No Turning Back

It’s done… officially ended.  No turning back even if I wanted to.

I settled in at my cousin’s house quite easily, I spent some quality time with the family before they embarked on their trip leaving me to care for the dogs.  I was enjoying the peace and quiet, but I wasn’t completely at ease.
For one, their home was at least a 25 minute drive from the ocean.  As beautiful as life was in the mountains, it was painfully hot and their was no relief other than sitting still in the shade.
For another, the dogs were a lot needier and more anxious than I had anticipated, making it difficult for me to take off on day trips.
And finally, I was completely and utterly alone.  The tiny town was still a 15 minute drive… there were neighbours but they were farther down the hill and I rarely saw them.
With nothing to do and no one to talk to the boredom set in quickly and that boredom lead to loneliness and that loneliness made me think of Nick and how much I missed him.
We hadn’t spoke since I left, and although I knew it was probably a good thing, I wondered what had changed.

A week after my arrival, I heard a small peep from him: “Hey mate, how’s Noosa?” he wrote on my wall.  I eagerly sent him a huge message, filling him in on everything that had happened down to detailed descriptions of each of the dogs distinct personalities.  I even told him how I was getting over a urinary tract infection and how painful that had been.
His only response?  “Well when you clear up, you should get out and have some fun.  You deserve it, don’t let me stop you…”
He’s telling me to sleep with other people?!   I could only assume he had started a physical relationship with someone else and was trying to alleviate his guilt by pursuing me to do the same.
I expressed the doubtfulness of me ever getting laid out in the sticks and he seemed to pity me.
I asked him if he was still planning to come visit me after Christmas.
“I only have two 4 day weekends…” was his (pathetic) excuse.
I could see exactly what was happening, I did understand he was trying to do the best for both of us, so we could both move on, but still it hurt that only a few days ago he was telling me how glad he was to have me in his life.

After that conversation, the silence between us grew.  A few days later, I was chatting with my mom on Skype and she asked about Nick.  “I don’t know anymore… we’re not really talking.”  At that moment, my phone lit up with a message from him.
“Speak of the devil!  Let’s see what he has to say.”  I read his message in my head and then laughed out loud half in disbelief, half in rage.
“What did he say?” my mom asked.
“He’s gotten back together with his ex…” I explained, trying to keep my voice from trembling. “He wants us to keep being friends…”
“Are you alright?”
Thank God I was (somewhat) in my mother’s presence.  We talked a lot about the situation and she kept me calm, but the moment I ended the call, I fell apart.  I cried uncontrollably whenever I thought back to all the times I accused him of still loving her and how he denied it, how he promised he would never take her back and accused me of being insecure.  All those time he would message back and forth with her while swearing they were just friends.  In my heart, I always knew they would end up back together, but I assumed further down the road, maybe after I’d left Australia or we’d lost contact.  Not a couple days after I left town.
I hated her for taking him back.
I hated him for being too weak and pathetic to be alone.
But I hated myself most of all, because my instincts had been screaming at me and I totally disregarded them.  I let myself be swayed by Nick and his friends and my friends.  I let myself be pushed into a relationship that I didn’t want in the first place, only to have my heart stomped on as soon as I began to really feel something.

I drove into town and bought a bottle of wine, a chocolate bar and a pouch of tobacco.
I sat on the patio and chain smoked while slamming wine and listening to Alanis Morissette.  I went on a massive Tinder tear and chatted up all the hot locals I could find.  I talked with a couple friends on the phone and they listened patiently as I ranted about how all men are pigs.
By 9 pm I was emotionally exhausted and collapsed on my bed.  I woke up in the middle of the night when one of the dogs got up.  The first thing that came into my conscious mind was Nick and instantly I felt sadness overtake my body.  Then I felt cold… freezing cold… in the middle of summer in Australia.  I put on sweatpants and a hoodie and doubled up my blankets, I curled up in a small ball for warmth, but still I was uncomfortably chilly.

When I woke up in the morning, I felt like a new person.  My day of mourning was over, I had granted myself just one pity party, I swore to myself that I wouldn’t allow one more tear to fall for Nick.  I got up and did what I always do when I’m trying to turn my thoughts off: I worked out.  For hours and hours.  I also showed myself a lot of love: I made myself some incredible healthy meals, I meditated and read my book, I went to the beach, I did my nails and plucked my eyebrows.  I felt genuinely positive about life.  Nick had done me a favour, I could move on with my life completely and maybe even meet someone new.  I could go back to focusing on myself and my travels, without always having part of my heart back with him.

I read over his message a couple more times.  I contemplated possible responses.  I could tell him to go fuck himself or I could take the high road and wish him well or I could respond with something short and icy.  Nothing would make me feel better, nothing would affect him and nothing would change the situation.
After a lot of thought I decided to simply not respond, I didn’t have anything left to say and I didn’t want to ease his own guilt by either forgiving him or letting him have it.  When he got back together with her, he knew that there was the possibility he would lose me from his life entirely, and he still made that decision.  I had no interest in remaining friends or keeping in touch, surely my silence would reflect that.  I blocked and deleted him from Facebook and every other form of social media to avoid seeing anymore messages from him.
Unfortunately, I forgot to block his email address, because a couple days later, he messaged me, begging to respond even if just to say I didn’t want to talk.  I quickly blocked that too.

Now I’m here.  I’ve assured myself that Nick did not intend to use me or hurt me, I think he genuinely believed he was over his ex, but what he resisted, persisted.  Still, I don’t need his presence in my life.  So now I’m just here, contemplating my next move.


Over Before It Begun

I suppose you did me a favour…
Now I can get back to putting myself first, showing myself all the love I deserve, spending some quality time with me.
Although I wish I didn’t feel so stupid and shitty about it all.
But things happen for a reason, and the day it all imploded was the day I received an offer to good to pass up.
From destruction comes creation.
And every time I leave a city, I’m running from a broken heart…
Then there is a new place, a new face, a new epic romance and another crushed dream.  So onto the next one I go.
Maybe some people aren’t meant to be in a relationship, maybe they’re meant to wander alone.
You know, you really did do me a favour.

I just wish I hadn’t loved you so.


Afraid of Happiness

What am I afraid of? Happiness?

It’s interesting how when you start a new chapter in your life, whether it be a new job, a new home, a new relationship, you begin with the best intentions.
I’m going to avoid office romances.
I’m going to keep my bedroom clean and organized.
I’m going to keep my jealousy in check.
Whatever it is, you’re determined to do it now that you have a fresh start and for the first few weeks it actually works, you’re able to stick to it! Then you get comfortable and you slack off one day, then another, then you look for excuses not to do it. Then a week has gone by and you shrug your shoulders like,
Whatever, I’ve fucked up now, my chance is gone, there’s always next time. Right?

Well, life in the surf town was no different.

I thought, Hey, once I’m living in a house, with a job, I’ll fall into a routine: eat healthy, exercise, finally learn to surf, finally have some me time. At first, I was killing it. Then the hard realization hit me: I’ve lived here one month and besides Kennedy, I don’t have any actual friends, I have a shitty job where I make no money, and I can’t afford shit. I tried to carry on, knowing things could only get better, but soon I was drinking to pass the time (whilst trying to come out of my shell).  Soon after we invested in a $50 bag of weed and within a week, had almost smoked the entire thing, which of course, lead to the consumption of an entire block of chocolate, a box of candy and a bag of chips, to name a few. I gave up on running, I gave up on trying to improve my standard of life. I gave up on myself.

I got sad, really sad and began to feel hopeless and trapped. I desperately began searching for an exit route, anxious for another new beginning.

That’s when I recognized the patterns of self-depricating behaviour and it lead me to wonder: Am I trying to sabbotoge my own happiness? Or do I have an actual mental illness? Let me elaborate…

For all of my life I’ve had high highs and very deep lows. I can be ontop of the world one minute and down in the dumps the next. Nothing really has to happen to set me off. I can create a negative possible scenario in my head and then I’m sweating, treating it like an actual REAL problem (of course, these thoughts never materialize.) I cry at the drop of a pin. I wake up sometimes thinking, “Why even bother?” and then I wont, for days, weeks, until I decide with a sudden burst of enthusiasm that its not too late to turn it all around.

I have a very addictive personality. I can’t just have one beer, it’s got to be 6, or 10, and I can’t buy a bag of weed and ration it, I’m gonna smoke the entire thing in a couple days. I can’t just have one cigarette when I’m partying, it’s gotta be the whole pack. Whether it’s sex, food, drugs, whatever, for me, it’s always in excess. Moderation doesn’t exist in my world.

My mother and aunt have both been diagnosed as bi-polar. My aunt went to rehab for alcohol and is now a member of Overeaters Anonymous as well. My uncle almost lost everything because of his drug problem. I know this is a real devastating illness that could be affecting me, but I don’t know what to do about it, mental illness is still really hard to openly discuss. I know a counsellor is probably my best bet, but they’re expensive and the last thing I want is to ever be medicated. I would perfer to talk it out, perhaps seek some spiritual guidance, but the thought of diving into my past, of divulging those memories locked deep within… it freaks me out! I guess discussing my problems with a neutral, trained professional provide great release, but the idea is so terrifying.

As scary as it is, I need to find a way to stop the self deprication. It’s frustrating, I can see myself making the same mistakes, I know exactly where I’m going wrong, but it’s like I’m stuck in this endless loop of misery, to break free would take all my strength and focus, but its as if I can’t be bothered, which brings me to my second theory:
I want to deny myself happiness. It’s as if all those feeling inside, the lack of self-worth, the insecurities instilled in me by my father, by my classmates, by my ex-boyfriends, they’re all weighing me down. All those negative words, I’ve begun to believe them and now I seek to punish myself by telling myself I don’t deserve it.

I mentioned how I tend to seek out boyfriends and then fancy myself as stuck and just wallow in self pity and hope for a change.
Well in coming to New Zealand, I did the same thing. Kennedy and I share a room, we share a van, we share a life. I’ve begun to feel a little stir-crazy, my mind is pacing, desperately seeking an emergency exit.
Don’t get me wrong, I love NZ, I love Kennedy, I want to spend the year here. But things have gone off track and I’m desperately seeking another fresh start, I know I can’t run from myself and that’s the sad truth. I don’t want to lose sight of who I am again. I just found myself, I can’t lose her.

The rational part of myself is chiding me for never sticking with anything or following through. I have a lot of changes I need to make to escape these repetitious behaviours. It’s not going to be easy, but I think in order to be sane, I need to quit smoking weed. I don’t want to quit smoking weed, I love it and the way it makes me feel numb and let’s me zone out for a while. But after 2 months of not smoking, I can see how badly it slows me down, makes me unmotivated. I can’t smoke even a little without getting paranoid and insecure. I’ve tried making weed a “sometimes thing” but its no use. If I’ve got it I’ll smoke it, once I’m out I’ll seek out more by any means necessary. It’s going to be extremely difficult to quit, but sitting down and wiriting it out is a good way to deal with my emotions.

I guess we’ll see if I can’t turn this life around.


Never Too Late

I’m depressed.  It’s gotten to the point where I have to admit it, at least to myself, because  it’s effecting my life so profoundly.  The worst part about being so sad is that I have no reason to feel this way, my life is great and I’m about to head off on this great adventure.  I should be over the moon, but instead I’m quite the opposite.  When I’m not working, I feel anxious and reluctant to be at home.  I think about all the things I could do with my free time, about all the things I need to do before I leave the country and the closer it gets to the date the more I procrastinate.  Instead of getting organized I binge drink and chain smoke and indulge in copious amounts of weed only to pass out into a restless sleep void of rapid eye movement.  On the nights that I actually go to bed sober I toss and turn, restless, my mind goes over my to-do list and I start to panic.  When I finally fall asleep (perhaps at 3 am?) I have crazy dreams.  In the morning I stare blankly at my own reflection and wonder who the girl looking back is, because she’s not me; she has huge black pillows under her eyes, her skin is riddled with acne, hair unwashed and unkempt and she never smiles, not once.

My anxiety is not entirely due to my travel woes, I feel anxious about dying alone without ever doing anything with my life and having no one to blame but myself.  I’ve been so insecure lately especially concerning my appearance.  Stress has destroyed my skin: my cheeks are covered in acne, I’m talking huge cysts that cause me physical pain.  I’ve seen dermatologist after dermatologist and everything they prescribe is only a temporary solution.  I’ve always struggled with breakouts, but never like this.  I feel so helpless so I pick endlessly at the pimples; it’s as if I’m punishing them for invading my face.  It’s gotten to the point where I hate leaving my house because I don’t want people to see me.  I hate serving and having people stare at my face all day, because I constantly feel like they’re judging me.
I bemoan the fact that I haven’t gotten laid in what seems like a lifetime, but the truth is even if I had an opportunity to have sex I would probably turn it down.  I don’t feel sexy, my confidence is at an all time low and I don’t want to be in such a vulnerable situation.  I think about the last couple men I’ve been with and how badly they disappointed me and I just don’t want to put myself through it again.  So instead I bitch and complain about how I can’t even give it away while making no real effort to do anything about it.  Story of my life…
What’s wrong with me?  I wanted to be this strong confident woman who was happy being alone, who was patient, who didn’t need a man to have a fulfilling life.  Will I ever become her?  Or am I doomed to make the same mistakes?  Can people ever really change?  Or maybe I’m just too lazy to put in the effort necessary to become a better me. I don’t know anymore.

Last night, unwilling to go home, I slammed a bottle of wine and literally cried to Kennedy.  “Wahhh life is tough, feel sorry for me, my life sucks.”  The usual.  This morning I woke up with a start.  My mouth was parched and I was sprawled across Kennedy’s bed.  Flash backs of my antics began to flood my hazy brain: constant crying, whining, general self-pity.  I was supposed to get a ride with Kennedy to the lodge so I could retrieve my abandoned bike, but I was alone.  She had left without me.  I tried to recover my missing phone and fell into hysterics.
Don’t fall apart over this stupid shit I lectured myself.  Pull yourself together woman!!!
I resolved to make today a better day.  I put on my jeans and located my phone.  I washed my face and tried to make my appearance somewhat presentable.  I filled up a plastic water bottle and started down the street, thumb pointed out towards the passing cars in the hopes of catching a ride.  A parks worker picked me up and, to my delight, did not attempt to engage in small talk, but instead drove me to my destination in silence.  I rode my bike home in the pouring rain letting the water wash over me.  When I got home I made a pot of coffee and sat down to eat a real breakfast.  I took a long shower and organized the chaos that is my bedroom.
This is why I’m depressed, I told myself I eat greasy restaurant food every day, I drink and smoke excessively, I’ve stopped exercising, my surroundings are bedlam, I don’t sleep enough and I don’t take any time for myself.  This needs to change.  You owe yourself more.

Work was fairly slow and I made it through the day in pretty good spirits.  I came home and had a real dinner and now I’m here: sitting in my warm bed, writing out my thoughts, working through my issues while a near-hurricane storm rages outside.

It’s never too late to try again, tomorrow’s always a new day.