The Illusion of Success


I shared this on my personal FB page, and along that line I felt like it was time to start blogging again. I’m going to share it on here, and start sharing my ups and downs here as I embark on my journey in a more positive light. I am striving for inner peace and happiness (an inner locus, if you will, rather than external where I’m looking for happiness in other things and people). I know that there will still be downs but I am pushing to use positive coping behaviors rather than negative ones. I need to avoid internalizing my thoughts and perceived failures, and instead reach out when I feel I need help, and even when I don’t. So, without further ado:

*blowing out a long breath* Okay, this is gonna be a long one. Bear with me.

Facebook…the land of illusion. Sure, we post our passions, our opinions, our successes, and sometimes our failures. However, we (and in this instance, I am meaning I) tend to provide a view of my life with rose-colored glasses. My life minus the struggles.

In the last few years, you…my friends, family, acquaintances on Facebook… have seen my daughter blooming from a baby to an inquisitive, sweet, loving, caring, smart, and sassy almost 9-year-old. You have seen me lose 146 pounds and go from a couch potato to a marathoner. You have seen me go back to school while working full time in order to become an RN. You have seen me graduate (LPN) with highest honors. You have seen me graduate again (RN) with honors. You have seen me pass my NCLEX. You have seen me showing how I’ve been losing the weight again. You have seen me pushing to get back into running. You have seen all of this and have congratulated me, supported me, clicked like, commented, and given me all the love and praise.

What you didn’t see was me struggling post marathon, post injuries. Struggling as I went back to school, struggling with the added stress, less time in the day, less sleep. Struggling as my marriage to a wonderful man failed, by my own doing. And after the divorce, struggling as I failed 2 relationships after. Struggling with my self-worth. Struggling as I steadily gained weight due to no running…therefore turning to old negative coping mechanisms. Turning to binge/stress eating until I had gained nearly all of the weight back. Then hitting a peak of my stress where that wasn’t enough, and relapsing with gambling 3 times in April.

You didn’t see my inner struggle. My depression. My OCD. My perfectionism. My anxiety. Less than a handful of people saw or felt my struggle. Sure, if you ran into me, you probably thought, wow…she gained weight. Or, she looks tired.

But I put up a magnificent facade with my bright smile and smooth talking in person, and my reflections of happiness on Facebook. The happy selfies. The stupid quizzes. The proud mama moments. The deep thinking memes.

You saw the success. I saw the failures. You saw achievements. I saw struggles.

And it’s only been a few weeks since I’ve broken through this and have finally been reaching a truly happy place.

But with the recent suicides from seemingly happy, successful people who seemed to have it all and then some, and learning about their struggles with mental illness, I felt a compulsion to speak up.

I ran on my lunch hour today…yes, my damn lunch hour because I’m training and I can’t miss a run. As every centimeter of my lung space screamed mercy at me, as my extra 90 pounds of weight burdened me through every hard step of that 4 miles, as the sun beat down on me, I looked down at my bracelets that remind me of Kaylee, of courage and change, and of me. Of who I am. It was then that I knew I had to say something. Even if it reaches one person who has felt like I have felt.

Because it’s not all about medication. I am on medication and it’s taken care of the chemical aspect.
It’s also about the coping, about the behavioral change, the cognitive aspect of it.

About willing myself to smile, to keep my head high and to think positively. To love myself and not loathe. To fuel my body and not treat it like a dumpster. To be active and not give up and sit on the couch all evening. To be a wonderful mom and not a passive, kinda there, kinda not mom.

I’m okay now…but I wasn’t before, and not many would have noticed this. I am losing the weight, I am paying off my debts, I am running again (albeit very very very slowly). I am beyond thankful that I have my daughter in my life and I was able to dig myself out before I sunk too deep. It makes you think, who in your life may just seem okay, even fantastic, but really isn’t?


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