2020, where is the reset button?

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It has been way too long since I have sat down to blog. 2020 started off with a kick in the gut and I had been in a downward spiral for most of the first quarter of the year. Then add our current COVID-19 pandemoniac. Where is the reset button?

My year started with a former cherished friendship ending. The need to get back on am antidepressant. My anxiety level was out of control – I literally had to pull over on the side of the road in a sketchy part of town (that I was unfamiliar with) because I had a major panic attack and could not longer drive. Thankfully, I was riding with a friend who was able to get us to our destination. My graduate school practicum was put on hold, which pushed my graduation date back. My oldest son came back home from college for the semester. I was torn with whether or not to continue with my non-profit because things weren’t going as I had planned. In short, my life was a hot mess!

I am happy to say, I am no longer on a downward spiral, however, I still have a lot of work to do. I reached out and contacted a life coach to help me get myself together. It was one of the best investments I have made in myself in a long time. While I am not able to travel like I had planned to do this year due to current state of our country, I am finding other ways to take the time to love on me. I am a giver and love to take care of others, often at the expense of neglecting myself. No more!

I will be celebrating another birthday this week. It always seems that something keeps me from celebrating the way that I want – weather, family, finances, health – this year is coronavirus. However, instead of being down about not being able to celebrate by dressing up and going to a fancy restaurant to eat, I am using this social distance time to do some more work on me.

I had an exercise during my last coaching session that I am still trying to process. Full disclosure: I tend to ignore issues and try to convince myself that I am fine or that the problem no longer bothers me, when all I have really done is suppress the issue. Of course, it will surface unexpectedly and throw me off balance. So now instead of suppressing these things, I am slowing working on addressing them so they no longer have a hold on my life and keep me bound. This exercise had me list the people in my life that I felt had hurt or mistreated me, that I hold resentment to, or that I felt an injustice had occurred. Surprisingly, my initial list only included five people. But was even more surprising was the fact that some of these people had hurt me in my youth and I never dealt with it. The next step of the exercise was to pick the person that I felt had hurt me the least and then explain how I feel about what they did to hurt me. That wasn’t too horrible to do since I knew why I was angry at this person. The next part was for me to verbally say that I forgive them and that I am releasing them and the hurt that I felt because I was worthy of being loved, accepted, happy, and living a life free of this baggage. Now, when I say that was extremely hard to do, it was horrible. I did not expect to have such a emotional response or for it to be this difficult to handle. This was for the person that I feel hurt me the least and I was an emotional wreck. I haven’t even been able to bring myself to deal with the other names on the list. While I know it needs to be done, I may need a Xanax and bottle of wine afterwards!

I think this activity is so hard for me because I have had such an issue with low self-esteem, low self-worth, allowing others to use and abuse me, not feeling worthy of being loved, or feeling that I am not good enough. While some of these things have caused me to be an “accomplisher” and goal-oriented, I have never given myself the space to enjoy my accomplishments before moving on to the next goal. I am slowly learning to celebrate me, invest in myself, and practicing more self-care. I AM enough, I AM worthy, I am lovable, valuable and needed. I am not perfect, but I am a work in progress.

I am hoping everything will fall in place for me to be able to complete my summer and fall practicums. I will complete my Community Health Worker certification in May (thank goodness for online classes). I have added a new program to my nonprofit – men’s health, that people seem to be excited about. I will hopefully get to complete at least one out of state trip – my April and September trips were cancelled and I am uncertain how my May trip will fair. I have started back exercising, which I had missed but could not do due to severe back pain for the last year. I was able to look at myself in the mirror earlier this week and actually smile at my reflection in it’s natural state. I am loving the person I am becoming and enjoying learning more about myself. Pain may have been the catalyst for the change in behavior, but I am not defined or being held hostage by the pain. Love it or hate it, I will not apologize for who I am!

I came across this picture and it so appropriate for where I am in my life currently.

Is it really spring?

The calendar says that spring started a couple of days ago. I am not convinced. My emotions are just a dreary as the the long, cold, bitter winter we experienced this year.

I am not even sure where I want to head with this post. I’ve been trying to write for the past few days and just haven’t been able to do so.

I started therapy. I had my first “real” session this week and my assignment is to ponder my relationships – if I want more or have I settled for how things are? This stems from my statement that I do not think that I will ever get married and that I will likely be alone/lonely after my last child leaves the house (he’s 9 and 1/2 now). Yes, I technically have people in my life that I would consider friends, but none of them are really “deep” relationships. We hangout out and have a good time, they celebrate my joyous moments and encourage me, but I don’t trust them to be there when I need them.

For example, I’m have a really difficult time right now emotionally and mentally (after something I saw on freaking Facebook, ugh). I attempted to call one person, they didn’t answer, so I have turned my phone off, making myself unavailable. Is that fair? Probably not, but at this point I don’t want to be bothered. I have someone else I could call but they don’t/won’t understand so I don’t feel like being patronized or told to “get over it.” But enough about that.

I FINALLY purchased my books to begin studying for the certified diabetes educator exam. I am excited and nervous at the same time. I know that it will benefit me and the work I am striving to do within my community, I just do not do well on big exams (and it costs a nice piece of change).

I am excited that I get to start teaching another diabetes prevention cohort on April 1st. I have to travel about 30 miniutes to Jefferson City, but I am willing to go where the need is. I have also made some wonderful connections that will help my non-profit expand its reach in the community.

So why am I a total emotional wreck? I once again feel like I’m not good enough.

My birthday is in two days. I don’t even want to be around any one on my birthday. I have zero excitement about my birthday this year. I need to shake off this funk and focus on the positive things going on in my life. (If only it were that easy.) C’est la vie.

Mid-March Update

March has been a very unusual month for me and we are only halfway through it.

I have only worked ONE day since February 17th. One week was for a scheduled staycation. The remainder of time has been due to what started as a lower back injury due to rearranging my house, which later changed to sacroiliac joint (i.e. hip) pain. Due to the nature of my work (a bedside nurse), I have been restricted from working. Thankfully, I will get a needed injection next week and will hopefully be able to return to work without restrictions. I sure miss my coworkers and the patients that I have the privilege to care for.

In the meantime, I have been keeping myself busy with ways to make my nonprofit successful. I have a few (more) potential partnerships in the works. I had lunch with a wonderful member of the community who understands the trials of having a small non-profit organization and was given some tips on ways to raise funds. I have been preparing for a college health fair next week where we will have a booth to provide information about our programs. I was interviewed by a journalism student to discuss the work that I do with my nonprofit. I am excited that the name of the organization is starting to be mentioned in our community a little more. We are working hard on brand awareness.

I have also started classes in my new degree program, public health. I am enjoying the content of the class thus far, although I despise having a group project.

I have continued working with my life coach. I think I have cried at least once in each of the sessions. After a couple of very stressful situations trying to find a therapist, I had my first appointment with a psychiatrist today. It wasn’t too heavy since it was more focused on what I want to gain from my therapy sessions. I have my first “real” session next week, so I will definitely share my thoughts afterwards. I have continued working on one of my bad habits/obsessions and happy that I am slowly making progress.

I have enjoyed the amount of time that I have been able to spend with my 9 year old son. I have missed our mother-son dates. He may be getting tired of seeing me every day, but I am loving it. I feel comfortable with some of the changes that I have made because I know that I am providing a better life for the both of us. I still have a lot of work to do and progress to make, but I am going to enjoy each and every day and quit taking things for granted.

Movie date with my son

Ready or Not, 2019 is Here…

I have been so negligent of this blog.  There are several reasons why, one being that I have been super busy with my non-profit and the other, I have been in an emotional funk for a few months.

There have been some pretty amazing things that happened in 2018:

  • I started a non-profit, Defense Against Diabetes, Facebook,
  • Working full time & maintaining a 4.0 GPA in grad school,
  • My oldest child graduated from high school & started college,
  • My daughter had her sweet 16,
  • I ran my first 1/2 marathon,
  • I bought a new car,
  • Had a successful first fundraiser, and
  • I formed some new friendships within the community as a result of my non-profit.

Yet, I still often feel/felt unfulfilled, inept, and not good enough.

As the year was drawing near a close, I started doing some soul-searching because I did not want to continue being bogged down with negative energy (most of which was self-inflicted) in the new year.  I am still on this journey of discovering where some of my deep-seated fears and anxiety stem from so that I can find a way to resolve those issues and continue on my journey of being the best me I can be.

I recently listened to “Girl, Wash Your Face” via Audible (because who has time to sit and actually READ a book?).  I really enjoyed the book and will actually purchase it because it made me think about some things that I have unresolved in my life that are the basis for why I push myself as hard as I do.  I totally related to the author on several fronts.

I am considering eliciting the help of a therapist as well as a life coach to help sort through the things I am aware of but have avoided dealing with, but also to discover the things that I never considered that have influenced me.  While the thought of this all is scary, I know that I have to do it, if I am ever going to be truly happy.  No one else has the power to make me happy, that is a decision I have to make on my own.  I have to learn more about me and figure out what makes me happy.

Cheers to the new year and the new me!

Happy New Year! (Super late)

I can’t believe this is my first time writing in 2018 and we are almost halfway through the month of February.  Quite a bit has been going on in my life which is part of the reason I have not written.  I am currently on a brief break before my next classes start, so I figured I would do some writing.  I managed to get a B+ in my MPH course which dropped my GPA down to a 3.65 because I missed an A- by 0.04 points.  I was a little bit upset but did not have the energy to dispute that grade as that class caused me so much stress and anger, I was just happy to be finished.  I have a 4.0 in my FNP program!  Yay!  While I enjoy both programs,  I am thinking that I will have to focus on one, FNP, and continue the MPH at a later time.  I am happy to report that the last three weeks of both classes, I got over my procrastination bug and actually submitted all assignments early!  Now to see if I can keep that trend as I start my next round of classes in a week.

I FINALLY met my 2017 goal weight in January, which I’m okay with since I could not walk the last four months of 2017.  The problem I am running into now is lack of motivation to go to the gym.  I have had more “bad” weeks than good, so I am trying to get back on track with working out consistently.  I have managed to get down to an 11-minute mile but I want to shave at least another minute off of that.  I also want to complete a 5K and half marathon this year.   This means I really need to step my workout game up.

My oldest son signed his letter of intent last week to play football in college which was pretty exciting!  And he is still getting acceptance letters in the mail, thankful for options!  Now that we know where he is going to college, I can go back to focusing on preparations for graduation, which we still have yet to receive the graduation announcements that cost two arms and a leg!

I’m trying to plan a last minute trip to celebrate turning 40 next month but can’t figure out where to go that will be warm in March.  I’m open to suggestions.  Hopefully I figure something out soon.  I have a lot to be thankful for and I love to celebrate!  I am looking forward to seeing what other good things 2018 has in store.