Watching your parents destroy themselves...
Friday, April 06, 2012
This blog is of a sensitive nature but is most important to write about. I recently came home to visit and I've been here for almost a month. Before I left Ohio to come back to Cali to visit, I had a business counselor tell me to start going to Alanon because of how I grew up in an environment of addiction and it can be seen in my addictive behaviors with food and money spending, etc. So this trip home has had my eyes more open than ever before.
I've observed how my dad, who is a recovering alcoholic of many years, is deteriorating right in front of my eyes. He has at least five major illness' but still doesn't care what he puts into his mouth. He shoots insulin into his stomach because he is diabetic, yet still eats cakes, cookies, chocolate and whatever else is in reach. My mother; although she doesn't have any major illness' of my awareness, she's in pain almost every day from digestion issues, back problems, etc. They have snacks lying all around the house and every day they eat fried, junky food.
A few weeks ago I decided to admit I have a problem. I Rene am an over-eater... wait... I've done that before. Okay, I tried admitting recently that I have a real addiction to sugar and that I was going to go cold turkey and get off it all together. Then I realized sugar is in everything! But I'll save that for another blog. The point is, coming home was like walking into a candy store... I went crazy for like the first week, then I started to feel sick. Then I started to see in front of my eyes, the effects of what would happen to me if I kept living like this.
Needless to say, this has been a bittersweet experience. I needed to come home to put this all into perspective. I don't want to grow up and get sicker and sicker... I want to continue growing up in health and wellness; reaching more and more health GOALS each year. I want to juice, eat foods that give me vitality, and be in shape! I want to go to sleep at night feeling joy and waking up feeling joy and gratitude for each day. And I want to give that to my future husband, future kids, future generations. Okay, okay.. maybe I'm getting too dreamy right now, but it's true!
I am definitely very sad to see my parents deteriorating before my eyes. Yesterday my mom was sitting in a chair and it broke. I knew it hurt, but I knew more than that, it was humiliating. She does try... and she knows that she too has an addiction to food and will keep eating it although it makes her sick. The only thing I could do was hold her and cry with her. The moment we had together was not of mother and daughter, but of two spirits - flesh and blood - empathizing with one another. I cried all that afternoon thinking of how hard it would be to watch my mom's health go downhill. I felt the reality that I could lose her and it hurt me so bad. I felt that if I don't truly make a commitment to change then I am no different than her or anyone else who is in a sense "suicidal" by what they put into their mouths every single moment.
I've been there, done that, still working through it. I've tried being the role model in the past but that didn't work for them either. It is hard to see this happening, but all I can do is do what I have to do for me now. I have to use this experience and take it back with me to Ohio and live my life knowing that I can make healthy decisions to prevent deteriorating in the future or I can accelerate my aging experience, thus leading me to what I am seeing right before my eyes right now.
God give me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. - The Serenity Prayer