More of me

I’m a 46 year old (only 4 months from 47) single/divorced mother of two amazing children (I am biased though).

I have a wonderful fully grown daughter who is my best friend and who has brought nothing but joy to my life, she is now my inspiration as much as she insists I am hers. We are incredibly close, we run like two parts of a whole, pre-empting, understanding without words, getting things done, it’s perfect synergy and we love it. We know that when she graduates this year that our bond in terms of physical closeness will be broken as she leaves to pursue her life but our spiritual and emotional bond is sealed forever and then some.

We both take mothering roles when it comes to the smallest family member … whose hormones are fiercely contesting that position at the moment as his teen growth spurt is in full flourish and he seems to grow taller and thinner each day. He’s almost at his sister’s height and will soon be over taking me. He is so talented, he has a musical gift, he can pick up any instrument and play. He is uber sweet for a teenage boy, his triple dimples are to die for and his thick, shiny, black, curly, long eyelashes (he still knows when to flutter them) continue to melt our hearts and are nearly as irresistible as his gorgeous curly black hair. We guide him on the right path and fortunately he responds, reprimanding him would be impossible with that still cute baby face that we see when we look at him.

My children are my joy, they bring laughter, love, light and happiness into my life every day. They are wise, sensible and caring. I am ultra proud of them and I will gush about them from time to time. What I love most is how much they love each other, it warms my heart to hear them tell one another frequently, it’s not uncool and I hope it never will be.

However they are not my whole life, I do have some time and space for me and that’s always been important. I’ve managed to pursue relationships (needs a blog of its own) and a career while I’ve been their mum and it has taken some blood sweat and tears and devotion as well as a lot of stress, frustration and the odd moment of beating myself up wondering if I’ve got the balance right now and then.

After years building a successful career within public services I had a break down. It wasn’t official, but that’s what it was. It was a culmination of my years spent battling as a single parent, being everything to everybody and leaning on nobody, my first adult experience of chronic illness (totally unrelated to weight), the breakdown of a relationship I had invested my all into (literally), excessive stress at work, stopping smoking and losing my ‘crutch’ and the realisation that my family had been nothing but an emotional drain on me for my whole life and when I was the one in need, that one time, none of them were there for me. This kicked off a long held back grieving process for the loss of my father who had really been my only family and everything collided into an emotional breakdown. The mighty had fallen. I found out I was not made of steel, nor was I wonder woman.

I decided to change my life and career and do something I had always wanted to do, not what I had been doing ‘just because’ and I had the kids’ full support with that even though we knew we would experience financial hardship while I retrained. We were in it for the long haul and boy am I glad they came along with me, it was a hectic crazy ride.

Retraining allowed me time to heal, it meant I could disengage from the world and while that was a good thing for me mentally it was not a good thing for me physically. The short time I had to spend in classes was easy to scurry in and out of, the rest of the week was spent hiding in a darkened room, eating rubbish, not having the will to cook, ordering take out, not moving, no exercise, some days not moving from a chair to even go to the toilet (I didn’t soil myself I must have just grown a huge bladder). Everything was neglected, except the children but then they were of course. They had their needs met but emotionally they had this growing blob of useless fat in a corner who wasn’t functioning as a human being but who was promising she would soon…. soon… always soon.

Eventually I healed, time and rest and reflection is what it took, that and knowing I’d have to start standing in front of a class of students very soon. It kicked me out of my chair and made me start to wake up.

So now I’m a teacher of adults, mainly the 16-19 age group. I’m a good one too and finding that I was and that the students really like me and respond well to me boosted my ego somewhat but more importantly I’m doing a job I love and I feel my wings are beginning to unfurl again.

In that new light, I started to look at myself and saw what I’d done, I’d gained many stones in weight. I could barely move more from muscle atrophy than anything else. I was a mess. I woke up on 5th April 2014 and realised that although I felt I had wings I didn’t, not yet, there was a big part missing and that was my self respect, my self value and I had to start loving myself, taking care of myself and preserving myself so I could be around longer for these beautiful people I made and so I could finish the life I had started in the way I chose not the way my fat decided.

I’ve emerged from it knowing that you don’t have to like people or care about people who you share blood with, it’s great if you do but not essential. I’m stronger than I ever thought I was and I’m far more resilient than I realised yet I know I’m human and I have my weaknesses and I need support, I just do. Most of all I know that in spite of my mistakes I have always striven to do what is right and best for everyone around me I feel at peace in that sense and at the end of it all I know that I’m intrinsically happy and optimistic, I’m a fighter and so this game is on. I think I have no baggage it’s been shed long ago but I have a feeling this blog may help me lie any remaining hidden demons to rest, but now my focus is on shedding this oppressive weight and I can get on with living for me and for my children… they are my family now.

Being obese no matter how good your life is, no matter how happy you kid yourself you are (and you probably are in lots of ways) it eats away at you, at your mental, emotional and physical health. Obesity is greedy, it wants your life and there’s only one person who can stop it in its tracks and that’s you.

I’m still a caterpillar and there is a way to go before I am a butterfly but I’m on my way. It’s going to happen.

 

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21 thoughts on “More of me”

  1. I wish you the best and I know, without a doubt, that you can do this. It won’t be easy or quick, but that doesn’t matter. It’s a lifetime journey, so enjoy it along the way.

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        1. I’ve always tackled it as a physical thing before and now I really fully embrace the mental fight I’m winning in ways I’ve never done before. I’m not losing weight as fast as I have before but that’s not my focus anymore, it was and is my motivator but not my focus, now I just want to live and be healthy and happy.

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  2. Having just finished commenting on the review you did for M’R’s book, I wanted to know more about you. I love how you’ve broken your About Me section into a couple different layers…just as you are doing with your weight cacoon.

    We are none of us perfect. I have the opposite issue in that I can’t gain weight. Except for a brief time in my early 30s when medication had me blow up by 80lbs in a very short period of time – lost the meds, which didn’t work anyway, and the weight was soon gone too – I’ve always had problem putting on and maintaining a healthy weight. And no, before you get the urge to smack me for seeming smug, I can’t eat whatever I want. I love food, but it’s not very fond of me. That was probably way too TMI. Sorry.

    The point is, having spent a bit of time on your side of the fence, and a lifetime in the back fields of the other side, I understand what a struggle is to try and be the perfect, pretty, healthy size. I’ve yet to achieve the perfect or healthy part, but I am s.l.o.w.l.y. starting to accept what I’ve been given in terms of looks. I think it probably has more to do with age than wisdom though, lol. (Mid-40s.) So if you’ll have me, I’d be happy to be on your team. For support, if not actual advice.

    CONGRATS on the quitting smoking. Bravo!!! (Just today I had a doctor slap my hands for not having done so yet. Sigh.)

    I’ve had several breakdowns and they truly suck. All but the one I had as a young teen, have been for the very reasons you quoted. “Being all things for all people.” Yeah, that hasn’t worked out for too well either. 😉 Maybe it’s just a woman thing?

    Anyway, very nice to meet you (so to speak). Hope you have a great Friday and a beautiful, sunny weekend!

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    1. How sweet and how lovely to have ‘found’ someone who understands something of what a struggle with anything is like. Glad to have you on board and I am looking forward to getting everyone sorted out and settling down to read about you 🙂

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          1. Dark can be good. I’m all for light and fluffy, but in small doses. Too much of it honestly makes me feel people are just not being terribly honest. Does that make sense?

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            1. I totally understand you. Sometime I think also that our darkest days are where we learned the most and yet we’re often loathe to discuss them, as if every decision we ever made led to something good. I just worry about revealing my darkness in case it appears that I’m sympathy seeking when really it couldn’t be further from the truth, if anyone can avoid that situation or can be helped through a similar one then it was worth telling the tale and exposing myself.

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              1. Yes, exactly!

                I consistently fail to understand why people think it’s acceptable to forcefully lay their pre-concieved and often ill-informed judgements on other people. Or why they think it’s okay to ask the most personal questions and actually expect you to answer them. Then even when you do, they have a rebuttal bouncing out their mouthes before you even finish responding!

                I am naturally an emotional kind of girl, and but the MS has made it so much more pronounced. There was a time I could fake it and present my “outside” happy face whenever I needed to. At least I could unless pushed very hard. But one of the relapses when I was in around 30, changed all that when it left a big fat lesion smack where the emotional control part of the brain lives.

                Suddenly I found, very much to my own personal horror, that when too tired, or stressed for any reason, I could not just come up with snappy rejoinders. I couldn’t plaster a happy face on anymore. Rather than respond to things with any sense of decorum or dignity, I’d wind up a hysterical sobbing mess!

                Somewhere along the line, I seem to have inadvertantly developed a type of defense mechanism where my emotions just go into a kind of barely contained lockdown mode. If left alone and given space, nuclear meltdown can usually be avoided. At least until back in the privacy of my own home.

                Unfortunately, this defense also gives me what I’ve been told – all too often – a “bitch face.”  Some are more polite and just call it a lack of expression, but most just flat out tell what a bitch they think I am.  I don’t even have to say a word, and the truth is I normally don’t when it happens.  I may not realize what’s going on with my facial expression, but I do know that if required to give more than one or two word responses, I’m going to fall apart.  Loudly and messily!  At that moment in time it takes every ounce of will power and energy I can muster just to breathe and not freak out.

                The people who are true friends and family *by choice* know enough to just take me at my word if they ask what’s wrong and I say “nothing” or “just tired,” they back off.  They have been doing that long before I ever knew why it happened.  I do the same for them.  Isn’t that just basic common courtesy?  When did it become socially acceptable to walk up to someone minding their own business and call them names?

                I don’t understand and probably never will.  More sighs!  😉

                Thanks again for your thoughtful comments.  As you can probably tell, I’m in one of those “woe is me” kind of moods right now and just can’t seem to reign it in, or force myself to go offline.  Bad Wordsgood, down girl!  This is actually one of those times that if we could talk face to face, you would quickly regret asking me what’s wrong…  Damn, those meds are doing a number on me!  *Hangs head, knowing she will regret being so openly whiney.*   Must.  Get.  Off.  Internet.  Soon.

                I really do appreciate your kindness and can’t really express how much you’ve helped me tonight.  I’d give you a huge bear hug of thanks if I could.  I hope a massive cyber one will do. ♥

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                1. Cyber ones are just fine 😀 We all have our breaking point it’s just that some of us are not allowed to have one. Sometimes I agree with you it’s our own fault for keeping the breaking point glued together long enough to save the snap until we’re alone and nobody suffers from it but us. Snap openly and it throws observers into chaos. It’s their problem not ours 🙂 That’s my story and I’m sticking to it 😛

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