The Heartbreak Project

I am going to be publishing a lot of stories on here. Many of them will be based in true events, but they will be mostly fiction. Some of them will come from my personal experience, but many of them will be stories that people have shared with me.

Heartbreak is an emotion we have all dealt with. Whether romantically or some other relationship, losing someone you love, either through death or other means, is one of the most difficult things we face as humans. We are made to love, to share, to care for one another. We are not made to be solitary creatures. Humans have always lived in colonies, packs, communities. We are a species that is nurtured by our parents for 18 years. That’s a crazy long time, when you think about the animal world. We are born into community. We long for it, we search for it. The relief we feel when we find where we belong is indescribable, the hurt we feel when we lose where we belong is unbearable.

I’ve experienced a lot of heartbreak. My personality lends itself to becoming attached to people, quickly, easily, and deeply. I care hard, and I expect it back. It’s taken a long time to accept that not everyone functions the way I do and not everyone values relationships the way I do.

Heartbreak hurts me deeply. It hurts everyone deeply, sure. But even listening to other’s stories hurts me more than I can possibly bear sometimes. Recently a friend shared with me a deeply piercing story of heartbreak. Her own story, which had every piece of a fairy tale puzzle. Except it was like one of those modern movies where the ending isn’t happily ever after. The ending sucks.

In life, the ending often sucks.

K is not the only person who has shared this kind of story with me. I would also love to hear your story, in the comments, in an email, or on facebook.

More to come….

The Gift

Last night, I was given a gift.

My friend most likely didn’t think anything of it. She likes for things to be used. She had something that wasn’t being used, and I was expressing a hope that I’d be able to purchase this item in the near future. Talking about my goals, acquiring this item was part of my steps. To recovery, to health, and to dreams.

Last night, she brought this gift to my house.

It was a laptop PC.

This gift was so important to me. There are lots of reason I wanted a computer. Mostly that mobile browsing when researching things like grad school had really gotten old. I missed the stability of having an actual computer. And writing on a phone or tablet had gotten nearly impossible.

Several years ago I was burnt out on writing. Blogging, in particular, had left me feeling tired and pressured. I suffered from writers block, having ideas in my head for posts but not being able to get them to come out in the form of words on a screen. I had put too much pressure on myself to churn out quality writing, writing that could solidify the place in an online community I had worked so hard to achieve.

Things happened. Personal things, things you may hear about in the near future. I was struggling with “The other D,” big time. (The first D is diabetes, the “other D” is depression).

I feel like I have been through hell and back emotionally the last few years. But I am ready to talk about it. I am ready to share about it. And I am ready to journey into the future, with you, dear reader.

This is no longer a diabetes blog, although diabetes may be mentioned.

This is going to be a place where I share with you my struggles with mental health, and my journey out of a hole.

If you chose to join me in my journey, welcome.

Writing is freeing. I am in a place where I do not care about an audience, I’m going to write anyway. These posts will be scarcely edited. But they will be from the depths of my heart and soul.

 

My friend V did not know what kind of a gift she was giving me when she gave me this old laptop. But she gave me the gift of freedom.

 

Thank you V.

Here we go again!

Guys, it’s 2015! My blog, despite it’s chronic underuse, will turn six years old this year. My diabetes will turn seventeen. My relationship will turn one and I will turn 28. But ages and years are just numbers. What’s the important thing? I’m not really sure. All I know is I miss blogging and I think it might really help me keep my head on straight this year.

Here are just some of the things I think I should/can/will blog about in “the 2015”

EXERCISE

Pain Diagnosis and management!

Going gluten free again….

Diabetes (of course)

CGM again

Shots vs pump

U500 insulin!

WEDDING PLANNING

Engagement?! Eeek!!

CATS

Running

Depression

Anxeity!!

WORK BURN OUT

Broken healthcare systems

The Bible?

Reading!

DOCTOR WHO.

And many other sajablarific things.

STAY TUNED.

“You can eat whatever you want.”

That’s what they told me. I don’t remember who exactly, but it was someone at Mercy Children’s Hospital’s diabetes center in Kansas City circa 2000. After 2 years of taking regular and NPH insulin, which to be brief, put you on an insane diabetes roller coaster, I was switching to multiple daily injections and taking insulin to cover the amount of food I ate instead of eating to cover the amount of insulin I ate.

It was supposed to prepare me to get an insulin pump, but it would be nine years before I’d actually complete that process. At this time, I was rejoicing in eating, well, whatever I wanted. Every time my parents would say something to me, I would retort back with, “I can eat whatever I want as long as I take insulin for it.” Cakes, cookies, candies, even slurpees and ice cream, anything was fair game.

It was then that the weight gain started, I know. I mean, the two years before that my body had been recovering from a huge shock where I had been so thin I was almost dead, just before diagnosis. But eating whatever I wanted – no limits, no restrictions – this was heaven. And somehow, it caused habits of disordered eating that have been following me ever since.

I still remember those first two years. I remember snacking on cheese and diet coke when I would get hungry. I remember forcing myself to eat just a little bit more when I wasn’t hungry enough for the amount of food I needed for a meal. I remember hoping my blood sugar would get low, just so I could eat some of the orange slices my dad had in the cabinet.

I remember sneaking food and lying about my blood sugar. I remember being found out by my doctor when my A1C results came back and how ashamed I felt. And I remember not really caring that much.

I don’t know when the eat, insulin, nap started with the binging but I imagine it was somewhere around my junior year of college. This was the time when I put on the most weight. This was the time I broke 200lbs and went far beyond. This was the time I struggled in a long distance, slightly abusive relationship and sought food for comfort. This was the time when food seemed to be my only friend.

After that dark place I found the DOC. I started taking care of myself and low and behold I felt so much better. More energy. Less anger. Less low blood sugar. Less scary.

I am happy with where I currently am in my diabetes management, though I wish things were a little bit cheaper, and I’m not sure I’d like my a1c if I took it today. But the weight sticks around, a shameful reminder of a time gone by, and an excuse to return to old habits when life gets hard. I did manage to lose 30 lbs toward the end of 2012. My a1c at the time was over 10. I’m not sure how much of that weight loss was me actually trying or was the high blood sugars. (I can’t believe I’m admitting this on the internet). Nevertheless, it’s all back now.

It’s difficult. I’m working on being overall in a healthy mindset, taking care of diabetes and making healthy food choices and making sure I exercise and eating low-carb because I’ve seen the difference it makes in my Dexcom graph. It isn’t easy. In fact, it’s damn hard. All of it. Eating healthy, actually COOKING things? I hate cooking. Dragging my butt to the gym or convincing myself to go outside for a run? When I feel like I do today, not so easy. Low carb? Might be easy, were it not for my massive sweet tooth. Cigarettes? Diet soda? I know these things are bad for me, but they are my vices, especially in times of stress.

I have learned, especially in the last two years, that the best thing to do is to take things one day at a time, one meal at a time, one decision at a time. If you make a decision that isn’t ideal, all it means is that is the decision that you made at that point in time. It doesn’t mean, by any means, that you have to make another less than ideal decision later. I can do it. You can do it. Together we can help each other do it. One step at a time.

I miss writing. Here’s a story.

Life is a balancing act. It’s work, it’s leisure, it’s relationships, it’s church, it’s diabetes management, it’s financial management, and then it is just plain sitting and thinking about it all. We’ve all gone though phases where everything seems extremely unbalanced and when we try to balance it it seems to just topple over.

At the beginning of January, I was very near having a nervous breakdown. I couldn’t hardly sleep, and only did so by being heavily medicated and focusing my brain on television shows. My relationship fell apart in a super dramatic fashion, and then the relationship I immaturely tried to replace that relationship with also fell apart. I moved out of my apartment which I had graciously agreed to share with someone I once cared about. And while all of this was going on, my work life was suffering. And if you’ve ever worked in sales, not being able to focus on work means more meetings with supervisors, more ultimatums, and ultimately less money – which doesn’t help anything.

I took a good look at my life and asked what was stressing me out the most. I decided it was two things: my relationship and my job. So obviously, I decided I should remove those two things from my life. I broke up with my boyfriend. And that was hard, because boy did I love that man. But one lesson you learn growing up – that isn’t always enough. We had come to a place where we just made each other’s demons worse, and we needed to move away from one another. So I left.

Then I had a sit-down with my boss. My then-boss is the best boss I have ever had in my life. He is not just a great supervisor who produces results, but he is also an absolutely good person and takes time to relate to his agents in a personal manner. I told him I wanted to leave. He, being more logical than Emotional Sarah Jane is, told me to work for two weeks. So I did. And guess what. I didn’t leave. In fact, I noticed a job in another department was open and I applied for it. And guess what else? I got it. And guess what else else?  I love it. And I’m still with a fabulous company and I still get to work with some of the greatest people in the world.

It kind of blows my mind when I think about how different my life is than it was three months ago. But it’s also at a strangely familiar place. I’m at my parents house, again. This is the third time since I moved out the first time I have come back. And that’s ok. Sure, 27 year olds seem a little old to be living with mom and dad, but it’s not like I’m struggling financially and it will change soon. I just have to be patient.

Removing the thing that took up 90 percent of my time and energy from my life has left me feeling so free. I feel free to be myself. I feel free to find myself.  I also feel free of the need to have someone there to depend on. I have plenty of people I can depend on, but when it comes to self validation, I’m now leaving that up to me. It has been incredibly difficult at times. I have only grieved one other relationship as hard and long as I have grieved this one. But it has also made me so strong, and strong was not an adjective I would have ever used to describe myself before 2014.

Strong and happy. Welcome to adulthood.

Restart. Again.

It’s time. I have spent many, many months battling “the other D,” battling denial and battling my deamons. Writing didn’t come easy for a long time, and then when I could literally feel the words pouring out of my brain I was without a laptop for a few months. It’s actually a bit hard to write a blog post from a tablet or phone that isn’t just a few sentences long.

My blog has been slightly revamped. It will continue to change, but this works, for now. Updates soon. I promise.

The Realizes, or, Things I’m Remembering While Navigating the Mid-20’s

Image

Sometimes life just makes me feel this way.

Blog no longer abandoned, just rarely tended to, I am starting to come back around. And while I realize that maybe this whole mess of the 20’s will be one big black hole when I come out of it, at least, knowing that I still have three and a half good years left before I hit that dreaded 3-0 point, that the whole experience, albeit stressful and downright crazy, will be something I look back on triumphantly, and say, “Hey, I did that.” 

Tidbits on my mind tonight: 

  1. Diabetes may be a little sh*t, but it’s easier if you do. 

So somehow over the last 5 months I managed to drop my A1C by almost 3%. Last summer it was at a 10. Over a 10. If you don’t know anything about diabetes, a ten is bad. I was scrounging to buy insulin and I was stretching it to its limits. When I quit using my pump it took me a good while before I actually broke down and got a script for lantus. You can imagine how that went. But just taking insulin, eating better, exercising, and testing my blood sugar, not even really “trying,” or even obsessing, got my A1C down to a 7.7. And I feel good. And even though at the time even taking insulin on time and frequently sounded like a scary thing at the time, it’s now just what I do. And it’s OK. And I can do it. Maybe my denial days are over, though I’m sure they’ll return. But for now, I’m gonna tell myself that I am worth taking care of. 

  1. Sometimes jobs are just jobs, and that’s okay. 

So working in the travel industry sounds fun and glamorous, and I’ll admit that I’ve learned a lot about the industry and, as Tom lovingly reminds me, have turned into a “hotel snob.”  But sales is not necessarily a fun thing to do. Sometimes it’s downright awful, especially when it’s over the phone where people feel, much like the internet, that you aren’t really a person and hurting your feelings is OK. But it’s teaching me to be less offended, which is somehow helping my self esteem? I digress. More on this at a later date, but for now, I’m making a paycheck, paying my bills, and if I don’t live to get up and go to work in the morning, that’s OK. It doesn’t have to be forever. 

  1. Mountaintop moments wouldn’t exist if they happened all the time. 

    So I have all these memories from high school and college that make me extremely happy, most involve sitting outside with a big group of friends singing songs, and almost none involve beer (except a couple). I feel like I don’t have these experiences anymore. Remembering them makes me feel sad, and old. But just because they aren’t happening with the frequency doesn’t mean that they won’t ever happen, and it doesn’t take away from the defining nature of those moments and times in my life. If anything it tells me three things that define who I am and what I love: being outside in the evening, being with good people, and music. Knowing those things I can look for opportunities to create these moments, and treasure them when they happen.

  2. We are still young, but not as young. 
    Sometimes I’ll joke about feeling old, or getting old. Facts remain I am older than I have ever been. But so are you. Just because I hang out with 22 year olds sometimes doesn’t make 26 “old.” I am still young, but yes, I have to get up and go to work in the morning, and yes, I have to pay my rent, and no, I can’t stay out drinking until 1am three times a week and still manage to do these things. So I will still enjoy moments when I feel young, I will still relish in the fact that I am still (legally) single and childless, but I will still be in bed by midnight so I can actually function like  a human being. 
  3. Love isn’t easy. 
    And I don’t mean just romantic love. Loving yourself is hard. Especially when you have things constantly thrown at you saying you aren’t good enough (cough*media*cough). You aren’t skinny enough, or curvy enough, or fit enough, or smart enough, or you don’t have enough. But if you don’t love yourself, you will continue on this miserable existence and eventually nobody will want to be around you. So if you’re extroverted like me, you better learn to love yourself or you will hate yourself more. Because you’re OK. You’re just a human, and you make mistakes and you can’t expect to be perfect. 
    And yes maybe I’m taking about romantic love, because your 20s are crazy in this factor, and in today’s world if you’re not engaged by the time you graduate from college chances are you will go though a string of not-so-good relationships before you actually settle down. You are not abnormal. But when you do find someone you kind of like, and want to like, hang out with a lot, you should realize it’s actually going to take a lot of work to make that work. 
  4. If you hate your life, change it. 
    Like for a while there, I seriously hated my life with a burning searing passion. Then I realized I had two choices: I could learn to enjoy where I was and what I was learning, or I could change my life. The only option that I wouldn’t allow myself to take was the one that kept me where I was. So now, yes there may be something on the horizon that will change my life completely. Some things WILL be changing, and soon, and some things might stay the same, but either way I plan on doing my best to be OK with whatever happens.   
  5. And it’s OK to be sad or lonely sometimes, because you are human. 
    Understand that emotions are emotions, and they aren’t always “good” or “bad.”