Let’s try this again…

Disclaimer: This post is going to be full of real talk.

It has been forever and a day since I last posted. Or, more accurately, almost two years. The initial reason? I was finishing my Master’s Degree. I had a capstone to work on, exams to study for, and to be quite honest, ensuring I was successful with all of that, while working full time, didn’t leave time for much else. But then I graduated!

Happy Graduation day to me!

Graduation gave a short break from stress, and then life decided I’d had enough relaxation and that was the perfect time to throw a ton of unexpected stressors my way that invited a whole slew of emotions including anger, frustration, sadness and loneliness.

The most recent curveball was the end of a five-year relationship. I was making plans for a future, and apparently, he was not. Many of my friends, who were as shocked as I was, commented on how strong I was for how I dealt with everything. I felt anything but. I felt crushed and broken, the future I thought I was going to have was no more.

I pep talked my way out of bed every morning. I felt like my feet were dragging each and every day.  For a while, I stopped eating because the thought of food made me sick to my stomach. I lost a ton of weight (at least two dress sizes), and for the first time in my life I wasn’t happy about it (although even I can admit I looked fantastic). I now know what full blown anxiety feels like. Anxiety attacks became something my body was bracing for when the next one would hit. I cherished the five second reprieve I got when I first woke up in the morning and my brain had forgotten everything that was going on.

I stopped running. Initially, for good reason, I had a bad ankle sprain that wouldn’t go away. But then I visited a podiatrist, started physical therapy, was given the go ahead to start running again…and still didn’t run for five months. Since I started running that may be the longest break from physical activity that I’ve had. I don’t even know how many people told me “You NEED to exercise, it will make you feel better!” Hell, I was telling myself that. But saying that, and knowing that, is a lot easier than actually putting on my running clothes, lacing up my running shoes and going out for a run.

I threw myself into social activities, which as an introvert was draining and exhausting, but that was the point. I was too exhausted at the end of each day to deal with all the emotions swirling in my head. I dove head first back into dating, making profiles on dating apps, swiping left far more than I was swiping right. I met someone fast. Someone great. He was nice, funny, cute. We had SO MUCH in common…and I couldn’t open up. I was honest with him, I ended it, he was great about it (which made ending it that much harder). I deleted all my dating app profiles and exited the dating pool as quickly as I had entered it.

I have made some major changes to my life, and changes are still happening. It’s possible some of them were rushed, but, overall, it has been for the best. The anxiety attacks have stopped (thank goodness!) and I have finally started running again. So far it’s been about one month, I’m training for the Sole of the City 10k on April 14. Saturday I had my first 5 mile run since October. It was slow, my legs hated me, and it felt fantastic.  In the past few months I have learned so much about myself. Who I was when I entered my relationship five years ago, is not at all who I am now, in most ways for the better. My strength and resiliency throughout this whole process has shocked me. It’s taken time, and so much patience to get the point where I am finally, truly, excited to see what the future has in store for me.