Friday, October 28, 2016

One Step Away from the Edge

This morning I stepped up to the edge of a self-deprecation bridge, overlooking a choppy sea of nastiness and doubt that I thought I had submerged a long time ago.  I was about to dive head first and hit the rocky bottom.

 I have crossed this bridge several hundreds of times.  I cross it in away similar to how I used to run past the basement door when I was a kid.  I was convinced that there were blood sucking zombies in our basement that could only feed on me to survive.  So I would walk down the hallway, but just as I reached the door, I would sprint for my life.

So this proverbial bridge is kind of like that.  When I see my path reaching it, I sprint across to avoid the temptation of jumping.  I've jumped before.  It's not fun.  Then I spend a week or more climbing back out of the sea to solid ground.  In this process, I usually bring down a few friends and people with me.  Don had a premonition I would be taking this journey.

How did my path lead me to this point?   I have had some serious things come up in my family life that have weighed heavily on me.   The issues may not even be that big of a deal.  While some people's emotions feel like a cool breeze kissing their face on a warm Fall day. Mine feel like a hurricane spitting on my face on a freezing winter day.  It's shocking and gross and leaves me standing there wondering what just happened.

So the past few weeks my stress level has been pretty high on the charts.  Today, as I was driving the boys to school and listening to them argue over the music choice,  a black cat was sitting in the middle of the road.   Just sitting there and when we pulled up it looked like it was equally annoyed. Maybe it has a superstition about black cars.  So we sat there, playing chicken on who was going to cross whose path.  The cat won, and took its time walking in front of our car.

After I dropped the boys off at school and had each of them generously offer the back of their head for me to kiss, I was on my way to my annual health screening.  (This is where Don may have had a clue that I was going to have a bad day.)  He also had a health screening, but he chose not to go with me.

They take blood and test your cholesterol, your blood pressure, your weight, and your self-esteem in one easy swoop.

I am NEVER happy with my numbers. Even if they are an improvement over last year. Why? Because in my mind, they should be different.  In preparation, I gave myself a pep-talk.  But by the time they are handing me my paper with all my stats I start to see that bridge in the horizon.

You see, I work my ass off.  I downplay it sometimes, but if the average person knew my commitment to a healthy lifestyle, they would be shocked, not to mention annoyed, and that is why I don't share it with many people.   My reward for this, I feel, should be that I can choose what the scale, or test reads. But nope.

Add the fact that some recent things in the media have regurgitated painful memories that I have suppressed.  And top that off with the fact that we have the presidential circus going on and it is no wonder I find myself standing on the edge of the bridge about to jump.

But this time, I took a breath. And stepped back off the ledge, reached for my phone and started texting my workout buddies.  The people who see me at my most raw state, without makeup on, without pretense.  Texting my friends is like shooting a flare out into the sky. I hope someone sees it and responds quickly, but they all have careers and are busy and  I don't know if they even have their phone.  But today, they did.  I didn't even send a text like.. SOS jumping off a self-doubt bridge.  It was more like "tell me again why numbers don't really matter?" My workout friends get this, and they get me. I didn't even have to add,  P.S. Help. P.S. I'm about to dive into a pint of Talenti gelato.

And they all did.  They offered the hand I needed to help me step down.

The health screening wasn't the total issue; it was just the bump in an otherwise stressful week that put me there.

Lesson learned is, don't underestimate your friends.   I don't ever like asking for help, but my friends helped me see what was good which was staring at me in black and white. They didn't dismiss my concern as trifling, but didn't honor it either.  They each helped me realize that when you fill your mind with thoughts that you see as negative, you don't have room for the positive to come in.

They turned a switch and shed light on all that has been great in my week. Including a new friendship,  rekindling an old friendship, a new pair of purple shoes and all the things staring me right in the face that are pretty damn awesome.

Sure, I over think things (obviously) but I also over-love things, and today, that love was reciprocated and the simple gesture that sent me across the bridge.

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