Losing a Battle Isn’t Losing the War
Timing can be scarily appropriate – today my guest post on Grow Soul Beautiful is just the kind of post I needed to re-read so that I could internalize my own words and the message I am trying to send my readers – and myself! Please check it out, writing it was so therapeutic to me and I hope that comes across to you all.
OK. Time to tell you about my weekend in Tennessee. I have a lot to get off my chest. But first of all, I’ll start with the good stuff.
I suppose I started having trouble with this weekend away to visit my sister at University of Tennessee in Knoxville after I got back from our family dinner on Friday night. I’d had a few drinks, cleaned my plate, had a couple of rolls, and shared a dessert. I did not feel overly full. Heck, I didn’t even really feel that full. But I kept “adding it all up” in my head, and it seemed pretty ridiculous in my mind that I had consumed those calories after sitting on airplanes all afternoon.
My morning workout made me feel happy and accomplished for about…an hour. Then I started thinking about the day’s tailgating festivities. What food would be there? How much would I drink? How much SHOULD I drink? Would I be able to tell how many calories I was consuming since alcohol doesn’t give me any feelings of full-ness? What if drinking made me more apt to overeat? I quickly became mentally EXHAUSTED, and it wasn’t even noon yet.
I took a walk with my mom to Calhoun’s for something I was so very excited for…a meetup with my twino (twin + wino), Meg. We have been blends since I started my blog almost a year ago and when we first “met”, she was in Denver going to grad school. I really never thought we’d get to hang out in person one day. My happiness and the way we seamlessly started chatting like we’d known each other for YEARS certainly temporarily distracted me from my worries.
I met Meg’s welcoming boyfriend, as well as his parents and friends. I just love being with fellow Vols! Something that I don’t get to do often in CT. Everyone was all smiles and so spirited. Random Tennessee Vols chants were breaking out, I was sampling glazed donut vodka (yes it exists and it’s pretty good!), and taking selfies.
Meg’s boyfriend Whitt had a little brother over at the frat houses that he was anxious to meet up with, so I walked with him and Meg as far as I could until it was time for us to part ways so I could head back to my family. I hope I see Meg at another game next fall – or sooner! It’s still surreal to me that we got to hang out!
I felt myself come down from a whiskey buzz and an emotional high with each passing minute at my next tailgate. I snacked, and I hung out with my wonderful relatives and friends that I hadn’t seen (in some cases) for years. I could never really let go and enjoy myself though. I was smiling, but inside I was panicking.
I was honestly on the verge of bursting into tears the last half hour before it was time to walk over to Neyland Stadium to get to our seats and watch the football game. I was so excited to meet up with the amazing, strong Sloane, who has been such a huge support system for me since we first met a few months ago. Just like my meetup with Meg, I really never thought I’d get to meet Sloane since she lives in TN.
It was time to go to the game, and I couldn’t take it any longer. Voices in my mind were scolding me for drinking, questioning how much I’d eaten at the tailgate, asking me if my home workout the day before had been enough, and reminding me of eating dessert at Chesapeake’s. I pulled aside my wonderful mother and finally let myself cry behind my mondo sunglasses. I told her I was going to stay in the room, and I just couldn’t do it. She completely understood – everyone did. Even Sloane. I’m so lucky to have such fantastic family and friends.
The wallowing I partook in and shitty feelings I experienced for the remainder of the evening are not worth commenting on. I don’t want to relive them. I’m glad I had Heather there to leave me an encouraging voicemail, Sloane there to text me, and my mom there to hang out with me in the room (she decided to sell our pair of tickets for a pretty penny).
The next morning my feelings turned from fear of not being good enough to guilt over what I’d missed out on and letting the thoughts and their power over me win. I’ve been doing pretty well this summer with these weekend trips, during which I am often out of my comfort zone. But this time, the whole trip was just too quick (landing at 8PM on Friday and taking off for home at 8AM on Sunday does not make for relaxation) and badly timed (with the way my night classes have started forcing me to do lighter morning workouts instead of post-work hardcore gym sessions). And so I gave in and cowered, too mentally exhausted to fight and tell myself all the reasons why I don’t deserve to be so mean to myself.
And what happened? Well, I didn’t come away from the trip with any proof that I can use to fight disordered thoughts in the future. I love it when I put myself out of my comfort zone and come out of it with everything being OK. It makes for great ammo to use later on in this battle. Nope, I don’t have any of that now.
And I don’t think I can ever say sorry enough times to Sloane for the fact that my giving into my guilt resulted in us not meeting. We were literally less than a mile from each other, and yet I couldn’t walk that less than a mile to the football stadium to see her? Why? My legs were working and my heart was full of excitement and anticipation. Why did this struggle have to be enough to cripple those legs and why did the voice in my mind have to overpower the heart in my chest? Sloane, I am so very sorry that I didn’t fight harder. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t tell myself that I’m amazing and that I deserve to enjoy myself with a close friend who has been there for me since day one.
I have to put this behind me. I have to remember that to consider myself a failure for how I handled this past weekend would only be continuing to let the part of me that messed this up be the winner. I’m amazing. I’m fighting. I’m living this battle. I may be the underdog right now but I KNOW I will come out on top.
Have you ever dealt with regret as a result of how you handled a situation?
Do weekends out of your routine ever throw you? How do you deal with it?
Anyone else feel me on the Southern football love?