Yesterday morning, I stumbled downstairs to find my husband at the sink with an apron on over his work clothes, finishing up dishes from the night before. I had stayed in bed as long as I could. My son was already on the bus, headed to the high school, and the girls would be getting up soon.
I made my way to the Keurig more by feel than by sight. I plopped a pod into the proper receptacle, pushed a button, and basked in the glorious sound of the nectar of the gods pouring into my favorite coffee mug.
I leaned into my husband, and he put his arms around me without touching me with his soapy hands as they dripped dishwater onto the floor. We stood like that for a minute.
“I miss me,” I lamented, as I retrieved the cream from the fridge and added a generous dollop to my coffee.
He snorted as he returned to the dishpan and quipped, “What, the you who used to be up for three hours by now?”
At least he hasn’t lost his humor.
Ever since I was sick over Christmastime, I haven’t been motivated to resume my earlybird ways. It happened gradually, and now I realize I’ve allowed a new habit to form.
Rather than waking naturally at 5:30 or so, getting up and putting in a couple hours of work before the rest of the household awakes, I’ve taken to sleeping in as long as I can. And rather than waking up eager to start the day, I grudgingly drag myself out of bed and try to rally enough energy to make breakfast and lunch for the kids before they get on the bus.
I still go to bed early at night, but I don’t sleep well. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not getting any exercise or because I’ve taken to spending about a half hour with my iPad in bed, catching up on Facebook before I fall asleep. I’ve heard that screens before bed mess with your sleep. I’m more inclined to believe it is the lack of exercise that I had become so accustomed to.
This is a tough time of year for many, I know. I tend to struggle with “seasonal blues” so I’m trying to cut myself some slack.
But I miss me.
I miss the person I was when I was exercising regularly and on a healthy sleep schedule. I miss the energy I had and the heightened enjoyment of life. I liked that girl. She was happy, confident, always ready for the next thing.
Earlier this week, I turned down what sounded like a really cool spokesperson opportunity at a fancy event in New York City because I just didn’t think I had the energy to be “on” for something like that right now.
WHO AM I???
The other night, I read this post by my friend Dresden, and I realized that I’m mildly depressed. Not like I need meds or anything, but I am not myself down deep inside.
I’ve struggled with this before. I know the signs. It starts with not caring about getting dressed or how you look . . . Dresden nails it in her post.
If I didn’t have my Daily Mom Style posts to get dressed for, I don’t think I would be getting dressed for anything other than church on Sundays. I’m actually quite thankful for those posts as a motivator. I do believe they’ve helped me from totally spiraling downward into the murky quagmire of depression. The days I put some effort into myself, I always feel better, although the underlying feeling of hopelessness still lurks.
I have to assume my situation is temporary, even though it feels hopeless at times. I still have pain in my foot that suggests it is not healing, and the thought of surgery or injections and more weeks and months in a boot or brace makes me want to curl up in a ball and never get up.
I envision that sometimes… crawling into bed, pulling the shades, and staying that way indefinitely. I know it can happen. I know that people do that, and it frightens me just a bit.
In fact, I’ve done that a few times in the past months. I’ll go upstairs, crawl into bed and think, I’m not getting up. I’m done.
Then I picture my kids and my husband downstairs going about life without me, and the tug of war begins. Get up…. or stay here and wallow in self pity… get up… or hunker down? Which will it be?
The everyday noises of dishes clattering, children bantering with their dad, and the dog scratching at the door are usually enough to pull me out of my cocoon.
I don’t want them to see me this way, so I get up and plaster a smile on my face and move on with life.
I’ve been thinking about Dresden’s post. Yes, talking about it helps. Writing this post helps. Putting words to my feelings and admitting that this is real, and it is okay… that helps.
I let pretty much everything go with this latest round of injury. (In December, I was diagnosed with a torn tendon in my left foot, after being in a medical boot for 8 weeks in the fall for a stress fracture in the same area. And THAT was after struggling with plantar fasciitis in the right foot for over a year.)
When my doctor told me the only exercise I can do is “seated upper body workouts,” I told my trainer I was going to take a break. That was almost two months ago, and that is when the downward spiral began.
My feelings of hopelessness are fueled by the fact that I don’t feel like my foot is healing, but maybe the discomfort I’m experiencing is part of the healing process… I can only hope. I’m allowed to start weaning out of the brace next week. I’m both eager to start the process and terrified that I will discover it hasn’t gotten better. The doctor told me that the perineal tendon can be hard to heal, and it might require surgery if it doesn’t get better on its own, but I know I shouldn’t allow myself to think about that right now.
I still miss running. Certain songs come on the radio that I used to run to, and the emotions are overpowering, but I know I might have to let that go. And while I will miss it, my standards have definitely changed after being totally inactive for months.
Right now I’d be happy just to be able to walk the dog, hike with my family, and take a bike ride now and then. I miss feeling strong and active. If I can have that back, maybe giving up running won’t seem so bad.
In fact, I would happily give up running just to be able to wear high heels again.
Hey, at least I’ve got my priorities in order. Ha!
It’s so tempting to hibernate and allow myself to wallow in self-pity, but Dresden’s words really hit home with me. It’s definitely a vicious cycle when you allow yourself to stop caring, so I’m not giving in.
At my last doctor’s appointment three weeks ago, he gave me a script for physical therapy. Yesterday I finally got around to making an appointment, and I start next week.
I also emailed my trainer and told her that I am ready to start working out again. I can still only do seated upper body exercises, but she knows how to work with those restrictions. I’ll go twice a week, and hopefully that will help me start to feel strong and active again.
I’m not going to waste time worrying about what I’ll do if my tendon doesn’t heal. After all, sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (That’s one of my favorite verses, as I tend to be a worrywart.)
And finally, I am going to commit to getting dressed and putting myself together every day. Even if I wear activewear all day (after all, I’ll have PT twice a week), I will shower and put on makeup.
My friend Cyndi over at Walking In Grace & Beauty has inspired me to start a new series: 28 Days of Winter Fashion. She did a 31 Days of Fall Fashion in October, and she’s wrapping up 31 Days of Winter Fashion right now. She’s planning to do 31 Days of Spring Fashion in March, and she invited me to join her, but I think I need this motivation right away. Since February starts tomorrow, I figure there’s no time like the present. Besides, 28 days sounds somewhat less daunting than 31. Go figure.
I don’t think I’ll post every day, but I may post more often than just Wednesdays. I’ll have to see how it goes. I’m not promising to wear a totally new outfit every day for 28 days, but I’m going to try.
Getting out is important to my mental health as well, so I’m making plans with friends and planning outings to look forward to.
I’ve definitely learned a lot through this process. I know so many people, both in real life and online, who deal with chronic conditions that prevent them from living the kind of active life they want to live. I have so much more empathy for them now.
If nothing else, this experience has reminded me once again that this world is not my home. For a believer, I think it is important to be reminded of this from time to time. When everything is going well, it’s easy to become too attached to this world. Not that we shouldn’t appreciate the beauty and joy this world has to offer; but ultimately, I can take comfort in believing that a perfect place awaits, and this is just my temporary home.
But it is my home for now, so today I’m taking my life back and choosing joy.
59 thoughts on ““I Miss Me” #CoffeeTalk”
Wow. What transparent sharing. I needed to leave a comment because it is so disheartening when you share your heart and you are met with silence. I have followed your blog for over a year. I had no idea this world of blogs existent. You do a great job. A few things I do when the gloom settles in that helps. Stay connected (I have BYOL- Bring Your Own Lunch, BIble study, Serve). I discontinued my fb account last year. That has been positive thing for me.
You are my lamp O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light. 2 Samuel 22:29. Prayers to you that you will feel His presence through this time.
Thanks, Susanne. That means a lot. 🙂
The winter months are so tough for me too. I am a sunshine girl, for sure! It seems the older I get (I’m 41), the harder it gets to make it through the dark, winter months. I also know how wonderful and energizing a good work out is. Thankfully you have sweet husband to jump in and help out! Have you ever considered just getting some blood to work to make sure thyroid and adrenal glands are all running smoothly? (no need to answer that here.) Also, what about an elliptical gym so you can work out, just not pounding the feet or using them much? I hope you can recover soon and that northern air will warm up for you. 🙂
Yeah, this time of year is hard, but when I was out running in it, I felt so invigorated. I sort of started enjoying winter. But now? Ugh. 🙁 I have had everything checked out, so I guess I just have to wait it out.
Have you had your Vitamin D levels check? My MIL had the same problem last month, and they were dangerously low. It could explain your symptoms.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. I always get into this slump right now. Take care of yourself.
Yep. Levels are good. I think this is just good old fashioned seasonal affective disorder, compounded by lack of exercise. 🙂 And it is the second winter I have sat around thinking that things will be better by springtime. This year I’m not feeling nearly as optimistic as I was last, but SURELY these injuries can’t last FOREVER, right? LOL
(Don’t answer that.)
This post was beautiful and brave, thank you for sharing. My husband has fairly intense Seasonal Affective Disorder and my sleep gets completely out of wack this time of year usually as well, especially when it is so bleek like this year. It is definitely tough, especially when personal stuff is happening to worsen the effects. You may have already considered this, but something that has been amazing for both of us is using one of those special SAD 10,000 lumens lights 30 min a day (he works on his laptop to it, I like to read a book). The truly effective ones can be pricey (~$100) but have been so wonderful for both of us. I wake up feeling so refreshed! Definitely worth it for our family. Mascara also always helps me too, even if it’s just a temporary boost! 😉
Anyway, you are in my thoughts. Best of luck with your foot and thank you so much again for being so forthcoming. I’m sure you have helped many women feel less alone, you certainly did for me.
Oh Doll! Enjoy this transition back to JOY! I don’t know which verse to share with you more…. YOU are a crown of beauty in the Lord’s hands (Is 63:13) or Keep on doing right and trust your life to the God who created you for He will NEVER fail you” 1Peter 4:19 (emphasis mine). I love thinking what our GOOD God has done as a place to start my day (even if I am laying in bed a little longer to do it:)
Those are both wonderful verses to keep posted somewhere that I’ll see them often. Thank you.
So many different seasons of life and so many things can get thrown at us. I was the same way last year when my husband was laid off and the job search stretched into months. I was suddenly thrust into working full time and all I did was work and come home and sit. No structure to my life other than that. I hope the PT is the beginning of things moving forward for you and you find some sort of activity you can do that won’t hurt your foot/ tendon. Hang in there!
Thanks, Susan. 🙂
I’m in the same boat. Just gong through the motions here and trying to find something for me. Not me and the hub. Not me and the kids. Me! Just not sure what that is. I think we need a girls day out! Soon! Stay!
Let’s do it. When are you free? xo
I just started my own blog on January 1st, not even knowing that your blog existed… I feel like I found my long lost twin! I’ll be praying for you. Keep the faith, keep the joy and please keep blogging, you are certainly an inspiration. And thanks for pointing me to Cyndi, I’ve found another kindred spirit, and some cute outfit ideas (doesn’t get any better than that!)
LOL. Amen to that! 🙂
Love your blog, this time of year is so hard for active people I think but remember only 47 more days till spring…you will feel differently by then. I love Cindy’s blog too!
FORTY SEVEN? That sounds like an eternity. (LOL)
I kid. I know, I know, the nice thing about seasons is that they do end. 🙂
Hang in there. I know how awful depression can be. And feeling like a spectator to your own life. but God is with you through the highs and especially the lows, and if you allow Him, He will grow you more like Him through trials. after all, that is the main purpose! It is just really hard for us mere humans to understand or comprehend. I am speaking to myself as much as I am to you. We all need to be supported and reminded daily, sometimes maybe even minute by minute. Sending love!
This SO describes it –> being a “spectator to your own life”. Thanks for the reminder that there is a purpose to our trials.
And this post right here is yet another reason that you’re my favorite blogger. So transparent, so real… you don’t put lipstick on a pig, you give us raw, unfiltered emotion. All I can say is, I get it. I truly do. You pretty much described my life post-injury. I feel like I should be so grateful that I can walk again after I was told I never would, but I still miss my old life. I miss working. I miss not thinking every day about how my life has changed. I miss the old me.
Wow… didn’t mean to turn this comment into an all about me. ::blush:: But please know that you’re not alone.
PS — Wish you were doing the NY gig! We’re going back up there in March & would have been so cool if we were in town at the same time. Would love to meet sometime!
You’re such a dear. I would LOVE to meet you some day!
What a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing and reminding us that depression and the blues are real! Good job for forging ahead despite your difficulties. You are an inspiration to us. Mid-Winter is a tough time. I also believe we do have a better, perfect home waiting for us in the end. Hang in there and God bless you and your family! I look forward to your 28 days of Winter fashion. 🙂
Thanks, Lori. 🙂
Thanks for posting this. This is real life struggle and most of us face it one time or another. I know I have. In fact, i’m feeling the pull to a slide downhill right now. My husband lost his job Monday. It was only a year and a half ago that his last LOOONG season of unemployment ended. Can’t believe we are back here. While there is enough going on in my life that it seems evident God has something in the works that I need to shaken up to accept or see–it doesn’t change that it takes a TON of energy to get up, and do the things I need to do, even to seek God and pour into my hubby and family. I keep reminding myself we only have to make it through today, and God gives grace for each day. Praying you find relief and your old/new and improved self soon. Thanks for your blog–love it.
That is HARD. Unemployment is so stressful in so many ways. I’m sure God has something in the works. I hope he makes it clear to you soon. 🙂
Well I might have to do a road trip and come see you!! Ha! We need to do some face time planning anyway.
Thank you for sharing and being honest. I don’t think I’m depressed but this time of year is hard on me. I don’t like the dark dreary days.
Come on Spring!
Praying for you,
That would be so much fun! xo
Uggg, I totally feel your pain! This time of year is cold and dark and gloomy and there is just no way to be happy about that! I broke my foot in May (jumping in flip flops – never, ever do that!) and had to have surgery and two screws put in. It was months of not putting weight on it and I live in NYC where we walk everywhere! And my daughter was 4 at the time and used to me running around with her. It was so sad and I had this little knee scooter I would use to get a drink in the kitchen bc I couldn’t even carry anything on crutches. It did get easier but I gained weight bc I couldn’t move and bc I had to order in so many meals. Plus I missed all the fun summer stuff I was looking forward to doing. Not having your body do what you want it to do is such a hardship. I think its really hard for people to understand the emotional toll it takes on you. I bet you will be feeling better when spring rolls around and I hope your foot issues clear up soon! And PT definitely helped me feel human again! xoxo
Oh my goodness, that sounds horrible. And you are right – there is an emotional component to being injured that you don’t really expect. It’s encouraging to hear from someone who has made it to the other side. 🙂
Thank you for sharing your heart. You may also benefit from using a “happy light” . When the days are shorter and you aren’t getting enough sunlight it really helps! I find that around 15 minutes first thing in the morning(with a cup of coffee!) makes a real difference for the ‘winter blues”.
I’ve always wanted to try one of those.
Bravo and you are not alone!! I was reading the post from the warmth of my return to me down comforter at 11 am. I have lost my early rise too.
Ooooh that sounds nice. I don’t use a comforter so I pile on the quilts in the winter. So cozy.
Thank you. For again, connecting with ME! I know the feelings you speak of all too well. And I’ve been too scared to admit how I feel. My blues are for different reasons, but hearing your words hit me right where I needed it. I so appreciate your honest style and allowing us women to see that we can come out of the dark and that even though it might be a journey, eventually, if we keep pushing, it will be worth it and a stronger me will emerge. And on the “off” days, it’s not the end of the world to just stay in bed a little while longer. God bless you for your honesty and I’ll be praying for you.
Thanks, Keri. 🙂
Miss you. xo
Thanks for the honest and open sharing. I have been following your blog for a little over a year now and have appreciated all the times when you have been open and honest about your life. Winter is hard for me as well. I am an outdoors person and don’t like being cooped up in the house. I find it hard to even get warm many days and we almost always take a pass through whatever illness is going around. I am not a big exerciser but we are very active walking and riding bikes in the warm weather and I really miss that when winter arrives. I finally decided to order an elliptical right after Christmas this year. It is due to finally arrive next week. I always enjoy Cyndi’s month long fashion and I look forward to seeing yours.
JL, in my various experiences with God, smacking me upside the head with the latest life-disaster, I’d say He will do just about ANYTHING he has to, to remind you daily that this broken fallen planet is NOT your home. He wants you very attached to your real home that he’s planning. All that to say, we do get attached. It sounds to me that the YOU who is an athlete is the You that you really miss. You don’t like You-non-athlete. How we do hold on to things! We esp. hold on to old selves as we age. sigh!!! And the winter depression is a very real thing. Have you read about those sunlamps that people use in winter to help them get enough daylight and vit. D? It might help. My hubby suffers with this too, every winter. It’s a constant fight to get up and get doing. The foot injuries exacerbate the inability to get up and doing! I’m so sorry. I try to shift my activities with the seasons, instead of expecting myself to do the same things all year long, and being frustrated. Winter is heavy-duty knitting/crocheting time, and lots of reading. You are brave and wise to talk about it, talk through it. I think that helps a lot.
It sounds like you have a good plan in place. However, if this doesn’t seem to help, please don’t be afraid to talk to someone who can help you.
Also, you really should put the iPod down at bed time. My doctor said this is a huge problem with kids especially. And I’ve seen in it my own kids. Also, melatonin helps them as well.
Hang in there, Jo-Lynne!
JoLynne, I hate that you are going through this right now. I have really had empathy for your foot situation. There’s such a high and sense of accomplishment that comes from regular exercise. I bet you are missing those things terribly…even though they sound bleh right now. I strained a muscle in my calf in October and went through pt for two months and then had a complete hysterectomy three weeks ago. I am dying to go back to my Zumba/Bokwa schedule. It’s not going to happen for at least 6 more weeks but it’s out there. It will happen! Right now we have to just get through the hardest part of the year. Making plans with girlfriends and getting back with your trainer will help. We will be cheering you on and loving the 28 days of cute outfits.
You also may want to have your hormone levels check. At your age my estrogen was dominate and progesterone and tester one lacking. Women’s bodies women’s wisdom by Christine Northup is a great book to start with. It took a year but I started feeling better with bio identical a. Just something to look into. Thank you for being so honest.
Thanks, Laura. 🙂
Hey there. I feel for ya. Thanks for sharing your self. Some of the most meaningful pieces of creative work (from writers, musicians, artists, bloggers??? etc.) show depth that only comes from experiencing emotional swings, especially the lows. Keep truckin’!
Thanks, Emily. 🙂
I laid in bed last Saturday evening (it was about 6:30) wondering if I might be depressed. I had emergency surgery the end of October for a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. I was off work for a little over a month. The Saturday before the surgery I walked six miles, went to Costco, the grocery store, did five loads of laundry, cleaned the garage, etc. I was full of energy and it has not returned. I am discouraged that my energy is not where it was. I’m still not certain if I’m depressed or not, but I totally get where you are coming from.
Sharing does help. I reached out to my best friend this week. She was able to help improve my perspective – I had surgery, a very emotionally and physically tough surgery. She encouraged me to give myself a break as appropriate and that we would get back to walking when the weather warms up.
Oh, and since my deductible was met I had carpal tunnel surgery on both of my hands on Dec. 31st. So, there’s that!
Goodness, that’s a LOT. It sounds like you have a reason to be a bit blue. I hope you start feel better come springtime. I think the weather is a huge player in this struggle.
Consider the idea that you could have come down with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I hope not. I have it. Your new life patterns sound too familiar.
Ew. Oy. I hope not, lol. I really think it’s just lack of exercise. I’ve felt this way before. But I will look into it and keep it in mind if I don’t get better. Thanks for the tip, and best of luck to you dealing with it.
So honest. I have been feeling off lately too and your post made me realize, it happend, others get down and sometimes just say ” I miss me” outloud is the change we need. So I have decided to start running again and this fresh snow fall is perfect time. I will dedicate my run to this blog and to warmer sunnier days!
Opps supposed to say your post was so motivating . ( crazy auto spell)
Remembering you in my prayers today. Depression — seasonal, post-partum, or general — is something many of us have faced. Know you aren’t alone. You have this whole group of friends who care about your struggle. A friend of mine uses a light therapy box with positive results.
Also, I totally agree that we have to remember that we are not of this world. One of my favorite hymns is called “I Am but a Stranger Here, Heaven is My Home.” With God, our troubles will eventually pass away — if not in this life, then the next. I cling to that hope and believe it with all my heart. As a Christian, I’m sure you know all these things, but that crafty deceiver wants to keep us distracted with problems so we forget the promises God has given us. Don’t let him succeed! You have the power within you and the love of many friends!
Thanks for sharing, JoLynne. My day is not complete until I read your blog…it’s the simple things, not that you’re simple by any means :-), and now my weekend is complete since I finally got around to Saturday Morning #CoffeeTalk. Hang in there!
If you’re not sleeping well that for sure can zap your energy during the day. I’ve been there too. Be sure you are taking high levels of Vitamin D3 and try Natural Calm. It helps with magnesium and sleep.
I’m so sorry that you’re going through such a rough time. I tend to suffer from anxiety and low level depression at this time of year, especially when the gray days stretch on and on. Hang in there, it will pass! Thanks so much for sharing with us.
I am praying for you. I became depressed after many life events just got he best of me. My dad died suddenly, my husbands job moved us to another town, my mom developed cancer and died and then my younger brother was killed by a drunk driver. I ended up using shopping to try and ease the pain. As a result I incurred MAJOR debt and the depression got worse. I finally ended up where I needed to be, at the foot of the cross. After much prayer, the Lord has shown me that material things are not what life is all about. He has shown me that all that my heart desires is in him. He has allowed me to get almost all the way out of debt and with his continued guidance I will be all the way out by November of this year. I say all of that to say this, You are not alone and you will overcome. Ask the great physician. He is more than able.
Lorna, wow, what a lot to deal with in a short time. Thank you for sharing your story and for your encouragement.
“let the weak say ‘I am strong.’ Joel 3:10. when you feel weak, say this verse and it will strengthen you. regardless of how you feel, say ‘I am strong’. Thanks for your honesty.
Thanks, Susan. 🙂