Fat.

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’m fat.

And I don’t say that as a dig at myself. It’s just one of those matter of fact things. I take up a lot of space. More than the typical person. More than a lot of “plus size” people. More than they plan for at some doctors offices (chairs with arms, anyone?), at theaters, in restaurants (hey, lets fit between these two tables), and definitely,

definitely,

more than they plan for on planes.

For a long while I flew with two seats, because, well, if the armrest won’t go down, you have to buy a second seat. My hips don’t lie.  They also didn’t squish any smaller.

But, I’m super excited that I finally fit into one seat. It saves a lot of money (or in this case airline miles since my sister is nice enough to fly me down to see my dad). But even in one seat it’s not the most comfortable thing for me, or the person in the seat next to me.

Do they say anything directly? Of course not . . . but my anxiety gets the best of me. They cover their phone with their hand while they quickly type as I fumble with the seat belt while waiting for the seat belt extender.

I’m fat.

And I don’t say that as a dig at myself, the armrests do enough digging into my hips. The bruises remind me that I’m not losing weight fast enough. That I should be doing more.

Surgery can’t come fast enough.

I try to remind myself that I’m allowed to take up space. With the next breath I remind myself that I’m being a good fatty and working to lose the weight. Maybe if everyone knew was trying so hard they wouldn’t judge me so much. I know they’re judging me, they always do.

Right?

I try to tell myself they aren’t paying attention but I feel the looks.

The person next to me adjusts in her seat and I try to scoot over further. But I got stuck in a window seat and I won’t fit through the window. There’s no where else for me to go, I’ve given her all the room I can.

At least I can’t be anxious about flying if I’m anxious about existing.

I remember the time I was told, “You’re pull up two chairs kinda big.” Well, not anymore, I only need one chair now, but I’m sure the person next to me wishes I had a second seat.

I’m fat.

And I don’t say that as a dig at myself, her elbow does enough digging into my side as she leans against the armrest. I check to see if she’s sleeping and just slid down. But she’s awake, watching her movie, with her elbow dug firmly into my side. I wonder if it’s intentional, her way of taking up space she feels she deserves.

I’m just a fat girl, it’s not like I feel anything anyway.

Give Them Wings

This is a Really Real Parenting Post.

“Landed.”

“Are you in another country now?”

“Yep”

Kidlet is 19 years old and he just took a solo trip out of the country. He planned it, got his passport, paid for the tickets, saved up the spending money, and is doing the thing.

“No time for a drink yet, the next flight boards soon.” He’s old enough to drink in Canada and is looking forward to buying his first (legal) adult beverage.

He still has 2 more flights until he arrives at his final destination, some online gaming friends he’s visiting for a few days.

And I couldn’t be prouder.

I was 21 when I made my first trip (mostly) alone, relying on some inheritance to take a road trip from Maryland to Texas. Kidlet riding along in his car seat, still in diapers. The Tarzan soundtrack kept us going through that trip. I belted out “You’ll Be In My Heart” every time it came on, singing it directly from my heart to him, unable to imagine a day that I wouldn’t be right there beside him. I couldn’t begin to see this far into the future.

But here we are.

“What’s your soundtrack for this trip?”

“Ride” (By Twenty One Pilots) “I’ve had that song playing in my head.”

I smile.

Three years ago, almost to the day, Kidlet and I took a road trip to NY. It was right after Parker died and we just needed to get away. We went to see one of my best friends, also someone I knew from online. When we started I had never heard “Ride” but we spent the trip playing music for each other and it was one that got played often. By the time we were driving back it had become one of my favorite songs. We belted out the lyrics together the whole way home.

“I love you Kidlet.”

“Love you more Mom.”

Love you more isn’t a competition, it means he loves me more than all of the miles and distance between us. It’s a reminder that no matter how far apart we are, we’re still together, we’re still close.

I realize how lucky I am to have this relationship with my son. I’m still not quite sure what I did right or how I did it in the middle of all the things that went wrong for us.

In the midst of our closeness I spent his life letting him stretch his wings whenever I could.

And he sure is using them to fly.

 

Poor Me

This is a Really Real Pity Party Post.

Sometimes my financial situation gets to me. Tonight, I was doing the dishes, listening to a podcast that happened to be about plus size fashion, and it hit me.

I’m never going to be able to afford those kinds of clothes!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m thankful to be where I’m at compared to where I was. Three years ago I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to pay the rent each month and I never knew whether I could keep the lights on. Three years before that I was living in a homeless shelter. But even now, I’m getting help to stay afloat. I mostly wonder if I’ll ever be financially independent.

I’m afraid I’ll never be.

But today that wasn’t what bothered me.

I want more than the bare minimum. I want to be that person who can afford to do shit without worrying about it. Today I’m feeling greedy and I’m honestly in tears because I know that even if I get a degree and get a job and get off disability I’m never going to be “wealthy”. I’m always going to struggle. I will be lucky to ever reach middle class.

I’m in a better place than I was, but I still send a frantic text message asking for money when mobility leaves me and I have to take a Lyft, because that $30 just wasn’t in the budget this month.

I’m lucky to have family that helps me out that way, I appreciate that I have the help, but damnit. I don’t want to need the help. I want to be the person in a good enough position that I can hand out help and not think twice about it. I want to be the person with a house and cars and the ability to travel around the world. I want to be able to see places and do things.

I want to be spontaneous in really big ways and not worry that I won’t be able to buy food at the end of the month because of it.

I want more than poverty and for just this moment, I want even more than middle class.

I want more than I’ll ever have, and tonight, I’m having a really hard time with it. Life really dealt me a shitty set of cards and I played them to the best of my ability, but that doesn’t change where I’m at.

Normally I don’t care about money, so I’m not sure why I’m so upset about it tonight. I’m not sure why it’s such a big deal right now.

It would be nice to live that life though.

And it would have been even nicer to have a life that would have allowed me to get there.

Question of the Day: On a Boat

Today’s question is:

What would you name your boat if you had one?

First I did some research on the web, what exactly goes into a boat name.

I consulted this article from esurance.

Apparently it can be almost as complicated as naming your kid! You have to consider safety for ease in relaying the information to the authorities, what the name says about you, and also the gender of the name (boats are generally considered to be female).

So, what would I name my boat.

I think I’d go with something in memory of Parker, honestly.  Maybe, Remembering Her.

I’ll have to think on this one more.

How about you?

What would you name your boat if you had one?

Just a date on the calendar

Yesterday was June 1st. While everyone was posting happy pride messages, and I was being all excited about this trip north and seeing Jess and her son (pictures later I’m sure) . . .

I was also constantly realizing it’s now June. It’s now “that month.”

Yesterday Parker mom changed her profile picture to the Parker ribbon, which I’ve been thinking about doing myself and I was torn between changing mine and staying positive and in the moment because I’m on a vacation and damn it aren’t I supposed to be happy.

But I am happy. I did a lot of great things yesterday. Nothing on the way up here really went as planned which is typically a huge trigger for me, but I made it anyway and I honestly was okay. Right now my grief is there but it’s manageable.

Jess pointed out that last time I was here I couldn’t have been on the floor with the baby crawling around but now I absolutely can, and that’s a big deal to me.

And it’s also June 2nd, and it is crawling ever closer to 2 years since Parker died. And it’s horrible, but it’s also amazing that I’ve made it, and that I’m doing all of the things. And that I’m riding the waves of emotions that come with living life. And that I’m doing it in a way that is so uniquely me.

I don’t dream of Parker often, and the last time I saw her in a dream it was shortly after she died and I was angry because she kept running from me and leaving me. And this last time I was yelling at her but couldn’t see her.

I dreamt of her last night and it wasn’t angry, it was loving, I could see her and touch her and hear her, she actually said she was just hiding and wasn’t actually dead, and when I woke up I knew it was a dream and I expected a wave of dread and sadness, but instead I was at peace.

I’m sad, I’m so sad that she’s gone, but I really do love where I am in my life. I want her back in this world. I wish I could have parts of who we were back, but I don’t want to go back to who I was.

It’s the month of June which means we’re creeping ever closer to the date that changed my life, but that day was 2 years ago and who I am now won’t change just because the day passes on the calendar again. That’s getting easier for me to say and I’m hoping that eventually my anxiety catches up.

Personal Space

The person beside me on the bus seems thrilled that I take up my amount of space.

Guess what, I’m allowed to sit here and would prefer my own aisle too.

Yep I looked before sitting beside you. You can stop huffing looking up and down the aisles, I’ll happily move so you can get out and go sit somewhere else though.

I’m allowed my space.

I’m within my allotted seat area. I honestly looked for someone small to minimize the chances of touching cause I know that gets uncomfortable for everyone.

Although we are probably both just anxious as fuck cause sharing a seat with a stranger sucks no matter who it is.

I’m allowed my space though. I’m tired of apologizing for who I am and the space I take up.

Big

Quite often I post about the bad side of feeling everything so deeply. The dark side of mental illness, the grieving side of widowhood.

What I don’t post about as often, is the positive ways I see the world because of it.

One reason that things go from great, to dangerous so quickly with me, is that I feel everything big. I don’t see in grey, or in multiple shades of a color. I see the brightest shade there is, or I see a vast nothingness.

I feel pain as if that is all that exists in this world but that means I feel love and joy the same way. Normally that love and joy is almost overwhelming in its intensity, it’s as bright as the clothes I normally wear.

But, sometimes I find peace in a moment, and it connects things in a way that is just right. My thoughts slow down, and I know I’m in the right place. It happens during quiet moments or in the middle of a crowd. It can happen when I’m still or moving. It happens in both happy moments and grieving ones.

I feel those peaceful moments in a way that is just as big, and grand.

I’ve heard it said before that we wouldn’t wish widowhood on anyone, but we’d wish the lessons we’ve learned on everyone.

Similarly, I wish that everyone could see the world the way I see it now without suffering that sort of loss. I think that’s also true of someone who has lived with any chronic mental health condition. When the fog clears for any period of time, we have a different perspective.

I really am enjoying my life right now, even though I am dealing with some really big emotions, and some really big processing.

Life is good.