Not how I wanted to start off the year…

I’m manic today.

Two of my books are missing for my thesis.  Two.  I ordered them from Barnes and Noble a week and a half ago, and as of last night, I hadn’t seen them.  They were delivered by #$(#&$*(@&$ UPS to the BACK door of my apartment building, which is someone else’s private residence.  Usually, when this happens, they put the packages on the back steps leading up to my apartment.  Not so much this time.  I fucking hate UPS, I really do.  And they didn’t even really respond to my complaint, just said that I had to be a registered UPS user to file a complaint.  Fuck you very much.  I’m hoping that one of the boys who live downstairs is home this afternoon and that they have my package.  If they don’t, I’m well and truly screwed for my deadline for next week.

I have double- and triple-booked myself for this week, which is also bad.  I don’t want to spend every waking minute doing thesis but that might just be exactly what I end up doing.  I’m on my fourth cup of coffee today, that should carry me at least until 1 AM.  Lunch was nonexistent — the soup that I had in my car apparently froze and then thawed into sludge and was inedible.  So I’ve had toast and coffee all day, whee.

I have to spend tomorrow afternoon at Verizon (my phone contract with David is up as of today and I need to go on my own plan) and Wednesday afternoon at the DMV (have to register my car in my own name).  What joy is mine.  Yes, I would love to spend something like $1000 this week.  I don’t even HAVE that money in my account, I’m going to have to chip into savings, which really upsets me because I have more in savings than I’ve ever had and I HATE chipping into savings, but at the same time, I knew I would have to do that when I got the car signed over to me ANYWAY, so it’s not the end of the world.  Hoping that I can get a decent phone with my free upgrade through Verizon and that I don’t have to pay for anything really up front.

I do have SOME good news.  After a fruitless six weeks of trying to have my lung issues diagnosed, I finally went to Urgent Care in Newington and they took care of it.  All of my tests (EKG, chest x-ray) came back negative, and I apparently have the heart of an 18 year old (which is awesome), but my cough is horrible, really raspy and hacking, and I’m having trouble breathing.  So the doctor is treating me for pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma.  I’m on prednisone, a z-pack, and an inhaler.  And I’m happy to say that this battery of meds is working.  I made it through the night on Saturday without choking or gasping for air, and my lungs don’t feel quite so heavy.  So SOMETHING is working.  And that’s great.

I am nine days away from the deadline for my lit review and my perfectionism has resulted in procrastination which has resulted in panic attacks.  The three p’s of being a Virgo.  Amazing.

Work is insanity.  My boss’s email got hacked, and we’ve been inundated with phone calls all day about it.  One of my coworkers is even more manic than I am, and I just got sniped at by a woman who misunderstood me on the phone.

Is it Friday yet?

When night falls on me, I’ll not close my eyes (car accident PTSD-PSA)

August 27, 2005

I can sum it up in one sentence — my life changed forever.  It was one day, one decision, one mistake.  I got in that car.  By rights, I should never have done it.  I had my own car, but why waste the gas when I could catch a ride with my mother?  She’d drive me back later.  Except I never went back later.  I ended my evening with a trip to Hartford Hospital on LifeStar.  The hours, minutes, seconds of that evening are a blur.  There are moments, lost in time, that I’ll never get back.  Most of them are moments I never want to have back.

To nearly die is such a surreal thing.  At the time, in my head, there was never any question that I was going to live.  There was never even a second where I was lying there and thought “I might not live through this.”  It took me half an hour just to wrap my brain around what had happened to me.   The first time I remember realizing what had happened to me — “I was just in a really bad car accident” — was when I was being carried off the helicopter and into the emergency room.  Before that, I mostly felt heavy.  Tired.  Searing pain on the right side of my body.  I didn’t even realize until a few days later that my face was messed-up.  I didn’t even notice the pain in my cheekbone, near my right eye.  My biggest terror, the only one I voiced, was when they were prying the door from out of my side, and I thought that I was paralyzed because I couldn’t move.  As soon as I knew I wasn’t, I calmed down a bit.  I didn’t realize how bad the accident was until my aunt, coming to visit me in the hospital after taking my mom to sign over her totaled car, said to me “I think you’re lucky to be alive.”  Or, until months later, when I saw the photos of the car itself.  What was left of it.

A lot of people thought that the worst part was the injuries, the hospital visit, the rehabilitation, the physical therapy.  And I’m not going to lie and say those things didn’t suck.  They did.  A lot.  I would never, ever want to go back and revisit those moments of my life.  But the hardest part came after I got better.  When I was home again, in my apartment, and everything was the same, except for in my head.

Me – Autumn 2005, two months after the accident.  If you look carefully, you can see a little bit of “road burn” from the crash in my right cheek, hidden by my hair.

Car accidents aren’t usually the first thing that someone thinks of when they hear the words “post-traumatic stress disorder”.  Most of the time, we think of veterans hitting the deck, or rape victims, or those who were horribly abused in childhood.  But 10% of motor vehicle accident survivors will be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after the fact — and that is only the number of people who seek a diagnosis.  Motor vehicle-related PTSD may effect anywhere from 3.5 to 7 million people in the United States.  It is more prevalent in our country than we may be aware.

I can speak only for myself.  I spent three years in hell.  From 2005 to 2008, my life went off the rails.  I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t eat.  I had days where I would walk to my door, to try and leave my apartment, and I would go into a panic attack just reaching for the doorknob.  I stayed up too late.  I drank more than I should have.  I tried to pretend that it didn’t bother me.  I refused to seek counseling.  I refused to get medicated.  I insisted I could handle everything — a full time job and graduate school.  I got fired from one job and laid off from another.  My GPA tanked.  Worst of all — I lost who I was.  I couldn’t shake the feeling that the person I had been, before August 27, 2005, died in that car.  The EMTs pulled out an entirely different person, and I didn’t know how to find myself again.

Over the last five years, I’ve clawed my way out.  It was not easy.  I am not proud of the person that I had become.  It was an uphill climb, with several steps back before I could step forward.  I had to drop out of school.  I had to go through four different brands of pills before I hit on the one that was right for me.  I had to concede and commit to counseling.  More than anything, I had to really self-reflect, to look at the person I had become since the car accident, and say that yes, it was different; no, it couldn’t be the same.  But it could be better.  I could be better.  I just had to accept that I maybe couldn’t do it on my own.

I don’t view it as a personal victory.  It wasn’t about winning or losing; it was about salvation.  I couldn’t go on the way I lived from 2005-2008.  I was losing every piece of myself, everything that made me a likeable person, a good friend, a loving daughter, a caring sister.  There was only one way my life was going if I continued on that path.  It took me three years to figure out that this wasn’t the way I wanted to be.  I had to take back my life.

Now, eight years later, I can look back and say that I am certainly not perfect.  I am probably not where I would have been, if I had decided not to get in that car that Saturday evening.  But I can look in the mirror and say, I’ve got this.  I’ve been through it, and I handled it, and now I’m doing okay.  I wish that I could have become somebody that I liked, without those three years of disorder and chaos, but…that’s not how the world works sometimes.

If there was anything that I could say that is good from all of this, it’s…yes.  It sucks.  It hurts.  But you can get through it.  You can pick up the pieces and be who you were again.  Get help.  Put your pride in your pocket if need be.  Your health is more important.  Your life is more important.  Your relationships with your family and friends are more important.  It’s going to be tough, and yes, sometimes, it is going to hurt.  But God, once you get over the hump, once you get to the top of the mountain and you can look down and see how far you’ve climbed…the view is truly spectacular.  

And it’s all worth it.  Every second.

Me today – Summer 2013. First day of my last year of grad school.

 

The following link is a great resource for people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder of any kind:  Helpguide.org.

 

 

Midsummer update

I haven’t really been writing lately, and I don’t have much of an excuse, except that I’m suffering from burnout in a major way.  Anxious people will know what I mean: you know that feeling after you’ve had a massive, massive panic attack, where you feel like you have absolutely zero strength left in your body, and you just want to sleep for, oh, a decade?  That is how I feel right now.  Seriously.  It’s like we got through the divorce, and then my body said “You know all that tension and nerve you’ve been carrying for the last 22 months?  Yeah, we give up now,” and just fell apart.  I haven’t done the horrible keening crying, or “fallen apart” per se, but I just emotionally have very little to give right now.  The things that used to not bother me, or at least, didn’t bother me so much?  Send me screeching into the night, lately.  I’m tense, I’m exhausted, I just have nothing left to give lately.

Which lead me to asking my boss for a vacation week.  I’ll be taking it from August 31st to September 9th.  And I could not be more excited.

I don’t really have any plans right now, because a) I’m broke and b) who would I even go with?  But it’s really exciting to know that I have that option, that I’m going to have a week to sleep in, relax, take some time for myself.  Maybe get a massage, maybe visit some friends out of state (if I want to), and then top it all off with my trip to New Hampshire that first full weekend in September.  Yes.  It is a little over a month away, so I have plenty of time to plan ahead.

 

In other news, Wildfire is THREE WEEKS FROM FRIDAY OMG.  I can’t believe it came this fast.  I still have to buy a sleeping bag and start going over stuff I need to pack.

I got an email from Dr. LW, and my master’s thesis prospectus was approved and signed off by the Graduate Studies’ Office ON THE FIRST TRY.  Wahooo!  The good news is: three rewrites and edits before submission apparently did the trick!  The bad news is: omg, it’s time to actually write this thing and I am scared to death, here, let me spend another six months on research because actually writing it is scary.

But people who don’t write their Master’s theses don’t get Master’s degrees, and therefore don’t go on to become Ph.D.’s.  Or something like that.

I joined a fantasy football league, too.  That’s a thing that happened.    My transition from “Ew, football sucks,” to casual Patriots fan, to rabid Patriots fan, to rabid football fan, is nearing completion.  Look at my life, look at my choices.  I regret nothing.

Things are going pretty damn well.  I’m content.  Not ecstatic, not euphoric, but content, and that’s a pretty good place to be at 29 years and 10 months 🙂

Little Victories, Week 28

We are more than halfway through the year.  Hard to believe, guys!

It’s also hard to believe that I am still writing these “Little Victories” entries even though I skip them all the time.  Huh.

You know the drill.

– Got divorced.  That is, seriously, the biggest victory this year (I think).  I didn’t break down (in public), I didn’t lose my shit, and when it was over, I felt the weight of the world fall from my shoulders.  There is literally nothing left to do, except for file for an annulment in the Catholic Church.  But that’s such a little hump that I’m not worried about it, at least not yet.  Don’t borrow trouble and all that.

Went to NYC and didn’t have a freakout on the train.  Anxiety disorder + public transportation + agoraphobia = usually doesn’t end well.  But I went with the fabulous Miss Nicki to New York City on Tuesday evening and had zero issues whatsoever.  It was an amazing night.  I only wish that Nicki and I hadn’t had to work in the morning so we could have stayed later than 9:30 PM.

 

Rescued a baby kitten.  It was stuck in the oil trap of a car that was driving through the neighborhood where I work.  Kitty is a female, about four weeks old, and is currently being fostered by Nicki and her husband until a forever home can be found for her.  She’s intensely cute and very curious.  I’m hoping she finds a good forever home soon!

 

This weekend, I’m headed off to Massachusetts to stay with Amy and Doug, and see a whole bunch of people.  We were planning on hitting the beach tomorrow but rain might get in the way of our plans.  Not worried in the slightest, I’m excited!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Little Victories, Week 27

For 2013, I’m going to have a Friday post every single week MOST weeks (let’s not even kid ourselves anymore), for positive victories in my life.  They may not be big things, but they will be things that I am proud of, things I did in the past seven days.  I’m hoping this will keep me focused on the positive, all the good things that are going on in my life.

– Finished and sent off the final draft of my thesis prospectus.  I haven’t heard anything from Dr. LW, so I’m assuming that no news is good news and that my paper is on it’s way to (or on the desk of) the Dean of Graduate Studies, and I’m waiting for her response.  Approval or disapproval?  I’m trying not to assume the worst.  It’s definitely a bad habit of mine.

– Rearranged my room in my apartment.  Looks better.

– Attempted Week Five, Day 3 of C25K.  It didn’t go as well as I had hoped, but it went better than expected, if that makes sense.  The regimen is: walk 5 minutes, run 20 minutes, walk 5 minutes.  I managed 12 minutes of running.  Not even close, BUT.  Considering that my last ‘record’ of how many minutes I could run at a stretch was 8?  I’m counting it as a victory.  And I’m going to keep redoing Week 5, Day 3 until I get it right.  I will do this.  It’s not easy, it’s definitely not easy at all, but I’m determined to work up to a 5K.  This will happen, no matter how long it takes.

Edit: FINISHED Week Five, Day Three of C25K!  It was awful but I did it and I am exhausted but so happy!

– Haven’t had a breakdown yet.  Fingers crossed.  The court date is on Monday, three days away.  I still haven’t completely wrapped my brain around it.  But I consider keeping my anxiety at bay, to the point where I can get through the day and function, a major victory, not a minor one.  A few years ago pressure of this magnitude would have sent me absolutely spiraling downward.  Not this time.  Not happening, no way, no how.

This weekend, I don’t have much on the ballot.  Going out for a friend’s birthday on Saturday night, and seeing David briefly on Sunday to go over some stuff before the divorce on Monday.  My main focus this weekend is going to be on breathing, and taking care of myself.  I don’t think I can remember dreading something this much in my life.  At least on Monday it will be done.

Also, next week, there is so much good coming up after Monday.  Going to NYC with my friend Nicki on Tuesday evening, seeing Marcy on either Wednesday or Thursday, and then taking the weekend off to go see friends in Massachusetts Friday – Sunday!

There’s not much going through my head right now…except to please, please, please let me hold myself together.  Please don’t fall apart.  Please don’t spiral downward into a ball of cringing anxiety.

Please have class and dignity and be a person you can be proud of for the rest of your life.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Fall to pieces

I reread some of my old blog today.  Posts from last summer, from our first “separation” that lasted all of five days.  We moved back in together, not because we realized that we were making a mistake, but because he got caught doing something he shouldn’t, and he wanted me to forget about it…and because I had a complete nervous breakdown and couldn’t handle it.  Or didn’t want to.  Whichever.

Rereading those entries really drove two points home to me.  The first being that we’re making the right decision, because being put through the wringer like that by someone you love is unacceptable, and should never be acceptable.  And the second being that I am afraid — really afraid — of falling to pieces again like that.

Of course, the chances that this will happen are slim, and I have to keep reminding myself of that.

1. The “divorce” has already happened.
Nothing is going to change except that, by law, David and I won’t be husband and wife anymore.  This has already happened.  We live in separate apartments.  Our finances are separated.  We have no bills together — except our cell phone bill, which we retain until January so we don’t have to pay an astronomical fee for breaking our contract.  The only time we encounter each other, really, is in our social strata. 

2. I’ve been mentally preparing myself for this for months.
Separaion #1, in July of 2012, was something that occurred after three months of talking about separating.  I hadn’t prepared myself for it at all.  In this case, I first brought up “I want a divorce” in September of 2012.  It has been nine months since then.  Everyone knows about it, nobody is going to be shocked (I think — although I did just run into someone from church who hadn’t known), and I’ve had time to think about it and wrap my brain around it for quite some time.

3. Nothing is going to change.
Except my name.  I won’t be “Megan B.” anymore.  I’ll be “Megan F.” again.  That’s…it.  Everything else that is going to change, already has.

I’m not going to fall to pieces.  I’m not going to let myself fall to pieces.

I’m in a sort of depressive funk right now, but it won’t last forever.  And I’m wondering if that’s more because of this horrible dreading of anticipation.  That we’re only a week and a half away.

I just can’t wait for this all to go away.  And then I’ll be okay again.

Strength

We are coming up on the end of this journey.  Within the month, D will be my ex-husband.  Except…only on paper, because he’s been my ex-husband since November 18th, 2012, when I moved out.  I keep reminding myself that we’ve been divorced, physically, mentally, and emotionally, for seven months now, and that the court date is only a mere formality.

So why I am so afraid of it?

I couldn’t tell you that.  Maybe because, to me, it’s too ceremonial, it reminds me so much of a mockery of our marriage.  Something we so lovingly cared for and crafted and planned out, dreamed of, rehearsed, and found such joy in…eradicated in ’30 seconds’ (which is what the court clerk assured me yesterday).  Four and a half years with someone…burned away to nothingness?

Yes.  All of that.

You’d think I’d be excited.  You’d think I’d be happy.  The things that he’s said and done in the last eighteen months were heinous.  He has not treated me the way you would even expect someone to treat a casual acquaintance.  To quote one of my friends “there is a difference between murdering someone and torturing them to death”, and when it came to how our divorce was handled, he definitely chose the latter path.  His reasons for doing so, I will never know.  I’d like to think it was all misguided fear of hurting me.  He didn’t want me to know.  He didn’t want me to be hurt.

Or I could choose the more likely scenario — he was protecting himself.  His ego, his reputation.  He didn’t want the world to know what we were, who he was, what he really thought of me, what really went on behind closed doors.

I feel so old beside him these days.  And it’s not even because he’s 28 and I’m going to be 30 in just three months.  I just feel so much older than him.  I remember when we first started dating, how weirded out I was by the fact that he was a mere four months older than my younger sister.  Over time, I stopped sensing the almost-two year age gap between us; it didn’t seem relevant.  And in the last two years…it’s there like a massive rift between us.  It’s not even that I’m so much older than he is (I’m not), it’s just that I want so many different things than he does.  I was ready.  He was not.  And it fell apart.

I hate when people say “well, you kind of rushed into marriage.”  We were dating for two and a half years before we got married…I don’t really call that “rushing.”  And you can’t really put a time limit on something like this.  My parents were engaged after only six weeks and they’re going to celebrate their 33rd anniversary in October.  It’s not a “one size fits all” sort of scenario.  And I think that’s been the most difficult thing about it.  There’s no rhyme or reason, nothing I could have done.  Sometimes it just doesn’t work out.  The end.

 

All I want now, is strength.

Strength to get through the court date — July 8th — with my head held high, and no tears.

Strength to know in my heart that I am making the right decision; the only decision.

Strength to look beyond July 8th, and see that the world isn’t ending.  This world, maybe.  But the new one is coming, and it’s brighter and more complete and fulfilling than this world was.  Even if I can’t see where the path leads right now.

Strength to hold my anger, my pain, and whatever bitterness I feel inside, because releasing those thoughts, those words, out into the world, solves nothing…but it may destroy something.

Strength to be classy.  I never wanted to be trashy, I always feared loud confrontation and drama and theatrics.  Please, when this is over, let me have the strength to have carried myself in such a way that nobody will be able to say anything about me except that, through it all, I redefined “class”.

And above all…

Strength to never reproach myself for what has occurred, for any of the choices I have made.  They may not have been the easiest decisions, but they were the right ones, no matter how I felt at the time.  I may not be happy with them now, or with the direction that my life has taken.

But oh, I believe, I believe with my heart and soul, I am not done yet.

There is beauty left in the beyond.

 

Even if the sky is falling down

I am…not in a good place today.  And I couldn’t tell you why.  I got home yesterday feeling low, and it hasn’t improve one bit since then.  If anything, it’s gotten worse.

I mentioned in my last entry that, while I was at Wildfire, my hair caught fire when I was doing a trick with my fire staff.  I brushed it off as “no  big deal” and at the time, it really wasn’t.  One of my friends said “I don’t understand how setting yourself on fire is ‘no big deal’.”  But I really wasn’t trying to be cavalier.  It just…didn’t upset me as badly as I had thought.  Well, karma had it in for me, because on Saturday night, I really did catch on fire, and it was not good.

I was spinning fire staff at a friend’s house.  My safety was my friend Drea.  The treeline at my friends’ apartment is low, and I didn’t properly “spin off” the excess fuel on my staff before beginning.  During a trick, I accidentally brushed the wick of my staff against my shirt.  And my shirt went up in flames.  Drea, who hadn’t been safetying long, saw the flames and froze.  I tried to brush them off but I only succeeded in making a bad situation worse.  With nothing left to do, I threw the staff aside in order to “stop, drop, and roll”, like we’re taught when we’re little kids.  Until age 29, last Saturday night, I’ve never once had to do that.  But it was instinctive, and it worked — sort of.  There were still a couple of live flames on my shirt when I hit the ground, and those were quickly beat out by a couple of my friends.

Unbelievably, I wasn’t burned.  My left side was slightly singed, but the pain stopped after a couple of hours.  I’m very fortunate.

I have been feeling off ever since this happened.  There are so many stupid, ridiculous, painful feelings right now.  Something that usually makes me feel so powerful, so happy, so free, is frightening to me.  That primary rule “respect the flames” — I feel like I only thought that I did, but I wasn’t taking it seriously enough.  How could I have been, to have screwed up so badly?  I’m lucky I wasn’t severely hurt.  I’m embarrassed that I screwed up, and so badly, in front of my friends, most of whom are much more experienced than I am.  It’s also two times I’ve set myself on fire in two weeks.  The first time was no big deal — a lot of people screw up tricks and hit themselves with their wicks, especially when learning.  The second was a stupid, stupid mistake — an incomplete spin-off that left an excess of fuel on my staff, which transferred to my body and set me alight — that could have easily been avoided.

I don’t know why it is hitting me so hard lately, but I feel like an overwhelming failure.  Which is a complete 180 from where I was a couple of weeks ago.  Back then I was feeling powerful, strong, smart, talented.  Now I feel…empty.  Useless.  Weak.  A failure.

There aren’t too many lower points that I’ve hit, than lying on the ground, crying from fear and pain while my soon-to-be-ex husband frantically beats the flames out of my shirt.

 

 

In any case.  I’m fine.  Everyone’s fine.  I’m just…not where I was a couple of weeks ago.  The path my life has taken in the last eighteen months has been very “two steps forward, one step back”, and sometimes…I’m just not in a good place.  Like right now.  I hate that, but it is what it is.

The good thing about the low points is knowing that — like the high points — they’re not forever.  Life is a series of ups and downs.  I am out of the horrible darkness I was in a year ago.  I am not quite where I want to be, but I’m in a better place than I was.

 

And when the darkness begins to lift once more…I will spin again.

Little Victories, Week Twenty-Three (with bonus Wildfire recap)

For 2013, I’m going to have a Friday post every single week MOST weeks (let’s not even kid ourselves anymore), for positive victories in my life.  They may not be big things, but they will be things that I am proud of, things I did in the past seven days.  I’m hoping this will keep me focused on the positive, all the good things that are going on in my life.

I really should have come in here after Wildfire and do a proper recap, because it was an extraordinary trip that really lit me up (pun intended) and left me feeling fantastic.  I definitely suffered the “post-WF crash” after coming home (I didn’t start feeling like myself until around Thursday), but all in all, it was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to (hopefully) do it all over again in August (if I get a ticket! — we’ll find out on June 23rd)!

I talked a really big talk about being so assured that David and I would be fine going to Wildfire together, but NOT together (as in, hanging with the same people, but not actually camping together or being together at all).  The first night, my anxiety was almost crippling.  BUT.  I pushed through it, and we had an amazing time.  All of us.  There was no drama, there were no issues.  It was truly wonderful.  I’m so glad that we were able to put all of that baggage aside, so that we each could have a kickass weekend.

– I learned how to do fire staff at Wildfire.  I took four classes, I was kickass in two of them, and managed to keep my head above water in the last two.  I also did an impromptu affinity class with David and my friends Lyndsey and Matt, on Sunday, just playing around and practicing different tricks.  It was a lot of fun.  I lit up on both Saturday and Sunday evenings (Friday evening I did fans), and even though it was terrifying, spinning fire is one of the greatest natural highs you will ever get.  It’s like playing Prometheus or something.

 

 

Unfortunately, on Saturday night, while attempting a round-the-world with my brand new sexy staff, I accidentally clocked myself in the back of the head.  No harm done, but I did (briefly) catch my hair on fire.  I had a safety (David) who put the flames out instantly, before I even realized my bun was on fire.  The smell of burning hair really shook me up WAY more than the fact that dear God I just lit my hair on fire.  Lesson here, kids — if you have long hair, spray it down well with water before you spin fire.  Or just do what I did when I got home:

And cut it all off!

It was high time.  I had singed hair in the back, my hair had gotten seriously long (people were commenting on it) and because I can’t straighten it in the summer, I said “fuck it” and cropped it.  I. LOVE. IT.  It takes me about five minutes to get my hair styled in the morning.  No more messing with a straightening iron or tons of brushing or binding up when it gets too frizzy.  Love it.

– Set up my appointment to discuss the THIRD round of edits to my thesis prospectus, for next week.  Argh.  If the prospectus itself needs three edits (at least, who knows if it will need more?), what’s going to happen when we got to the actual thesis?  Can’t think about it, won’t be able to cope.

– This doesn’t TECHNICALLY count as a “little victory” for this week, but last week I ran C25K Week Five, Day 2…and did it the first try!  I can now run for 8 minutes at a stretch, no sweat!  (Well, okay, there was a lot of sweat, but I DID IT!)  Because I took a week off of running due to Wildfire and a particularly glorious sunburn (that made bra-wearing impossible), I’m going to dip back down to C25K Week Five, Day 1 today, and see where that takes me.  I made up my mind to not try and put a time limit on how fast I complete this, so I’m okay with holding back a little bit.

– Crazy Bruce has decided that after three years of weekly therapy sessions, I have finally “graduated” to bi-weekly sessions.  Instead of going every Wednesday, I will go every other Wednesday.  I was a little nervous at this idea, but he pointed out that, had the crap with my separation and divorce not happened, I would have reached this point a long time ago, since the reason why I first started seeing him (my anxiety and panic attacks) were almost entirely a thing of the past.  So rather than be nervous, I’m pretty proud of it.

PLANS FOR THIS WEEKEND!  My friend Jess is having a Tastefully Simple party tomorrow (really more a get together than anything) and we’re going over there tonight to help make up the samples.  Tomorrow: gym again (with any luck) and then cleaning the apartment, Jess’s party, and then off to Joe and Lyndsey’s for a spin jam (if the weather cooperates) or Cards Against Humanity (if it doesn’t).  Sunday I’m going to Mass at the retreat center with my father (it’s a once-a-year occurrence), and then…who knows?  Hopefully relaxing at some point.  Knitting has completely fallen off the radar in favor of fire spinning.  I really should try to get back into that…before throwing myself headlong into yet another round of prospectus rewrites.

You have to set yourself on fire

The last few weeks have been a roller-coaster, and of course, the ride isn’t over yet.  I am putting the finishing touches to the edits on my prospectus…and it’s a nightmare.  The fear of not being good enough is all-consuming.  Worse, there’s a depression that’s hung over me since the move.  It’s not the apartment (I love it), it’s not my roommate (she’s wonderful).  It’s just that I put way too much pressure on the move, too much emphasis on thinking that once I moved, I wouldn’t hurt anymore.  Surprise!  Not the case.  If anything, I think I may have felt worse, because the move, with the due date for three major papers just behind it, combined with the choice timing of some douchebaggery from David, spiraled me into a very bad place over the weekend, and I’m still struggling to crawl out of that, and get back to where I was before.

Depression, stress, anxiety, and way too many tears, combined with work pressures (I’ve had to go into work on a weekend two weeks in a row) and some overwhelmingly bad nightmares, and the result most days is…this:

Sometimes, I just want to give up.  My life took an abrupt turn for the worst on September 26, 2011.  It has been twenty months since then.  And twenty months is a fucking LONG-ASS time to be sad a majority of the time.  Sometimes I get so damn frustrated with myself.  Why are you not over this yet?  Why is this divorce still bothering you?  Why can’t you move the fuck on and stop living in the past?  Why do these things still make you sad?

It has the combined effect of making me irrationally angry.  At myself.

But you know, I looked back in my blog a few months, to the entry dated January 29th, 2013, entitled “Death of All Dreams.”  And I read back to those words that I wrote, pre-filing, pre-moving, pre-…everything I’ve done since January:

There before me, on a funeral pyre, are all the dreams I had for myself, all the unfulfilled promise that we had when we met, aged 23 and 24, so ridiculously in love, ready to embark on this great journey of life.  We were going to be different.  I know that nobody goes into a marriage planning on divorcing.  From day one, we said that divorce was not an option.  And then…it was.

They lie there, on this mythological pyre, so many memories and dreams and plans.  I turn them over in my hands before putting them back down…

And although he has stripped the memories, the dreams, the hopes, even the love, bare, and laid them on the pyre, I haven’t been able to set the pile alight.  Because you see, he won’t.  He won’t do it.  Only I can do it.  Because he never will.

He left them there and walked away, he thinks I can never bring myself to end what I never wanted to end.  To light all of those dreams on fire, watch them melt and run together and evaporate into thin air.

He doesn’t realize that once they are burned, once they are gone forever, once I give them up…I can start dreaming again.  I can hope again.

I just have to find a way to strike the match.

Lord, help me find a way to strike the match.

 

And sometimes it seems like I haven’t come so far.  But when I look back on there…I did find my way.  I filed.  I moved.  I struck the match and burned it to the ground.  The only way that I could move on was by burning the past, and I did it.  I did it.  I burned it.  It’s still burning.  There’s no sense staring back and trying to reach in to salvage the pieces as they catch and burn.  I’ll only hurt myself.  Even if I pull them from the wreckage…they’re still charred, they’re still gone.  No sense in looking back.  Burn it.  Burn it all.

And then, when it’s over…it’s over.  And you can begin again.

When there’s nothing left to burn…you have to set yourself on fire.