What Now?

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.

I spent my first Christmas in my new house with my mom, sister and soon to be brother-in-law. I spent all morning cooking up a yummy Christmas lunch and then we spent the afternoon playing games and decorating gingerbread cookies! It was the perfect day :)

The last 6 months have been so wonderful. I decided last summer that I wanted to buy a house so my path since June has been focused on learning everything I could about the home buying process, researching loans, realtors, cities, etc. As October and November rolled around I started touring houses in my area and fell in love with a house not 5 minutes from where I work. 2 weeks after my 30th birthday I closed on my house! Over the past month my focus shifted from house buying to moving to unpacking to decorating/preparing for Christmas.

As I closed the door last night and walked into my living room alone, I was overwhelmed with this feeling of "What now?!" With no more packing, moving, decorating or hosting to distract me, I suddenly realized I had no clue what to do. Buying a house was a huge step in the right direction for me. The whole process brought me such comfort and strength because it was a goal on my life's list that was going to be/is crossed off.

But now what? Where do I go from here?

It has been very unsettling to feel this sense of confusion again. I feel very lost and when I am lost, I tend to revert back to what I know will always be there: my past and my trauma. Last night I spent an hour or so reading through my posts from when I first transferred to V to the present day. Time had dulled my memory of a lot of interactions early on with V, but not the experience of hitting rock bottom. Re-reading all my words and emotions were compounded by the fact that it is almost 3 years to the day that I walked into V's office, disclosed the true depths of my depression and was escorted to the hospital. Even now, it's hard to think about. There is a strong sense of shame there still. But as hard as it is to think about, in a twisted way it brings me some comfort because it gives me direction. I know no matter what, that path of my past is always there, lying in the shadows waiting to pull me under again.

Compelled To Write

It has been a while since I've felt compelled to write.

I have been living a "normal" life for the past couple years. I have actually enjoyed waking up every day. My job, my friends, my family, my entire life. College was the last time I've felt this weightless feeling and even that wasn't true freedom. It was just freedom shrouded by denial. This is probably the first time in the last 15 years that I have had moments of real happiness. It has been amazing. Something I thought just a few short years ago wouldn't be possible. 

Writing here (or anywhere really) has always been a really healthy way for me to organize my thoughts and regain control in situations where I felt little to none. It has been a long time since I've felt the need to do this, but it's calling me tonight.

In my path to "normalcy" over the past few years, I've mimicked what I think to be normal behavior; namely dating. While much of it has been faking it til I make it, there has been one guy that seems different.

We met last year and went out a few times but fell into more of a friendship. We started things back up this last winter but things fizzled out again. I was really disappointed when he kept cancelling our plans then made no effort to reschedule them so I just assumed that meant he wasn't interested. We still talked quite a bit but I struggled with accepting what I thought to be the truth... that he just wanted to be friends. But I never asked him. Why? Part of me thought I knew the answer and part of me didn't want to hear what I thought he'd say. So we just kept doing what we were doing, casually talking via text and Facebook as friends. 

Imagine my surprise when he sends me flowers this week and asks when he can see me.

Ummm, I'm sorry, what? 

I was completely thrown off guard and to be honest, I was pissed.

SERIOUSLY? NOW? I have been off of work for 3 months (summer break) with absolutely all the time in the world and you pick now, the busiest and most stressful time to spring this on me? 

Dating is not an easy thing for me. It takes a LOT of energy out of me and requires a lot of mental preparation. It is not something I can just up and do on a whim. ESPECIALLY when I have no clue it's coming. I spent most of my summer coming to terms with the fact that I was going to need to move on from him and eventually try again. 

And then he blindsides me like this? WTF man?!

He's probably thinking he's doing this sweet thing by sending me flowers at work, but to be honest it sent me into a tailspin. I felt all this pressure I had never felt before, even when we were going out. Then it was still me trying to figure out if/how much he was interested. This obviously meant he was and that scared the shit out of me.

I suck at communication period, but it also wasn't the time to unload this baggage on him so I was my normal sweet self and thanked him for the flowers and we decided on this morning to meet for brunch. 

I was TERRIFIED. Which in my bouts of lucidity and normalcy I found utterly ridiculous because had I been the one to pursue setting up plans with him and him agreeing to them I would have been excited. But instead, the tables were turned and I was not prepared. Me not being prepared = terror every single time. Especially with dating. 

We had brunch this morning and I tried my damnedest to enjoy it. If I was not in this terror/pissed mindset I would have 100% enjoyed it. He's so easy to talk to, has a great personality, makes me laugh and is pretty much 100% my type. I tried to push out any negative feelings and just be in the present moment. Most of the time I was able to do that pretty well, but I could feel myself getting annoyed a bit (hopefully it didn't show) and just wanting to get out of there. Not because I wasn't interested in spending time with him, but because I had met my threshold for being out of my comfort zone and I needed to decompress and have some time with my thoughts.

What do I want? How much am I ready for? How much and/or what do I tell him right now to get to a point where I can take a leap of faith? 

I have all this swirling around in my head and I don't have any answers. My inner voice is telling me I need to let him know that I was completely blind sided by this because I thought he wasn't interested and that I'm just trying to understand where he's coming from. Why now? What changed? I feel like he also needs to know more about me and my fear of relationships but that is such a huge door to open and the poor guy does not need to be avalanched with all my baggage. I need to figure out the right way to let him know to tread lightly. That I need to be handled with kid gloves... but I suck at speaking up for myself so I'm stalling. I'm great at that.