Wednesday, May 15, 2013

One month, one hundred emotions

Close your eyes.... breathe in.... hold that breath.... exhale and release.... Remember to breathe in again... wait, then what?? 

SO much has happened in the past month, I do wonder when it was that I simply forgot how to do the most basic task - breathe in, breathe out - when it became clouded with stress, fear, tears, confusion and frustration that made breathing sometimes feel like a chore...

I KNEW when the Universe started to shake things up that there'd be consequences - I knew I was going to wear these consequences in a "really messed up, but good, way"... but I didn't think it would take THIS much of a toll on me.  I underestimated it immensely...

The last month has been one hell of a rollercoaster ride...  Since my last blog post, I've moved house (albeit next door!) ~ attended the amazing Emazon Convention in Brisbane ~ went on a holiday with a bunch of my favourite crazy online girls and ate cake ~ had (another) pre-birthday meltdown and then turned the big 3-4 ~ and became an Aunt for the first time...  Oh, and my body started to shut down in its usual winter-style - my weight has piled on, and I feel a whole wad of blurgh... !   SO let's begin this crazy recap...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Thank you healing house.."
Moving house was.... emotional. Hard. Heartbreaking... but I had no choice - and the hasty shift from one door to the next before I had to go away didn't leave much room for "downtime and bonding with my new premises."  An intensely emotional weekend all round as I departed with the place that had been my home for over a decade - the place that had helped me rebuild myself, where I felt safe to begin my changes.  I found myself sobbing as I weeded the front garden and stroking the doorframes as I'd walk in and out the empty rooms.  Extremely hard for me to say goodbye to an empty 'soulless' house when the time came, but I said my heartfelt 'thank you' to the walls that had sheltered me for so long, and gave me exactly what I needed when I needed it the most.  The moment I walked into that house I knew I was meant to live there - it helped heal me - and as hard as it is to live next door now (I didn't get that same feeling here), I did metaphorically close the door on that chapter of my life when I walked out for the last time...  That's probably more in keeping with the emotional distress and tears... farewelling a huge decade of my life and closing that door... finally??  Maybe...  or at least beginning to!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Running off to the Emazon Convention in Brisbane a couple of days later, I KNEW I was in for a whirlwind of emotions.  I was already emotionally red-raw and knew I was in for even more upheaval in the heart region.  Emma's workshops are nothing short of HONEST - and it's her honesty and integrity in her message that is what drove me to attend the convention in the first place.  My own beliefs parallel hers, and I believe in her message - she's an incredibly strong woman and I admire her passion in delivering the tools to others to stand up and find their OWN strength in who they are.  THAT is what I was seeking - the strength and capacity to find my feet again - the willingness to break free of my inflictions.  I went to the convention with an open mind and heart - and knew I was going in head first... and I was ok with that.

Check me out with my fake tat - TOUGH!
The convention was.... wow, one word...  intense.  It all began with an amazing pre-convention welcome party - glam up and get socialising!  (I'm NOT good with this at the best of times - don't let the big smile fool you!)  ... but a cocktail or two later, and I was ok - I was amongst 'friends' who were there for their own reasons of self development too - and they were probably as nervous as I was..... yes, no, maybe?!!!   Overall, a fabulous night filled with fire dancers, Harley rides (I missed out, goddammit!!!) and fake tattoos (to go with my fake hair and lashes, ha!)... it was just an awesome start to the events!   ... maybe a little misleading - the "fun" before the work?!    Isn't that around the wrong way.... ??!!

Yep.. !  SO a very late night for me and then a very early start the following morning with a 6am workout - and BAM - let the educating begin!  6am to about 7pm each day for three days - with lectures, training, boxing, mindset and nutrition education, meditation and yoga (for a vague overview!)... wow...   It was all in there - mind, body, spirit - it was intense, purposefully packed to maximise our time and give us the tools to educate and facilitate personal growth and change.

... and it threw me... big time.   The lectures had me in tears - the education had my brain swimming - it challenged my thinking and "brainwashing" and made me question what it was I actually DO want and why I'm still fighting so hard against my own wants and desires, trying to be 'just like everyone else' instead of being ME (and standing up and being proud of that - no "follow the leader" sheep stuff).  I've conflicted with 'programs' and structure now for over 2 years - my weightloss and mental health suffered for it in huge ways.  The surgery and it's poor results instigated another mass degrading of my mindset (because it didn't give me the "picture perfect stomach" media showcased, nor "fulfilled me" when the superficial left my heart just as empty as before!).

Emazon - our courageous teacher!
As per my introduction to the Emazon workshops in the past, my brain went into overdrive.  Knowing full well there's a REASON why I do what I do - and knowing there's also a reason why I now baulk against the confines of what I've done in the past... it's almost a revelation - and not one I'm quite at liberty to openly talk about here (1. because it's far too complex to explain!!  2. because it's so intensely personal, I honestly don't know if there are words to express how deeply rooted these self-challenges are and why it's become so important for me to find the reasons behind the self-sabotage and hatred that I simply can't get rid of - and how CRAZY strong I feel about finding that inner "me" whose been behind ALL my transformation and choices in the past five and a half years...  I simply didn't acknowledge her before - but she's hell fierce - but VERY hard to find...)

.... as I said, incredibly hard to explain!!   Hard to summarise what a STAND workshop or convention is - those that have experienced it will nod and agree!!  Everyone takes from it what THEY need at the time...   For ME: it was about learning to trust myself, to trust and listen to that driving force inside whose been guiding me this entire way.  To understand that my choices aren't always great, but they're subconsciously made for very good reason.  To trust that the universe is playing its part in my redevelopment too - and whilst it stings like a bitch, for the most part, it's because I'm on the path that I'm SUPPOSED to be on.

... and it doesn't follow anyone else.  It never has.  I've never been a follower, always on my own.  And somehow... "somehow" .... I need to start trusting my 'higher self' that she's doing all this for my betterment. For my future. For my heart. For my freedom.

FREEDOM.   Free from the hideous hatred and subjectivity that I'm STILL feeling despite the weightloss and life changes...  and what I'm STILL trying to fight for, even with the meltdowns, the horrible mood swings, the intense up and down thought processes, the total confusion, the debilitating self-hatred because I 'think' I'm doing something 'wrong' because I keep falling short from what I'm brainwashed to believe is acceptable...   She's still in there, and she's fighting... fighting fighting... for my freedom.   Phew... did I mention intensely personal?!!  ha!

Holy mother of god I'm upside down?!!
Our final challenge of the convention was the "Fear Factor" - four obstacles to test us, see if we could overcome our irrational fears.  Fire eating, trapeze, acrobatics and parkour (jumping off random objects - though ours was aerobic steps, but still just as scary!).  I managed the fire eating, acrobatics (at a push - though I baulked at the thought of breaking someone's legs when they had to hold me up!) - the parkour was hard on my wobbly knees and lack of body-trust jumping between spots... but the trapeze had me whipped.  First attempt, I had a full on panic attack and had to lay on the ground, being told to calm my breathing down (there's that breathing thing again!) - and calm down enough to move onto the next challenge.  ... but it came back around, and I was prompted again - did I want a go?  I kept shaking my head 'no', that 'this body can't do THAT! I used to be nearly 200kgs!!!'....    KNEW if I didn't at least give it a try, I'd resent myself and regret it...

My hands were sweaty, I could barely breathe, and my knees were shaking.  I held onto the trapeze bar - and HUNG off it (a first - I've never held my own bodyweight off a bar!) - then was encouraged to try and swing my legs up.  Yep, managed that part, then nearly lost the plot when my knees were being pulled down from the other side to leverage me up - and I thought they were about to break, the pain shooting through my bad knee joints - had NO option than to pull myself up before I became dismantled at the knee-pivot!

... but I did it - I sat up there on a trapeze - I hyperventilated like a pro - and could barely open my eyes (I'm afraid of heights too, haha)... but I did it!   "Somehow" I managed to get down off that crazy thing, and wobble away to go sit on the ground... and all I remember was saying - for what I didn't realise was out loud - was "FUCK YOU 200KGS!!!"  .. then prompty fell on the ground and cried!  Enter here a handful of nearby ladies who wrapped me up in hugs and told me how awesome that was, haha!!

I'll sidetrack slightly here and give you a glimpse of what I've "seen" behind the scenes of Amy...  When I attended my second SYG (Stand Your Ground) workshop in March, there was a boxing training session at the end of the workshop that had us work ourselves into a state of 'alpha' being - where your brain is sidetracked from the mundane thinking of day to day life, and leaves you alert and aware and "clear".  Afterwards, we were laying on the floor in a guided meditation session - we walk down a hallway, see a door, what material is the door made of, the door handle, when you open the door where are you, what do you see, what do you feel under your feet, walk further into this space and meet "you", talk to you, she has a very special message for you...     When I did this meditation session for the first time, my 'visuals' were so intense - my door was wooden, the handle ornate, I walked into a garden filled with butterflies and flowers and lush grass, and my 'higher self' turned around to tell me "Amy, you are NOT alone!"  I cried.  Tears streaming down the side of my face...   My isolation in my transformation has always been questionable and hurtful for me - and at this particular time, that message was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I am NOT alone.

To cap off my experience at the Brisbane convention following the crazy "Fear Factor" challenges - our final yoga and meditation session was going to prove to be the most intense experience of them all (as though the trapeze hadn't just rocketed my socks off!).  My meditation message was equally as important and incredibly powerful as the first one mentioned above from March.  At the end of the guided meditation, when I "opened the door", my higher self ran over to me with an enormous smile on her face, threw her arms around me and told me how incredibly proud of me she was. I am PROUD.

I laid on the floor and sobbed...  I don't know that I've ever truly been proud of myself for what I've achieved. I struggle with this regularly - all the accolades run off me like beads of water on oil - I question their validity because I struggle to believe it myself... it's "only weightloss" in my head.  BUT here was my inner self - my 'true self' - telling me how intensely proud of me she was.  Did that finally mean that had broken through?  Do I finally believe it?!

I left the convention in a whirlwind of emotions - very grateful for the experience - but very very emotional.  It seemed to drive the insatiable questioning in my head now - all these things I've wanted but not believed I deserved - all the conflicting beliefs in my head and heart...  It had me questioning what I was prepared to 'put up with' from outside influences now and made me question if I actually AM strong, or am I actually the substruct of my own creating?!    In any case, "questioning" is good - the upheaval that went with it, maybe not so much... ha!

~ ~ ~ ~

I came 'home' (my new home) very briefly, and felt incredibly isolated, confused and displaced.  Add to this the pressure of pre-birthday issues, and the night before I turned 34 at the beginning of the month, I was in monster breakdown mode... again.  Me and birthdays have never mixed well - and with so much upheaval in my headspace, so much male-oriented rejection, so many 'issues' with my body and the post-surgery gain...  I was in a world of "I'm running out of time!!!" pain, and a birthday was the last thing I needed - it seemed to just rub it in further that I STILL lack so much, and another year has rolled past... and maybe (maybe?!) I'm just a silent bystander in whatever the hell is going on in this 'life' I'm supposed to be leading?!!  I was ANGRY that I'd worked so freaking hard, and still coming up so short - why did I bother trying to do anything at all?!   Why did I bother fighting for my life, when I felt so non-existent anyway??    ... so much anger and frustration here, and it all came to a crashing halt on the night before.   I wasn't suicidal (very removed from those feelings of the past) - but I questioned why I was still here...  and WHY was I still bothering to fight?!   Very hard night, and lots of tears...  but birthdays still happen whether you like it or not - and I still woke up the next day and clicked off another one.  Again.

The next day was far less intense - lots of online messages, a cupcake at work, and a family dinner...  I survived. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A couple of days later, I was back out the door for my next adventure. A mini holiday on the Gold Coast with a bunch of my favourite online friends - but the day I left I seemed to have packed a wretched headcold to come with me, along with some seriously un-dealt-with emotions and a wad of frustration.  It's a wonder the airline didn't charge me excess baggage with how 'heavy' I felt with all these things swirling around my head... !

... but as sick as I was for the start of the holiday, it was probably the overdose of Lemsip, cold & flu tablets and the (err) bottle of wine (I rarely drink!) that sent me into another big breakdown...  Hiding in the bedroom, bawling my eyes out, being counseled by one of my beautiful friends, I blurted out so much of my sobby hurts that it seemed to release me a little...  Something 'unchained' a bit and I could breathe a little more again (ironic, considering my headcold breathing issues!).  

The girls have an uncanny ability of weeding out smiles - they're a very select group of my extensive online network that I've been lucky to have over the years of my transformation - have seen far more of my private ups and downs - and have hearts of gold.  Our little weekender was so very important - not just for me, but for us all.  It reiterated in my crazy little head that I HADN'T totally isolated myself after all, that my choice of friends are genuine and beautiful, and that in itself, reflects on ME - just as I am in this moment in time... and it's GOOD.

My final morning walk - pure bliss!
I walked 7kms along the walking path next to the beach at Surfers Paradise the night before we left... and was up early the following morning to walk another 8kms through the beautiful beach water.  All I could do was breathe in the beautiful fresh air, feel the warm water against my legs...  My head was swirling with "you have to go home and fix things"... though part of me just wanted to walk and walk and walk...  I could happily have just kept walking and not turned back.

... but reality doesn't let you daydream like that!  I turned around and re-traced my steps back to the girls, packed up and left... but not before we hit the coffee shop for one last 'splurge'... !   I left the Coast a little lighter than when I'd arrived, but certainly not in kilos (haha)...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Coming home, I was greeted with my next big challenge... albeit a beautiful one!  My sister was being induced with her over-cooked baby on the Monday - and I left her explicit instructions to hold off having that late-arrival baby until I was home!!   Her little girl arrived the following afternoon, and I'll admit, the whole experience left me in a world of emotions here too...

Somewhere in my head, at some point in the last 15 years, I let myself believe I'd "never have things"...  like a house, travel, relationship, marriage or babies.  I don't exactly know why - though I was pretty damned adamant about it years ago that it'd NEVER happen.  Up until last year, I truly still believed it too...  til 'boys' started to notice me a little more, and the whole facade started to crack a little...  because I DID want those beautiful things, and I resented the fact that I didn't have them.  When all your friends are married, in a relationship, with kids (etc) - it's incredibly hard to be the random odd one out... ALWAYS.  It's even harder when it's your own siblings, and your 7-year-younger sister is bringing the first baby of the family into the world.  It stirred up some pretty intense emotions, and cracked open a wad of self-hatred for being "too ugly, too revolting, too whatever blah blah blah" into my headspace - that it was ME causing my own issues and why I'm the girl that noone wants - and how I'll NEVER get to have any of this...

Before I get told off or chipped about that 'silly thinking' - it seems I have some pretty solid timeframe issues filtering in on top of that 'junk'.   For instance, if I go ahead with another corrective body surgery (and I need multiple...  can't do more than one a year at the very most because of the health implications, cost and the extreme nature of it all - with at least two of them being major surgeries that I simply can't afford - so we're talking YEARS here if I can ever get to them!)...  there's a few more years I've "lost" during transformation.  If I can't find my own self-acceptance in amongst all that, then "how will I be able to let someone else in"...  Big issue right there.  Huge.   But say someone manages to break through that to show me I'm worth being with.. (which hasn't happened....  but maybe, if I'm lucky?! .. they'd have to be pretty bloody special and stubborn, haha)...  we wouldn't be dropping and having babies immediately...  so lose another couple of years there...   suddenly I'm approaching/in my 40s, and maybe babies aren't even an option for a mangled body, after everything I've put it through?!

Teaching baby Abby the fine art of selfies!!
... see, now it becomes really messy and VERY emotional.  Seeing this baby for the first time - I'm living vicariously through my sister for something I may very well never have...    Mother's Day this year became another sticky point for me for that exact same reason.  I'm not even READY for a baby - I'm still in a massive level of self development here - but "what if I never..." filters through my head and I filter nothing but pain.    Ouch.  Stings.  Hurts....  I cried.  Alot.    ... but holding that little girl is amazing - she has this uncanny ability to turn my foul mood on its head, and bring me to tears not from hatred or self-loathing as is so often the case - but because she's so pure and innocent.  She's pure unconditional love...  and I crave that like nothing else.  I eat that up like sprinkles on fairy bread!  She's a week old, and already she's made an impact on me that I can't really explain...    I don't deserve to miss out on that - and I can't hide from it.  She's already broken down my walls...   She speaks to my inner-fighter and they're conspiring... I can tell already that there's 'trouble' ahead!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And to cap it all off - I decided I'd had enough of the confusion and ignorance fueling my emotional distress on the body and weight front - and stepped on the scales for some hardcore accountability.  I'm TIRED of this hurting business.  All these emotions have taken their toll in a massive way - and it's manifested in severe bloating and swelling through my surgical line, and a monster gain on the scales.  I'm now fighting off about 8 kilos of pure self-sabotage, and my body is hating me even more for it...   The physical discomfort I'm going through right now is troublesome, and I'm worried I'm doing damage to my body even more by eating myself into food comas and extending an already tender stomach!  The surgery and infection took a massive toll on my health and headspace, and five months later, I'm STILL fighting it - it's swollen and sore to touch - looks unnatural and I'm faced with making a decision for later this year of going under again to correct the issues.  ... assuming I can bring myself to do that again.

I tried to 'start fresh' on Monday (ha! bloody Monday starts!!), and managed half a day of "ok".  I tried again yesterday, and managed another half a day... and again today.   I questioned whether I should re-commit to another program, then baulked at the prospect of having to "start again"...  I'm SO exhausted with fighting - mentally and physically...

... yet that 'tick tick tick' thing is plaguing me, and if I don't make headway and start counteracting the gain right now, it'll just keep damaging my headspace... right on top of all this amazing huge catastrophe of an emotional mess that's going on right above the waistline!  If I don't step up and take charge, then I'll lose my shit entirely....

I have NEVER given up - I REFUSE to give up.  I have fought over and over, I don't always win... but I don't give up...  

So I will start fresh again tomorrow... and I will start fresh the next day...  until I get through whatever this hideous hateful horrible hurtful thing is - because I KNOW whatever is happening right now is MEANT TO BE HAPPENING.   Everything I'm feeling, everything I'm fighting, every tear is meant to be - this is an intense learning experience going on here - and whatever is driving all this instability is doing it because the Amy that's always been fighting inside, is conspiring for even more.   I've meditatively 'met' her twice now - she's a force - and she's fighting...     She told me I'm not alone, it's time I start believing it..  time to step up and fight WITH her...   

Breathe in... breathe out...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

A little quote I read on a friend's Facebook page today summed it all up for me in one beautiful statement:

Refuse to fall down. If you cannot refuse to fall down, refuse to stay down.
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes

I refuse to stay down.

... unless I'm laying on a pontoon in the sunshine... !!


  1. Amy, I'd like to share two quotes with you. I feel they embody you, with all your struggles and victories. I hope you can take something positive from them... These quotes are on rubber stamps from the Pursuit of Happiness stamp set by Stampin' Up!. The first is:

    "Everything will be okay in the end. If it isn't okay, it isn't the end."

    The second one is:

    "Now and then, it is good to pause in our pursuit of happiness, and just be happy."

    Amy, you are amazing, not only for what you have achieved, but for the giving nature you possess, and your willingness to share your pain in such an honest way. It takes a brave, strong person to share pain such as you feel.

    I am grateful for having come into contact with you through BLC three and a half years ago. You continue to be a source of inspiration, and for that alone I say a heartfelt thank you.

    As a return favour I would want you to be able to stop and admire all the changes that you have made in your five and a half year transition to date. The changes are massive: physically, mentally, emotionally. You deserve to stop and congratulate yourself on these changes. They may not be complete, but they are still a testament to your inner force and deserve to be recognised as such.

    More power to you, lovely lady!

  2. Amy,
    Wow. Just wow. Amazing, honest, truthful, brutal, gut-wrenching. Your words are your truth.

    I can tell you that you are amazing, you are wonderful, you are worth it, blah blah blah - but what you have to understand that YOUR GREATER SELF knows this already and she's trying to tell you. Every time you 'start' shes telling you that you don't need to 'start' because you're already on your way. Talk to her, listen to her. You are not alone in this, she is with you all the time and she will always be there.

    You've come so far, and whilst you feel like you've got some ways to go, reflect on your accomplishments with pride, not with criticism. Because you have done what most people won't - you're examining your life under a microscope and that's fucking scary. To examine every inch of what you 'thought was right' and accepted for so long is fucking scary. But it's worth it - and you know that.

    I've met you twice, and each time I'm drawn to you because I see that amazingly beautiful soul you have. Don't let that wonderful soul be hidden away - you are a powerful, strong woman who does things that make most people cry, and at the end of the day you're still searching, you're still striving. And that's huge.

    Big hugs always

    Kylie :)