Some of you read my blog about my father being diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He's only 66.
Two weeks ago he had a a few episodes that could have gone in a way that he could have hurt himself and/or my mother. His mental health has gone down hill so much that the only way he can be safe and cared for properly is in a nursing home. Again, he is 66.
Last Friday I went 'home' (2.5 hours away) and stayed with Mom for 9 days to try to get everything worked out. We moved Dad into a nursing home. I don't mean this blog to be devoid of emotion, but I am literally tapped out. He is a young-looking 66, so to see him in there looking physically healthy with residents who are in their late 80's and 90's and bound to wheelchairs and walkers is extremely difficult to watch. Even harder is when Dad has his moments of clarity and asks why he's there and when he's going home.
I am a mess and trying to understand this new 'normal' in my life, that when I go 'home' I will see only Mom at home and will have to go to the nursing home to visit Dad. Mom is going through a lot of emotions now plus trying to figure out the finances and looking at her new reality to determine her next step, which will mean a lot of changes for her.
And selfishly I eat as if it will deaden the pain. I eat and eat and eat and I am not hungry. I cannot bring myself to step on the scale. My fattest clothes are tight. I see my reflection in glass doors when walking into a store and am disgusted by what I see. I am constantly pulling my shirt down and my pants up so as not to hang out of what is supposed to cover me. The worst part isn't even the vanity - it's that I'm destroying myself and could end up with major issues, possibly like my father's (we aren't sure if his is considered vascular dementia, which I believe is one of the faces of Alzheimer's, due to his heart problems he's had) if I don't take my health seriously.
And I still eat as if it will erase this new reality of my too-young father living the rest of his life in a nursing home. I stay up too late watching TV or playing video games to put my head into things that I have no emotional connection to. Then I'm exhausted the next day, reach for crap food, feel numb yet irritable, and start the ugly cycle all over again.
I'm afraid I'm getting used to being fat and too accepting of the aches and pains that go with it. I'm getting used to feeling 'unpretty' and hiding under long unstyled hair, baggy clothes, and tucking myself into a corner. I know that's not where I belong, and it's not how I should feel. This is getting more and more comfortable than I want it to be. I say I don't want to make it the norm, but my actions do not support that statement.
The questions I have to answer: how badly do I want to feel good about myself again, and how badly do I want to take my health into my own hands? I have to be able to overcome all my emotions, all of my "what ifs", and the drive I have to shove food into my face when I'm trying to cope with the stuff life throws at us that aren't inside our neat little plans. I have to do what's right for me (eat right, get to bed at a decent time, exercise) no matter how painful it will be to start this new habit.
So many of you have gone through even bigger challenges than this. How do you overcome these heavy nearly smothering emotions to make good changes for your life?
Thank you for reading.