This gradual dropping out of life happened slowly, one cancelled plan at a time.  It was a subtle resignation into the cocoon of your couch as you wrapped yourself in a protective layer of isolation from the outside world.  Little by little you withdrew, until one day you realized you were, in fact, gone.  Once you realize that you are the missing person in your own life, what’s a man to do?

Simple.  You put out an all person’s bulletin.  On yourself.

Step one:  Notify the proper authorities. Reach out.  Your friends are your friends for a reason.  They understand what’s going on with you and up to this point have respected your space.  Now that you’re ready to make a move, they will also be your first responders.  The plan is simple.  Pick up the phone and call one of them.  Tell them you know you’ve been MIA and you’re ready to come back.  Have someone come over.  Tonight.  Have them sit and talk with you.  Or just sit and watch TV.  You’re going to tell them that you’re ready to ease back into life and they’re going to help you.  You’re going to tell them how fast you’re willing to move and they’re going to help you with that too.  They are your friends and will respect your pace, after all they’re going to be happy to that you even made the call.  Maybe you’ll go someplace low profile at first.  Somewhere like the movies where you can still wear pants with an elastic waistband and you’re not required to change your shirt.  Baby steps.  Next week maybe it’ll be a bar with chicken wings and beer.  The week after that, try for a restaurant where the beer and wine menus are separate and the men have hipster beards.  Your friends know you, let them manhandle you a bit and get you out into the world again.  It might be exhausting at first, but you’ll get the hang of it again.

Step two: Pinky swear.  You’re going to start keeping your commitments.  Up to this point, you’ve cancelled on yourself so much even you don’t want to make plans with you anymore.  You’re going to change that by keeping your promises to yourself.  Ease into this process slowly as well so as not to get discouraged.  Start small.  Make one promise to yourself on the first day, two on the second and so on, until you feel like you can truly trust yourself again.  Maybe you’ll pick up your place for a solid 15 minute before you leave for work in the morning.  Totally do-able.  You’ll have kept your commitment plus have a cleaner place to come home to in the evening.  It’s like winning the double bonus round on day one.  If cleaning doesn’t get you fired up, choose something else just be sure it’s something you can complete early on.  Allow yourself the full day to bask in the glory of your success, even if means you ate breakfast.  The point is you are mindfully making a commitment and keeping it; you were a man of your word before the divorce, you’ll be one after.  You took a much needed sabbatical and it’s drawing to a close now.  The important part is that you’re taking strides to actively engage with life again and you’re working on improving every single day.

Step three: Take your meds.  Your medication in this case is food and you’re going to start eating cleaner.  Regularly.  You’re going to drink enough water.  Regularly.  And most importantly, you’re going to start moving again.  If you get sucked onto the couch you’re going to slide down to the floor and do as many sit-ups as you can during the commercials.  You’re going to keep a jump rope in the room and pull a Rocky Balboa between sets.  Whatever works for you, just move your ass.  Little by little, day by day until you gather momentum.  Once you have your friends around you again and you’re keeping smaller commitments to yourself on a regular basis, pick up your old workout routine.  Invite a friend to be your workout buddy and you’ve accomplished steps one, two and three in one activity.

Then next time you put on out an apb on yourself it will be because you outpaced your friends in life, not because they can’t find you.

Now move it, before I perform a citizen’s arrest on you myself, mister.

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