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Obsessed – Sorry Not Sorry

Keslie, my daughter, was born April 10, 2011. As most mom’s do, I experienced a heavy dose of postpartum depression. I began running as soon as the OBGYN cleared me for activity. At the time, I didn’t understand the science behind why running made me feel so much better, why I became obsessed, why I didn’t miss a monday runday. I now understand what movement does for the body, how your body was meant for motion. I also had no idea what those early morning and late evening runs where preparing me for.

October 13, 2011, was the last morning I would ever dress my baby girl. Guess what I did the die after she died? I ran. I once heard someone say, “life is full of before and after moments”, that dreadful Friday morning run on October 14, 2011 will forever be my after run.

Since that day, I have chased refuge from grief. I mean, I know they say you gotta face it, but I would rather take that awful shit in small doses. One of the less destruct-full tactics of refuge has been exercise. Well not counting that year of Cross-fit, my hips and knees will never be the same. Cycle, run, yoga, strength training, cardio, elliptical, dead lifts, clings, I tried the snatch and fell, pilates…I seriously would not want to know what I have shelled out to Groupon over the years. Two years ago I came across a FB Post for the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program. I was like well there is one I haven’t tried. I signed up without hesitation.

There was a different vibe with this, this program was centered around nutrition. I didn’t do nutrition…exercise I’m down…but take away my donuts and I’m out. Intermittent Fasting was foreign, Macros were scary, and carb cycling was for that KeNo Diet. Unfortunately I had pressed the buy now button and a welcome letter was awaiting in my gmail. No Group-on discount on this program…I have seven weeks to commit, I can do seven weeks.

The best seven weeks of my life. I thought for sure I could keep going on my own and did’t sign up for another round until after I had gone through several infertility treatments and decided nutrition and exercise had to move back to the top of my list. Again, the best seven weeks of my life and I have never put two and two together but it wasn’t long after I completed my second round I was pregnant…naturally…like the good ole’ too many margarita’s way.

Let’s fast forward to January of 2019. After a full on emotional, mental, physical and spiritual breakdown, I knew that if I did not implement nutrition and motion into my recovery I would never make it. I slowly began implementing two components of the FASTer Way; Intermittent Fasting and Progress. I signed up as a VIP Member and just stalked the page and slowly, like real slowly did my thing. Week after week I made small strides and all of the sudden my body and mind starting transforming. The “I can’t” went to “I can” the “I can” went to “I will” and the “I will turned into “I am”

I am a Certified Coach for the FASTer Way to Fat Loss. I am unapologetically obsessed with this program. I am going to continue to tell my story over and over again. I know there is someone like me, lurking in the shadows, waiting to change the course of their health and I want to be the beacon of light that they need to course correct. Because for most of us, nutrition and motion isn’t something we do to stay skinny…it’s what we have to do to stay alive.

Shift

I desperately long for a shift, like a 7.0 on the Richter scale kind of shift.

I returned to my high pressure sales job just two months after a complete mental, physical, and emotional breakdown. I experienced this false sense of “it’s over, I’m cured”. The hard truth is, there is no cure. There is only building up tearing down take one down pass it around ninety eight bottles of beer on the wall…repeat…second verse same as the first.

The irony of mental illness; your mind is incapable of having the strength or capacity to build anything up and tearing down scares the shit out of you but these dichotomies are critical – scratch that – necessary part of overall well being. After an unsuccessful two months of prospecting, working to fill a sales funnel, and maintaining and developing relationships my time came to tear down. My mind, body and soul needed a shift. I have worked for AT&T for thirteen years. After much deliberation with the hubs, family and friends I tore down what I had worked most of my adult life to build up.

Here comes the shift…

I know without a doubt that how I take care of my body plays an integral part of my day to day well being. It sucks that it takes 25 minutes of meditation, a full hour of self conversation and a sleeve of thin mints to help me come to that realization. I have gained almost thirty pounds since December. I understand that medication plays a role in weight gain, but I am aware enough to know that most of that weight gain has come from a lack of self love. An internal desire to find any excuse to hide from the world. When you can longer fit into any of your clothes, you can talk yourself into some pretty legit reasons to stay isolated. Isolation is E A S Y, it’s safe, it’s consuming and damaging. I know I need a career, a lifestyle that will help prevent my deep desire for isolation. I need to find the best version of this new me.

As I step into the arena for this next phase of my life I deeply desire physical, mental and emotional well being. My hope is that I can incorporate all three necessities into my personal and professional growth. I have an interview next Monday as an Online Health and Wellness Coach. If I get accepted into the program I will then work to obtain my certification to help others. Then it is up to me to show up. Show up everyday for me, for my family, for my friends, and for my clients. It won’t be easy, but I am certain it will be worth it. Wish me luck!

Split Decision

It doesn’t take long for the vision of solid oak pews lined in rows to come to the front of my memory log. A memory as clear as yesterday: singing hymnals as Shell Anderson’s hands danced across the keys ensuring any of the off tune singers are drowned out by her perfect cords. I disliked Sunday school. Every Sunday morning I begged to stay in big church. I would lay across, belly down, on the burnt orange cushion. My side barely touching the dark oak back. My Great Great Aunt, who I called Ebe, tickled my back. I would drift off just as Brother Harry cued the congregation to open their bible to Luke Chapter 2 Verse 5-10. A church nap is almost as good as a golf nap.

I experience a warmth in my soul as I reminisce of Sunday morning at First Baptist Church. I was safe there, most importantly I felt that safety.

Why is it now that I can’t get there? I can’t seem to find where religion and spirituality either combine or need separation. I’m torn between what I was taught as a child and what I feel as a woman.

I have this internal cry for a deeper self love. A meaningful, healthy self love that allows me to give freely without yearning for approval. I want to break this cycle of damaging self-sacrifice and endless codependency. My soul has been crying out for some time, my emotions have, until recently, made my mind to foggy to see.

My religion taught me that I am nothing without god, the power is in him. What if you can’t connect with that god? On my knees, I have tried tirelessly to connect. Mathew, Mark, Luke and Paul; chapters I am all too familiar with, and could probably quote from if needed. I have believed that only a select few are going to heaven and if you don’t believe that Jesus died on the cross and ask him to forgive your sins you are destined for hell. Today, I just can’t wrap my head around this.

I feel a deep desire to search for an inner peace. It is almost like my inner child is begging me to become aware, to love deeply, to forgive. I need to somehow find a way to exist peacefully within the chaos.

In this season, a dose of self care is my RX. Practicing mindfulness in the smallest of moments is helping me become more aware of today’s gifts. A deeper understanding of my emotions, has given me the rare ability to see others through a different lense. A telescope to their soul, allowing me to love without fear. Self care has given me the opportunity to tap into self kindness. Self kindness is a prerequisite for forgiveness.

As I expose my frailties, one by one, I can feel an opening of kinship moving within myself and between others. I know there is a higher power within me, around me, above and below me. I just can’t seem to define it.

Vice

Bipolar disorder can cause risky behavior.

I am currently in a season of acceptance. The thing about acceptance is that you can’t reach it unless you are aware.

Awareness of my mental illness, coping mechanisms, emotions, the life I live.

I mentally untangle as I work hard to become aware and to accept what that awareness will bring. I hustle to find positive coping mechanisms; refinishing furniture, running, CrossFit, multiple MLM business starter. I wish I could say that all my vices stay in the positive lane, unfortunately that’s not the case.

My most impactful vice is spending copious amounts of money. I’m an equal cash/credit spender. I am a TJ Max bag hider. I spend hours tracking the Fed Ex truck just to make sure there is no one home when he drops the packet on my door mat. If I need to avoid my emotions, you better hide your pocket book because like an addict, at times I will find clever ways to spend and work over time to hide my vice. I am the favorite Direct Level Marketing target. If I am manic and decide your product is going to allow me to spend money and create cash flow I’m all in. Like skip add to cart and click Buy It Now. Ok, before you are like “oh shit I may be bi polar”. While I don’t want to share the details of my vice I will say that the lengths that I would go to in order to spend is extreme. In addition to many other manic and depressive behaviors that attribute to my diagnosis. If you spend a little more money than you have…you’re an American…not bipolar.

I am seeing a therapist three times a week and we are currently discussing the science behind mental illness and connecting the dots of my past to now to understand why I do the behaviors I do. This alone has had a tremendous affect on my wellness journey.

Calloused

I spent the first days of my life as an adoptee. At the time my mom was alone, and made to feel like less of human because she got knocked up out of wedlock. What other option did she have? My life started in chaos and I have since saturated my mind with a negative introspective. I bury the bad and soldier on with what sense I can make of my calloused brain.

I have done this for years. Looking back I see it, like a movie reel on rewind the images of me constantly suppressing emotions. I mean I smiled as I greeted the guest for my daughters funeral. I smiled and then invited everyone over for food and fellowship after her funeral, as if it were a celebration of some sort.

What.The.Fuck

Eventually the wolves turned up at my door. The bill came due and those mofo’s surrounded my house until I had no where to run. [insert emotional breakdown with a dose of suicidal ideation]

Here I am today, two months after being tossed into the psych ward, so terribly broken but somehow equally hopeful. I am so thankful that my emotions and my thoughts didn’t fulfill their promise and I listened to another shallow voice.

“It doesn’t last forever, and you can better”

❤️

Summer Rae

Impermanence

I have reached a point in my life where no wall or avoidance or denial – no cause or excuse – can keep the rawness of life from running through me. This is scary, at times the vulnerability of it is devastating. It has left me preoccupied with death.

I wonder and as much as I can, I even believe that the same energy that brings the rawness from my subconscious to my conscious, can also heal. The very same impermanence-with the right skills- can be used to soothe my soul with the understanding that even the deepest pain will pass.

Breakdown (like the Tom Petty song)

Every Doctor I have seen, and I can count at least a dozen in the last month, has asked what was your trigger?

I wonder if it’s just me but I honestly didn’t have one trigger. I honestly believe that this was a 25 yearish trigger. Just in the last decade:

married • divorced • married again • pregnant • kelsie • kelsie died • miscarriage • fertility treatments • miscarriage • pregnant • surpluses from job • ray ray • meet my biological dad • breakdown (like the tom petty song)

I feel the heartache of this last decade, but also feel the warmth of all the memories of laughter and love.

Google and I have diagnosed my entire life, starting at birth, as my trigger.

I start my week tomorrow with an intention of acceptance.

>>Acceptance of me…all of me

>>Acceptance of my circumstances

>>Acceptance of a life worth living

I have three simple goals:

>>Make all my appointments

>>Track accurate health data

>>Yoga Yoga Yoga

Cheers y’all

Summer Rae