I haven’t posted here in a really long time. Mostly because I have been in my own little world of self-pity. I had an overwhelming bout of anxiety followed by sadness and then self-pity. It’s was like I was just walking the walk without any knowledge of where I was going or why I was going there. I started staying in, saying no to invitations and somehow developed social anxiety which is something I have never experienced before. However, something happened a few weeks ago and I just realized that I had to snap out of it or it would snap me in two.
I remember laying on my bed one morning just frustrated with my life. What had I become? I used to be fun. I used to have fun. When did I stop having fun? When did I stop being me? When did I stop caring about me? When did I stop giving a shit? WHEN? And, then I wanted to know why? Why did I stop having fun? What was the turning point where I decided I would stop having fun, stop being fun? Life just took a hold of me. But, I am to blame. No one but me is to blame for how I feel, how I look, and how I treat myself.
I realized that my life, dating back to my early twenties was spent doing things that my then boyfriend wanted to do. He wanted to go to concerts, so we went. He wanted to go to sporting events, so I started liking sports. He wanted to go camping so we bought a tent. He wanted to go somewhere to eat, so we went where he wanted. He didn’t force me. He didn’t twist my arm and drag me to the campground, or the concert. I went willingly. Each. And. Every. Time. He didn’t control me in the sense that I didn’t have a choice, I did…I just didn’t speak up. I was in love with being in love.
That then boyfriend is my husband. You can see where I’m going with this, right? Again, let me stress, that he isn’t to blame, I am. I set this train in motion. It was all me. It wasn’t just him…it was the kids. No, they didn’t dictate where we went, when we went or why, but I dedicated my life to them. They became my world. I would do anything for them. I was a stay at home mom so it was easy for me to get stuck in a rut, especially after my third child. Then, I was just tired. I became complacent. I stopped caring. I stopped working out. I stopped going out. I just stopped…..living. I didn’t mean to, it just happened.
Fast forward 13 years. Now, I am laying on my bed in deep thought. I have had enough of the fighting. Enough of feeling sorry for myself. Tired of feeling like I don’t matter. If I don’t matter to myself, how can I matter to anyone else? I didn’t feel good about myself. I didn’t treat myself with respect and care, so what was I giving others the authority to do? I gave them permission to not respect or care about me. I deserved respect and care! I gave up my life, my everything, my mind, body and soul for other people. It was time for me to put myself first. It was time to say enough was enough.
That day I called and scheduled an appointment with a new doctor. I haven’t been to a doctor in over 3 years. I was extremely scared because I hate doctors. I shouldn’t generalize but the last few doctors again didn’t respect or care about me enough to help me. One doctor actually told me, “You are never going to lose weight, so let’s just put you on medicine…blah blah blah….” His vote of confidence was like getting hit head on by a MACK Truck. I internalized that and gained more weight. He was right…at that time, he was right. I hated him for what he said and how he said it that I just walked out the door and never returned.
I ended up getting bronchitis over this past winter and was talking to the Nurse Practitioner about my hate for doctors. She said even though she was in the field, it took her a long time to find a doctor that she felt comfortable with. She thought I would like her so I took her name and number and it sat in my wallet for three months before I decided to give her a call. The day I made that call for the appointment was the day I decided to take my life back. I knew I would need blood work and that was the only thing I was dreading because that would reveal how horrible I had been at taking care of myself. But, it order to be a good role model to my now older teenage children, I just had to face the music and take that first step.
I met the doctor and for the first time, I felt like someone was listening to me. She heard my concerns. She understood me. She sympathized with me. She got me. I was so happy to finally have someone in my corner. Someone to cheer me on. Someone to help me take care of me. Even after I told her I hated doctors, she didn’t turn into a beast set out to destroy me. She calmly listened and assisted. I loved her. I love her. She gave me my blood work orders and I prepared myself for the worst.
I told her I had just lost 10 pounds while doing Weight Watchers and I wanted to keep going. She praised me and cheered me on to continue the good work. We discussed where she thought my weight loss goal should be and I was pleasantly surprised because I was thinking I had to lose a kazillion pounds but she didn’t feel that was realistic. Thank GOD! She said if I lose 40 pounds, that right there will help with how I feel physically. It would also help me internally too. Bonus! I left there feeling confident that I can and will lose the weight as she suggested.
I went for my blood work and nearly passed out. My anxiety was getting the better of me. I was scared. No, I was terrified. However, I had to get real and stop pretending that I didn’t matter. I do matter. Well, last week I received the results and they were not good. In fact, they were downright scary bad. My cholesterol was elevated by 83 points and my LDL cholesterol was elevated by 103 points. That is DEADLY bad. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I saw that number. It is haunting me. It is scaring me. I’m only 47 years old. I have a lot of life to live. I need to make some major changes! Granted I am now down 13 pounds, I still have 37 to go…and then some (if I get into a weight loss groove). When I saw those numbers I cried but I made a conscious decision to put me first finally …and hope it isn’t too late.
I started working out 5 days ago. I have worked out every day. I haven’t made any excuses like I normally would, I just get up and do it. I don’t like it yet, but I do it. I have done 60 minutes of cardio every day for the last 5 days. In addition to the hour long work out, have thrown things in there like stretching, pilates, and yes, eating better. I am putting more focus on eating fruits, and more importantly, vegetables and other LDL cutting foods like almonds, oatmeal, and avocados. Of course, it’s only 5 days but I have NO intention of quitting or giving up. 21 day makes it a habit and this is one habit that I need to have. I even started taking my vitamins on a regular basis! I’m now taking Garlic, Fish Oil, Vitamin D-3 and a good whole food Multi-Vitamin.
That isn’t all though. My new doctor wants me to go on Lipitor. I am not thrilled with being on medicine. I hate it. I hate taking medicine, but if I want to live, I will follow my doctor’s directions and if by chance losing weight helps to lower my LDL and cholesterol numbers then great, it not….welcome to my life Lipitor!
I did this to myself. I have no one to blame but me. There will be more changes in my future. I actually enjoy the hour I have to myself. I can work out (on the treadmill or bike) and read which I love doing now! I’m currently reading Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. Everything she wrote…it’s as if she was peeking into my mind (minus the TV writing). Thank you for writing this book and for saying everything you said. I know you were specifically saying it to me. It’s ok, I don’t mind the secret being out now. I’m good.
I’m already enjoying this self-discovery trip I’m on. I’m having fun experimenting with new foods, new exercises, and new ways to make me happy about being me! Don’t be me though. If you haven’t taken charge of your life, what’s stopping you? You know, it’s true. No one can take care of you like you take care of others. Start taking care of you. It’s never too late.