I can’t control some of the things that I once thought I could control. The overarching idea is that sure, I can. I can control my weight. I can control my heart rate. I can control the variables that make these things move up and down or stay the same. But what I’m learning so intimately lately, is that despite my best efforts to take tremendous care of myself, I can’t.
And this is how my body alerts me that I’m not quite alright. It’s not yet been 4 months since Matt passed, and I find myself in a stage of disbelief. It’s not a set stage – it ebbs and flows and surprises me without welcome, but it is a stage. When in Mexico I truly reset; I spent time meditating (which I have continued!), I spent time walking alone and sitting on the beach reading and going to bed early. I spent time in the spa and in the gym and listening to my body. I spent time off devices and didn’t log into my work email once. I made the best food choices I could with the resources I had and came home.
I came home to unconscious expectations that Mexico should’ve uplifted everything and that things would be “normal” again. But as it turns out, Matt is still dead. I am still getting married. Work is busy. My parents are still devastated and now declining physically. Work is gangbusters. Thinking about these things one by one is stressful, let alone their culmination. I thought I reset in Mexico and that things would be different when I got home – better. Improved. Right. But they aren’t. They are the same.
Matt is still not here. I cannot text him, call him, send a meme or freak out about the now very real possibility of being a mom. I cannot show him my dress, or my gold romper, or go to the jewelry store with him. And we didn’t even talk all the time! I cannot even begin to fathom the experience my parents or Amanda are having, and I know I don’t have to, but fuck. It is enormous. Too much for just me, which is why thankfully I know it is never just me. I do know that.
I am still getting married. Which shatters the fundamental story my disease has cemented in my brain that I am not enough. It shatters the epilogue that “she just wasn’t quite worth it”. It shatters the plaguing, incessant thoughts that I’m destined to be independent, alone, not share anything and that’s probably better anyway. It shatters the idea that I won’t be able to handle having kids or being a mom or a wife or a partner or … anything. It just shatters it. And while shattering in this example is for my highest good, it is still monumental change. Mike and I are a team, and I am here for that. It also doesn’t negate the things that go into becoming a team on paper: potentially changing my name joining bank accounts writing the best god damn vows you’ve ever listened to, picking the right music that we don’t agree on is the best music, honoring the woman I want to be and the partner I want to be, becoming a family unit and not just a 30’s something successful woman without.
Work is busy – this is the busiest I’ve ever been this early in the year. I have already hit my first incentive bonus and my pipeline is far from dry. I feel more confident while also aware of the need to continue to grow. Our podcast is syncing. I am collaborating with my peers more. I even went to the office yesterday and bookended with my coworker around the lake! It’s awesome, and it’s stressful. It’s both.
While marriage that is the very thing I have wanted for more years than I can say, it is stressful. Matt not being here is stressful. Work being busy and booming is stressful. Not being able to harness my parents’ devastation or physical ailments is stressful. I can have both feelings, all feelings, exactly at the same time. And it’s confusing. I’m grateful that not one takes precedence at any given time, but it makes the doer and tasker in me pissed. Because I am doing all of the right things to not be stressed, and I am fucking stressed anyway. I am eating my foods, and by eating my foods I mean I am measuring fiber to the gram so that my poor belly will be happy and trying to avoid foods that make her not. I am sleeping. I am training and listening to my body. I am setting a timer every morning and closing my eyes and sitting. I am writing. I am praying, morning noon and in between until night. I am talking about it and once I did finally realize that my unconscious expectations were sinking me, I cried and let them be known. To myself and to those nearest me.
I don’t like this place of not being able to control things that I think I should be able to control. I don’t like this place of back and forth, swinging and swaying. It’s not unmanageable, but it is new. It is not rhythmic at all, consistent in any way, or predictable. I know I am not alone, and I know that I am OK, while I also don’t know anything at all. I’m grateful to have enough experience and enough support around me to be comfortable falling apart and leaning in and to take stock verbally. I am also wishing for things to be “OK” and just … OK.
My brain says to diet and take the few pounds off that seem to be lingering. My recovery says that won’t make things OK, and that my body is simply trying to carry this around for me and there’s no other way to do it. My brain says to find other methods to fix and control and my recovery says “OK, may those things be full of grace and love and generosity then”. So, a lot of girl dates and talks on the couch and texts and spa days. Non-weight changing but still body appreciative actions that move me toward love and acceptance, not away.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose a few pounds and if I find that in a few weeks or months nothing’s budging, I can work toward an action plan to change that. But right now, if anybody else came to me with the bullet list I’ve shared above, I’d embrace them so tightly and kiss them on the cheek and beg them with tears in my eyes to let it be. I’d encourage them to let their body, who houses their soul, heal. I’d ask them to sit still, trust, and grab onto somebody else’s experience until they have their own. I’d tell them that they’re simply GORGEOUS, stunningly radiant in all that life has delivered to them over these last few months, and that they are already handling it, not that they can.
How are you doing, dear reader? Are you trying to handle it on your own or come up with ways to not have to? I trust you know I am here with you, sharing this sacred space. Always.
Thanks for reading.