One month ago, and for the many, many months that preceded it, I was laying in bed discouraged, depressed, and just all-around bitter about so many things, as I mentioned in my “Owning the Truth of What My Life Now Is” post.
I gave myself a 60 day challenge to find myself, shake the bitterness, and to regain my once (relatively recently) awesome and positive outlook on life.
Today, 28 days after I began this challenge, I find myself laying in bed again, doing nothing… again. Only it’s a very different kind of nothing.
One month ago I was laying in bed bitter. About everything. Today I am thankful. For everything.
One month ago I was laying in bed depressed. Today I am happy. And content.
One month ago I lay in bed, lacking the energy to do everything, because I hadn’t done much of anything for what seemed like forever. Today I lay in bed, lacking the energy to do anything because… holy crud balls, I was friggin’ Superman this week, and my body needs a rest!
The funny thing is, it took exactly three days of intense workouts and productivity to feel like my old amazing self, but I also knew that contentment would be very short lived if I didn’t keep pushing forward in my 60 day challenge.
I began eating perfectly. I began pushing myself harder than I ever had in my workouts. I began reaching out to old friends just to say hi, and I began doing good things for my current friends.
I began studying new words again, reading good books, and learning new things. I began cooking incredible meals for myself and relearning the power of food.
I really journaled some negative things I was holding onto and found a way to let them go.
I began spending more quality time with Noah.
I cut my hair because dammit, new me wanted to look at a new me when I looked in the mirror.
I cut out or limited interaction with a few of the negative people in my life.
And, perhaps most importantly, I moved.
As I have shared with you, living with the 24/7 rumble of diesel engines passing by on the freeway, and living on a busy main road with fire trucks, news helicopters, ambulances, screeching trains, public transit, low rider cars, motorcycles, and more… All of it did a serious number on my mental health. I ended up dependent on sleeping pills and earplugs to get through the night. I lived most of my days inside noise-cancelling headphones. So many sounds began freezing me in my tracks as I worked to block them out. I became impatient, grouchy, and quick to snap. Sometimes I even had weird outbursts, which I have never had. It all scared me very much, and my mental health professional told me that I had no choice but to move if I wanted to find my sanity again.
That wasn’t as easy as it sounded. There were very few rentals available that would fit my needs and that were nice and quiet. The few I found had a line of people before me who had already turned in applications. It seemed I was stuck. But then, a small miracle…
As it ended up, there are apartments in my same complex that were available and almost completely soundproof. I couldn’t believe it until I went into one of them and just stood by the window for the longest time, trying to hear any sound outside at all. Nothing.
Just standing in that quiet room filled me with peace and gave me hope that this wouldn’t be as difficult or expensive a move as I thought. Just down one floor and to the other side of the complex. It would be a space downgrade, which wasn’t ideal since I already felt a bit confined, but I decided the sanity trade-off would be worth it, so I signed the papers.
Moving day was this past Thursday, but I’ll get to that. First… Insanity.
And not the kind that I had been experiencing due to the sensory overload. No, the workout Insanity. The 9-week circuit training exercise program that pushes you to all of your limits, both physical and mental. I started day one of it with my good friend Emily (along with our bizarre personal motivation), and immediately I hurt from head to toe.
The next day I could barely waddle, let alone walk. Yet I did the day two workout, as well. Day three I was nearly crippled, moaning and groaning everywhere I went. Yet I did the day three workout, as well. And then, suddenly, as if by magic, my body remembered what a badass it is capable of being, and I started getting through all of the workouts drenched in sweat, drained of energy, but barely sore.
Now here I am, after four weeks on the program completed, and I feel like a million bucks. I weighed myself two weeks in. Down 7.5 lbs. I won’t weigh myself again until tomorrow, but I’m pretty sure I’ve lost quite a bit more. My clothes fit better, my face looks thinner, my posture is more erect, and my confidence level is higher. In one picture I even looked like I was getting pecs instead of boobs! That was a plus.
Of course, a huge part of my happiness comes from my friends over in the Single Dad Laughing Health Club on Facebook (many of whom are doing this 60 day challenge alongside me). They’re some of the best humans I’ve ever met, all cheerleading for each other in our daily struggles and awesomeness. No judgments. No insensitivities. Just good humans being good humans as we try and get healthier together. Not only was I able to get much needed support as I do my daily workouts, but I’ve been able to give support to others, run fun challenges again, and more. I love that club, and I admittedly forgot how much I love it until I finally got back into it every day.
Anyway, Insanity. My goal has been to not miss one friggin’ day, all the way to the end. That means six days a week (sometimes with double workouts required) all the way to the end.
Yes, I have to eat a pig’s foot on a live Facebook feed for any day I miss, but that’s not what really is driving me. What drives me most is wanting to know that… No matter what life brought up, and no matter how busy or chaotic things got, or how packed for time I became, or how drained of energy I found myself, I still found a way to get it done. I don’t know why that became so important to me in this #FindMyself60 challenge, but it did.
And of course, that meant doing Insanity even on the days I moved.
This post has already gotten much longer than planned, so I’ll sum those days up in a nutshell.
I hired a team of 8 people to come in and pack what was left to pack, move me, and unpack me all on the same day. 4 showed up. 2 bailed after a few hours. I sent the other two home at 12AM. And suddenly I found myself having to drive myself into the ground to wrap up the rest of it. The unpacking same day definitely didn’t happen. Moving the storage units didn’t happen. But I got myself moved. And at 1AM, after 14 hours of non-stop soul drainage, I still did that damn Insanity workout. I proved to myself that I could do it. That was Thursday.
The next day really wasn’t much easier on account of being so sore from the day before and still having so much to do to get moved. And yet, I did that workout, too. That was Friday.
Saturday, yesterday, I moved the last 1200 lbs (all my gym equipment) from one storage unit to the other. According to my fancy doodads, I burned another 900 calories just doing that. And I somehow completed Insanity yesterday, too. I also finished unpacking, hanging all the wall hangings and cabinets, and cleaning. I got completely moved in.
And then I went and just soaked in my apartment hot tub for the longest time.
I have never loved sitting in a hot tub more than I did right then. I’m pretty sure the couple that was in there was trying to “do it” before I arrived, so they weren’t as appreciative as I was, but I didn’t care. I just melted like a puddle of goo into that water and let my accomplishments encompass me. That hot soak just felt like standing on a winner’s podium at the olympics.
But nothing was as sweet as last night, the first night in a very long time that I was able to fall deeply asleep to nothing but the sound of a bedroom fan and my own breathing. No sleeping pills. No ear plugs. And most importantly, no engines or sirens passing constantly by. No bed rumbling below me when the really big ones passed by. No screeching trains. No roaring mufflers. No screaming people. The sound of near-silence was the most beautiful sound I have heard in a very long time.
I slept. And slept. And slept some more. 11 or 12 hours by my best guess.
And today I woke up just… happy. Sore, but happy. Needing a day lounging in bed, but happy.
This is day 28 of my 60 day challenge to find myself. 32 to go. And I can’t wait to see what those 32 days will bring. I just have to keep going.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing