A year ago, I was making excuses for not wanting to get off the couch in Staten Island, NY. My back was sore, my leg was bugging me, I had a migraine, I didn’t sleep well, blah blah blah. I was the queen of internal silent excuses, and the number one thing: no one was going to be the boss of me. If I didn’t want to be off that couch, no one would control me. Stubbornpixie isn’t always intelligentpixie, and definitely not motivatedpixie.
I would gather supplies for meals, and drag them over, prop everything up all around me, and proceed to spend over an hour trying to balance a cutting board on my lap, whilst not dropping any lettuce on the floor, or losing any broccoli florets in behind the seat cushions (though I did usually have my snuggie on my lap, so that was easily avoidable unless it bounced – and don’t judge the snuggie. I’m sitting in Newcastle, Nevis right now with it as my writing prop-up because it’s the softest thing I own, and a bunch of sentimental reasons why I still have it, refuse to give it up… why am I defending my right to own a snuggie?! Gah! Back to my story…); you get the idea.
I would rarely Facetime or Skype anyone, because I was ashamed of how I looked in real life, let alone on camera, where it “adds ten pounds”. I couldn’t handle seeing my reflection on the screen. I didn’t look in mirrors longer than necessary for basic grooming necessities – at that point I still had my dreadlocks, so I just had to tie them back and then it was make sure nothing gross was on my face. After a cursory passing glance, I’d avoid looking at myself. I didn’t think anyone else wanted to see me, because I didn’t want to see me.
I was negative. And depressed. And moody. I made excuses not just for getting off the couch, but for everything.
And then one of my close friends came to visit us. Exactly five days from now will be a year since I finally got to hug her. YEARS I had waited; see, we met in a group on Facebook, and unlike many who come into your life for a reason or a season, she’s one of the keepers.
She has stood by me through some of the grossest, nastiest, and worst parts of my world have been exposed, and she stood by me, through the tsunamis and tornadoes of craziness that I had to endure to get to even just this stage of healthy – I’m a work in progress – and she’s only asked for what I can bring to the friendship, nothing more. Of course, I want to give even more, but I’ll could devote the rest of this and several other articles to her just on what her friendship means to me.
She arrived at Port Authority in Manhattan, May 29, 2015. Legit, one of the best hugs of my entire life. Top 5 for sure, that’s without a doubt. How do you sum up how you feel about someone in just one freakin’ hug? If there was a way, I sure as shit tried, let me tell you. And I know she don give me de love in return! (Oh, I just realised I am starting to write with a Caribbean tone, and didn’t even catch it until I read it after I hit the exclamation point! Not even 2 months in and it’s got me started like a monkey checkin’ a mango tree!)
I’m so way off my original point, but I guess I’m sticking with this trajectory now. So SHE and the hubs and I had a fantastic few days – picnic on the floor, and farmer’s market walkabout and such… I had a good excuse for going slow – she’s a smoker, so she wanted to linger and have a smoke when we’d arrive somewhere after walking. I was cool with that. I don’t smoke anymore, but I can be around it without temptation. I’d prefer not to be around it, but that’s not always an option.
The day she left was May 31. I’m going to sum up an entire day’s emotion with a sentence. Worst goodbye ever. Okay, that needs a bit more information for context. I didn’t want to admit that the walk was going to be too much for me again, so SHE and hubs left Staten Island, heading back toward the SI Ferry and Manhattan and Port Authority and then she to her world in upstate New York. She was disappointed. He was annoyed. I was mortified. He didn’t come back for a few hours, and I am rightly glad of that fact. I needed time to process everything I was dealing with. And to come to terms with the fact that I just watched my husband have to take one of my best girlfriends (they are close as well, I shouldn’t be so assumptive to claim she’s all mine!) back to her departure transportation alone. I was a fucking coward. I didn’t even try. Oh, Feral Felicia had SO MUCH FUN that day. Feral Felicia was centre stage, and she had not just the bullhorn, but the amp and the entire cellular world inside of me listening, cheering, jeering, cajoling, rioting inside of me. I was sick to my stomach, I had a migraine, and I was… well, I’ll let you fill in other not-so-fun things that happen when you’re facing a panic attack and stomach aches and all sorts of anxiety and depression at the same time.
And then, for about the fourth time that day, I was wiping my eyes for my own pity party, and stood up (promptly sitting back down again, because, let’s face it, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and though I had stubbornly set my resolve to change, it wasn’t going to happen overnight.
But I was ready.
The boy messaged me from Manhattan a few hours later, to see how I was – miserable, embarrassed, and yet calmly excited. Yeah, that didn’t make any sense to him, but I asked him if he’d print out something for me. I’m sure the *sigh* was heard on his end of the screen, but he agreed to print out what I sent him.
He looked at it on the way home, and when he came in, though he was still… let’s call it perturbed yet concerned… he was curious if I was serious about what he had printed out.
I told him it was time.
Trust me, it wasn’t like I woke up the next day (June 1) and was like “YAY NOW I LOSE ALL THE POUNDS!” because I still had another two weeks before it really sunk in that I couldn’t just be motivated to WANT to do something. I had to be motivated to ACTUALLY do something. Those first two weeks of my first #100days were brutal, I’m not going to lie. I did the excuses. I did the bargaining that comes from wanting to do something but not truly being able to find it within myself to do it. Until that “click” happens in your head, like when you’re going to quit smoking. I’ll talk about that in another post or 10, as it’s not something that is just to be blasé or glibly tossed around and then not properly addressed.
Final thought for now: This coming #100days, just remember what DekaSteps motto is: Be good. Be honest. Be creative. Shine. That’s all you have to do. You’re not trying to be the next Nobel Prize winner. You’re not going to become the next ruler of a country. You’re not going to be Van Gogh over night, so stop living in the shadows, and be the best YOU possible, the most honest version of you, and the one who remembers how to have fun.