Update on Change #77: My Week Of Self-Reflection

Over the last 13 days I have gone alcohol-free, and before this challenge started, I had already established alcohol as a depressant as one of the nasty side effects for me. The morning after a single drink, I would notice a pattern where I would be sent into a tail-spin of self-loathing and self-doubt. I would question who I am, and what I can seriously achieve in my life.

What I found out over the last two weeks is that I am still suffering from self-loathing and self-doubt. Except now, I know some of the reasons. While alcohol works as a depressant making it difficult to function the next day, and I could excuse myself from the gym; it also numbs me while having a drink. Therefore, I never had to consider what things are making me unhappy. And because alcohol mildly impairs my ability to think clearly while drinking, I never began the process of figuring out how to fix my life.

There is something that I should share with you. I thought about entering it in my blog when I failed the, Thou Shall Not Eat Past 7 PM post, because I didn’t want to share something personal or make excuses when I failed to meet an objective. (Although, I know I sometimes do make up reasons why I fail.) Quietly, and to myself, I have a rough understanding about why something failed. But publicly – I don’t always want to put it out to the world.

This blog is in itself a challenge for me. 

I offer forgiveness to myself privately when something doesn’t go according to plan, because I find that if I don’t, the battle within me turns into a series of name-calling catastrophes. The name calling includes: You’re such a loser. Other people do it, why can’t you get your act together? God, I’ve never seen someone as unsuccessful as you are. Why do you even try? (I have more, but I’ll stop there.)

If you’ve read along with some of the posts, you may know a friend of mine died last year. I am approaching the one year anniversary of her passing. I try to minimize the effect this loss has had on me because I lost my father and brother over the course of 8 years as well. I argue with myself and say: she was just a friend, not a family member, so it shouldn’t bother me that much. (Several people have already told me how ridiculous it sounds, but it doesn’t stop me from still thinking it.)

She wasn’t a family member. But what she was – was a wonderfully, spectacular, supportive friend that I miss dearly. A couple of years ago I was published in a literary journal for the first time in Potluck Magazine with a short story titled, Do You See Me?  I was thrilled and emailed everyone I knew. It was the first time I thought, maybe I’m ok at this?

That friend – the wonderfully, spectacular, supportive friend that I miss dearly, emailed me and wrote that it was a great story adding: I can picture everything that is going on in my mind. To me, that was the biggest compliment someone could give me with my writing.  That they are there, standing with one of my characters, and that you have come along for the ride, and feel what they feel.

With the post titled, Thou Shall Not Eat Past 7 PM, that was a terrible timing mistake on my part. I tend to eat more when faced with an anniversary of losing someone I loved.  Yes, my weight is up overall. But, it’s not worse than last year when I added the additional 6 pounds. If  can get over the next couple of weeks, I can stabilize, and then tackle the bigger problem of taking it weight off so that I feel comfortable with myself again.

And this is the point where not drinking made me realize a few other things. I’m a little uncomfortable with my body right now. It doesn’t mean I hate myself (Quiet, you evil devil in the background of my mind that’s constantly trying to take me down!) just that I don’t feel as good as I have in the past. I need to do something for me. Not for the world, not for my husband, not because strangers are giving me the side-ways look of: she can really stand to lose a few pounds. 

So, I bought a bigger swimsuit. And – I realized I hate the two-piece I purchased a few years ago. I never felt comfortable in that thing. NEVER.  And I plan to start swimming regularly because it helps me relax, and I think if my headaches come back, it will aid in preventing them or minimizing how miserable they make me feel.

Also, I’m planning on buckling down one weekend and booking a hotel room for the sole purpose of working on the second installment of, Dragon in the Mirror. I need a longer time frame to concentrate, and while I love my hubby and LBM, I need a longer time frame time to write – uninterrupted. It’s killing me just a little that I can’t complete my longer writing projects.

Tomorrow is the CN Tower Stair Climb for the World Wildlife Fund. My husband and I (in a coincidence, a friend is also doing it as well!) are registered and have made the donation required. Tomorrow morning, we will lace up our running shoes to ascend 1,776 steps.  I have already told hubby that if I am slowing him down he can go ahead. Sometimes it may seem like we’re all starting from the same spot; but secretly, I am starting further down.

On those days, in order to be successful at a challenge – I will require a little more time to go up.  

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To All My Family & Friends,

Let me just say, thank you for being you, coming along with me in these blog posts, or with other events that are not mentioned here. Without your love, support and friendship through the difficult times – I would not make it through the most punishing days.