Escape to the lake

When you feel lost, the best place to go is home.

Evanston Illinois holds a multitude of bittersweet memories for me. Some very recent, and some in the distant past.

The last time I was here, my sister and I had to walk miles in the dark to retrieve her car that had been towed.

The time before that, my husband and I spent days exploring the city and walking until our legs felt like they were rubber.

And before those memorable, lovely trips, it was all of my sisters, me, my mother, and my grandma. Piling into the car with grocery sacks full of snacks and Caprisun. Grandma always supplied the toll money, and I always dug into the snacks as soon as possible. 

Childhood trips to Chicago stole my heart. Cramming into my aunts apartment. Visiting the lake, and bringing back loads of sand in our suits and towels. Visiting the American Girl store and Water Tower Place. Eating new foods, trying deep dish for the first time. Crying when we got in the car to go home.

I’m not crying today, as we pull away from the curb and make our way back home. It makes my heart hurt, thinking of the memories of trips with grandma. Of a time before I was sick. I was always on the lookout for my grandpa, hoping chance or fate would bring our paths together.

I looked for my grandpa and then I remembered. I saw a man that looked like him, and wondered what grandpa filled his days with. 

Thanks to my aunt and my mom, I became the recipient of a two night stay at a gorgeous bed and breakfast. I took a day off from work and my husband and I planned a two day trip to Evanston. 

At the time when I booked the stay, I was excited for time away, and then a week before the trip, I went a little psycho. I’ve been so-so on my eating. My self care has kinda gone down the drain. My motivation? Nowhere to be found. 

I hit on this a little bit in my previous post, but whatever depression has been hounding me, tried to follow me to Illinois. I went from being OK, to being suicidal in under 24 hours. Most days last week I woke up happy, and by the late afternoon I was down.

Sunday night I stuffed quarters into my wallet and gathered my bags. Just half an hour ago I was sitting quietly in a chair, ripping at the skin on my hand with my fingernails. I was avoiding eye contact with my husband, the one who has been with me throughout these past few years of highs and lows. He wouldn’t let me leave the room, because I was acting crazy. I still found a way to hurt myself.

Less than 24 hours and we were to be in a fancy B&B. I don’t think either of us wanted to spend a few days alone with me. 

We cut it close, but we made it. And I am so glad we did. It turns out I needed a change of scenery to get me out of that rut (for now). A beautiful soaking tub and heated floors didn’t hurt me either.

Now I am on a quest. I want to find a way to feel like I did for the past two days with food. I am so exhausted of the repetition day after day. Saying no when I really want to say yes. I want to enjoy food and feel OK about it while I’m eating, and after the meal as well. It’s so easy to eat a granola bar and say it’s breakfast. I know it’s not enough, and my stomach tells me as much, but it’s beyond my ability to choose a meal.

I want to eat for me, and not for someone else. I want to be all the approval I need. I have a few big changes coming up, so I’m prepared for the worst (or as prepared as I can be). For now, I plan to try to keep depression and anxiety at bay, and repair the damage I have caused. Permission doesn’t have to come from anyone other than me.


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