Once more dear readers, back into the bloody friggin breech. . .


It is tough to keep moving . . .

. . . and it is even harder to move forward

Handsome construction worker

The good news is that forward movement is indeed taking place.  And it has been for the past two weeks.

And so, I’m back in the proverbial saddle and resuming construction on the website (and on me, but more on THAT  in a bit…)

You may notice that the big fancy landing page is gone and I’m back to the old version of the website..  Yes?

Oh.. you hadn’t noticed?  Well SHAME on you!

sigh

Well I am back to the old site but it needs an update on the menu and some of the “who I am” stuff and “contact me” stuff and well, basically that’s why I have the photo of the hunky construction worker over there.

“Never miss a chance to put a photo of beefcake into a blog post is my motto…”

A moment of reverent silence while we enjoy the beefyness…

Ok, moving on.

I really hate to whine.  I hate to even seem like I’m whining.

But I’m going to do it.  So grab some crackers and cheese to enjoy with my whine…

Life is TOUGH when you have to deal with depression…

The good news is that, right now, things are rocking along and going pretty good:

  • I have a doctor’s appointment next week.  Yay!  For the first time in almost 3 years.  Woot!
  • I have HIGH hopes that I’ll get my meds checked and things will start swinging into a positive direction.
  • I’ve been VERY productive the past two weeks working on my new site:

TxCowboyDancer Designs Logo with shadow ©2012TxCowboyDancer Designs  (http://txcowboydancerdesigns.com)

“Fun and Fancy-ful designs from a slightly warped mind.

The cool bit is that I’ll be able to showcase not only designs by “Moi” but designs I think are cool and awesome and interesting from other folks.

Which means that I’ll do the hours of “clickee clickee” paging through page after page of quite frankly NOT so wonderful designs on Zazzle that range from

OMG what were they smokin’ when they did THAT? to just plain bad.

You won’t have to have eye-ball strain looking at all that badness because I’ll do it for you and bring you only the best of the best.

Of course “Best” is what I think is Best… so your mileage may vary, but you’re reading this so… we’ve already bonded so I think you’ll like what I pick.

Where was I? … SQUIRREL!

Doug the Dog -- SQUIRREL!

Depression.  I haz it.  I hates it.

I really do.  Those who have never experienced it well, you just won’t get it, not really, It is like trying to describe a certain shade color to someone who is color blind.

Here is the Tony definition of “what dealing with depression” means…

Depression is when the thought doing something simple like making the bed or taking a shower is so overwhelming that you end up doing nothing.

Depression is when the things that used to bring you joy, don’t any more.

The sucky thing about dealing with depression is that it comes and it goes.  Right now. Things are cool.  But have you ever walked through a bad neighborhood in the middle of the night.  You know that creepy “I know a bad person is watching me and about to pounce feeling you get”.   You do?  good.

THAT is how I feel when I feel GOOD.  I just know that I’m going to be sucker punched and at any moment BAM.  I’m back to having so little will power that just getting out of bed is a monumental effort.

To put it in perspective.

How many of you have done laundry, at leas one load in the past week?  Hmm?

No big deal right?

Not so for me.  It is a big deal.  When I’m in a bad period, laundry? You’ve GOT to be kidding me!  Hell, taking a shower requires monumental effort!

And the REALLY Maximus-it just ain’t friggin’ fair thing is that when I’m THAT depressed, the ONLY thing that seems to give me a lift is…

wait for it…

FOOD!  And we’re not talking good food either …   sigh

Here is a picture I found on the net that may put it in perspective:  Take a look at these two brains:

It is kinda hard to get your body moving when your brain just is kinda not ready to kick it in gear!

I WARNED You I was going to whine…

BUT right now, I have the energy to whine… WHICH IS AN AWESOME THING!  WOOT!

I like an audience.  I *love* applause.

Center Stage

One of the ORIGINAL purposes of this website was:

to help me get fit and healthy

BY

Confessing all my sins to the all the folks on the Interwebz…

The rationale here being the same used by Weight Watchers and by Jenny Craig and by Alcoholics Anonymous etc etc etc…

IF you KNOW you are going to have to answer to a group of your peers when you -quote- ‘Do something “bad” -unquote- then you are less likely to do the bad thing to start with.

In other words:  You are MORE likely to stay on track and achieve the goals you set for yourself IF you have a support group AND you report regularly to them.

Hi, My name is Tony…

familyguy-300

And I need to remake my life…

You dearest readers can help by

(1) following my story as I share it with the world

(2) every once in a while, as in as often as you can, leave some supportive words  or if something I said makes you laugh or touches you or.. well or just for the heck of it.

(3) share my story with others.  Because I know I’m not the only one out there dealing with this crap.

Full circle…  The website is back under construction…

Only one way to go from herebecause…

So… right now I’m feeling good.

I’m moving forward.

And come hell or high water, or both, I am GOING TO succeed.  I am going to do it one tiny step at a time.

 

Why?  Why now?

Those who’ve followed me here on this blog and who know me “in the flesh” so to speak will know that I’ve been at this spot before.

What is different this time round?

 My “come to Jesus moment”

fat catCan you tell I was raised in the South?  How many of us can truthfully say they have used the phrase  “come to Jesus moment” on a regular basis.  But I digress.  SQUIRREL!

Last night I was in bed, having gone to bed at what was for most of the world a fairly “normal” hour… around 11pm.

I fell asleep and then awoke about 1 1/2 to 2 hours later coughing and gasping (because of the sleep apnea) and needing to go to the little boys room because.. well one shouldn’t drink 32oz of diet coke before going to bed….

So, by the time I stop coughing and choking and then I take care of nature’s call I’m pretty much WIDE awake.

Nothing really unusual.  Actually fairly typical experience for me right now.

So… knowing that I really do need the sleep and the rest, I lay back down and TRY to go to sleep.

Nope… not happening.

So I’m laying there, eyes shut, trying to think of nothing specific and let the whole “drift off to dreamland” thing get going…

The mind of course is like a box of playful gerbils running around their cage, one of those big fancy ones with lots of places to run and play.

Thoughts in my head are skittering and squeaking and flitting and flying and I’m not really paying much attention to them in a conscious way but I’m aware of them the way you’re aware of the stars twinkling in the sky on a dark night.  They are there but you are not really FOCUSING on any of them.  They are just in the background.

Then…

like a cat entering the room, all the scurrying, squeaking, gerbil-mice-thoughts, FREEZE!  Because presented in my mind fully formed

is

a

thought

If I am going to be fit and healthy again, I am going to have to move my body.”

World shaking news right?

I mean, here is this single cohesive thought sitting there in the darkness of my mind like a turkey on a platter, a performer on a darkened stage with a single spotlight lighting him, like a dark street with only one light pole on the whole block working.

BAM.  There it was.  Like Moses and the Tablets.

I mean, come on!  This is nothing I haven’t known before.  Nothing that hundreds of thousands of “health gurus” across the country don’t charge lots of money to tell people.

But, this was different.  This was a religious experience.  This was finding the location of the Titanic, finding Amelia Earhart plane.  This was a burning bush kind of moment.

My eyes literally flew open.

Of course sleep now was out of the question because my mind had seized upon this thought like a Las Vegas slot pulling granny going for the last cheese danish at the free buffet.

Think shark and chum.

So… I got up.  I figures something that had this much emotional weight needed to be written down.  And when I did, something very weird happened.

I wrote it out and there was space between the words.

Without thinking…  I inserted “and to dance again” into that space

Flashback…

Dancers Only -- photo from the Gay Games in ChicagoA few days ago, coming back from the drugstore where I had gone to get milk, I was waiting for the gate to the parking lot to roll back and a thought skittered across my mind.

I miss dancing…

Not all the associated stuff that goes along with dancing like hanging out with awesome people etc, etc etc, but the actual act of moving my body to music.

That I miss.

I miss being able to say “I’m a dancer” to people I meet.  I can’t do that now.  Because I’m not.  A dancer.  Hell, I can’t even walk around the grocery store or Walgreens for more than 10 minutes without having to stop and lean on something to catch my breath! (more on that later)

So I was sitting there and as the gate finished rolling back and I drove on down the lot toward my apartment building I realized how much I miss the actual act of dancing itself.  The simple pure joy that moving to music brings me.

I miss it.  I miss it a lot.

Flashback over…

What does this all mean?   Trust me… it means a LOT!!!! And how does it connect to that magic burning bush thought?  Be patient dearest readers, I’m about to connect the dots…

In the past, when I’ve succeeded at anything that I’ve ever set out to do, their has always been some simple image or thought or “thing” that summed it all up.

Like Dumbo’s magic feather.   And when things got tough and I encountered obstacles that “image or thought or symbol or whatever it was for that thing” would pop into my head.  A simple clear cut goal, easily visualized.  And then I’d slog on through or around or over whatever fate had thrown into my path that day and I’d keep moving forward.

That’s what this means.  I now have my “magic feather”

When I lost my job, over two years ago, it wasn’t just loosing my job, it was loosing a piece of my identity.  I didn’t “work in a library” — I was a librarian.  It was who I was.  It was a HUGE chunk of what made me me.  And it was gone.  Not just gone but ripped away.

So, why now?  What’s different now?

Photo on 05-03-2014 at 4.50 AMWell objectively, nothing.

I’m still within 30 days of financial disaster (more on that later)

I still have ongoing depression to deal with.

I’m still so physically unfit that standing for more than 10 minutes makes my back hurt and my knees ache.

Climbing a flight of stairs causes me to have to sit down and “recover” for 10 minutes.  Literally. No drama. No exaggeration.  (more on that later too)

What has changed?

I want to dance.

I miss dancing.

I really really REALLY miss dancing.

And like a burning bush, like water in the desert, like the sun rising over the mountainside and burning the marauding vampire army to crispy piles of dust,

. . . my mind served that wonderful thought and put it on a platter and shoved it under a spot light:

IF I want to be fit, healthy, and to dance again, I have to move my body

I now BELIEVE!  I have SEEN the light, and it is MOVEMENT!

I’ve known this for a long time. I mean, come on, it isn’t a national secret that if you don’t burn off the calories you take in that you’ll store them away and… yada yadda yadda.

But there is a difference in “knowing” something to be true and “believing” it to be true.  I now believe — at a gut level that is as basic as believing in gravity.

I can’t see gravity but I damn sure believe that if I step off a second floor balcony, I’m gonna break something when gravity rears its head!

I now accept and embrace that IF I want to dance, then I have to MOVE.  If I want to be fit and healthy I have to MOVE.  (Note to Regan — I said “fit & healthy” not skinny!)

the journey of a thousand miles written on the bottom of a foot in markerOne very painful step at a time I have to MOVE.   Everything else is secondary.  Moving and getting healthy and fit is my #1 priority.

My first exercise is tomorrow morning (or whenever I wake up…) it is now 5:20 am and I’m still WIDE awake — pesky brain.

I may only get half a block but by God and all that is holy, I am going to go that half block and back.  And the next day I am going to go one step further.

Because I want to dance again.  I miss it.  And that my friends is my magic feather.

Stay tuned.  Wish me success… and every once in awhile, applaud.

Please applaud.  I love applause.  It’s like a drug.  It’s an addiction.  Once you’ve tasted it.. well  that’s a story for another day.

 

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About TxCowboyDancer

Eight time Country Dance World Champion. I love to dance. In the middle of a journey, transforming myself from "unemployed and out-of-shape" to "in-shape and full time dance instructor, writer and graphic artist."

Posted on Sat, May 3, 2014, in Misc. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Well, Howdy there!!!! Glad you found my blog! I love this post! I deal and have dealt with depression my whole life. It’s a constant uphill battle. I take meds, but lately it doesn’t seem to be enough. I loath…..seriously…..loath to exercise. Oh, and wait for it…..DONUTS are my best friend. Yup. Stellar. But now that it’s summer, and I have 3 months of yard work to do, and my garden will provide for healthy eats, I feel like I might make some improvement! ONE DAY AT A TIME!!! Start with moving, then start dancing!!! You can do it!!!

    Like

    • You made me LOL! Really, you did! What a wonderful note (and I shall ignore the whispers of the donuts… I don’t hear them. I don’t ….) *grin*
      It strikes me again that we have very similar writing styles. I’m going to hop back over to your blog and follow it. cheers!

      Like

  2. Hang in there Tony…the First steps are the hardest, just like in dancing. 💙💙💙

    Like

  3. Go Tony!!! I totally understand your need to dance! Dancing releases all kinds of wonderful endorphins that make you feel just wonderful when you dance. So even if you can walk for one minute out and one minute back, you are making progress! Get going and good luck.

    Like

    • Thank you sooooooo much! Every word of encouragement means so much to me right now. And you’re right, doing a little something, no matter how little counts when the starting point is somewhere in the sub-basement, metaphorically speaking

      I tell my room mate (best friend kind of roomie, not partner kind of roomie) that “doing laundry counts as exercise if you get out of breath doing it!” So a trip to the end of the block and back definitely counts!

      Thanks again for the comment/reply!

      Like

  4. Hi Tony, we sure miss you! If you ever feel like taking a trip down to Austin, come visit me! I have plenty of room so you can stay here AND we can dance a little! Give it some thought and stay in touch, there are people out here that care about you and I’m at the head of the line!

    Like

    • Hi Sherry, Thanks for the words of support. They mean a lot. I will be back on the dance floor. It may take me a while… maybe not even until this time next year… but I’ll get there. *hugs*

      Like

  1. Pingback: I friggin did it! I nearly had a heart attack but I did it!!!! | 5-6-7-8 Dancing My Way to a Healthy Me!

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