Oct 2017-Aug 2018:
By the time Bill had left, my therapist and I felt like I was in a good place..Believe it or not. The physical symptoms I was experiencing went away. I was beginning to feel like myself again: calm, happy, resilient. I stopped going to therapy because I truly felt like I could handle it. It was like once the event happened...anxiety disappeared. That is typical of me...To have intense feelings BEFORE an event and watch it greatly reduce during the time.
We had the holidays to go through together, just me and my boy. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New year's. It was a fun filled few months. To live in the moment..to celebrate every holiday..to feel every feeling..to share time with someone.
One positive note worth mentioning, with Bill being away, I no longer had to hear comments from everyone else, "Time to give your son a sibling!" and feel defeated with everything i just wrote about in my last entry. It felt AMAZING to have no pressure the whole 10 months he was away.
Life was mostly good. Yes of course there were moments of stress and anxiety. I was handling it better. At one point I could feel the tension rise when my workload was starting to get heavy which eventually led me to cut back from night clients, weekend fitness classes etc. I recognized it and adjusted to a lighter workload.
I did struggle with asking for help the whole duration. The people who practically begged to help me were the ones who I let watch Nikolas, walk Bella, shovel my driveway etc. There were always the usual, "Let me know if you need anything." comments to be nice..But let's be honest, if you really want to help someone, it takes more than that. I was a single mom to a 2.5 year old with a house, business, dog, cat, yard etc. I needed help. I was afraid of asking. I also was afraid of hearing all the reasons I couldn't be helped...or the empty promises. So I didn't ask. I had been let down so many times, it felt easier to just figure it out on my own. I held on to the people who physically said, "I want to help you. I am around this week, seriously." or "go through your calendar and tell me what dates you need assistance. I will try my best to help." and there were no reasons why I couldn't be helped on a certain day. I never felt guilty or a burden. I was brought to tears by the extreme kindness and strength of that person to DEMAND to help.. I was too weak/embarassed/afraid to ask.
By the summer, about 3 months before Bill would be getting home, I finally realized the damage I had done to my body. I was really making a point to take BETTER care of myself. The grazing stopped. I was counting down the days till his arrival, while worrying what he would think of my bigger non typical body. I know body size is relative to the individual. Sure, I may have still been smaller than MOST people..But I was about 10-15lbs heavier than EVER with some bad habits. That is NOT ok. It's not typical.
Looking back, everyone must have been too busy or struggling on their own to notice that I was not my normal self. It was that moment when I realized in the future, I need to be the person to speak up when I notice the people in my life seem to be different or struggling..It is what I would have liked to happen to me. Treat others the way you would have liked.