drop dead then KNOW it was coming. Wouldn't you?

I finally made the appointment and the night before was out having drinks with my friend Reno, who I confided in that I was going to this doctor and really afraid of what was to become of me. Well, Reno had a heart murmur, and regaled me with all sorts of stories of things that had happened to him because of it (mostly mixing drugs and alcohol and ending up with fucked up arythmia's and shit, putting him in the emergency room a bunch of times). Somehow his fucked up stories made me feel a little better, or maybe it was the 3 martinis we downed. But the next day, I went to the heart doctor, and he showed me my heart on a screen, and my aorta, and all my valves, and he pointed out my murmur, and told me it was absolutely 100% nothing to worry about. I left his office with a little sheetlet about my new condition and felt a little better that I didn't have heart cancer or anything else wrong with my that little muscle in my chest. Yay.

At least I know why I get palpitations and fluttery from time to time. I always thought it was my anxiety (always been bad) or too much coffee (it definitely gets worse with caffeine). And I have my toe to thank.