I Moved

As in, apartments.  This was a really big deal for me and I am still in a little bit of shock.  Every memory, every dashed hope for the future, every good time came rushing back at me as I packed up my things and took my “last” walks through the neighbourhood.

My new place is literally a 10 minute drive from the old.  So really not such a big distance physically.

Over and over again, though, I am contending with the panicked thought that “what if he needs me?  He won’t know where I am.”  Logically, I know that doesn’t make sense.  We are broken up, he doesn’t need to find me.  If he does, he has many other contact routes.  But I can’t help mourn that feeling of looking down from my window and seeing him about to cross the street.  Then the sound of the buzzer ringing and knowing he’s on his way up.I really miss him.  Most of the time I know that it is my rose-coloured glasses doing the missing.  That I would not, could not go back to how it was.  But there were a lot of good times too and I often just wish I could feel his arms around me.  I keep reading the “missed connections” section of craigslist and it reminds me that there are lots of people in this state of longing.  I can never decide if that is comforting or just really sad.

He told me before we broke up that if we did, we could never go back because he couldn’t get over the time apart.  That fear kept me in for far too long.  That fear is also what keeps me from actually making any contact.  It hurts knowing he’s out there somewhere, but it would hurt more to try to connect and be turned down.

I know that I am just processing and this too will pass (though even that makes me sad, that intense feelings can fade so completely).  So I will ride this wave and know that change is hard for me.  When it happens, I naturally gravitate back to the familiar, good or bad.

Thank you to Purple Dreamer for your recent post – you reminded me that although there may be things to miss, there are far more to look forward to.  We can allow ourselves to be sad about the lasts while also being open to many new firsts.

With that said, I think I will head out to find myself a new local coffee shop… <3

Whew!

I made it through New Year’s Eve… and I didn’t call him and he didn’t call me.  It hurts like hell and it also deserves a HUGE place on my accomplishment list.  It’s good to acknowledge the positive aspect of that step in order to keep myself moving forward.

And… I made a cake for my mom.  I licked the bowl. <3

Fresh Air

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Source

I feel I am a cliche in stopping for so long and then shyly creeping back, but here I am.

It’s been quite the few months… an amazing vacation to Europe, a desperate try at reconciliation with my ex, a new business venture, and the ultimate break-up of the relationship (no contact for over a month – crazy!).  Lots of ups and downs.  The break-up has hit me hard (you’d think this time would be easier, but it’s not.  More familiar, yes.  But not less painful).  The new career activity is exciting and terrifying and exhilirating and overwhelming all at once.

Then there is the eating disorder.

I’m both embarrassed and proud in that respect.  Embarrassed that it is still a very active issue.  Proud that since the break-up I have actively devoted time and energy to recovery (the relationship would always pull off that attention).

The busy-ness of life means I am choosing to spend much of my time in areas of my life beyond this site.  However, my therapist has been encouraging me to resume celebrating the wins in my recovery journey.  I decided the place for me to do that is here.

I plan to use this space to record my little wins and my big wins. I have lots of places and people that help me to process the challenges and this will be my place to acknowledge the successes.

 

Vacation

Very soon I will be heading out on what should be an amazing vacation with my family.  We are having a bit of a European adventure and I know this is something my parents have been working very hard to fund.  I am grateful and excited but also terrified.

Interestingly, the food fear is not the big one.  That surprises even me, but on that front, I see this as a great opportunity to have a vacation from my rules – let’s hope I can do that.

What really scares me though is being with people for 3 weeks.  I am a very introverted person and I need a lot of down time.  I crave moments of peace and solitude.  My family are not raging extroverts or anything, but they are all people who are paired or partnered or in some way have other people around all the time.  They are used to it and they like it.  They don’t understand the “energy” needs of someone like me.  They try but none has ever spent much time alone and so it is difficult for them to know what it is like to go from having solitude to suddenly being immersed with people.

I wish I was the type of person that felt only joy and excitement about this. It saddens me that I have so much anxiety about what should be a plainly positive experience.  It also causes immense guilt.  However, I am working to accept that this is a part of who I am and that it is okay.

My plan of action includes taking time each morning to meditate.  I am hopeful that meditation will be something they can understand and so it will buy me a few minutes of silence and self containment.

My other plan is to really recognize this is only 3 weeks, it’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and, wow, this is incredibly exciting and I am going to have fun!!! 🙂

See you in September…

(Bitter)Sweet

I just finished my last weekend class of this degree!  I feel simultaneously relieved and also quite sad.  Though I often felt somewhat on the periphery, I have incredible respect and love for the beautiful souls I have had the privilege to study with.  These are my people.  It’s rare to find that.

It’s funny how we can work so hard to achieve a goal and look so forward to getting there, and then wake up and see that it truly is the journey that matters.

Okay, that’s not true.  The outcome is pretty damn important too!  Yet it is the journey that adds to the richness of the accomplishment.

Moving forward, I feel some regret that I always kept myself slightly removed and yet I acknowledge that is part of who I am and that is okay too.  I stretched myself throughout this process and I am proud of that – I choose to place my attention on that aspect.  Was I always able to partake fully?  No.  Did I manage to push some previously inflexible boundaries and to respect yet others?  Yes.

I choose to focus on how my education has helped me to grow and how beautiful an experience I have had.  I was lucky enough to spend many many hours over the past three years discussing topics that make my soul smile.  I have engaged in introspection and reflections that have broadened my world view and allowed me to see the validity of other perspectives.  I have learned to apply empathy and compassion to all people, not just the ones for whom I feel affinity.

I have not just learned the “skills” of counseling.  Even more amazing (to me), I have internalized the essence of counselling into who I am.  I will forever approach life with this new lens.  This is still somewhat startling and wonderful to me.

I am changed.  Thank you classmates, thank you profs, thank you God.

Thank you self.

I like me better now.

Seriously

I’ve realized I take people too seriously.  We already know I take myself too seriously, but I promise, this is a much lighter topic than many of my last posts. 🙂

You know how people often say, “we should get together”?  After living for 35 years on this planet, I still somehow think that people really mean it when they say those words.

This came to my attention recently when I ran into an old work colleague.  We chatted briefly and it was lovely to talk for a few minutes.  As we parted ways, she commented that we should get together with another old colleague for drinks soon and catch up on life.

I took that to mean “let’s actually contact friend #3, actually make a plan, actually set a date and actually get together.”

Days later, when I hadn’t heard back, it dawned on me that this was one of those cases where the words were not meant to be taken seriously.

Not in the sense that I think she didn’t mean them.  I think she did.  In fact, I am quite confident that she truly was happy to see me, she really was enjoying talking and she fully intended that we should get together as she said it in the moment.

Where it all went awry, I surmise, is that 2 seconds after we parted ways, her life started occurring again and all thoughts of what she had said just slipped away.  It’s easy to forget about that which is not directly in front of us.

This doesn’t make me angry and this post is NOT a negative social commentary or anything of the sort.  Rather, it just perplexes me that I continue to consistently misread such situations.  I am still surprised that I don’t have that social norm internalized at this point in my life.  I keep trying to make the plan come to fruition.

I think this is why work friendships often end up being the ones we regularly maintain.  Our colleagues are right there every day.  We remember to schedule “dates” with each other because we see each other.  We see each other enough to make the plan, and then we see each other later to remember the plan and finally we know we will see each other the next day so we keep the plan.  Nothing dire or dark about it, it’s just human nature to respond to immediate inputs.

My lesson in all this?  Human nature is fascinating.  We should get a drink and chat more about this. 🙂

Revolving Door

I feel uninspired to write here.  I get so much love and inspiration from all your comments and yet my life seems to sometimes be a revolving door of the same experience.  I feel sheepish as I think of you out there reading about the SAME boyfriend, the SAME doubts, the SAME self sabotage.

Interesting choice of words, isn’t it?

I feel like I was just about done and ready to step into the next phase of my life.  And I even sent him an email indicating that (which was a big step for me). He wanted a goodbye hug and I said yes.  Now he’s in my life and in my mind again and my world has turned upside down.

I know if I saw what I was writing, I would be shaking my head saying “girl, do you really think he’s changed?”.  But when it’s me, and it’s him, it is so much foggier.  He’s painting me a picture of a life I’ve always wanted and I know, I need to check within and wonder if that is just a dream that I am clinging to.

His arguments, his reasons all sound so logical.  The reasons why certain things have to be certain ways.  He’s got issues.  But I’ve got issues so how can I judge him for that?  My girlfriend used the words “emotional abuse”.  I feel squeamish even considering the term even though some things fit.  Or they do when I am alone, or when I am with her, but when he is there in front of me?  He pours out love and he is the man I know so well.  The man who knows me so well.

He is trying to show me he has changed.  He went to a doctor appointment with me (new health issues lately that I am contending with – advice readers?  never get an eating disorder) and it was not a particularly stressful appointment but it was so nice to have someone go with me.  I loved that.

And he’s giving me space to reflect.  Ridiculously, even as I am torturing myself with the indecision myself, I am so scared that he will decide in the interim that he has his changed his mind.  I fear that the chase is the motivation, not the catch (even if he is unaware of that himself).

People keep advising me to trust myself and listen to the voice within.  The problem with eating disorders (or maybe it’s just me?!) is that I don’t trust that voice.  After all, it tells me opposite things from one minute to the next.  And it tells me things to keep me alone with my eating disorder too (“you don’t need/want him… that would interfere with your food structure and rules.  too much work”).

I just want solid ground beneath me and once again my world has started to shake.  I just don’t know if he’s the one I can hold on to in order to find stability.

Hmm, I guess I had more to say than I thought.

Embrace

Last month I was blessed to win a contest after commenting on a post on the wonderful site The Hurt Healer .

I was able to participate in an e-course created and facilitated by the lovely Jane Hinchliffe.  It was a month of art and journal prompts aimed at helping participants embrace life, including the good, the bad and the in between bits – just the kind of stuff that I always gravitate toward. 🙂  It was fun for me as I learned about some art mediums that were new to me that I will continue to use.

I share here my favourite activity – an art haiku!

haiku

Frazzled

My life feels discombobulated right now for so many reasons…

… Dealing with feelings regarding my ex and the dissolution of that relationship.

 

… Frustration in dealing with my diabetes and the inconsistent ups and downs.

 

… A distressing medical appointment that pointed to dismal prospects for recovery

 

… Lots to do for my final semester at school

 

… Anxiety about my qualifying exam for counselling

 

… Unfamiliarity in my return to work

 

… Internal pressure to complete creative works along with academic ones

 

… Summer events on the go

 

… Missing my family and wishing we all lived closer

 

… Feeling like I do too much and too little all at the same time

 

… Uncertain of so much in myself and my life.

 

 

Help!

I think I am unconsciously (and very unhealthily) addicted to the drama that comes from my ex.  I need you, dear readers, to help me to make smart choices.  Or maybe I just need to commit it to the screen so that my maladaptive behaviour can be clearer to me.

I saw him once recently.  A random meeting on a street corner that jolted me to the core.  We didn’t stop and talk but I watched him walk away.  He didn’t turn around and it broke my heart all over again, even secure in the knowledge that we were not good for one another.  Within the bad, there was an awful lot of good too and that was what came flooding back in that moment.  I sent him a quick text and didn’t hear back for five days (hmm, does that seem familiar?  why yes, yes it does).

Eventually he did respond and asked to meet again.  This was going into a very stressful week for me, finishing my practicum, starting new classes and re-starting work again after being off for a very long time.  I luckily had the presence of mind to say no and to recognize that I was too stressed to make good decisions.  But I may have sent him an “I love you” text.  Maybe.  Sigh.  Yeah, I did that.

Then, just now, another note from him asking if maybe we could meet now.  I responded “no” again but I so desperately want to say yes.  I want to see him, to talk to him, to find out how he is and what is happening in his life.  I am hanging on to a pitiful and likely self-destructive hope.

He hasn’t replied to my refusal and I am in knots about that.  Why is it so hard for me to let go?  Am I that weak?  Am I one of those dreaded drama queens who secretly thrives off of her self-made woes?

The reaction to hearing from him is visceral.  The idea of actually cutting all ties makes me physically feel sick.  As I said, I need help.  I want to cry.  I think I’ll just go do that.