So I haven’t posted in a while and I’ve been telling myself that I’m just too busy, or too tired, or too… I don’t know. Something. But the fact is that I just have so much I want to write about that I get overwhelmed and shut down.
So to play a little catch up, here’s what’s going on.
I got Shingles over my son’s spring break. While my parents were here. While my husband was not. While we were supposed to go to the zoo and the museum and do all the things that you’re supposed to do over vacation when your parents are here and your little one is out of school.
Spoiler alert: I did them all, but in excruciating pain. Sometimes I just had to stop whatever I was doing and stand there and cry. There was literally nothing else to do. I couldn’t take pain medicine because all the pain medicines that are specifically made for nerve pain have negative interactions with either my anti-depressants or my anti-anxiety medication, and, well, stopping those is not an option right now.
I could have gotten an anti-viral, but I waited too long and it wouldn’t have been effective. I’m too young for the vaccine, too, so we’re checking with my insurance to see if I can even get it yet. Since I’ve already had it, my doctor is advocating on my behalf to the insurance company to try to get them to make an exception, as you generally have to be over 50 for your insurance to cover the cost.
So, I pressed on. I went to my nutritionist. I went to my therapist. I sang in the Good Friday service at my church. I walked 9,000 steps at the zoo and 7,000 steps at the Marbles Kids Museum. I went to work. And I cried. Fairly frequently. And pressed on. I did not reach most of my step goals. I did not meal plan. But, I also didn’t eat much because funny thing, pain minimizes hunger (at least for me, anyway).
When the pain started to turn to itch, I pressed on a little more. I swapped mayo for avocado, butter for olive oil, beef burgers for black bean burgers, bagels for bagel thins, honey wheat bread for whole-grain sandwich thins. I filled up my grocery cart with 1% milk and fresh fruit and frozen veggies and cried at the checkout when the itch turned back to pain. (The cashier had a great amount of compassion, tell you what.)
I’m going to have to back up here by about a month-ish before I continue. There were some things going on in my life back several weeks ago when I hit a massive trigger. Abuse flashbacks. Depression. Despair. Darkness.
Bad suicidal thoughts.
Suicidal thoughts so severe that I almost went to the hospital.
Suicidal thoughts so severe that my husband took control of my anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds so that I wouldn’t take them all and overdose. Suicidal thoughts so severe that it’s been a month-ish and he still hasn’t given them back.
My therapist almost called 911 in the middle of our session one day but decided to call my husband instead to update him. She made me agree to check in with her 5 times a day.
When my husband had to work late, a friend from church had to come over and dole out my meds and sit with me to make sure I wasn’t alone.
Fast forward to present day, out of the pit of despair and into the pain of Shingles.
A few days ago, I saw my nutritionist again and she was thrilled at the progress I was making. Knowing about my depression from the last visit, she asked me what my thoughts were on why I was still so encouraged when everything seemed to be falling apart.
“Honestly,” I told her, “I think it’s because I showed up.”
When the depression and suicidal thoughts were at their worst, I still tried my hardest to meet my step goals. When I thought I wanted to die more than I wanted to lose weight, I still went to my nutritionist appointment. When I got Shingles and it hurt to move, I went to the zoo anyway.
I showed up.
This is my year. This is my time. This is my turn to get healthy, lose weight, meet my goals, prioritize self-care. This is my year.
If I have to cry through depression while walking on the treadmill, then I’ll cry on the treadmill.
If I have to meal plan through itching and scarring from a virus I can’t control, then I will meal plan through itching and scarring.
If I have to go to my nutritionist and say, “I did 0% of what you told me I needed to do this week,” I’m still going to go to the appointment.
I’m going to show up.