Saturday, December 20, 2014

Confessional

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

42 comments:

  1. *Hugs* Katie. You are one of the sweetest people I "know." I know how hard it is to lose someone really close to you, and I'm glad you're feeling better.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad you reached out to your teammates. It is hard to lose someone and yes you will have in your head all the would have/should have/could have thoughts going around in your head but at the time, you did what you thought was right when it came to Mark. I think you learned so much from Mark, as did your boys, and for that, you will be forever grateful. The first year is always the hardest - I know because my Dad passed away suddenly when I was 32 years old and he was 77 years old. Thankfully, I always told him I loved him, and in what turned out to be our last conversation on the phone, I told him I loved him. I also felt at times how could people just go on but I knew my Dad would never want me to stop living my life. I had a new normal after he died - holidays, my birthday, his birthday, Father's Day, Veteran's Day (he was in the US Army for 32 years), anniversary of his death and Mother's Day because he passed away Mother's Day weekend of 2002.

    Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry about your dad. I'm 32 now, and I can't imagine how difficult that would be! I do think Mark felt the love when he was dying, and for that, I'm grateful.

      Delete
  3. Hi Katie......don't let your anxiety and depression get the best of you. 5 years ago I had a complete breakdown after a very close uncle died. I stopped eating and thought for sure I was dying of some sort of cancer. I had every test possible and ended up in the emergency room sobbing and not knowing what to do. They finally diagnosed me with depression and anxiety. It took me months of therapy and I continue to take medication to this day. I am glad you are aware so that you do not spiral completely downward. There is always hope! Please find the courage to go to a mental health professional to help you. As much as people want to help it isn't always possible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry you went through all that! I do see a doctor for my depression/anxiety, and take medication for it, but sometimes (like this year) it just gets really bad.

      Delete
  4. Thank you for sharing, I experienced anxiety for the first time of my life this year. It is such a scary feeling! Reading your words reminds me that I am not alone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's very scary! I'm always reminding myself that it will get easier.

      Delete
  5. I am glad you are getting back to normal. It is such a struggle to do. I have lost a hand full of people who are close to me, and the first one is the worst. You have no idea how you handle and process grief. Although each loss is different. I lost my best friend at the age of 19 and we had been friends since we were 5. As an only child she was the closest thing I have ever had to a sister, aside from some amazing friends now. I went through the same feelings of wondering how the world can go on...how people can be happy. Feeling guilty about being happy and doing things that make me happy and without her. I have been in your shoes too. And it just takes time to heal. And you do neglect friends or you hold on too tight. But if they are true friends, as it sounds like yours are, they will understand and love you as you work through this.

    Welcome back and keep healing at your own pace. Grief and love never end. But the love ends up outweighing the grief. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry about your best friend. My friend Sarah and I have been best friends since we were infants, and I can't even imagine how difficult it would be to lose her so young! I've certainly learned who my "true friends" are through this experience--I've got some really great ones! :)

      Delete
  6. Katie, I hope you know just how inspirational you are. I can't imagine how difficult it is for you to talk about things you do daily let alone how you're feeling but you do it with such grace. You said you didn't want this post to be a "confessional" but hopefully writing about how you've been feeling is cathartic and that you feel as supported by your readers as we feel from you. Thank you for being real...you have no idea how much that's appreciated.
    Bridgette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Bridgette! It's hard to post such personal things, but as you can see from the comments, it really does help to realize I'm not so alone!

      Delete
  7. hugs to you Katie, I can totally relate, however on different ground, my recluse/depressed 'always say no' came from being locked in 'diet-hell-prison' where I was so afraid i might not be able to resist a temptation and veer off plan.. I am slowly rekindling life, and all my broken relationships, and am really realizing all that I lost in those years, and I too, as you described fall easily and quick into wanting to 'say no' but I try hard not to do that.
    Just know your not alone, and im thankful for your letting this stuff out, it shows me im not alone, and even tho different specifics we battle the same life
    way to go you living again lady! you ROCK and you are a TRUE inspiration, even the 'downs' and/or 'struggles' are inspiring, I KNOW nobody is perfect and SO MANY bloggers try to ONLY post the 'prefect' side, I like knowing there is a down-side too..
    Keep up the GREAT blogging

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dawny, I can understand that "diet hell prison" as well! There were a few times in my weight loss that I started to fall into that trap, and it was hard not to do it. It's really difficult to keep everything balanced. I'm glad that you're on the mend!

      Delete
  8. I am sorry you were feeling so down. I am glad you are starting to feel better. I am glad you had people to reach out to, that is so important. *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm so glad that I have them as well. I always feel better after talking about things!

      Delete
  9. Hugs to you. I'm so sorry this year has been difficult. Praying for happy times and less of a struggle with the depression. You are such an inspiration to so many of us!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Laura! I really hope that 2015 has some great things in store ;) I'm glad that things are looking up for me now, too.

      Delete
  10. Hey it was the best run I had in a while too! Thanks for saying yes Katie!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh Katie--I feel your pain. I have so much remorse over the months that my Dad was in hospice back in 2006-07, and I was his primary caregiver. I wish I had been more sympathetic, because even though I tried not to show it, I was very resentful. I always had a smile on my face, but even in his pain medication affected brain, Dad knew. He never lost his faculties and I knew he sensed how I felt. I would get in there, do what needed to be done and rarely stop to just visit for a moment. Sometimes I think my own Du's cancer (the same stuff-Prostate) is God's punishment for my lack of empathy when my Dad was going through it all. At least it taught me something. I have pledged myself to be loving, giving and compassionate no matter how bad it gets with Du. That's all we can do. I'm trying so hard to make sure I have no regrets later. I know I will have some. Like sometimes when I walk by him, and don't give him a hug and a kiss, I KNOW there will come a time when I will wish he was still there to show affection to. That just scares the bejesus out of me. Sounds like you are coming out of your funk. It takes time. You are doing what you need to do now, once again embracing friends and the help they are offering. Good Luck Katie and may 2015 be the best year ever for all of us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pam, I'm so sorry that you feel remorse over your dad's death. I'm sure he knew how much you loved him. And of course Du knows you love him! Please don't think that Du's cancer was a punishment for lack of empathy with your dad. I honestly don't believe that God works that way. Maybe your remorse over your dad is God's way of making you extra-compassionate with Du as he battles cancer. He's lucky to have you. xo

      Delete
  12. Sending thoughts of comfort and continued strength to send you forward Katie...know that healing is a continual process...

    I can only hope that as a reader I can be of some help, as you've helped me more than you'll ever know...

    Peace for you in 2015,
    Kimberly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kimberly! It helps just to write about this stuff, honestly. I appreciate the comment :)

      Delete
  13. Glad to hear that you reached out to your team mates. I know how hard it is a reach for help or speak up when you are struggling with depression and anxiety.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's very difficult, but I'm glad I did it--they are fantastic! :)

      Delete
  14. Glad you are starting to feel more normal! I can sense the relief in your post! Have a Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kay! I wish you a Merry Christmas as well!

      Delete
  15. Katie, I am so glad you have such amazing friends!
    I've lost my fair share of people. My grandpa, who was my father figure, died when I was 11 and I still remember sobbing, screaming and feeling numb. I couldn't understand how my friends were laughing and joking around when the most wonderful person in the world was gone. My husband and I lost our baby girl, Elliana, 4 years ago and it was the same thing. Thankfully, my mom drug me out of bed, put me in the shower and got me out of the house. I still cry for my baby but I know she is in a better place than this world!

    It gets better with time and good friends! I cried when Mark died because I knew how heartbroken you were. Keep letting your friends love on you! I have a picture of our baby on our mantle. I bought a Christmas ornament that reminds me of her and have it hanging on the picture from.

    Take care and Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm SO sorry for your loss--both of your grandpa and your daughter. I cannot even begin to imagine losing a child. It sounds like you have some great people in your life. Thank you for sharing. xo

      Delete
  16. Katie, My mom died last January and I can totally relate. She was also my first death of someone closest to me. Please know that you're normal. I'm glad you are feeling like things are getting back to normal. take care and have a good Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leah, I'm so sorry about your mom. How awful! Take care this Christmas. xo

      Delete
  17. I hear you on all of this. In August my best friend's dad died of cancer. I flew out of state to be with the family during the funeral process and it was incredibly draining, before and afterwards. In November, a good friend from elementry school's mom also died from cancer. I hadn't seen her in years, but It was alot to take after the first death. 4 days later, a good friend I had known since 7th grade died in her sleep from a heart condition related to carrying her daugher 4 years ago. We knew her life expectancy would be shorter because of the condition, but I don't know- I just didn't realize it would be a "here today, gone tomorrow" scenario. I thought there would be more of a warning. I would describe all of it as horrendous.

    I've struggled with anxiety and depression for years, and had great difficult leaving the house at all after my ex and I split up- for months. I wouldn't have left at all had it not been for therapy appointments. It was really, really bad. I didn't shower for a month or longer. (Also, gross). This time around I have gotten really needy and super social. I'm out at any time, with anyone who wants to go out. Living in a place where downtown is called "Barmuda" (yeah, think on that...) staying out and drinking all the time is pretty normalized, but also not normal for me. I stopped reading blogs and I frankly had stopped blogging until I read your comment on my blog Katie, and then I thought- oh, people actually care how this story turns out! I sat and blogged through October after that. It was nice. I wish I had blogged about my races sooner so I didn't get the details so confused!

    Now everybody has left for the holidays and I'm alone in this college town. I'm doing pretty good (actually, I have the flu, so that's pretty consuming), but Im thinking on my grief alot. I dunno. I just wanted to say, I relate. Shutting out, tuning out, isolating, feeling crappy, not understanding how people can just forget- and yet, why people can't just let me forget so I stop feeling bad all the time.

    The day my friend died, another friend came over to "baby sit" me, and when she picked me up I tried to make a joke when I got in the car, and she didn't respond. She just reached over and hugged me. And I couldn't hold it- I cried and cried and cried. I was grateful she acknowledged that I was hiding it, but also angry because I didn't want to feel bad and she was making me tune in.

    :/

    Deep sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Emily, I'm so sorry for all you've been going through! When I first read your story about your break-up, I was stunned. I have no idea how I would handle something like that. I'm glad you continued blogging! Blogging has helped me a LOT over the past 14 years (yes, 14 YEARS--crazy, right?). It sounds like you have great friends, which is so important. Hugs! xo

      Delete
  18. Speaking from experience, depression and anxiety are two things I would never wish on someone else. The combination is, at times, extremely overwhelming and can seem endless. I'm so happy for you that you are feeling like yourself again. Sending hugs to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Overwhelming and endless is a great description! This year has been both, and it's very difficult. But I'm finally starting to feel like things are looking up. Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  19. I am glad you are feeling better and letting other people 'in'. Friends can truly be a help and it is so easy to turn away instead of embrace them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lori! It's definitely easier to become a hermit, but I wish I'd reached out sooner. I have some great friends!

      Delete
  20. Oh Goodness, I completely know how you feel. I lost my mom December 2012 and my dad 9 weeks later. Losing Mark must have been extremely hard on you and I am sorry for that, truly, but think of how much richer his life was to have you in it! Your pain is an indication that he was loved well. One of the things that struck me most about your post was the "coulda-woulda-shoulda" comment. I was in grief counseling for about a year after my parents died. One of the things my counselor told me was that, in the absence of control, we feel guilt. Guilt over anything and everything. I have had that running through my mind since she uttered the words and swear it is the thing that has kept me partially sane. I hope it helps keep the guilt a little bit at bay for you, it really can eat you up. The first year is the most difficult, for sure and I am glad that you are finding your new normal.

    ReplyDelete
  21. So i've read your blog for awhile (and I actually went to the beginning and read to current when I first started b/c I'm weird) and I didn't start commenting until recently. However, I have been thinking about how you didn't post about the wine club or things like you used to. Grief is not short lived and it does take having lost a close loved one to really understand what that is like. I am sorry you've gone through this, but am glad you've got love and support, even if you want to be alone sometimes. You gave Mark so many blessings and while we feel like we could always do more, he was blessed by your love and friendship.

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)