New Year {Maybe Not A New Me}

This one is gonna be hard to write.

I am scared of 2018. I don’t want to be, and I’ve been trying really, really hard to hide my feelings about it. My husband retires, I leave one of the best friends I’ve ever had (besides the one I’ve kept for over 20 years). My kids leave even more great friends. I leave a community of girls I didn’t know I needed. My crazy, crazy girls. Their kids I’ve grown to love.

I celebrated New Year with said best friend and her family. I grabbed my camera for a few pictures, but wanted to focus more on spending time with them, because I know the next 6 months are going to go too fast. You can kind of tell my mood in the pictures. They are darker than I normally take, not as focused, more grainy. I wanted them that way. It helps me, as a photographer, remember how I felt when I took them.

We played Settlers of Catan (which I am still trying to figure out), we talked. We ate good food (Brent’s amazing chicken not pictured!), we laughed, we partied until 8pm (hehe, we old). These are people I am going to be absolutely heartbroken to leave. Being a military family, we get used to leaving. To saying goodbye. But this is the end for us, and it’s really hard for me. When I separated from the military in 2012 to take care of the kids, 2018 was was so far away. And now it’s here. Like a freaking brick in my stomach, it came up too fast. I need more years, more bases. More military communities. June is too close. A new, big, scary adventure, is too soon going to happen. And I am so not ready.

If I’m being completely honest with myself, this is probably the source of my crippling anxiety. I mean, I’ve always been anxious, but it’s never really been this bad. Yes, I run two businesses and am always busy, but right now, in this moment, I’m having a real hard time getting a grip on my anxiety. I’m writing myself 40 lists a day, leaving them thrown in the trash because I just don’t have the time to finish them. Thinking of downsizing and organizing and cleaning out things to get ready for June is literally bringing me to tears every day. Thinking of reaching the goals I set for myself this month in my businesses is making my heart beat out of whack (again, literally).

Will I be ok? Yes, I know I will. Damn it, I will get through this period of life. But lately, the walls are closing in on me. So I went to the doctor today. I got on anxiety medicine. I found out my thyroid is enlarged and will need an ultrasound for that. I found that my heart murmur needs an echo cardiogram. I got a brace for my wrist pain. I got nicotine gum to quit smoking again (which, when I quit smoking, will make my anxiety decrease, just like it did when I quit over 4 years ago).

We all have issues. We all have fears and anxieties. But I’ve never known this fear. I shrug it off when my husband talks about jobs after the military, when he talks about where we are going to live. I pretend it doesn’t bother me. But oh lord, it bothers the hell out of me.

I’m afraid the Zoloft will make me lose….me. I probably won’t take it. I really, really don’t want to be a zombie (C, if you read this, I love you and I hope you support whatever decision I make with this). And while this season is bad, I know in my heart it will get better. I know I will keep pushing my businesses, and loving on my children. The house will get clean, things will get cleared out and donated or sold. I’ve done this at least five times before. I just have to believe that I can do it again. What other choice is there, really?

And for the love of everything holy, I will get on a gym schedule. I was never anxious when I was spending an hour each day pounding pavement or lifting weights. Why I strayed from it, I’ll never know. I’ve controlled my fears and anxieties before with a good diet and exercise. With a set cleaning schedule (although my kids are getting older and not picking up after themselves! HA). I don’t know what tomorrow holds. And I’m scared shitless of the future. But I will find a way to manage my anxiety again (with or without medicine)…I will quit smoking, I will lose the 50 lbs I’ve gained.

We will move on from here, fear or no fear. I will leave Courtney and Ava and Jackson and Brent. It will hurt like HELL. I will leave the girls I’ve come to know like sisters. My “Friday Night Girls”. And that will hurt like hell too. But oh man, am I gonna love on them so hard for the next 6 months.

“Not to spoil the ending, but everything is going to be ok”. That sign is hanging in my office. Not sure why I can’t take a deep breath and believe it.


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