A Dose of Summer Fun After Bullsh*t-Induced Bingeing

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Avi and I chillin’ on the outdoor patio at Pono Hawaiian Grill

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The large patio was the perfect place to relax while Avi & Rilla enjoyed Da Lanikai Poke Stack. It has sashimi-grade ahi tuna, avocado, seaweed salad & more from “da poke bar”

Thanks and Mahalo to those of you who read my last novella post!

Special thanks to everyone who offered helpful insights. I’m extremely grateful for your support, wisdom, and humor.

I binged last Thursday and Friday night because I held my anger in for too many days in a row. I waited a week without expressing my rage until meeting with my counselor. (Um, that was not the greatest coping method!)

Before last Thursday, I had been binge-free during the past four months; it was a personal record, and one that was deeply meaningful.

After literally working my derrière off to lose 35 pounds, I was relieved I stopped bingeing after the second evening. I even told my family I binged – that was a first. (Previously, I was secretive about my compulsive overeating.) They encouraged me to go easy on myself, which I’ve tried my best to do since then.

What has helped my mood immensely is keeping busy and having fun with my two girls. 

I’ve been making up for all the summers I was unable to do a thing because my hospitalizations for bipolar depression. Those agonizing separations from my little ones will always haunt me. So you can understand how I can’t begin to explain how good it feels to get out and spend time with my daughters despite my social anxiety/generalized anxiety. (These natural lozenges help me when I’m really freaking out!)

I took Avi and her friend to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk while Rilla was petting snakes and tarantulas at Science Camp. (!) If you glance at these shots I took on their monitor (sorry for the blur), you’ll see that the girls had a bit more fun than I did on the Boardwalk’s famed, ninety-two-year old wooden rollercoaster, The Giant Dipper.

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What was more my style was driving an hour to gorgeous Pacific Grove to meet one of my best friends. (She plays a memorable role in my upcoming memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder.) 

Just before we arrived at the beach, I drove by Monterey Bay Urgent Care. That was where I used to go for my required physicals so I could receive my ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). As the great 80’s band Naked Eyes sang, there’s always something there to remind me!

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We caught up on life while the girls enjoyed all the beach had to offer…

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 Rilla was only a few feet away from a harbor seal!

Yesterday we strolled around Santa Cruz’s outdoor Pacific Garden Mall which is full of tourists, college students, yuppies, street performers, and sadly, many homeless people. We visited the indie Bookshop Santa Cruz to pick up our Harry Potter Festival tickets. (Yes.)

This “Staff Pick” display cracked me up!

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Bookshop Santa Cruz holds many positive memories for me. I’ve been visiting it since I moved here to attend college in 1989. Yesterday I watched their staff set up chairs for Julie Barton, the evening’s featured author. She was there to promote her bestselling memoir about her depression experience: Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me From Myself. (Yes, I’m jealous of her!)

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This topic has been covered years ago by BP (Bipolar) Magazine blogger Bruce Goldstein in his book Puppy Chow Is Better Than Prozac: The True Story of a Man and the Dog Who Saved His Life.

Sometimes I wonder if my book’s cover should have a big picture of my photogenic Scotch collie Lucy – who cares if she’s not central to the theme – it would sell a helluva lot more copies than if it had my visage on it! 😉 A SocialMediaToday article, “Put A Dog On It”, proves my point! 

Julie Barton’s book cover reminded me of a book I bought last year at the Catamaran Writing Conference titled The Wrong Dog Dream. I heard an acclaimed author/writing instructor speak named Jane Vandenburgh – she was incredible. Check out her book cover:

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Recently our most famous local author Jonathan Franzen spoke at Bookshop Santa Cruz about his latest book Purity. (He does not have nor needs a dog on the cover – he wrote a little book you may have heard of called The Corrections.)

Franzen’s longtime partner Kathryn Chetkovich was my college writing teacher, and get this – she actually liked my writing when I was nineteen and didn’t think I could ever write professionally! Chetkovich wrote Envy, a famous essay for Granta Magazine about how she reacted to her partner’s skyrocketing writerly fame – you should read it.

Now I wish I kept in touch with her. I admit I’m shameless when it comes to finding those who could help promote my book! Oh well.

I’ve seen quite a few amazing authors speak at Bookshop Santa Cruz over the decades. Who knows, maybe one day their picky staff will allow me to speak about my book. (I’ll bribe ’em!)

Apart from browsing bookstores, screaming on rollercoasters, and soaking up the sun at the beach, I have two items for the “Miracle of Miracles” category.

I took the girls roller skating (let me tell you….that’s a workout!)

The little, out-of-control skater kids who raced past me were the epitome of scary! And speaking of scary, I cleaned our decrepit fridge. (And no, I wasn’t manic. I was groggy as hell, LOL! I’m groggy every day!)

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It’s no lie! Hopefully it’ll stay clean for longer than two weeks!

Today I’m taking the girls to see a matinee (Ice Age: Collision Course in 3D – yikes! But they’re begging me to see it – I can’t resist their soft, little hugs – I’m a sucker!)

I also plan to catch up on your blogs and your comments sometime today and over the weekend – hurrah! Now you know why I haven’t had time to do much besides gallivant about town.

Sending you my love, & see you next week!

Dyane

I want to send a special shout-out to Bradley of the terrific blog Insights From a Bipolar Bear. We’ve been encouraging each other in our free online Lose It! group as we work on our weight loss/exercise goals. If you’re interested in joining us, mention it in the comments and I’ll send you an invite.

Thank you Bradley!!!

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Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.

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26 thoughts on “A Dose of Summer Fun After Bullsh*t-Induced Bingeing

  1. I LOVED reading this even though I’m truly sorry about the binge. Telling your family was a huge deal, though, and a great step in showing yourself some love and understanding — a crucial skill to cultivate as we move through life. I haven’t talked about it much, but I did some binging in college and sporadically throughout my twenties. I always felt like it was okay because I didn’t throw up, though I definitely overexercised in unhealthy ways. I know now that it was another of my unhealthy coping tools (as if I need any more.) Back then (before I learned to prioritize my mental health) I justified it by saying ‘no harm done since I don’t purge’ though I knew deep down what I was doing wasn’t normal or healthy. I wouldn’t eat at all (sometimes barely anything for weeks) which always led to an inevitable binge. It always felt like THE most shameful thing when I was doing it but I couldn’t stop & looking back, now I see so much of it was my undiagnosed depression and ADHD and the binging and other weight controlling methods were how I dealt with stress. It was a process to stop (maybe I’ll blog about this in the future — you’ve inspired me.)

    I think what you’re doing with the Lose It group is amazing. I think talking about this kind of thing in a safe space is such a huge component of healing — even though it is difficult.

    One of the key things that helped me was working with other people who often confessed that they, too, binged. I worked in a weight-loss clinic for two years and if those walls could talk…um. I can’t tell you how many brilliant, successful, kind, wonderful people I worked with who shared their shame about binging (and other things) with me on a daily basis. There I’d sit, not having a clue what to do with my life at the time and feeling shame over every stupid choice I had made and feeling like a complete loser, and in would walk some polished doctor, educator, high-up person in name the industry and would tell me they hated themselves for eating all their food in one night. They would always preface the confession with “I can’t believe I’m about to tell you this…” but I was so busy judging myself that I wasn’t about to judge them. I saw myself as a loser, but I saw my clients as good people who had a hard time and were simply struggling and not able to control this one aspect of their life.

    Something clicked in me during the time I was working there — it was like ding ding ding — I needed to show myself the same compassion and understanding that I showed my clients, which finally brings me to my point here. Watch out, I’m about to go all Kumbaya on you. I know how you love that! 🙂

    Seriously, though. I think those of us who were late to the game figuring ourselves out carry SO much built-up stuff — shame, self-hatred, on and on and on. I still fight it every single day in one area of my life or another, but food and fear of being THE F WORD really jacks with our heads. You are beautiful and brilliant and compassionate and amazing, and your strength and beauty shine through your writing along with your willingness to be you while sharing your journey through some extremely hard stuff. You have a wicked-great sense of humor and you always make me think and laugh at the same time.

    I’m thrilled to see that you’re enjoying the summer with your girls. Please know I’m by no means trying to simply things, but I will say this. It happens. Move forward. Lots of love to you, friend! I’m sorry this got so long!!!!!! Geez Louise, lady.

    1. This is an amazing comment – I can’t thank you enough for each and every word. Even the Kumbaya part! 😉

      I want to print it out and save it….it’s that inspiring, helpful, and kind!!!!!!!
      A million thank you’s, my beautiful friend.
      XOXOXOXOXOXOOX

  2. I’m sorry about your binge. No one is perfect, you should be proud you made it as long as you did and then fessed up when you messed up! I love that your family told you to go easy on yourself.

    I’m so glad you’re making up for lost time with your girls. I understand the guilt that can come from what Bipolar steals from you. There’s a Bible verse that makes me feel better: Joel 2:25 says, “The LORD says,I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten…” When I’m feeling sh*tty about wasted time, I remind myself of this scripture and how I can’t change the past but I can restore my relationships and work on my future!

    I believe you’ll be featured at that bookstore one day soon, Dyane! Praying for you always!

    1. Thank you so much, Michelle, for believing in me! I find the verse you quoted very comforting too! Hope you and your beautiful family has a great week! And please, keep the prayers coming our way…..XOXOX Dy ❤️

  3. To err is human. It’s not about “falling off the horse” it’s about choosing to get back on. Know you Dyane, that won’t be a problem!

    Great pictures. Great memories. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you Vic! I’m so glad you liked the photos!
      I’m back on the horse today and plan to stay on it all day long….
      🐴🐎
      Giddyap!
      I appreciate your encouragement & loyalty so much.
      I hope you & your family have a great Sunday today! 🌞

    1. LOVE the emojis! 💗 ❤️💛💚💙
      All superb and so fitting!!!!

      Thanks for taking the time to find them and share them here – you put a big smile on my face!
      A grin like this one: 😊

      Hope you have a fabulous Sunday, my sweet Van! 🚐
      Perhaps you’ll take a stroll down by the river? 😜

    1. I deactivated my Twitter profile – wouldn’t that be the cause?
      In any case, many thanks for your effort to share & for letting me know! 😻

      1. This is VERY good information to know, Kitt! Thanks so much! I should edit that setting so that you and Lisa could share the love, and help me stay a little bit out there on Twitter…..hope you have a great August 1st! I’m off to report for jury duty. Wish I could take Lucy as my emotional support animal but she’d attack the attorneys, I’m sure…

  4. Congratulations on enjoying the summer with your girls. I realize doing so means overcoming social anxiety & generalized anxiety, plus perhaps the risk of overstimulation (it does for me). Congrats also on letting your family know of your binge eating and stopping it after two days. Job well done. Remember to forgive yourself for falling off the wagon. I also congratulate you on promoting your upcoming book! Well done all around.

    1. Thanks for all the wonderful congratulations, Kitt, and for reading my blog – I know you’ve been a busy bee!

      I thought of you yesterday when I went to a Monterey-based editor’s talk at the library about publishing. I used to attend events like that all the time, but my anxiety was making me want to skip it. I forced myself to go, and I’m glad I did it. She might be a good contact for me – you never know, right? I already sent her a Jacquie Lawson online thank-you card (have you seen these? One must pay an annual fee to join, but they’re fun http://www.jacquielawson.com I asked her about her experience as an active member of the Central Coast Writers group, a branch of the California Writers Club. I’ve considered joining them in the past and I read their monthly newsletter.

      http://centralcoastwriters.org

      The library room was filled to capacity and she said some interesting things. I might post about it next week, come to think of it! :)))))

      Sending you my love and lots of hugs – thanks again for your comment & support! 💗 Have a blast in that gorgeous Suburu!

  5. Listen to your family and don’t worry about the binge slip. It sucks, but you held it at a minimum. As a perpetual dieter, I can tell you that sometimes those days jumpstart your metabolism.

    I’m sure your girls are soaking up their “mom time” as much as you are soaking up your “girl time”. I’m glad that you are all getting to spend so much time together. xo

    1. Hi there Leslie!

      Thanks so much for what you wrote – yes, maybe those low, binge days jumpstarted my metabolism!
      I like that idea! 🙂

      I hope that whatever you’re up to today, you’re treating yourself well. You’re a bright light, you’re a beautiful yellow lily (at least that’s what I *think* I see in your Gravatar – my eyesight is starting to bluy! ) and in any case, you definitely deserve lots of happiness!!!

      🌼💗,
      Dyane

  6. I enjoyed reading this as my daughter speaks adamantly about being a chef when she grows up and investigating King Tut. I have no clue how these things go together, but they do in a 6-year-old’s brain. ANYway, after feeling your Mama Bear time with you, I’m glad you had a chance to work yourself through. I know the binge eating is never what you WANT to happen, but it did. That’s one of those things that is SO not worth dwelling on. Your family’s with you, they support you–and your daughters can’t wait to do more with you. That, to me, is truly awesome. And what memories you create with them! Trips to the beach, journeys around the state–so cool! I can’t wait to do more of that with my kids, but my boys have to mellow out a bit first. Just need another year or two…or seven…look I know we’ll get there, okay?!?

    Ahem.

    Oh, and that book cover note from the bookshop is HILARIOUS. Who designed that thing, anyway? I was talking to…hang on…
    https://sjhigbee.wordpress.com/2016/07/29/friday-faceoff-the-hooded-one/
    Found it!
    Anyway, SJHigbee does these weekly comparisons of book covers. It says a lot about the marketing–or the author, if he/she has any say–when the book cover doesn’t really reflect the story at all.

    All right, back to King Tut. 🙂 Love and hugs and enjoy the film! -xxxxxx

    1. Hey there my java lovin’ friend! Loved this comment – your comments are the equivalent of a cup of Joe! Or, for the more feminist-minded, a cup of Josephine! (Can you tell I haven’t had my first cup yet? ‘Tis true! Ah, the pain…..) Thank you for the wise words and empathy!

      Re: taking your tater tots out for more excursions when they mellow( just a wee bit)

      Your time shall come, and it will be sooner than 7 years. I’ll bet you a pound of these:

      http://www.mccreascandies.com/collections/buy-caramels/products/cafe-noir

      Not sure if you like that kind of treat. Avi & Rilla got some of them (sans espresso) after we went to the beach and they *loved* them.

      I visited Brainfluff’s blog & got a big kick out of her “About” page – especially the slug section. I love those wacky Brits on the south coast! Not sure if that’s where John Nettles was born; I can consult his book, but I’m too lazy. In any case, you can tell by now I’m an Anglophile.

      The U.K. vs. U.S. “Hooded theme” showdown on Brainfluff made me laugh!

      The excursions continue. The link I pasted below is where we’re headed today.
      My eldest is a Harry Potter fan. Rilla is not into the books yet – she’s addicted to Animal Jam, sigh, but that’s another story.

      Anyway, I got us all tickets and pre-ordered the newest Harry Potter book a few weeks ago before the event sold out, thank goodness.

      Yours truly wants to try the fortune teller, although it kind of scares me, but I shall avoid the butterbeer and cauldron cakes. Both of those yummy treats have been made by the Penny Ice Creamery and Buttercup Cakes, two ub-erpopular & pricey local businesses where I used to visit on a regular basis and spend far too much $ and get bigger with each visit.

      http://www.bookshopsantacruz.com/event/harry-potter-festival-celebrate-harry-potter-and-cursed-child-parts-i-ii

      Whatever YOU’RE up to today, I hope it’s fun!

      Gotta catch up with your Agatha Christie post and with my other friends’ posts – I don’t feel “complete” until I’m up-to-date with my blogs. Call me neurotic? Why not!

      Toodles, my lovely!
      XOXOXXOXOXOXOXOOXO
      Dy

      1. Yummy yummy yummy YUM! Both your lovely coffee treats and cauldron cakes sound wickedly delicious. I hope you had fun with your girls at the festival! This’ll likely sound strange, but I just don’t have the excitement for this installment like I did for the series. Oh I did a midnight release with my dad once–we were definitely the biggest kids there. 🙂 So maybe it’s because he’s gone now, or because this is a script and not a novel, maybe it’s just because, as a reader, I’m okay that Harry’s story is “done.” (I guess technically it’s not now, but anyway.) I’m SUPER-stoked for the movie FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, though! I suppose it’s all of that Diana Wynne Jones reading–I fall in love with a universe, but I feel like if we stick with the same protagonist ALL the time, we never get a chance to really explore the universe well. FANTASTIC takes place…in the 50s, I think? before all the Voldemort stuff. Well anyway, I think it’ll be a lot of fun experiencing a fresh part of the Potter-verse. I hope your family enjoys it,too. Ooo, let’s plan to see it the same weekend so we can gab about it! 🙂
        ANYway, I’m glad you are having so many adventures with your little ones. We’ll just enjoy our back yard for now, and maybe, JUST maybe, figure out how potties work. 😉 Chip chip cheerio, lovely friend! xxxxxx

    1. I *loved* this comment, Bradley! I could say the same thing of you! Let’s keep it going – I’ve noticed you’ve had earned some fabulous FitBit adjustments on Lose It! lately – I’m so stoked for you!

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