I wrote this post on February 28, 2018, and was told by a friend to NOT publish it. This was one of my lowest days ever, it was a day I had a total meltdown, something I hadn’t previously allowed myself to do. I think it’s important to share it now so that you get an idea of how low I was when I started down my current path of getting my mental health in line with my physical health. So, sorry (former) friend, I disagree, and I am going to share this. In order to understand how far I have come, you have to know where I started…
So here they are – my thoughts from February 28, 2018:
Today is the day I had a meltdown. Today is the day that I couldn’t stop crying and had to leave work. Today is the day that I finally I had to admit that the f*$#@^g Tubbs fire messed with me more than I ever cared to admit. Today is the that I finally admitted to my best friend that just how exhausted both physically and mentally I am. Today is the day that I confessed that always being the positive, happy, upbeat me is taking its toll because that’s not how I am feeling inside lately, and putting on act gets tiring. Today is the day that I finally told my trainer that my recent weight gain is because I have been making bad choices. Today is the day that I finally had to admit to myself that I am human and need help or I’m going keep on this downward spiral and the end result is not going to be good.
Flashback to October 8th, 2017 – ran a half marathon with a cousin in the morning, got home rushed out to a CPR class, went to the grocery store, meal prepped, did my laundry and collapsed into bed and was out like a light by 9:30. That was the last normal day I have had.
At 2:11 am on October 9th, 2017 someone banged on our door yelling “Fire, get out”. My husband and I had smelled the smoke, but didn’t think too much of it because you can smell smoke from miles away. When we looked outside and realized the fire was less than a mile from our door, we went on auto pilot. We grabbed what we could, made a plan for where to meet – Plan A and Plan B – and realized how many phone calls, text messages, and Facebook messages we had missed while we were both fast asleep. It had been about 15 minutes when my normally calm, quiet husband grabbed my shoulders as I was running back in and said “We have to go, and we have to go now.” That scared me into leaving.
Of course plans never work out the way you think they are going to and we got separated. The police officer at the end of our street who told me I couldn’t turn left to go to Plan A meeting place was gone when my husband got there, so we were separated. Add to that he then needed to evacuate his parents (Plan A stop) and their dog while I was on the other side of town at Plan B meeting place. We decided to meet at our oldest daughters home about 10 miles south, but then I ended up sitting at a non working gas station for 3 hours because my car said I had zero miles to go and I had to wait until the working gas station across the street didn’t have a line. We were separated from about 2:30 am until 9:30 am when I was finally able to get to our daughters home. All the while we didn’t know if we had a home to go back to, but were fairly positive that there was no way it could have survived. The fire was just too close and the winds were just too strong.
The whole time I was waiting in my car until I could get gas, my phone was blowing up. Between text messages with both of our daughters (our youngest is in LA) and friends, and phone calls from family, and seeing the true devastation of this horrible fire through friends postings on Facebook, it was non stop. I couldn’t get in touch with my parents, and neither could anyone else, but I had talked to my dad just before we left our house, so I knew they were safe. But every aunt and uncle, and multiple cousins from all over the damn country were calling me to check on them. What is shocking to me now in hindsight is that while most also asked me how we were and were concerned about us as well, there were a few that never asked about us, and who even after the fires, after they know that we had lost everything have never reached out to me again (Making mental note to delete them all on Facebook as soon as I post this…) I know it sounds petty, but come on people, you all know I would be there for you with whatever you needed.
My husband couldn’t take it anymore and had to go see if the house had made it. His brother came to take my in laws home and I stayed with our daughter, her fiance and her grandmother while he went to check. At the end of the day, our worst fears had come true, our home was gone. All of our memories of our daughters growing up, the pictures of the vacations we had taken, stupid things like the stuffed gorilla we named Dumbass that my husband bought me after I fell and cracked my head open, the shot glasses and magnets we got from places we went – every little thing that we didn’t have time to throw in the car – they were all gone. Just gone.
I kept saying “my people are good and that’s what matters”. I was still the central point of communication for my family as my parents had no phones at the house, no power and cell towers were down so they could only drive out to get service and were keeping my abreast of the situation for the first couple of days. I was the first one to work on Tuesday morning, because what was I going to do at my daughters house? Watch another day of news reports? I counted my husband and I among the lucky ones – it was just us at home, no kids, no pets. Hell, I was even able to grab my laundry basket full of clean clothes because I was too damn tired to put them away on Sunday. We were in the process of renovating my grandmothers house, as she had to move into assisted living in the fall of 2016, so we knew where we were going. We had renters insurance, yes we were under insured, but still we were better off than so many people I had heard from and about.
And then the outpouring of love from friends and family came in. We were overwhelmed in the best way. From the cousin who set up a go fund me, to the friends who sent Christmas ornaments and gift cards, our faith in humanity was restored. I really thought that we were truly lucky, and on paper we are. I never let myself be sad or upset or have the well deserved meltdown that I needed to have.
Well, until today. Why today? I couldn’t even begin to tell you. Because I have to drive through fire ravaged neighborhoods on my way to work every day and there is no way to get around it? Maybe. Because I feel like since that night I have no control over anything and that it could all be taken away again in an instant? Maybe. Because while on paper we may be the lucky ones but in reality it really sucks and I miss my material things and my photos and something this morning that I can’t even put my finger on that I was missing made me sad? Maybe. Because I am physically and emotionally and mentally drained? Maybe. Because I have to face the reality that I am human, and I am hurting and that this all really really really really sucks? Maybe.
While I don’t know why today is the day I finally hit my wall and had my meltdown, I know that it is. So I am going to allow myself this day to have my pity party, be sad, cry all I want and I am going to have my meltdown and not apologize for it – except to my amazing co-workers who are so supportive and wonderful and didn’t need to see a meltdown happen in front of their eyes this morning. I have made calls, I am waiting to hear back for an appointment with a highly recommended therapist and I am going to move past this. I am going to come out stronger in the end.
But today I get to be sad, and I am sure there will be more times when I am sad, I just hope that I can find the tools to deal with it. Tomorrow it’s back on track – back to daily food journals, back to a no excuses lifestyle, back to being the person I have worked so hard to be. Today is the day I get to be sad. Today is the day I ask for help so that I can get back to the person I know I am in inside. Today is the day that it has to change…for my own sanity and health and well being if nothing else. Today is the day….
Flash forward to May 2019. There have been a lot of bad days, and I have let myself have them. I have learned a lot about myself and other people, and am constantly working on getting better. Besides the fire there have been so many changes in my life, some good, some heartbreaking…but I’m still here, one foot in front of the other. I want to be honest with my story, for all 2 readers out there lol (Hi Mom), and starting at the beginning, at one of my lowest points seems the most logical to me. Will every post be this depressing? No. Will some? Maybe. Reading this again still brings me to tears.
Anyway…now that we have laid the groundwork for where the story starts, the only way to move is forward.
Until next week, xoxo