Thursday, August 18, 2011

Reasons Why. (TMI..)

I want to preface this by letting you know that this isn't gonna be one of the sillies. The information might make you a little uneasy if you are new to my little following. My regulars who have followed me through the years know this story already, but that was another blog. So don't bother yourself with this if you already know, I have told this story before and I will tell it to anyone who has the time and patience to seriously ask me why I get so damn excited about every little thing. I think I want to kind of peel back a layer and tell you why I have so much joy. I almost lost it all not so long ago. I have also had people reach out to me who have felt the same way, and if my story helps someone else, if it helps someone turn a corner then I will tell it til my face is blue. I have no shame on this matter other than the bad decisions that got me there.

I wasn't supposed to turn out the way I did originally. I grew up with everything. I graduated from one of the most prestigious high schools in the southwest with good grades. I went to college on scholarship. I have won trophies. I have been crowned. Two consecutive years I held a title with a tiara. I owned one of the best show horses around at the time. I won blue ribbons, I won jewelry. My family loved me and supported everything I did.

When I got married I didn't think it'd end in a divorce. But it did. and I won't disclose all the terrible awful of it, but I definitely had a role in the demise. I am kind of a brat sometimes. I'm better at filtering that though now.

I didn't want the divorce. I realized and took responsibility for the mistakes I made as best as I could, but my distress tolerance skills just weren't healthy. I have never had anyone actually leave me and never look back. I even cringed when I typed that. It was so awful.

I avoided the bad feelings and I worked as many hours at my airline as I could just to stay away from home. I bolted across the atlantic when I didn't have my kids. Sounds nice, but it's really a watered down airline perk.

When I was home, I used adderall to control my adhd so I could focus on doing things like making the kids dinner, cleaning up, things that seem natural to a normal person. I wasn't functional without it. And sometimes with it, I'd hyperfocus on my sadness and be unable to function. All those good intentions, sitting in my stomach like poison. I literally would stare at the wall for hours. Praying to just...fade away.

I lost my appetite. Stress is the best diet. I started getting positive feedback, so I added excercise and became addicted to losing weight. My company interventioned me and sent me to an inpatient eating disorder facility in Florida. I thought if I stopped, my husband and I could work things out, if I could just relax and have a fresh start. It didn't work out that way, the damage ran too deep and the disorder got even worse. I lost so much weight I couldn't pick my head up sometimes because it took too much energy. It took too much energy to make tears. So I'd take the ADD medicine and wind up enough to go back to work, but my heart began to malfunction and I ended up back in the hospital and back into counseling. The airline environment was like high school. The women were catty and they were horrible to me when I started getting sick. I had this huge blog following, 15,500 readers, because I blogged about my feelings. They got ahold of it at work and used it for more ridicule. It didn't have my name or anyone elses but they knew who was posting. I used the blog for therapy, and sometimes my version of what happened whatever day I talked about was exaggerated. I knew they were reading it but I also didn't want to quit and let them win. They were brutal. Brutal, brutal, brutal. Brutal. Words do not express the hateful things that were said to me because of my divorce situation, my appearance, and my bag of pills I had to carry around all day just to survive emotionally and physically.

I realized that putting things out there was making me look bad but I really just wanted help. I couldn't be honest with my family because I felt like a failure. All that potential. All that money spent refining me, what a waste.

When I was able to work, I would need the adderall, then I had the ambien and valium to calm me down at night. I had the worst panic attacks. My heart was so damaged from the malnutrition
Eventually my grief got so bad that it overcame the resources I had to cope. On July 7th 2009, I had had enough. I had myself convinced my life was so far off the path, my internal GPS lost its battery, and my soul was sleepy and apathetic. I had been saving ambiens for the occasion. I'd been thinking about it a while, but I never told anyone while I was planning it. I didn't want to be stopped. I didn't want to be helped. It was too late, no one cared to help me before. My kids were better off. I really thought that. I was always crying. I was always in the hospital. Sometimes they brought me sandwiches and begged me to eat. No child should have to do that for someone who destroyed their own body. I was so ashamed. Yes, I decided it was better for them to be free of me.

I walked off the job during my break. There was an hour before my next flight. I figured all I needed was 30 minutes and a quiet spot. I took my car to the overlook adjacent to the 18R runway and I was terrified but relieved that it would be over soon. I didn't want people "be sorry" I wanted to no longer exist. I took my Dr. Pepper and I emptied the bottle of its contents. A fistful of little blue pills went down so easily I had to check my hand to make sure I really took that many. All gone. It's over. Ambien works *like that*. My phone rang and rang. They must have noticed I was gone. I ignored the calls. I felt fuzzy. I passed out. The thing about ambien is that you drunken dial. It is famous for sleepwalking side effects, sleep eating, and phone conversations that the person doesn't even remember. I must have answered my mom's call or called her. I don't know. I briefly woke up and thought, why is there a flower on my face. I tried to pull it off. My hand was swatted away. So I fell back asleep. I faded in for seconds and out for hours. I was intubated, and that was the flower I thought I had on my nose. I dontknow why I thought it was a flower. I just did. There was so much blood when the tube was removed that it should have hurt. But it didn't, I just passed back out.

When I woke up fully, I realized what I did and I realized it didn't work. I was so pissed off but so sore from the tubes that I could barely talk. Now I'm going to get ridiculed even more.

Two weeks in that hospital, but I would have stayed longer. My job let me know I was still safe with them. Well great. Right back into the snake pit. I didn't have a choice.

Back to eating rehab back to counseling.....a year of that shit. I finally prayed for this to just stop for it all to just lift and I could just at least have something to look forward to.

My family became very supportive when the gravity of the situation was recognized. Ten minutes longer in that car would have been the end.

I don't know at what point it turned around but I think it was the prayer. I prayed so hard I fell asleep that way.

I went back to work to those assholes that always had something to say. I stopped blogging so much unless I just had happy reports because screw them I wasn't gonna add fuel to the fire. I missed it but I kept going. I didn't have an intimate relationship with another man for a year. I gave up, I LOL'd in my head at the thought of ever finding love. Whatever, I didn't need it anyway.

In January 2010, I saw a commercial and I felt compelled to fill out a profile. I was lonely. I wanted a friend at least to take me to dinner, something. Maybe I wanted someone to date, someone to just sit with, they didnt even have to be hot. I was so lonely.

The first message I got was from David. We met for coffee a few days later. We fell in love like the movies. We had a relationship like the movies. We had the most stupid fights but we had so much love. He never told me no, he gave me alternative suggestions. He always brushed my hair out of my eyes. He kissed my eyes when I got sleepy. He brought me chocolate. We were so stupid in love. I told him in the beginning that I was not looking for a husband, no freaking way, just please someone to spend time with that had kids. That way he had other priorities. I wasn't gonna let myself be a bad mom ever again, so there wouldnt be room for any more love in my heart but I sure needed company. Ha ha ha, well, I could just go on and on about our delicious courtship. It really was the stuff of movies. This man is the flower sending, handwritten letter kind. He still is. I married him. I married him and I had the most opulent Cinderella wedding ever. And do you know what? Those airline hags started treating me differently when I became ....whatever it was they found validation in. So I invited those people to the Ritz Carlton wedding. And fed them lobster and let them drink unlimited Vueve Clicquot. Because I forgave them, mostly. But I will never forget those ugly things they said, and might still say now that I've taken up blogging again. I just don't care.

I left the airline, started my own businesses and now I'm doing great. I find joy in everything I can find joy in. I almost didn't to experience this so I'm going to revel in every small wonder, every little pleasure, every positive emotion, Im going to savor and spread and record because something inside me knew I belonged here...I just guess I got a little too impatient.

I love, love, love my family and friends. I love me, for the first time ever, in the history of my whole life, I am proud of where I am, of what I've overcome and what is waiting ahead. If I hit another rough spot, I'll ask for help immediately. I will finish my bucket list and I will die an old, fulfilled woman, with lots of grandkids and great grandkids and I will tell them I love them every single day. There is not enough time left in this life not to fill it with laughter every chance you get. This I know to be true.



At August 19, 2011 at 2:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done Shannon for surviving all this, learning all this and sharing all this! Love, Susan

At August 19, 2011 at 4:43 AM , Blogger Tres said...

Love you Shiney Shanny Stinky-feet! I feel compelled to put all the last names I've known you through but I'll resist.

At August 19, 2011 at 4:45 AM , Anonymous Brandy said...

Shannon, I know we haven't talked for years but have been friends on facebook for a year or so. I followed your postings when you were getting ready for your wedding. You are a very talented writer and I enjoy reading about your "adventures". I have had some dark times as well. But like you, I have found my prince charming. I just wanted to tell you how happy I am for you and I'm glad that you finally found a happy place in life. Live life to the fullest every day! And please keep writing!


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