And just like that, she’s off

I’ve had a years worth of drama in the last few months.  My daughter–need I say more–is at the center of the chaos that has been my life lately.  Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit but I am completely drained: emotionally… physically.  My body aches from the weight of the stress I’ve been carrying.  My sleep is never restful.  I have a hard time concentrating.

Well, she left today.  She’s going to her other life.  A relief that she’s out of the house (guilt overcomes me for thinking such a thing) but SOOO worrisome.  I wish she was wrapped up with school or work or a boy friend even.  I keep hoping.  I always hope.  I hope someday that all the positive programming I did while she was growing up kicks in.  I ask myself if there is more I can do to intervene in her life.  But I don’t want to push her further away.  She’s my only child.  I love her.  But if’ I’ve been enabling her, I’ve got to quit.  Her mental illness is no excuse, there still have to be boundaries.

Some would say I’m strong but I know I’m not.  I self-medicate with food.  It is a socially acceptable addiction and I have it.  I reason with myself: “At least I don’t have a drinking problem…  At least I don’t smoke…  I deserve this food considering what I’ve been dealing with…  I really don’t care about my weight anyway.”  The reality is being overweight is so shameful.  I haven’t always been a big girl (my euphemism for fat) and haven’t always used food this way but there’s always some addiction.  Nothing illicit but harmful nonetheless.

With the greyness and cold enveloping me, this time of year is difficult.  Add to that the resolutions and expectations to be healthy in the New Year.  I notice that people treat you differently when you’re a big girl.  Or maybe it’s the aura  you cast when you’re unhappy.  You don’t attract positive.   My mood is already low and piling on goals to be healthy is counter-productive.  Believing you’ll be successful isn’t enough to facilitate that success.  I’ve tried to kick this eating addiction but another takes it’s place.  I wish there was a magic potion that would ease the emptiness, the self-loathing, the unhappiness.  I’m working on it and taking things slowly.  Change is easier that way, don’t you think?

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2 Responses

  1. denise, i just loved this post. so honest! sounds like you have some thinking ahead to do for yourself. it is interesting how people cope with stress differently. when i feel stressed, i lose my appetite and won’t eat much. i feel nauseaous and sick when stressed. maybe you can find a way to deal with your stress differently…. (like you’ve never thought of that!) i wish i could do or say more to help – but your honesty about your feelings is refreshing because it didn’t sound whiney or resentful – just HONEST. Now about your daughter, what exactly is her “other” life? (if i can ask….)

  2. Hello Denise,

    First of all, kick guilt out. It has no place in your life. There is an old saying about those who do the best they can cannot be expected to do anything more. Your daughter, like mine and every other daughter over the age of 12 are young adults. To feel guilty about their choices whether they are impulsed by a mental illness or a whim is akin to feel entitled to take credit for something good they may do. What she lives is her life, let go and let God or whatever you believe in but just let go.

    One can love deeply and sincerely from a distance. You cannot be a house divided within yourself and have any kind of life worth living. Now, what you need to do is to treat yourself the way you believe you deserve to be treated. We set the tone and the way, our attitude is key. So you are overweight, not the end of the world. Before my breast cancer battle I was thin as a reed, size 0. Seriously, at 5’2 it was even way too thin but I didn’t realize that. Then came the battle, and the drugs and the this and the that and before you know it I was nearly 150 pounds.

    One third bigger than I had been my entire adult life. Oh yes I hated it. I hate what I thought it was the stranger living in my body. Loose clothes became my uniform. I was afraid to eat, I was afraid to even look at food. Then finally one day I decided that it was really crazy to let something like that ruin what I have left of my life. I had survived breast cancer for crying out loud. And guess what? I stopped worrying. After the chemo my hair grew gray and I loved every second of it. Oh I dyed for a while because everyone thought it made me look old. Well, I am old. At least a year older than I was the year before and I always loved gray hair.

    So, I let my mane go gray; And I got a divorce, because my former husband thought that a women needed to look like I did before my encounter with breast cancer. At least that was my excuse, I got my divorce because I wanted to be me and in order to be me I had to start by recognizing that there was a person in my life who needed my attention now that the children were grown and gone. One person who has been shoved to the back, who postponed dreams and adventures, that put everything and everyone before her.

    Time for me. That is my prescription for you right now. Time for Denise. So you are “fat”. Is that a terminal illness?
    Because if there is a cure you are already on your way to find it. Your honesty is your best ally, and you deserve the very best to make it there. If losing weight is what you want to do, then start by taking this seriously: time for Denise.

    There are so many programs that really work out there. I have a cyber friend who just joined: http://www.sparkpeople.com
    and she thinks that this time she is going to make it. Your daughter will be fine if she is meant to be fine and no matter what you do or don’t do, nothing is going to change that. We are not powerless in the Universe, but we are not Omnipotent either. Now go and make yourself a cup of tea, look through those programs and see if one fits your needs.

    I will be rooting for you and I want to say thank you for my darling little doll. You must have been peeking through my atelier’s window as my good friend Mary just recently brought me some old ones and same beautiful porcelain shards her sister found in some river in Scotland and they thought they would be perfect for my “political” jewelry.

    It was so thoughtful of you and so much appreciated by me.
    And whatever size you may be, you are one of the nicest people I know,

    Allegra

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