Monday, March 11, 2013
I just read a blog from a friend who is struggling with food. I left her an uplifting message about how I know she can overcome this. She has done it before and can do it again.
Interestingly enough, it is exactly what I am going through right now. I wake up every morning feeling crappy because the previous day was spent using food to fill my sadness, my pain, my boredom, etc. I say I won't do it again, but I say it half-heartedly and without true conviction. This morning I was trying to reach down deep inside and find the strength to mean it, when I read her blog. I asked myself why I can reach out to someone else and see the real value in her and want success for her when I seem ambivalent about my own success.
The fact is that the reason for my ambivalence is far too complex for me to even undertake right now, but I know that I don't have to deal with all those issues right now. I only have to deal with one --- what I put into my mouth.
I am exercising regularly and even somewhat challengingly. I feel good about that. I just HAVE TO CONTROL MY FOOD INTAKE. Food will not fix what is wrong in my life. Too much food will only make my problems worse. I know that. I just have to act on that knowledge.
I repeatedly start to kick myself because I have said this before and started off strong, only to fall short of my own expectations. I tend to slip into feeling guilty and inadequate when I fall. I am embarrassed that I have demonstrated my weakness to others and I want to go away and hide. One thing that the current struggles in my life have shown me is that it really doesn't matter how many times I fall down, it is the getting back up that matters. I definitely care what my friends think, but those who are true friends will not hold my falls against me. They will offer me support to stand up again.
Today I choose to get back up -- one more time.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
I want to thank all of you, my old and new friends, for your support. Your notes, goodies and comments on my blogs may seem like a little thing, but they really do mean a great deal to me. Since my husband became ill last summer, my world has become very small. I rarely leave the house except to take my husband to doctor appointments or back and forth to the hospital. I escape occasionally for errands when one of my kids is around to look after Craig.
After a horribly emotional time last week, I became convinced after talking with the hospice social worker that I have to regularly get out of this house. When I am falling apart, it is hard on Craig and he becomes depressed, too. Last Friday, I asked a friend to come stay with Craig so that my daughter and I could go out together. Yesterday for the first time I allowed a hospice volunteer to relieve me for 3 hours and I went out for brunch and shopping with a friend.
We were well supported by friends for months. I was told early on that people tire of your illness, and I have found that to be true. Our closest, dearest friends have remained constant, but the wide circle has narrowed. There are fewer calls, cards and visits. I am not good at asking for help. I never have been. It is a big step for me to agree to volunteer assistance.
Anyway, what I am trying to say is that in this fairly isolated world in which I now exist, your contact and support means more than ever. Thank you!
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
A while back I set my Spark page to private due to all that is happening in my personal life and my alleged desire to blog about it. After going private, I realized that, in general, I don't want to blog about it. I will give occasional updates for those of you who are interested, but I don't really want to share all of the details of what is happening in my life. Living it is enough.
What I do want to do is everything in my power to get back on track and stay there. I have started a number of times only to be derailed by some new setback in my husband's health. I finally realized that even if I continue to have derailments, it is better than never being on track - so here I go again.
Several weeks ago, I was very motivated. I exercised daily and increased the level of exercise that I was doing. I ate what I thought was an appropriate amount, but I did not count my calories. I was so eager to get on the scale after a week, but found that I had gained 2 pounds. I was incredibly discouraged. All my efforts fell to pieces at that point. I just gave up.
After having some time to think about it, I realized that I know how to do this. I have done it successfully and I can do it again. In order to succeed previously I always tracked my food, and I need to do it now. I can't take shortcuts and expect to win. So I am back on track. This time I am going to take the approach that I took last year when I had gained weight over the holidays. In addition to tracking my calories, I will not eat anywhere except at the table and I will not get on the scale until I can tell in my clothing that I have lost weight.
I will keep this train on track as long as is humanly possible and if a derailment occurs, I will get back on and keep chugging along.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
I know that many of you wonder what is up with me. I set my page to private so that I could freely express my thoughts and feelings and then almost nothing came from me. I can only explain it in this way -- you have either cared for a loved one who is dying or you haven't. There is no in between. I am certainly not trying to exclude you in any way. It is just a fact.
I have lost loved ones and sat by grieving while friends died, but I have never before been in this place. I am the widow-to-be. I am the caretaker, the advocate, the decision-maker. I am in charge and alone. While this is happening, I am also a mom. My youngest is a senior in high school. I am still trying to parent and advise and support a teenager and one in college and one who is recently graduated from college. They still need me, too. This isn't supposed to all happen at once. My kids are supposed to be grown and on their own when this stage of life occurs. I am not supposed to be pulled from all directions and caught in the middle of these life stages. Supposed to be ........ .now that's definitely somewhere at the core of my issues. We all count on things happening a certain way -- we will outlive our parents, our children will outlive us, we will have time with our partners in retirement to relax and enjoy the good times...
We currently live in limbo. I am not Catholic, but I have a minor in religious studies and spent two years in seminary. I have always been fascinated with religious belief of all types and I am familiar with the concept of purgatory. I believe that my family and I are living in it. I feel that in some ways hell might be better; at least I would know what to expect. We have been given no reason to expect that my husband will survive. It's not that I want him to die. I don't want that at all. It is just that when two very knowledgeable and competent physicians tell you that your husband's cancer is the most aggressive cancer that they have seen in their entire, long careers, you accept the fact that only a miracle will save him. So we go on, day after day with little to look forward to. We have come to realize just how important those plans and goals and hopes are. They help us get up in the morning and get us through the tough parts of our jobs. They make those difficult weeks tolerable. Without them, time just seems endless. Days all seem the same.
There was a time when my days held hours that were mine to fill. That is a thing of the past. Now my time is almost entirely beyond my control. I still work and try to run a nonprofit agency from home. Fortunately, I have wonderful staff members, many of whom have been with me for years. While doing that (somewhat), I deal with caring for my husband, administering medications, monitoring vital signs, arranging and transporting for medical appointments, preparing meals, answering phone calls, fighting with the insurance company, dealing with hospice and friends and lawyers -- there is no end, except one that I dread. There was a time in my life when I had hours that were my own. I could plan my days, accomplish things, be in control. Those days are gone. When I get them back, I will most likely be widowed at a relatively young age. I will be starting over, in my fifties and alone. One of the saddest thoughts to me is that it will probably all happen at once. My second son will head off to law school, my daughter will be off to college and my husband will be gone. My older son will most likely be around, but what a change that will be from a bustling household and busy life.
In the midst of this, I am really trying to get in some exercise each day and I am again trying to eat healthfully and moderately. I currently have a goal of losing 6.8 of the pounds I have gained. I will try to report back in a few weeks to let you know how that is progressing.
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