Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Why I am dropping from the Climate Ride

I am dropping out of the Climate Ride. This isn't a decision I've made lightly. It's been almost an entire month of stressing & debating over the decision. Once I made the decision, I knew it was the right one.

First, all of your donations are still going to The Climate Ride--WABA. Those of you that qualified for the incentives will still receive them. To all of those folks that donated money, thank you: some of you donated more than once and it will not go unappreciated.

I believe that you all, especially those that donated, are owed an explanation. I hope you can understand. Here are the main reasons I'm dropping out:

Fundraising. It's been difficult to say the least. Unfortunately in my circle of friends and acquaintances, when they hear the word "Climate" their eyes glaze over. I've even received some outright hostility when explaining what the Climate Ride is about from a few. Fine, not a big deal. I probably could have found a few more donors if I cast my net wider, and I wouldn't mind donating my own funds to cover the remainder. Except not this time (and I'll explain in more detail in a moment of why its just not possible for me now). I planned two fundraiser events, one of which I sunk not an insignificant sum of money into...only to have 1 person show up. It wasn't even the money that got me annoyed, it was the humiliation in having friends donate their time & space for nothing. Maybe it was bad timing (the Travyon verdict came in at the same time, and all of a sudden my guests decided they wanted to march down U street instead). Maybe it was something else. I don't know.  But I know when to cry Uncle.

2. Timing. This has been a really difficult summer for me. As many of you may recall, I am supposed to be getting married next month. Except....I'm not. I really don't like talking too much about my personal life in here, but to fully understand what's been going on, I'm going to briefly summarize*:
-Fiance is a recovering alcoholic
-Finace relapsed badly back in February
-This resulted in him going to inpatient rehab, which our insurance wouldn't cover so we had to pay out of pocket (which is not cheap!).
-Fiance has since been doing great and is on solid ground with his sobriety, but the whole situation still left me with a mountain of anger & resentment issues, not to mention a hefty debt (of which I owe the last payment on this month, woo!).

Because of the financial situation that we were dealing with, in addition to making sure the fiance had a strong footing in his sobriety, we decided it would be best to postpone our wedding plans. So, I had to cancel our venue and explain to friends and family as best as I could that we were not going to be married in October after all, and that no, I did not know when (if!) it would happen.

You know what a person with a mountain of anger & resentment doesn't need? To be the Bride that Canceled Her Wedding. Especially when many of her friends and family are happily celebrating theirs. And then there's the awkwardness of explaining what happened without mentioning the word alcoholic.

Anyway, all of this anger & resentment kept building and building until finally I simply condensed into a ball of Depression over the summer. I have not been that miserable and unhappy in many, many years. On top of all that, I've had no vacation this year either. Normally I would be in the Outer Banks on the beach at this time of year, but because we figured we'd be on a honeymoon next month, we never planned for it. Not that we have the money for it right now anyway. So I haven't had a break.

But its slowly getting better. I am working on the anger and depression and resentment, and ever so slowly, those Issues are breaking apart into smaller pieces and dissolving away. I am starting to feel happy again. I don't feel like shattering or exploding 90% of the time anymore.

But I'm still not There yet. And there's just no way I can do a 5-Day bike ride with a bunch of other strangers and not be a pleasant person to be around. My heart is just not into it. Right now, I am still taking things week-by-week (which is an improvement from day by day, and better than hour by hour). And I wouldn't feel right covering the cost of the remainder of the fundraising minimum when I need to focus on paying this debt off.

So...I hope you understand. I've already spoken with one of the organizers and he mentioned that this year's fundraising credit could be applied toward next year, so....maybe. Still taking it week by week over here.

As far as riding goes, its been my refuge. The weather we've had this summer has been nothing short of amazing. Usually it's a a hot, sticky mess. But this year has been relatively mild, and I took every advantage of it. Hopefully soon I will post photos of my summer adventures.

*I actually made my decision to drop from the ride a few weeks ago, but I wasn't sure what to say in regards to my decision on this blog. I was/am very hesitant to talk about The Boy's alcoholism, because its his illness & his privacy, and I would never want him to feel violated or self conscious. But, one of the things that was fueling my depression was feeling isolated & unable to speak to anyone about what was happening, because alcoholism doesn't just make the alcoholic sick, it makes loves ones sick too. It's been difficult for me to talk about how I've been feeling/coping with friends without mentioning the dreaded word Alcoholism, for fear that I'm violating the Boy's anonymity.  I was under the mistaken impression that this was HIS illness, so I didn't have a "right" to talk about it. Wrong. It is also my illness, in that this has a direct impact on me. I've decided that I'm not going to dance around the issue anymore. There is nothing shameful about it. The Boy is not abusive or mean or anything like that, he just can't manage drinking alcohol on his own. He knows it, I know it, and its not a big deal if other people know it. In fact, it becomes a problem when we try to deny that its there. The Boy now has over 6 months of sobriety under his belt, and a very strong support system, including a sponsor. I'm very proud of him, and we probably have a stronger relationship now than we've ever had before.