I’m on a quest. An adventure riddled with obstacles and roadblocks. It’s not one of the cartoon-type adventures filled with silly looking characters who are witty and kooky and I’m not stumbling upon a treasure chest filled with gold. It’s the “Naked and Afraid” type of adventure where I’m trying to find food and water to stay alive and trying to avoid the very things that can and will kill me. In some ways I signed up for it and in other ways, it’s not at all what I want to be doing right now.
I’m generally a very happy and positive person. I try to encourage others. I try to speak softly and with empathy. I want to be pleasant to be around. I try to surround myself with reminders of how blessed I am to have this incredible life. But sometimes no matter how strong your fortress is, negativity finds a way to sneak through the back door. And that’s where I’ve been. Graciously entertaining negativity and a crew of his friends like comparison, self-doubt, jealously and depression on a daily basis.
Most of us put on a brave face for the world to see. We post the amazing places we’re traveling to or the most incredible concert shot or a perfectly staged snapshot of our picture perfect family. It’s all about perception. Only showing what you want others to see. And I’m guilty. I’m not suggesting we put on display our dirty laundry and goodness knows we tend to block those habitual complainers, but what I’ve been feeling and going through is real and raw and I can’t imagine I’m the only person in the world who has felt or is feeling this way. And if letting one of my skeletons out of the closet helps someone else to find peace or seek a resolution, then it is worth it.
I’ve been incredibly sick lately. I’ve been to numerous doctors and have had a slew of tests performed to try and figure out what’s causing my nausea and my body’s rejection of food. I’ve lost the joy of eating because I know what the outcome could and probably will be. I’ve started to find that one of the only places I am happy when I’m not living inside my head on Fantasy Island is in my bed. So I stay there for as long as possible. I wake up not wanting to get out of it and go through my day looking forward to when I’m in it again. When I am doing something else, I’m distracted. I’m checking my phone. I’m carrying on conversations with everyone but the people I’m actually with. Last Friday we were invited to dinner with friends and while I love my friends, I found myself just wanting to be alone and in bed. I was irritable. I was honestly being a brat. And as soon as I took one bite at dinner, I was sick. I found myself lying in the fetal position on the dirty bathroom floor of a restaurant. The sequence of events from last weekend was a huge wake up call for me.
None of the tests so far have given any insight into what’s going on but someone else offered a very realistic possibility. (This is a different hypothesis than my Mom’s theory that I have a parasite.) She said that it’s scientifically proven that when we carry around the weight of stress and discontent, it physically takes a toll on your body and the first system to malfunction is your digestive system. I was so vain to worry that the stress I was enduring on a daily basis would cause a few extra wrinkles that I never stopped to think how it could possibly consume and damage my insides.
And so it’s started. A road to recovery from the inside out. Rediscovering myself. Redefining who I am and what I want. Refocusing on who and what is actually worthy of my time, energy, plans and dreams. Redirecting the next five years of my life with purpose instead of a lingering question mark. And hopefully learning and accepting that letting go doesn’t equate to losing. Letting go of the things I can’t change, no matter how hard I try or how perfect I perform or how hard I love, doesn’t mean I lose. It means I start to heal my mind and my body and learn what to do to prevent myself from unlocking the door to an extremely dark and lonely place. Overcoming how I’ve been allowing myself to feel lately is a lot like overcoming an addiction and it’s going to take time and tasks and reminders and even “sponsors.”
I’ve converted our apartment into a spa zone. Last night I thoroughly cleaned, I created a motivational gallery wall, bought oil diffusers with essential oils and filled the space with instrumental music. My next step is to regulate my sleep pattern so that I go to sleep and wake up at the same time every single day. To go to bed believing I can and to wake up earlier with a zest and excitement for what’s in store. To fill the voids with droplets of positivity and to focus on everything I do have instead of what I don’t. Let it be as small as a mustard seed but if there is faith, anything can be done. Nothing changes if nothing changes, right?