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6:20 PM - Fri 6.26.20

"It's Not A Toomah!"

Going toward 6:30 in the evening and I haven't done shit today...

I don't feel good about that.

Day got off to a bad start when I weighed myself, expecting a loss, and was up almost two-and-a-half pounds (Had I been perfect in my eating and exercise? No. But had I really made more of an effort, drinking more water/cutting back on the Diet Coke, walking more, restarting my resistance-band exercises, and tracking more? Yes).

I responded to my disappointment by clubbing myself in the head about 30 times or so, then struggling not to do it some more.

So apparently, I was feeling a little more than "disappointed".

I thought about my "acting out" afterward - I've never done that in response to weighing myself, that I recall, and it couldn't have been more self-destructive (Not just for the pain I was causing myself, but by "disincentivizing" me to weigh myself in the future. And after my recent "diabetes" diagnosis, I have to lose weight - This is not a fucking game we're playing here).

But I particularly thought about how hitting myself was a behavior that "worked" for me at some point because if it didn't, I wouldn't have kept doing it. Clearly, "back in the day", it provided some sort of relief from stress.

It doesn't anymore.

Now, all hitting myself does is make me feel like an idiot, which makes me want to hit myself more (Hitting myself a couple dozen times makes me want to hit myself a couple dozen more times...and a couple dozen more times after that. And when that fails to satisfy, it makes me want to...well, let's just say, "do more") That's not "stress relief" anymore - that's just a "negative feedback loop".

This behavior started when I was very young - in my case file, there's an anecdote about how, when my foster mother taped mittens to my hands to stop me from sucking my thumb at night, I responded by bashing my head against the side of my crib until she was like, "Jesus! Okay, suck your goddamn thumb...!" (Which just made me think something for the very first time - Did that "acting out" behavior "stick" because it had worked? An interesting thought...).

This leads me to my theory is that hitting myself started out as frustration at someone I couldn't hit. At my will being thwarted.

Only over time did it turn inward as an expression of anger at myself.

Again, an interesting thought...and I'm wondering if I can use the knowledge that this is an old behavior that doesn't "work", that is actively destructive, in my efforts to not do it anymore (My last therapist - I quit therapy when I got laid off, as counter-intuitive as that may sound - gave me a couple things to do when I "had the urge", but I want to quit "having the urge" if that's possible. What can I say? I don't like that I actively want to hurt myself).

I imagine it might be "a little from column A, a little from column B" - To employ other behaviors/strategies, at the same time giving myself a gentle talking-to about how hurting myself doesn't work, doesn't feel good, and doesn't "get me where I want to go" (Hard to gauge my weight-loss progress if I'm gonna beat my brains out over little setbacks like a disappointing weigh-in)

I think that last bit is really important - If you really want to change for the better, you're not going to hang onto the dysfunctional behaviors that keep that from happening.

And I really do want to change for the better.


As I write, Jane R. is showing the current cut of the film (Acting Like Nothing Is Wrong to a couple friends whose critical judgment she trusts (Should be getting near the end about now).

I'm disappointed that her friend Maura, the person I suspect would be the most hard-nosed in her assessment, couldn't make it (And since she couldn't make it, her husband Wes, who I think would be the closest thing to a Jim-surrogate in what he'd be looking for from the film, isn't there either).

But I suspect Jane will have had a good experience. Because you make a film in order for people to see it (I imagine the film will be met with much praise...with perhaps a mild quibble or two with some directorial decisions).

To be honest, it doesn't feel like "my" film anymore, which I think is appropriate.

Because it isn't my film - It's hers.

I did the Willem Dafoe thing, and gave her "lots of true stuff" - She took it from there.

And while she's got some voiceover stuff for me to do when she's here in LA (She's coming in on Tuesday for a month), it's pretty much "her baby" at this point.

Where my work on the project will pick up again is after the film it's gonna be starts doing the film-festival circuit (Which raises a question - What is "the film-festival circuit" going to be like in a world wrestling with Covid-19?). Then it will be my job to be the happy, interesting, emotional, funny, charismatic face of the project (Jane's told me that, at film festivals, people tend to be more interested in the subject of a given documentary than the filmmaker).

And hopefully, the film has a life beyond film-festivals (I'm going to be very disappointed if it doesn't, primarily on Jane's behalf, because I want her to at least recoup her money on this effort). And if it does, then I'll be doing a lot of PR for that.

It'll be nice to have Jane in town for a while (Though to be honest, I'm a little nervous about this happening during what is, really, still a very active pandemic). And nice that I'll get my own screening of the current iteration of the film soon.

Because while it might not feel like "my film", per se, that doesn't mean I don't feel "invested" in it.


Well, while it was supposed to happen a week ago yesterday, yesterday I had my first mammogram and breast ultrasound ("So I can scratch that off my bucket list", as I said on Twitter).

It was a little weird, being at a Women's Health Center getting my breasts examined, but I wasn't as weirded-out as you might imagine, and I wasn't as afraid as I would have imagined, perhaps because of Jane R. telling me a Doctor had told her cancer lumps don't typically hurt.(I've got something going on under my right nipple that's a little uncomfortable).

The mammogram was more embarrassing than painful, though oddly, I was even less embarrassed than I expected to be (And in terms of "pain", the squeezing didn't bother me...except as it pulled on my chest hair. And even that wasn't that big a deal).

The technician showed me there was a "density" on the right side (On the left as well, but not nearly as pronounced) and told me the ultrasound would determine if it was "solid" or "liquid".

As I told Jane yesterday, it was strangely satisfying to look at the mammogram and see something there - I was clearly feeling something and nobody was accusing me of making things up, but it still felt validating.

So then I waited about an hour for the ultrasound, which was very quick and easy.

The technician had told me that she'd do the thing, then take it to the Radiologist, who would, depending on what they saw, either come in and tell me what happens next (Like more tests) or tell her I could be on my way.

And I got the "be on my way" thumbs-up. Which apparently means that, whatever's going on, it's not cancer.

Even if I had suspected it was not cancer, that was still good to hear (And "suspecting it was not cancer" didn't mean I didn't spend time in the waiting room imagining myself with a mastectomy, wondering if I'd bother with a reconstruction).

So it's clearly something, but apparently it's not going to kill me, so "Yay!".

And Jane just pinged me that she's ready to chat about the viewing, so this seems a good time to say Sayonara.

Till next time...


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