It's been a while since I've done a Wellness post. I've been putting it off because, quite frankly, I've been a HEATHEN.
It all started about three weeks ago, maybe it was Spring Break, maybe a week before that. I fell off the wagon. All of my wagons (local friends, did you hear the earth shake? That was me, falling.). I've only been to the gym three times since Spring Break. Yes, three times in 3 1/2 weeks. I've been walking/running (local friends, have you felt earthquake-like rumblings? That would be me, "running"), but my gym visits have tapered off quite a bit.
You want excuses? I've got a passel of 'em. I've been working more and more. Baseball started. I have been in a strange funk. Stress. At the end of the day, that's what I've got. Excuses.
I'm no Einstein, but I'm smart enough to know that there is, in reality, no excuse. You either go to the gym, or you don't. You either think about what you're eating, or you don't. You either decide to have a glass of wine, or a beer, or a margarita, or you don't.
Bottom line is, I haven't been doing the right thing in any of those situations. But luckily for me, when your bar isn't set terribly high, the fall off of it isn't fatal. It's easy to get back on.
I've broken all of my self-imposed rules: I've had some candy. I've had some cocktails. I've skipped workouts because I was too tired, too busy, or just plain too lazy. I've eaten things that even a month ago would have made me gag.
The good news is that I haven't gained any of my lost weight back. The bad news is, I haven't lost any more. I'm holding steady at a mushy 14, and I'm not happy about it. I had hoped to be squeezing back into my size 12 stuff at this point, but that's not happening.
I've been trying to think about why I lost my momentum, why I let myself revert back to less than healthy habits. This self-sabotage thing, it seems to be my specialty. I was on the verge of really changing, really making a difference. People were just starting to notice a difference in my appearance, and more importantly, a difference in ME. Sometimes it feels like there is a part of my personality that wants to be miserable, that wants to be unhappy. A part of me that hates me, and doesn't want anything positive or good to happen. Almost like somewhere, deep down in my heart or brain or wherever, there's a tiny oppressor, whispering into my ear: "You don't deserve to be happy."
Maybe it's leftover shrapnel from the hate-bombs that Big Daddy dropped on me for so long. Maybe it's that freaking protective shell of mine that comes out whenever things are starting to go in the right direction because, you know damn well that the second things start looking up, someone or something knocks you down.
I suspect it has to do with something else that's happened, though.
My bankruptcy is being filed this week, in fact it may have been filed already as I type this. Again, I'm no Einstein, but methinks that this part of the New Jenny Project is affecting me more than I thought it would.
You'd think that, after everything I've been through, admitting defeat in one more arena wouldn't hit me so hard. I've waved the white flag in so many battles thus far, how hard could it be to do it one last time? Apparently, it's hard.
I thought giving up on my marriage was hard. And it was. I thought having the financial rug pulled out from under me was hard, and yes, it was. I thought having to pack up 15 years worth of life and leave the only house we had known as a family was hard. Holy crap, was that one hard.
But there's something so final about this one. Sitting in an attorney's office, with your entire worth spread out on a desk before you. A man who, for all intents and purposes, is a total stranger, telling you that you have literally nothing to your name anymore. As he went down the lists of my life, my debts, my assets, my income, I felt so small, so beaten down. I felt worthless. Forty four years on this planet and all I have to show for it is a battered checking account and some Ikea furniture? Yikes.
I sat in this man's office yesterday, clutching my bright blue bankruptcy folder and nervously picked at my cuticles as he told me what was going to happen next. My BFF, Michelle, was there next to me. She's been there for me since Day One of this process and I have to say, friends like this one are priceless, folks. Anyhoo...so my bankruptcy attorney was describing the rest of the process for me. I'd get a letter from the bankruptcy courts, I'd be assigned a trustee, there will be one court date that he and I will both attend, etc. I sat there and for a moment, the absurdity of the situation struck me.
"Excuse, me, Mr. Bankruptcy Attorney", I wanted to say, "but I think there's been a mistake...this can't be me you're talking about. Surely you have me confused with someone else."
"You see, at this point in my life, I'm supposed to be enjoying my middle age. My children are growing older and don't need me as much, and I'm supposed to be helping them gain their independence while dusting mine off. I'm supposed to be rekindling the love fire with my husband, golfing in a league and planning our getaway to the cabin for Memorial Weekend. I'm supposed to be shopping for new deck furniture and helping my two older kids pick out their tux and dress for the Prom and the Junior High dance. I'm supposed to be a little worried about my neck getting kind of turkey-like and quietly bringing up plastic surgery in conversations with the other women at one of the charities I volunteer for."
"I'm supposed to be content, goddammit. Content and secure and safe. Not sitting in this office, looking at your dusty Dallas Cowboy bobblehead collection and trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I have less now than I did the day I was born."
Of course I didn't say that. I finished ravaging my fingernails, then signed where Mr. Bankruptcy Attorney told me to sign. He got up, shook my hand and that was that. My friend and I walked out of the office, down the stairs and outside into the bright, beautiful sunlight. She hugged me and said, "Now you're done. It's over."
Is it over? Can I really come out from hiding now? I don't know. This fear I live with every day, that constant worry about when the next storm will hit...it feels permanent, like a scar. It has crippled me. You can't tell from the outside. My speech is clear, my limbs are straight. But there is something inside of me that cowers like a kicked dog, tail between legs, eyes wide open and yet squeezed shut all at the same time.
I think my friend is partially right. This part is done. If what I've been doing for the past couple of years can be compared to demolishing an old house in order to build a new one, the bankruptcy was the last wall to be torn down.
The lot is clear, finally. I think it's almost time to start rebuilding. But first I need to convince the scared part of me that it really is safe to come out. I need to assure myself that all of this insulation I've wrapped myself in, this armor, this hard candy shell...none of this is necessary anymore.
Someone commented on one of my posts, I wish I knew who it was. I was babbling on about love and companionship and oh me oh my would I ever find it again. This anonymous person said, "you are just in the pause before you meet your next mate." I haven't been able to get that out of my head. Not the mate part, because really, I can't even think about mating right now. But the other part...
The Pause. Maybe all of this really has been one long, drawn out pause.
I think it may be time to hit Play.