For the first month or so, I didn't work. All I did was drink and eat awful food. I wouldn't get up from the couch all day while he was at work. I began to have agoraphobia. I couldn't leave the house without extreme anxiety and fear or needing someone else to be with me. Though I wasn't really talking to my friends so those moments were super rare. Now I still have agoraphobia I think, but in a way that makes me impulsively always wanting to leave the house so that I don't get stuck in that place ever again. No matter where I am. I felt like when I left the house people could just see what a lowlife I was. How shameful I lived.
This infuriated Matt more and he would tear me down even more about how stupid I was. What a waste of a wife I was. He wanted me for some sort of arm candy and... that wasn't who I was. In a matter of two months, I gained 30lbs... easy.
Finally I decided to get a job. Cock-tailing at a high end German concept off of Henderson. Every night I would work if Matt had the opportunity he'd come sit up there with me. It was a slower time in March and I think the staff was just happy to be making sales. One day my friend Ashley was up there and commented on how romantic it was that Matt would just stare at me while I worked like he was so in love. I laughed because I knew otherwise. He just didn't want me to be talking to anyone else. Any reason for him to blow up at me at home.
Two weeks of working there and I caught mono. It's pretty rare to catch after age 25 but I was 25 and attracting all the negativity I could.
For months I was sick with a 104* temperature. Maybe I forgot to mention but I also have a fear of doctors. I refused to go and I also knew there was nothing they could do for me. I wanted to die so the sickness seemed appropriate at the time. I didn't try to get better. I just laid on the couch and drank and would drink until I passed out. Would sometimes wake up to Matt screaming over me. Now I would just shrug it off. My Matt problem seemed on the back burner as I thought I was going to die. I was too weak to stand up. I could barely make it to the bathroom without taking breaks in the hallway.
One day, I was having another night of high fevers to the point of delirium and just decided that I wasn't going to die here in this house. That if I was going to die it wasn't going to be this boring of a death. God, there was so much more I wanted to do with my life. There's so much I haven't seen. I didn't drink that night and for the rest of the nights to come. Day by day after that I started getting better and was pushing myself to do more. My muscles ached from lack of use.
In the midst of that my brother offered to let me come live with him at his house. I don't remember how I did it but one day I just left. I cut things off with Matt. I was still insanely depressed when it came to getting a job or leaving the house. So I made a spread sheet. All these things I needed to do every day to feel better. Workouts. Weights. Walking around the neighborhood. Applying to jobs. I didn't have any clothes really anymore so I went to the thrift store and altered dresses to look seemingly nice. I sold my car so that I could buy this laptop I'm using now.
In that fever, I promised myself that if I was going to die... and have let all these fears dictate all of my dreams. What a waste. What a waste of a life. Matt was right. Not in the way he was meaning it but he was. I had always wanted to bike long distance but I felt scared. I had always wanted to eat healthy but felt I couldn't afford it. I wanted to be a less materialistic person.
I started off walking to the bus stop a mile and a half away riding the bus downtown. Transferring to the train. Then walking a half mile to work. It was brutal. Plus an 8 hour shift stocking at a grocery store. I would come home and cry because my feet hurt so bad. But also happy that I was being fully alive.
One night, my friend, Megan, wanted to hang out with me. She pulled up to my brother's house and we went off to visit my friend, Jenny, at a bar she worked at. On the way there Megan noticed this car tailing us and driving erratically. I jokingly said that it was Matt. Quickly I realized indeed it was Matt. Once we got to the bar we were afraid to get out or start something there at the bar so we drove back towards 75 and he continued to follow. We pulled into Cafe Brazil and he parked right next to us but we already ran inside. We ordered food and drank coffee and laughed about how crazy he was being but not really thinking it was super dangerous.
Then he pulled out and parked further away for a while and turned off his lights. I thought it was odd but thought he left at first. We go to leave and as soon as we pull out there he is behind us. On the way back to my brother's house he's swerving and pulling up next to us and flipping us off. This was the first time anyone else saw how crazy he was and it was kind of a relief. Like I wasn't just interpreting it wrong or...maybe said the wrong thing. Like NO HES FUCKING CRAZY YALL.
So this really scared Megan and she pulled over to a group of cops in a parking lot. The cops went after him super fast and he was arresting for DUI and possession of marijuana. Apparently his family also told him that if he continued to stalk me that they'd cut him off. I started to put a restraining order on him but the whole mess was hard to deal with and I just wanted it over with.
I continued my biking and within six months I was up to 80 miles a week. That was my happiest accomplishment ever. EVER. From how i felt when I started to where I finished. It saved my life. That bike means more to me than any person in my life at that point. I mean my brother was tight too for giving me a place to live. But my bike though. Shoot. That bike showed me what I was made of. It gave me a way to care about myself again. It gave me value. It gave me a reason to like myself again.
Seems creepy/ weird, right? Maybe it is but I'll never forget those six months. I felt happy and stress free. I was walking around in a dangerous city unafraid for the first time. Maybe it was being that I already felt dead there was nothing left to lose. I'm glad I took one more chance.