(Inspired by this week’s PROMPTuesday.)


Among other things, Dr. Carolle hit the nail on the head when she drew this on a piece of paper, and said:




This is you.


It was at that point that I turned uflatteringly red. I huffed. I puffed. And then I stopped and thought: Well. THAT looks familiar.


There it was. My life in graphical format. Me? A loose cannon that reacts strongly to external stimuli and lets my resulting emotions run amok. Then, when the external stimuli settles, I do too. So see. I’m not grounded. On the inside. Because if I were? Dr. Carolle said I’d be calmer, more focused, less freaky outty.


It’s long been my goal to feel together enough on the inside to resist the winds that can buffet me on the outside. So far, I haven’t made this milestone, not even close, and many times, the answers why elude me. I’ve been out of control for awhile now, completely rocked by what’s happened on the outside and because my external environment has been driving me bananas (because I let it) with a lot of work as well as family, hobby, and social obligations, and little to no quiet time. As a result, I’ve let myself go in oh so many ways. I’m indulging in too much and too little. Too much wine, too much stress, too much food; too little exercise, too little reflection, too little zen.


One of the perks of marriage to The Rock is that he doesn’t take any of my bullshit. He will say things like, “Well stop drinking then.” Or “Take a walk.” Or “Read a book.” And these things are good and sensical, however, my brain does not accept them because my brain has problems. As for what Dr. Carolle said about this? “Stop being a little shit.”


Seriously. She said that. Isn’t that awesome? She said it with love, but with firmness. Do I want to be a woman and deal? Or do I want to go on and on bellyaching?


(Do NOT answer that.)


I chose being a woman who deals with things, and while I’m on a long, long, long-ass, fricking road, I’ve semi-committed to a few steps:



This past weekend something clicked. I’m not sure if it was that I’m not fitting in my clothes anymore, or if I realized I couldn’t remember the previous night’s conversation because the wine, or if I’m just in my flatline period, but I decided to re-commit to taking care of myself. I figure that if my body is healthier, my mind can’t help but follow, and so yesterday, I grocery-shopped my way to better eating habits.


Among other things, I purchased raw almond butter, organic apples, strawberries, red leaf lettuce, cucumbers (did you know cucumbers are FULL of vitamins and minerals?) and whole wheat gnocchi (made with sweet potatoes). Last night for dinner, I made halibut with roasted garlic, whole grain rice, and sauteed spinach…and this morning, I had Greek yogurt with almonds, oats, and strawberries.


When I eat better, I feel clearer. I need that clarity.



Enough said. Well…a little more: Yesterday, I danced around my living room and lifted some weights. I like dancing in my living room. It’s not only exercise, it’s good for the soul.



This is the biggest thing of all for me. I’m a big emotions gal. If I feel it, it must be so. So when I feel out of control, I believe I am out of control, and I let that wave of out-of-controlness sway me good. And while NO ONE can ever tell me that emotionally-led people aren’t awesome, it’s another thing entirely when emotions are allowed to run ramshod all over your inner psyche. Here’s an example:


I returned home from my girl’s weekend last Sunday feeling emotionally good. There’s was lots of girly communicating and commiserating and talking and laughing. All the great stuff, you know. Stuff I need. But then when I walked into the house, The Rock was his characteristic Rock self: grounded and quiet. When he didn’t fall all over me and tell me he missed me and instantly let me run out and get an LA Fitness membership because I decided to start exercising RIGHT THAT MINUTE, I got upset. Like cryey, upset. My emotions told me (a) he didn’t love me (b) I made a big mistake with this marriage (c) we can’t communicate and I should move out (d) I am fat.


So after the kids were in bed, I sat on the couch in gathering darkness and fought back tears of doom and destruction. It was at this point that The Rock sat next to me, put his hand on my knee and told me that we’re doing fine.


And after looking at all the evidentiary evidence of a good life together, I had to agree. Perhaps my emotions need to be tempered with a little something called reality.



I want to have all the answers! I want to have all the answers! I want to have all the answers!


But I don’t.


And so I keep walking. Sometimes my “before” becomes an “after” and my “after” a “before,” and they continually circle each other, becoming a web of “during,” which is where all the answers are found.


11 Responses to “Before/After/During”

  1. Answers can also be found when “being.” Funny how tricky life is. No one warns you about that. I think it is too difficult to articulate. And, just as is the case with a child going through the normal stages of development, once you think you have something figured out, you move on to whatever is next. I am learning to really appreciate the moments that are neither high or low–in between is good. :) Thank you for sharing your journey. xxoo

  2. Christina says:

    I think I just fell in love with your Dr!

    I live by the One Day At A Time philosophy 24/7 – not because of AA or NA, but because that just seems to make *sense* to me. In a crisis that might shrink down to one hour at a time!

    Keep walking. There are a lot of us walking with you.

  3. She sounds like a GOOD doctor.

  4. Oh Deb, I miss reading your writing. I’ll have to stop by more often. When the dust clears if ever does, we’ll have to get together and compare neurosis while the kids swim or play or something.


  5. Christina says:

    Can we, you and I, start a support group?

  6. I love a doctor that tells it like it is. We all need someone like that in our lives. The Rock sounds like he knows what to say, too.

  7. Beautifully written and vintage Deb.

  8. Kelly says:

    Just like you said: Well. THAT looks familiar…

    I’m married to a “Rock,” myself, too. Thanks for sharing so much. It’s embarrassing to me sometimes, how I’m still learning & struggling so much at my advanced age.

  9. I think you should bring Dr. Carolle to NYC. I’ll buy her a bottle of wine and she can tell me all the things that are wrong with me. It might take a few weeks, in which case I’ll buy more wine as we go.

  10. Holy shit. We are the same person.

  11. Jess says:

    I feel like I could have written this post. I wish there was a way I could zap self-destructive thoughts into oblivion!

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