The Path to Happiness Isn’t Where I Expected It To Be -Mitch

 

Oh, hey there. It’s been a while. I’ve been out of sorts. I had a couple more medication changes that fucked me up quite a bit in the past several months, and I kind of hit a wall in my career, personal development, and my relationship, and I certainly didn’t give myself time to grieve the loss of my dog properly. I was exhausted, depressed, and totally unmotivated. I gave zero shits for way too long, and now I’m trying to find my path back to the person I want to be; the best version of myself. I’ve found, though, that I spent way too much time and energy trying to make myself want things that were no longer what was best for me. I was trying so hard to convince myself that my goals should be the same as they were in the past that I didn’t take time to evaluate if those were still things I wanted. I went down a rabbit hole only to finally realize that if I’d achieved those goals, I wouldn’t be happy anyway. I needed to acknowledge that goals change as we do, because it’s tough to let go of things, and that’s totally OK.

It’s hard for me to blog here when I’m not feeling myself, honestly. Our mission is to help women live their best lives, and I was certainly not living mine. Nowhere close. I guess I was practicing self care, if self care looks like eating cookie dough out of a tub. (I mean, I think it CAN look like that, once in a great while, but let’s be honest. Doing it fairly regularly isn’t self care. It’s self harm.) Who the hell was I to help guide anyone else? I was a hot mess. What I guess I really lost sight of, though, is that I’m a woman, and if we’re trying to help women live their best lives, why was I uncomfortable starting with myself? I’m pretty sure there are plenty of people out there going through the same things I am, or who could learn from my journey.

Part of it is that it’s really hard to be totally raw and honest online. The Pinterest/Instagram/Blogosphere corner of the internet is full of people with photoshopped and glossed over lives. I don’t blame anyone for wanting to put their best foot forward, especially in a cruel world full of strangers who sometimes want to make themselves feel better by taking other people down. I find that women, especially, fall into this pattern of behavior. When you’re miserable and things aren’t going your way, it’s a hell of a lot easier to lash out and judge other people than to turn the mirror on ourselves. I know I’ve been guilty of that toxic practice. The nickname Mitch the Bitch didn’t come from thin air. I wear the label “Bitch” proudly when I use my skills to stand up for myself and for people and ideals I love. I’m not so proud if I use it to personally attack people. It doesn’t make me better, it doesn’t make them better, and it doesn’t make the world a better place.

It’s equally as bad when I use my elevated skills of verbal decimation on myself, whether I say it out loud, or I say it inside my head. I’m always up for a good self deprecating joke, honestly, and that will probably never change, but I need to be a lot kinder to myself when I stumble. I need to be a lot more honest with myself, as well. A character trait I’m not terribly fond of is my all or nothing, zero to sixty in ten seconds personality. It’s great to ramp myself up and throw myself into something I care about or to reach towards a goal, but it’s a train wreck when I don’t allow myself room for moderation or failure.

Be real; who else does this? We say, “I stayed on my diet for three days then I ate some fries, so I’ll start again Monday,” or, “I really wanted to start blogging again, and I wrote a couple I’m pretty happy with, but then I ran out of time and motivation and now I look stupid because who the hell wants to follow me?”

The answer to failure shouldn’t be, “Fuck it!” if it’s something you really want. If it’s something that you think will make you really happy, start again today. Commit again right now, and if you stumble, start again right away. Don’t give up, but forgive yourself if you don’t succeed and follow the path that you thought would lead you to your goal. My goal is pretty simple. I want to be healthy and happy. I want to be the best version of myself and I want to help other women do the same. For me, that’s going to require nothing but pure honesty, self love and acceptance, and accountability. I’m going to be honest with myself and right here on this blog. I’m going to love myself to identify self destructive behavior, take some time to analyze why I did it, and find a better way to reach my goals when I start again. I’ve found that what we sometimes think will make us happy isn’t really what we originally think it is. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the minutia of what we are trying to do that we don’t take time along the way to reevaluate and make sure that the place we’re going is still the destination we want to reach.

whitesnake
I can’t say “here I go again” without a Whitesnake reference. My hair band loving heart won’t let me do it.

So here I go again, but not on my own. I have AK and my family, and other amazing, strong friends and mentors to love me and guide me, and maybe I have you. You have me if you need me. Reach out. I don’t care who you are, or where you are in your process. You don’t have to be spiritually awakened, because I know I’m not there yet. You don’t have to know exactly what you want or how the hell to get there, but if you’re reaching for something and you’re not content, hit me up. I’m actually a lot better at advice for other people than I am for myself. Even if I can’t help, I will almost always say something ridiculous and make you laugh and see things from a different perspective.

When we started this blog, I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do here, of what my role should be, and really, what I thought I wanted and what I thought would make me happy. Some of that is still right, and some of that has changed, but I promise, it’s OK to figure it out as you go along. Don’t stay committed to things that don’t serve you. Seriously, knock it off. If you made a goal to run a marathon but you keep injuring yourself, that might not be the right goal for you. There are other ways to get fit and strong. I’m not saying to divorce your husband or quit your job right now, especially if you love them and see a way forward and a future with them that could be fulfilling. I am saying that the way forward might look different than you thought it would, and you need to be open to that.

I have a lot more to say. I want to talk about spirituality and the divine feminine, and  I started this blog to talk about gratitude. I’m going to write about both soon, but this is what came out right now and I’m not second guessing it. This needed to come out for a reason, so here it is. You’ll see the good, the bad, the ugly, and the utterly ridiculous here, so strap in for the ride.

Love, light, forgiveness, and an appropriate amount of cookie dough,

-Selfish Mitch

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What Are You Waiting For? -Mitch

I’ll start Monday.

I’ll do it when I lose 10 lbs.

Just wait until my credit cards are paid off.

I need to wait until my kids are older.

I need to wait until I get a raise, or a promotion, or all of the stars and my charts and the planets and everyone I know aligns with my goals, when it’s going to be easier for me to do.

I’m telling you right now that you need to STOP THAT. I can’t tell you how many goals and dreams I’ve let slip away because I was waiting. Waiting for what? All of the above, and more. I think it’s normal that we’ll never do and become everything we dream of. Sometimes fantasies are a fun, safe escape, like thinking of what kind of home you’d buy if you won the lottery or where you’d go on your dream date with Luke Hemsworth.

I always wanted to be an actress, and enrolled as a journalism major and a theater minor in my first year of college, but I doubted myself too much and let the dream of acting go. My teeth had a gap, and even though I was only maybe 10 lbs overweight at the time, I’ve always had a curvy, hourglass shape that wasn’t popular in the 90’s era of Kate Moss and heroin chic. I was thin, healthy, talented, beautiful and creative, but I had no confidence in myself. I convinced myself that there was no money in acting, which is actually pretty true for the vast majority of people who give it a shot, and switched my major to business. I didn’t give a shit about becoming a general “business person” so I dropped out of college. I let a goal go, but since I was so mired in manufactured self pity, I didn’t set another one. I got drunk and let depression set in. I did end up going back to school, and didn’t graduate for financial reasons, but that ended up being an amazing decision for different reasons.

There are other, more achievable goals that are gone because I waited for the right time. I know everybody has them. I felt really called to go back to school and get a degree in Nutrition, but I waited until I was more financially stable. This was in 2008, right as the economy crashed and the real estate market went into the dumpster. I was hit pretty hard by that. I was (and still am) a Realtor in the Phoenix area, and we work on commission. Our companies don’t pay us a salary–we are independent contractors. If you don’t sell a home you don’t get paid. On top of that, the median home price went from about $300,000 to about $113,000. When you make a percentage of the sales price, that hurts. My husband was a finance manager at a luxury car dealership, and people really slowed down their luxury purchases during the recession. The value of our home, like every other home in the metro area, tanked as well. On top of it, 2008 is when I first developed the symptoms of chronic illness I’m still dealing with. There’s a school of thought that says that some people are prone to develop autoimmune diseases, and it takes a period of stress or a traumatic injury to kind of turn the disease “on.” I believe that the prolonged mental stress and the unhealthy way I dealt with it may have advanced my conditions. Once you have them, you have them for life.

I’m lucky that I’ve had remissions from Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I know that my best shot at helping myself go into remission is to exercise regularly, eat really clean, avoiding gluten,sugar, and peanuts, and limiting dairy and other grains. I’ve been tested and those foods are inflammatory to my system, and I know from trial and error (mostly error…shit tons of error) that I feel much better when I follow those rules. I have’t found a medication whose benefits outweigh the side effects. I have wanted to study holistic nutrition, because from where I stand, Western medicine is doing an absolutely fucking terrible job of treating autoimmune disease. What works for one person will make another person worse, and vice versa. There are a bunch of autoimmune disorders, and often times, when you have one, more eventually come to join in.

ghosts
Thankfully, most of Western Medicine has evolved far from the old days. Still, in my experience, Rheumatology hasn’t done much but be able to identify diseases and treat them with drugs that, in my opinion, have worse side effects than cocaine. 

Knowing what I know now, I would have figured out a way to go back to school at that time. Working as a nutritionist in a traditional setting generally requires a master’s degree, while I’m a few credits away from a bachelor’s degree in a totally different field. If I’d taken the leap then, I would have been in my mid to late 30’s upon graduation. If I were to do it now, I’d be in my late 40’s, and with the cost of college, I don’t want to start a new career at that age and have to deal with student loans until I’m in my 60’s.

There is, however, a naturopathic school in my area that has a short program that’s a lot more affordable and only lasts about 15 months. That’s now on my list of goals. It doesn’t give the kind of accreditation I’d need to work in a hospital or nursing home, for example, but I like learning for the sake of learning and I’m certain I could find a niche for that education.

Another goal I let slip away was traveling. I had my son at 23. The goal was never to have a child so young. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kid a lot and wouldn’t trade him for the world, but I’d wanted to wait until I’d finished college and had done some traveling before settling down with kids. In fact, I always thought I wanted 5 kids. Haha. That was before I had one and realized that I could do a good job raising him, but I was too selfish to be an adequate mother to more kids. I did the math and realized that I’d be 41 when he graduated from high school and was on his own. I knew I’d be young and healthy and able to travel at that time. Well. Life had other plans that didn’t involve that health that I was sure to have. Flying is actually pretty tough on me, since I take medication to suppress my immune system so it doesn’t kill me. I mean, that’s cool, but when I’m in a tin can in the sky that recirculates air that every other potentially ill passenger has been breathing, it leaves me prone to illness and infection.

Of course, there was a time when my son was young that my husband and I absolutely could have traveled. My son stayed with his dad, my ex-husband, for a week or more at times. We had the financial means to travel anywhere we wanted once in a while, but we didn’t do it. We made short trips to Vegas and weekends in the high country of Arizona, but we put off traveling abroad.

There are a lot of other examples that I won’t get into, but we all have goals we waited for. Some of them aren’t important to us. Some of them may have even been harmful or spun our lives in a terrible direction had we achieved them. I love myself, just as I am right now, and I’m the sum of my experiences from before I was born to the moment I’m typing this. Who would I be if I made different choices? I’ll never know, and that’s OK. What I do know is who I am right now is amazing, and I’m going to love the person I am right now unconditionally and let her know it’s OK to reach for her goals.

I recently filmed a small part in a short film. I’m up about 25 lbs from where I want to be, but as I researched how to get back into acting, that didn’t even occur to me. I’m in such a better mental place right now than I was as a confused, insecure 17 year old college student, that I didn’t realize until I talked to AK on the phone yesterday that the old me would have waited until I got my weight back down to apply for roles.

cops
Quick selfie with the actors playing the 5-0 before filming my final scene in my first short film.

While I have many goals yet to reach, and many that I’ve let go, for better or worse, I think I’ve climbed my highest mountain. Loving myself, and being confident in myself, has been something I never thought I could fully do. I still need to work on some things. I could cut some of the self-deprecating humor, but honestly, I find most of it hilarious. I need to work on treating my body better, as emotional eating is still an issue. There’s more…of course there is. None of us is perfect.

We can always improve, but we have to start where we are. Start today. Start right now. Don’t wait until Monday, or until your kids are in school. Start taking steps towards what you want, even if they’re tiny baby steps. Don’t forget how truly amazing and unique you are. Go get it.

Love, light, and kick-ass confidence,

-Selfish Mitch

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing “Eddy’s Happiness Project” with Selfish Mitch

You may have noticed that I haven’t been around much lately. My dog, my sweet, sweet bulldog, who was really my favorite person in the entire world, passed away suddenly when my son and I were out of town visiting family in Montana.

There was no warning. He was happy, jumping around, playing with his puppy brother all the time. He’d been swimming in the pool just days before he passed away. The night it happened, my husband called me and said be thought Eddy didn’t feel well. We faced timed and he looked mopey, but OK. He was always moody when his mom wasn’t home. I got to tell him I loved him and I’d be back in a few days.

Two hours later, my husband called to tell me that my best guy was gone. I’d say my heart was broken; is broken, but that doesn’t even begin to describe how deeply I’m feeling this pain and loss. This dog was more than my emotional support animal. He was the sweetest, silliest animal in the world. He came into our home as a 5 month old energetic American Bulldog puppy. When he wasn’t running, he was on my lap. He arrived shortly after I’d been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The doctors had told me that I had blood markers that indicated I had an autoimmune disorder, but I didn’t check enough boxes yet for a diagnosis.

Eddy was with me. He was there when I had unexplained high fevers and pain. He didn’t mind missing his walk when my joints were too swollen to grasp his leash. Every night, between 9-10 PM, if I was in the living room, he’d growl at me until i went to bed. He wanted to go, but he doesn’t like to sleep alone. He wasn’t a smart dog, but it didn’t matter. He knew love. He knew how to comfort. He made us all laugh more times than we could even count. Every day of the seven and a half years he had on this world was filled with joy.

The night after he died, I was still in Montana with my family. My sleep was restless, but as soon as I woke up I felt the strongest wave of peace roll over my spirit. My sweet baby boy came to me in my dream and spoke to me. He told me that he was sorry he had to leave me, that he didn’t want to, but that it was necessary for him to go now so he could return to me when I need him the most in the future. He’s been back a few more times, reminding me to try to find joy. I feel him with me so, so much.

 

The best thing I can do right now, I think, is to honor his memory by taking a few risks. I’m going to dive right back into something that’s been a true PASSION in my life. I’m pretty good at most stuff I decide I want to do, and I happen to love working in real estate, but being on stage is what makes me light up. It fills my heart. With my heart feeling so, so broken right now, maybe putting myself out there can mend a shard or two of my heart. Time will help, I’m sure. The feelings I have so often that he’s still right here with me helps too, but I know that I’ll miss him deeply every single day until he returns to me. Little Thor is doing a lot of work around here, spreading his love around. He misses his big lug of a brother too, and I think they may still be communicating too. Sometimes I’ll think of Eddy and when I look at Thor he has his tongue sticking out. There are all kinds of little things like that that make me know that the Vail between the worlds of the living and the dead isn’t as heavy and restrictive as most people think it is.

I’m incredibly grateful that AK and I started our dialogues that have lead us to where we are right now. If feel like I’m growing at a pretty astounding rate. As I dive into spirituality, my mind feels open. I the impulse to be kind to strangers a lot more. I am coming to be really tuned in to my empath abilities. I’m very grateful for that. The more I learn about being an empath, it just checks so many boxes. I’m using this ability to better help my real estate clients. I’m using it to be a better friend. A better wife, mother, and sister. There are no limits, as I’m a firm proponent of lifetime learning.

I think if I hadn’t been going down this spiritual path of self discovery, self love, and self care, I’d be a much bigger mess. I’m still feeling the loss. I’ll sometimes have a memory pop up out of nowhere and it feels like someone has punched me, HARD, in the gut. It makes it hard to breathe. I have techniques and breathing that can help me. I can get up and do some exercise to get endorphins flowing. If this had happened a year ago, I’m pretty sure I’d be looking for answers at the bottom of a bourbon bottle. If it took 3 weeks of constant drunkenness, then that’s what I would have done. That’s not who I am anymore. I’m making healthy choices, physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. I am going to take control of my life to find a way to build that happiness Eddy always wanted.

I’m proud to know that I’ll be starting Eddy’s Happiness Project. I’m going to spend a lot of time journaling. I’ll start each day by writing gratitudes. Then, I’ll make 3 bucket lists. I’ll have a short term bucket list, a long term bucket list, and an ongoing bucket list.

For example, my first item on my short term bucket list is auditioning for a couple plays with local theater companies. I think short term goals should be fairly easy enough to complete in 3-4 months.

My long term bucket list includes getting a speaking role on a TV show or movie. Even if I’m just there as an extra with a couple of lines, I’m into it. Most of these long term goals should be achievable in 1-2 years. I’ll put longer term goals too, like AK and I flying to Montana, renting a car, and hiking different trails all over the state for a month. I don’t know that we could make a month happen right now, but a few years down the road it should be easily doable if we are clear in our intent, ask the universe for what we want, and do the work it takes to get us there.

My ongoing bucket list will contain things like 5 workouts a week and eating on-plan 80% of the time. It will also show my dedication to my work commitments. That one is important, because I plan to buy myself gifts when I achieve milestones.

I’ll be sharing my results here quite frequently, so please follow along! If you’ve been looking to bring more happiness and joy into your life, this might be a great way to do it. All you need is journal, an open heart, and an open mind. Oh, and pens or pencils, I suppose.

Feel free to contact me at any time if I can be of any help to you!

If you’re trying to to bring yourself up from grief and/or depression, I want to help. Let’s be those rays of happy sunshine that breaks through the clouds of despair.

Wishing you love, light, and peace,

Selfish Mitch

Mitch Unboxes Her Summer 18 Fab Fit Fun Box. Is It The Best FFF Yet?

Spoiler alert: I think so. I still have my ipsy to unbox, but I’m trying to train myself to be a little more patient. Waiting for things falls under that category, yeah?

Tell us what you think in the comments. What’s the best part of this box? Also, I don’t have a discount code here because apparently 6 youtube views don’t make you an “influencer” (!!I’m Shocked!!)  but if you google you can find one. I think this one is worth it.

 

Peace, love, and primer. All the primer.

-Selfish Mitch

Oh, it’s not fine, Eczema Exposed.

By Selfish Mitch

Eczema Exposed “It’s Fine” Commercial

I’m linking to this commercial since they don’t have a share feature, probably because, as I’ve recently found, it’s being flamed on the internet. I’m not the only one that thinks it’s terrible.

It starts out with a young woman staring forlornly in a mirror in a tank top, scratching her red, patchy skin, cancelling plans on the phone and saying, “It’s just my eczema. It’s fine. It’s fine.”

Then we cut to a scene where she’s wearing a long sleeve shirt, maybe in her workplace or a library, itching again, and some dude looks at her with an expression that I read as “WTF,” but could be “Eww…” or “How you doin’, baby?” because I’m pretty bad at guessing what men are thinking. But she once again says, “Eczema, it’s fine.”

Then we transition to a scene at what appears to be an outdoor restaurant, and our sad skin sufferer is bundled up in a jean jacket. This is also where we realize Sis looks like a young Katherine Heigl but prettier (on the outside but I can assume on the inside as well).

Then her friend with a gorgeous complexion sits down at the table wearing a little tank top and asks Itchy Katherine Jr. if she’s hot, and of course we learn that it’s eczema and it’s fine. Of course. Well. The friend is NOT having it. She whips her tablet out before the server can even come by to see if they want wine. (I actually want wine just talking about this, FYI.)

The friend is all hyped about this commercial she saw for “Eczema Exposed,” and suggests that Hurting Heigl has a special kind of inflammatory dermatitis and she should go ask her doctor about this.

The patient in the commercial looks like, “Oh, wow! I’ve never heard of this before! I mean, I have to rearrange my personal life, my wardrobe, the co-workers who are willing to sit next to me, and everything else around this shitty disease, but it never occured to ask my doctor if there were any treatments around. I would have never thought to do any of my own research about my own condition. Thanks, Karen!” (You know that betch is named Karen.)

The complaints that most people have is that it’s annoying, that most people wouldn’t keep saying, “It’s fine (sigh.)” I have a different perspective. I am living with five different chronic illnesses. The ones that really keep me from living the life I’d love to have are Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. There were two days last week that I was essentially bedridden because of the swelling of my joints. Since I’m living this life, I have a different perspective.

I can’t tell you how many well meaning friends have said really stupid shit to me. I’m an intelligent, educated woman and I do research on random subjects for hours because it amuses me, so of course I’m always checking on new research and development relating to what’s going on in my body. I’m 42 years old, and I’ve been living with chronic illness for almost 1/4 of my life, and the thing about chronic illnesses is that there is no cure. There are remissions sometimes, but at this point, there is no cure. Therefore, when someone comes at me to tell me that I should try what their sister’s mom’s best friend’s dog sitter swears by, my gut reaction is to be hurt and a little bit offended. I don’t know everything about autoimmune; far from it, but I have a good grasp on the basics of diagnostic procedures and criteria, medications, and harmful and helpful holistic treatments, etc. The sad reality, though, is that doctors, while knowing 500 times more than what I know,don’t know what causes autoimmune disorders. They don’t even agree on how many different disorders there are, and they know that what works for one patient can send another into a severe flare. It’s just a frustrating situation all around, and as patients, we do a lot of research and trial and error (a shit-ton of error, TBH) both as prescribed by our doctors, and on our own.  Telling me that if I just tried probiotics I wouldn’t have this disease feels like you’re directly insulting my intelligence. I know you don’t mean it that way, but I can’t help the way I feel. And it’s not just you. Take your hurtful comment and add it to the ones we regularly receive from everyone else in our lives, and it gets old fast. Do you think that I haven’t done that research? Trust me, Babe, I could talk for over an hour about inflammatory foods, gut health, and give you a pretty well developed outline idea of some of the leading theories.

 

But have you tried..._ (2)

I also have my team of doctors; most of them specialists, who have completed at least 13 years of post-secondary education and different residencies and fellowships. I may do a great deal of research on my own, but what I know about the scientific aspects of my disorders will never come close what my specialists know. I doubt that the information you’re bringing me, even if it’s from a TV commercial for a new pill from a pharmaceutical company, isn’t going to be new information to me.

I’m fairly certain that at this point, you think I’m overreacting. I shouldn’t have my feelings hurt or be offended by people that are trying to help. If it only happened once in a while, it might not be so annoying. That’s simply not the case.

I’ve had friends tell me that marijuana cures Lupus. It doesn’t, but for some patients it can alleviate some of the symptoms. I’m all for legalization, but it’s not something that has been beneficial to me. Someone else told me that I need to do yoga. This falls under the, “Do you think that I have not tried that?” category. When I’m not in a flare, I actually love working out. It’s excellent therapy for me, mentally and physically. So yes, I’ve tried yoga. I do it on purpose when I’m able.

Another thing I do not require is your essential oils. Listen. I’m happy for you if essential oils work for you. I haven’t found them helpful beyond their pleasing aromas. Lavender smells quite nice and I do find it relaxing. However, I’ve had MLM oil salespeople tell me to ingest different oils or use them transdermally. Oils can actually be quite dangerous if you’re drinking them (yes, even just a drop or two) or letting them be absorbed through your skin, particularly if they have a bad reaction with pharmaceutical medications the patient is taking to literally save her life. Simply reading the pamphlet that came with your Young Living starter kit doesn’t qualify you to prescribe things to anyone.

I can’t believe that I haven’t gotten to multilevel marketing (MLM) friends yet. There are so many people who have told me that their upline’s friend was able to cure her thyroid condition with this miracle Arbonne or It Works! or Isagenix. I promise you…if an actual cure for a chronic disease was discovered, it would not be sold by a multi level marketing company. One of the most promising treatments that has come out recently to treat autoimmune disorders is a biologic, which runs up to $7500 per month. One thing you can take to the bank is that companies who create new, promising, life changing drugs for the chronically ill don’t sell them for $70 a month and make it a part time business opportunity for a soccer mom to reach #fianancialfreedom.

I can say that I personally feel better with the vitamin packets from Le-vel Thrive, but that’s purely anecdotal. Other vitamins, particularly those high in Vitamin C or containing echinacea can be harmful to me.  We don’t want to boost an immune system that is actively trying to kill me, thanks.

I had another friend tell me that I just need to get up at the same time every day, no matter how I feel, make my bed, and decide that it’s going to be a good day. Yes, let me give that a go after pain woke up up 8 times last night, my joints in my ankles, feet, and toes are so swollen and painful that I needed my husband to get me out of bed and let me hold on to him while I walked to the bathroom. My #1 concern on days like that should be throw pillows being perfectly placed. I get the power of positive thinking, and I listen to personal development videos and read books about mindset, but that’s not going to cut it with a disease that can make my immune system attack my joints, kidneys, liver, brain, or whatever else it feels like taking out.

I’m in a few facebook groups for people with chronic illnesses. It’s really helpful to have someone to talk to who gets it. We recently had a conversation about different things people have tried to sell us on. We call it “woo,” a general term for anecdotal evidence, old wives’ tales, hearsay, pseudoscience, and just plain crazy. Again, we understand that you mean well, but frankly, do better. Here are some of my favorites from that thread.

  • Do you really have a neurological disorder though? Aries tend to get headaches more than the other signs. (No comment necessary.)
  • There’s a parasite you can intentionally eat that will remove autoimmune disease. (The fuck?)
  • Bathing in malt vinegar once a week will cure celiac. (Again. What the fuck.)
  • The pain and muscle fatigue get better if you just push through it. (From a weightlifter friend. Our deep muscle fatigue has a different cause than yours, and requires different treatment. Taking this advice could land us in the hospital.”
  • If you accept Jesus into your heart you will be cured. (Funny, because there are lots of Christians, and people of every other faith, who die of chronic illness all the time.) The same person claimed that eating boiled cabbage would cure this patient. (So maybe it’s a combination of cabbage and Jesus? Is there a recipe?)
  • Prayer in general. If we are not religious people and you know this, this advice feels more like judgement than anything else.
  • Sleeping with onions in your socks. (OK but why?)
  • Juice Cleanses! (This can be dangerous for healthy people. It could put us in the hospital too.)
  • Reprogramming your brain with positive energy! You can walk on hot coals if you get your mind right! (Some of us can’t walk  across carpet.)
  • Going gluten free/dairy free/nightshade free/paleo etc. (Again. Works for some, but not for others. This is not really terrible advice, but if you think we haven’t tried it, you’re wrong. I personally do feel much better if I stay gluten free and limit dairy, sugar, and soy. That’s just me though.)
  • Just say NO to Big Pharma! All those pills you take are makig you sick! (Listen, we understand as well as anyone, if not better, how deeply problematic the pharmaceutical industry is. However, some of us are only alive because of Western medical science. If there were alternatives that worked as well as our prescriptions do,particularly without the expense and side effects, we’d be all over it.
  • You’d feel better if you lost some weight. (Yeah. We know. However, some of us are on medications that make us gain weight but keep us alive. Some of us aren’t ambulatory. Some of us have conditions like PCOS that make losing weight nearly impossible.)
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BRB I have to go eat some parasites to cure me. 

 

You can see how a constant stream of this could be annoying. Do you know what we’d love to hear though? Here are some ideas.

  • “How have you been feeling lately? I’ve been thinking of you.” (I personally think it’s nice when a religious friend says they’ve been praying for me, even though I don’t believe in prayer. If they do, it’s meaningful to them, so I appreciate it. Just don’t try to convert me. Other non-believers can be offended if you know they’re not religious and you bring it up, so it’s probably a good idea to simply ask them if they’re comfortable with you praying for them.
  • “Would you mind telling me more about ___________ (their chronic illness)? I feel like a lot of the information I’ve found online is confusing or conflicting.” This can show us that you’ve tried to learn about what we’re going through without trying to push the remedy du jour at us. We’re not going to judge you for saying the information online is confusing or conflicting, especially if we’re dealing with autoimmune disorder, because theories are all over the place.
  • “Do you want to come over and watch a movie this weekend at my place? ”
    • or
  • “I was thinking it might be fun if I brought us some lunch and we hung out at your place and just relaxed.”  This is so lovely, really. Having a chronic illness can be really isolating. For me, personally, I am married, have a child, and two businesses. I miss going out and living it up with my friends, and just having that girl time connection or spending time with couples or groups of friends that my husband and I used to hang out with with, but my priorities have to be keeping a roof over my head. Going out on the town sounds fun, but it might be too draining for me right now. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss my friends. I have one girlfriend who invites me over to just hang out with her and her 2 year old daughter. We’ll talk, snack, watch movies, or play on Snapchat making videos with the kiddo. That kind of social interaction charges my batteries instead of draining them.
  • “Is there anything I can do to help? Can I bring you dinner one night, take your kids to the community pool when I take mine so you can get a break? Can I drive you to a doctor’s appointment for your next procedure?” Several of us have minor procedures fairly regularly that involve partial anesthesia and we need someone to drive us or we have to suck it up and deal with that 11″ needle in our spine unmedicated. Caveat to this: don’t offer unless you’re willing to do the thing and you actually want to. We don’t want you to resent us, and it’s perfectly OK if you can’t do anything to help us. We get it-you’re busy too. You have limits on your time, energy, and finances, and we totally understand.
  • “I saw a really annoying commercial about eczema the other day. The lady kept saying, “I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. Is that the kind of eczema you have? How do you treat yours? How does it affect you? Does it flare and go into remission, or is it pretty constant? Also, you shouldn’t have to sweat it out in a jacket because of a medical condition. I love you and I don’t want you to feel like you have to hide with me, but if you’re more comfortable covering up I understand that too. Just don’t feel that you need to do so on my behalf.
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Much like your toddler, I can entertain myself with Snapchat for an hour. Me+a toddler+Snapchat=you can clean out your closets, your gutters, whatever. I have this covered. Even better, I can have all the screen time I want because I’m a grown ass woman.

That last one is how Karen should have started the conversation in the restaurant, if you ask me. It would let blondie know that she cares about her and she wants to learn more.

The reality is, we just want to be treated like people. Intelligent, whole, educated people. We LOVE that you’re thinking of us and wanting to learn more about our conditions. I have friends I used to be really close to that have never asked me about my illnesses. That’s OK. Some people aren’t meant to stay in our lives forever. That’s just the way life goes, and I have nothing but love for them and wish them well. But for those of you who are loyal, loving badasses and are still in our lives and read through this whole thing, THANK YOU. From the bottom of my black, sarcastic heart, I love you for reading this and wanting to learn.

Love, light, and parasites,

-Selfish Mitch

 

Probiortics

Men: Can you NOT?

I haven’t blogged in forever, even though I have a bunch of partially formed posts in my mind. I’ve had some shit I’ve been wading through, but I’ve righted my ship and am striving to move past it.

As you may or may not know, I’m a real estate agent. In this day and age, social media is really important for any self employed person who needs to be hired several times a year by several different people. I keep most of my facebook public for that reason. I make it a point to be authentically myself on social media, but I do strive to refrain from  discussing topics like religion and politics. Why? Nobody wins.

I am a liberal living in a very red area of a red state. I did discuss politics during the 2016 election. I mean, it was a shitshow. A legitimate, no holds barred, embarrassment to our country. I personally believe Donald Trump is the human embodiment of the worst parts of America, and somehow he ended up in charge.Still, I’m not a huge Hillary fan, for reasons I don’t have time to get into here. I voted for her, but I’m a Bernie Sanders kind of gal.

What I learned from discussing politics on Facebook is that you either end up in an echo chamber or you end up fighting with people who have different beliefs and values than you do. It’s frustrating. It ended up sucking up a lot of my time and adding a lot of negative energy into my life, so I just decided to stop engaging with people; especially the people who will never change their minds. I still read people’s posts because as a human and a businessperson, I try to understand and find common ground with everyone. I actually understand why some of my friends voted for Mango Musselini. I don’t like it, and I don’t agree, but I understand.

Anyhow, as I mentioned, it’s important for me to make business connections on social media. I’m married and am not interested in the least in a physical or emotional affair with anyone, so I try to screen the dudes who request me. I try to only accept friend requests from people with whom I have mutual friends. I generally don’t accept requests from men who are posing with their shirts off, or men I wouldn’t want to run into in a dark alley. I don’t think this guy was shirtless when he friended me, but he might have slipped through. I also check their friends list, and if a large number of their “friends” look like catfish bikini girls, I decline too. Still, creeps slip in. Let’s examine this exchange with a new facebook “friend” here.

I just want to understand what this guy’s goal is here. Like, when the losers come out and declare themselves to be creepy internet pervs, I know what they want. They’re not gonna get it, from me, certainly, and probably not from anyone else, but I don’t get what this guy even wants.

Let’s begin.

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So we start out fine. Work talk, networking, blah, blah, blah. A bit of a yellow flag with the “nice picture” comment, but OK.

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Well isn’t this guy living the Bro dream. He wants to pump iron on the beach on youtube next to babes in bikinis. I gave him a little bit of room since I’m interested in fitness too, but I do want to know who he thinks is going to watch this channel. Also, where is he going to get these women? Will he provide said colorful, skimpy bikinis? I feel like it might be tough to just happen upon a sandy beach with weights to lift that also provides hot mamas in bikinis. Bright, barely-there bikinis, at that. Also? Why does Roland think I would give a single, tiny kernel of rat shit about any of that? FFS, man.

On we go. Ya ready?

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Well, that sure took a clear turn, didn’t it? Is this honestly the way homeboy is expecting to make a friend or a business connection? I’m mystified at this response. It’s super douchy. I do not like abortion, and I’m still feminist AF. I hate abortion so much that I’ve never had one, and I can’t imagine a scenario in which I would. However, I’ve luckily never been in the situation where I’ve had to make that choice. I think it’s pretty easy to stand on your moral high horse when you’re not in that situation. I have friends who I love very much who have made that decision. I don’t love them any less and I supported them through that choice.

Life isn’t perfect. We live in a county where large groups of people spend a fortune trying to make public policy to ensure that every baby that is concieved is born, but they stop caring at the moment that the kid takes its first breath. Single mom can’t afford health insurance? She shouldn’t have had a baby. Married Mom and Dad both need to work at least 40 hours a week at minimum wage to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads but still can’t afford day care? Too bad. They should have used protection. If they can’t afford their own damn health insurance and birth control they should just abstain or use the rhythm method, because not one damn dime of MY TAX DOLLARS is going to pay for anyone’s birth control. Kid needs a heart transplant or treatment for childhood cancer? Kid shouldn’t have chosen to be born to a poor family. Tough break.

So, back to my new friend here. He started out being glad to be my facebook friend, but went from happy and talking about bikini babes (that be clearly wants to ogle and probably bang when he’s done lifting weights. The irony is that I’m pretty sure if they have sex with him, it’s not going to be a committed relationship, but it’s fine somehow. Somehow, folks like this appreciate sexually liberated women when they’re the recipient of the bootay, but these girls are whores if they sleep with any other man. They will be told that they shouldn’t spread their legs unless they’re prepared to face the consequences of an STD or baby with anyone else, and if the father chooses not to be involved or pay child support, that’s what they get for sleeping around. Of course, they say the same thing if the woman was in a committed relationship and the man removed himself from the situation.

Also? Let’s be really fucking clear on one thing. If you’re speaking with a woman who defines herself as a feminist, you’re never, ever going to change her mind if you lead with “feminazi”. At this point, it’s clear that you’re just a mysoginist asshole, and all converstation will end. If you don’t support what you believe to be the “feminist agenda” and you’re anti-abortion, cool. I don’t agree with you, but I understand how some people feel that way. I truly do. I was raised Catholic, but luckily my very Catholic mother wanted her daughters to be able to support themselves and be free thinkers, and you bet your ass she raised her only son to respect women as well.

The words you put out on the internet are there forever. Did this guy write something so horribly offensive that he should be burned on the stake? Should this conversation have repercussions on his career? I don’t think so, but they could, hypothetically, cost him customers if he’s an entepreneur. As a Realtor who writes on this blog, I understand what walking that line is like. Hell, I’ve said and written things that are potentially more offensive and likely to cause me to lose business than this man did in his conversation with me. I want to be clear that I’m not condemning him, but I really want to make it clear that this isn’t the way to approach women if you’re trying to build a busines or professional relationship, so just don’t do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Winter Skin Is Thirstier Than a Former Disney Starlet on Instagram (A Story About Kitnapping)

If you know me, or if you have read this blog at all, you know that I’m pretty invested in self care. Some of it is because I have a chronic illness and run a few businesses, including ohmmygodess.com, and I have to make choices every damn day. A lot of times I don’t like those choices; for example, I often have time to reach out to all of my real estate leads and clients OR time for a long phone call with a BFF. I have time to get my ass to bed on time or blog. I have time to spend in my photo studio getting clothes ready for sale OR time with my husband. It’s not fun having to choose all the time.

I’ve been totally absent from this blog for what, a month now? I came down with three different strains of this year’s flu and a case of bronchitis, and I had to choose only the most urgent things I could do every day. Had I been inspired I’d have probably blogged instead of another task, but I was cranky and tired and overextended and didn’t have love to share with you all. I started feeling better Sunday of last week, and started planning a normal adult personal professional life, and then…my neurologist’s office called and said that my insurance company had approved a minor back surgery I’ve needed for about six months, but they gave a 10 day window and Wednesday (less than 48 hours) was the only time that the doc and the surgical center had available, so they needed me there or it might never happen. Fuck the American medical system, but we work with what we have. Let me arrange my life and figure out how I’m going to pay my $3900 copay and deductible in two days. Seems reasonable. Again, fuck all of them.

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I *might* have also ordered three identical unicorn onesies on the way home from back surgery. But I got a deal, so whatevs.

So, surgery Wednesday afternoon, and Wednesday night someone invited me to a Perfectly Posh party. I’ve heard of this MLM company and their pampering products from a few friends who swear by them, so I’d wanted to try it for a while. I’m also a cheap bitch, and that leads us to one of my favorite hobbies: Kitnapping. Kitnapping is the term for signing up as a sales rep for a multi level marketing company with absolutely no intention of being a “BOSS BABE {INSERT 47 EMOJIS HERE}.” I don’t hate MLM, and in fact, I feel compelled to work Beachbody as a business since I used their workouts, meal plans, Shakeology, and challenge groups to lose 70 lbs. It’s not my main job,  but you can’t lose 70 lbs and get hundreds of selfie likes and NOT want to help other people do the same. With anything else, though, no. I’m here to get the starter kit for free, buy a few more things for myself at a discount, and then quit. Most of them can be viable businesses if you choose to work them like businesses, but I’m a great Realtor and passionate about that, first and foremost, so it won’t work for me. I’m not trying to discourage you, but please do your research. f you want to know why MLM’s have a 90+% failure rate, look at bitches like me. We sign up to get the goods, then GTFO. http://www.scarymommy.com/mlm-failure-rate-99-percent-lularoe/

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Seems a little early to talk about love, since we just met, but OK.

Anyway, as the title of this post indicates, I have the WORST dry skin in the winter. Even in Arizona, when January 21 found me cursing myself for not getting the motor to operate the top of my convertible fixed earlier because it was 85 degrees, I had alligator skin. So, induced by still working the surgical drugs out of my system and the nurses commenting, “You poor thing” when faced with my scaly legs, I decided to jump on the Perfectly Posh kitnapping wagon.

So, here’s what you get. A big box that says, “I’m part of the company I love!” (That’s a little much, PP People, since the folks who order your starter kit likely don’t know much about your business, even if they love your products.) It has a bunch of catalogs and I’m assuming other business shit I will never look at. There’s only one bag that says, “Pampering for Me,” but hi, have we met? This shit is ALL for me. There’s not a way that a MLM paying 20% commission for affordable skin care products is going to overtake my income from selling houses. Still, I’ve heard amazing things about this so let’s get it on.

It was 4 pm on a Sunday when I opened this, so conveniently, I needed a shower. I chose these two things since they looked like they should go in the shower.

So, I grabbed the “Show and Gel” and was VERY disappointed. I was confused about the hype on this crap because here is a body wash gel with zero foaming action. Well, it turns out you should read the back of this because it’s like lotion for the alligator people like me, not a body wash. My bad; so I had to use the soap that was already in my shower. I also used the BFF exfoliating facial gel, which made me feel fruity clean on my face, which is a thing I like. When my dumb ass got out of the shower, I used the Show and Gel like you’re supposed to, and I’ll be damned if it didn’t make my disgusting legs look human again, so that was a win.

Since that worked, I decided to try a mask. I chose the pineapple one that is sampled, and I smelled like a fucking pineapple and I got puppy kisses as a result, so that’s a win.

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Gratuitous dog picture, but the little one did keep trying to lick my face with the Pineapple mask. If you don’t think they’re cute you’re a monster.

That shit did NOT want to wash off, so I didn’t like that part. Rinse, rinse rinse, rinse, and still. Pineapple face. If you’re following us on Instagram, you can see my 42 year old clean face with a pineapple mask in our story. (If you’re not following our Instagram, what are you even doing with your life?) When I finally got rid of the pineapple, I used the Gel Yes! because it’s the only facial moisturizer sampled in that big ass kit, which I thought was strange, since they include approximately 623 samples of hand cream . Still, I used the goods and my face still feels as soft as a 33 year old’s. (Estimated age, I do not have a 33 year old face to feel at the moment, and even if I did, that would be an awkward conversation).

I finished off with the Sassyooma “Big FAT Yummy Hand Cream,” which has a great orange-y citrus smell and actually took me closer to human and further away from reptile, which is obviously a good thing. It came in a little sample packet that said to use a pea sized amount on your hands, but I used all of it and used it up my arms, on my neck, and a little on my face, and it’s my favorite so far. (Does anyone actually use a portion of a free sample and roll the dice that the other part of it will be good when you come back to it?) I feel like if I kept using it, I’d become fully human in a week or so. Of course, because my brain is THE WORST and crazy inconvenient, I react to the word “yummy” like most people react to the word “moist” so of course I can’t just fucking enjoy things. WHY CAN’T I JUST HAVE NICE THINGS?

Anyhow, what I’ve tried so far seems pretty legit, as long as you have the reading skills of a third grader and employ them before you squeeze out 1/6th of a bottle of lotion onto your shower poofy thing expecting it to foam up like body wash.

Want to try out some of this stuff and support this blog at the same time? Order from Selfish Mitch Perfectly Posh If you have questions, I’ll be happy to answer if I know anything. At this point, based on what I’ve tried and how much stuff is in the starter kit, I would recommend kitnapping Perfectly Posh for $99 and some shipping. I’m not sure how I feel about it as a gung-ho business opportunity. Yes, the kit is $99, so that’s a hell of a deal for over $300 in retail products. I know from social media and my own research that the products are well received and wanted, but if you’re looking for a MLM to really sink your teeth into and grow a business, I can’t say I’d recommend a company that overuses the word yummy and pays out 20% for products that are pretty affordable. I do know people personally who are working this as a business and doing well, so I could put you in contact with them if you’re interested in the opportunity.

Thanks to Angie Welker for letting me kitnap on her downline. I think it’s totally ethical to buy a starter kit from any MLM for your personal use, with no intention to work it as a business besides passively sharing your link, with one caveat. If you’re going to be selfish with it and keep it all, just be honest with the person you’re signing up under. Angie was the rep running the Perfectly Posh Party and I signed up “under” her in the business. I was straight with her that I wanted the kit for myself and would provide an honest review, but that she didn’t need to follow up me with me as a downline business person because I’m not going to have parties in person or on Facebook. Don’t be a dick. Be honest with everyone involved if you’re kitnapping.

-With love and citrus smelling soft skin,

Selfish Mitch