It’s Sunday afternoon when I start this post. I’m sitting on the airplane now, I’ve said goodbye to most of my friends, and I’m traveling home with the friend I came here with.
This weekend was a lot. There’s a lot for me to process and reflect upon, and I’m not sure where to start.
I’m not exactly looking forward to going home, to be honest. I’m quite sick of pumping, that’s been annoying. But other than that…I’m just not sure I’m ready to walk back into the chaos that is my life.
I’ve already written about Wednesday and Thursday, and honestly, those days were pretty good. My anxiety was kept at bay by baseball and SMALL group socializing.
On Thursday, we went to lunch at our favorite local pizza place, Mellow Mushroom, and I got some DELICIOUS pizza. For dinner we went and got Hibachi and had a ton of laughs (sorry to those 4 guys we shared a table with!) and it was a great time. I went back to my room Friday night and slept for so long. Almost 9 hours. It was amazing.
Friday was a bit tougher. I spent most of the morning by myself, and then by 11am, it was pretty much nonstop until the end of the day. Because I was planning it and organizing it this year, we had a lot of work to do setup wise.
I do think it turned out really well. I was proud of how it looked, of the theming, of the items we provided them with and overall how it turned out. We put a lot of heart into it, and I think it showed.
Friday night, once the events started, was pretty low key. Saying hello to faces we haven’t seen in a year, people settling in. We did breakout activities and getting to know each other games.
There wasn’t much “down time” for me on Friday or Saturday because it was constantly setting up for the next thing. So Friday night consisted of cleaning up and then setting up again for the next morning. After that was done, we hung out with some of my favorite people and had some goons laughs and good memories made.
Saturday was a lot. It got off to a bad start when I was going to try to find my necklace with my birth sons footprints engraved on it. I wanted to wear it and keep a part of him with me on what I knew would be the hardest day.
I couldn’t find it.
I tore apart my luggage, anywhere I thought I might’ve put it. I tried calling my husband to see if maybe I left it at home by mistake, but he didn’t answer. So I panicked, full on like, had a panic attack…yeah. It was rough.
But I needed to be presentable and in charge and smiling in just a few minutes, so I had to get it together.
I took a shot, got my butt to the conference room where the event was, and pulled myself together.
Saturday would have been hard enough on it’s own, but halfway through the day, my best friend (I write about her often enough), told me that she was unexpectedly about to have to euthanize her dog.
And let me tell you. I didn’t cry a single time the entire weekend.
Except when she told me that. That got me tearing up pretty good. I can’t explain why I care so much, or the relationship that I have with her and her whole family…but it upset me probably more than it should have. And me being an empath and feeling everyone else’s emotions so strongly…yeah. I knew how she was feeling. And it just hurt.
Carly (her dog) was just a few years younger than my dog is now, Casey. We got our dog and Carly came along shortly after. Casey is 15 now, and…I don’t know. It was hard to deal with. Even writing about it now, on this freaking airplane, I’m fighting back the tears. This is probably a post that deserves its own post entirely, but I think it explains my headspace for the rest of the weekend.
I was already feeling pretty shut down on Saturday. The whole weekend, I felt like a listener. Like I was there to listen. To offer support. To be a shoulder for others and to carry the weight of their stories.
I was an introvert playing an extroverts role. So, emotionally, I was just exhausted. And I was shutting down on the inside, while trying to stay engaged on the outside.
Saturday night was a lot too. After the events of the day were over, that’s usually when people go up to their rooms to take a quick break before heading down for dinner. After dinner, that’s usually when the socializing goes on until we’ll after midnight. And last night was no exception.
We talked in the conference room for a good few hours. When we had to leave there, at least 10 people (as I assumed they would) followed me back up to my room, where they would stay until way too late. I kicked them all out at midnight. I wasn’t trying to go home sleep deprived.
I know these people well enough that we mostly all know each others stories to some degree. But still, I get overpowered when everyone starts talking. I don’t like large groups. I lose myself and I lose my voice, especially when I’m in such a dark headspace.
Everyone shares their story. Everyone finds a spot. But I struggle with that.
Not once did I share my story. I don’t even think I said his name. I kept to myself most of the weekend on a personal level, and only offered the sarcastic, smiling, “I’m here for you” persona that I felt I needed to be.
I’m felt feeling very drained and depleted. And I wish I could have opened up more.
Don’t get me wrong. I DID have a good time, and I’m extremely glad I went. This retreat is the only time I get to see some of my very favorite friends, and they have SUCH a special place in my heart.
But running it, organizing it…playing such a role in making sure OTHERS were getting the experience that I NEED…that was the part that made it hard.
It was more of a work trip, and less of a retreat. I know I put myself in that position, and I did it to protect myself emotionally. I’m sure thats my subconscious reason behind it.
But it did make it harder.
Overall, my binds and friendships were strengthened. I did get to sleep. I didn’t yell at a single person in nearly 5 days. We had a lot of laughs, a lot of quoteable moments, and I made SURE everyone loved me.
The ongoing joke is that I’m the PR person of the group, because I’m so good at dealing with people and understanding them. But that isn’t a job to me…it’s just how I am.
I genuinely want everyone to be okay. I want (need) everyone to love me.
Shit. See what happens when you leave me to write and reflect on the first of a 2 hour flight? I write a fucking essay.
I’ll cut this off here. If you read it this far, thanks. I have a lot more to say, and honestly, I’m still processing.
I think I might be for a while.