Busy is the new Happy

Know how when you try not to think of something, that ends up being the only thing you can think about?

That’s pretty much how my weekend ended up.

I keep thinking about everything that happened & didn’t happen. I miss him & still love him. Even have thought I have seen him a few times only to take a second look and it ends up being someone slightly similar. I know it is over but it still hurts.

I decided to get out of the house and do something rather than just wallowing in missing Mr Man. Distraction action!

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Spent some time at the beach. Starting my list of things I want to do… although not sure what the time frame is, this summer/before I start trying to find the next relationship? Also discovered that most of the time, if there is something I want to do, I just do it. No need to wait for a list. Which is pretty awesome. In fact some of the things I thought of and added to the list Friday, already happened this weekend! Checking off already! List to come soon.

Tossed the cheap pedometer that wasn’t counting steps any better than if I was trying to mentally count them. You get what you pay for sometimes. Turned out the FitBit Ones were on sale so back to a real deal I can trust. Goal is each day get more steps than the day before. This weekend though, I just focused on getting thru the days.

Attended group therapy (always interesting) & am looking forward to getting up with a friend there & possibly helping her with a resume. (old HR skills come in handy) Also learned of a yoga group that meets for the new moon that sounds incredible that I may join her for.

Accepted an invitation to a Kentucky Derby party & actually placed a bet on a horse.  Samraat didn’t win, but he/she came pretty close. Still proud. Ended up figuring out that the floppy hats got tossed during the purge, so had to make due with my trusty mouse ears.

Met up with a few friends after that downtown for the Port City Comedy Fest Top Comic Finals. We all could use a few laughs. Pleasantly surprised by some of the talent there. Definitely going to have to check out the local stand up scene more often. Still as I sat there, I just kept thinking how much I want to crawl in my bed and be held. I laughed, but sadness was still there. So when the contest was over & it was time to go dancing, I bid everyone a good night & headed home. Just didn’t feel like dancing & certainly didn’t feel like dampening their mood.

Woke up & hit the beach again. Sadness and missing Mr Man more and more. What do I stumble on while trying to park? TWO BRIDES. Dagger to the heart. Ended up tossing the towel a long distance away from the weddings and enjoyed soaking up some sun & listening to the waves.

Next up was to finally check out the crystal shop that I have been thinking about going to for a while now. They had a TON of stones that were just beautiful. Some that I really wanted to come home with me, but were beyond my meager means. Discovered some crystals I hadn’t even heard of. Before I went I thought about getting something to help with meditation & something to alleve this miserable muggy fog about me lately. Maybe a rose quartz or new amethyst to charge. Maybe something grounding to help ease the emotional wreck I have been lately. I was surprised by the selection & had two stones that I just couldn’t leave behind.

This stunning auralite 23 and blue fluorite!

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Smitten kitten. I basically just want to hold them forever. As soon as I got them home & sat feeling their energy, I felt peace. The tears stopped and I felt calm.

Both are healing stones and help with insights and growth.

Funny enough as I was leaving, the expert who was selling the stones mentioned that the blue fluorite was also called the student’s stone because it was excellent in helping to focus the mind. PERFECT. After the troubles this semester, I certainly needed this boost. Sometimes it seems the stones pick you.

As I held the auralite, I could almost feel a pulse emanating from it. Just a really beautiful, powerful crystal! It’s energy is inspiring & comforting. Yes I am in love.

Alas I had to separate from my new rock star friends for a few because I had agreed to another event & I was making myself go. Now is not the time to slip back into the staying home and avoiding crowds tendencies and this one promised to be a crowd.

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There was a rally downtown to support keeping the local film industry here. State politicians are threatening to end the incentives given to lure productions to the state and without them, the jobs will be lost to the 44 other states that DO offer incentives. Wilmington is a HUGE productions town, in fact a movie was being filmed in a restaurant just a few blocks up from the rally. Many people here benefit from the various TV shows, commercials, music videos & films being produced here. From the families that directly work in production to the people who serve them when they take a break, it all helps the local economy. To lose it would greatly impact the character and life of this city. Simply put FILM = JOBS & we need them here.

Attending the rally was inspiring but also exhausting. Sensory overload and a lot of people.  Still no panic attack & no need for a klonapin to get me through, which is a major plus. In fact I didn’t have to deal with any panic attacks or feel the need to pop klonapin to avoid them all weekend. I’m dealing and even if I haven’t a clue what is next or how to make life better at the moment, I’m healing.

Just got to get over this aching and back to better days.

Maybe tomorrow will be the day I wake and everything feels better.

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the 5k or rather the 20,000

First I want to thank you.

Anyone who reads this blog gets a big thank you & a hug if that is your thing.  Because knowing I wanted to post good news pushed me on as far as I could.

Also really grateful for good friends who I texted the day before in a panic wondering why I ever thought this was a good idea to sign up for.  Driving to Charlotte had a mini break down.  I wasn’t ready.  I didn’t train like I wanted to or really hardly at all.  I don’t do races.  I don’t run.  I don’t have any business faking it in a mass of people who are athletes.  The rhino will never be a unicorn.

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BUT I paid for it.  I said I was going to do it.   I had to go.  At least go.

So even though the day had ups of being excited & downs of pure fear, I went.

I had to at least go & see what it was all like.  Just sounded like so much fun.  A 5k at night with lights & sounds and who knows what kind of fun along the way followed by a party.  There was a tee with my name on it that I paid for and at the very least I had to pick it up.

I expected heat.  I expected bugs.  I even expected to be sore the next day.  I expected lots of people.  What I never expected was just how many people!

Twenty thousand people.

TWENTY THOUSAND PEOPLE
in one place.

Me & that pesky agoraphobia in a massive crowd that just kept growing.

Thankfully I planned ahead & brought support.  Along with the right shoes, socks, clothes, I packed my meds.  Even before I parked I had prepped myself with a klonapin.  I wanted this to be about physically pushing myself.  Never did I expect this many people.  It became more a mental challenge than physical very early on.  Still I decided I would go as far as I could.

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Got my registration packet (with that tee!) and my race bib was pinned on.  At first I tried my best not to look around, but that was impossible.  There were some very interesting costumes and outfits.   Also as much as I strive not to compare myself to others, I noticed that even though there were plenty of very athletic looking slim people warming up, there were also a lot of people who seemed to be nervous and carrying more weight than me.  Noticed that some had the typical running gear you expect.  Others seemed like just just walked up & decided to join in the fun last minute.  Jeans.  Heels (ok those were promo girls passing out an energy drink sample… but my mouth dropped for a moment thinking they were going to do the course in heels.).  Masks.  All sorts of looks gathered.  And gathered.  And gathered.

I zoned out as much as possible.  Texted friends.  Googled random stuff.  The line up shoot started filling so I made my way there to wait.  I made sure to go to one side and lean on the railing.  It made me feel like there was open space.

Space in the starting area just kept getting smaller and smaller.  The music helped.  I focused on lyrics and memories.  Reminded myself that I could do this even if part of me completely was calling bullshit on that thought.

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They announced that Charlotte was turning out to be more than any other race they had done before.  The largest group they had gathered before was  13,000.  People celebrated the 20,000.  It was announced over and over.  While it was great news to most, it was terrifying to me.  It made this all way more challenging than I ever imagined.

I wanted to run.  Not so much the race, but away from it all.

There was a moment where I stood paralyzed up against the railing. Every fiber in me wanted to run… to the car & drive as far as fast as I could but my body was frozen. Scared to move. Turning around I knew would cause me to see the increasing crowd that was even larger than the mass of people in front of me. Going forward wasn’t an option because no one could get thru yet. Thru the railing was an option I considered because I knew I couldn’t go over without falling or taking it down with me. I was too unsteady to clear it in anything remotely considered graceful.  Thru was my only choice but it would be close. Too close. Afraid that I would get part way thru my escape and be stuck didn’t sound like an option. As freaked as I was drawing any more attention would only cause even more panic & the results would not be pretty. My only method of surviving was maintain. Stay still. Right where I was. Breath deep and try to focus on the music, the cell phone, camera, anything but the surge of strangers engulfing the area as far as I could see ahead & surely behind.

I hit a point where I knew I had to try.

Thankfully the race started and they started letting groups of a thousand at a time go.  I was in the third wave.  Not sure I would have gone if I had to wait longer than that but some how moving forward helped.  I rationalized that the closer I got to the front, the easier it would be to get out of the mass of people to head back to the car.

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Closer I got the more I talked myself through what would happen if I did leave.  Had to at least see some of the sights.

So I used the adrenaline from that loathed fight or flight response to push me on.

When it came time, instead of heading back away from the track – I pushed forward with the pack.

Even though there were unexpected hills and I felt as though I were in a stampede most of the time, I FINISHED.

The ENTIRE 5k I FINISHED.

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I wasn’t the first to finish.  I didn’t run it. I didn’t track my time (forgot to make sure my FitBit was charged so went unplugged without the pedometer).

Also I wasn’t the last to finish.  I didn’t stop.  I didn’t get hurt and I ENJOYED seeing everything and being able to make it to the end.

There was a point where I just let go & went with it.

Part of it was meds, but I know from experience sometimes even those don’t completely help.  Sometimes all you can do is get away from the situation and the people.  I fought through to being okay and focusing on me.  My goal of doing this.

Physically there were a few times I wondered if this was smart idea.  I had no idea how far I was or how much more there was to go.  The map I looked at before was gone from my memory and I didn’t see any real posted distances.

It was towards the end that I started to wonder if anyone had ever died attempting a 5k.  How embarrassing would that be to have me die on a 5k track!  I didn’t feel that bad, but I was starting to feel my body again.  Certainly was noticing how it would have been nice to have my legs & feet used to the distance.  As if on que someone mentioned to their running buddy that they were almost done.  “Just a little over half a mile left go to.”  SWEET!  It was then that I knew I could and would finish this.  I started to feel pride instead of fear.

The sky above seemed to sparkle just a bit brighter.

Getting to the finish line and then seeing the party was truly surreal.

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There may or may not have been a couple of tears in my eyes as it sank in that I did it.  I still am extremely proud.

Wanted to call my Mom & tell her.  Knew she would be proud of me for being there and pushing myself in so many ways.

Seemed fitting that when I got back in my car to leave, the first thought I had was of her voice saying like she had so many times “Well, would you do it again?”.  I had heard her say that phrase so many times.  After things she was proud of me doing and also after things she really didn’t think were great choices.  Perfect.

My answer this time…. Absolutely.

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Scary as it was, it was worth it.

As someone said – Go Big or Go Home.

Pretend you are there… (super short clips of some of the sights & sounds)

The Start

Loops

Umbrellas

Rainbow Row

Bubble Tunnel

Party

Party and

more Party

Best laid plans

always seem to go stray…

At least in my life.

Yesterday started entirely too early for me.  I was wide awake before the sun, which rarely happens & felt great.  So I got up, made some coffee & decided that today would be the day I started moving things into the storage unit.

Also had a photo shot on the Artic Sunrise, a Greenpeace boat that was visiting town & was docked along the Cape Fear river.

but I found myself called away to visit with friends & watch snow flakes fall… yet again in the city that shuts down at the first sight of snow, yet carries on during any hurricane less than a category 3.

I found comfort in conversation.

After wards the productivity fells away from me like the soft white puffs drifting from the sky.  No sense in trying to move anything on icy roads, so I decided to watch movies in bed for the rest of the day.

Unfortunately my choice in movies turned out to be less comforting.

Some how I picked the one that chilled me to the bone worse than any wind ever could.  Seemed harmless enough, but one that just hit way too close home to ever have imagined.  Memories pushed back flooded into my soul.

Maybe the hurt heals.  Maybe it just reminds us to be careful & trust instincts.  Maybe it just stays to keep us strong.  Either way I’ve had my dose.

My early morning turned into a late night followed by even less sleep after awaking from several night terror episodes from which I at 30 I still fought to keep from going back to sleep after .  Why I didn’t just pop one of the medications to numb & sedate, I can’t say.

Truth is maybe we need to feel the pain once in a while.  Maybe its the only way to get it out of our systems.  Scabs must fall to reveal the scars that strengthen the wounds.

So this weekend I feel.

Shaken.  but bold.

I got up.

Got out & got the photos of the boat.

I got the groceries & realized the exhaustion.  Emotionally & physically.  Plans can wait.

I got back in bed & brought on the distractions of more movies.

The difference today is the monsters will look like monsters.  The music will cue the suspense & the screams will come from the victims.

My mother doesn’t get why I like to watch scary movies.  But sometimes its a relief.  Shows that there are worse things in the world.  More than that I find comfort in the endings.  The evil looks evil.  Typically in the end there is closure.  There is usually a hero or heroine who wins their struggle & is stronger in the end for the battle they waged. Forever changed but stronger in the end.

So no recipes to post.

No update on the renovations.

Just personal healing & hope that things do get to feeling easier again.

& hope that by posting this, others who go through similar weekends know they aren’t alone in their struggle.  I know I’m not the only one.

… and yes tonight I will be sedated.  We all need sleep.