Note: I’ve gone back and forth about posting this entry, but I’m trying this new thing where I show more vulnerability.
To say that I’ve had a terrible year would be an understatement. If I had to rate this year on a scale of 1 to Sharknado, it would be Sharknado 5: Global Swarming. Let’s go back to 10 months ago.
After 12 years of being together, my fiancé and I broke up. Now, I know breakups are hard but this one was and continues to be super hard. To give you some perspective, we started dating when I was 16 years-old. It’s really the only relationship I’ve ever known. We’ve pretty much been inseparable since I was in high school.
Ok, that was bad thing #1. Next up, after years of putting it off, I started treatment for my anxiety and depression. I’ve had days where I didn’t want to get out bed. My bed felt like quick sand. My body was numb. I didn’t have the motivation to get up most days. I would just lay there until I felt nothing and somehow drifted off to sleep.
Combine those two events with my job at the time and to put it frankly, it was a shit show. I was sooooo unhappy. I found myself calling in “sick” often. I would sneak away from my desk to go cry in the meditation room – my only place of solace. That is, until a someone came in to actually use the room for its intended purpose. Embarrassed, I quickly rubbed away my tears and pretended to meditate, then I left.
I was desperate to get out of this job. My anxiety and depression were getting worse and “I thought it has to be this job!” So I did what any millennial would probably do in that situation – I took another job opportunity. “This is it!” I thought. “Now, I’ll be happy.” Spoiler alert: I wasn’t.
Ok, so, where were we? Ah, new job, no money, got it. During this time, I also became distant with my family. We’ve never been really close, but it got worse since the breakup.
During Thanksgiving break, I had nowhere to go. I mean sure, friends offered to take me in but in my depressive state I just saw it as me being the third wheel, a pity invite to hang out with my friends and their loving families This is the part where I tell you that I decided to go on an impromptu trip to New Orleans with my ex. It was a good trip. There were some setbacks along the way. For instance, nothing is open on Thanksgiving Day in New Orleans. Nope, not even McDonalds. We ended up buying junk food from a Walgreens and went back to the Airbnb to watch the finale of The Haunting of Hill House. Earlier that day, I also received one of the strangest texts ever from one of my friends, well I guess ex-friends now, about how I was making bad choices. Looking back on it, this was probably the biggest red flag that we wouldn’t be able to make it work.
Fast forward to a month later and on my drive to work I got into a car accident. My car was totaled. I had so much back pain to where I couldn’t stand or sit for long. Did I mention that this happened the week before I was set to visit New York? Yeah, impulsive Jen thought it would be a brilliant idea to go on a solo trip to New York where I would meet up with a friend. Side note: It was great! The back pain not so much. To top it all off, I somehow got the flu a few days before the trip. I still don’t know how I managed to walk 10 miles in a new city with the flu, but I guess that’s how my strength was being tested.
I cried when I went to the Whitney museum alone and saw the Andy Warhol exhibit. My favorite artist having a full exhibition during the time I was there – what are the odds? At that particular moment, the pain seemed worth it. Every once in a while I’ll get those tiny glistens of hope, that feeling where my brain reminds me that everything is going to be ok. This isn’t that bad. We just have to get over this rut. I honestly felt that when I was in New York.
I got to bond more closely with this new friend I made last year. One of my first memories with her is talking at a mixer where I asked if she could make my wedding cake. Obviously that didn’t happen, but we still managed to become friends.
I know they say everything happens for a reason, but sometimes those reasons suck. I’m still looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. A few months, I lost another friendship. I won’t get into the reasons why but it stung. On the upside, I got my dream car. Since I was 10 years-old, I’ve been obsessed with Beetles. Heck, I even had a Beetle-themed cake for my 10th birthday party.
There are a lot of details I intentionally kept out of this story. I mean, the internet doesn’t need to know all of my problems.
Slowly but surely, I’m getting better. I still have those “bed is made of quicksand days.” I’ve switched medications a few times. I’ve been in and out of therapy. I’ve even had a few of those “really, really, bad days,” ya know, the ones we don’t talk about.
I still have a lot of regret, a bunch of self-doubt and an overwhelming amount of sadness that fades in and out like morning fog.
I’ve been reading more lately. Trying to get more inspiration. For now, I’m just waiting for this Sharknado to run its course.