It’s been nearly an entire month since my big emotional crack. I can hardly believe it’s been that long.
In some ways, I feel like absolutely nothing has changed and it was just yesterday. I feel like the same old Katie, with the same old personality and same old craziness.
In other ways, I can see an entirely new Katie evolving. After the shock of learning what had happened to me and what likely caused it, I knew that I had to make some changes, or else nothing would change and this would happen again.
So change I did. Radically. Drastically. I lived in denial for quite a while. I ignored feelings of discontent. I buried feelings of ‘warning’. I focused on what others needed instead of what I undoubtedly needed.
Eventually, it stopped being so easy to ignore the feelings. Eventually, I had to see my life for what it was, not what it looked like through rose colored glasses.
Seeing my life for what it was was… hard. It was like sitting in the dark for hours and having someone suddenly turn on the light. Sure, it’s light. Sure, you can see. But you close your eyes because it’s so painful until you can adjust to it.
So, I’m adjusting. I’m learning a new normal now. My days are comfortably filled with a combination of work, ‘me’ time, quality time with my family and friends, and staying active. I can be honest and tell people how I’m really feeling. I’m experiencing a lot of new feelings that I haven’t felt in a long time. Some of them don’t feel so good. I’ve buried a lot of gross feelings that I haven’t wanted to feel for a while.
But some of the feelings? They’re amazing.
Connection – I’ve taken the opportunity to open up to friends and let them be there for me. I’ve let new people into my life, which is so freakin’ scary, but so great. I love being able to make a phone call, send a text, and get an instant, honest connection with someone I care about and know cares about me.
Accomplishment – I’ve lost 18 lbs. Eight. Teen. Pounds. Since I’ve been peeing like crazy, I know a lot has been water weight. But at the same time, I see a major difference in my clothes. I don’t really have a weight loss goal since losing weight isn’t really something I’m trying to do. But getting stronger comes with losing weight, so I see pounds lost as strength gained.
Endorphins – I’m always on the hunt for a workout that I actually like. Friends, I’ve found Zumba. Oh. My. God. Amazing. I love Zumba for the first 15 minutes. For the remainder 35, I look at my classmates and we all make the faces of pure torture because Zumba is fun, but Zumba is hard. But afterward? I almost cry out of happiness. The endorphins kick in and for the next few hours, I feel incredible.
Endurance- I am a product of what has happened to me, but what has happened to me doesn’t define me. I could easily be in bed right now sleeping, taking off of work, opting out of plans with friends, and blame it on ‘going through a hard time’ and people would totally understand. I’m not doing that, though. I’m getting up every day. I’m going to work. I’m working out. I’m eating well. I’m dealing with my emotions. It’s a whole lot of work, but I know that 6 months, a year, two years from now, I’ll look back on this period of my life and remember it as a time of intense work and soul shaking realization.
Some days really suck. Sometimes I want to reach through the phone and hug my dad. I want to play an endless game of Hand and Foot with my grandmother. I want to go back to when things were comfortable. Comfortable is great, but in a lot of ways, comfortable was in no way healthy for me and it was my own way of tricking myself into thinking I was happy.
I was quite comfortable eating horrible food. I was quite comfortable choosing to sit and watch crime dramas all day instead of getting even a little active. I was comfortable being the strong rock, and never showing weakness. I became so comfortable in being unhealthy physically and emotionally that I tricked myself into thinking I was okay.
DING DONG. WRONG.
The last month has been filled with harsh truths, tough conversations, raw emotion, and letting go. It has also been filled with self love, strengthening friendships, making new connections, and crystal clear realizations.
This is a hard journey. But I have the absolute best people in my corner, pushing me harder, not letting me give up, and reminding me of my strengths. I have no idea how people do this alone. I’m so thankful that I don’t have to ever know what it’s like to do it alone.
And it makes me feel good to hear things like this from friends:
“You earned this support. You deserve this support. I will always be there for you. I don’t care what you do, how hard you fall. Fuck, you’ve caught me thousands of times. It’s not that I was waiting for you to fall, but I’m glad I can reciprocate. That’s what love is all about. I’m sorry that you’ve had mixed experiences with this. But this is the real thing. Welcome to unconditional love. Enjoy your stay.”