Day 21: Celebrations, Creativity and Radiance

dandelionToday marks the last day of my 21-day adventure, and therefore I am choosing to honor me. I am celebrating making a plan and sticking with it, and truly committing to find my joy and radiance, even on the rough days. I am celebrating writing about this journey on my blog; sharing my ups and downs with my daughters and investing in me, so I can be the role model they deserve.

Most days it was easy to find multiple things to celebrate, and other days it was tougher. Some days, it was hard to write, not because I didn’t have anything to say, but because I was too tired to have perfect word-smithing. Although I didn’t want to, I wrote anyway, accepting that my writing would be subpar, and that is ok. Other days I found myself racing to the computer at the strangest times to jot everything down before the muse of creativity yet once again slipped away. As I mentioned before, I have learned to take full advantage of those moments. Bringing back creativity through this small piece of writing and even in my art classes has been the most amazing gift I have given to myself.

A lot of times I wait until the quite of night to gather my thoughts to write, which wasn’t always ideal when extreme tiredness set in. I started this post, however, yesterday after my drive to school with my daughter. I raced into the house to jot my initial ideas and thoughts down, and then sat down this evening to put it all together. I knew that no matter what happened today, celebrating me would be the top priority.

The official first day of spring is only a few days away, and although it is snowing right now, I still feel a level of freshness and light that I haven’t felt in a long time. My body is still far away from my comfort zone weight and I still don’t know how I am going to pay rent next month, but in looking at all that I have to celebrate, I have faith that I will figure it out- I always do.

A few nights ago I found out that my dad needs to have a biopsy of his prostrate and there is a 20%  that it could be cancer. I’m trying my best not to worry about it, until there is something to worry about, but I was slammed with the reality that my parents are getting to the age where things could potentially go downhill quickly, or they could be fine for another twenty years. They have both had the fortune of good health, but faced with this prospect has opened me up to the necessity of forgiveness; not just for my parents, not just for anyone who has wronged me, but for me.

winding road

To say life is precious, or any other appropriate cliché, has deep meaning when faced with the potential of the mortality of a loved one. I know my parents may never fully understand me or support me the that I want them to, but I also know I can no longer turn to them for validation (it only took me 40 years to get there, yay). My happiness can and will not be determined by an outside source. I am the author of my story.

My life has been in an incredibly stressful place for the last year, and although I have struggled with depression, I feel lifted and freer after these 21 days of celebrations. I know that if I can pull myself out of the proverbial muck in only three weeks by appreciating one tiny thing a day, I can only imagine where I will be by next year. Facing adversity in the midst of darkness is no easy task. I know I still have a ways to go, and there will be crappy days indeed. But I am ready to take on the next phase of my adventure and look forward to where the current takes me.

With love,

Anatheia

Advertisements

Day 1: Depression, Chocolate, Yoga and Maltipoos

As I sit down at my computer tonight, I realize that I have drifted away from my main purpose of this blog. I originally set out to chronicle my journey not only as a healing process for me, but to share my vulnerability with others and remind you that it’s ok to not be ok. What has resulted is  months of paralyzing perfectionism. Writing became a chore, because I didn’t want to post anything that was less than stellar. And of course there were the images…Every post needs to have amazing copyright-free images. Believe me, this process is even more time consuming than Facebook. Then there’s the editing, re-editing and editing some more.

So tonight, I am taking a stand against my true Virgo nature and saying fuck it! The truth is I have hit a pretty low point in my depression and I am sick of feeling stuck in a dark hole. This may not be my best writing and there may be errors, but if I don’t start writing again or doing things differently, nothing will change. In fact, I’m writing this straight on WordPress and not as a safe document in Word or Pages. I will tap into my new love of photography and use my own photos or none at all. No copyright issues there. I release my perfectionism…well, for now anyway.

To catch up on my 40th year thus far:  While I have maintained my celibacy and isolation from men, I have secluded myself from other forms of fun and joy in addition. I have disconnected from friends who seemed unhealthy (which isn’t a bad thing), but at the same time have completely cut myself off from the social world. My search for a job has been met with many rejections in a variety of fields. I have been officially looking for work for a year now, with way too many versions of my resume and cover letters to count.

Food has become my numbing agent and the gym is but a distant memory. I’ve gone back to school 3/4 time to work on prerequisites for a graduate program, which I’m waiting on pins and needles to hear my fate of acceptance or rejection, and am working on a coaching program. In my spare moments, I am running kids to sports and school, dealing with teen drama and binge watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix while I step away for more chocolate intermissions than I would care to admit.

My depression has taken such ahold of me, that I have not only gained over 20 pounds, but I am lethargic, out of shape and mopey. This is not who I am. This is not what I want to model for my girls. I feel so out of touch with myself that it only makes me want to eat more chocolate. To make things worse, I am supposed to travel to Mexico with my uber weight-judgey family in 5 weeks and cram my plumper self into a bathing suit. Sigh…

As I sat on the floor trying to motivate to do something today, my incredibly sweet, fluffy and healing Maltipoo sat beside me and gave me a knowing look. She gazed at me with unconditional loving eyes and jumped up to lick my face. She didn’t care that I was overweight. She didn’t care that I have gone into serious debt or am unemployed. She saw me for love and love alone, my true essence. If she could see me this way, why can’t I? I dragged my ass up, got dressed and went to yoga for the first time in many, many moons.

I’m not going to lie, it was hard. My overweight body argued with every pose, feeling more awkward than ever. I had to constantly reign in the mean girl thoughts every time I looked in the mirror (they should really cover mirrors in yoga) and winced at this unrecognizable body. I had to constantly remind myself to be gentle when I couldn’t even hold poses or get into them comfortably. Something I’m not used to.

After all of this internal struggle, I left class feeling refreshed. Today I made the choice to leave the house and chose movement instead of napping or eating or shaming myself. And although it will take some time to feel good in my body again, I took the first step today, and that is huge.

As the day wore on, I still battled with 3pm exhaustion and emotional eating. I gave myself permission to be ok with that, and am fully aware that the one baby step of going to yoga is monumental.

And so it is that I have decided to embark on a 21-day Bringing-Myself-Back-to-Radiance Adventure. I decided to not call it a challenge, because the word challenge itself is just that, too challenging- a sure-fire set up for failure.  And why 21 days, you might ask? I don’t know, it seems to work for Deepak and Oprah. Oh and I guess there’s that whole 21 days to change a habit thing. Let’s face it- it just sounds good.

Each day I am celebrating one thing about my day and sharing it here. If I try to change everything at once, I will fail, backslide and the shame spiral will continue. If I only do something active once everyday this week, that is a start. The food can come later and I’m ok with that.

If you have ever been in this situation, I would love to hear your success stories in the comments. I would love to hear your failures. I want to hear it all and celebrate you too. This is such a challenge for women and we need to support each other in community. Being raw, vulnerable and real is my gift to me.  And so I share my adventure here- unfiltered and only re-read once for editing.

With Love,

Anatheia