This is my fourth lacrosse season without George. Every preseason is riddled with anxiety and figuring how to deal with it. This season has been particularly difficult because there’s another sense of loss I’ve been trying to deal with.
My boyfriend is in the military. Once New Years hit, he was gone for training. He’s been away now for 8 weeks, and he comes back on Friday. I’m really excited to have him back, but in a short 4 weeks he is gone for 6 months. I know that’s what I’ve signed up for by dating someone in the military, but there’s a massive feeling of conflict has been weighing on me. I’m not going to air my anxieties for professional reasons, but know they are there will remind me when I look back at this post in the future.
I control my attitude toward things and I’ve been trying so hard to head to the office with a clear mind, positive attitude to practice, and be as understanding to the people around me and their needs. But I feel like I’m ignoring my own needs, and when I try to make time to take care of myself, something comes up. I took a personal weekend not too long ago, and ended up working the entire weekend with emails, scheduling, recruits, and relationships with other lacrosse coaches. It’s part of the job, I know. I also know I’m childless and alone too right now, so there’s a weird expectation I need to be on call all the time. I need to find a balance. That’s all this is about. I wrote a lengthy diatribe above to conclude I need a balance.
Adulting is hard. I think I deflect a lot and I need to just deal with the fact that I’m fearful of failing and worried about being alone again. That’s what is causing my emotional distress.
As of late, I feel so much has been put on me. I’m as fragile as an egg-shell nowadays. I sit in my car on my way to work crying, and when I’m home, I sit in my car just because I feel it blocks out the world for moments at a time. I’ve chewed my nails to nubs, and the burning in my joints to flee are coming back. Cinder blocks are resting on my shoulders from the moment I wake up and get out of the warm cocoon of bed. I am struggling right now, I feel like so much of what’s going on around me is out of my control.
I’m worried about my job. I’m worried about my team. I’m worried about my online class. I’m worried about failing. I’m worried about letting people down. I don’t think I’m doing a good job.
Every inch of me is telling me to find something to distract the growing vines of desolation burrowing inside of me and digging deeper and deeper. But these feelings are fleeting. I know it will get better but weathering the storm right now seems like an inconvenience. So much has happened in a month between my grandmother dying, moving, never having time off, and then having someone I care deeply for be sent away for nine weeks, I feel like the weight of it all is crushing me. Making it harder to get my legs under me and move step by step.
I went for a run today. My mind was a vacuum and all my thoughts came and went like a flash. But one thing was apparent as I was running. My lows are extremely low and my highs are to the sky. I need balance and right now but there is no fulcrum.
Tomorrow has to be better.
I can feel my grief in my muscles. The aches and tightness in my legs are constant reminders of the sadness that creeps into some of my days. I still find my release in fitness, and I grieve more some days, and on those days my body takes the punishment when my mind wants to run away. I’m feeling anxious tonight. This weekend is the first weekend of many recruiting trips. Recruiting plays a huge role in the success of my job, but I haven’t forgiven myself for spending so many weekends on the road when I should’ve been with George during his final weeks. When I got the phone call that he must go into hospice care, I was at a recruiting tournament in New Jersey. It was a Saturday at 9a and I remember getting to Memorial Sloan Kettering to speak with the social worker about hospice by 11:30a.
I hold on to so much regret.
Tonight I felt the uneasiness of grief creeping in so I laced up my sneakers and went for a night run. I am getting more comfortable about Montgomery and my neighborhood so the night run felt good. My sore muscles started to loosen up as I found my stride, and the grit of the pavement under my feet was a sweet reminder of how good it feels to hurl my body throughout the streets until my mind disappeared. At one point, the street lights shined down perfectly and I was chasing my shadow. The dark carbon copy stretched out in front of me, and I would chase her down until she lengthened and fell behind. And then at the next streetlight, she would creep into the lead and I would chase her again. There’s always going to be shadows from my last life hanging around, and I’ve been good about running away, but if I’m going to move past the shadows, do I have to face it head on?
Woke up this morning well before my alarm went off. My anxiety always disrupts my slumber on game days. When I’m laying in bed wide awake staring at the ceiling, Bodie rests soundly next to me. Doesn’t even make a stir if I get out of bed. What little luxuries that get stripped away.
I’m on the bus heading down to Neumann for the opening round of ECAC tournament. This is my first ECAC and I’m thrilled who I’m charging into this experience with. One more week of play with a team that has saved me. Who has given me love and strength. My anxiety is a steady undercurrent right now, but as we near it will reveal its ugly head. But I want to enjoy this day, this first with a group of girls who have changed my life.
Last post I mentioned how I was dreading going to Scranton, PA. George and I met in the Scranton/Wilkes Barre area and being back there so soon after he died felt exactly like what I thought it would feel like; horrible with barreling anxiety on top of it.
We got there Thursday night and my nerves were really tangled. I was excited for our game but yearning to get the trip over and done with. On Friday I woke up and started watching game film to distract my mind just hours before the game. As game time neared, I could no longer hide my anxiety from my team. I was shaking, tearing, and being very quiet. I suppose it could have been mistaken for focus but my mind wasn’t on the game. It was on how badly I wanted to leave the region, and how everything around me was painful reminders of my love.
When we got to the field, I was damn near trembling. I had written my line up and Scranton’s tendencies on attack, midfield and defense, and also wrote out my pregame speech. Reading the pregame speech is easily one of my favorite things to do cause I like firing the team up. But I barely mustered the words to recite their tendencies. I looked out at my team, and my hands could barely hold the notebook anymore. I put my head down and said, “I can’t read my speech, I can’t do this, my anxiety is horrendous. I want to win.” I grabbed my things off the bus, walked to the bathroom and locked myself in there for several minute just bawling.
Once the game was underway my nerves started to steady and I was just focused on doing the best as I could as a coach. Encouraging and correcting as the game went on. We ended up winning by 1 goal in the final 9 seconds.
It’s the best W I’ve ever experienced so far as a coach. I’m the short one on the right.