I have been so consumed for months in the hardness that surrounded me, that I have let a lot of the things I love in my life take a back seat.
It's hard for me to do things that I love and enjoy doing when I feel badly or when I am going through a hard time.
I tend to revert back to old habits of isolating myself from the things I truly love to do. It's a defense mechanism from my past. The more I step away and be alone in that hardness the easier it is.
The past year has been hard on many levels, and although I have found some empowerment through the year in the hardness, it seemed as if something else crept up and I was back into the small isolation it put me in.
Going to church came far and in between. I stopped hanging out with some people; the ones who didn't know what I was going through - therefor it was easier to step away from them not having to explain. I found myself doing less and less and letting "what was going on" consume me to my past triggers and put me in a place of "self isolation".
The only people I stayed closed to were those who understood and knew what was going on. But things have gotten a little better in the past couple of weeks and I am slowly moving out of that. I feel a shift inside; only one that can be felt and not explained.
Yesterday my Therapist called me on his way home (hours after our session that day) and when I picked up the phone, the first thing I said was "Andy, can I ask you a question?" and I explained to him that right before he called I was looking through old photos from a year and a half ago and how happy I looked to be in the places I love to be (church, hanging out at the coffee house with friends, girls night out, and much more).
I started to cry on the phone and asked him "what happened, how did I get here to this place I am in now?".
My therapist spent a good 15 - 20 minutes explaining to me why I feel the way I do and where all this came from - but most importantly where I was heading and how he will walk with me through it.
During our phone call I was sitting on the bed in the guest room looking out the big window that over-looks the woods, and I listened to my therapist reflect on all the reasons why I am in "this place" and how I can get back to where I was before all the hardness happened - and I found hope.
Looking out into the woods hearing my supports voice just matched! I felt ease and grace happening inside. The outside looked brighter than it did at the beginning of the phone call.
The tears dried up, and I felt better in this understanding he was explaining to me, and he said "everything is going to be OK, you are OK - we will figure out how to get you back to that place to where being in the places you love are as easy as just being in the places you love".
The past couple weeks have been a bit better and my job right now is to just take another step forward; forward on those small moments that have been better and use those moments as strength for the next step.
Church has been my biggest isolation in this past year. It's been an on and off again relationship. I love my faith and church is my 2nd home, and I dont know why I pushed it away in the VERY times I needed it the most.
Church is a place where a lot of people are around, and I didn't have it in me to hide the hardness I was going through - but what I learned from others in this hardness is that - church is where people are there for you the most. They understand when you are going through a hard time. You dont even have to speak and they are there for you with open arms.
Another step forward is getting myself back into the gym! I LOVE working out! It's my passion to lift weight and run! I have taken some time off from the gym not just because of the hardness on and off this year has brought me, but because I hurt my shoulder falling down the stairs in my house last October. Although I feel I keep using that as an excuse - it's time to get back to the things I love.
I woke up this morning and looked back at the text my therapist sent me after our phone call reminding me "we will walk the path of healing together and we will do it thru connection and affirmation that everything is going to be OK and you are OK".
So right now, on Saturday morning at 6:00am .. I am ready for the day to take another step forward!
Today I will take a step into the gym and maybe do a short run on the treadmill and see how that feels, maybe lift a few weights and maybe take a SPIN class.
Tomorrow I will go to church and sit in my favorite seat and just thank God for giving me the strength to take a new step forward towards the things I love and the people that love me back.
I haven't completely stepped away from the things I loved this year, I just got lost at times along the way, and today I will take another step forwards away from the hardness and more towards grace, love, connection and support - and a little healthy fitness