Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Longest Week

To say the past week has been a tough one for me would be a gross understatement. I've gone through every possible emotion - anxiety, excitement, joy, despair, confusion, hope, and fear - and now I'm just at "hazy."

Days 9-12: I was still flipping back and forth over whether I should drive out to see Mr. First for his annual BBQ. On one hand I wanted to see his family and friends (and him) because I wasn't sure when I'd get the chance to see them again. And people actually wanted to see me there (it's always nice when people want you around). But then there was the awkwardness to worry about (among other things). What if I broke down in the middle of the party and had to hide out in the bathroom for the rest of the day? Those thoughts wreaked havoc on my stomach and so I barely ate for days so as not to upset it even more. Needless to say, I was a wreck.

Days 13-15: But still I decided I'd go. And for the rest of the week I was actually a lot calmer. I was going to make the best of it and just have fun. I was there to catch up with old friends and find out how everyone else was doing (and not focus on how I was feeling the whole time). After Wednesday night's session with T, I was determined that I'd pull through this and reach the other end unscathed. "I can't let this break me down," I said to myself. "I'll be just fine." And for a while I believed it.

Day 16: The day arrived and I was actually so excited about the trip - jittery even! I danced around the apartment singing along to the radio as I got dressed and did my hair. The closer I got to his house the more nervous I became. And when I walked through the front door, wine and break-and-bake cookies in hand, he was the first person I saw. After the initial awkward hello and hug, I went to say hi to the family and then his friends in the backyard. I chatted some of them up throughout the afternoon and it was so nice catching up with the ones I was closest to, but for the last half I stayed inside. Mostly because I felt out of place. There were no tears, but I still felt loser-ish. And when I finally did feel like I was going to break down I went out for a walk. I hadn't seen stars in six months and the moon was full, but of course it all reminded me of our late night strolls when I'd hold on to his arm for dear life every time a toad jumped in our path. This time there was no one to grab when something jumped out from the shadows.

At the end of the night I had the option of driving back home, sleeping at his sister's house or sleeping on the couch in his basement. If you know me, you know what I chose.

Day 17: And I spent the whole night crying. I cried as I put on my pj's. I cried as I sat on the bathroom floor. I cried as I curled up into a ball on the couch. And I cried as I shut my eyes and prayed so hard that this never-ending sadness would someday disappear. The one person I used to turn to to make things better was now sleeping one floor above me and I couldn't dare reach out to him. I looked around the lamp-lit basement and wondered "Why am I here? Why did I come?" And even though I kept sobbing through the night I knew that this was just where I was meant to be. As torturous as I imagined it would be, I would've gone anyway. It's like I needed to put myself in that position once again and feel how much it breaks me apart.

Even though I told him I was finally throwing in the towel as we sat on his deck that following morning, I still wasn't ready to let it all go. I still wanted to reach out and hold his hand. I wanted him to hug me, to run his fingers through my hair. I still missed what we had and wanted us to go back to the days when we'd watch TV wrapped under the same blanket with my head on his shoulder. But now it was as if there was this glass wall between us and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't shatter it.

We left things as we usually did - completely up in the air with no resolution in sight. Interesting how on the drive home every song I had cheerfully sang along to the day before now kept making me cry.

Determined to make a decision on what to do (keep talking as friends or break away) or at least find the courage to do what I felt I should (get some distance), I talked with him on the phone that night. The conclusion? No decision was reached. I still couldn't pull away.

Day 18: And then I received my wake-up call. That morning I got up, dressed and ready for another day. I was still gloomy/exhausted from the weekend, but it was nothing I couldn't handle. I made my way over to the bus stop (instead of walking to the train station like I usually do) and proceeded to wait. Two minutes go by and my head starts hurting so I hike up my sleeves, sip some water and head towards the shade. Only that doesn't help. I start getting dizzier and so I sit on the bench and drink some more water. When I noticed that my arms were covered in sweat, I started panicking.

In a split second decision, I stood up and headed back home. As I made my way up my block I felt even worse. My eyesight became grainy (like the fuzzy channels on TV), everything sounded muffled and I was struggling to breathe. Everything seemed to be passing me by in slow motion and I was ready to drop at any second.

Somehow I made it back to my building, sat on the steps and called Dad for help (in the midst of all that I had almost lost my voice as well). I could barely move and couldn't even think about climbing four flights of stairs. Alone, confused and scared, my eyes started to water over.

Once I made it to the apartment, I had no energy. Changing into lighter clothes took so much out of me that afterwards I could only lay on my bed panting and hoping I wouldn't black out before someone came for me.

Luckily, I made it through. Dad brought some toast and juice and then left to get my mother. And during that time I made my decision. It was time I became selfish, too. Time to think more about myself and focused on becoming healthy again. If I didn't, things could get worse. I texted him my decision and it was agreed, but I didn't tell him what had pushed me over the edge.

Although I was feeling a bit better after a couple hours, I still went to the hospital to see what was going on. I ended up waiting 3.5 hours to get checked in and then laid in bed with an IV in my arm for another five. The diagnosis: my blood pressure dropped due to hunger, dehydration and exhaustion and so no blood was flowing to my brain.

I was alone most of the day and tears kept streaming down my cheeks. I was finally where I had been warned I'd end up if I didn't take care of myself. I felt so low. All I wanted to do was go home.

Day 19: And so now I'm left with the task of letting go, moving on and getting better. And if that's not the biggest out of the box move for me, then I don't know what is. It's strange; it took a serious moment of weakness for me to gain the strength to do what I'd been scared to do for so long.


  1. I'm so proud of you.

    Love you!

  2. Thanks for the support! And welcome to the blog Darla. I had something to say about your sunset pictures from yesterday :)


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