Note: Cross-posting to Weighty Matters, Bad Catholic Anonymous and Birdcage Wisdom
Take the high road or take the low
No one but you and God will ever know
And you play rough and win or lose
Either way, you'll get the blues
-- Lucinda Williams, "Ugly Truth"
I found myself staring again at something I didn't want to see: ugly truth. The scale didn't lie, and neither did two-plus years worth of knowing I was eating to get away from what was eating me. But two anxiety attacks that awoke me in the middle of the night, scared to death of some physical ailment, the absolute fear not of dying but of leaving people behind and things unfinished -- and knowing I could damn well do something about it........
And facing my worst truth: I'm trying to fill a hole that can never be filled.
I haven't written much in a while -- or spread it out over other outlets -- because I was compartmentalizing things. General stuff here, weight stuff at Weighty Matters, spiritual stuff at Bad Catholic, mental health stuff and grief stuff at Birdcage Wisdom. But to quote the famous George Constanza, "Worlds are colliding" and I find them crashing down on me. The weight gain of the last two years is in direct correlation to a mental health issue from the last 4 years and the crushing weight of grieving 6 losses in 18 months and the effect it has had on my life and spirituality and OH MY GOD IT IS SO MUCH.
You know how Facebook has that "On This Day" feature where you get to look back (and repost) things that you posted on this day x number of years ago? I've noticed so many of mine from 5 years ago were of me checking in at the gym or from walking with my friend Sheri..... and so many of them from 2014 were of me in the early stages of going into another downward spiral of depression and anxiety. Of course, I see it in hindsight -- at the time, I was fine. Just fine. In 2015, it was my recovery from surgery; 2016, the loss of my mom and aunt; last year at this time, it was even more loss and a renewing focus on regaining my mental health. Recipes which 6-8 years ago were all veggie or healthy grains were replaced in the last couple of years by cakes and gooey things and all manner of sweet or unhealthy.
It was watching a person who had worked her ass off (literally) to become the best self ever disintegrate before your eyes back into what used to be.
I'm not crying. Hell no. I'm not sad, I'm not mad, I'm not even pissed. What I am is ready. It took long enough but I am ready. I've worked for the last few years on finding myself again -- while I was losing portions of myself at the same time.
What I am is grateful. I'm grateful for those freak-out, nearly-pass-out moments of anxiety at 2:15 am where I wondered if I was dying and being determined that if I could help it, I was going to ensure that I bury my father and not have him go through the agony of burying another child. I'm grateful for the opportunity to start over, with a few more years of wisdom under the belt, and leaving behind the drill sergeant persona I had developed with myself. The nearly 50-year-old me is going to be a lot kinder on my failures than the 38-year-old me would have been.
This me realizes my worst enemy isn't my body but my mind, but if I work with both of them, I bet we find a happy place where we all can live in peace.
I may never see "Onederland" again but I'm not sure that I care to, really.
What I care about is living. Plain and simple. Just living.