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Circling the drain and other random thoughts...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Well, this was not the blog I was intending to write initially, but I'm doing it anyway. It's more for me to have on hand as I go through this process, so I apologize ahead of time if it's boring in a meandering sort of way. I just write as I go, and whatever comes through on paper (or computer screen as it were) stays (minus the spelling errors, of course...usually) emoticon

Life has been a little on the rough side for me lately (well, ok the past 14 months, but more so in the past 6 months). And by rough, I don't mean the annoying sliver under your fingernail type of rough. This is more of your galvanized steel shrapnel with flames shooting out of them from every direction, embedding into your skin and lifting those fingernails back to your wrists kind of rough. Ah, imagery. Not bad I must say. emoticon

I've kept up good spirits through most of this and have kept pressing on and doing the best I could, despite the circumstances. I won't go into the long boring details, but I'll just summarize it like this...I've been out of work for over a year, which has been stressful and have had a few health issues that have recently come up that are a bit scary. Well, last week Thursday I hit my wall. And I mean crash-test dummy body-slam kind of wall. I don't think I realized I was capable of imploding like that, but I did. And over something so stupid, that it's laughable (in an odd way). What was it, you ask? I couldn't hook my bra. Yep, that was the big crescendo to my complete breakdown. I couldn't get the flipping thing to hook right and I just lost it. Now obviously, this really had nothing to do with any of the major issues going on in my life, but it was one of those teeny tiny things that should have been mindlessly simple that wasn't. And that's all it took for me to completely lose it. It was a culmination of 14 months worth of fear, anger, uncertainty, energy-sapping, self-esteem crushing crap that just couldn't be stuffed deep inside any more. The well of "too much" was full.

Oh, and it was wild. Screaming and crying, ranting and raving madness. I actually scared myself because I wasn't sure if I'd make it out of that pit...literally. I have a very high pain tolerance, both physically and mentally, but when it's too much, it's just too much. I questioned everything from my faith to my friendships, to my value of even being here. Ughness, it was a scene, man. Even my husband (who was not home at the time) said he couldn't believe it had taken me that long to finally collapse. He said he'd never known anyone so strong. Huh? Me? It was quite eye-opening for me.

So, here I am a week later and still feeling a bit numb, but felt I needed to get a few things out, so this is where the random thoughts come in. These are just some things I've pondered over the past week or so and have no relavent order (it's a testament to how woggly my mind is!) Some are serious, some are funny. I can't help the way my mind works. emoticon

I have some really amazing friends here on SP. Some of you were aware of what I was going through and I have never received such grace and love like I did through your emails, goodies, sparkpage comments, message board posts...it just blew my mind. I would read these things and just cry and cry, but it was the cry of hope, not despair. The unconditional understanding and thoughts and prayers that came my way lifted me up in ways I can't fully describe. Such amazing gifts to me and I thank you from the depths of my heart.

My husband is an awesome man. He's never been one to believe he has a strong faith, but he does. He's been my voice of reason and has never once tried to make me feel bad about my job situation, my weight, my meltdown, nothing. Not once. He knows deep in his bones that we will be ok, somehow, some way. He always encourages me with my exercising and tells me constantly that I'm doing good and how proud he is of me. I love him so very much.

Finnegan is a crack up. He makes me laugh every single day and is such a joy to be around. We've had him for a year now and he is my walking buddy. With all of his energy he needs lots and lots of exercise in order to get tired, so we're either at a park or in the backyard playing. He does amazingly well when I attempt my slow little jogs, and is by my side the whole time on his leash (he actually jogs better beside me than he walks!) He's still a work in progress, but then again, so am I. I'm so thankful to God for bringing Finny into our lives at such a crucial time.

I still like weird socks. Yep, this is in reference to a blog I wrote a while back and other random things. I realized that I do not have Valentine's socks or St. Patty's Day socks (me, an Irish girl...can you believe it?), so my mission is to buy me a pair of each. I'm decked out for all the other holidays and regular days (can you say raining cats and dogs, frogs, monkeys, bright neon stripes, paw prints, you name it). It's funny, even in my darkest hours, I still put on my weird quirky socks just to add some humor to my days. I never had these kinds of fun socks as a kid, so the fact that I'm 38 years old and love them, well, I'm perfectly ok with that. My hubby buys them for me as well, so he's ok with his wife being wacky.

I'm learning that not all friendships are there for the long haul. I used to take this very personally and would drive myself crazy trying to figure out "what I did wrong" and always assumed that is WAS me, not the other person, or just life in general. Some people don't want to hear about your "stuff" and just want you to be a ray of sunshine constantly, because they feel more comfortable with that. Well, I can do that, sure. Actually, I'm quite good at putting my stuff off to the side and genuinely focus on that person and what they need....laughter, encouragment, a listening ear, or words of advice. But I'm human and sometimes life is crappy and I should be able to share that on occasion (and I do mean on occasion...I don't make it my life's purpose to be a downer, but a struggle is a struggle sometimes). Sometimes people just aren't comfortable with the "heavy stuff" and begin to pull away (even though they feel free to share their own heavy stuff). I used to fight that, but I'm beginning to just let go. I'm learning that everyone is in a different place in life and that's ok. I don't push the relationship anymore when I don't get responses after multiple times. And although it truly makes me sad, I don't feel the hurt the same way. I no longer assume it's something I did wrong. It's just the way life goes sometimes.

Thanks to a couple of very good friends, I'm learning to set boundaries when it comes to people-pleasing. I've been a chronic people-pleaser for years and would allow myself to be coerced into doing things that maybe I didn't really want to do (no, I don't mean I went streaking through the streets of Chicago just to watch people faint or shriek in despair). I cave to pressure too quickly, but I'm learning that it's really ok to say no and to go about my days doing what *I* want to do. And how other people react to that truly isn't my concern. This is a hard one for me because I have to undo years worth of training, but I'm getting better about it. And feeling freer because of it.

I really do have value. I'm not sure how much or for how long, but it's there all the same. Now some of you may being saying "what on earth is she talking about?!?!", and that's ok. I'm not perfect, I don't always have the snappiest response, the most thought-provoking idea, or even the most heart-warming and encouraging words. There will ALWAYS be someone who is smarter, funnier, more compassionate, understanding, witty, etc., than me. I always felt that I had to be #1 in those categories, in order to have lasting value. Now, I see that I don't. I just need to be who I am on any given day, and that's enough. It's more than enough. It's good.

I plan on training for a 5K. Shhhhh....it's a secret you know. emoticon Well, not really since I have it on my sparkpage. I have no clue how to begin or how to sign up, but those are things I'm looking forward to doing. My hubby bought me a stopwatch for Christmas so he can help me train. My plan is to start in March when most of the snow should be gone and the temps are in the mid 40's (easier on my lungs).

My hubby and I really enjoy hanging out together. We have a couple of friends who just find that so weird, but it works for us. We're not glued to the hip by any means, but we genuinely enjoy being together. We are not social people for the most part, but each of us has been trying to get out of our shells more and more as time goes on. He volunteers to go on some of my outtings and vice versa. It eases the social stresses, and it's fun to watch him off chatting away with people that he normally wouldn't have gotten to know. At night time, we've been playing some PS3 games, and I know part of it is his way of letting my mind relax from the daily stresses that we are going through. Other times, I just watch him play some game while I read a book and the pooch is gnawing on a toy. That's bliss to me.

Confession time: I've had a couple of massive binges this week. Last week (the week of the meltdown) I stayed within my calorie range (on the low end even) the entire week! This week, not so much. It's a mental thing right now and I have no doubt it's because of hormones and a result of last week's emotional disaster. I didn't write out my menu like last week and that's part of it. I'm actually quite sick of food, but I still find myself grabbing at anything and everything. I'm having a very hard time just stopping.

I'm going to be ok. I may be circling the drain right now, but I'm ever so slowly figuring out how to be well within my soul, even when all is not well with my circumstance. I'm not nearly there yet, but I do feel a glimmer of hope that I will get there. The positive side of being somewhat numb is that it gives the mind a much-needed break from pain. It's not a place I want to stay, but I do think this was a survival instinct to help me to keep hanging on to the rope of hope. I don't know where we will be in 2 months, if I'll have a job, if my health issue will get resolved. But by the grace of God I'll be ok. Probably more than ok, but I'll settle for "ok" for now. It's all about the baby steps as my good friend Sue would say. emoticon

I know this wasn't exactly a knee-slapping kind of blog. I do try to balance them out, but like I said in the beginning, this was more for me to write so I could look back and say this is where I was at this point in the year. Because my hope is I will be so far from this dark place in the coming months that its talons won't have a chance of taking hold of me again. I'm still wacky Woodsy, so don't fret that I won't be there with some kind of off-the-wall comment about Wilma and Betty or some odd thing, because I will. This is just a rough season, but every day I wake up on this side of the grass is a day to celebrate. And that's just what I'm gonna do.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    hopefully something will get stuck in that drain soon enough and then you can't go down it!

    We all have struggles and I know it feels like you are at your wits end, and I'm so sorry for that. I wish there was something I could do to help besides offer simple platitudes... like: Every cloud has a silver lining. Ha! Doesn't that one just make you want to wring someone's neck when you are feeling this way? What about: "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade"? Frankly I don't like my lemonade without a little sugar... and I may have a ton of lemons right now, but no damn sugar to add to it. Mine came to a head over a stupid flip flop that I tripped on. So there I am... sitting on the floor after hitting my head on the dresser for the millionth time, so I get mad at the shoe and throw it across the room. Well, it went high and hit a window... a single pain window. OOOPS. Talk about turning a mole hill into a mountain of a problem. 7:30 PM, 30 degrees outside and a shattered bedroom window all because of one bad day and a flip flop that got in my way. I can't even begin to explain how much I hated myself in that moment. I've never thrown anything like that or broken down like that. But... it really was cathartic. Although my pocket book doesn't seem to agree. See, now your crying and ranting doesn't seem so bad, does it? ;-)

    But you know what, it WILL get better. And as hard as it is to take a step back and try, you have to find and focus on the positives in your life, and most of this blog was exactly that! So, be proud of yourself. So what... you binged this week. So what... you wrote a blog that wasn't all pep! You need to do that. You need to let it all out and we are all here to listen to you and what is important to you, even when it isn't so cheery.
    4029 days ago
    This may have been a depressing blog to write but, like Silverback, I found a lot of guts & humour in there. The bra-hooking scene sounds like something from a movie & we've all been there with those 'last straw' deals. (Mine are usually anything to do with something getting lost = my life is utterly out of control in my mind).

    I am so pleased you want to do a 5k. I hope that will help with getting out of the drain! Its not an impossible goal. Happy to help with any advice. My first is get a heart-rate monitor & run slowly enough to keep your heart rate at about 150. There are all kinds of online calculators for age, sex, etc. but they usually end up at around 150 emoticon
    4030 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    4031 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4019666
    Blast, I was looking for an "applause" emoticon but this will have to do emoticon ... especially loved the "boundaries" section

    My hubby and I also enjoy spending a lot of time together - I'm not ashamed to say he is my absolute "best" friend. So glad God put you and Shawn together.

    Excited to see you are committing to doing a 5k! Lots of good stuff on SP about meeting that goal. Let me know how I can help. Maybe we can get together for training run in the spring. emoticon


    4032 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/20/2010 12:15:59 PM
  • BERGIE8771
    I am glad you've written this down and allowed us a window into your soul. I am very glad that you have a glimmer of hope. Thanks for sharing. Positive thoughts and prayers are winging towards you.
    4033 days ago
    Hang in there, my friend!
    4033 days ago
    Please know that I am here if you ever want to talk. I related to quite a few things you said, especially about the hubby and the friendships not lasting. I really believe that whole "reason, season, lifetime" email that always gets forwarded around. It was the only thing that helped me come to terms that sometimes it's just not meant to be forever and you'd be no better off knowing why. (Even though it still is annoying and really do DESERVE an answer) The Mr and I are each others best friends and we're the only ones that completely understand each other inside and out. Consider yourself lucky like I do. It wasn't until I came here that I saw how rare that really is!
    4033 days ago
  • SUSAN134

    See your sparkmail. Started writing a response, but it was getting way too long.

    4033 days ago
    Okay wait a minute... You mean to tell me that this was Wilma and Betty's fault??? Those B!TCHES!!!! LOL!!!!!

    Sorry... Like Silver... I could not help it.

    I actually thing your snap was a very, very good thing. Like you said you were holding ALOT in for A LONG TIME!!!! That is not healthy to a person's mind OR body. You do need to release that edge and steam every now and then. I am very glad to hear you were able to do that.

    Now make sure you keep a firm grip on that pressure release valve from now on to prevent this from happening again.

    You need to now join the couch to 5k program on here once the weather cooperates. Then you get to rock that 5k!!!

    We love you chica!!! We even love Wilma and Betty, those trouble makers. Remember there are so many people that care about you and we all know you will be ok. Things have a way of working out. They always do somehow.
    4033 days ago

    I know it is terrible of me but I could help smile when you said it was the bra hooking that drove you over the deep end. I had this image of poor Shawn seeing this and one of those thought bubbles popping up over his head "Oh sheez if she's that upset about the bra hook just wait till she finds out I broke her favourite coffee cup" emoticon

    We all have our ups and downs and days it might be better for people to cross the street than run into us, but then there are all those other days. I hope those other days fill the rest of your calendar.
    4033 days ago
  • no profile photo RITAROSE
    Shannon, I only have a minute before I have to go, but still wanted to give you some input, albeit short! You are such a gem! So glad your husband is there for you through thick and thin!! You have a very special gift in being able to have insight that most people don't have. You have empathy galore, and kindness that knows no bounds! I treasure your sparky friendship and wish we lived closer to each other so we could enjoy a good chat, a walk even a time of prayer together! I love you Shannon and am praying for you every day!! So glad you wrote this blog! Ritarose emoticon
    4033 days ago
  • HUGS2015

    I'm hoping and praying for better days ahead for you! emoticon
    4033 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/19/2010 1:37:09 PM
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