40 Days Experiment

I’m sitting alone in my kitchen, after everyone’s gone to sleep. I’m awake because as I was laying in my bed I had the sudden realization that if I didn’t get up I was going to start balling. I can not start balling because I can’t let myself fall that far again. So downstairs I go to deal with emotions the only way I know how. Anxiously eating. And writing.

As I was sitting there I thought how is it that my thoughts cripple me so much that I’m scared to act, scared to speak, scared to love, scared to do anything that might shake up my life again. How did I get to the point where I lost my relationship with God?

I think back to the years when I seemed to have everything together (I was barely holding on by the seams, I was in denial) was when I threw myself into everything and split my attention between 100 things that demanded all of my time. I did it to myself so I wouldn’t have to hear the thoughts in my head. If I had deadlines to meet, papers to turn in, and schedules to adhere to there wouldn’t be much time to dwell on “where am I going with my life” or “why am I having a hard time with this?” I was just on go. My health suffered. I wasn’t sleeping well, I didn’t pay any attention to what I was eating, I had more alcohol than was healthy in my system every weekend. It was all so that I could avoid dealing with the very real scare that I had no actual idea of what I was doing and that I could fall to pieces at any moment. That probably contributed to where I am now.

I craved balance. I dreamed of the days where I would be able to work 40 hours a week and then do as I wish with the remainder of my time. Or so I told myself this so that I could convince myself that I hadn’t done it to myself putting me on that crazy schedule I could barely keep up with.

And then I kind of got what I wanted. I worked 50 hours actually but the rest of the time was for me to do with whatever I pleased with. Except there was a caveat. I worked evening and weekends. In a new city. I was alone, so desperately alone.

That’s when everything I pushed off dealing with came rushing onto me with full force.

It would take over 2 years to finally start getting help that would get me back to a good place. But now therapy really isn’t working for me. And I’m growing ever more frustrated that as hard as I “lean in” to this problem and deal with it head on, that I’m falling deeper and deeper. I’m starting to become bitter. Like ugly bitter. Like you wouldn’t like the thoughts that go inside my head bitter. I’m not totally vocalizing all those thoughts but if I did, I’m sure I’d sound like a miserable brat.

I don’t want to become that person. I have given myself 3 years of learning about balance. I have given myself time to be me. I read, I exercise, I sometimes even go out with friends. But I don’t feel I’m going anywhere anymore.

So I’m coming up with a plan to try something different. These last years have been valuable, I have learned to eat better and to take care of my body better, and to sleep much better (at least when I can fall asleep, with tonight as an exception). But it’s not enough. I need to reconnect spiritually.

For the next 40 days I’m going to change how I approach every day

-Every morning I’m going to pray only for the things I am thankful for

-Every evening I’m going to pray for what I need guidance on

-After morning prayer I will do 15 minutes of stretches, planks, squats and lunges to start my day

-40 days of no caffeine

– Every evening before prayer I will read my bible

-40 days of eating my breakfast in my kitchen, not at work, not in my car

-40 days of no fast food

– I will say one thing I appreciate about someone every day

– I will hold my tongue when I want to critique someone

Why 40 days? Well there’s the obvious religious significance of it, but also it’s easy to remember that the end of the 40 days experiment is the last day of September. I’m still a creature of convenience.

I have to try something that can bring me back to a good head space. I’ll document the progress as this experiment develops. I want to add a class and learn something new during these 40 days. But I need to at least follow my above guidelines for a week first.

And please, I’m not knocking on therapy, It was very valuable to me in the beginning. But now I feel more drained when I come out of it than when I went in. So I have to try something new. And I want to reconnect. So here I am asking to receive God’s message.

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