I don’t know why I decided to do this today, but after the morning craziness of kids, lunches, breakfasts, fights to break up and confidence to boost…I went to the gym. It’s been since my post before, so months, since I went to the gym. Because life. Which is a major bummer because MY GOD, I’m a better human after exercise.
I did the version of running that involves a treadmill, walking for a minute and a half and running for a minute, while slowly increasing speed on the runs. I managed 35 mins, and kept my heartrate in the cardio zone, which is impressive given my constant tachycardic tendencies. But, this is how you get back into cardiac shape, so I did it. It was wicked. But I did it.
So, because my day was kinda open, I went home and stretched, which is always super important for me with all of my abdominal scars and pelvic stuff.
I made myself a tea from Fortnum and Mason, which was a fancy tea shoppe in London. I didn’t love the feel of the place, it felt really snooty and unreasonably desperate to sell way too many things, but I picked out two teas and two biscuit-type things. The biscuits taste like England, which is to say, bland as hell and not worth the calories. I loved our trip (another post) but the food in London was not great for me. As expected. Anyway, the tea is awesome. So, highly recommend their orange peel black tea. So darn good.
I sat down to write this blog. But my head was swirling. The exercise had gotten my juices flowing to write, but my therapy session from yesterday (my first real mental health therapy session just for me since my surgeries in 2005) was all I could think of. So, I started to write. I just started somewhere. And I wrote. And I didn’t stop for 45 minutes. Stream-of-consciousness, just word vomit onto the page. It felt SO GOOD. It was the first time in ages I’ve felt catharsis when writing.
I write, I love to write. It was my main mode of communication as an epidemiologist during the pandemic, through my facebook page Public Health is Your Job, Too. But that writing was stressful. That writing was screaming into an abyss and having that abyss scream back at you. That writing brought threats, even while it built community. That writing was my desperate journey into the darkness and rock bottom, and then a slow scrabbling back out of it. But I never did make it back out of it on that page. I had to let it go in order to get back out of the depression. And once I did, I was able to start seeing the light a bit more, the anxiety let up a bit (also, thanks Zoloft!). But, I had no place to write.
I thought that I needed to write again, and I kept saying “I’ll keep this blog, I’ll work on a book of essays pulled from my page over that time”. I thought that was the writing I needed, the processing I needed, in order to move forward. I thought a book of those essays would help me get some sort of closure, and also help document what public servants were going through at that time, both from a scientific and communication standpoint, but also emotionally. Except…I couldn’t sit down and look at it. I haven’t opened that page again. The memories I see that come up on my facebook are hard to look at.
I’m not ready.
But, I need to write. I need to process my life. So, I sat down this morning with my theme for this year in my head – Just Start Somewhere -and spent 45 minutes writing, and wrote 2500 words (4 pages), just dumping everything out. I have so so so much more. And none of it is something I would ever publish. But it’s so damn therapeutic.
So, if you feel stuck, maybe you just need to start somewhere, too.
Hoping for more of this every day. And I’ll likely not document that here, but I thought today deserved some recognition for what feels like a turning point for me.
So, here it is. I’m starting somewhere. And it’s gonna be a hell of a long journey. But boy do I feel like it’s worth it.