Raising a LiLi is hard work. As if keeping her fed, clothed, insured, unfuckwitable, fierce with a mean RBF, clear-skinned (mostly cuz WHEW chile FCK these late 30’s) and out of jail isn’t enough, I have to deal with her emotional farts. There were a lot of those in 2019- so much so that I have her in hiding until Spring or maybe even summer of 2020.
I could go into detail about how much of a dumpster fire 2019 was and why this site has been dusty since October of last year, but I won’t. I will say that October is when all of the shit hit the fan and started splattering against the walls. Then the funk took over and instead of cleaning up the room, I set the entire house on fire. It all had to go.
One of the pivotal moments of 2019 was my first trip to the ER in June. I’ve taken and visited friends and loved ones in Emergency but I’ve never been admitted. What’s funny is a week prior I fell on my ass and so hard I was limping for almost two weeks. You think that would have been motivation for me to get checked out but nah. So, the following week I had stomach cramps that started on Saturday evening and became unbearable by Monday morning. I thought an alien life-force was eating its way through my large intestine but after all of the tests and probing, the doctors sent me home and said I was fine. Two days later, once the cramps had subsided, I received a notification to check my online chart. What I then thought was food poisoning was actually a UTI.
After that episode, I told myself I was going to start seeing a primary care doctor because I just turned 36 and hadn’t been to one since I was in my early twenties. Summer came and went and I had reneged on my promise to go to a doctor. Then the panic attacks started. They first began at the end of 2018 when I was laid off from my job. They were far and few in-between throughout the year but they started happening frequently in August. Then September when I moved into my house and was experiencing trouble at work throughout October. However, in November, I started a new job and the weight of stress was lifted (so I thought) but the panic attacks were almost every night of the week throughout the month. They only woke me out of my sleep at night and were so frequent that I feared sleeping. This is something I still fight through now but I’ve become so used to them they no longer scare me.
Don’t get me wrong- they still jolt me awake but it’s easier for me to not have this fear of death looming over my head because I finally went to a doctor and had the works done on my blood and heart and thyroid, etc. Turns out I’m 100% healthy and full of stress and/or anxiety…yay (I also see a therapist once a week). I’m supposed to do a sleep study but I think that will be pointless since I probably won’t get any sleep at the facility but whatever…I’ll go.
Now there is much less panic but I may still pop a melatonin gummy if I feel my chest pounding a bit too hard as I’m trying to drift off to sleep. That is always a telltale sign that an attack is approaching. It could very much be diet-related since I’ve done an unhealthy amount of emotional eating and carry-out within this past year. I have probably overloaded my system with a lot of MSG and sodium and it has had enough of my shit, honestly.
This whole ordeal has caused me to lean not to my own understanding and seek medical attention instead of Doctor Google. It’s been very taxing on me emotionally so the lack of sleep wore out my nerves and highlighted a lot of ways that I’ve been co-dependent and more about everyone else than myself. I haven’t been raising and tending to LiLi like I truly should. Being a single parent to myself sucks and I wanna give me up for adoption sometimes but man do I see how necessary this is.
I had to tell LiLi where she’s been lying to herself about her place in people’s lives. She didn’t wanna see the truth about certain situations but 2019 was a crash course. Although I have my moments of loneliness and isolation, I see all this availability to show up for myself. The FOMO is a hard habit to break but I am breaking it down, one missed event and declined invitation or one ‘cry cuz nobody invited me’, at a time. The bright side is I have more time for the gym, more time to read the fifty-leven damn books that are collecting dust. More time to discover my shadow side and love her equally. More time to cook and nourish myself. More time to make side hustle money and save for vacations, rather than splurge on food and drinks I shouldn’t be drinking at y’all raggedy ass events anyway (ok I said that with a bit of salt but you get my point, LOL).
A few weeks back I watched a therapy session on Vice with Dej Loaf. The therapist said to her that we react to trauma in three ways, and the third one was one a new one for me and it stung: fight, flight or freeze. All this time I thought I was a runner but actually, I stopped running years ago when I ran my last track race in high school. The truth is I freeze up and don’t make any moves until something or someone comes along to thaw me out, except only for temporary relief. It is my job to keep my internal fire lit regardless of the circumstances, without expecting the warmth of someone else to keep me going.
If 2019 did nothing else for me, it definitely brought the fire back into my gut and left behind a gang of woodchips and matches just in case I need to re-build the flames.