Friday, November 13, 2009

planning a birthday party doesn't have to make me crazy

Evites went out this morning. Granted it's a week till the party and Andrew just got me the email list last night/this morning, hopefully it will be a birthday to remember. I get nervous when I know some of his Northern friends will be staying w/us. I've met a few and the rest have been depicted through crazy stories of drunkenness, vandalism, crude and adulterous tales. And not all are stories from their college years, 10 years ago. Some of these stories reflect events that have happened in the past year! As I mentally prepare for the strangers staying in my house, I also must plan out my week schedule. Since I am away from the home so much between work and school, much of the cleaning and prep will rest on Andrew's shoulders. I know he'll do everything I ask of him, he may just do it minutes before people arrive. This is why Andrew and I are such a dynamic duo.

The past year I've really taken my one-on-one therapy and group therapy seriously. No, I've gotten passionate about my therapy. I want to get "better." For years I've struggled w/eating issues and the guilt and shame that go along w/it. And that guilt and shame have made me emotionally unbalanced and I have found it very difficult to understand why I can be so easily devastated and left feeling hopeless. And I've wanted to be rid of those issues and discover the root of all my struggles.

"Hi my name is Hayley."
"Hi Hayley."
"And my qualifiers are my mother and father."

Al-Anon is amazing. I knew about them in high school, thought it wouldn't work for me b/c I don't have alcoholics for parents. But my father was raised by an alcoholic and learned to outburst like an angry drunk, even when very, very sober. And my mother found a way to drown out her childhood demons in the comfort of prescription medications. That made her super mom one minute and hysterical the next. I was raised in an environment that did not advertise taking responsibility for your actions or words. Sort of a "scream now and sorta say your sorry days later" kind of motto. My insecurities were often comforted by food, the lack of food or acts of being controlled or taking control.

Andrew is a go w/the flow kinda fella. He's incredibly smart - street and book. He's done much traveling, experienced mind-altering adventures and been able to live a life w/o acknowledging baggage. Not that he hasn't experienced first hand how crazy a family can be, he's just processed things so differently then I. We have much in common, yet our coping abilities are polar opposites.

I never imagined traveling; too much planning and "what ifs" involved.
(Cue: insecurity and control issues!)
I never dreamed of completing college, I'm not smart enough.
(Again, cue insecurities).

Andrew challenges me to be saner. He sometimes gently, sometimes not so gently pushes me to test my own abilities to let go of what I know (the crazy) and just let things flow. The world keeps on turning with or without things going my way.

I re-entered therapy February 2009. This time I needed it. I felt my mind turning on itself and my emotions spinning wildly out of control. Between cutting people off, skipping work, dramatic emails to friends and family - I needed to take responsibility for my life and stop blaming everything else and everyone else from past to present on the situation I put myself in.

It's been over 9 months and I feel so much calmer. I still have my battles, my struggles but I'm now seeing a future of serenity. I'm in school. I own up to my outbursts and reactions. I may have learned to act this way as a child, but as an adult I can be "better."

This birthday party involves hosting, planning and all the other things that a year ago would have made me cry in the bathroom and inhale a party-size bag of Almond Joys. But now, I know that this is all for Andrew and I'm just happy to be apart of it. Sounds kinda kooky, but I was.
I'm so thankful for my mental and emotional health.

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