2015

I usually do a post at the end of the year with my resolutions for next year.  I’m not doing that this year.  Honestly, they never work out.  I looked back at my previous “Resolutions” posts and here are my stats so far on my percentage of follow-through:

  • 2015 – 50%
  • 2014 – 0%
  • 2013 – 50%
  • 2012 – 0%

So, if I stay on track with my previous pattern, 2016 is looking to be a 0% follow-through chance. Lol.

I do still want to re-cap 2015 though, because it was a big year.  At the end of 2014, I (we) were pretty exhausted mentally and emotionally because several events happened over the course of 2014 that honestly just made us tired.  Tired of how life was going.  Confused on why things happen.  I was just here, going through the motions of life and trying to block everything else out.  That’s not a good place for me to be, but honestly I’ve been there plenty of times.  I have to continually work on not letting myself get too far lost and I’ve not hid that fact from anyone who reads this blog.  That’s why I have this blog.  I think it’s an important issue to talk about and one that doesn’t need to be hidden for fear of the stigma that is still very much around the subject of mental illness.

So, anyway, I had great hope for 2015.  I truly felt it was going to be a fresh start and good things would happen.  I started working out and exercising in December and was actually sticking with it through January.  We had Cayden’s birthday party at the end of January.  A couple days later we were at home and Michael was working.  The kids and I went to bed and I woke up to my phone ringing around midnight.  I saw that it was from Michael.  I ignored it. He called again.  I ignored it.

I can’t describe the feelings of guilt that I still have to this day over not answering his first few phone calls.  It’s awful.  If he wouldn’t have made it through that wreck, I would forever regret not answering that phone call.  It still haunts me.

He called a third time and I finally answered, knowing something must be wrong.  He was talking in an out-of-breath voice and my stomach immediately dropped to the floor.  It’s not like Michael to show any emotion or seem out-of-control.  It was terrifying.  He told me that he had been in a wreck and that I needed to come to him.  He told me where he was and I hung up the phone.  I got dressed quicker than I ever have before, while constantly telling myself to not throw up and not hyperventilate.  My pulse went from 60 to 140 over the course of that 1 minute phone call (I know because I checked my FitBit app later!).  It stayed around 130 for hours.  I don’t know how I was able to drive to the scene; I don’t remember how I got there.  I just remember pulling up and seeing all the blue lights, fire trucks, and ambulances.  Seeing a wreck like that tears my nerves up anyway.  But knowing that my husband was in the middle of it all just took it to another level.

Right when I pulled up on the scene, I knew that things were going to go downhill, for me.  It was like I was right back in 1999 at the fatal accident I witnessed so long ago.  The same emotions came flooding back and I didn’t know what to do.  My body didn’t know how to handle all that adrenaline, anxiety, rage, and worry at the same time.  But I had to push it down because this wasn’t about me.  I was there for Michael.  My wonderful husband of almost 15 years.  The father of our 3 beautiful children.  A brother, son, nephew, cousin, uncle, and friend to so many.  All these thoughts were racing through my head as my eyes landed on the guy that caused the wreck.  I realized then that he could have taken all of that away from us.  It would have did me in if I had to go home by myself that night and tell the kids that their Daddy wouldn’t be coming home ever again.  I had never felt such rage directed at one person before.  And what it made it so much worse was that this was all caused by a man kid who was underage, out getting drunk somewhere, and then decided that it would be a good idea to get in a car and try to drive home with a blood alcohol level of .24.  He had no respect for his or anyone else’s life.  I’m not only telling this story for myself but if our story can make one person realize that drunk driving is not the best idea in the world, then it would be worth it.  I’ll tell it a thousand more times if it would help.  If you decide to drive drunk, you’re not only risking your own life, but you’re risking someone else’s too.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The next few months were a blur.  I started going to see a psychiatrist and a psychologist a couple weeks after the wreck.  The only reason I couldn’t get in sooner is because the system is so screwed up for mental health.  I called at least 20 different doctors and most either weren’t taking new patients or didn’t have appointments available anytime soon.  My primary care doctor wouldn’t see me.  Urgent Care wouldn’t see me.  Everyone told me I would have to go to the behavioral health center or the ER if I need help right then.  I finally was able to get my OB/GYN to refill my anxiety medication until I could get in to someone.  I started going to therapy once a week and am still going once a week, almost a year later.  I had fallen way down deep into my hole and knew I needed help getting back out.

My exercise plan immediately went out the window.  That was the last thing from my mind.  I spent my days trying to not have multiple panic attacks and trying to appear normal to anyone outside the walls of my house.  I would get extremely, extremely irritated over the smallest things and the worst part was that I didn’t have control over it.  My nervous system was on high alert all the time.  That in itself is utterly exhausting.  I didn’t want people to know that side of me.

Around the end of April, I realized that I needed to get back into exercising.  I looked up the Couch-2-5k program and started walking/jogging.  Soon after that I started to sign up for some 5ks.  Then I created a website to keep track of my progress and to help get the word out that I was going to run all my races in honor of my nephew Harlan that passed away from brain cancer.  He gave me the inspiration to keep going when I just wanted to stop and give up.  My training was going well and I started modifying my program to eventually run a half-marathon.

I started to look for a good date and lined up my training program to fit.  I picked the Ocktoberfest Half-Marathon, which was scheduled to be in October 2015.  I decided to sign up for my first 10k race to help me get ready for the longer distances.  That was the OrthoCarolina 10k at the end of August.  On my long run days in August I was getting up to 7 miles, which is the farthest I had ever been able to run.  I was so excited because I was finally considering myself a real runner!  My weight had been consistently going down and I was able to fit into some older clothes that I hadn’t been able to wear in years.  I was starting to feel good again!

I was ready for the 10k on August 22, 2015.  I ran the race and it felt awesome.  I finished in a faster time that I thought I would and it was a great experience.  Except for a nagging pain in my right hip that got a little worse throughout the race.  But when I stopped running, it started to go away.  I didn’t give it a second thought.  That race was on a Saturday.  On the following Tuesday I ran a few miles and by the end I could barely walk.  Long story short, it’s now 4 long months later, I’ve had surgery to put pins into my femur/hip and had to have a procedure to try to get rid of avascular necrosis, and I just got off of crutches a week ago.  If you want to read about that ordeal, here are links:

My first running injury
Week #1 on crutches
Week #2 on crutches
Week #3 on crutches
Week #4 on crutches
Week #5 on crutches
Week #6 on crutches
Week #7 on crutches
Night before surgery
Home from the hospital!
Week #1 after surgery
Week #2/3/4 after surgery
Week #5 after surgery

So, needless to say, the half marathon didn’t happen for me this year.  I don’t even know that I want to get back into running after going through all this.  Im scared to take a chance that I’ll have another injury like this…which is a bummer because running was the one exercise that I enjoyed.  I think I’ll give the elliptical a chance when I’m able to.

This year has been a big year for me personally, in terms of personal growth.  I have learned so much about myself from therapy.  I didn’t realize that I have been letting my happiness depend solely on how everyone else around me is feeling.  I take on everyone else’s burdens as my own and that load is too heavy to carry anymore.  I’m still trying to learn how to throw that stuff back onto the people that it belongs to.  I learned that I can’t keep trying to control everything.  It’s becoming too exhausting…mentally and physically.  I’m having to learn how to ask people for help, which is really tough for me.  I don’t mind if someone asks me for help so why should I worry about asking others for help?  The worst they can say is no, right?  

So, no resolutions for me for 2016; I’m just going to hope it brings good things for my family and I.  Happy New Year!   

…and don’t drink and drive!