The next few months I made half-hearted attempts at self care. Transformation. To be honest, every decision I made was out of fear and not for me. (I had been doing this for so long, that I didn't even realize it had become second nature) I did what I thought I should do or what I believed others wanted from me. Strange thing is this, none of it worked. Well that's unfair...some of it worked, temporarily. Ever have that happen? You read a book that inspires you in the moment or you start following a public figure that you look up to...only to eventually start looking at yourself and wonder why you don't measure up? Yeah. Me too.
I spent the better part of 2016 trying to keep from feeling so empty, all while being sure no one saw the darkness. My efforts weren't totally in vane though. Some of that experience finally sank in...it just took the right timing. Even my therapy worked, but only when I really started to unpack my baggage. And that time wasn't right now.
Rock bottom has been a place that I have rebuilt my life, a few times along my journey. 2016 was no different. I finally reached my breaking point. I had stuffed and stuffed all my feels down...and it was no longer sustainable. I remember the moment I knew everything had to change. Like, if I were going to survive this, kind of change. I will spare you the details, but it wasn't pretty. During this time I lost one of my favorite people, my PawPaw. He had a long battle with heavy diagnoses, but that man was a beacon of hope. My hope. I take joy in knowing he is pain free and telling corny jokes in heaven...but I sure would love one more hug from him. Everyday.
So, just as stepped forward knowing I needed to change...this loss knocked me right back to my knees. You know they say when it rains it pours...and I was starting to feel like my storm would never pass. I wouldn't come to terms with this loss for many months and the process was ugly.
Ever been at a bar in the wee hours of the morning (definitely not sober)...most likely making a fool of yourself, but in the moment you feel like you are crushing it at life. Then you walk into the bathroom and catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror...yeah that moment...when you see that you in fact are not the beautiful, fun, table dancing queen...you had totally been when you walked in...you are actually a sweaty mess making really terrible life decisions. Yep...that was me at the end of 2016. I finally succumbed to the fact that the only way out of this mess, was to go straight through it. And so it began.
I knew the change that was about to occur would take full commitment. It wasn't just about the weight gain...or the daily tears (in my closet) about my inadequacy as a human. It wouldn't simply take a diet change or a few audiobooks. It would take everything I have...and I was finally ready to step out on the limb. So I did.
This process came similarly to the stages of grief. My first Nursing job (critical care) helped to catapult me into truly understanding grief. It comes and goes and there are no rules. Helping others navigate this in fact proved to be of no help in my personal life. I so wanted to hope that helping others grieve would "fix" me, and that I wouldn't have to do the hard work of digging deep, chasing down this fear, and burying it. Not so much.
January of 2017 I started making some calls. The first one was the hardest. To make an appointment with my Doc about my health and the dreaded “family planning”. Well for us...the lack there of, our own little family. You see, for 4 years I had been praying for those babies I had began dreaming of long ago. Suffering each month I saw a negative. I was in total denial that fertility issues could be a part of this...and making that call (to me) meant I was admitting defeat. I had decided that maybe kids just weren't in the cards for us...like as if “making this unrealistic conclusion” would help prepare me for the worst case senerio. For the record...being prepared doesn’t make any tradegy or loss easier...ever.
So, I prayed. Scheduled the appointment and half-heartedly agreed to show up...I was drowning in sorrow, but deep down...I knew I had to prove myself wrong. I had to rise. Imperfections and all. The morning of that appointment I chose to change my life...once and for all. You see the process is what I’ve always feared...the process holds the whole story. The most scary and the most beautiful. And I knew in order to write my new chapters...I’d have to face embracing the process head on...for real this time...