Refusing to Date: A Season; Part 2

the-four-seasonsI read somewhere that in order to truly get to know a mate, especially prior to marriage, you should at least give a full turn of the seasons to get to know that person. I was automatically intrigued by the notion. Couldn’t this apply my relationship with me?

In Refusing to Date, I stated I felt inept–when the thought of dating came to mind. Not that I was scared, it just seems sloppy to move in a hurry. Plus I had little desire to share warmth with any man, after the last one was extinguished with such a bitter cold.

Nonetheless, I’ve promised myself a “season” without dating.

My season started the day I left my fiancé, on April 29, 2017. The Summer was hectic. I had to find a new home for me and my fur-babies as well as maintain a full-time job. It took 3 months and some intense budgeting but we were a family again on July 15th, 2017. My two boxers and black lab were never fully appreciated by my step-kids or their father; Call me a bitch, if you will–I took the dogs–they were mine.

I would not have made it through my deepest plunges into depression, without them by my side. In the months that followed, I successfully created 180 pounds of lap-dog behavior. They witnessed thousands of tears and inconsolable sobs. They were my reason to survive–or at least, exist.

So I did.

Looking back, the depression coupled with my anxiety, stole eight months from my life. I used whiskey to cope and wine to wash it down. I was stagnant–I was the epitome of the person I hated the most–my ex. Seven years in a romantic relationship does a toll on the mind and body, especially when you find yourself living with an angry, stagnant, destructive drunk, four of those years. This everyday, depressed monotony followed me into Fall; I cried at everything: step-children, God, mortality, Christmas shopping, decreasing mental-capacity, the president, #metoo and #timesup accusations, roadkill…

EVERYTHING!!!

Winter came and with it, my 32nd birthday, I received an early morning PM from a friend I hadn’t seen since my early years in college:

I was taken aback, and it took me all day to respond. How can positivity fit into moments of despair? I’d been dreading my birthday–only making plans to drink enough box wine and whiskey to calm my anxiety, grease up the nervous system, and smoke a little pot.

Which I did, before responding.

In the four years I’d been dealing with my disorder, prior to my decision to leave my fiance–no one attempted to understand what having an anxiety order entailed. My fiance only cared about my anxiety when it meant he wasn’t getting laid. My mother cared–but only when it was to push me in the direction of another doctor’s visit. And though I have 2 older sisters–we are barely acquaintances. I keep my circle small, which ultimately, has made me feel small in comparison to my non-anxious mid 20’s.

‘Cause nobody seems to ask about me anymore
And nobody seems to care ’bout anything I think
And nobody seems to recognize me in the crowd
In the background screaming, “Everybody, look at me”

I used to be a darling starlet like a centerpiece
Had the whole world wrapped around my rings                                                                   I flew too closely to the sun that’s setting in the East                                                       And now I’m melting from my wings.

Cause I’d laugh and drink and talk ’bout things                                                               And fall in love in my backyard                                                                                           Now it’s my own anxiety                                                                                                     That makes the conversation hard                                                                                        Cause nobody seems to ask about me anymore                                                                 And nobody ever cares ’bout anything I think                                                                  And nobody seems to recognize me in the crowd
In the background screaming, “Everybody, look at me”

Halsey-Angel on Fire

Back to the Birthday message: I hadn’t seen the well-wisher in 7 years, yet he knew exactly what I needed to hear. I never imagined how quickly my outlook could change. It was refreshing to have an adult conversation of importance. I’d spent 8 months in isolation, refusing to pick up the phone or leave the house, except to make it to work.

It was real support–support which flipped a switch towards a feeling of recovery.

Like you, this friend has heard my good, bad and ugly; My true, unadulterated self; My honesty. If it weren’t for his interjection in my life, I might not be writing again–I probably wouldn’t have found the therapeutic properties of music again–My heart might not have been open to warmth again.

Yesterday, I started feeling the involuntary need to cry again. Depression round #2, I assume.

My blog propels me further into finding my voice as well as getting me through this very important, first season, of getting to know myself and my mental health. So, thank you! There will be bumps and more fragmented verses. There will be hope, doubt and despair but there will also be growth.

Here’s to Spring and hopefully some dancing in the rain.

Here’s two of my three fur-babies!!!! Charlie on top/Sadie below.

Photo Credit: The Four Seasons by Vivaldi

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