Here. Now.

A dear friend encouraged me to flood eatingatme with content about my pre-Sweden experience. “It’ll be interesting for your readers to know your thoughts and feelings prior to departure. It’ll provide interesting context to your writing while you’re traveling.”

I agree.

Now I’m here.

Now I’m hesitant to share anything.

What has risen to my mental and emotional surface since April is, at its foundation, what I hoped for. Change. Growth. Hope. Maturity. They’re all so cute in theory when you’re seven months out from departure, with no specific plans in place, and a basic sense of relief injecting some sugar in your smile.

Now I’m here.

Now I’m hesitant to share anything.

What has risen to my mental and emotional surface since April is, in actuality, pretty ugly. The sugar injection has rotted my teeth a bit, and FYI, y’all: people, despite how they portray themselves to be, don’t like being flashed with a yellowing grill.

A potential client told me months ago in an email that she enjoyed my writing because I’m honest without “going too far”. I laughed when I read that. She has no idea who I am.

And this is what leads me to be here. Now. Writing this post.

Hesitant to share anything.

I’ve been so safe in my writing. Discussing my mother’s illness and death is easy for me; they’re socially acceptable. Making a vague reference to a marriage turned south, financial hardship, or professional frustration is cake; all the cool kids do it.

But the ugly I’m dealing with right now is chest-tightening real and it hurts like hell. Unfortunately, there isn’t a meme, or a hug, or a glass of wine that will make this all better.

Now I’m here, and now I decide if eatingatme is just easy, easy, easy, fun, fun, fun for everyone, or it’s what I need it to be right now: the place where I go to work out the chest-tightening, give light to some very dark corners, get assistance with my positive progression. Eh, I’m not naive. I can hear the “Go to therapy!” or “Keep a journal!” or “You just want attention!” coming from out there. Been there, done that, and yes, of course. Touché.

In high school, when I was rendered pretty useless from my first major depression, my mother gave me two options: put on my big girl panties and face my demons straight on, or medicate. I chose A. As the years have passed, I’ve developed, with the assistance of some Grade A therapy, coping skills that assist me in avoiding meds. Case in point: living in sunny San Diego. The L.A. STORY weather forecasts and plastic-like happiness that permeates every crevice of the area worked really well for me, until it didn’t.

The real I’m experiencing, well, it’s like a depression—maybe it is a depression—but I’m so committed to a life that I’m proud of that once again, I’m choosing to pull up my big girl panties but this time also put on my boxing gloves. I’m not doing either all that well right now, but I’m not giving myself a choice. Remember, I’ve got my mother’s eyes, and I’m looking at myself in the mirror, saying “You fucked this up? You fix it.”

Real or bust. Ugly and all.

Here. Now.

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