Day 05: Three years ago today
To be honest, I almost skipped this one. I really didn’t want to talk about three years ago today, but I hate starting something that I’m not going to do all the way. So here’s to keeping it real. Judge not, please?
Three years ago today I was the shell of a person. I was at the tail end of a divorce. Only I didn’t know at the time that it was almost over. At the time, all I knew was that the process had dragged out for over a year. I was broke and facing another bill from my lawyer who I had just sat down. I know she could see that I was past my breaking point. “Don’t worry. It will be over soon,” she promised. I left her office feeling defeated. I just wanted my life back.
The past year had been so hard. I had moved three times and had been forced to drive three hours a day to a job I hated just to try to stay afloat. I felt guilty constantly because my mother and sisters were taking care of my cat and dog for me. I couldn’t keep them where I was but I couldn’t bear to give them up. Then my dog, Ash, mysteriously injured herself and ripped a hug hole in her armpit. That injury just kept getting worse and worse. Vet visits continued for months trying to get her better. Not only was I facing lawyer bills, but now I owed the vet a crap load of money. I also owed my grandparents money who had graciously helped me get the divorce process started.
That summer my grandmother took a turn for the worse and was admitted to the hospital. She had been sick for a long time and it wasn’t looking good. I called in to work four days in a row because I wanted to be at the hospital with her, my grandpa and my mom as much as I could. I had one of those jobs that didn’t care why you were absent and I started getting verbal and written warnings that I was about to lose my job if I didn’t come to work. But I didn’t want to leave the hospital. My entire family was standing around her hospital bed late one night waiting for her to take her last breath. I think we all wanted her suffering to end, but no one was really ready to let her go.
After my grandma died, it just seemed that things would never get better. I was coaching competitive dance that year at the high school and feeling like a complete failure. I’d done so well with the team, even winning Coach of the Year, the previous January that everyone expected so much of me. I was stressed to the max. My mental and emotional state was so bad that I couldn’t focus on the team. I was depressed and found it impossible to be a positive light at early morning practices. My team could sense that things were off and it made me feel even worse. I wasn’t the coach that they knew and loved. I didn’t have the energy to organize fundraisers. I canceled practice when my depression kept me in bed in the morning.
I was normally very driven, motivated and uplifting example to those high school girls, but it was all crumbling. I decided it would be my last year coaching. I needed to get myself together. I wasn’t doing this team any good anymore. I struggled through competition season and the devastating blow of not making it to the State competition was enough to do me in. The guilt was intense. I knew I hadn’t pushed and encouraged these girls like I should have. I’d been too wrapped up in my own problems and I felt responsible for their failure to make it to State.
Needless to say, three years ago today was a bad time. Very bad. There was one little spot of awesomeness in my life, but I was too busy feeling sorry for myself to notice it. I had met Andy and we had started dating off and on. I had dated a little bit before meeting him at the encouragement of my friends who were desperate to pull me out of my slump. But no one had stood out like Andy did. His awesomeness and the fact that I had fallen for him was just confusing to me. I couldn’t focus on him when my life was a shambles.
So basically I was at the bottom of the bottom. But isn’t that always were you end up before you get up again? Miraculously a month later, things started to turn around. I got a call one day out of the blue, “He signed. It’s over!” I pulled my car over to the shoulder of the freeway and sat there crying for a good forty five minutes. Everything that I had held in for over a year came out in the form of huge gasping sobs. I felt the clouds begin to part.
Although everyone was sad at the absence of my grandma, we ended up having a good Christmas that year. My debt was taken care of when the settlement went through. I started making plans to get a place that would allow me to have Ash and Mauney with me. Ash was her old self again and the scar was barely noticeable. I enrolled in college and got excited about graduating! I went to counseling sessions and yoga and pilates. I joined the environment club and signed up for volunteer activities. I started to get my shit together.
And the biggest miracle was that Andy was still there through it all. I stopped doubting how much I loved him and stopped being so self centered. I stopped questioning my relationship with him and realized that it didn’t matter if the timing seemed to be weird. My determination to go it alone and stay single forever faded and I started to think that there was a possibility that I wouldn’t be afraid to get married again someday. I was willing to give our relationship a chance and see where it went.
Anyway, all that feels like it happened ten years ago. It’s surprising that it was only three years ago and that it all happened in that one year. It’s incredible how quickly and drastically your life can change for the worse or the better. That year taught me a lot about myself and even though I’m glad for those lessons, I really never want to have another year like that again.
30 Days Hath November via So Fawned
Day 01: A self-portrait.
Day 02: Three inspirational quotes.
Day 03: Something I never leave the house without.
Day 04: A friend I adore.
Day 05: Three years ago today.
Day 06: A book I’m reading.
Day 07: A song for the day.
Day 08: The last item I purchased.
Day 09: A close-up of my day.
Day 10: What I love about my job.
Day 11: Something I’ve been craving.
Day 12: Three blogs I can’t get enough of.
Day 13: Something I’m proud of.
Day 14: A favorite movie.
Day 15: Some style inspiration for the season.
Day 16: Someone who inspires me.
Day 17: My family.
Day 18: What I wore today.
Day 19: A silly self-portrait.
Day 20: A childhood anecdote.
Day 21: Something I could never tire of.
Day 22: Some place I’ve traveled.
Day 23: Eight things you didn’t know about me.
Day 24: Something that means a lot to me.
Day 25: The contents of my purse.
Day 26: Something I’m looking forward to.
Day 27: Myself, one year ago.
Day 28: A skill I’d like to learn.
Day 29: Some place I’d like to visit.
Day 30: Three wonderful things that happened this month