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April 2018

// Thoughts on Growth \\

I want to say I’ve come a long way in the past two years, but the truth is, I haven’t really.

Yes, it’s true I’ve made some decisions that have helped me stand on my own two feet, and I’ve gotten and kept jobs which I never thought I’d be able to do.

But my anxiety is still holding me back.

The most noticeable place I feel my anxiety kick in, is at the gym. Two years ago, I felt like I could go to any gym and feel confident in myself and my workouts. However, now I can’t even stay in the gym for an hour before I panic and need to leave. It’s a combination of not feeling good about the way I look and the paranoia that everyone is looking at me, judging me.

As of right now, I don’t have to go to the gym because I created one at home. Solved that problem.

But in the long run, it doesn’t really solve anything. I just end up avoiding the whole situation and stay in my comfort zone at home.

I did go to the gym last week just because I had a free day pass, and it was terrible. I felt overwhelmed and uneasy but the most frustrating thing about it was how horrible I felt about my body. I didn’t feel strong. I looked in the mirror and saw a thin, depressed girl. It made me want to cry, so I worked through my sets and left.

Working out at home, I don’t have mirrors, so it’s been hard to really see myself. Going to the gym that day made me realize that I needed to reevaluate my health. If I’m being honest with myself, I haven’t been eating very much and tend to skip meals altogether at work, yet I always come up with some excuse why I couldn’t eat. ‘there wasn’t anything to eat’ or ‘I just didn’t have time’.

So in terms of eating, I’d say I have some work to do. The voices from the eating disorder are still there, louder than ever it seems, and it’s tough to tune them out and push through. They have been affecting my thinking and I know it. There’s no way around the truth, and the truth is: I am falling backwards.ย 

On the more positive note, and I’ve talked about this before. I feel like my communication skills have greatly improved in the last two years. Mainly because of my relationship with J. He has really pushed me to express myself and say what’s on my mind. At first it was annoying, and I felt challenged by him. But now I know he does it out of love and I know now how beneficial communication really is.

I still have improvements to make obviously, but I have been able to voice my opinions and concerns more easily, as well as my hopes and dreams, which makes everything run more smoothly, especially in the relationship. When we are on the same page and know where one another’s head is at, it’s easier to understand each other, But it’s also been helping at work. Just allowing me to speak up and make my voice known, whether it’s about something bothering me or just letting people know what’s going on during the day.

It’s a bumpy road. Changing. Growing. It’s overwhelming for me, mostly because I feel like I have so many things to work on, I’m not sure where to start. Lately though, I’ve been trying to just keep reiterating that I’m trying my best and everything will work out. If I can keep thinking positively, then I’ll figure things out, I’ll continue to make small changes towards becoming a stronger version of myself.

It truly is all about being more positive, and acting less like a victim.

Anxiety, Life, Personal

February Fourteenth, Two Thousand Eighteen

February fourteenth. The day my Dad celebrates his birthday. The day J and I were supposed to celebrate being in love. We had plans to go to our favorite pizza place. But February fourteenth wasn’t what it was supposed to be.

My Mom showed up at work around ten. Immediately my heart sank. She said she had news that I wouldn’t want to hear. The first thought that crossed my mind was that she had cancer. What happened to Leah? Did Leah get hit? My heart was beating out of my chest. I left work.

My Mom said that my ex’s mom called her this morning with devastating news: Ben had taken his own life. It felt as though I got punched in the stomach while getting struck by lighting. I couldn’t breathe. The first words out of my mouth were: No he didn’t. You’re lying.

I was in utter disbelief. Shock. I spent seven years with Ben and not one day went by where I thought he would do something like this. He was the most positive person I ever knew, always seeing the good in the situation, always telling everyone things would be okay.

After the initial shock, there was anger. How could he? And I know we had been divorced for over a year at this point, but how could he leave me? How could he do this to everyone he loved? What had been on his mind that was just too overwhelming to have to come to this?

It was hard for me to think this way. I felt immediate guilt because I have been that low. I have prayed to God again and again to take me, to just let me die. Yet, I’ve never gotten to the point where I would really take things into my own hands. I felt guilty because I knew how it felt to be so overwhelmed, yet I was angry at Ben for getting that far.

My Mom and I drove to the beach. I wasn’t crying at this point anymore. The tears had given way to a dead void. I felt uneasy, like I wasn’t sure where I was. I had to keep reminding myself that Ben wasn’t here anymore. This is real. Ben’s dead.

The truth hits hard.

Ben and I were best friends. Even after the divorce and the fights, we stayed friends. We talked here and there about our new adventures, our new goals, our new lives. The last time I talked to him, he was telling me about the farm he was starting, clearing trees, using the tractor to plant cover crops. He told me about his ideas to have a farm stand full of inspirational quotes and stories and said he might need some of my art work for the walls. He sounded excited, full of hope. Where did it go wrong.

The hardest part of everything (and it always will be) is that I will never know why he did it. I’ll never get my questions answered. And I’m not even sure if anyone knows. That’s the sick thing about suicide. No one knows you are struggling until it’s too late. I wish he had reached out to me. I would have been there. Ben had always been there for me no matter what. Even when he was angry at me, he would drop everything to help. I just wish I could have returned the favor.

Being one that has suffered through years with suicidal thoughts, and now being on the receiving end of the consequences, I’m not sure how to feel. My emotions are all over the map. When you’re down that low, yeah, taking your own life feels like the only way out. It feels like it’ll solve all your problems. But it’s selfish. Sure, you’ll solve all your problems but you’ll leave them all behind for your loved ones to deal with for the rest of their lives.

But in Ben’s case, it’s especially hard, because he was never selfish. It was one thing I both loved and hated about him. He was never freakin selfish. He was always looking out for others and their well being. He never thought about himself or what he wanted. He put himself last and catered to everyone else first. The suicide was the first selfish act I think he ever did.

All I can do now is hold on to the hope that he’s happy now. That he’s at peace. I’ll see him again one day and I’ll get my answers. But for now, I need to stop taking my life for granted and be as happy as I can be because that’s what he always wanted for me. I’m better because of him and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him and thank him for teaching me how to love.

Til we meet again.

Depression, Life, Personal, Uncategorized