Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hashtag Whatever-Shaming

I made a status a while ago about the double standard in the “body-shaming” trend. Lets be honest – there is a double standard. If my size 1 self were to call someone a Fat Bitch I would quickly be the internet equivalent of tarred and feathered. I’d be called out for Body-Shaming. I’d be told that I was an insensitive asshole. I’d be attacked and shunned and all that good shit. I’d lose all my facebook likes and all my blog readers. And I should. BUT – if a heavier woman were to call me a Skinny Bitch, or say something like “real women have curves” (So, I’m not a real woman then? Hmm. Guess this vagina is just here for decoration.) Or suggest that I “eat a cheeseburger” (I’d be happy to, mind you. I happen to like cheeseburgers), she is celebrated. She is heralded a hero because somehow, she is being proud of her body by essentially slamming mine. She is a strong, proud, beautiful heavy woman and she is standing up for all of those that are like her. Bullshit. Be proud of yourself, wonderful. Love who you are. Absolutely. Don’t let the bastards get you down and all that good shit. But for fuck’s sake don’t be a dick about it. Just like in any other instance of being a person, its complete assholery to knock someone else down in order to make yourself feel better. Its junior high Mean Girls behavior and it should be absolutely fucking unacceptable no matter who it’s coming from, who its directed at, or why. But it happens. Which brings me to my actual point.
We feel the need to label everything today. Girl is overweight, is called fat – Body Shaming. Start a support group. Girl is dressed like a slut, is called a slut – Slut Shaming. Make signs and protest. I eat healthy and kick the gyms ass as often as possible and wear a size one, I am told “real women have curves” – Skinny Shaming. Write a blog.
Wait just a damn minute. We want to label it something. “SomeKindOf Shaming” in this case. We need to give it a buzzword so that we can have these protests, parades and outrages. So that we can blame the results of being treated poorly on this thing that we now have a word for. There wasn’t always a word, a label, something to hashtag or put on a sign. But this shit has always existed. And why? Because we are people. We are human people and some of us are assholes. That girl that called me a whore when I had the miniskirt and hooker heels on? That guy that called the heavy girl fat? They are just assholes. They are calling it like they see it because their mama didn’t raise them any better. They have their own issues and they’re threatened by other people living contented lives. There doesn’t need to be a word for it, it doesn’t deserve a label. Assholes are assholes. But the truth is – we like to get worked up.
You see, if we label it, we can make those signs. We can proudly march them and protest this thing that we are upset about. We can tell each other (ourselves?) that we are “FIGHTING FOR A CAUSE.” We can tell each other that we are appropriately upset about whatever the current thing is. We can say that we are a “Whatever-ist.”We can tweet random shit with a hashtag about anti-whatever and feel like we are making a difference! Guess what y’all? That’s bullshit too. You think your cleverly worded posterboard is going to make that guy think twice before calling that girl fat again? Nope. He won’t even notice it, and if he does, it will probably only amuse him. Do you think your appropriate outrage against Slut-Shaming is going to make that girl hesitate to call me a whore when she sees me in my miniskirt and hooker heels? Absolutely not. I have never met someone who said “Yea, I used to be a dick, but then I saw a sign/clicked a link/read a blog and it made me decide not to be a dick anymore.” Your protests have not changed her behavior, or his action, or either of their asshole-ishness. Our protests won’t change human asshole people ever. But as long as we stick a label on it, make the signs, post the links we can be falsely comfortable in our activism. We can think that we are making a difference. We’re not.
In fact, we’re creating other problems with our need to label. We have given these words far too much power, guys. People are so hyper-aware of these buzzwords, so damn afraid of being associated with one of these labels that they are doing flat out dumb shit. Schools can’t impose a dress code on their female students anymore, because telling them that they can’t go to school with their boobies hanging out and their shorts at vagina length is “body-shaming.” Mom’s can’t decide that their little girls shouldn’t listen to foam-finger humping, weed smoking, unnecessary nakedness Miley anymore, because then they are slut-shaming. Hell, I have been accused of fat-shaming by a person who overheard me giving someone else (who had asked for it, mind you) healthy lifestyle pointers. The actual “shaming” isn’t shaming. Its just plain ol’ asshole behavior. And now normal behavior and standards are being attacked because of the fucking labels given to the actual asshole behavior. It’s all completely asinine. Having the labels causes more issues, and “fighting” the labels isn’t going to solve a damn thing.
We’re going about this all wrong, guys. Posterboard signs won’t help. Raising our girls not to be those mean girls – and holding them accountable when they are – will. Raising our boys to respect women will. Actually having a conversation with that one person who you know is a consistent dick might. And on the flip side – fill your kids with enough self esteem that they won’t be affected by the whatever-shaming. Teach them to see it for what it is – insecure assholes being insecure assholes. Teach them that the words or actions of these assholes is not a reflection of them, but of the assholes themselves. And don’t stop with your kids. Teach your friends, your friend’s kids, the other moms at school (yes, even the ones that you don’t like.) If we are whole healthy happy people, we are equipped to deal with the assholes and to not be affected by them. Help everyone in your world to be a whole healthy happy person in any way that you personally can. It’ll make a shit ton more difference in this world than your damn buzzword filled posterboard sign will, no matter how cleverly worded it is.
Or, and here is where I may lose even those of you that have been nodding along right up until this point, just Get. The. Fuck. Over. It. Accept that there are assholes in this world, and get the fuck over it. Make your choices and live with the consequences. Choose to go out dressed like a slut – expect to be called a slut. And don’t care. Choose to eat healthy and go to the gym – expect to be told that you’re not a real woman. Deal with it. Choose to not eat healthy and not exercise and be overweight – expect to be called fat. And ignore it. We are all responsible for our choices. Now am I saying that choosing to dress provocatively gives other people a right to disrespect you? I absolutely am not. But they are going to. Because people suck. Get over it. Get thicker skin, or make different choices. Or – go tweet about it with a really catchy hashtag. Let me know if that helps.

Monday, January 27, 2014

My Couch

I have been sitting on my couch for 3 days. All day Saturday, all day Sunday, and all night tonight, from the moment I walked in the door from work. 

If you knew me personally (and I realize that you don’t, because I’m anonymous. But if you did…) you would know that I DO NOT sit on the couch. Ever. If I am awake, I am up. I am doing, cleaning, cooking, sewing, something. Constantly. 

In fact, this couch has been a point of contention for The Fiance and I since we moved in together almost 3 years ago. HE sits on the couch. A lot. He sits for hours every night watching TV. It is how he unwinds, unplugs, shuts down for the day. And he wants me to do it with him, to spend that time with him. Sitting on the couch. Watching TV. For hours. Every night.

I just can’t. 

I hate TV. Sure, there are a few shows that I can watch. If the story is really good, not based on real life, or if its got really hot actors/actresses (What? I’m only human). But I can’t usually sit for an entire show. I hop up at every commercial. Or I’ve got some form of work in my lap that I can do from the couch. Just sitting on the couch, zoning out in front of the TV, is NOT relaxing for me. Its torturous. It makes me crazy. Restless. Edgy. 

If I am on the couch, doing nothing, its because I am very sick, recovering from surgery, or something is very wrong. 

If I am sitting on the couch, on my own accord, for the 3rd day in a row, something is very, very wrong.

It is the end of January. There are about 16 inches of snow on the ground, and more is falling. The roads are slushy and crappy, and no one knows how to drive on them. Nothing is pretty and white and pristine – its all grey and dirty and bleak. We are also in the 3rd (or maybe it’s the 4th) week of record breaking cold temperatures. The HIGH today was 3 degrees. The HIGH. The low, with windchill, is -30 degrees. Negative fucking thirty. The infinitely wise weathermen have not told us when this will end, only that it won’t be anytime soon. 

I hate winter. I hate snow. I hate cold. I am a summer person, I need sun, I need to be outside, I need to not have my fucking face frozen off walking to the car. Summer, spring even, doesn’t feel real anymore. A distant memory, and fairy tale. It literally feels like winter will NEVER end. EVER.

I have been on the couch for 3 days. I’m not sick, I’m not injured, but I have been on the couch for 3 days. Not because I’ve wanted to be, I’ve hated every minute of it. I’ve sat here, played games on my phone, tried my damndest to read my book, and felt guilty. Guilty about all of the wasted time. Guilty about all of the things that I have to do, should be doing. Guilty about sitting on the couch. So, why don’t I just get the fuck up, right?

Truthfully; I don’t want to. I don’t want to do all of the things that I have to do. I don’t want to do any of the things that I want to do. I don’t want to do anything. I also don’t want to sit here, waste time, look out the window at the frigid cold and grey snow that seems endless, and accomplish nothing. 

I. Want. Nothing.

It pisses me off, all of it. And normally being pissed off is my greatest fuel. Normally, I can grab hold of pissed off and use it. Where I am at right now though is not normal. The pissed off just goes into the pile of everything else that sucks. 

That pile pretty much sits on my lap as I sit on the couch. It weighs me down. It blocks my view of anything good or happy or hopeful so that all I can see, all I can feel, is EVERYTHING SUCKS. It reminds me that I am neck deep in the nastiest winter of my time, and that there’s no end in sight. It reminds me that I’ve wasted 3 days on this fucking couch and that I’m likely to waste even more, even though I really can’t afford to do this anymore. I’m already behind. It reminds me that I don’t want to sit here anymore, but I have to, the pile is just too heavy.

The Fiance doesn’t get it. “Just get up” he says. “If you don’t want to sit there anymore, just get up. Do something.”

I don’t want to.

“Then don’t. Just sit and relax.” He says. “Nothing wrong with that.”

I don’t want to just sit here. I am not relaxing. I am drowning. I am stuck. 

The Fiance doesn’t get it, but I know some of you will. 

This is why I haven’t written. I felt this coming, and spent all my effort and energy fighting it, until I couldn’t anymore. And now I am on the couch. I’ll shake out of it eventually. I always do.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Diary of a Quitter; Phase 1 Week 1

I decided to journal my day and my smoking, and write it down exactly. There will be no editing, or censoring through this process. It may get ugly, and it may suck, and you lucky bastards get to go through it all with me! If you haven't read the plan, you should probably go do that. I'll wait.
Okay. Lets do this...

Phase 1: Day 1 Friday 1/3 114.0 lbs (I decided to track my weight too, just to see...)
Timeline: 6:40am awake. Have to work today, but BabyDoll comes with me, so I don't have to drive to school and then to work. 
7:16 First cigarette. Fuck its cold outside. I must be crazy
8:16 Half cigarette before leaving for work
9-5 At work and have never smoked here, so no big deal
5:30 Half because it’s so fucking cold. Drive home from worked sucked without smoking, but yay me I did it! Of course, it’ll be much harder when I know I can’t have one when I get out of the car.

6:15 Half walking to car to go to dinner
7:30 Half on way out of restaurant
9:10 Half arguing with BabyDoll about homework and ready to break shit
9:45 Half before bed
Totals: I smoked 7 times today, and a total of 4 cigarettes
Thoughts: Im gonna call today a win. I did pretty fucking good considering I usually smoke 20-30 a day and I only smoked 4! Given that it was a work day it was a bit easier. Worried about tomorrow.

Phase 1: Day 2 Saturday 1/4 113.4 lbs
Timeline: 8:15am awake
8:40 First cigarette half
9:05 Half before getting ready for the day
From 9:40 until 2 we went shopping to a million different places. I did NOT smoke in the car at all, I had half cigarettes on the way in or out of stores, but not every one, which is not bad.
3:55 Half after finished putting everything away
5:45 Half before cooking dinner
6:40 Whole one after dinner. Still fucking cold.
8:40 Half break from homework
9:45 before bed
Totals: I smoked 15 times today, and a total of 8 cigarettes
Thoughts: In and out of the car sucks. A huge habit to break is going to be lighting a cigarette every time I get in the car. Even if I’m in and out of the car 100 times a day its always been Sit down, buckle up, light up, start the car. Still, 8 cigarettes isn’t bad.

Phase 1: Day 3 Sunday 1/5 114.4 lbs
Timeline: 9:30am awake and Holy Shit I can’t believe BabyDoll let me sleep that late!
 9:40 Whole one. So much snow. So much cold.
10:00 Whole one. Yes, I just had one but I an NOT shoveling 10 inches of snow without a cigarette goddammit
11:24 Whole one when The Fiance got home and I had to supervise his turn with the shovel
12:20 Less than half too cold
12:50 Half
1:40 Half
2:15 Half after lunch
3:25 Half
4:10 Half
5:10 Half
5:30 Half
6:10 Half
6:30 Half
7:40 Half
8:40 Half
9:20 Half
9:25 Other half (got a phone call as soon as I put it out the first time, finished it)
9:45 Half
10:30 Half
Totals: Smoked 19 times, 11 cigarettes
Thoughts: Not great, but okay. Still about half what I’m used to, and I have been stuck in the house during Snowmagedden and going a bit crazy. Maybe I will do better tomorrow. Still haven’t smoked in the house or car, so there’s that.

Phase 1: Day 4 Monday 1/6 113.8 lbs
Timeline: 9:15 awake – supposed to be working today, but BabyDoll is running a bit of a fever
9:30 Half
10:15 Half
11:30 Half
12:10 Half
12:52 Half
1:37 Half
2:12 Half
2:57 Half
3:30 Half
4:26 Half
5:25 Half
6:34 Half after dinner
8:06 Half stuck in between the door and the storm door, because -30 is TOO FUCKING COLD
8:56 Half
9:55 Half
11:05 Half
12:25 Half The door handle actually hurt my hand because its so cold OMG
Totals: I smoked 17 times for a total of 8 ½ cigarettes
Thoughts: Not bad, home with a sick kid all day and less than a half a pack

Phase 1: Day 5 Tuesday 1/7 114.4 lbs
Timeline: Awake at 8:10 I may lose my shit being stuck in this house. Again.
8:50 Half Its actually -34 degrees outside. Stupid. Fucking. Addiction.
10:38 Half
11:27 Half So cold it actually hurts
12:17 Half
1:06 Half After lunch
2:20 Half
3:24 Half
5:14 Half
6:51 Half             
7:48 Half After dinner
8:50 Half
10:48 Half
11:35 Half
Totals: Smoked 13 times, 6 ½ cigarettes
Thoughts: Not sure how I pulled that off, but fuck yea!

Phase 1: Day 6 Wednesday 1/8 114.4 lbs
Timeline: Awake at 6:00. Back to work today. I’m a little freaked out, because I literally have not left the house in DAYS.
6:42 Half Fucking cold. I just wanna go back to bed.
8:00 Half
8:30 Half on the way to car. BabyDoll to school and then to work without a cigarette. Not sure how this is gonna work all day though.
9:00-3:30 leave work and OMG I need to smoke but I can’t. Fuck it, I’m stopping at Dunkin Donuts. BabyDoll will love it.
3:42 Less than half on the way into Dunkin and I had to throw it away because of the stupid snow.
4:00 Less than half on the way out of Dunkin
4:50 Half on the way into the dance studio
6:30 Half on the way out of the studio
7:00 Half on the way back into the studio
8:30 Half on the way out of the studio. Again
Car made noise all the way home. Didn’t smoke. Swore a lot though.
9:00 Half at home
9:30 Half on the phone with dad
11:00 Half. Took a bath. Without a cigarette L
12:00 Half before bed
Totals: Smoked 13 times, 6 ½ cigarettes
Thoughts: Not bad. Driving sucks. Taking a bath sucks. Quitting sucks.

Phase 1: Day 6 Thursday 1/9 114.2 lbs
Timeline: Awake at 6:45.
7:05 Half
7:37 Half
And then my car completely fucking broke. I had to call my dad to come save me. Fuck my entire life I cannot deal with this shit I’m smoking.

And that I smoked for the rest of the day. Not in the house, but in my broke down car, in dad's car, every fucking where I could. I do not deal well with my car being broken. I do not deal well with being stuck at home. I do not deal well with not knowing how long I will be without transportation. No its not an excuse, but that’s it. I tried to start again the next day, but then the car situation was all screwed up, and I had no idea how I was getting to where I needed to go. So I suck, I called the rest of the week a loss, decided to start phase 1 over again on Monday.

I did really well, right up until the shit hit the fan. Which is pretty typical I think, though I'm not happy about it. I'll start over Monday.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Diary of a Quitter; Intro

             Heres the thing: I DON’T want to quit. And any smoker who has previously tried (and failed) to quit doesn’t want to either. If they say that they do – they are mother fucking liars.

Lets see. Do you want to embark on a journey with me? During this trip you will have to stop doing something that you’ve done many many times a day for years and years. You will shift from an angry, spitting rage to uncontrollable tears multiple times a day. You will feel mean and nasty, and you will likely make others cry as well. You will be miserable. You will hate your life. You will feel like gnawing your own goddamn arm off. You’ll probably get fat.  I don’t know when this trip will end, or really if it will end. But in theory, you’ll be healthier and have a little bit more money when [if] its all over. So, wanna come? No? Really?!        

Yea – neither do I.

Now, none of this applies to you fuckers who are all “Oh, I smoked for 30 years. Just put them down one day. Never looked back.” Fuck you. You are a unicorn. I hate you. (Not really)(Yes really).

But for those of us normal people who have gone through the misery and hell of quitting for days, weeks, months, even years, only to give in and start smoking again? We DO NOT want to quit. We know what we’re in for.

We want to be free of cigarettes, yes, but we would give damn near anything to be able to be free without the horrible process of it all. The whole “You have to want to” thing is a bit flawed.

I tried Chantix once. That may have worked. But I’ll never know. I found out about my [ex]husband’s [first] affair during the first week of no smoking. So “Fuck you. Fuck these pills. Give me a fucking cigarette.” I tried cold turkey, too. I made it 6 weeks, fighting the urge all day every day. I gained 10 pounds. And then my [ex]step-father beat the hell out of my mom. “Fuck you. Give me a fucking cigarette.” I’m kinda afraid to quit again – given the horrible shit happening pattern.

And yea, yea, I know, I know; the cigarettes don’t prevent the horrible shit and the shit isn’t any less horrible with a cigarette in my hand. But addiction isn’t logical and horrible shit seems much more horrible without the crutch that I’ve leaned on for the last 17 years.

I’m afraid of failing again. I’m afraid of gaining a lot of weight. I’m afraid of not having the “I need a cigarette” excuse to step out of a social situation and pull my shit together during a panic attack. Mostly though, I’m afraid of the “I want a cigarette and can’t have one and I hate life” misery never ever going away. Just writing this is making my skin crawl. In 6 weeks of smoking it didn’t go away. I’ve talked to people who’ve been quit 20 years and still fight the urge every single day. That shit scares me.

But I don’t want to die miserably. I don’t want yellow teeth and stinky clothes. I don’t want to crawl out of my skin every time I see a no smoking sign. I don’t want to be dependent. I do want the money that I literally blow everyday to stay in my pocket. I do want to be able to wrestle around with my kids and not have to stop because I can’t breathe. I do want cardio to be a part of my gym routine without having a heart attack on the elliptical. And I do want to be a good example for BabyDoll, instead of a bad one.

Can’t afford the pills, don’t have the strength to cold turkey again, so I’ve come up with a plan of my own. My problem is that I enjoy smoking. Its part of my relaxation routine. 

So Step 1: For 2 weeks (or so) Stop smoking in the house or the car. Not only will this give me less opportunity to smoke, it will make it less convenient and a fuck ton less enjoyable since its – 10 degrees outside currently. It will help me stop associating smoking with nice, pleasant and relaxing feelings and start seeing it as a pain in the ass. Changing the habits and the connections and the triggers,
Step 2: After 2 weeks (or so) of step 1, see how many I’m smoking a day. Right now I’m at a little over a pack. Wherever I am at in 2 weeks, I will reduce that amount. I’m thinking of only keeping the hard ones. First one of the day, after dinner one, etc. Do this for 2 weeks (or so).
Step 3: Take out one of the remaining cigarettes at a time until there's none left.

Its not a perfect plan, I’m sure. I’m not completely confident I can pull it off either. But I’m gonna try dammit. I will journal my way through this process and share with you my exact thoughts every few days. Wish me luck?