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Monday, 8 December 2014

THIS WEEK IN THERAPY: LETTING GO

After a sudden re-emergence of Kryptonite, some happy thoughts about The Ex, a sex dream about Kryptonite and then waking up to the image of The Ex and his new girlfriend at the top of my Facebook feed, I’m beginning to realize that yet again, my therapist may be correct: I’m beginning to let go.
(Cue music from Frozen)

In my session with my therapist, I described some of the memories of The Ex that I had been having.  She asked how I felt and I said happy.  They were good memories.  I didn’t feel that longing that I had felt for years.  No part of me missed my Ex.  There was actually no missing at all.  It was just a happy thought.  She explained that often when we’re really ready to start letting go of the past, happy memories, sex dreams, etc. come flooding back.  I guess because we don’t need the anger and pain to protect ourselves anymore.  It’s good to have some of the happy memories back.  There were lots of good times and I cherish that part of the relationship.  I was also happy that the thoughts were not accompanied by a need for reconciliation, as she said often happens with people.  They think of it as a sign that they should be together when it is actually the opposite.  It is a sign that they are ready to move on. 

I had a realization this morning in the shower.  I thought about conversations that The Ex and I used to have about marriage and he would say “I can see myself spending the rest of my life with you.”  I used to take this as a forever phrase, and only now, over 5 years later, I realize this is not what I wanted at all.  At the time, I would have thought it was the best I could get, but luckily, I now see that I’m worth so much more.  I don’t want someone who ‘can see spending the rest of their life with me’, I want someone who ‘cannot see the rest of their life without me’.  It might be an argument of semantics and the phrase I prefer is simply the double negative version of the first, but it makes a difference.  Anyone can picture the rest of their life with anyone else.  It’s sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always possible.  I want someone who cannot imagine a life without me in it.  It’s a small difference, but an important one. 

Through therapy, I’m realizing that these small distinctions are essential in how we perceive the world.  How we phrase things actually reveals more about our thoughts and intentions than we intend.  I don’t want to fit the mould of what my partner thinks their mate should be.  I want to be the person that opens a space in his heart that he never knew was there.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

WEEK #68 - THE 90-DAY COOKIE

So, after taking a year off dating, sex and all things romantic, I was super excited to get back in the game!  I had all this new knowledge and understanding that I couldn’t wait to put to work.  Little did I know that there was so much learning yet to be done.  I equate it to studying statistics in school, then getting a job and having to apply that learning in the real world.  There is still so far to go!  Mainly, I think you learn all the things you don’t know.

Since August, I have been dating.  It has been interesting.  I had a little bit of a relapse into Girl Brain while pursuing things with the first gentleman, the Russian.  He and I had been working together and he showed interest and was pretty insistent about chasing me, until I reciprocated and then he disappeared and I dropped back into my normal patterns of obsessing and chasing.  That is, until The Blue Fairy came up and talked me down.  It was a bad scene, but I got over quite quickly, faster than ever before and most importantly, I could see it happening and knew it had to change.  Nothing came of it.  We were from different parts of the country and we parted amicably.  It wasn’t the right relationship for me, but I was just so excited to be a participant in the dating world instead of an observer, I lost all sense of myself (that, and I was super horny, let’s face it!). 

After that, I tried online dating.  It was okay.  I was seeing one guy for a while, but we discovered that we were looking for different things.  I also learned a bunch about how I need to go about forming a relationship with someone.  I still have a lot of work to do on trust and acceptance of kindness.  When it comes to forming a romantic relationship, I need to move at a pace slightly slower than molasses on a cold winter’s day.  I still have training wheels on and was trying to ride a big-girl bike.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

WEEK #66 - ROLF ME AWAY

Today I woke up and looked in the mirror and was extremely happy with the person I saw.  I showered just before bed, so my hair looked like something out of a zombie movie, I have a zit that has been slowing growing into a mountain to the right of my nose with no signs of slowing and I still have much of the weight that I have gained over the past year, but I looked at myself and thought, “you look freakin’ fantastic!”  It was a nice way to wake up.

The past couple weeks have been really difficult.  Two weeks ago in group therapy, one of the therapists that runs the group (not my regular one) brought up some deep emotional trauma but then did not take the time to deal with it properly and I was left an emotional wreck until last night.  It has been rough because I was still working on the road for the majority of the time and didn’t have anywhere I could turn for grounding.  I fought through, but I felt like I was flying a million miles away – something that I haven’t experienced much in the past year.  It sucked.

Friday, 3 October 2014

TMI MOMENT #4 - WEIGHING IN...

So this comes as a bit of a follow-up to TIPPING THE SCALE

Back in March, I wrote about my battle with some mild weight gain and accepting a changing body shape.  After years of fighting various eating disorders, this was the true test of coming into myself.  I’m pleased to say that after 6 months, I still have not succumb to my previous ways of weight loss.  I had even let the issue go for a while, until recently…

I have been working out in Edmonton for the past three weeks and staying with some wonderful friends.  These friends have a scale in their washroom and after four and half years of not stepping on a scale, I was tempted to see where I stood in numerical weight.  I thought I would be somewhere in the 160-165 lbs. range.  Last time I weighed myself I was battling to remain at 148 lbs., but ended up closer to 152 lbs.  You can imagine my shock when the scale read 173 lbs.  My mouth dropped (and then immediately shut again for fear of the air adding to the weight).  This was boy weight!  Ladies don’t weigh that much!  I had troubles accepting when I hit 150 lbs. but now I had skipped the 160s altogether and plunged right into the 170s. 

SIDE NOTE:  For new readers, I would like to state for the record that I am a tall woman and could not be described as fat, chunky, plump or even thick.  I have a very nice body, even if there is a bit more around the gut than there used to be.  This is all well and good to know, but for someone who has suffered from body image issues and eating disorders, you can know these things in your brain, but that does not stop the obsessing.

So, I finally said “enough is enough” and made the decision to change my habits to drop a couple pounds.  I know where the weight came from.  I had not exercised since the previous year and spent half my time sitting and the other half sleeping.  Also, my diet consisted of beer and fried foods.  I hadn’t seen a vegetable in weeks.

THE CONCLUSION - Updated!

Hey Readers!

Just wanted to let you know that I have finally posted a summary of my thoughts concluding this experiment on "The Conclusion" page.  But this isn't the end of "My Year Without Sex".  I'm going to continue posting about my experiences on this side of the year and how I am managing to apply what I learned to real life.

Stay tuned for updates about my re-entry into the dating world, developments in therapy, and the continued struggle with self and body!

Again, comments and thoughts are encouraged!  Also, follow me on Twitter for more updates!

Thanks!
AJ :)

Monday, 25 August 2014

WEEK #56 - TODAY I GOT STOOD UP

Today I got stood up for a date with a guy that I was pretty sure was into me.  I’ve had a crush on him for months.  We worked together on a project in the spring, but due to this year, I couldn’t pursue anything.  Since then, he has been keeping tabs on my comings and goings and we have hung out once or twice.  Recently, he saw on Facebook that I was back in Toronto again and contacted me about getting together.  Alas, he was mistaken, I was still out of town for work, but was coming home for one night and said we could hang out after my meetings.  He agreed and we left it at that.

That night was tonight.  No word from him.  I have been officially stood up! Now, he was camping for the weekend and was only supposed to return this afternoon, so he could a have a legit excuse.  The real amazing part of this story is: I don’t care!  Not that I don’t care about being stood up, that sucks, I was looking forward to it, it’s just that psycho Girl Brain isn’t running a million miles an hour.

Now, I did get tempted to go all crazy-like and wander the streets of Toronto looking for him (we had agreed on an area and time to meet, but never said specifically where – thought we would do that at some point today), but I didn’t.  I didn’t even really wait around much for him to get back to me.  I sent him a couple messages letting him know my meeting was almost done and then that it was done and when I received no response I began to make my way home (checking my phone constantly, but that is my concession with Girl Brain). 

Then I thought about sending him a text telling him I went home (with a frowny face – ‘cause that’s how I communicate emotion these days??? Yeesh!), but when I picked up my phone (yes, I typed it), I couldn’t bring myself to hit send.  I heard the voice of my good friend, The Blue Fairy, who talked me out of Girl Brain a couple weeks ago, saying, “What if he still says no?”  Okay, not entirely accurate for this situation but it gets to the heart of matters.  The idea is, why are you putting all your energy towards this?  Will it make him appear?  Will it make him feel bad?  The answer is always ‘no’.  He should feel bad already.  If he doesn’t, it is not worth it.  He is not worth it.  You are! 

It was at that point that I put my phone away and stopped checking it. 

Here is the thing I’m finally learning: I don’t want to be with a man who does things like this.   It’s not about him or what he thinks or if he finds me attractive.  It’s about me being freakin’ awesome and wanting a guy who thinks that as well.  Why should I get all bent out of shape if a guy isn’t into me?  I’m not into guys who don’t see you when they say they will.

So, though Girl Brain is still there, Awesome Brain seems to be in control.

(Note: He could have a very legitimate reason for not contacting me and should that be the case we will see what happens, but it better come with a huge apology.  That’s all I’m sayin’.)

YOU ARE NOT ALONE - Guest Blog

As promised, here is the guest blog I wrote for my friend's blog on mental health and suicide prevention:
http://www.everythingbutthecat.net/#!Guest-Blog-YOU-ARE-NOT-ALONE-GROUP-THERAPY/c1kyp/8A3FA481-12DD-4C16-A50F-DE439EAF0476

Monday, 28 July 2014

1 HOUR LEFT

This may be short, but I felt like I needed one last post before the year was officially over.

I have one hour left!!!  WOW!!!  I’m home and in my pajamas and writing this post, no one is coming over and I’m not going out.  I’m going to do this!!!  I can’t even believe it.

After spending a year focused exclusively on my needs, I have become an entirely different person.  It is incredible.  I love who I am, where I am and what may lie in the future.  Life is good – hard, trying, heavy, but good!  And continually getting better.

This year allowed me the space and energy to figure out who I am and what I want.  It’s funny because one goes hand in hand with the other.  The more you know yourself and stay true to yourself, the clearer life becomes.

I’m excited because tomorrow a friend is posting a guest blog I wrote about group therapy.  The very end of my year and I get to write about something I am really passionate about.  I’m excited because a link to that post will be the first thing I post after completing this year.  It will also have my name attached, and though you can probably find who I am through my profile, it will be the first time I publish my name on this site. 

It’s funny that after a year, I am in no rush to start dating again.  It is like Girl Brain is completely dead.  I’m just happy with who I am.  I know something will come along someday, but I’m okay taking the time to get there.  I look forward to the journey. 

I’m back up at Wonderland again this year.  And I’m ready for this journey too.

Wow!  How far I’ve traveled in only one year.  I can hardly believe it – and I can’t wait to see that clock hit zero! I don’t even know what will happen to the timer on my blog.  What happens when it reaches its time?  Who knows?!  We’ll see!!! So excited!!!

I can start dating and having sex again!!!! AHHHHH!!!  I’m excited for the possibility – though I’m in no rush for it to happen.  It’s such weird mixed emotions!!  It’s like being thirsty and walking very slowly towards the water fountain.  I finally get the meaning of that!!! 

So much love to everyone who has been following my blog!!  Not to worry!!  I really like it (even though it has been a while) so I’m going to keep going.  You can find any new posts under “Conclusion”.  Keep following my world of post-Year-Without-Sex antics!!!

Talk to you soon! J

Saturday, 31 May 2014

MONTH #10 - EVEN TELEPHONE POLES LOOK SEXY

Only 2 months to go!!  TWO MONTHS!!!!  Holy crapballs!!!!  WOOOOOTTT!!!  It’s so hard to believe that this year is so close to being over.  I can still think back to when I started and it seemed near impossible to finish and now the end is in sight.  The countdown clock is now under 60 days!  Incredible.

This is coming none too soon as telephone poles are starting to look sexy.  Okay, maybe not, but it is the best example I can use for the overwhelming horniness I feel constantly.  Men have basically become slabs of meat in my eyes, like bacon – sweet tasty bacon, and all I want to do is devour them.  Mmmmm, bacon man… erm, I mean, nevermind.

Although this year has done amazing things for me personally (especially combined with the work of my amazing therapist), I feel like when this year is done, I need to take a month or two to just run wild a bit.  I say this now, but as the world has proven time and again, it is more likely that a curve ball will be thrown my way.  Anyhoo, the long and short is I can’t wait to get laid again!  I don’t know if it is because it is spring and the whole freakin’ world is mating or just because everyone in Canada is coming out of hibernation, but I’m like a dog in heat.  I thought it would be smooth sailing once I hit this point, but I think these last couple months are going to be the hardest.

On the up side, despite my raging hormones, I am able to keep Girl Brain mostly in check.  It still flares up sometimes, but the obsessiveness is gone.  I don’t have the energy for it anymore.  If I feel myself starting to obsess, it is like there is a new auto-shutdown switch that just says, “Ah, who cares?!” and then it is on to another thought.  Wonderful!  This has been really helpful because there have been a few attractive gents who have crossed my path lately and they are single, which, even at the start of this experiment, would not have stopped me from chasing, but I’m waaaayyy more chill now.  Screw that!  If they want me, they know where I am. 

This is a big change from 10 months ago, when I would plot and plan and find any way possible to be around the guy I liked.  Phew!  Thank goodness!  That was exhausting.  Now, if a guy shows interest in me, I reciprocate (well, as much as I can without actually dating – I’m so bad at this!).  I don’t jump feet first into the water and then get disappointed when the water is too shallow because it is too new to have any depth.  I guess my new motto is “take things slow”.

Taking things slow has pretty much permeated every aspect of my life.  From just walking down the street to relationships to work.  For someone ran through the first 30 years of life, it is a hard adjustment to make.  I have to count my steps when I walk to ensure I keep a steady pace.  It’s difficult to say the least.  The results have been remarkable.  I find that I am more in tune with the world.  When I stopped rushing, I started seeing.  There is time to look around now.  People always say, “take time to stop and smell the roses” and now I know what they mean.  Just take the time to look at the world around you.  Previously, I wouldn’t have even noticed that there were roses to smell.  When you take in the beauty all around you, it makes life seem a little less hard to live.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

THIS WEEK IN THERAPY: THE BLUE FAIRY

So, I’ve been trying to write this for some time now.  I have so many different files open on my computer, all starting in a different way, it is unbelievable.  I couldn’t find the words.

I have never felt loved.  I’m no longer sure who reads this, so this statement may come as a shock or hurt some of those close to me, but it is the truth.

I have never experienced that unconditional type of love you hear parents have for their children.  In fact, the very thought of that is terrifying.  I push love away.  A very ugly side of me comes out when people try to get in and no one been able to see past that (I shouldn’t say no one, there are a few, but even to these people I have trouble showing the truly damaged side of me – they live on the other side of a wall). 

Recently, I have been privileged to be part of a therapy group comprised of some of the most remarkable individuals I could ever imagine.  In a very very short period of time I have come to trust and care for them deeply.  Now, I am pushing them away.  I fear that they are not as sincere as they seem.  In truth, I can’t comprehend that they could possibly be as sincere as they seem.  I can’t figure out what it is they want from me.  That’s the crux of it – what do they want?  What price am I to pay in return for their support and love?  I don’t like going into situations unless I know I can afford the toll.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

KILLING HOPE

In general, I think that people would call me a hopeful person.  But, Life has taught me that hope can be a dangerous thing.  Hope in a hopeless situation can be more destructive than good.  It is a tricky thing to determine.  How do you know when something is truly hopeless?

The only answer I have found is that a situation is hopeless if hope rests on the chance that another person will change.  Taking a year away from relationships has afforded me the time and focus to watch other couples.  Some are great!  They epitomize all the things that I hope to one day have with a partner – mutual love, respect and trust.  Then I see many more who are ill-matched; making it work because that is what they should do – hoping for something to change that will make them happy again.  It is distressing. 

I find it particularly difficult because I spent years of my life in the same situation.  I did the same things: try to make it work; hope things will improve; be supportive, loving and determined; attempt every remedy known to man – only to wake in the wreckage of hope.  Yet, even as I stood amongst the rubble of my former life, the tyranny of hope raged on.  It would be another three years under its rule before a relapse would lead to the final slaughter of the hope that ruled my life for over a decade.  The hope that a person would become the partner I needed.  The partner who is best suited to me and I to him.  The hope that needed to end so my life could begin.

I will recognize that people do change – I have changed immensely in the past 8 months alone.  But at core, I am still myself.  My trouble was that for many years I had lost connection to that true self within and built a fa├žade which I presented to the world.  I denied my core being.  I denied it to accommodate myself to another person.  That is a recipe for disaster.  Then you sit and hope that since you are sacrificing yourself, the other person should do the same.  That is the hope.  That is where hope becomes toxic.  The other person is who they are.  Neither of you can be happy if you aren’t true to that person.

Some may argue that people have fought for years to get people to change – I dispute this.  Throughout history, people have never really changed.  Slave owners didn’t suddenly realize what they were doing was wrong and release all their slaves through a grandiose moral epiphany.  No!  They did it because they were told to by a higher power.  It was like-minded people who rallied together and stood up to say “this must stop” that exacted the change.  Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. did not change the minds of people (at least not the people who weren’t open to the change in the first place), they were a voice to which those afraid to speak could lend their cry.  Change came through generations taught that the hatred of the past would no longer be tolerated in the society in which they lived.  The change that these history-makers hoped for was not change within the oppressors, but the unification of the oppressed.  The hope that if one person stood, others would stand behind them.

It is a tricky distinction to make, but an important one.  Hoping for the sake of being hopeful won’t do you any good unless you are clear on what it is you are hoping for and I can’t state firmly enough that hoping for change in a person is like hoping for the sun to rise in the west.  The only way to exact change in this world is to exact change in yourself.  You can only control your own actions.  When you sacrifice your own well-being for another, you are allowing yourself to be oppressed.  You must decide your life.  If hope dwells in the shadow of doubt, it should be forsaken.  Hope shines like a beacon which guides you when you are lost.  It ripples inside of you and emanates from your core, which says “there is no other way.”  It makes you stronger.  If you are lost in hope, it is a fool’s hope to which you cling.

Friday, 4 April 2014

MONTH #8 - THE MIST DESCENDS

As much as the arrival of Month 7 was celebrated with all the pomp and fervour I could muster, so alternately Month 8 passed unceremoniously, barely noticed by the conscious mind.  I have reached a point of passive apathy.  It is like my libido has abandon ship in search of more plentiful harbours.  I spent most of the month working on the road, which is always enjoyable and helps the time pass more quickly.  Mostly, I feel like I’m in a funk.  The extreme highs and lows seem to have evened out.  Perhaps this is because I had been away from therapy for a while, so my natural defences have had opportunity to rebuild their walls.

I’m exhausted.  Even writing seems like work, which is usually very therapeutic.  I have been working non-stop contract work for quite some time now and I’m slowing down.  This makes me paranoid that I may not be as hirable, which then triggers a tailspin of self-doubt.  What if I can never find another contract again?!  I’ll be homeless.  I shouldn’t spend any more money because I’m going to be living on the street in a couple weeks.  I can’t believe I booked a trip overseas.  I could save the money to stave off homelessness for another couple weeks.  You know, that kind of irrational stuff.  The funny thing is that I am doing really well in my career and have received many glowing recommendations from clients.  Even if I were doing terribly, I have always managed to keep a roof over my head thus far.

Recently, mostly due to fatigue, I have been lusting after a punch-clock job that ends at the end of the work day.  I could then spend my time off focused on my writing rather than all the other things that my current work demands.  Not that I would, I do love my job, but the idea floats through my consciousness sometimes.  My sister and I have discussed running away for a year and working just enough to cover basic expenses and make a go of writing careers.  We still might.  After all, a year isn’t so long (though, I have never been so aware of time passing as much as this year).

It’s quite funny.  The year is flying by but dragging on is so many different ways. Work things are flying by and I can barely blink without a week having passed.  Then on the other hand, it feels like it was 10 years ago that I started this year without sex.  I can barely remember the sensation.  This is also a new record for the longest time I have gone without kissing a man (because I cheated during this year!).  I don’t even have a crush on anybody right now.  It is a proverbial desert.

I drink alcohol straight now.  No wasting time with mixing.  Not that I drink much (not like I used to).  But it helps.  Sometimes.  Dulls the sensation of nothing.  Or at least compliments it.  My therapist says this is my existential phase.  I don’t like existentialism.  The awareness of the futility of life doesn’t send rainbows shining through your window.  I’ve been reading a lot of Hemingway as of late.  I feel like he understood.  I think that’s why he killed himself.  Likewise with Sylvia Plath.  There is an understanding.  Now, don’t go phoning the suicide hotline.  I’m not done with this world yet, but I get it.  I can see why someone would.  I’m of the opinion that death comes to us all in time.  Life is the rarer gift.  I may as well use what I have while I have it.  No one knows what is beyond the curtain of death.  I’ll find out when that journey comes due.  There is no need to rush there.  There is still so much yet unknown in this world.

Anyway, that’s where I sit right now.  Tacit resignation.  Could be worse!

Friday, 21 March 2014

TMI MOMENT #3 - TIPPING THE SCALE

As I stand in the washroom each morning dressing, I look in the mirror and see a body that is, in my mind, substantially larger than it once was.  It isn’t - really.  Over the course of this year, I have probably gained 15-20, though I wear it better than I once did.  Possibly, because I choose clothing that fits better, or perhaps this is my body changing like my therapist keeps threatening will happen.  Either way, it is there, staring back at me each morning.  I feel like I am the biggest I have ever been. (Though, if you were to see me, you probably wouldn’t have a clue what I’m talking about. But I know.)

This is an area I haven’t really talked much about, even with my therapist (there have been so many more pressing matters, that this seems insignificant… at least until now).  Among my other issues, I have body image problems.  Since I started this experiment, they have been improving.  I look in the mirror and have good things to say to the person I see.  I like who I am and how I present myself.  Even when the weight started to build, I was okay.  My therapist had said it was normal to gain weight through this process and eventually it will all come off again.  I trust her implicitly – when I’m not doubting her.  Either way, she has always ended up being right.

The first 5 pounds had little effect. 10 started to be noticeable, but I figured I would round out there.  Now at 15 or 20 (these are all approximations, I gave up having a scale years ago for reasons that will be explained shortly), the dialogue has changed.  I look at myself each morning and see a fat person.  I think “gah, you’re fat.”  I’m not.  Not even really close, not even what you would call plump.  But that is beside the point, I see a fat person and that is what I am telling myself.

Now, I’m fighting desperately to change that conversation, but it is difficult and it is ingrained in much deeper sources than just body image.  I still think I have a nice body.  I know (on a conscious level) that I’m not overweight.  I’m hoping that sharing this struggle will help.  Much like with the rest of this blog, it may give me some external accountability.  If I can’t convince myself to change my thinking, perhaps making it an expectation from my readers that I need to achieve will.

Friday, 28 February 2014

THIS WEEK IN THERAPY: THE 7 LEVELS OF HELL - THE TRUTH ABOUT THE THERAPEUTIC PROCESS (PART I)

So, this post is one that is extremely personal to me (‘cause, up to this point, the posts haven’t been??).  I’ve known what I want to say for a while now, but have not been able to bring myself to sit down and write it out.  There are likely many reasons for this, but they all end up in the same place – fear (or terror, which is the new word that I’m supposed to be dealing with). 

Terror that speaking up and out will be met with criticism and alienation.  I have spent so much of my life building myself into the person that I want other people to perceive me as that I have often hidden what I actually am: a broken and flawed individual. 

You might be saying, “but everyone is broken and flawed”, and you are correct.  But how often do people come right out and say it.  How often do we let our cracks show?  How often do we stand up and say “LOOK AT ME!  I’M DAMAGED AND I WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW IT!”?  How often do we say, “I’m bleeding from scars you can’t see but they hurt me in ways that I can never fully express”?  From my experience, we don’t. 

Thursday, 6 February 2014

MONTH #6 - HALF WAY THERE!!!

Wow!!!!  It’s incredible!  I am officially half way through this year!!!
-Insert happy dance here-

My therapist asked me the other day “why is the half way mark so important to you?”  I had never really considered that before and could not come up with an answer immediately.  Like with most things to which I don’t have an answer, the question nagged at me until I could come up with one.  When I was living overseas, I remember celebrating the half way mark as well.  It is significant.  Recently, I discovered the answer…

The halfway point of anything marks the moment in time where the amount of time remaining is equal to the amount of time passed (thanks for the obvious explanation!).  This means that you have already experienced the amount of time that you still have left.  You have done it before.  This, in my mind, is reassuring.  When I began this year, it seemed incredibly daunting and I have celebrated the little milestones.  5 months was exciting because it meant that I broke my record for the amount of time spent without having sex (and every day after was yet another achievement), but I didn’t have any perspective on how long a year really was.  Now I do.  I have gone 6 months (now longer) without having sex, I only have to do that same amount again.  There is perspective.  There is point-of-reference.  There is the confidence that it is possible because it has been possible before.  There is strength in that knowledge.  The world didn’t come to an end.  I wasn’t ostracized by the entire male population.  I wasn’t any less desirable or attractive.  Life went on as it always does.  And now, every day that I continue in this endeavour, it becomes easier and easier because the time is lessening and the amount of experience is growing.  I have reached the summit of the mountain and now can enjoy the leisurely journey back down (even if the desire to have sex is still increasing).

So much has been going on in my mind recently that I barely know where to start.

Monday, 13 January 2014

UNDER 200 DAYS!!!

WOOT!!!  We have finally cracked the 200 mark and there is now a 1 in front of the number of days left (a 1 followed by two other numbers, but hey! small victories!)

I'm crazy busy at work, so I haven't been updating as much.  I'm working on a huge contract that is literally eating my every waking moment.  Finally able to grab a couple seconds to check out how this site is doing.

Wanted to say thank you to all my readers & followers!!  You're really keeping me on track in this process.  It's nice to feel you have people to whom you need to be accountable.

Luckily, being so busy at work means that I don't have a moment to even think about sex (despite how much it would be a fantastic stress-reliever).  Month 5 is shaping up to be not the slog I thought it would be and I'm really excited to report the half-way mark when I hit it in a couple weeks.

I'm also making stronger decisions when it comes to boys.  I'm making a conscious effort to put myself first and make decisions that are best for me (like, no longer following Art on Facebook, getting rid of remaining traces of The Ex and not jumping at Kryptonite's beck and call.)  It makes me feel good (and keeps Girl Brain at bay!).

Therapy is on a hiatus right now.  I'm back in two weeks to tackle many of the issues with my mother.

Last week was the 10th anniversary of the death of my father - an extremely emotional day.  After finally confronting my feelings, this was the first time that I actually felt his absence on that day.  I can feel his presence around me constantly these days.  It's very comforting, but makes me miss his physical being.  I am continuing to mourn the time that we never had together and learning how to properly grieve.  It's really refreshing (as weird as that sounds).  It's great to not carry the weight of those emotions anymore - they are free to flow out of me as they come.  I feel lighter and more alive.

Anyhoo, that's the quick check-in break that I have for now.  I'll be back in full force (hopefully next week, if not the week after!). 

Monday, 6 January 2014

MONTH #5 - CHECK IN, REFLECTIONS & A NEW YEAR

So, it has been 5 MONTHS!  (Well, over 5 months now, but who’s really counting…)  I did the calculations and this is officially the longest I have ever gone without sex since I started having it.  It’s a whole new world… I don’t like it!  I have moved past the point of wanting it for the validation and into the world of wanting to have it for the physical stimulation.  Progress! (Maybe?)

So the holiday season has happened and I’ve been relatively quiet since then.  Here is the quick catch-up:
- told my therapist about Art and here is the non-verbatim version of how that went:
                Me: …but I didn’t sleep with him.
                Therapist: Why not?
                Me (confused): Because I’m doing this whole year off thing!
                Therapist: Wow!  Good for you!  I totally would have slept with him.
                Me: ***head explodes***
It took all I had not to call him up at that instant and say “I’ve made a huge mistake”, but the truth of the matter is that I didn’t make a huge mistake.  Yes, I had been attracted to him for years.  Yes, I would have totally slept with him if it had been a year earlier. But, this year, I’m doing things that are best for me.  I’ve made a commitment to this experiment and it is not worth sacrificing months of work (because it has been work!) on an infatuation without substance (come July 29, he is totally at the top of my list to celebrate the end of the year). 

On that note, I have instituted a new loophole in the experiment (oh, how easily I start to crack).  Loophole: if after 3 months of “hanging out” (I can’t say “dating” because I’m also not supposed to be doing that… I’m so weak!), I can sleep with the person, as long as there are no clothes removed during that 3 months.  I figure at this point it puts me at 8 months into this experiment if I were to start “hanging out” with someone now – which I think is still quite the accomplishment (and unlikely to occur).