Tag Archives: yoga

Mourning the Loss of My Inner Smoker

10 Mar

First of all – thanks to everyone who’s been supportive to me over the last couple of days, both in the comments and in some great personal emails, skypes, and phone calls I got from some of you cheering me on. You are all awesome.

So – progress report – it’s been about 48 hours since my last cigarette. Day one – which was in the past the hardest for me, was surprisingly easy.

I credit this mostly to the fact that I had a solid plan – and I had the patch. That thing is truly a miracle. I don’t know why more people don’t go for it.

It took a huge burden off of me in terms of the chemical addiction, which allowed me to handle only the issue of breaking the psychological addiction.

Well, guess what? The psychological addiction is truly the real bitch here. Yesterday I was ok. With the exception of having a bit of trouble concentrating throughout the day I can count the amount of times I wanted a cigarette on one hand. This was a miracle.

Also – the fact that I went to two yoga classes straight (yes, that means three hours. one and a half of soft vinyasa followed by another hour and a half of fast paced ashtanga), tuckered me out enough that it got rid of the urge for the most part.

Today, on the other hand, was a bit tougher. I had kind of a weird sleep schedule. I woke up early to get some stuff done. I got it done, and then had about 3 hours to kill before my therapy session. I was exhausted and my back was hurting like a mofo (yeah – maybe three hours straight of yoga was NOT the stroke of genius I thought it was), plus it was raining like heck outside. So I grabbed the puppy, cuddled up, and went back to sleep. I put on the alarm for 11:30 and wouldn’t you know it? I turned it off in my sleep. I was supposed to head out to my therapists at 12:30.

Guess when I woke up? If you guessed 12:30 you win a virtual cookie!

Yeah. Not good.

See – usually when this stuff happens to me, I jump out of bed, throw on some clothes, grab a bottle of a caffeinated beverage, and chain smoke all the  way to the place I need to go so that I will be fully awake when I get there.

And allow me to remind you – that my plan for a peaceful wake-up  involved about 45 minutes of tea drinking and sun salutations. This was not an option today.

So –  I jump up, stick on the patch, and grab a few sips of coke zero (mega-healthy, right?) before hopping in the car. The whole way – jonesing for a cigarette, and in the meantime having a rather stressful phone convo with my dad. Here’s a tip for those of you quitting smoking: don’t do any of these things while on the patch.

The result is that I arrived at my therapist’s office 10 minutes late, and according to her description – rather manic.

Yep – I talked her ear off WAAAAY too energetically – all the while feeling rather spacey  since I hadn’t completely “woken up”. If I had called my psychiatrist at that point – he would have told me to come into his office asap so he could give me a tranquilizer (and mind you – I had taken my morning xanx -which makes all of this all the more disturbing). Yeah. Fun times.

Then I went to the Harley Hottie for my weekly needle sticking – and at least he managed to get my jitters down to a minimum, which was good.

But then I got home – and it was still cold and rainy. so what did I do? Why – go to sleep, of course!

Shmerson showed up about an hour into my nap and I cajoled him into joining me for a cuddle.

He had made dinner reservations for 8pm to celebrate my quitting (isn’t he the best shmerson ever?) but we both slept until 7:45. One look outside and I told him to cancel the reservation and let’s just order something in and cuddle.

And through all this, well, today I craved cigarettes. A lot. And at one point during my manic therapy session I managed to voice why.

Every time I’ve quit smoking in the past, there was always, somewhere in the back of my mind, the thought that it was temporary. That I would eventually go back to smoking. Even during my long quit it was there. Even after my first BFP I kind of thought to myself that after having the baby I may go back to it.

This time I’m going in it for good. I have to convince myself that I will never smoke again. I absolutely have to. Because I can’t go back. I can’t do that to myself again. Smoking is the most destructive habit in this world. It’s just as bad – if not worse than most drug addiction because it will kill you slowly. And I don’t want that. I really really don’t. So this time I need to keep it in my head that I’m quitting for good.

Now I know you all think this is a wonderful thing. And it is. On every single possible level it is.

Except in my own effed up mind. In quitting smoking, I am giving up a huge part of my identity.

Yes, it’s a self-destructive, poisonous part. But still – it’s a part of what makes me – me.

I love pictures of myself directing on set. I always look like shit in them, with my baseball caps and ratty clothes. But – nonetheless, I love them. I look badass. I look professional. I look like a “big girl”.

Guess what? I can go through a 100 pics of me on set. And in 99 of them you would find me with a diet coke in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other.

Of all of my friends – only three of them have known me as a non-smoker. Those are the ones who I’ve been in touch with since elementary school. Everyone else in my life, excluding my immediate family – knows me as a smoker. It’s part of who I am. Chain smoking through deep conversations. Lighting up after dinner. Grabbing a bottle of caffeinated something and chain smoking in the car when I’m running late. This has been me for almost two decades.

And now – I’m replacing that with tea and yoga. ME. The hard-assed chain smoking bitch is becoming a froofy mommy wanna-be who does yoga and drinks tea with fresh mint.

Now mind you – this hard-assed chain smoking bitch is not a person I liked very much. In fact, she’s anxious, usually miserable, almost always overweight, and has had two miscarriages. She’s the person who had a complete and total mental breakdown less than six months ago. I don’t like her very much. I’m very glad to be rid of her on so many levels.

But – me? A froofy yoga-practicing tea drinker? I don’t know. I guess it’s just weird.

My friends who are reading this get it – this thoughtful sensitive mommy-wanna-be who write this blog is not who they’ve known for the past decade and a half. She’s a relatively new invention – a person who has risen from the ashes of the old me. The old me that most of the people who have found me here on the blogosphere don’t know about.

The old me that curses like a trucker (yes – much more than I do here. Especially when I spoke english, up until a few months ago I would use the f-bomb instead of “um).

The old me that tore down everything in her path to get what she wanted (that person disappeared about two years ago after I fell into my post Grad School X depression). The person who once she got what she wanted, destroyed it in a heartbeat without looking back. Over and over. Fearless. Destructive? yes. But fearless. Due to a repressed anxiety disorder that she was ignoring? Yes. But still. Fearless.

The old me that was a chain smoking, caffeine drinking, fuck-it-all bitch.

Now mind you – I hate the old me. The old me led me down a slippery slope that ended in my life being shattered. I like the new me quite a bit. The one that listens to her feelings. The one that hates herself a lot less. The one that wants to be a mommy and is embracing her inner mommy each day more and more through teaching, through this blog, through being a better friend. Through being a better wife.

But still – i feel like with this one final act, I’m killing that part of me. That self-destructive, stubborn self-hating bitch. And well, she’s done some good things too, so it’s kind of hard to say goodbye to her. I think I spent most of today missing her – just a bit. Trying to hang on to her on some level.

But I didn’t have a cigarette. I didn’t let myself get back to her. I stayed strong.

And tomorrow I will go back to the tea and sun salutations. Hi there, new, froofy yoga-practicing-tea-drinking me. Nice to meet you. Please stick around, ok? Cause that other bitch is trying to elbow her way back in. And I don’t know if I want to be friends with her anymore.

Random Ramblings

9 Feb

I’m hella-tired. It has been a long few days (the fam business is in chaos mode because of a deadline so it’s been crazy. luckily now that my dad and I are getting along it’s much more bearable than it used to be). But all around, brain fried, heady-explodey.

So – I will be completely not funny, not eloquent, and perhaps even not interesting in this post (really makes you want to keep on reading, doesn’t it?)

* I’m waiting till the weekend to pair up all the choco-buddies. I just want to amass enough so that the pairings make sense. Also – people have been commenting that the button doesn’t work. Anyone out there want to give me a hand on how to fix the code in there? Me too tired to google. Me confuzzled.

* I hate databases. It’s kind of insane that I’ve been trained at “the finest” film schools in the world and I spend most of my day on excel spreadsheets. No wonder I don’t have the energy to write.

*No – I didn’t watch “go” today. Bad me! Bad bad me! But I will forgive myself because it’s currently past midnight on my side of the globe and I have been up and working since 8am. Only watching stupid stuff in the background while dealing with what feels like a million spreadsheets. Excel – I don’t like you very much.

* I’ve had to cancel lunch with my mom twice this week already – we re-scheduled again for tomorrow. I’m working late on purpose now so that hopefully I can actually make it this time (the pros and cons of working from home).

*I’m really bitching about work a lot right now, aren’t I?

* on a different note – I haven’t officially announced this yet – but starting next week I will be teaching film! Once a week, tenth grade. I’m really excited! 🙂 I’ve got a bunch of lessons planned out in my head. Now if I could find time to write those out as well… (this is me in over-achievement mode again. anyone feel like helping me sort out my priorities?)

* My cousin, who works in alternative medicine, called today to recommend an acupuncturist in my area. Knowing there is no way Shmerson and I can afford it, I told her that I’d get the number from her “when things are a bit less crazy”. Being the amazing lady that she is, I think she read the undertone of “holy crap I can’t afford this” in my voice, immediately called my mom, who immediately called me and insisted that she will pay for the treatments. That is incredibly sweet of her. I know a bunch of you ladies are riding the needle train. Any advice?

* Have you guys noticed a change in my tone over the last week or so? I didn’t mention this for some reason but last week my shrink adjusted my meds (again!) because he thought the zoloft was too much. We switched around to 2 Xanax XR’s a day and half a pill of zoloft and it seems to be working like a charm. I feel wonderful and incredibly balanced. I’m really glad I found a shrink who knows how to “fine tune” these kinds of things (some have a tendancy to just prescribe one pill, then another to balance the first, then a third, and sometimes a fourth. I’m glad I trusted him enough to stick to his plan). I really feel like I’m almost back to my old self. At least closer to her than I’ve been in years.

I am however really worried about the xanax. I’ve heard a bunch of horror stories about how it can be addictive. My shrink says that most of them are BS and the people who get addicted to it use it recreationally and not to treat an actual condition, so he’s not really worried about that. The one thing that I’m a bit concerned about is that xanax and pregnancy do not mix. He said that no matter what, it’s been proven safe in the first trimester, and once I’m preggo we can find alternatives. But for some reason I’m still apprehensive about this. I do trust him completely because he is very respectful of my concerns – I guess I’m just paranoid (two miscarriages will do that to you, I suppose).

* Our house is a complete and utter disaster zone. Shmerson has been working and studying like mad for the last two weeks since he’s got a bunch of exams, and I haven’t had time to do anything, and when I did I was too busy writhing in pain from that stupid back thing (which is almost gone, thank goodness). I wish we could afford a maid. I feel like such a slob right now. And for those of you reading who know what our place usually looks like – it’s ten times worse right now. I would upload a pic, but I can’t stand the shame of it. No gold star for us this week.

* I miss yoga. Because of my back I couldn’t go all last week, and this week it’s stupid stupid work. I will go tomorrow. I must go tomorrow.

* Things have been moving in a really great direction really fast over the last couple of weeks. From the teaching job, to settling on my next writing project, to, well, everything. The downside? I tend to take on too much at once, and I’m afraid I may be doing that again. Note to self: Make a couple of lists, get your schedule settled, and for goodness sake, clean the house! The good news is that unlike in the past – I am actually AWARE of this stuff and trying to get it under  control. Progress!

* For some reason AF is making my appetite INSANE. And I keep on buying oreos, and then having oreos and milk like, three times a day. This is a first in terms of AF, usually I go for burgers. Weird. Maybe I should just stop buying the oreos? Yes, that would be a good idea.

* did I mention how much I hate excel spreadsheets?

* Ok I’m done now

* ramble ramble ramble

* Really done now. Sleepy-time for me!

A pregnant lady walks into a bar…

30 Dec

A post by one of my favorite bloggers in this new blogosphere I’m discovering got me thinking.

Basically it’s about how people who haven’t gone through this kind of thing don’t get it, and some of them react like total idiots.

And also about how hard it is to see other women pregnant and happy, or with a brand new baby in their arms.

Yeah. It sucks. I mean really. Yesterday in my “intro to yoga” class the instructor and some of the students started talking about baby yoga and raising kids.

Where I usually leave the class relaxed and happy, last night I had to take a xanax by the time I got back home. And this was just talk. No babies or pregnant women were present.

Then I think about the moment when I do finally get (and stay) pregnant. Of course, by the time I get to the third trimester I’m gonna scream it from the rooftops! Victory! Look at me! I’m knocked up!

So really I can’t fault all of those ladies. I mean it’s not their fault that I’m having a hard time.

But you know what REALLY gets me mad?

It’s not the happy mommies. It’s the incompetent mommies. It’s those idiot teens that have babies at age 16 and don’t know just how lucky they are, and go screw their kids up.

It’s those stupid women in their late twenties who are “too busy with their careers” to keep their babies when they get knocked up. They really piss me off. And I’m pro-choice!

Octomom – you’re an egotistical bitch. Stupid paternity test a-holes on the Maury show? Go dig a hole and bury yourself in it. Lohans? You are incompetent douchebags. People who keep their kids on (literal) leashes? May a pitbull, released from his leash, bite you in your private parts. Abusive parents? If there is a hell, I hope there is an extra evil place there especially for you.

And don’t even get me started on the Goslins or the Palins.

I can think about stuff like “this experience is a lesson for me”, “I will see it as a great turning point in my life”, bla bla bla.

But I honestly think that karma is either non existent or makes no sense at all. Why do a-holes get to be parents and some great people (yes – including myself!) have such a hard time?

Stupid people are stupid and piss me off.

Anybody else out there up for a law requiring “asshole checks” before people are allowed to get pregnant?

I’m not bitter. Really. I swear.

Musings on Anxiety, Depression, Peace, and Patience

23 Dec

When I don’t know where to start I go chronologically – so please, bear with me. This may be long. Buckle up, make yourself a cup of tea or something.

So I don’t know if it’s the zoloft that’s still kicking in or what, but yesterday was an awful, awful day.

I’ve been trying to avoid taking the xanax (huge mistake) and I spent all morning anxious and detached.

And then things just got worse. I spoke to the psychiatrist and he said (very wisely) if you feel bad, just take it. It’s ok. So I did. the anxiety stopped – sort of, but then a whole other flood of emotions came rushing in.

On Monday night Schmerson and I had a long talk – and at the end of it I “made a decision” that I should stop working for my father, because it’s not good for me emotionally.

Yeah – apparently making big decisions when you’re emotionally unstable  – um, well, that in itself is a bad decision. The whole thing just made me tailspin into a whole new set of confusion.

So I thought yesterday would be a good day. I went to tel aviv and made plans with friends, thinking that would make me feel good. After the xanax, I was in the car on the way to pick up my best friend (same one I saw on friday). Since we don’t use names let’s just call her “Squish” because that’s my nickname for her…

So I pull over to pick Squish up and for some reason I just – collapse. Crying uncontrollably. An absolute mess.

Squish takes control of the situation. She drives us to a coffee shop and I bawl and bawl and bawl.

“Why don’t I have any hope?”

“What’s become of me?”

“I used to be such a strong ambitious person with so many dreams and hopes – what the fuck happened?”

Squish really tried her best to calm me down. And it kind of worked, but on the inside I was still more or less a gaping black hole. No hope. No joy. Emptiness and fear.

Had I had the strength to write a blog entry at that point it would have been titled “Wanted: hope”.

I’ve had bouts of depression before. I’m more of an anxiety person but I know what depression is. Yesterday was beyond depression. It scared the living daylights out of me.

What finally made me sort of calm down was a conversation I had with my brother. He’s six years older than me and we’re incredibly close. I think he understands me better than I understand myself.

He said:

Calm down.

What’s happening to you is that you spent over a decade being a careerist with buttloads of ambition, and now you all of the sudden don’t want that as much. Now you want a family and you don’t know where to place your ambitions in that framework. On top of that you suffered a loss. It’s overwhelming, but it’s not the end of the world.

He reads this blog. He thinks I’m making a mistake by obsessing over wanting another baby so fast.

He said he thinks I need to heal my body and my soul. I may think I’m ready for a baby but right now – well, I’ve got to get my shit together before doing anything else.

I hated hearing that. Knowing that he’s right made it even harder to hear. But he is right. I need to heal. The problem is I don’t know how long it will take and that is and will most likely continue to drive me crazy.

But I am overweight, I’m depressed, I’m confused about my future, and I smoke. That does not a good baby-vessel make.

So fast forward to today.

A small caveat before I go into the rest of this story: I am not a spiritual person. Not even close to it. I’m a cynical skeptic – which probably doesn’t help my anxiety. I lack any sense of spirituality. I wish I had it. I just don’t.

And I started yoga last week.

Talk about skeptical. Yoga always made me think of froofy chicks with dreadlocks who go on month long treks to india and eat lots of curry. I hate curry.

But – something inside me made me think that yoga may be a good place to start getting re-acquainted with my body so I can take better care of it.

So I signed up for an intro course – once a week on wednesdays. Today was the second class. The instructor – an incredibly sweet guy – not only takes us through the moves and positions, he also explains why they are done, and the connection between the mind and the body.

He doesn’t go into anything truly spiritual. He just points out how easily our head clears when we pay attention only to our breathing and movements.

At the end of the class today we sat down and he started talking about the way the mind moves around from one thing to another, and how yoga can be a tool to inner peace by clearing the mind.

I know – it sounds froofy when I write it. But he really does have a point. When I was moving from position to position and paying attention to my breathing my mind was clear. I was calm. which is sooo incredibly rare lately, it’s pretty amazing.

So the yoga instructor said three things that just hit a nerve with me.

The first was this:

“I want a motorcycle. I want it very badly. When I finally get a motorcycle – I will be incredibly happy. Why do you think that is?”

we answered: “because you finally have it?”

He said: “No – because I no longer want it. It’s the relief of no longer obsessively desiring something that causes the happiness – not the fulfillment of that desire.”

The second thing he said:

“When you see a child going through turmoil you embrace the child. why do you scold yourself and when you go through the same? You need an embrace just as much as that child does.”

The third:

“My mind races all of the time. I don’t always know who I am but I use yoga as a way to rule out what I am not. I am not my fear. I am not my stress. I am not my anger.”

By the end of that little talk I was blubbering.

Which I must say is rather embarrassing in front of ten people who I only met last week.

But my god – that man hit a nerve. More than one actually.

Allow me to work my way backwards and again, I apologize that this post is so long.

I am not my fear. I need to remember that. I have spent months consumed by anxiety. So much so that it has become the only thing that defines me.

Yeah – I should stop that.

Embracing myself: I keep on saying that I need to be better! And Now! I need to make decisions and move forward immediately! I am so hard on myself for not being ok. It’s like the xanax. If I need to take it for a little while I need to look at it as an embrace – not a defeat. Why torture myself when I have a way to make myself feel better?

And now the most important thing that I took from what he said:

I want to be happy that my child will be born because I have a child, not because the obsessive desire is gone.

Does that make sense?

I’m an incredibly impatient person. If I didn’t have some restraint, I’d already be trying to get pregnant again – despite everything being so incredibly chaotic.

How terrible and irresponsible is that?

It’s awful.

On one hand, I really and truly want a child. On the other – I really and truly need to heal and bring some stability into my life.

I also need to start moving on. If I want to heal, I need to stop mourning for the person that I was before the loss.

I need to stop mourning. Period. (And this is not from a place of impatience this time – at least I don’t think it is).

It’s not that I can just wave a magic wand and no longer have incredible sadness over the loss of my babies.

However, I can change the way I channel it.

So I am officially changing the direction of this blog. I am now going to try and make it about healing myself. Embracing myself, so to speak. Figuring out my direction in life, and making myself whole again.

I truly believe that would be a far healthier use for this blog.

I will still allow myself to mourn when needed.

To talk about the miscarriages when needed.

But I want to start talking about healing.

I want a child. And I want to be happy when that child comes for the child itself – not because the obsession has cleared from my mind.

It’s going to take more patience and self-embrace than I’ve had – well, ever. But I think it’s time I do things right for a change.

Yoga – go figure.


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