I’ve decided to name some of my upcoming posts “Keeping It Real”. This will be your warning that what you are about to read may be a little deeper or more personal than my normal posts. Today is the first of many, I’m sure. (This may be a little scatterbrained as I’m having some minor medication issues that hopefully will be resolved soon – bear with me please.)
My weekend was a bit stressful at times. My latest book released on Friday and a new release always causes some anxiety and stress. I don’t know how readers will react to my latest work, especially when it’s a big finale to a trilogy, such as this. Reviews are a vital part of the process and I always find myself looking forward to them with trepidation and excitement. I also fear no one will want to buy it – that no one cares how Jane’s story ends, or how any of my stories end for that matter. Writers can be an insecure bunch. Releasing fiction is like sending your child out into the world and hoping the world will be kind to them. It’s very personal and can be panic inducing.
But there is also a certain amount of relief that comes with knowing the book is finished and out there. The biggest part of the work is done and this story has been brought to a close. So I found myself waffling between happiness that I was finished with this series, to anxiety over how this ending would be received. Anxiety often wins for some reason, and the last few days have been no exception. I tried hard not to let my stress levels dictate my choices, and for the most part they didn’t. But there were a few weak moments in my weekend that kept me hiding from food in general. I know me. I know my penchant for finding the worst possible foods to eat when my emotions are all over the map. It’s not pretty. I didn’t always make the best choices this weekend, but I did better than I have in the past, so that’s something. It’s progress in a perpetual battle with no ending.
Coping with stress without resorting to comfort foods has been a real struggle for me; maybe it always will be. I keep telling myself it will get easier one day and hopefully I’ll eventually believe that. Right now, I don’t foresee this journey getting easier. This is a mental battle that isn’t just about food, and it’s complicated. But I know I can push through with the right motivation and support.
At this time, the motivation is stemming from my smaller clothing. I don’t want clothes to feel too tight ever again, and I’m enjoying no longer hiding behind my baggy, over-sized jeans and shirts. It’s amazing how nice it is to wear clothing that actually fits and not feel ashamed. I never again want to look in the mirror and see the person I used to be. I’m also amazed at how happy I currently am with my progress, considering I’m still not quite half way to my goal. But 42 pounds lost is nothing to sneeze at, and I’m looking forward to my mid-month weigh-in.
I feel like I’m me again for the first time in a long time. It’s not all due to the weight loss, but that’s sure helping. I’ve changed in so many ways and it’s like I’m rediscovering myself. Some of these changes are great and some of them are scary, but they are all necessary.
Stress will always be there in one form or another. Family, work, friends, health, bills, car repairs, etc… I can’t count on both hands the number of items causing me stress at this time – there’s just too much. So much happens on a daily basis and it’s easy to get overwhelmed, but I’m working toward letting things go when I can’t control them. The things I can control go on a list ranked by importance and my actual abilities to improve or adjust them. If it’s fixable, but not by me, why push myself so much? I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t make others do the right thing. All I can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst. When an opportunity to help presents itself, I will do my best. That’s all I have to offer.
I take selfies a lot to show off new LipSense colors I’ve tried. I either post them in my VIP group or in Facebook parties I’m throwing for a hostess. This is one I took yesterday. I look at this photo and I see a woman who appears put together, happy, and ready to make things happen. This is who I work hard to be. But behind this photo is someone struggling each moment to keep that smile in place. The depression still gets the better of me most days, and that makes me feel like a phony when I’m trying to laugh, encourage others, and do more than just appear like a somewhat normal, functioning adult. I’ll totally admit that, most of the time, I have no freaking clue what I’m doing. I’m just rolling with the punches and hoping that when I finally come to a stop I will get back up and try again. This kind of inward fighting becomes exhausting very quickly.
I guess I’m feeling very reflective today. The last several days have been eye opening for me, as I evaluate my next steps and who I feel sure will be by my side for them. My husband John is my rock, even when he’s dealing with his own crap, and I will never be able to convey the proper words to show him my appreciation for his steadfast support. Marriage is give and take, but I think it’s very likely I lean on him far more than he leans on me. It feels like an unfair burden that he’s undertaken for me, but I won’t deny I need and appreciate the sacrifice. (He’ll tell you it’s not a burden or a sacrifice, but I can’t help feel that it is. Thanks again depression.)
Insomnia and I have once again become night-time companions. I hate that so very much. For a few weeks there I was actually sleeping very well – I had a normal schedule for the first time in a long time. I miss that so much. But this tells me that much of my insomnia is likely stressed induced, so there’s something else I’m learning about myself.
I’ll stop rambling now and just say the moral of my story is never stop learning. Discover something new every day; whether it be about yourself, your surroundings, or others in your life. Those discoveries may be painful at first, but they will eventually lead you in the right direction, if you pay attention. It’s all part of healthy living – mind, body, and spirit.
I’m going to keep moving forward, looking up, and stopping to catch my breath when necessary.
Stay Safe. Be Blessed. Embrace Life. Our time here is too short to do otherwise.