Monthly Archives: September 2020

Finding Yourself in a Pandemic

It seems the pandemic has thrown the entire world into a mid-life crisis. With people dying all around us, we start to ask ourselves who we are and what we want in life. My husband’s death three years ago was a wake-up call. I knew life was short. I knew tomorrow was never guaranteed. I was determined to start a new life. I had goals. I was motivated. And then…

I failed. I hid. I cried. I was angry. I drank. I thought I’d move through a mediocre life forever. Numbing my feelings with a bottle of wine a day didn’t help matters. My waistline grew along with my unhappiness. I became exactly the person I didn’t want to be.

My mother died in December, which dredged up 47 years of various emotions. Loss, pain, regret. When would it end? Then came Covid-19 to really shake things up. I had two teenagers at home, and yet I felt alone. Exhausted. Unmotivated. Unhappy.

I still did my workouts at home, but it wasn’t producing results I longed for. Results I knew I had within me.

It turns out, the rigid rules of Bayern gave me what I’d not given myself before: time.

Like Dorothy wandering around a fantasy land wearing the very shoes that would take her home; I had always been seeking something outside of myself to transport me to where I belonged. All the while, the answer was right at my feet.

During the mandatory quarantine, I had time to listen to podcasts and read books on a variety of topics: Jungian theory, Narcissistic Parents, Transgenerational Trauma and Relationships. It was frightening and inspiring. During that sunny bland spring, I wrote on paper the kind of woman I wanted to be and the steps to get there. I signed up for online dating, even though I’ve always been opposed to it.

It has been an ugly process. I have fucked up. Backslid. Nearly ruined my best friendships, until I learned to take control over the demons.

As soon as the restrictions were lifted, I moved to a city I loved. I met some of my online people and went out and had fun and blogged about the crazy experiences. I grilled on the patio and hosted a family fun night with my kids and friends–and it made me so damn happy. To have laughter bubble through my living room like an overly-soaped tub. To strengthen bonds that were already there.

I'm clicking my ruby shoes. 

A gigantic leap forward has been my 90 day alcohol-free challenge. Having been a routine drinker for 20 years, it is not easy. There are days I crave a drink. 6 weeks ago, I could not have imagined going to the beach without a cooler of beer. I could not have envisioned NOT opening a bottle of wine at a grill party or getting through a board game with the kids without a glass of alcohol in hand.

I was in decent physical shape before. I had no real problem with my body. I had a lot to be thankful for. However, I knew I wasn’t quite the person I wanted to be. My workouts suffered. My mental state suffered. I had no idea how easily triggered I was while under the influence.

The weightloss was instantaneous. Within two weeks I’d dropped five pounds without even trying. I am steadily decreasing as the days go on. I’m almost at the weight I was as a high school freshman. Some of my pants literally fall off me, which is kind of embarrassing when I’m running to catch the DHL truck.

I never realized how much I relied on alcohol to make myself feel at ease. Now when I get nervous, I have to learn how to get through it without alcohol. Drinking was usually the thing that got me out of my shell. It broke certain self-protective barriers. Now I have to let those barriers down manually. And it’s fucking hard. To just be myself. To find my way home.