The King and I

I know it’s been a few months since my last post. Honestly I just haven’t had time. I’m back in school and focused squarely on myself. Working full-time and taking a full-time course load in college. A lot has transpired since my last post though.

So I was seeing the Babe all summer, completely sure that he was the one for me. We had fantastic weekends full of kids, friends and fun. Then things started to change. I’m not sure if it was me, him or a combination of both but this is what I saw and how I felt.

Something changed in him, he wasn’t happy anymore. Our time was becoming limited because of my schedule and our kids were back in school. We also live almost 50 minutes apart. I admit I wasn’t available and I wasn’t really willing to sacrifice either. I’m focused on school and my future career. He kept telling me I know it’s tough, I did it too. I know how you feel, I know what it’s like; well, NO you don’t. I know you went to college and graduate school but did you go as a single parent with two teenagers at home and another in college? Did you have a home that you had to keep up and groceries to buy for those kids? Did you work full-time too? NO? Well then you don’t know. It became annoying, plain and simple. He had this fantasy that we would be this perfect family and he would take care of me. I’m not that girl! I don’t NEED anyone to take care of me, I don’t want that. I want someone who inspires me. The straw was a comment he made. He said “I won’t make it through you going to school as your boyfriend, only as your husband”. Ouch! It felt like an ultimatum and made me feel like I wasn’t worth the sacrifice. It makes me sad but I know I did the right thing for him and his daughter, even more important…me.

There was another issue too. It’s no secret that I had my heart broken and certainly no secret that I have made some colossal mistakes in dating. However there was always the King quietly hanging in the background. I’ve very briefly mentioned him before. He’s a friend but we did date for a short period. It was right after QJ broke my heart, like literally right after! We dated for maybe a couple of months. I was so tormented and fucked up at that time in my life, it ended in dramatic fashion.

Here’s the thing, that was almost two years ago. Ever since then no matter how much I’ve pushed him away, no matter if I never responded to his texts or didn’t return his calls, even when his son was in the hospital, he knew I was a mess and broken; but he understood. For some reason when he text me in late August, I responded; I hadn’t spoken to him in about 5 months. He immediately called me and we talked for a couple of hours about everything, like we had never stopped talking. That was never an issue with us.

I was having a drink with my girlfriends one night and he walked in, sat with us and we all had a great time. He kissed me goodbye, nothing more than a peck on the lips but it felt different from just a friendly kiss. I broke up with Babe the next day. Not because of the King but because if Babe was the one, I wouldn’t have felt anything when he kissed me and with all the other issues with Babe, I just knew it needed to end.

The King and I (punny) are still just friends and will more than likely remain just friends (too complicated to explain). He did however open my eyes that Babe wasn’t the right man for me. He also gave me a little tough love recently when he pointed out; I keep making excuses for not finishing anything in my life. Ahhhh, the balance and inspiration I crave from a friend? Maybe? After the King bluntly called me out; I kicked my butt in gear and got my applications into school. I’ve been accepted into the nursing program and I start those classes a year from January. In the mean time I’m almost done with my associates in science and will continue to take classes full-time, working toward my ultimate goal of becoming  a Cardiac Perfusionist with no excuses. Damn I hate it when I’m called out but grateful for the honesty.

I’m happier than I’ve been in years. Even with the loss of another relationship.

Love,
g

Roots

60ffd7187c152b73f2e0833b21c5b76aMaya Angelou once said “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.”

I moved to Upstate South Carolina when I was thirteen years old, it was the day after Christmas during my 8th grade school year. I was angry with my parents, I loved where I lived and didn’t want to leave. We had a beautiful home on a bay off Lake Ontario; where summers meant hours on the dock and playing outside until there was no light left, our parents never worrying about where we were. Fall was the time we’d eat apples picked from the orchards we weren’t supposed to be playing in. Winters included ice skating on the rink you shoveled yourself and sledding all day on the neighborhood hill. Spring meant waking up early to ride your bike to school, even though it was entirely too far. Those memories will forever be etched in my mind. There were a lot of good times and great friends; it was home to me then.

Recently, the opportunity to relive those days through the memories of others opened up to me. A few old friends contacted me through Facebook, strangely though I could only recall their names. I’ve tried to pull memories back from things they’ve told me, it’s all fuzzy now and I can’t seem to bring them into focus. I remember certain moments clear as day; the kind of moments that bring deep emotion and change us into who we become as we grow up. Those feelings like, shame, pride, embarrassment, fear and loneliness are powerful. The emotional reactions we have today as adults come from the time in our lives between fifth grade and high school, where events and situations start to establish our reaction to similar ones for the rest of our lives.

I was chatting with one of these old friends a few days ago and a girl we went to school with came up in conversation, of course I only remembered the name and recalled that we were friends but with her it was different. It brought back one of those memories connected with emotion. It was about her mother, she was our Girl Scout Troop Leader. The memory that came to mind was sitting on the grass in a circle in their beautiful front yard. I couldn’t focus on what she was teaching because I was anxious and crying. I went to the principal’s office that day for fighting with another girl and needed to tell my parents that evening. The belt was still used in those days and I was scared. I remember how she comforted me, told me how to talk to my parents and reassured me that it would all be ok. It was a memory that remained because it carried with it the feelings of shame and fear. Even today when I make a mistake or poor decision and have to admit that I was wrong, those same feeling well up inside me like I’m eleven all over again. I’ve had many other ‘moment in time’ memories just like that one, which seem to stir those emotions from childhood, that come flooding back as an adult.

At the time moving away seemed so devastating but today I couldn’t imagine being anywhere other than where I am now. I have become a southern woman, with northern roots. My first taste of the Lowcountry was in college, 1988. Moving to Charleston, the city with the smell of pluff mud rising from the marshes, the scent of jasmine which hangs on the history of downtown, and the taste of salt that the summer ocean brings; it becomes a part of you. I really grew up here; this is where I became an adult. However, I left in my early twenties knowing I would someday come back and stay. When that opportunity came I didn’t flinch, I knew it was where I belonged.

When I moved back to my southern home in 2002, I made a promise to myself and silently to my children. I would do everything and anything to keep them right where we are today. I wanted them to go through their school years with all the same friends, to know the comfort of having lifelong roots. They are beginning to start their lives, on the verge of becoming adults too; I just hope that this is the city where they choose to keep themselves planted.

Love,

g

Mojo

I’ve been really out of sync lately, lost my mojo. It all really started in November of last year culminating a few weeks ago. I’m just gonna come out and admit it loud and clear; I’m depressed and I have been for a very long time. I’ve had too many heart breaks and the stress of living a life alone, raising kids, maintaining a home, shitty dating, all of it took a huge toll on my mental state. I’ve said it before, I’m not one of those people who has gone through this with grace and class. I’m the hot mess.

I’ve isolated myself from a lot of my old friends, the friends I’m talking about are the ones Zed and myself hung out with, you know the cookouts, pool, family stuff “couple friends”. They’re distant, by my own doing and I know this, it was too painful in the beginning and now it’s just different. I’m single and they are all still married. It’s tough to be around them and not feel lonely, not miss him and the life I once knew. I say these words to myself and others a lot… “I want my old life back”. Those words have kept me where I am, kept me from old friends, kept me from moving forward.

I know it’s gone and I can’t have it back but that is what the last 3 years have been about. Grasping for that life. I hit a wall back in November and needed help, I went to the doctor and was prescribed Cymbalta. “Oh my Gosh, I can’t believe she just admitted that”, please! Guess what, 1 in 10 Americans take anti-depressants. Which after being on them for the last six months, there has to be a better option; at least for me. It helped in the short term but man they really took a toll on my body and mind as well.

In the first few weeks of taking them I was extremely sick, nauseated, disoriented, unable to focus and I felt like I had the flu. I was told by my doctor to give it time. I did and then all of a sudden I felt better. I felt pretty good for about 2 months, then I started to become numb. I didn’t even realize it was happening. What I did notice though was how tired I was, how my body slowed down, how I couldn’t focus, how I GAINED 20 pounds! Slowly over those months, I wasn’t Gail anymore. I haven’t even wanted to write. I knew I needed to change something.

After the road trip with my girlfriends, I decided to call my doctor to make a plan to wean myself off the medication. Holy shit, it really sucks and I’m still feeling the effects. It’s been 16 days and I still feel terrible. I will never do this again. After doing some research on the how the drug affects you when you’re coming off the medications; which can last anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months. I have come to realized it’s gonna be a living hell. Every moment of the day I feel like I’ve just stepped off the merry-go-round. Remember that feeling? It’s like your body stopped spinning but your brain didn’t but with the added pleasure of what feels like an electrical jolt. It’s referred to as “brain zaps”. Seriously? It has a name that’s how many people feel this side effect. How did this drug get on the market? I have periods of time where I feel drunk, disoriented, unable to complete my thoughts and sentences. I’ve had very vivid dreams, restless legs and the list goes on. Very difficult when you’re working and your employer doesn’t know what’s going on. It’s crazy!! Pun intended

Good news? Maybe. Although the side effects are constant, I’m actually starting to feel things again, to have emotions. I was so unaware of what was happening to my body and brain. I have been crying and very emotional the last few weeks but it actually feels good. I’ve been trying to work on a plan to treat myself naturally, this can be difficult when motivation and focus is lacking. So I’m starting small, changing my diet, a few supplements, trying to cut out caffeine which is almost impossible for someone who LOVES coffee, and exercising. Exercising is tough too because the best time for me to go is at 5:30am; which is impossible when you’re exhausted from the side effects and changes in sleep patterns and energy levels but I’ll get there.

Today happens to be a bad day, mostly because I didn’t get any sleep last night(thanks Will)! I’ve really noticed, when and what I eat and how much sleep I get, affects the side effects. I just want to be completely me again. I want to feel whole and alive…happy.

When my mojo comes back though, watch out. It’ll be Mojo with a side of Mojito.

Love

g