Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Spirituality for the Hummingbird Brain

So it's been 2 months since I've let Zoloft go. No one is more suprised than me at how much other stuff I've let go in the process. Namely: fear, anger and frustration over situations I can't change.

I have always considered myself an open minded person - and I am - but I've realized that is has been to the detriment of myself. When I let one friend go a few months back, I was talking to another buddy of mine. I mentioned, "Why did I put up with this person's dysfunction for so long?" She replied, in her ever straight shooting way, "Because you're the only one who would."

It's true. I have been raised to be this non-judgmental person - which is great to a point. But often, in bending over backwards to accomodate others idiosyncrasies (because I really do think everyone has something to offer) I have neglected myself.

Lack of Zoloft, for me anyway, has forced me to be less relaxed about things that bother me. It's okay for me to have an opinion. To demand things for myself. To set boundaries. To push back.

I'll go out on a bit of limb here to say that my biggest insecurity has always been what other people think. It is hard to even type that statement, because it's in direct opposition to my biggest asset: fighting for individuality in this wack a doo world. To putting much of my life up for display on this forum.

I suppose I'm the worst kind of friend to have, because while I might tell you everything about my life (I can retain about as many emotions as a strainer holds water) I'll seethe inside about your response to it if it isn't what I want to hear.

The real rub is that I will never take my irritation out on you (it's not your fault) but if I had some milk for every time a past conversation would churn, I could rival Ben and Jerry in icecream sales.

The true wonderful, glorious, fantastic epiphany I have uncovered in the stillness of the past few months, is that while I still have that side of me that cares what others think, I'm starting to care about myself more.

It used to bug me if, for example, if Cecelia had something honest, but unflattering, to say about Rex (which she'd always share because I was complaining...not of her own free will). Now I see that my frustrations over her seemingly critical responses were due to the fact that we had "grown up" together, so to speak. We had our perfect marriages and perfect lives all planned out from the Saved By The Bell production offices, fielding calls for Screech and catering.

I somehow always felt guilty that I didn't live up to that perfect movie making marriage I thought I would have. The perfect motherhood existence. But you know what, she didn't live up to it either. She wanted to be a producer and travel the world. She's now a stay at home mother who bakes cakes and scrap books. Of course I would kill myself before I did those things, but she's happy with it. She knows who she is. She's into politics. And animal rights. And art. And travel. She's just... right now... a mother. Who bakes cakes. (I can't get over the cake baking... sorry.)

As for me? I am less able to define my role. While some of this stems from the fact that I see more people in a week than she does in a year (can we say "unfocused Mama P for 800?") other things are becoming crystal clear:

Rex doesn't have to be perfect to be worth loving. My daughter doesn't have to grow up thin and subservient to be considered an elegant woman. Stink doesn't have to be a staid Catholic school boy to be worth loving.

I forgive myself for not marrying a character out of a movie.

I forgive myself for having children who don't have Gap & Children's Place labels permanently sewn into their necks.

I forgive myself for being just a little less free-spirited than I once was. My dad died. I had two kids in two years. I'm adjusting to life at home.

What I won't ever forgive, however, is allowing anyone to make me feel bad about myself anymore. Because that's my fault. I am demanding respect and honor from everyone - but mostly (because now I care less about others, it comes right down to the final 3) my family. I expect nothing but devotion from my 36 year old husband down to my 2 year old toddler. I deserve kindess. Laughter. Chocolate over vanilla because you pay attention to me and know my favorite icecream. I don't need your money, but I do need your attention.

But the first person who must do this for herself is me. And man, it feels good.

Thank you, Cecelia, for pissing me off to no end, without even knowing it. Isn't that what friends are for? Could I ever have learned this if we had made all our Hollywood dreams come true?

Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

PS: Why yes, that is Ty Pennington in my mother's livingroom, nine months after I gave birth to Sophie (hence the bad, bad BAAAAD mama hair... trying not to make excuses EVER anymore, but damn, could I have at least put on some lipliner? Ty seems to have mastered the hairspray can - do you think I could have managed a brush?)

Whoever guesses why he was hanging at my mom's house wins: Da da DAAAAAAAAA...anything they want, ten bucks or under, from my Ebay store! Go!


HAM*I*AM said...

Oh God, what I wouldn't do to have my daughter say this (although, by the math, it's 30 years too soon)... Long story ain't going to go short...Dr's appt tomorrow though *sigh*

Good for you Mama P....I'm at a similar place in life, post meds for the 2nd time. Different episodes of depression, different issues, different meds, different results after going off them. I by far prefer this last one (results, the weaning was somewhat difficult)....

amisare waswerebeen said...

My guess is that you were working in some capacity for the Home Makeover Show. OR, he was in the immediate area doing an episode and/or lecture? Vague enough for you?

Pam said...

Bravo, Mama P! You have said it all so well. I sit here thinking about what I could add to this...there is nothing.
I am very happy for you.

Mama P said...

Ham - I am not against meds if you need them. I'd be back in a heartbeat if necessary. But for now, I'm doing well. You have sooooo much on your plate now, with school (I don't have that) and work (I don't have that) PLUS raising kids. Good Lord, girl, I'd be attached to a Prozac catheter by now.

Pam - You are so sweet. I'm sure you can add something to this, though, like: "I like the sentiment but how about editing your rambles by 1000 words?" I do run on and on.

meno said...

Show me someone who claims to have a perfect life and i will show you a liar.

Sounds like you are feeling pretty good right now. I feel like making a T-shirt out of "I don't need your money, but i do need your attention." How true. getting someone to realize it can take years.

Maggie said...

Ok, I'm guessing that you, being a wonderful giving daughter, put your mom in for a home make-over show and they came! So you were there working with Ty and getting that cute mug of yours on TV and now that the show is going to air - like in a week or two you were ok to show us the pic.

Or, you know him. He stopped by to see your baby and give congrats - nine months late.

Princess in Galoshes said...

I think "not giving a damn, m'dear" is a brilliant piece of advice. It's just a lot harder than it sounds.

And as for Ty... I'm thinking he's in your mother's living room, apologizing for demolishing a perfectly good wall in her home, due to a wrecking ball frienzy during a remodel of the neighbor's house because they were secret crack addicts with good hearts and 14 children in need of an Extreme Makeover Home Edition.


Mama P said...

Meno, you know I couldn't agree more with you.

Maggie - I love your guess about Ty, but YOU ARE WRONG!

Princess, you MUST write a book. You are so funny. And yet, SO WRONG!

Any other guesses? Anyone?

gr said...

what's that under his lower lip, mustard?
bet he came over for lunch, although he looks a little scruffy

Mama P said...

gr - That is not "scruffy" - that, my friend, is "branding" - and it took a six foot blonde personal assisistant, make-up artist, wardrobe and hair to complete the master of home makeover, Ty Pennington. And no, no lunch dates.

Maggie said...

I'll give another go. They were in your neighborhood looking for a street and couldn't find the right address. They gave up and knocked at the door of your mother's house and you happened to be visiting that day.

Or, he's your brother.