Tuesday, November 13

Happy Hour Yoga

It's about time I take a break from some of these darker posts that I've been writing for both my sanity and yours. While things were still a little rocky Friday I decided to treat myself to a yoga class before heading down to Erik's for the weekend. I've been researching studios around my apartment and I came across one that looked promising. Friday nights there is a happy hour yoga class with a special price of $5. I figured it's hard to turn down a class priced like that and at that point I was pretty much desperate for a hour long break from my thoughts.

While I initially had trouble finding the studio which is in a old factory which I think had something to do with the fact that it was pretty much pitch dark outside and the signs for yoga weren't exactly lit up, I eventually awkwardly followed one person inside this abandoned factory because she was carrying a yoga mat.

I always find it funny that while I get super nervous in new situations I'm usually feel pretty darn confident walking into fitness type classes. I was able to chat with the instructor for a bit before picking a spot in the studio to pick up my mat. It was pretty apparent that there is a core group of people that show up on Friday nights and I apparently had taken one of their spots. The way I look at it thought is that I showed up about 10 minutes before class and when I entered the studio is was about 2 minutes before class so if you aren't there in your spot how on earth would I know I'm in it? Of course I would have moved if it really bothered someone that much and they politely asked instead I just got to hear the grumbling about the new girl in class. Obviously that's not the best way to start but oh well it's life I suppose.

I figured if I ended up liking the class that I would continue with it for a while because after looking at my budget I figured I could swing $20 dollars a month for weekly yoga. I ended up pushing myself in the class pretty hard and was still sore about two days later but the feeling I had when I left the studio was amazing. I walked to my car and just felt lighter, I sang along to the radio the whole way to Erik's and I was just enjoying the moment for the first time in a while.

So I guess the moral of this little post is that it's good every now and then to treat yourself, it doesn't have to be something incredibly fancy, whether it's a yoga class or maybe a pedicure, it's just important to take that extra time to do something you love and that makes you happy.

Thursday, November 8

"We accept the love we think we deserve"

Last night I saw the movie The Perks of Being A Wallflower with my good friend Joe. I had read the book countless times and was excited to finally see the movie. If you haven't read the book or seen the movie I would definitely recommend it. While it touches on some particular hard situations I think it tells a great story but definitely bring some tissues, you'll certainly want them.

I wasn't expecting the movie to hit me as hard as it did though and I left the movie feeling incredibly anxious, nervous and like I was in this weird haze. I wasn't my usually talkative self, in fact I had nothing to say. Joe and I walked around the mall for a bit and Joe tried to keep up a conversation with me but I couldn't focus. We walked, he talked and I nodded along with a few "oh yeahs" and "yups" added in for good measure. My mind raced with thoughts and I was flooded with this wave of vivid flashbacks that I tried so hard to bury down. I can't tell you what we talked about last night as we walked the corridors of the mall but I could tell you the things that raced through my brain. I can tell you about the images and experience I've worked so hard to bury down.

We eventually headed back to my parents so that Joe could be reunited with his car and so we could part ways and both head home. As I drove Joe talked and I tried so hard to listen but I couldn't shake the feeling I had. Joe knew something was wrong. I was antsy and I was nervous. As I pulled onto my parents street Joe requested that we just keep driving, I obliged and turned the car around and headed back out. My mind raced and I tried so hard to focus on the words coming out of Joe's mouth. I still can't tell you what we talked out, I just have no idea. We stopped at a red light and I remember closing my eyes and taking a deep breath in, trying to snap out of whatever was happening. But as soon as I closed my eyes I was flooded with vivid images of that night I was trying so hard to keep out of my mind.

Joe asked if I wanted to talk about whatever it was that was bothering me because clearly there was something wrong. I quickly mentioned that it was no big deal. I had never told anyone about it before and I didn't think that I wanted to talk about it now. We ended up walking laps around Walmart until 10 o'clock that night. Joe talked, we walked, and my mind raced. Joe bought two packages of these wafer creme cookies that my grandfather used to buy and when we got to the car he opened a pack. I was distracted from my thoughts as tried so hard to focus on something else. I reminisced about the memories that these cookies brought up and eventually we made it back to my parents. We solidified our plans for next week and as he hugged me tightly he told me that he was always around to talk.

We parted way, I said goodbye to my parents and headed home. I drove in this feeling of a haze and every time my mind started swirling with memories from that night I just belted Taylor Swift even louder. I tried so hard to push the memories back down but it wasn't working.

I walked into my apartment and stood there taking a few deep breathes. I could see my breath and I realized I had turned my heat off that morning. I walked upstairs and turned on the electric blanket in my bed to warm it up and eventually made my way in after I brushed my teeth. I couldn't look at myself in the mirror. I blamed myself for what had happened that night over two years .

I got in bed and texted Joe a quick thanks for dinner. He asked how I was and if I wanted to talk. Eventually I sat up in my bed, called Joe while  fighting back tears and I told him everything. This time I talked and  he listened. I closed my eyes and once again relived that night like I had so many times before. I told him how I blame myself, how when I said no and he didn't listen that I should have left. I shouldn't have lingered around, it only made things worse. I should have left. I've always blamed myself for what happened, I should have left as soon as things got weird and I was uncomfortable. It's been over two years and I still wonder why I didn't leave sooner. Thankfully I was able to get myself out of the situation before things got really bad, but I should have never had those bruises. I should have left before that happened before he tried to hold me down. I should have left sooner. I remember the feeling as I ran out of his house shaking so much I could barley open the car door. I remember driving back to my dorm that night after I fought so hard to get him off of me. I drove back in a haze. I felt numb. I remember sitting in the living room that evening while my roommates talked. I just sat there, I never told anyone. I remember getting out of the shower the following day and looking in the mirror. His hand prints were bruised on my thighs as a reminder of what had happened. They stayed there for weeks until they eventually vanished from sight. Truth is, they've never vanished from my memory. I can close my eyes and still seem them there, I can see myself looking in the mirror in disbelief of what had happened.

He tried to contact me later that night, and has tried to contact me every few months. I've blocked his number but he still finds a way to creep back in. I remember walking into Wegmans from a quick snack after a Tysabri infusion a few months ago and I saw him. My heart raced, he saw me, I turned around and quickly walked to my car. I remember sitting in my car reliving it all over again.

After talking with Joe I eventually able to calm down enough to get some sleep. I went to bed feeling less anxious and nervous than I had before that call and for that I was thankful. I woke up this morning for the feeling oddly lighter. Maybe this was the first step to really moving past it, I don't know, but I'm thankful I had someone there who was willing to listen last night. Thankful that Joe didn't prod for more details or ask me endless questions, he just let me talk and say what I've held in for years.

It feels good to finally get this out of my head. I'm hoping I'll be able to finally stop blaming myself for what happened.

There's a line from the movie last night that resonated with me so much, "We accept the love we think we deserve." I'm finally realizing that I deserve a whole heck of alot more. I contacted a Etsy jewelry designer today to get this stamped onto a necklace and soon I will wear it as a constant reminder of not only that message but as the night I finally decided to start moving on and working through what happened.

Friday, November 2

I Accidentally Saw A Post About You On Facebook.

So I accidentally saw a post about you on Facebook. You'll never see this so I figure it's rather safe to post it, plus if you did happen to stumble upon it I'm sure you wouldn't even realize it was about you.
We used to be really close friends but when I was was in the hospital during my second hospitalization for a flare you and your parents spoke unforgivable and extremely hurtful words.

At the time I had only known of the things you said to me in that email, your words so sharp and twisted. I remember the pain those words caused as I sat in a hospital bed unable to talk, unable to walk, and unable to take care of myself. I've blocked alot out from those weeks I spent in the hospital but I've never been unable to block out the things you said to me.

My parents told me months later about the time they ran into your parents at the local Wegmans one night when they had just come back from a long day at the hospital with me. They used to drive the 90+ minute drive every day for weeks and would have a routine stop at the store to pick up whatever food they thought they might be able to get me to eat once I was able to start swallowing any kind of pureed food into my system. Your parents stood in the grocery store and repeatedly told my parents that I was making it seem worse that it was, that I was lying about having MS and that they were just enabling me. I'm sorry but the countless MRI's of lesions on my brain do not lie.

It's years later now and still whenever I see you in the grocery store or at the mall I turn the other direction. Earlier this year I was at the gym changing my shoes for a workout and two feet stood next to me. When I got up I saw it was you and the hurt came rushing back. You acted like we were old friends and wanted to chat and meet up for lunch. I had so many things I wanted to say to you, the things I never got a chance to say, the things I've thought about saying for years. Instead I stood there in awe at how you acted like nothing had changed. Like it was still high school and we were the best of friends.

It's funny though because just how I've never forgotten those words you wrote to me in a email my parents will never forgot the words yours spoke to mine. I remember my mom and I went to the movies last spring and your dad was right in front of us in line. The line weaved though the outside of the theater and the wait was ridiculous, it was a Saturday night. I tried not to notice him but I know my mom did. Her and I continued to chat about random things until your dad turned around. He started to ask about me and I gave out the simplest of response hoping to end the chat as soon as possible. He started to talk about you like I was so interested in what you were doing. We heard you were working for a successful accounting firm downtown and living on your own. It was all information I could have cared less to know, yet he continued. Finally we made it to the window and bought tickets. He bought two tickets for the same show. My mom and I made our way into the packed theater and grabbed two seats, he and your mom sat right next to you. Me and your dad shared a armrest. I've never felt so anxious in a theater before.

It's amazing after all these years I can't ever imagine having a normal conversation with you. Sure people fight and end friendships everyday, but we never fought. I never responded to your email, your words said enough and for me to try and convince you otherwise would have been pointless. You wrote those words because you clearly believed in them. Your parents spoke those words because they clearly believed they were true. There was no convincing either party that they were wrong.

I guess I would have thought after being such good friends for over 10 years you would have at least visited me in the hospital and seen for yourself before writing the email. I like to say that I don't hate anyone, because hate is such a strong word and feeling to have. What I can say is that I find what you said to be unforgivable. Still to this day, almost four years later I still feel the same way. You can't take back those words you said and maybe you've forgotten what you wrote, but I haven't. My parents haven't forgotten what yours said either. My dad who will make friendly "small talk" with anyone, even with people he doesn't necessarily like, will avoid your parents like the plague, even after all these years, and we've never seen him do that to anyone before.

So yeah, I saw the post about you yesterday. Your engaged to a guy almost ten years our senior. I've blocked you from my news feed on Facebook years ago but somehow this slipped through the cracks. It's funny how a simple post can flood back memories. I suppose if you hadn't said those things we would still be friends, and I'd probably be your maid of honor and we'd be knee deep in wedding plans. It's funny how one email can change everything.

In spite of everything I still wish you the very best.

Thursday, November 1

The Guilt of Taking a Sickday

This past weekend Erik and I both came down with really fun sicknesses. I spent Sunday moving at a pretty slow pace with a combination of a fever, sore throat and body aches. I'd classify it as the flu but I've been told the flu just isn't going around yet in this area. About 8 hours after my initial symptoms started Erik started seeing the same ones happen to him so by Sunday night we were in bed by 8:30 with hopes that sleep would be the cure all.

Unfortunately for me it's currently day 6 of this sickness, this "flu" turned head cold, turned crazy cough turned back to head cold. It's OK to be jealous, I know I would be of this thing. While Erik initially had the same symptoms as me his "sickness" has diminished and apparently it is basically nonexistent at this point. OK, so maybe I'll admit that I'm actually really jealous of him right now.

All week I've come to work, even during Jury Duty (yeah I had that too this week) I came into work on my lunch break and have heard things like "thank goodness you are hear - I was worried you would be out sick!" Of course shortly after I'd hear that I'd be awarded with some crazy assignment they would want done with some unrealistic time table for a turn around. Maybe if I'd taken a sick day I currently wouldn't be sick. Food for thought I guess...but alas I'm still sick.

It's funny, even when I am sick I feel so much guilt if I take a sick day. My company gives us 10 sick days a year and I've used one thus far, but I can honestly tell you I've been sick way more than just once this year. I guess eventually I'm going to have to learn how to utilize a sick day without feeling guilty because why should I feel guilty if I really am sick? Partially I feel like I am going to miss out on something but what really am I going to miss out on? Yesterday I would have missed the distribution of our annual bonus checks, but without the check stub it still would have been deposited in my account and my boss could have just gave me his thank you for your hard work, this is a token of our appreciation speech for the next day anyways. Hopefully, sometime soon I'll start to feel alright about taking a sick day when I need it, there's no reason to feel guilty for taking care of yourself, work doesn't always need to come first.

I decided that Wednesday night would be my sick night, I'd stay on the couch with the exception of going to the door to hand out candy. I even turned down plans with a family friend after countless texts of all the reasons why I shouldn't (he really should be a post of it's own sometime soon). When I first started looking at apartments I was excited at the prospect at being able to hand out candy on Halloween because I'd always love going trick-or-treating as a kid. I share a front porch with my neighbor and the first group of kids walked right past my door so I kindly asked my neighbor to make sure she points them in my direction before the leave. By 7:15 I had run out of candy which was pretty impressive seeing as it was about 40 degrees and raining outside. The past years I've handed out candy at my parents and we would average about 20 kids so I bought a bag of 58 pieces of candy and had about 30 fruit snack packs that I usually bring in my lunch as backups. I fully expected to be eating leftover candy this week, and actually looked forward to it. I do however plan to raid my parents extra stash after out weekly dinner this evening.

By about 7:50 I was quite bored with my sick night and found myself on my bike trainer for a "easy ride" and rode through It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown while it played on TV because who can resist that show, especially when you only have about 7 watchable channels of TV anyways.

Tonight it's dinner with my parents and some much needed grocery shopping. My meals this week have been quite sad as I've emptied my fridge and cabinets. I was supposed to shop Monday night after Jury Duty but fear of the storm drove people to wipe out shelves at the local grocery stores (we only experienced rain and wind, definitely not the same that downstate experienced).

Lastly in the final century riding news update the weather forecast for Saturday shows a high of 42 degrees with a 30% chance of rain/snow. Obviously these are perfect riding conditions, right?