Thank you for letting me connect with you in this way.
I wrote a Facebook post this week, partly joking and partly not. It read, "My next blog post coming Sunday titled: My Two Month Bad Mood- That time when my dog died, my ankle hurt, I ate a lot of ice cream, and my pants got tight. ha!! Stay tuned."
First, I want to state for the record that I am not sympathy-mongering. Or anything-else-mongering. The purpose of this post, as with all of my writing, is to connect with others who may be struggling with similar stuff. And perhaps encourage them along the way.
Anyway, my two month bad mood. I miss my dog. I miss my best buddy, Maggie. I miss my schnoodles. They came as a pair and it's just not the same. So I grieve and cry a lot, which is good, I know. In the past, I'd have buried this sadness in anything I could find to escape and numb it. Or I'd have gotten two puppies by now. I'm waiting, because I want to work through my sad, before I fill my house again with puppy love.
But sometimes I just want to scream!! What the hell!! Couldn't they both live to be old and stinky? We were a family of three. What are we supposed to do without one of the members of our family?
Normally, as most of you know, I work stuff like this out on the path at Highbanks, or Sharon Woods, or on the treadmill. Walking helps me deal. But I came back from the Grand Canyon hike with one very angry ankle. It's not a major injury, just some inflamed tendons around the ankle, calf and heel, and if I behave myself, it will heal just fine. However, in the meantime, I am without my primary means of dealing with my sad and mad. No walking.
So I turned to Graeter's. I've eaten more ice cream in the last two months than I have in the last two years. And I've eaten it rebelliously, as in screw it! Why the hell not.
But guess what happened? I'll give you a quick quiz. After eating ice cream for two months to deal with her emotions, Sue felt:
a. much better
b. much worse
You got it! Much worse. In fact, I had a couple days on the couch that I really started to worry about myself and my hygiene. (Don't worry, I've showered since my couch binge.) They say you have to reach the bottom before you can make a change. Well, I'm pretty sure I hit bottom right before I posted that post on Facebook.
Here's what I learned in my little pit of sadness and madness:
- I have a strong desire to hide when I feel that way, but it's literally the worst thing for me. I started feeling better the moment I posted that post. I had to come out of hiding.
- I have to take full responsibility, and own my pain. I am sad. That can feel vulnerable, but it's the truth. Emotions are much more manageable when I bring them to light.
- Loss, injury, or trauma can trigger me out of my highest self. I can go from taking good care of myself and knowing my worth, to not caring much at all.
- I cannot function well as my lowest self. Dropped down to this level, I struggle with everything: exercise, choosing well, connecting with others. It is when I am in this state of being that I look for escape and numbing.
My grief is valid. I know that! I also know it is understandable to be frustrated about my ankle. But that doesn't mean I can sink low and stay there, feeling my pants get tighter and tighter. Tight pants are just a symptom, pointing me towards the fact that my life, my spirit, have come out of balance. Staying there and giving up helps no one.
This week, right after I posted "My next blog post coming Sunday titled: My Two Month Bad Mood- That time when my dog died...", I rose up. I turned around. I got out from under the lies and I got into the Truth:
I can still work out! I just have to be creative and careful. So I dragged a spin bike over to the Tread studio and did Tread today on the bike. It was fabulous! My heart rate averaged zone 2 and I got up to top of 3, but more importantly it didn't hurt and I felt so much better. One workout and the black cloud started to lift. The movement, the music. It's always been my miracle.
My ankle will heal. My heart will heal. Until then, it is crucial that I stay rooted in Truth and Love. Not lies and fear. It's crucial that I rise up, and not get stuck there on the couch eating away my feelings. We all struggle. I know some of you have lost pets this year, too. Family members. Partners. Jobs. Had a diagnosis. You got knocked down.
It's crucial that you rise up. Be sad, be mad, grieve. But don't get stuck there, eating away your feelings. Come out of hiding. Tell someone your story. I'll bet you they can relate. I'll bet you are not alone. I'll bet you are incredibly loved.