Video

Now

 

So apropos.

 

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Training

It’s been a hell of a week.

I can’t write about what happened.  And I can’t talk to friends (when I do, everything flashes back before my eyes).  But I’ve consulted a lawyer and likely will be hiring him shortly.

I’m a pretty strong woman- a fighter no doubt.  But twice in my life, I’ve become paralyzed in the face of a dangerous situation.  The first time, two men were trying to break into my flat in London when I heard noises outside my window.  I woke up, and saw a mans hands entering my window that was slightly ajar.  I froze and couldn’t get up out of my bed.  It’s like my body became instantly paralyzed.

I hadn’t thought of that happening in years.  But it came back to me shortly after the incident last week.  Both times, I had huge amounts of adrenaline coursing through my veins.  I talked to my husband about it.  And how I travel with the kids to off the beaten places.  Like what the fuck would I do, if someone ever approached us when we are literally in the middle of nowhere.  How would I protect them?  And don’t suggest guns.  I already tried that once.  And I couldn’t really handle shooting a weapon.  It’s something I don’t think I would ever get comfortable doing.  Nor could I ever see myself buying a handgun.  So guns are out.

The next idea was this:  I need to get comfortable with huge amounts of adrenaline.  I have to retrain my body.  I can’t allow it to become paralyzed when the adrenaline kicks in.

I have a major fear of heights that seems to have developed sometime in the last decade. Its the only thing I could think of whereby I am fearful.  And when adrenaline hits.

So….

I have started climbing.  Indoors for now.  I took a class and went up on my first course.  I got maybe half way up when bam!- I became completely frozen again.  Everything got blurry.  My heart was racing so fast I could hear it through my ears.  My palms got sweaty and I clung to that wall, until I could yell, “Tension”- which is what you say when you want to start lowering down.

I stared at the wall, from the safety of the ground, not ready to unhook myself.  I HAVE to conquer this damn wall, right now., I thought.  Back up you go.  I went back up, this time feeling the adrenaline at about the same height as before. I closed my eyes, and breathed.  Calmed my heartbeat down.  Then focused on where I was going to grab next.  And up I went, all the way to the top.

The climbing gym has tons of different routes, each with their own degree of difficulty.  By the end of that day, I had done a level 8.  I don’t know how many actual feet I was off the ground, but it was high.

And I was hooked.

I came back to the gym yesterday, this time taking the kids with me.  And I completed a level 9, with a bit of a ledge to get over (trust me, its challenging).  I also attempted a 10a, but needed tension to hold me at several junctions while I problem solved how to maneuver up.

It’s a start.  I’m conditioning myself to get comfortable with constant surges of adrenaline.  It’s my therapy.  I don’t know if going to an actual therapist will truly help me.  Talking about the incident keeps it alive in my mind.  So I’ve decided to try this new idea and see if this technique will help me- should anything dangerous happen in the future.

I figure the worst that can happen is I end up with a set of ripped arms.

 

 

 

 

Remission

In October of last year, I developed strange symptoms that resulted in me receiving a very rare diagnosis.  I won’t lie and say everyday I was some chipper person because of it. But I definitely chose to look at my life and make the most of what I still could do.  So I threw myself into work and for the past nine months, it’s been work, work, work.  And it was just what I needed to do because it truly reinvigorated my passion for design.  And nothing beats seeing your vision come to fruition.  Plus, who wants to sit around all day thinking they are sick.  I know I didn’t…

And then a strange thing happened about 5-6 weeks ago.  My incredibly rare symptom? Well, it suddenly stopped.  I didn’t notice at first, because I’ve been so focused on work.  But around 2 weeks into the change, it dawned on me that I felt normal.  Completely.  And that the incredibly rare symptom was no longer there.

I happened to run into one of my doctors around this time and he asked if I wanted repeat blood work pulled.  So I said yes.  He knows I monitor my numbers more than my doctors do.  He’s cool like that and we have an understanding that I am not your average patient.  He knows I am doing everything holistically to better my health.

Two weeks later, I got the results. And every single antigen has dropped to the lowest levels ever.  According to that blood work,  I’m 100% healthy.  I can’t believe I am actually going to type out these words but…

REMISSION friends!!!!

…it’s a beautiful thing.

 

 

 

Music

It’s summertime.  And in my house, that means adventure.  I’m a big travel junkie and I like to travel to off the beaten path.  It’s one of the things I let go of, when I first had my kids.  And it’s one of the things I purposely restored in my life, after I examined my overall happiness post dday.

Last week, I went off the grid with my kids.  Packed the car up and hit the road.  Just the three of us.  We weren’t even out of LA when my daughter fished out a CD, which I didn’t even know was in this car (I rarely drive it anymore).  Traffic was thick, so I wasn’t really paying attention to what she was doing but the next thing I know, the lyrics started up and it took me back four years.  Memories of immense pain and longing bubbled to the surface as I kept my eyes fixated on the road.  I must have listened to this CD a thousand times, I thought.  Music put into words what my heart and mind couldn’t say back then.  I couldn’t believe she was actually playing this.

I think of you
I haven’t slept
I think I do
But I don’t forget
My body moves
Goes where I will
But though I try my heart stays still
It never moves
Just won’t be led
And so my mouth waters to be fed
And you’re always in my head

My mind instantly went back to CEO and how these words would echo through the chambers of my heart.  Every word from each successive song matched the emotions back then.  How apropos that I was on a journey, looking back at the most painful journey of all.

“Did you remember to pack my bathing suit mom?”

And just like that, I’m snapped back to reality. “Yes honey.  It’s in your bag.”

”Can we eat the chips now?” my son chimes in.  “Ummmm, no buddy.  We’re not even 20 miles from our house and you are already asking for food?!?”

The music fades as the kids chat about Pokémon, why I took their iPads away for summer and if we will see a bear (like last time we went off the grid).  I let their conversations drift into the back of my mind as the lyrics took center stage.  The next song begins and my mind suddenly travels back in time.

Call it magic, call it true
I call it magic when I’m with you
And I just got broken, broken into two
Still I call it magic, when I’m next to you

I remember being split between my husband and CEO back then.  Neither getting all of me.  It broke me into two- literally.  And definitely wrecked my spirit juggling these two relationships…and yet, there was magic between CEO and I.  Undeniable magic.

Dating an entrepreneur is fraught with difficulties.  First, they are married to their start-ups.  And their time isn’t linear.  This posed problems in our relationship.  I learned through knowing CEO that my love language is time- and there never seemed to be enough of it.  I need that face to face connection in all of my relationships.  Daily contact was there via technology, but nothing replaces looking into each others eyes.  Seeing the way his eyes danced as he recounted a story.  Or hearing his laugh.

As I drove along the highway, I reflected back upon the negative undercurrents of our relationship.  The lack of real, valuable time together.  Did I think we could improve the amount of time we spent together back then?  Most definitely.  I truly believed we could find a middle ground there.  I believed we could find our way.

And if you were to ask me
After all that we’ve been through
Still believe in magic?
Well yes, I do
Oh yes, I do
Oh yes, I do
Of course I do

My wanderlust was dimming and so had my conversation with the kids.  Vivienne looked over at me and asked, “Are you okay mom?  You seem distant.  Like you are thinking deeply about something.”

“Yes sweetie.  I’m fine.  Just going over in my head everything I’ve packed.”

”Did you remember the bacon for Zane?”

”Oh crap.  I didn’t pull it out of the fridge.  Can you google for the nearest Whole Foods on mommie’s phone?”

Needless to say, we had a little detour before we got out of proper LA.  It was a nice break from what had been going through my mind.  But the second we got back in the car, my daughter continued to play the album with the significance lost on her.  Each song was like a journey into my past.

Got a tattoo that said “together through life”
Carved in your name with my poker knife
And you wonder when you wake up, will it be alright oh oh
Feels like there’s something broken inside
All I know
All I know
Is that I’m lost whenever you go
All I know is that I love you so
So much that it hurts

Urgh- the pain started brewing in my chest.  The hurt was unreal back then.  In an instant, I was brought back to the turmoil of loving two men.  One I had built a life with.  And one, I had fell in love with.   My broken heart realized I needed to box up that love and ignore it for life.  I loved Nial so much and this song tore at my heart, every time I heard it.  Memories came flooding back.  Me- leaving my house for the first time, after I had confessed.  Driving away from my neighborhood.  Then once I was at a safe distance, just screaming at the top of my lungs.  Trying to get everything out, so my kids wouldn’t see my pain.  I was conflicted.  Truly.  Knowing I had purposely dropped an atomic bomb on my relationship with CEO so I would be forced to do the “right thing”, even if my heart was utterly in love with him, was gut wrenching…

“How much longer till we transfer freeways mom?  Do you think we will be able to find a swimming hole or waterfall once we get there?”

“Don’t you fret my pet.  Mom’s got it covered.”

The melodies faded into oblivion, while giving birth to the next song.  Miles tick over on the odometer as the road opened up.  As I juggle the past and present, memories of Niall continue to flood to the surface.

For a second, I was in control
I had it once, I lost it though
And all along the fire below would rise
And I wish you could have let me know
What’s really going on below
I’ve lost you now, you let met go but one last time
Tell me you love me, if you don’t then lie, oh lie to me

“Are we going to stop for lunch on the way?”  Zane asked softly.  “Yes darling.  We will get lunch soon.’

And then the keys on the piano begin.  Notes take shape.  Softly, yet full of every conceivable emotion.  It rhythmically tells the story of my heartbreak, note by note.

A flock of birds
Hovering above
Just a flock of birds
That’s how you think of love

And I always
Look up to the sky
Pray before the dawn
‘Cause they fly always
Sometimes they arrive
Sometimes they are gone
They fly on

A flock of birds
Hovering above
Into smoke I’m turned
And rise following them up

Still I always
Look up to the sky
Pray before the dawn
‘Cause they fly away
One minute they arrive,
Next you know they’re gone
They fly on
Fly on

So fly on
Ride through
Maybe one day I’ll fly next to you

They fly on
Ride through
Maybe one day I come fly with you
Fly on
Fly on
Fly on

I’m stronger now.  I’ve forged a new path.  But it’s in moments like these, I realize just how far I’ve come.  And how I can listen to Coldplays entire Ghost Stories without bursting into tears.

And yet…I still miss him.

Thats what 4 years post Dday gets you.