My Year in Review

A Month-to-Month Guide of How 2017 was Both the Best and Worst Year

January (January 6th):

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For months my friends and I had planned to drive to Tennessee to surprise our fourth friend in the group. She’s in law school and has absolutely no time to herself because she’s too busy taking care of everyone else. So we thought it was time to get the band back together. The four of us hadn’t been in the same room together since graduating college in 2015. We had the perfect plan and her mom was involved and everything was set. However, Mother Nature had other plans. The morning we were supposed to leave it started snowing in Tennessee. We still thought that we could make it, but our friend’s mom called and said that people were already starting to get stuck on the side of the road. We were three hours away, I still needed to change my tires, and we hadn’t left by 9am.. So we called it. We didn’t go and thus began the most disappointing year. I just didn’t know it yet.

February (February 17th):

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For my friend’s 25th birthday, she wanted to go on a cruise. So if you know me. You know I love cruises. So of course I went. That month I was still working out, I decided to be healthy and I was at a very good weight! I was happy with my body,  with my hair, with myself, with life. I really enjoyed that cruise and the people I went with and the things we did. I went ATVing for the first time through a jungle, who else can say that they did that?

March (March 8th):

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Needless to say, I was high on life. Right after the cruise, I received a contract. A much needed one, since I spent so much gambling, haha, but that’s a story for a different day. I also decided to sign up for a Tough Mudder, so I started to train for that, and luckily there was a gym right next door to the hotel I stayed at so I could work out for free! It was perfect. I was in great shape, working out everyday (almost), but still enjoying life and eating all the good food that Newport News, VA had to offer. Surprisingly, it was a lot. It was a great month honestly. I was still happy, I was on the right track and everything was going so well. I didn’t know that it was the calm before the storm. How could I have known?

April (April 8th & April 23rd; April 26th):

Before:

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At the beginning of the month I was ecstatic. I received yet another contract and this time it was in sunny San Diego, California. I’ve never been and I was super excited to go. My friend’s grandmother lives there and she goes there like 5 times a year, so I convinced her to come join me for a weekend. The first weekend, I hit up all the sights by myself, like the beaches, the Zoo, In & Out Burger, etc. The second weekend when she came, we went to Balboa Park, Olde Town, all the good brunch spots, and the Gaslamp District. It was great! It was also the day after the first incident. I think back now, maybe if I told her then, everything would have turned out differently. But, then again I did tell someone, and I didn’t take his advice.. Granted, I know I should have, but hindsight is 20/20. Regardless, the first three weeks of April were great, I was still working out, the Tough Mudder was at the end of the month, and I was still eating all the good food. I was happy, I was healthy, I was feeling myself. I was confident. All of this is also probably what contributed to my demise. But like I said,

how could I have known?

After:

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On April 26th, 2017, my life changed forever. I was in a situation that I no longer wanted to be in, but I couldn’t get out of it. Yes, I went there out of my own free will, and the night was okay for a while, but when things started happening that I wasn’t okay with, he didn’t listen. I’m not going to go into grave detail, not again, but I keep replaying that night over and over again, to this day. I am still torn, I don’t know if I did everything I could have done and I don’t know if I contributed to it in any way. But, what I do know is I told him I wasn’t ready and that I wanted him to stop, and he told me to relax and that nothing was happening. He got what he wanted because I was scared.

May (May 21st):

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Another month, another project. The month started off with me telling one of my close friends what happened. It was kind of a relief to get it off my chest and to get some things clarified, but it was the first time I said it out loud and that made what happened to me real. Which means that I could no longer pretend that it didn’t.

Dallas, Texas. I was there for three weeks and during those three weeks I ended up self harming. It was the first time in LONG time that I had done so, and I was so disappointed and angry that it came to that. But, I was just so upset that I wasn’t feeling “the way I was supposed to” (according to whose standards? I have no idea), so I thought I would take matters into my own hands. However, not all of May was bad. Parts of it was good because one of my friends got married and it was a lovely ceremony. The month ended with me getting some sort of infection on my lip, which sucked, and a family reunion, which was great!

June (June 25th):

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June started off as a really good month. It was my mom’s birthday so we got to celebrate that. We went to a Nigerian engagement party and we looked fantastic, if I do say so myself. I was doing well. But, like I said, how could I have know what was going to happen next?

The morning of Father’s day I woke up to a charge of almost $800 on my credit card. Long story short, I left my wallet in the car and the window was left down just enough that someone was able to reach in, unlock the doors, and take my cards. That broke me, that was the finally straw, that was my low, or so I thought (until months later). Anyway, as a result I finally let the rest of my close group of friends in on what I have been dealing with the last few months, because I was tired of pretending that everything was okay when it wasn’t. The month ended with a trip to Savannah, GA that had been planned for months, that I didn’t want to take anymore, but I am glad I did because I had a great time.

July (July 7th):

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More Traveling. So I think it goes without saying that this year alone I have traveled more than I have in my entire life. That was a goal of mine for the past few years and I am glad that I was able to make that happen with this year. The month of July was particularly busy.. I went to Maryland for a conference with my family, then I went to Orlando to spend the weekend with my friend and her new baby, and then I went to South Carolina for another project. While I was there my sister and her friend and I took a day trip to Charleston. Finally, I ended the month in Houston for about a week. So I was busy, to say the least.

Like all my other months, this one started off well and then started to slip. On my way to my SC project (I drove), I had a mini breakdown. I don’t know why, I don’t know what caused it. But, for three hours I was on the verge of tears. I cut myself off from social media and I tried to take care of myself on my own, mainly because I didn’t know how to explain what was happening to me. And then there were a few times where I was just immobile because of my emotions, it was scary. Eventually, I realized that I hadn’t let myself fully feel all the emotions that came with what happened to me, because there’s always been something else that I needed to do, or accomplish. Life essentially got in the way of my emotions. It was the first sign of my depression, but I didn’t know it at the time. This is also why I went to Houston, I needed to spend time with my friend and to get out of my own head.

August (August 27th):

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August was a month of new adventures for me. The family that I had been working with for the past three years was moving to California. That was definitely bittersweet for me, because at the time I didn’t know if I was still going to move with them or not. I also was a Camp Advisor (co-Camp Advisor as seen in the photo) for the first time. The Camp that I was involved with during my college years, the one that changed my life, finally gave me one week of a whole new experience. Needless to say, August was a great month. I was back to being happy and almost back to normal.

September (September 3rd):

20170903_154622[1]It only took nine months, but we finally made it. The “Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Spinsterhood” (what we call ourselves) was finally reunited Labor day weekend. It was definitely a long time coming and a really good weekend. We ate, we laughed, we took pictures, and we walked everywhere, almost. But most importantly, we were together. More great things that happened that month: I got a new phone, I was finally off from work (after my Labor Day weekend trip I was home for one month), I went to Yelp events and I continued my trend of eating good food. I think since the incident August and September were by far my greatest months. But, what have we learned? Do I even need to say it at this point? Fine, for those who weren’t paying attention. How could I have known what was going to happen next?

October (October 4th): 20171004_181541(0)[1]

There’s no point in lying or even sugar coating it. October was the worst month of 2017. Remember that depressive episode I was talking about in July? That was nothing compared to what happened this month and there was no way I could have known to what extent it would go. I was working 12 hour night shifts every day for four weeks straight. I was fine the first week or so, but then I don’t know what happened. I was crying almost everyday, I wanted to go home so bad,  and I wanted to be away from everyone. I was exhausted and tired and constantly reliving what happened. It wasn’t good. It got to the point were I was crying in the bathroom at work and one night I had the strongest urge to self harm and I was about to, but my team leads came to check up on me to see how the night was going. It was my lowest low and I was scared of what was happening to me and what I was capable of doing.

November (November 12th)

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I had about a week in between my October project and this November one and I jsut ended up sleeping most of the time. My next project was in New Jersey, day shift this time, thank God. Since it was so close to New York and I have a friend who lives there I decided that I would go and celebrate my birthday there. On my actual birthday, I went to a restaurant with my aunt, who happened to be on the same project, and the following weekend I spent time with my two friends from college.

But, of course, November was also another busy month, because I had just gotten off a project, and then I came to this one, just to fly back for a wedding for a day and then I had to fly back the next day because I had to work. So I was just exhausted. But, as the month went on, the days got easier, and my sanity slowly returned. I came home for Thanksgiving and spent time with my friends and family, so that was a nice break. I also finished applying to school so it was definitely a weight lifted off my shoulders.

December (December 10th):

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The final month. The beginning of December was not the greatest. After all the festivities of the previous holiday,  I just wanted to lie in my bed and never leave. Which is what I ended up doing. I didn’t willingly leave the house for two weeks. Simply put, I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to go anywhere, or do anything, and I was constantly complaining. In fact, it got to the point where I was annoyed with myself for constantly complaining  about my weight, but not actually doing anything to fix it. I think it was the photos from my birthday is where I realized that I had gained so much weight, and when I finally stepped on the scale I found out that I had gained thirty pounds since April. That’s a lot, I was at my heaviest I had been since in like 6 years. Originally, I was supposed to be twenty pounds less than where I was in April, but I guess life had other plans. So December ended up being a rude awakening, that just because something happened to you doesn’t mean you have to let it ruin your entire life.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Always follow what you want to do, don’t let anyone else push you to do something you’re uncomfortable with.
  2. You don’t always get what you wish for, you get what you work for.
  3. Stop letting other people control your happiness. It’s okay to be selfish and do what you want to do.
  4. Step outside of your comfort zone, sometimes it might be worth it.
  5. Enjoy the life you’re given. Embrace both the challenges and successes because both make you who you are.

I know it was a long post, probably my longest one to date. But, 2017 was a year and this was a much needed recap to remind myself that I still had a pretty good year despite everything that happened. I am blessed that I have my family and that we are all healthy. I am blessed that I have my friends and that they are all healthy. I blessed that we as a collective whole, even though we all had a pretty tough year, we made it through. And most importantly I am happy that I was finally able to open up to my friends, which is something that I wanted to do for a long time, I just never had the courage to do so. Granted, there are still some days where I can let them in more, but baby steps.

I pray that 2018 will be better and I will try my best to make sure that it is.

Happy New Year in Advance!

Alex.

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New Year, Please Change

Something’s got to give.

Anything. 

I am so tired of feeling this way.

I am so tired of complaining about feeling this way.

When I get in my moods it’s hard for me to come out of it. It’s also hard hard for me to explain everything that’s going on in my head. I just want to stay away from people and not have any interactions.

I am supposed to have a call with my friends today, but I wasn’t feeling it since the morning and now I have a sort of out. I am going to the movies with my brother. I honestly just don’t want to do anything.

My parents already pissed me off this morning and that had put me in a sour mood all morning. I am starting to lighten up now that I am going to the movies, but still.

I feel like this is not going to end. I feel like this is my life now and I am so so very tired of it. I just want things to change. I want them to get better. I need them to. Because I’m tired.

ALEX

A Trip

I took a trip to to New York to visit some friends. I took a trip to get out of the constant feeling of always being needed to do something. I took this trip because I needed a break.

I don’t know if it’s helped.

I’ve been here two nights and each one consisted of nightmares. Well, technically not, but they were weird and bad dreams.

Two nights ago, my first night, I don’t really remember what I was dreaming about, but I know I didn’t like it. I also kept waking up every other hour which was frustrating.

Then last night, I had the type of dream where I woke up within the dream and started to become hysterical. I was hyperventilating and I started to cry. The more I cried the worst it got. My friend woke up as a result and tried to comfort me, but that just made it even worse. It got to the point where I couldn’t stop and was in a full blown panic attack and I finally woke myself up in real life, but in a similar panic of heavy breathing. My heart was racing and I felt like it was going to start all over again. But, I was able to calm down after about 20 minutes.

I’ve never had a panic attack, so I’m not entirely sure what it’s supposed to feel like. But that sure as hell felt like one and it was terrifying even if it was just a dream. It just felt so real and it came out of nowhere which I think is what made it worse.

Aside from the fact that I haven’t been sleeping well, my trip so far has been good. I’m halfway through and I feel relaxed and I’m even starting to hear back from jobs that I applied to. Positive things.

I hope the rest of the trip goes well and I hope the bad dreams stop.

Relapse

I don’t know what to do.

& I don’t know what happened.

But, I’m afraid that it’s going to happen again.

Long story short, November fucking sucked. My family was in an accident and I’ve been taking care of my mom, who fractured her back, and sister, who ruptured her Achilles tendon and consequently had a blood clot.

I’ve been the one waking up in the middle of the night giving pain meds. I’ve been the one making meals, cleaning, and shopping. I’ve been the one to take them to the ER and stay with them when they’ve been admitted. I’ve been the one to do everything.

I became a nurse and a mom overnight.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind it because it’s something that I just had to do. Well, I didn’t mind it. At first. But now. I’m tired. I’m tired of only being the one called. I’m tired of only being the one who cooks and cleans. I tired of constantly trying to make everyone happy. I’ve been taking care of them, with no one to take care of me.

I’ve had two breakdowns this month.

The first one, I was extremely tired and exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically just lost it after going to the gym. I called my friend to try and calm me down and she suggested I contact my doctor. I did. And it wasn’t what I expected and we ran out of time.

During that breakdown, I ended up self harming again. It was the only thing that I could do to get the thoughts to stop. It was the only thing I could think of to do to get my mind off everything that was happening around me. It was the only thing I could do for myself.

After that time, I had to snap out of it because I had responsibilities as a nurse mom and I couldn’t focus on myself, right? I had no time. So I pushed my emotions aside and got back to work.

Today, well yesterday. It happened again. I got overwhelmed with everything that was going on and all the responsibilities I have to do that don’t belong to me and I sat in my car and drank. For two reasons, 1. I didn’t want to go inside and be bombarded with requests to do something. & 2. I didn’t want my family to know that I was drinking, especially not that much.

When I got inside what do you know, I was already being asked about tomorrow. Can you do this, take me here, help with that. Like, can I breathe for one moment before you start the attacks.

All day I had been thinking about getting a tattoo that says, breathe or just breathe on my wrist. So when I came back today, I thought it would be a good idea to write it on just to see what it would look like. The pen turned into a razor I found and I ended up self harming again.. I think this might have been the first time I did it while drinking. But regardless, it happened. And I not to sure that it won’t happen again.

I just want to go somewhere where people don’t need me to take care of them, but instead I’m the one being taken care of. I want to go where people don’t know me. I just want to go somewhere. Anywhere. I just don’t want to be here anymore. At least not right now.

Alex.

I’m Not Ready

I was asked recently about my temperament. I feel like for the most part it’s pretty steady. But, every so often it can change. Just like that. And currently, I feel like a ‘just like that’ moment is occurring.

I am slowly starting to realize how much money I actually missed out on by not being accepted for a project I applied for. And to make matters worse, it would have been the perfect project for me. Here’s why:

  1. The project was in California, with the same hospital system I worked at when the incident happened.
  2. It’s in the same city where the Huxtables currently reside and I would have been there for Theo’s birthday, which is today.
  3. It would have been for a different company so the chances of me seeing him are slim to none.
  4. I would have been working inpatient hours, so more hours equals more pay.

ALL of which are fantastic reasons. Like I said, perfect project.

I have been trying to console myself with the idea that everything happens for a reason, and since I lost that opportunity I have received two initiated conversations about a full time position. But so far, nothing has come from it. Which means I have nothing right now. ‘I have no money and no prospects’ as my friends would always say.

I am starting to get worried that I am currently going down the wrong path and eventually it’s going to be to hard to turn away. I am starting to feel as if I haven’t accomplished much with my life. And I am slowly, not fully yet, starting to feel like I am wasting my life and I could be doing so much more.

I want to be doing so much more, but right now no one is giving me the chance. All I need is for one organization to take a chance on me and give me an opportunity to prove to them that I am actually really good at what I do. I just need to be trained and given the platform to shine.

And I need for it to happen soon. Because currently I am starting to lose hope just a little. And not yet, but I feel it coming on, I feel like I am on the verge of a backslide of the century.

I have been on an extended high for way too long. I have had the summer of a lifetime and I am currently achieving my body goals and I feel like the universe might think that I am too happy and it’s time to be taken down a notch.

I’m not ready.

Alex

Quick Life Update

It’s been a while since I have written. And I hate for you guys to think that I only write when my life is falling apart, but that seems to always be the case. Mainly, since it’s the only thing that keeps me together.

However, this time it’s not falling apart. It’s been better than ever. 

These past few months, I have actually been really happy. I have been working consistently, I have been eating healthier, working out, and speaking more of my truth to my friends ( i.e. letting them in more on my day to day life). Needless to say, I have been living my life like it’s golden.

In fact, this past week I actually went back to California to visit the family that I used to work for ( they moved out there last August) and I spent a week with them and I really  enjoyed myself and hanging out with the kids.

For whatever reason, I thought that maybe I would have a trigger of some sorts, but to my surprise, I didn’t think of him once. Not once. Not even one time. Looking back at it, I am completely happy that he isn’t even on my radar anymore. However, a part of me is saddened that that part of my life is over now. Because I feel that if I don’t remember it was it really significant enough to do all the damage that it did. I know the logical answer is yes, but still. It’s something I think about.

Granted, I am no longer the person who needs to obsess over it, or talk it out, or avoid talking it out, or cry over it, or get upset that I am not crying over it, or simply even think about it at all. In fact, I haven’t thought about it. Like I said, AT ALL. And yes, I am ecstatic, I am elated, I am joyful, and thankful, and blessed that I no longer have to deal with that part of my life anymore. I am still concerned that I am concerned that it’s over.

But, hey. No more dwelling. Here is the truth:

I have been traveling constantly the last 6 months for work and this past week started  my two month travel adventure. I get to go to camp three times, I am meeting up with my friends, I am going to travel somewhere with my sister (don’t know where yet), hopefully I am going to Bermuda. But, moral of the story is, I will be busy making happy memories with the people I love, surrounded by people who love me, and I couldn’t be happier.

I feel great and I am not ashamed about that anymore.

Goodbye & Goodnight

Alex.

California in April

I wanted revenge.

I wanted to prove that I am stronger now.

I wanted you to know that I am no longer that naive person that you took advantage of.

I wanted to stand up to you and tell you that you were wrong for what you did and you knew what you were doing, but you did it anyway.

I wanted to show you that I’m not a victim, but a survivor.

But, most importantly I wanted to prove all this to myself by standing up to you.

That’s why I wanted to go back on the second wave of the project. For me, to prove that I am stronger than you.

Always

You will always be my 2am text.

You will always be my drunk text, my tipsy, text, my ‘I’ve only had one drink’, but I want to talk text.

You will always be the person who knew me at my lowest and who I want to see me at my best.

You will always be my best friend, my confidant, my rock when I don’t need it & when I don’t deserve.

You will always be the person who hurt me the most and helped me the most.

You will always be my someone, even if you don’t want to be and even if you don’t know it.

& I will always need you.

Alex.

Always Silenced

I feel as if every time I want to open up, something happens. Something always comes comes up and I feel silenced, and I feel as if I have missed my opportunity. Then the ten seconds of bravery that I did have, I lose. And I never truly get it back until I eventually break and then what’s the point of that?

It also doesn’t help that I can never really gather my words to actually express what I want to say.

It doesn’t help that I can never really gather my mind to figure out how I feel.

I keep fighting with myself that I am not allowed to feel this way.

I keep telling myself that I shouldn’t be feeling this way.

I keep reminding myself that I don’t need to feel this way.

And I keep saying that I am making it all up.

Like, is it all in my mind? Am I actually feeling this way or do I just want attention?

But if it’s all for attention, then why don’t I share what I am feeling to get that attention?

Why don’t I call up my friends every night or every other night to let them know that I am feeling lonely or sad, or that I haven’t stopped thinking about those nights all day.

Or maybe I should tell them that every time I go to workout I think of him at least once, because remember I was training for a Tough Mudder at the time and he would come into the gym as well to work out.

Should I tell my friends that when things start to wind down on the weekends is when I have the free time to actually remember the things that happen and for the past two weekends I’ve had boughts of tears.

How do I let them know that as the time is slowly approaching and the second wave of the project is happening in April again, I desperately wanted to be on the that project for reasons I can’t even bring myself to say out loud.

You know it’s gotten to the point that the most upsetting thing isn’t the actual incident itself, but how much time has past and what’s happened in the aftermath.

How do you explain out loud the fights that you’re having in your head?

Square One: Part Two 

I feel like everyone else’s life is going on without me and I am emotionally at a stand still.

I feel like I am stuck and I have no way how to get out. 

It’s worse because I’m currently not working right now, so I literally have nothing to do. But, in reality, I also don’t want to do anything. 

For two weeks now I have been lying on my bed or the couch, blaming my laziness on my back injury, but really it might just be me. 

I’m not motivated to do anything or to go anywhere. I just want to watch television, eat, and sleep.

I don’t know if I’m depressed or just lazy. I want to get up and work out and lose all the weight I’ve gained, but it’s physically so hard to do. I had high hopes for losing weight this month and I think I might have lost maybe one pound? 

I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

And I hate that nothing has changed: 

  1. My back hasn’t gotten better. 
  2. I’m still fat. 
  3. I’m back to thinking about the incident and him. 

I’m literally fighting with myself on a daily basis. “You shouldn’t be eating that. You should be working out.” “You can work out later, keep lying here.”

I’m also a self sabotaging person. Yesterday I bought bags of salad and today I went out to buy ramen. It’s like I don’t want myself to get better and succeed. 

I hate how far I’ve fallen. I hate how lazy I’ve been. I hate that I’ve gained so much weight. I hate that I’m not happy. I hate that I have no one to talk to about this because everyone is so busy. 

I hate that I’m all alone.

Alex.