Day 14

The movie Pinocchio left an indelible mark on my psyche.  If you haven’t seen it recently, you should check it out—shit is dark.  There’s a scene where Pinocchio and his gang gets swallowed by an enormous whale and they live in its belly for a while, surviving on fish that flood the whale’s innards whenever he opens his hungry, giant mouth.  I’ve been scuba diving in Jamaica, swam with the manatee in Florida, rode the back of a stingray, and still I carry this fear of the ocean, especially the deep ocean, especially whales.  There are menacing, evil, unnatural things down there in the dark, and I spent my day hanging out with them all.

I have no idea where it came from, there was no reason for it, especially after the feel-goods of last night and the many accomplishments and kindnesses of the week.  But today found me squarely in the belly of a whale.  I had calls, comments, and emails to return, I had books that needed reading, I had things that needed doing, but all I could manage was bad TV and multiple naps.  I’m two weeks in; I should be better than this.

Day 14

Then there was this bright spot, this opportunity to pull it together.  A friend of mine was having a party, and I could show up for it.  I could do this thing for her and stop focusing on me.  It was going to turn it all around and there was going to be a happy ending to this tale of gloom.  But I failed that, too.  I showed up barely able to speak my name.  The social anxiety hit so hard that I was sweating panicked bullets and had to find a way out.  And now I’m home again, having a glass of wine with familiar demons.

But I did the tasks; I completed them all.  And I’m going to write this failure, despite my embarrassment and shame.  So I’m holding fast to that train of tenacity and hoping it carries me out of this dark, wet deep.

Exercise

Given today’s lethargy, this one was especially hard.  I had a work thing to take care of this morning, and when I got home at around 11:00 a.m., I didn’t leave the sofa until 5:00.  Somehow I managed to get myself up and on to a yoga mat for 20 minutes.  I didn’t have it in me to figure it out on my own, so I found a 20-minute session on YouTube that worked out pretty well.

Meditation

Did the 30-minutes without falling asleep for my third nap of the day.  That alone is an accomplishment.

Reflect on something good that happened

I was not about to cook for myself today, nor was I about to do anything healthy if I could help it (outside of the prescribed 5 tasks).  So I ordered a double cheeseburger to be delivered.  When it showed up, I grabbed it from the delivery woman and ran back to the kitchen to scarf my shame down in private.  When I opened the bag, what was I presented with?  A damn salad.  A damn healthy, green, tuna topped salad with nary a shred of cheese to give me comfort.

I called the restaurant, furious at their mistake (but very nice about it), and he said he could either give me a refund or send me a new order.  I took it as a sign and was too hungry to wait any longer, so I ate the salad.  I was looking to clog my arteries, but instead I was forced to provide myself nutrition.  OK, OK, I get it, universe.  (Oh, and I ended up getting the salad for free!)

Random act of kindness

This is not a day or mood that I am unfamiliar with.  Au contraire, I know this one well.  And usually on days like this, I would avoid and cancel any and all social plans, especially parties.  But one of the sweetest ladies I know was having a party to celebrate ten-years of career success.  She’s done amazing work at a nonprofit that is also doing amazing work, and she had much to celebrate.  This was about her and not me, so I owed it to her to show up.

I feel like “showing up to a party” is a really sorry thing to count as an act of kindness, but this took effort I don’t normally have.  And the thing that got me there was shifting my focus away from myself and toward someone else.

I got there, and there were people I knew.  Some are following the blog and had wonderful things to say, and it was fantastic hearing that people were enjoying it, saying nice things about it all, but I couldn’t shake this feeling, this inability to connect.  I felt like a large fuck-up, a soul-less zombie, an exposed idiot in a tiny space that was constantly closing in.  And, again, there was no reason for it.  I was welcome there, I should have been fine.  But this is an act of kindness that I couldn’t follow through on, and I feel terrible about it.

Here’s the big HOWEVER, and the thing that is giving me hope this evening.  Because there were friends there that are reading this incredibly personal info I’m throwing out every day, I had the opportunity to be authentic.  I could say, “I’m having really bad social anxiety and need to leave,” instead of making-up some elaborate lie or excuse that I’d have to remember and keep perpetuating.  This time was different.  I was honest.  It’s a small accomplishment, it’s a small thing to celebrate, but I’m counting it.

3 things I’m grateful for:

1)   My beautiful friend Susie Dalton for trying to convince me to stay.  I’m sorry I couldn’t, but I am enormously grateful that you wanted me to.

2)   That I have a shot at trying it again tomorrow.

3)  That all of the Real Housewives episodes that had collected in my Tivo are now depleted so that if this happens again, I have to work a little harder.

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27 comments

  1. Cindy del Valle

    While the good days are welcoming, the bad days will have their space too. It was difficult, but you faced it using new skills and emerged. Don’t count it as failure, just another obstacle to be overcome. Now, on to Day 17! Sending positive thoughts your way!

  2. Pamela

    I think its pretty normal to have bad days after good ones. All the work you are doing is pretty exhausting. Personally I get hit with shame when I’m out of my comfort zone. I am not a fan of parties and love you were honest about social anxiety. Totally inspiring. I had my own kind of day yesterday and didn’t respond to the previous post but what you wrote about forgiving ourselves was beautiful.

  3. jdkcubed

    “But I did the tasks; I completed them all. And I’m going to write this failure, despite my embarrassment and shame. So I’m holding fast to that train of tenacity and hoping it carries me out of this dark, wet deep.”

    there is no failure.
    there is no shame.
    feelings are not facts.

    You are a vibrant and amazing person..own it…do not believe the words you wrote they are not true.. In fact if I did not know any better I would say your soul hole knocked you unconscious and typed this entry!

    Rock on Randy!

  4. Carol Harlig

    Randy, this
    just shows that you’re human and we all have those kinds of days. You owned it… And better yet, you owned up to it. You have incredible courage to write the truth in todays’s blog so give yourself a lot of credit. Today is a brand new day, sweet pea. We’re all with you and are rooting for you.

  5. Becky

    Randy,
    I think the greatest thing about yesterday was that you had the guts to be honest about it. Often when people tell a story about trying to overcome a challenge in life, whether it be keeping up with an exercise program, losing weight, quitting smoking, etc, they aren’t 100% forthcoming about the hard days. And others who are following along with challenges of their own think that when they hit the hard days, they are alone and are the only ones who sometimes find it hard to keep going. But you have given those people the comfort to know that they are not alone and that everyone that is trying to overcome something that has a hold on them, in all likelihood, will encounter tough days. My guess is that you did a random act of kindness yesterday that you don’t even realize. You put your struggle out there and probably made some people feel not so alone.

    This past week I left your posts pile up in my inbox. I was traveling for business and found myself spending that time that i would have been reading them instead telling others about this wonderful blog from a guy named Randy Hyde Scott. Many people were intrigued with your experiment. I’m intrigued with the courage you show every day to do this and share it.
    My guess is that you have quite a crowd behind you now, many you’ve never met, sending you their wishes for success in your journey. Me included.

  6. apleasanthouse

    Let’s be HONEST.What your doing is HARD. For me, just admitting THAT is liberating, and I always remember to remind myself that if IT were EASY- everyone would have rainbows shooting out of their eyes, and that would be just plain weird.

  7. Tom Pyun

    A) you’re exhausted from working and taking care of yourself so don’t be so hard on yourself 🙂 B) Have you ever been tested for sleep apnea? Sounds like you might have some common symptoms…the test/screening is covered by insurance. I saw this guy and it was helpful to rule it out as a cause for exhaustion and weight gain..http://www.cpmc.org/dr-brandon-lu.html

  8. Bridget

    The burger thing would have pissed me off, that was going to be your comfort, and you got a salad. We can always start over tomorrow, thanks so much for sharing.

  9. Susie Dalton

    Randy, today is my birthday, and I have to tell you that one of the best presents I’ve gotten was checking in this morning to catch up on your blog and reading my name on your gratitude list. It makes me so happy that you could feel the love, even if it didn’t stand a chance against the dreadful Party-Anxiety Monster. It was wonderful to see you in person, and your honesty and authenticity is such a gift. I only wish we’d gotten more time to chat. And okay, dance, too. 🙂 So let’s make some, soon. xo

  10. Karen Pianka

    I love that you were honest with your friends at the party! How many times have I tried to come up with some elaborate story in a similar situation. How refreshing. Good for you. 🙂

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