I’m going around picking up the pieces from the shattered year of 2015. I think it’s fair to say that if you were following my blog before 2015 it might be “safe” to unfollow it now. If you were hoping for more of the same, just go ahead and hit the unfollow button. No hard feelings.
I didn’t write much in 2015, because honestly what I was struggling with I couldn’t talk openly about. I didn’t want to come off as dirty laundry flapping in wind. I spoke more poetically than literally and honestly as I normally would have. I couldn’t speak out loud about the things I was dealing with and felt muted by my current and not so current company. Please note that this does not involve my husband or my children. I would like for my readers to not stress about the well-being of my marriage and parenting.
Rewind to 2012
I am challenged by a hormone/endocrine disorder known as polycystic ovarian syndrome. I was so heavy and unbalanced then that I could hardly walk. The syndrome makes it very challenging to lose weight. During my pregnancies I had symphysis pubis dysfunction. Again an imbalance of hormones caused this. My hips were not strong or good. I had physical therapy and the damage lasted into my postpartum after our daughter was born. The second pregnancy had taken a toll on my body. We had just moved into our current home. It was a move that I had not desired nor enjoyed, but my husband insisted upon the change. I had spent the year prior to that being literally stalked by someone and their private investigator, because they were jealous of my friendship with their ex. I had some negative relationships that were pulling me down like a heavy anchor. I lost myself this year and the year before.
The year of wonder was 2013
After walking the block of our street, I would suffer days of pain and struggling to even go down a flight of stairs or up a flight for that matter. I couldn’t breath from the overexertion but more than that my hips hurt so badly. For days they would ache if we went to the park or out shopping. I went to a chiropractor for healing. He basically told me that if I didn’t lose weight and find some form of exercise I could be looking at a hip replacement by 40. In the early days of 2013, I laced up some shoes and headed out to try my hand at the couch to 5k program. The chiropractic care was working. I wanted so badly to be in great shape so I could take our ten year anniversary trip with strength and vigor. I used WW and lost a considerable amount of weight and my hormones became balanced. This same year I started my blog and began writing out my thoughts and feelings. This same year…. I started listening to music as a release and I found the Avett Brothers who healed my soul. My involvement in my church increased and changed. We went on our amazing trip and I was strong. I let go of a longtime close friend that had become a very mutually negative relationship. I finished the Couch25k program in July and continued to run. The stalking stopped. The pain of being heavy chested was pinching nerves and causing numbness in my neck so I finally broke down and had a surgery to help with this and I felt renewed. The pain like this is gone now and I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin.
It was arguably the most productive year of my life.
Hard Hard Worker Every Day – 2014.
I was running 5ks every other day that spring. I was strong but the weight loss had stopped. I stopped WW and tried eating gluten free and more like the caveman diet. I lost a ton of weight, but my balances were off again and I felt incomplete so I stopped eating that way. I applied for new jobs and prepared to close my business I had been running for four years.
My dear friend “Twisted” moved away and that was an adjustment too. My tribe of friends was beginning what would become its disbandment. I accepted the position at my current job and had stepped down from my leadership from church anticipating the stress of my new job. I closed my business and repaired much of my home.
The new job started off great. I loved it and still do. I love teaching, but it takes almost all my energy and time. The 5ks every other day were great and I kept working my way up in my long runs. I ran my first half marathon in October and my second in November. I felt really strong, but the weight had already began to creep back up and my body began to fail again in the hormone department.
By December, I was up over ten pounds. My breakfasts and lunches were the same as before I had began teaching again, but my dinners were more rushed for sure. I continued to try to keep my running up through Christmas, but it was hard given my schedule. I ran when I could. This caused running to become a chore and less of a release. I had some acquaintances treat me, my husband and my children pretty poorly heading into 2015 and it hurt very badly.
From November on I had the blues. We tried to get away for Christmas. We badly needed this break from the stress, drama and frustration that the holidays had become. We got the stomach flu at the beach.
Mosaic Smashed 2015
I laced up my shoes and ran away the pain that I was in emotionally the best I could. The stress of working and trying to keep up with running was taking its toll. I missed my network of friends that had disbanded. I missed talking to them and venting our hearts away. I didn’t see them enough anymore that I felt like I could vent what was going on, because then our entire relationship would have been venting. So I did not express myself with my friends or in writing. Only in running.
If you haven’t heard from me since 2014… you aren’t the only one I haven’t kept up with. I’m having a hard time with balance don’t take it personally. I wasn’t going to church for the emotional and social reasons I will continue to not speak about specifically. Church friends this has nothing to do with you or the church leadership so let that idea go if you feel that’s what happened. It’s simply not true and the only thing you can do is be kind to me when I return without making an introvert feel overwhelmed with guilt or attention. I’m sorry if I ever hurt you in a moment of worry that you were the cause of this reaction.
I ran two more half marathons in the spring. This took the stress level and stress on my body too high. Retrospectively, that’s the only conclusion that I can come to. By my birthday, in March, I had reached a full-on set of blues. I stopped writing because I could not say what my real struggles were and I still can’t- again not flapping someone else’s dirty laundry. Truth be told this was never my dirty laundry it was theirs. My dear friend that shares my name was also feeling melancholy so for spring break we set off on a trip alone just the two of us. It was a great trip and just what I thought I needed. I will be forever be grateful for her friendship and our care for one another during that time. Love you Chipmunk.
By late spring, my hormones and body were out of whack and I spent the rest of 2015 trying to heal my overrun body and worn out emotions. I finished the school year having done a great job in the classroom. Luckily, the struggles I met never effected my work ethic or love of my job.
We went on an amazing trip over the summer to Boise, Idaho. I still haven’t written about that. I returned from the trip to prepare our old house for sale. I lived there- working my tail off – for about three to five weeks before it sold. Then we had to move all of our things from storage to our current home. It became a clutter of junk. We threw our daughter a birthday party and I went back to work again. I returned to work not feeling renewed or refreshed from summer break.
2015 left me weary and unrested. Injured from running and 20 +lbs heavier. My hormones a tragic wreck and my heart indifferent. I got a license plate to commemorate my year of sadness called the November blues.
The stress of 2015 alone could have caused this new imbalance of hormones. My doctor concerned of this stress has put me on a medication called metformin to help regulate my hormones and blood sugar as PCOS causes insulin resistance. My blood work shows no concern in cholesterol, thyroid, liver output, kidneys or anything but this hormone imbalance. I am otherwise healthy. The medication has a lot of side effects and for now I’m going to give it a try and I’m doing fine so far. I’m exhausted on it, but the horror stories of the side effects are not currently present.
Before the Christmas program at church, I sat next to a friend of a friend and he asked what was wrong with me. I shared with him my personal story and he said, “Well no wonder you have been gone. You’ve been in mourning. I’ve been going through the same thing this last year. It’s a pain like no other, but you can’t control other people or their own weaknesses. You have to go on living and take care of just the four of you. You have to because you don’t want this to reciprocate.” I replied, “Yeah. I finally figured myself out and got beyond the pain of it all. Now I’m just complacent, apathetic, indifferent… I can’t really name it.”
We planned Christmas at home this year. To save ourselves the stress we spent the day entirely alone just the four of us. Our toast at dinner began with “Cheers to not throwing up this year.”
We went to watch the Avett Brothers at New Year’s Eve and just before the countdown Scott Avett said, “No matter if 2015 was a good year or a terrible year it doesn’t matter because it’s over now.” Thank God.
I wanted to run a marathon this spring, but like the Avett Brothers say, “Make sure you run towards something and not away from.” Long distance running is mental… so much mental and less physical than one who is not a long distance runner could assume. I’ve overused my body and my ankle and heel are not in perfect shape for a marathon so that’s not going to be a 2016 reality. In 2015, I began running away from instead of towards something and I need to begin to run towards myself again.
I’ve spent the last two weeks of winter break healing and recognizing my emotions. I have not laced up a single time during my break to run. I have not spent the time running or working. I did spend time listening to music. I spent time with my husband. I spent time with my children. I spent time cleaning up my house and the disaster that 2015 had become. I picked up the phone to bandage a few relationships that I had injured in my 2015 blues.
This is the first time I’ve given myself the time to truly process in over a year since the fog of the blues had settled in. I’ve finally realized my mourning period is over. I had these two weeks to notice that I am still stoic. I am apathetic to the situations that had worn me down in 2015. Situations that before would have brought me to tears have brought me to shrug my shoulders or roll my eyes. My husband says it’s ennui… as though I am dissatisfied. I am I suppose. Dissatisfied with myself.
I refuse to let this be the end of my story of growth in gumption. I refuse to beat myself up for how I handled 2015. I refuse to close my chapter on being a badass.