Saturday, December 20, 2014


Last night was so fun! I hadn't been to my wine club meetings all year... mainly because I've been battling with my depression/anxiety SO much this year. I haven't written much about it on my blog, because it's so personal, and even one hurtful comment can really upset me, but I've been in a bad funk ever since Mark died. I'm not blaming Mark's death for causing it; but Mark was the closest person to me that I've ever lost, and I had no idea just how tough it was going to be.

I've been carrying around this guilt about all the things I feel I could have/should have done before he died. I never really wrote about his funeral or the details surrounding his death, and someday, maybe I will; but for now, I've just been dealing with all of the coulda-shoulda-woulda statements floating through my head.

 I sort of turned into a hermit this year, even though I may not have shown it here on my blog. I attended a few blogger events, and went on a few trips--but aside from those, I spent a lot of time alone. I neglected my friends, and I think that was partly because I couldn't understand how everyone could go on as if nothing had happened (in their world, nothing had happened). I didn't realize it before Mark died, but I think everyone probably feels that way when someone close to them dies; they feel the world has crashed down around them, and nobody should be happy.

My friend John called me when Mark died, and he understood very much what I was feeling. He said I was probably wondering how people could be so happy when Mark just died. And that, for example, how people could post such positive status updates on Facebook like nothing had happened, when I'd want to scream, "Mark just died! How can you be happy?!"

Talking with him made me feel a little better; or at least not alone. He said that pretty much everyone has those thoughts when someone close to them dies. Since I had never lost someone very close to me, I never really understood it. But the whole point is, due to my depression and anxiety, I was having a hard time being "normal".

A little over a month ago, I was feeling exceptionally down, and I told my Sole Mates Ragnar team about it. They're my "safe place" when I really need to talk. The next day, Dean asked if I wanted to get together for a run or lunch the following Wednesday. Immediately, I wanted to tell him "no", and come up with some excuse (not because I don't like Dean, but because I'd become used to saying no to everything). But I thought about how awesome it was that he reached out to me. When I told my team about how I was feeling, it wasn't to get sympathy or anything like that; I just really wanted to talk about it. Before I could change my mind, I told Dean yes, that going for a run would be great.

As promised, Dean drove nearly an hour to go for a run with me, and it ended up being really great to run with him. I started to feel like I wanted to get back to my "normal" self. That run with Dean was when I started to feel things change.

I started setting goals again, and making plans with friends. I tried to stop thinking about how my weight is over goal, and started thinking about a new beginning--that I could get back to goal before it got totally out of hand. I went out to dinner with my friend Renee, and I felt a million times better after that. She was one of the friends I'd neglected all year, and the guilt of that was eating me up inside. I apologized for being absent, and when I left the restaurant that evening, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

Yesterday, Renee asked me if I wanted to drive to her house, and then ride with her to Winers; that felt so normal. I'm sure she didn't think twice about it, but to me, it made me feel like things are really okay again. I had NO intentions of turning this post into such a confessional--but going to Winers last night made me feel like things are finally back to normal (or getting there, at least).

I drove over to Renee's, and gave her a birthday present (her birthday was earlier this month) before we left. Our friend Robin rode with us as well. We arrived at Shawna's (she was hosting), where I saw some more friends that I hadn't seen in a long time (probably since the last time I went to Winers--maybe a year ago?). It was really great chatting with everyone!

I'd planned on having just 8 oz. of wine, and no food. It was a little bit tough, because Shawna had some yummy snacks out. She had some mixed berries, so I ate some of those, and tried to pretend I didn't see the chocolate truffles ;) We sat and chatted for a while in front of the fireplace.

We had a white elephant gift exchange, which is always fun. Normally, when I think of "white elephant", I think of really ridiculous, crappy, but funny gifts. But as I learned in the past, the Winers girls always bring "nice" gifts for our white elephant exchange. The girls will find something nice around the house they don't want, and wrap it up. So this year, I played along with that theme--I brought the iFit Active activity monitor. I'd worn it for a few weeks, but I still preferred my Fitbit. Jessica had been talking about getting an activity monitor, so I thought that she'd probably really want the iFit Active.

Jessica, Renee, Stephanie, and I are running buddies, and it's tradition for us to take a picture together; Renee had just gotten an iPhone 6+ (which is huge) so she managed to get a "selfie" picture of all of us.

Renee, Steph, Jessica, and me
The gift I ended up with was pretty fun! A mix of naughty and nice ;)

A cookbook with recipes that use wine, a really nice-smelling candle, a couple of wine bottle gift bags, some cheese labels, a "ball sack" with a couple of golf balls (bahaha! I'm going to use this for a white elephant gift on Tuesday...), and a book called, "203 Ways to Drive a Man Wild in Bed" ;)  I sent Jerry a picture of the book cover, and he said, "Make sure you keep that gift!!" Hahaha.

I was really tempted to eat all kinds of chocolate while I was there, but I managed not to eat anything but some fruit. I really enjoyed spending time with my friends, and I'm so glad that I went!

Like I said, I never meant for this post to be such a confessional. But I am finally feeling like things are getting back to "normal", and I love that. Winers with my friends was so much fun :)

I have a lot going on the next few days, so my blogging may be sporadic. But I sincerely hope that you all have a fantastic holiday! XOXO