Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hi, I'm Katie, and I'm stronger than I thought.

After one helluva nightmarish weekend, one in which I can safely say I went to hell and back, kicking and screaming the whole way there, there's some strange kind of tentatively optimistic hope left. Isn't that just bizarre? I spent hours, sprawled in my wardrobe, perched on my bed, howling tears so painful and soul destroying I literally forgot the simple fact that breathing out comes after breathing in. I can honestly say I never knew emotional pain could be so physically excruciating - I literally felt like my heart was aching.

And now, two days on, where am I?
I'm in bed still, feverishly doing the things I should have done a long, long time ago. I've barely moved from the spot I first sat in, laptop on legs, phone in hand several hours ago. And in that time, like in the last two days of soul searching, I've done more than I have in months.

I've applied for three brilliant sounding jobs - in aged care. That feeling I've had for as long as I can remember - primary school? - that I've wanted to be around elderly people and give them the opportunities to not only reminisce and tell stories from the past I find so interesting, but to also give them a good few hours a week in the present. Something to do with always loving my own grandparents war time stories, and dreaming of the time I most wanted to live in, long ago, and in England, when things were so much more simple.

I have joined the gym. Pilates, Zumba, yoga, boxing and aqua aerobics, 5 days a week. No more crying each morning when I don't fit in my clothes, no more looking back at my old photos and sobbing for the thin girl trapped in this body I so severely despise. No more selfishness about feeling fat, and most of all, growing up and taking care of my body the way I should do.

I start meditation and 'anxiety awareness' classes on Thursday. Stop this stupid, stupid, stupid self conscious crap I've lived my life doing - and maybe calming myself down when it comes to situations that freak me out. If I can learn to stop hyperventilating at the very thought of an airplane, I'll be happy. And better yet, stop thinking the "she's so much thinner/prettier/funnier/more self assured and therefore better than me" that rules my life.

Called my mum and emailed her a list of houses available closer to me, the arm length list of events happening under my very nose in my local community I didn't even know about to entice her to move closer so I can see my best friend every day - or more than the once a fortnight trek one of us makes at the moment. How utterly brilliant would going for a coffee, walking the dog then going to the local markets, sailing classes, art demonstrations, free movies and all manner of things I never knew existed at my doorstep be, and even better, to be able to do it with my mum?

And, from the above mentioned productivity, comes the most important thing for me: meeting new people, making new friends and having experiences I've spent my life fighting myself for. If anything comes from this weekend, it's knowing the people in my life I truly want there are few and far between, and the people I thought closest - who I've known for some time now aren't to be trusted as much as I'd have liked - are actually not the people I need around me. This is where that strange optimism seeps through my veins, like little bubbles of hope... and it's now or never. This life is what I make it, and I've been so utterly terrified of living it recently it's beyond scary. My head is out the sand, my heart is on the line, and my instincts tell me this strange silver lining is to be snapped up at all accounts; whether that heart gets broken or not. I'm living for me from now on, and I can honestly say, even though I hope with every fibre of my being that I'll have a certain someone by my side, I'm almost certain I can make this by myself. And I know I'll need to; not only for my own sake, but to make sure I give that person the best self I have, if there's ever going to be the chance to make us whole again.

In the meantime, for the first time in over a year... I know what I want. And even better... I'm fighting for it.

"This life is what you make it. Not matter what, you're going to mess up sometimes, it's a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you're going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends - they'll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything - they're your true best friends. Don't let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they'll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them - actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can't give up because if you give up, you'll never find your soul mate. You'll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn't mean you're gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don't, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about" - Marilyn Monroe.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'll regret this in the morning.

I've had about 7 new posts waiting in the wings, just waiting to be sent into cyberspace to appear on this blog, but something stopped me posting them, for one reason or another. And, upon reflection, I am kinda glad I didn't post them. Amazing, that: not jumping into things without thinking.

Speaking of strange things, and ideas that are foreign to me...

Rub and Tug (urban dictionary definition):
A name for a massage parlour or place in which after the massage is given, it is ended with a Happy Ending.

A place or way in which a man can get 'relieved' and it not be considered cheating.

NOT considered cheating? Well, not only is it considered cheating by me, it's considered to be completely fucked up.

And yes, I am sure this is one of those posts that should be sitting with its friends in drafts, too.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I'm feeling a bit... blah. For the past 3 years, I've had this constant, consuming fear of Sahara, my dog, hurting herself again, and have lain awake night after night wondering where that would leave us both. Now she's had her surgery for the exact thing I spent all that time worrying about, it's actually more acute fear than before. The first day was almost euphoric - I had my girl back, she didn't have any severe complications in surgery, she was alert and didn't seem in too much pain; all seemed well. As of this morning, she seems to have regressed and is refusing to put weight on her leg, and as usual, the first sign of anything wrong makes a cold hard lump of dread knot in my stomach. I called the vet clinic, but being Sunday, they only offer an emergency service, so I made a deal with myself I would wait a few hours to see if she shows any improvement before calling her specialist or surgeon on their emergency mobile numbers. I've dosed her with pain relief. I've given her more toys to play with, and some cheese to cheer her up. I've done all I can for now, but nothing takes away this awful feeling, like I'm being weighed down with worry.

I wonder why I keep doing this to myself - this was ultimately my decision, and one I thought long and hard about for weeks (if not months in the dark of night whilst I couldn't get off to sleep). I considered the other option - the only alternative being having her put down. As much as the very thought brought me instantly to tears, I had to consider it for her sake, as she was in pain and had very little quality of life for a few weeks there. But I know how resilient she is - heck, this is the girl who had a 90% rupture of her anterial cruciate ligament and presented, repeatedly, as less than a 10% tear, and who has flown through the previous surgeries with attitude and aplomb. It wasn't the surgery having an impact on her that really worried me; I knew she would be sore, stiff and restricted for movement for a few weeks, but I knew it was something she could handle. Here's the bad was me that I was worried for. 8 weeks of not being able to leave the house for any period of time longer than to grab some milk from the corner store. No random trips to the shops to waste some time; no ability to enjoy daylight savings riding my horses into the sunset. No nights out with friends. No trips to see Harry Potter. A quiet, excitement free Christmas, and canceled weekends away i the weeks before. A special dog minder to take her when I leave for Africa, which I have meticulously planned her x-rays, surgery dates etc around, simply so I could go and not worry about how she was doing whilst I was away.

Yesterday was fine. I did things around the house, and spent all day with her, moving her bed around as I moved room to room. I got the downstairs room painted, a feat I had talked about for over a year. All in all, it was fine, her first full day out from surgery. But already, this morning, I am struggling a little. Sunday is my day to go to the market, go grab breakfast out, have a lazy day shopping or walking around garden centres or riding my horses. That's fine; a week or so off doesn't bother me at all, I'm quite happy my man and I are home to put in a whole irrigation system by ourselves and do the sorts of things we never seem to find time to do. But one look at Sahara's pinched and drawn face, one glance at her leg hanging limply, and I'm plunged into doom. What if she has done something to the pins in her leg? What if she needs surgery, at a cost of $5000 again tomorrow morning? Where does that leave me? And then, the overwhelming guilt - I had a few moments wishing I could duck to the shops for a coffee and mooch around the garden centre, but felt I couldn't leave her yet, and felt kind of pissed. Guilt for wanting to have a normal weekend, when I knew what I was getting myself into. Guilt for maybe a tiny bit wishing I didn't have this burden of looking after her, especially when I feel so utterly alone in doing so. Carrying her out to the toilet - all 36kg of her - at 2am in the cold, dark night while all I can hear are people my age screaming and shouting and singing drunkenly at parties...there was a split second of wondering why I chose this, and quite a bit of wondering why it is I feel so lonely in my choices.

My man backed this surgery financially, and I am eternally indebted to him for doing so, but emotionally... I feel completely unsupported. I have all these emotions running rampant, while I've got a sleepy dog dead weighted in my arms as I trudge around the garden to find a spot she'll wee in, and I feel I have no one to share them with. When he marvels I can hide 3 tablets in a single piece of cheese and get them down her throat in a second, or am elbow deep cleaning up the mess when she couldn't control her bowels due to her medication giving her problems, it makes me feel a bit shitty (no pun intended). Why is no one handing me the correct dosage of medication to hide into a sausage?Why doesn't he have her specialist, surgeon, local vet and 3 emergency vet clinics listed in his speed dial? Why am I told there's so much guilt I have to stay home with Sahara he's canceled all the plans I never knew he had, and have to be grateful to be second best?

And, as I carry her wiggly butt outside for another wee, spraining a muscle in my back in the process, it clicks. How can I be alone when I have this writhing mass of fur in my arms, looking at me with eyes so full of love that I'm so close to her warm little body? I've got my best friend not just by my side like most dogs, but right there in my arms, utterly reliant on me - and completely trusting - that I will make this all alright for her. I can quite honestly say she's never doubted me for a second the way I doubt myself, she doesn't mind we're not out chasing sticks or swimming in the ocean; she's just happy she's got me all to herself. And, like that, I realize this is going to be hard, and painful for us both at times, but we're both in the same boat here - we're both sacrificing things we love for her to get better, we're both feeling sorry for ourselves and wishing things were different, but we're also both lucky to have each other. And that's going to more than make up for all these other niggles - I've always said I'd die for my girl, but I guess now we both need to work on the living part, and enjoying the moments we've got together, not worrying about what's going to happen tomorrow, or next month, or next year. And as I was scrolling through pages on the dogs old blog last night, giggling at old photos and smiling at memories I'd forgotten, I came across this quote by Gene Hill, and it seemed a bit too much like an omen not to share...

"He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds.
He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

...I'm back!

After what feels like forever, I am BACK. I wasn't purposefully taking a break from blogging, it just kind of happened, and then once I stopped posting daily, or even weekly, it all seemed a bit too hard, or I simply didn't have time. Or, like recently, my lovely brand spanking new laptop fell under siege to the claw of my dog, and had been in Laptop Hospital having a new screen fitted...for four and a half weeks. Right at the time my iPhone died, and I was, thus, without any form of internet. How did I stay sane? you ask in horrified tones. I quite literally have no clue - all I recall from that hazy, horrible time was rather a lot of involuntary eye twitching any time I heard the word "google" uttered, and quite a bit of screaming, shouting and breaking of inanimate objects any time My Man dared speak of emails he had forwarded to me without thinking.

So, what has happened in these past few months? Well, where to begin!
I started working for a jewelry company, I cried when horse got cancer in his leg which I am still treating him for, I stopped working for a jewelry company when they weren't paying me, I held the trophy for two of Australia's biggest horse races and sat at the owners table for the worlds best racehorse, I did a lot of boring every day stuff, I planned and plotted (and still am) for my trip to Africa in January where I will be riding horses for a week then traveling to Botswana/Zambia...

wait. Surely I've done more than that? I'm adament there were all sorts of exciting things that have taken place recently...

guess not. Today will be spent running around like a madwoman preparing for my pup's return from the vet hospital - complete leg reconstruction number four took place yesterday, and bionic dog had to stay overnight - and making a large batch of bone shaped cookies for The Man to say a big thank you for giving my dog a brand new leg via his credit card. And maybe finding some lacy knickers that don't leave large indentations on my thighs with the weight I've gained recently...still, I'll work on those cookies first, I think. (can't tell why this added blubber is creeping up on me...)

So, I'm hoping to be back regularly with random updates. I find Facebook leaves me open to my great aunties second cousin - or, more worryingly, My Man's entire workplace - finding out about something I flippantly said in a status update 4 months ago after a gin and tonic or 9, and Twitter just isn't long enough for me to rant and rave... so blogging world, here I come!