And I get back up… eventually

So. I was dealt a blow. I had made up a dream scenario in my head of my perfectly ever after. Today, after being teased for 3 months that it could come true, after really talking about things for a year. (No we weren’t involved but there was flirting, and obviously complications because of work). Even other people telling me it would … it was burst. “I’m getting married cuz I’m having a baby”.

Awesome. So glad to hear you’re in love. So nice that you’ve never bothered to mention her name or even that there was a her. It was a smack across my face. Here I was thinking Disney Fairy Tales while you’re apparently in your own or, you know, need to be married so your child isn’t born in sin. Whatever.

Obviously I’m hurt. I stuck my neck out for this guy. Tried to stand up for him when others didn’t. Wanted to protect him and be there for him. I wanted to be his everything but he was giving that to someone else while flirting with me.

What hurts the most is my friends were right. Here’s the second guy I’ve opened my wounded heart to, only to have him crush it again. It’s more than a crush, and it’s less than obsessive. He told me I was beautiful. It’s silly and small but it was the first compliment that felt sincere and special since my ex crushed my spirit.

I was reduced to rubble and barely getting by. Depression is hard. Feeling worthless not only because you can’t see the sun when it’s shining, but when you’ve been told for so long that you’re nothing and no one will ever want you, it becomes truth. It becomes you. It’s as if nothing ever mattered before or will again. That’s mental and emotional abuse and until you (hopefully never) experience it, you’ll never understand how much damage it does. How much pain and weight it carries. If it was physical abuse I would have needed a hospital stay and should have been in years of rehab. Instead I tried to heal myself, or really just shelter myself from the world.

I gained 50 lbs, quit doing the things I loved. Lived in a trash can of my house and just let my world slowly unravel. Day by day things were easier but some days the weight got harder, the day grew darker and the sun wouldn’t rise. But I saw the words, you’re beautiful and smart. Someone saw value in me. Someone looked at me with longing. It wasn’t over night magic. I didn’t believe it. He couldn’t be talking about me. But he was. Over and over I played it out in my head. But I couldn’t accept. It was work related. I needed to stay at arms length and be professional.

But … yet again, I pushed away and they get married to someone else. This is the second time. The first I was still with my ex. I broke it off and kicked him out of the house but he came back, told me he’d make it right. Told me all the things I longed for him to say. Then after he snarled me in his web the abuse started again. At that point my potential suitor was gone.

Tonight, I went to the gym. I did an assessment and lifted more weights than I assumed I could. I was told I don’t need to lose as much weight as I assumed- over 60lbs but not 100 as I thought. I told her I wanted a trainer. Someone to hold me accountable. To shame me and make me feel guilt. But honestly I want, and desperately need someone to tell me I’m good, that I can do it and do it well. I need encouragement and praise. I need to feel worthy and whole. I need to be able to accept that my ex abused me and people, not just one person and enter my heart and mind and soul. I can love again and I don’t have to imagine it. I just need to believe in it. That’s the hardest part. Believing in myself, standing up for myself and loving myself. I really need to start day dreaming about me. Being there for me.

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Procrastination and fear

I read an article about self inflicted anxiety over procrastination. You put something off. By avoiding it you have relief but each day you continue, the anxiety grows. The temporary relief makes it appear worth while but it’s not. Sometimes snowballing into worse issues.

He makes a valid point by saying you initially avoid something due to fear.

I thought about my own procrastination. Weight loss. I know how. Stop being lazy. Get moving. Eat better and less.

I don’t do it. Why? I take comfort in food. I also take comfort in blaming my weight for being unhappy, single and what have you.

Cleaning my house. Every time I organize my house. Pick things off the floor, clean the counter, organize something, I feel wonderful. Why do t I keep this up? Is it because I can’t invite people in if it’s a mess? I can’t have boys over, I will have time to go out rather than the excuses I use now to stay home?

Why? Why do I fear having a life? It’s a sick cycle. I need to beak it.

Taking a chance and a taco

I’ve been single for years. Read that, years.

I’ve been depressed, full of anxiety and excuses. Lately though, my depression seems to have holes through it, like a moth-hole ridden sweater. The sun shines through and my confidence has risen. I walk around imagining guys staring at my ass or stealing peaks at my breasts. I look in the mirror and the vision of my younger, skinner self is met with the obese, while curvy, chunky, awkward body that is reality.

I’ve attracted guys lately, maybe for longer but it’s hard to acknowledge sometimes. Do they see my curves, red lips, blonde hair and confidence as a turn on? I don’t know but something is there and it’s still working. Not as hard as it use to but it’s there. I don’t really get it. I imagine they see me as skinny but I look in the mirror and wonder, what are they seeing? Let’s be honest, while more “plus size” models are getting coverage, they still have a label. There’s still TV shows with waifs of women but a show with an obese woman is comedy relief or plays the role of sad, fat girl. There’s no overly confident obese girl who has it all in the dating world. It’s still labeled a comedy if it is out there.

That self doubt is courtesy of my married friends who hint that I’ve gained too much weight and my ex, basically everything about me couldn’t attract a guy, or him for that matter. I surround myself with lovely people. (That was sarcasm)

First there was electron telling me I was smart and beautiful. Granted all he ever asked was to sleep with me. He promised me a date but we never got that far. This year there was the Canadian sales person from my regional meeting. Hot, well dressed, tall, smothering me with compliments, seeking me out, buying me drinks, asking me to go out dancing with him… I found out later he was married with a small child soooo hmmm. Next we have the finance corporate guy from my company. While I was obviously swept up with the tall Canadian, he stayed later than anyone else, talking about life, our jobs then took me to get a taco. The taco shop was closed, as it was 2 am and we went to our respected homes/hotel. Granted with that he was asking me questions around my job and what I could do to benefit his job. Hmmm

Ok. Perhaps these guys aren’t great examples. Obviously I’m still single and none have actually led to a date or a boyfriend. Is it me though? Electron I told no, though I wanted to say yes badly, mostly because I was intimidated but also because of my job. With him I left it very open, I appreciated the offer but had to turn him down. The Canadian, I wanted to go dancing with him but I had pulled a muscle in my leg and was limping badly. I couldn’t dance. I was thankful Finance guy was there. And Finance guy, well, he lives in Milwaukee. I was only there for that night.

Now, long story short, this finance guy. He’s younger than me, typical good looking mid-western guy, nothing over the top amazing but he is cute; he deals with people above me. I report to them, they report to him, he reports up the chain to someone else. So he’s not my boss or supervisor at all. He just crunches numbers to report to stock holders or whomever. My job, one of a zillion across the US and Canada; well since he met me, any extra dollars I pull in, he has sent an email thanking me. This is not typical. As, the report doesn’t come from me. It comes from my boss, Finance guy just knows it’s my project because we’ve talked about it.

So this month, only the second month since we met, I decide to flirt back. I sent him an email saying I’m still waiting for a taco, (remember we went to grab a taco but the place was closed). It’s not even technically flirting is it? It’s just asking for a taco. I meant it as flirting, but text is all in the way you read it as to the actual inflection that someone intended with it. I wavered for a minute before sending. Could it be harassment, could it be inappropriate, should I not email corporate? Should I steer clear of inter-company… what? What does/could it mean that I’m waiting for a taco. Some sort of sexual innuendo?

Here I am. Putting my career over flirting, or even just initiating friendship or merely the discussion of lunch? I don’t know. Overthinking what rights I have or the lack there of in a man’s work force. Would I be so intimidated in any other career? I dunno. But I work with nothing but men. All of my superiors, anyone up the ladder that I deal with, all men. For that matter almost all people down the ladder from me are men too. In my region I am the only female in my position, in North America there may be 7-10 females in my role compared to 150+ men. I’m assuming these stats but I know in all of Canada there are 3 females in my role.

The only place I meet guys are through work. I’ve always kept this arms distance, flirt then flee. Don’t be caught being human. Live, sweat, cry, loose hair, gain weight and stress the fuck out for your job but lord forbid, find happiness. So, with a confident push of my buttonless phone I hit send on the two sentence email and waited.

I didn’t wait long. My supervisor told me, Mike is visiting the job next week with Gary. My jaw dropped, What?! I brought it up a few times. How? Why? That wasn’t his role. He didn’t visit projects. He crunches numbers at corporate. While I went through in my head the outfits I might wear while he visited and weather or not I should be vigilant about cleaning my house for a sleepover… do you think it would go there? Gosh I don’t know… I got an email back, “That’s Fair! We will have to address that at some point.” Not flirty, or harmful. Just tacos. In the most corporate, politically correct way ever.

We called Gary who said he had word from Mike that he couldn’t come up. Hmmph.

But, there it was. A simple harmless email about tacos. Each of us only wrote two sentences and I was giddy all day.

It’s nothing really. I eat meals with work people when they visit, often. I don’t generally hang out one on one after drinking at 2 am but, it seemed harmless.

I think the point is, I took a chance. A chance I overthought, I debated, I weighed, I finally said fuck it and did. It was two sentences and neither were shocking. But I did it. I got a pleasant, positive, though possibly a interminable response.

These are the things you celebrate when you believe you are incapable of being more than single. Even a date can seem like a fluke. Online dating is a constant let down when you aren’t as attractive as they may have believed you to be. There’s always a hotter picture someone else has out there to ponder over.

So, with another 4 days of failed diet, my friends in town and then a work trip and work people in town, I need to remember this feeling. Remember the urgency of cleaning my house. The motivation to drop some pounds, for health, clothing fitting and yes, for attractiveness.

This is where I’m at. A sun ray of light shining into my shaded room of self doubt, with a simple sentence about a taco.

Exhausted by nothing

Featured photo: more wild flowers from my yard

Friday was my expo I was speaking at. It was announced the night before that 17 people were attending. It was pretty much 17 people who were participating in it. Drag. 

There were speakers about motivation, organization, estate planning… yea uh not exactly construction. 

My part was choppy, unrehearsed and I don’t think I had a main focus or summary. It was emotional and a shit show. 

That’s on me. I didn’t rehearse or even try. 

I spiraled into a pit of self loathing and embarrassment. Why did it hit me so hard? Probably because I knew it was my own fault. I’ve been really procrastinating and I know it’s not good. 

The low I felt from it all was quite the battle wound. Suddenly anything that has been said or emailed to me in the past month came back in a vile attack. A few weeks ago when I was floating on cloud 9; the world was my oyster. Now I was just some gutter slime praying to get washed down the pipe in hopes of a new beginning. 

I spent the weekend on the couch. I forced myself to walk to the farmers market. I didn’t buy anything and I kept my head low and sunglasses on, attempting to not be seen. I walked to a grocery store and ran into friends who wanted to hang out but I declined. 

I went home, cooked, ate, and then the day was done. Sunday was on the couch until 10 pm I forced myself to walk the dog. Day 16 of walking. 

At least I’m pleased with myself about my walks. I’ve got one thing I’m being successful at and I can’t let that go. But where did this instant, crushing depression come from? 

I realized today I’ll be getting my period any minute. That’s still no excuse. I can’t crash into the pavement and lose all hope and joy in my life just from fluctuating hormones. 

Today I’m starting to feel better. Starting to pick myself up and say, Hey! Voice in my head – self loathing and doubt- go fuck your self! There’s nothing to win with those thoughts. 

Tonight I’ll be at a hotel and I have to make sure I get on a treadmill. It’s the one piece I don’t want to disappoint myself in, my walks. 

Only 500 more days until it’s a habit. ūüėČ

Appreciate the sun rise

Just imagine a string of curse words… that is how I would start this post off except I’ll keep it PG 13. I’ll get back to why, but first its the backlog.

It’s been a month since I last posted. I meant to post every day of my year being 37 and I’ve already missed out on 30 or more of those opportunities that I’ll never get back.

The real point of this journey – for me anyhow – is to appreciate each day. Find a moment in a snapshot and talk about it.

I’m coming to terms with the fact that I suffered from depression as a child. I didn’t know what suicide was until Kurt Cobain was found dead and the word was all over the news, radio, magazines. Everywhere. But I realized I had thought about it by the time I was 12, before I knew it had a name. I had a very good upbringing by normal standards. I had food, both parents, siblings, a house to live in. By some standards I had it really good. That doesn’t mean there weren’t issues.

When I was 17 I was in a car crash that killed my cousin’s grandmother and split my second vertebra in two. I was temporarily paralyzed for a week before I had a Halo Vest screwed into my skull. In the end – I am a fully functional 37 year old. I’m still here and I still have full mobile ability of my body. I am extremely fortunate and lucky. That doesn’t mean I take advantage of my life every single moment I have been granted since I was 17.

Two years ago my relationship of 4 years deteriorated and then a wrecking ball finished off what was left.In the wreckage I was still attempting to crawl out when my beloved best friend, my cat of 12 years was dying of cancer. Two months after the hardest goodbye I’ve made thus far, I had to put my other cat to sleep, as he too had cancer. For the next year I made the mistake of clinging to my ex, who I hadn’t realized, had been emotionally abusive for some time.

Now I’m not here for pity, I’m not here to grieve, that time has passed. I’m here because like every time before, I’ve been lucky enough to crawl back out of that pit called depression and see the sun rise again. After the breakup and my two cats death I gained over 40 lb, on top of¬†already being overweight. I laid in bed most days and only left it to get something to eat. Usually bringing the plate to bed with me and just pushing it aside to go back to sleep. My hair started to thin, my nails started to become brittle and cracked and broke off. I had the worst lower back pain, sometimes¬†to the point I couldn’t move. I was 35-36 years old.

I got past it, I lost 20 lbs. I started listening to music I loved again, went to a few concerts, flirted with men again, spent a zillion dollars on a Chiropractor that really helped my back. But then November hit. I really didn’t think this political war in America would affect me the way it did. I started spending hours in my bathtub. Just soaking in the water to the point I almost would fall asleep and made myself get out so I didn’t drown by accident. I didn’t go outside, I stopped exercising, I started ordering out all the time. Cooking, which I enjoy, seemed a burden. Suddenly, in February I realized I had gained the 20 lbs back plus some.

Thankfully, I’d realized this sooner than before. Depression had hit me yet again, out of left field and even though we’ve known each other my whole life, I didn’t recognize it. The weight gain, the constant eating to the point of feeling pain of being so full, the disorder and chaos of my house every day being too overwhelming to deal with, the lack of wanting to go outside or see friends, the constant procrastination… the list could go on but at the time I didn’t notice any of it.

Even my adorable town. The first few years I lived here I couldn’t stop talking about how I got to live in Vacation land. Everyone else just comes to visit but I get to live here. It truly is beautiful. Yet the other day when someone from out of town mentioned the view, I complained about it. He was stunned and said, ‘yea I suppose you see it every day’ and I still complained.

The next day when it was cloudy and cold, I thought about that view. I hadn’t take the time to appreciate how beautiful it was. I only saw a grey sky even on a bright blue sunny day. That’s when I realized I need a change.

We’re not promised every day. And if I died tonight – what did I do with my 37 years? Lay in bed and complain about the sunshine? Be sad that I gained too much weight and was kinda anti-social?

Nope – Today I saw the sunrise, I appreciated it.¬†And as for that line of curse words in the beginning of this post… Well I’m attempting to complete a 30 days of abs, arms, and squats, and I had just done 50 squats. Well worth swearing over!

Like they say, after you work out you feel even better. Its true and I need to remember that. You feel better after seeing the sun, getting fresh air, walking your dog, waving at a neighbor or just saying hello and smiling at someone passing by. It really isn’t what you don’t have, or think you can’t do. Its doing what you can and appreciating what you have that brings you happiness. I’ve always been one to say I’d be happy when ____ , fill in the blank. Instead I need to be happy now. I need to appreciate my body and my journey and honor it by treating it right! Exercise and good food.

It hasn’t been that I don’t have time for this blog or the gym. I haven’t made time. Hopefully I can get back on track to the road of sunshine. One day at a time.