In preparation for my new journey, I had these two questions posed to me during my orientation exercises for school.
- “What does my body need in order to heal?”
- “What is my body saying no to?”
I was actually really shocked at how quickly I was able to answer both of these questions. It’s like my mind had been secretly dwelling on these questions for months, formulating the answers and waiting until the right moment to be asked. Let’s address them, shall we?
What does my body need to heal?
A heck of a lot of love, time, and some more tough love. I have always put myself last unless I’ve been single. Which is, like, never. I never ever think of myself – I’m always thinking of others. I will enter into a relationship and give you everything that you want and ask for, but take little in return. Which, in typing this now, is a fucking joke. All the times I heard, “you must love yourself in order to be loved and love others”, I was like, “yep – I got that”. Which was bull shit, because I don’t. I would seriously sit there and try to convince myself that I loved myself, but deep down I knew it wasn’t true.
Well, last spring I’d had enough. I had spent 6 months trying to get pregnant and was pretty much fighting with my husband because I wanted it, but he didn’t see the point in it having to happen “right now”. I was about to turn 30 and I was losing my mind that not only did I not have children (something I was SURE would have happened by this age), but I wasn’t even pregnant. I was beginning to doubt my marriage and whether I’d chosen the right man to marry. It’s not that I didn’t love him – because trust me I did and still do. I just questioned why we were at such odds against each other and were we meant for each other? I know – heavy, right? Add to this that we were just celebrating our first wedding anniversary and I’m having these thoughts. Oh, and he’d pretty much not been around for those first 12 months because he was studying for a major exam – one that could change his career. Yikes.
So, yah, there I was – freaking out because I was not ovulating, my period was out of sync, and I was not feeling quite secure in my marriage. Shortly after my 30th birthday, I realized I needed to take a huge chill pill and just LIVE. A friend of mine offered me to join her 5-day clean eating group and I thought, why not. I had no clue what it was, but it sounded cool. And I fell in love with it. It was so simple and made so much sense! I joined her Beachbody team and started working out, which actually really helped my knees (which were having issues because I’d taken up running again). Oh, I had found happiness. And routine – which I love, by the way. I was eating better, meal prepping, working out 5 days a week, and running/training for a 10K five days a week. I was on cloud 9.
My husband was not and that whole darkness pretty much imploded then exploded onto me. My whole life changed. I had to make a hard decision – stay and see if he was right about “never doing it again” or hightail it for the hills because I’d heard that line before. For once in my life, I took the hard road. I left, convinced that I would never work things out with him. I continued eating healthy, but I also continued to pressure myself.
In early December, I pretty much had a breakdown. I was pushing myself to eat clean, work 40 hours, read/write/blog, cook my own meals, train for my 15K, and continue to work out 7 days a week. Holy crap, right? I literally woke up one Wednesday morning and was like, “I can’t go to work”. I cried and cried and my mom didn’t know what to do with me other than hug me and pray. I slept that day and when I finally woke up, I spent time with my puppy and baked Christmas cookies. That day was a wide awakening moment for me because I realized I couldn’t continue to do this to myself. I was being so harsh on myself that I still felt like I was living in the very chaos that I had left.
Since then, I’ve been trying to take more time out for ME.
- I am still working 40 hours, which is a blessing that I never thought I would have. I work from home, which is nice because when I do have my bad days, no one has to see/hear me cry. I can do it and still work.
- I cut the workout regime and told myself to choose – running or working out. I couldn’t do both and maintain a level of sanity and at least 7 hours of sleep. I chose running and although I lament and gripe at myself sometimes, I’m really happier.
- Running allows me to escape from the house and my problems – even for just 3 miles. I’ve just completed my 15K and I’m training for two half marathons, followed by a marathon. I’m even contemplating if I should become a running coach (although I literally only have a year’s consistent experience).
- I’ve started studying A Course of Miracles with one of my best friends, which has brought me into a more spiritual connection and provided me with many positive tools.
- I’m beginning to meditate more and practice yoga, which is helpful on so many levels.
I would say that my body and mind still need this separation from the “real world”, if you will. I’m home with my parents, working to save up money for a place of my own. I recently visited my husband, who I’ve been separated physically from (not on paper or anything) since late September. The time I spent with him was actually quite nice, but even in just the 48 hours I was there, I noticed my habits falling off. I chose to sleep in with him instead of waking up to read my Course lesson before appointments. Not the worst thing, but that’s something I’ve done religiously every day since January 1st and I chose not to this one day because I knew he wanted to sleep in.
And that is what triggered my fear – that already, after just 48 hours, I was giving up what I wanted for what I thought he wanted. Now, had I told him I needed to get up in time so I could read – would he have been ok with it? Probably, but maybe not. I won’t know until the next time I visit. But one of the things that was very very wrong about our relationship is that he was good about declaring what he wanted and easily angered when he didn’t get it. I never stood up for myself when he didn’t do what I wanted; I always forgave him or turned a blind eye. When I would finally put my foot down and state what I wanted/needed, it would be done begrudgingly and I would hear about it later in arguments. As I began to stand up for what I wanted and putting my foot down, it quickly turned into a me vs. him situation. It was quite disastrous!
I have worked so hard to break myself down into the tiniest pieces and I’m finally beginning to understand the way that I am. I’m finally realizing who I am and learning to love who I am – imperfections and all. I’m not completely healed and I’m not completely back together – but I’m still on that journey. And I’m not willing to give that up for anyone or anything. Maybe that sounds selfish, but it’s something that I should’ve done years ago. Had I done it then, I could have saved myself a lot of pain, abuse, and heartache. I may have never entered into this relationship or marriage. All I know is I can’t turn back time and there’s some reason that God wanted me to go through this. So I am, and I’m not stopping until I have fully claimed myself.
What is my body saying no to?
- Stress – but it’s always going to be there. Tapping, meditation, and running have really helped me with this.
- Anxiety – feeling out of control. Tapping is something that I’m learning to tap into (no pun intended) so that I can work through the attacks that I have.
- Conformity – I am so tired of trying to “fit in” or be a part of something. I have struggled most of my childhood and well into my adulthood with trying to find some way to be accepted by the world and those around me. It has driven me to drugs, alcohol, and so many negative beliefs that are now hard-wired into my soul. I pretty much lost myself over the past 20+ years and showed up face-to-face with myself last year like “who the fuck are you??” And you know what’s sad? I couldn’t answer that simple of a question, because I never have known who I am. I am a chameleon – I conform and change to meet the situations I’m in and the people I’m with. Isn’t that terrible??
- Chaos – I lived in chaos for most of 2016 and I absolutely hated it. You feel out of control in the world and it reflects back on your own life… and when you lose control of yourself – the inside, deep-down part of you – you lose everything. I refuse to go through that hell again.
- Anger – I can’t do it anymore. I have enough anger as it stands on my own; I don’t need any front the world, my marriage, my friends, or my family. I have been working to channel, understand, and control my anger over these past 3-4 months. The work is far from over, but I have learned one thing: I don’t want the anger in my life. I believe anger is a triggered reaction – a reaction triggered by FEAR. When I hear something I don’t like or I’m afraid of, I get angry and I lash out. Often times, I don’t really mean it – I’m just fearful of what could happen. I have to learn to channel or re-direct that fear. I expect those I allow into my life to do the same.