Last I left off, I was having a moment of clarity and obsession in the middle of the night with a bottle of Gatorade. Since then, I have managed to completely change my life and the direction of my health.
This is a big thing for me. As much success I have had in other areas of my life, I had as many failures in caring for myself. I wish I could say that it was totally a result of work/life imbalance, because honestly, I had myself believing that too.
I know now that the struggles with infertility wasn’t the real issue either. It was tragic, yes, but not the crutch that hindered me from being a better version of me.
It was simply, me, being unkind to myself.
Putting myself last because I never, ever knew any differently. Since forever.
It is probably a blessing I don’t have a daughter. Somehow, I am sure that I certainly would have carried on my own insufficiencies into another human.
I have a plastic Easter egg in my desk at home, once shoved into the back corner of my junk drawer. In the egg, I wrote words on a slip of paper. It was an assignment I received at a weight watchers meeting in 2005. For the umpteenth time, I was trying to preserve any part of me that I could. Control SOMETHING, anything…. I was in survival mode, really. My WW leader asked us to each write a promise to ourselves and put it in the egg.
“I want to love me.”
I stuck that purple egg in the drawer. I knew it was there. I knew it was there each time I failed, fell off the weight wagon, again and again. I knew it was there each time I sunk my spoon into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream because I wanted to deaden any emotion that even came close to admitting failure. I remembered it was there when I cried because I made a mistake, a bad decision, hurt someone, or let myself down.
Yet, in four years I just left it unopened. I figured I would eventually toss it out next time I purge the junk drawer. After all it was JUNK…. Right?
JUNK because I just couldn’t take seriously the thought of ever loving myself.
Then, the ultimate low. The last straw that proved that I was insignificant and not worthy of any goodness. Failing at completing my family, losing confidence in my professional worth, hitting rock bottom.
Then, with almost impeccable timing, my body started to revolt. It was pissed off over being mistreated and discarded. I got scared. I spent the last 6 months in a revolving door of doctors. My bones ached. I couldn’t walk. Was I depressed, sick, or going mad? I suddenly felt all of my 44 years crashing down on me. Tentative diagnosis as of now, Fibromyalgia and sleep issues, waiting another referral to rule out more bad stuff. Merely the tip of an iceberg, but a step to knowing.
A wake-up call indeed. It was time to get my temple in order.
This was my rock bottom.
I remembered the egg. It wasn’t going to gather dust any longer. I finally opened it this past January, and renewed my promise to me.
Something is different… this time. I can’t put my finger on it. I still have days I feel like I am 90 years old, but I also have days I feel I can conquer the world. I changed the way I view food. Which is insanity in my mind anyway… I have this bad habit of never breaking bad habits. But here I am, three months later, and finally giving myself the time to heal and be renewed. I am not going to let anything chip away at the progress I made. It shows on the outside.. I am a pound shy of 30 pounds lighter. In physical weight. Probably even lighter on an emotional level.
There is no reason I should feel so good while feeling so bad.
But I do.
Strangely, my newfound love is catching root in the oddest of places. My husband, my son. They don’t see the positive change around us, but I do.
I still have a long road ahead. But for the first time ever, I am walking in my own shoes, feeling my heart, accepting the unclarity of life, and not afraid to fail.
My egg, no longer collecting guilt and dust…
…now, my lucky charm.
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