Back to the old me

First week without PT in months and I’m feeling great.

I’m doing work I love with people who inspire me. I’m working out like I used to. I’m not smoking (as much).

I’m happy. It’s refreshing. I think I’ll try to stick with it.

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Celebrate!

This is literally the only way I know how to celebrate anything

Anyway, I’m done with PT!!

One Night Off

Yesterday I followed up with my orthopedist and he said I was healing well — but I still needed time. Although my pain levels are greatly improved, as has my range of motion, it still hurts to move certain ways and my tendons and muscles are still highly sensitive.

That said, he gave me the green light to end my PT whenever I wanted to. Time and a little bit of rest will do more for me than PT. In fact, waking up at 5am most mornings to get to my appointments then working 14-hour days and doing the same thing on repeat was actually probably doing more harm than good.

Rest up, he said. And Follow up in a couple more months if the pain is still present.

As we all know, rest isn’t necessarily in my playbook. Just today, despite being able to sleep in, I decided to get up early, put in a two-hour mixed workout (core, cardio then climb) then head off to work. In the middle of all that, I got an invite to go to hot yoga and immediately accepted.

But I think I knew I was pushing myself too hard. My mind and body (not to mention my wallet) were begging for me to listen to the doctor just this once and take a night off.

I listened. I bailed on hot yoga and decided instead to get as much work as I can done at the office then go home and book myself a vacation. What I need is a few days on a beach somewhere. I need to be outside in nature, swimming in the ocean, climbing a mountain and running on the sand.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

Hot yoga will still be there tomorrow and the next day. My gym membership isn’t expiring. My treadmill (unfortunately) isn’t going anywhere.

I need to give myself permission to say no to some activities and be okay simply sitting down and relaxing — really, honestly relaxing — even if just for one night.

So now, where should I go on vacation?

Relentless Pursuit of Perfection

Throughout recovery, I’ve noticed more and more one of my biggest character flaws coming out. One of my biggest problems is my need for everyone to see me as perfect. I want my friends, my colleagues, even my family to see me as a person who can do it all, and do it all well.

It’s crazy, I know. Especially since I know that I am not perfect. Very far from it, in fact. I’m constantly afraid that all people can see are my cracks and my past failures. I don’t like to appear weak, or stupid or incompetent. I get frustrated when I do feel that way. It’s something I’m working on and trying to be accountable for.

I think in the past, in other situations and points in my life, I spent so much time actually needing help and expecting too much from people. Now perhaps I do the opposite because I never want to do that again. For so long I felt like a burden, now I want to feel like an asset. There has to be a happy medium somewhere between the two, right?

I’ll keep you posted if I find it.

 

Once More Unto The Breach

The last time I went to the doctor for a checkup I got news that flipped my world upside down. And I’ve been living in the aftermath of that ever since. Now I don’t want to be overdramatic. I wasn’t dying or anything. But the news was life-altering in ways I wasn’t expecting or prepared for.

Today I’m going in for a checkup for the first time since then and the memories of that past experience are swirling around my brain. I’ve always been someone who didn’t love going to the doctor. Always that person dreading the bad news that never actually came.

Until it did.

I’ve also always been the person who brushed any bad news or difficult situation to the side. “It’s fine,” I’d say to anyone who asked. I’d try to make myself believe it by saying it over and over.

And, again, I was fine in the most basic sense. So that’s what I hung onto. I wasn’t dying. There are so many worse things that could have happened. So many other people are struggling with scenarios worse than this. Honestly, I feel dumb even writing about it but I made a commitment to myself to write through this whole process so here I am. I’m not trying to make light of my situation, which was, in fact, serious and I’ll be dealing with it and carrying it with me for a long time.

But I’m still fine. I’m just worried is all. Waiting for more bad news that I don’t necessarily expect but still dread. Cognitive dissonance is my friend. What I don’t know can’t hurt me, right?

Whatever happens, though, it’ll be fine. And I’ll just keep saying it until I believe it.

 

Amends

In recovery from addiction, making amends is a part of the process. And it’s a very hard step because it’s more than just saying sorry to certain people — it’s accepting responsibility for your actions and acknowledging that your own behavior negatively impacted the people around you. It is learning how to be accountable. It is extremely humbling and often devastating because there are certain people or relationships that will be irreparably broken.

One of the other hard parts about making amends is that that step is never over. Years can go by and you’ll remember something that you did or a person you wronged while under the influence or during that time, and you’ll want to (and should) reach out to take responsibility for it. Sometimes the person will have totally forgotten the thing you did, or they’ll remember it a different way. Or maybe that person isn’t in your life anymore so you can’t or shouldn’t get in touch because it would do more harm than good. And even though maybe you’re not using anymore, some of your behaviors from back then linger and can creep back into your life. So you make amends for that as well.

Recently a friend of mine brought up some things I was doing back when I was drinking. And while she found them funny then and now, I’m extraordinarily embarrassed by them. Especially because while yes, maybe what I was doing was funny, the positions I was putting myself and others in — the burdens I was placing on them to take care of me and the way I treated people when I stopped being “funny” — were not humorous. So I made amends again.

It’s not easy to do these things or to talk about them, so I’m a little out of my comfort zone here. But I’ve been listening to Dax Shepard’s podcast and he’s very open about his experience in recovery. I’ve found it quite helpful so I thought maybe I could give it a try. After all, the goal is always to help the next person, so if I can do that someway some how, I’ve very happy to at least try.

Peak Exhaustion

Another baseball season has officially started. That’s exciting because my days will now be filled with writing stories, talking to the players and really doing the fun work of reporting, which I love.

It’s funny, though, because that work never ends.

In the offseason I was working on a lot of stories, but one specifically was weighing on me. I had pitched this really wide-ranging interview with Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ general manager, in which we would discuss the unbelievable success he’s had, but also go through a lot of the hard decisions he’s had to make. Prepping for the interview was hard, especially because I’ve interviewed Brian quite a few times before, so I wanted this to be different, and I wanted to try and challenge him a bit. Plus, nailing him down for an hour is a nearly impossible task.

Add to all of that the fact that this was all happening at the height of my medical issues, it was really a challenge.

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 4.57.27 PM.pngWhen Brian and I finally met, I thought I had reached peak exhaustion, both physically and mentally. But I pushed through, and I came out the other side with a piece I’m really proud of.

And now, well, now I think I’ve actually reached peak exhaustion — or I’m at least on the brink of it. Working games deep into the night, reporting, writing, mixing podcasts, then waking up at 5 am the next morning to head to physical therapy, it takes its toll for sure.

But yesterday I was on the field at Yankee Stadium watching Aaron Judge hit bombs out of the park and fans in the stands were reading my words. It’s something 7-year-old Hilary would never believe if you told her. IMG_1363

So I’m grateful. I’m exhausted, sure. But mostly I’m thankful for this weird, crazy life I get to live.

You can read my Cashman story here, and you can listen to some of the audio from my conversation with Brian (including some stuff that didn’t make it into the article) on the podcast!