Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Welcome to Blog Share - Posted by Anonymous

My mother drinks a giant bottle of cheap wine every night, by herself, but no one will call her an alcoholic to her face. I did once, years ago, and all it did was drive her drinking underground and drive me away from the family.

For years, I have seethed in silence, resenting the fact that she is an alcoholic and is not getting help. I resented my father for not helping her. I resented them both for the harm they caused to our family because of their inability to recognize a problem and do something about it.

I spent many expensive hours slumped in a chair in a therapist's office, outlining the things that had happened, how I felt about them, and the effect they had on me. My coping mechanism was to draw bright boundaries in our relationship. To build a wall to protect myself from their dysfunction. To move far enough away to ensure minimal daily involvement. But none of it ever made me feel any better.

Then a funny thing happened in the last year. I came to accept my parents for who they are. I'd always carried in my head the aphorism “You can't change other people, you can only change how you react to them.” But I don't think I ever understood how to put it into practice. I got the first part, but I thought my changed reaction – essentially just waiting for them to change, instead of overtly trying to change them – was the answer.

I have now realized that maybe a truer and more helpful statement is “You can't change other people, you can only change how you react to them, what you think about them, and how you feel about them.” Maybe a wiser person would understand all of that was implied in the word “react,” but I am stubborn and literal-minded. For me, “react” meant just what I said and did in response to what my parents said and did. The feeling and thoughts were a separate process and still involved my wanting them to change.

I am the sort of person who holds onto principles like a shipwreck victim clinging to the debris of a sunken boat. Like those principles are the only things keeping me alive, the only flimsy bit of support keeping my head above water. Key among my principles was that my mother was Wrong for being an alcoholic and needed to do something to fix it.

What I learned this year was that if I let go of the debris, if I let myself sink beneath the surface of the water, I'd both learn I could breathe and would discover a whole hidden universe. Finally letting go has allowed me to appreciate the good things about my parents. Their kindness. Their generosity. Their unconditional albeit imperfect love of each other and their children.

Holiday gatherings are no longer as excruciating as a trip to the DMV. Interacting with my parents is no longer as soul crushing as a telemarketing job. The simple act of accepting them as they are, unreseveredly, flaws and all, just involved changing my mind and I cannot believe how that has changed my life.

I thought the only way I could ever feel this way about my parents was if they ultimately changed of their own volition. In recognizing that they might never change and realizing that it didn't matter to me, I finally achieved what I've wanted for two decades: peace of mind, the ability to truly love my parents for who they are, and the pure gift of enjoying the time I am able to spend with them.

This post has been living in my mind for the last several months, but as family members read my blog, I never felt comfortable with the idea of writing it. Thank you, And You Know What Elsefor inventing Blog Share day to allow people to express themselves anonymously.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Blog Share

Tune in tomorrow for Blog Share... I'll be posting anonymously on someone else's site and an anonymous person will be posting on my site... Exciting isn't it?

Here's a list of the sites participating!

The Adventures of Shelagh

Alice's Wonderland


And You Know What Else

Bright Yellow World

Daily Tannenbaum

Du Wax Loolu


Everything I Like Causes Cancer

Face Down

Fretting the Small Stuff

For the Long Run

Galoot's Hoot Page

Granted Null

Grumpy Frump

Just Below 63


Life After AC

Liz Land


Mamma Ren

Muse On Vacation

Muze News

Nancy Pearl Wannabe

Not What You Think It Is

One New Duck

Rankin Inlet: A Journey Northwards

Red Red Whine

Reflections in the Snow-Covered Hills

The Reluctant Blogger

Sass Attack

Sauntering Soul

Sparkling Cipher

Stefanie Says

Three Carnations

Tracy Out Loud

Way Way Up

The Science Continues...

Wow... caffeine is hot subject... So I did some research... here's what I came up with...

Some studies show that caffiene can cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin. It causes what is called "Insulin Resistance"... Basically this means that normal levels of insulin doesn't trigger the body to start absorbing sugar causing the body to make more insulin until the sugar is absorbed. Because of the flood of insulin, your blood sugar can drop suddenly causing what is known as hypoglycemic reaction (low blood sugar).

Here are some of the symptoms of Insulin Resistance. (I can count 7 out of 9 for myself)


2. Brain fogginess and inability to focus. Sometimes the fatigue is physical, but often it is mental.

3. Low blood sugar. Mild, brief periods of low blood sugar are normal during the day, especially if meals are not eaten on a regular schedule. But prolonged hypoglycemia with some of the symptoms listed here, especially physical and mental fatigue, are not normal. Feeling agitated, jittery, moody, nauseated, or having a headache is common in Insulin Resistance, with almost immediate relief once food is eaten.

4. Intestinal bloating. Most intestinal gas is produced from carbohydrates in the diet. Insulin Resistance sufferers who eat carbohydrates suffer from gas, lots of it.

5. Sleepiness. Many people with Insulin Resistance get sleepy immediately after eating a meal containing more than 20% or 30% carbohydrates.

6. Weight gain, fat storage, difficulty losing weight. For most people, too much weight is too much fat. The fat in IR is generally stored around the midsection in both males and females.

7. Increased triglycerides.

8. Increased blood pressure. It is a fact that most people with hypertension have too much insulin and are Insulin Resistant. It is often possible to show a direct relationship between the level of insulin and blood pressure: as insulin levels elevate, so does blood pressure.

9. Depression. Because carbohydrates are a natural "downer," depressing the brain, it is not uncommon to see many depressed persons who also have Insulin Resistance.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Everyone Loves a Quitter

Just over a week ago I gave up caffeine. I know this sounds drastic but I'm doing a little bit of an experiment.

A few years ago, a girl I worked with dropped between 70-100 lbs. When I asked her what she did to lose the weight, she said "I stopped drinking coffee". My first instinct was.. no more cream and sugar bang instant weight loss... but then the catch came... she's drinks black coffee. Pardon me?

She then went on to tell me about how caffeine can inhibit the bodies ability to process insulin making it impossible to lose weight. Cut out the caffeine, boasts the metabolism and boom... easy weight loss.

I started to roll back my caffeine a few weeks ago (trying to avoid that nasty withdrawal headache) and now I've been off the caffeine for over a week. I'm down 10lbs in total so far. There have been a few other changes in the overall variables so I am not calling it a scientific study at this point, but I'M DOWN 10 LBS!!

Friday, 22 February 2008

The Times are a Changin

Well, it's amazing how a little change can make the world seem brighter. For the last few months, I have been complete un-challenged at work. 8 Hour days have seemed like life times. I could barely face going to work, much less the thought of spending 1/3 of my day there.

I was bored and honestly felt under-appreciated, lost in a sea of peers. I was aggressively seeking alternate employment, thirsting for an adventure. Little did I know that I could re-find my passion through a little instant message and I doubt that the person who sent me the instant message has any clue what a life changing event that she has precipitated for me.

I feel challenged at work. I'm busy from the moment I enter work to the moment I leave. I look forward to my day and the successes that I'm already seeing... even if only I and few other understand the impact of what I'm doing.

It's nice to feel good for now!

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Apartment Living

So the fire alarm went off tonight... again... as usual.

I've discovered how desensitized I've become to our fire alarm when (after I had my heart-attack from the noise), I immediately walked to the fridge, grabbed a snack, turned on the television to our "lobby-cam" and took in the show.

We had a full cast tonight... dis-sheveled neighbours, frantic superintendants and my true highlight, firemen. As usual it was a false alarm, or a dress rehersal as I like to call it. I don't think it will win any awards but after all that time with the writer strike, I'll watch just about anything.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Survey Says...

All persons involved have agreed, the following phrase should never be allow across anyone's lips...

"Are you sure you are not pregnant?"

Friday, 15 February 2008

When Good Friends go Bad...

I've had many months to digest this one... and I'm still not sure what I think of the whole thing.

In July, a man in my city was arrested for attempted murder when he stabbed his pregnant girlfriend repeatedly in the stomach with a sword. I woke up that morning with the news on my clock radio. Later in the day, someone said that he used to work with us. My employer is the largest private employer in Nova Scotia so that doesn't always mean that we know someone who has worked there. It wasn't until someone showed me his picture on the front page, that I realized that I not only knew him but have considered him a close friend not so many years ago.

Alan and I sat next to each other for over a year at work. We were promoted together twice. We attended many weeks of training together. We hung out outside of work. He spent time in my home and I spent time in his home. Conversations were always deep, lacking the everyday superficiality to which we are so accustomed.

The man I knew, shared his childhood home with a stray cat that just started to live with him one day. He worried about his niece and the lack of a male role model in her life. He loved plants and gardening, especially a wild garden that took on it's own form. He was an artist of many different forms. He loved music and playing his guitar. He had a dark side but it always seemed that he knew his demons and had outlets for them.

When Alan left our employer, I kept track of him for a while but we lost touch as time went by. He still remained present on my MSN list but didn't message very often until a few weeks before the incident that has changed his life. Cory had a nice conversation over MSN with him where he told Cory that his life was going really well. That he had had some rough spots lately but now things were looking up.

Looking at his face on the front page of the paper, was shocking to say the least. The only explanation I could come up with was that he clearly had completely snapped but then he was found fit to stand trial. Today he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. I have a hard time reconciling the man I knew with the man who could do this horrific act. I don't know how to make this person match with the memory and I doubt that I ever will.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Blog Share

I found this link on Jackie's Blog .

It's a Blog Share... what a wicked idea. I am totally in!!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

It's So Cold Out, It Froze the Wages

So the news came down... Not that we didn't see it coming. No raises this year. Poor US economy and a strong Canadian dollar.

Mr. Bush, what a mightly long arm you have!

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Stick a Fork in Me - I'm Done

So... I caught the February cold. I ended up missing work on Saturday, I tried to work on Sunday but after 5 hours of being absolutely miserable, I left. Missed Monday and Tuesday was my day off. Out of the ashes of my misery, I dragged what was left of me to work for Wednesday.

I swear my lungs are trying to escape but my throat is so swollen, the lungs can't get out. My nose is only clear for the 3.5 seconds after I blow it. My coughing makes people feel maternal towards me. Now I have progressed into a new place... when I cough it now feels like someone is pounding a spike into the top of my head.

I feel absolutely betrayed by my normally spectacular immune system. I can't wait for this bad boy to pass. On the bright side, I am now lighter in weight than I have been in years. I wonder if coughing can be considered excerise?

Sunday, 3 February 2008

My Canadian Dots

Although it appears that my blog has been visited by representatives from 14 countries, Canada is my biggest source.

Above is my map of my canadian dots (courtesy of google analytics).

Hi to all my dots!

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Another hobby

One of my favorite activities is to read obituaries. I know I know, it sounds like an odd hobby but it's something that I've always done. Most people grab a newspaper and head straight to the comics or the sports page, not me, I'm straight for the obits everytime. Generally the obits can be pretty mundane but every now and again I find one that is just amazing. I love the ones that are written as a tribute to the person who has passed as versus a simple statement of facts.

Yesterday I found one that was written in the first person. It was one of the best obituaries I've read in a long time. I was moved by her words and the time that she took to write her own obituaries in the last moments of her life. If you feel like having a read, here it is...

I know that death isn't a hugely popular subject but it is something that I've always been fascinated by. If fact my pre-school report cards says something like, "Shelagh seems to have a preoccupation with death and often casually kills off characters while playing". Personally I think this has more to do with my baby sitters preoccupation with the afternoon soaps and the predictable death and resurrection of characters on a weekly basis.

I occcasionally wonder what that preschool teacher thought of my need to kill off useless characters and what she thought it predicted for the future. Perhaps she thought I was a sociopathic chain saw murderer in the making. My preschool was just down the road from the Maternity Home that was the subject in the book "The Butterbox Babies" by Bette Cahill where hundreds of infants were buried in butterboxes.

Realistically, I've grown up to be an adult with a healthy respect for death and a strong sense of empathy for the dying. I know that death is an unfortunate side effect of living. I read obituaries out of respect for those those who have gone before us. But mostly I wonder where they have gone to... but that is another post on another day.