Break my fall.
When I was a kid I feared anyone getting old. My father was 56 when I was born, we could not shake the assumptions from strangers that he was my grandfather. It never occurred to me in my world of us tossing baseball together, begging him to take the wheels
off on off on off my bicycle and sharing weekly cherry cordial ice cream sundays, that there would come a time his age mattered. While I adored and loved him, anxiety around his declining health would find and follow me along each step of my youth and into adulthood. I didn’t understand, and I was not prepared to watch his slow debilitating struggle with alzheimer’s that would take away his dignity and my father right along with it. I hated who he became and for that I began to hate myself for lashing out in anger, for getting frustrated and for saying things I could never take back, those words would echo above all else for me years past when they were said. I work through those wounds slowly and over time I have forgiven myself for not always being my best self and for being an ill equipped kid.
My mom who is 71 took a tumble last week, pulling weeds behind her garage. She is stubborn, like me I admit. Imagine my surprise when I got a call from her that evening around 9pm (I had spoken to her SEVERAL times that afternoon) the one sided, fast paced, nonchalant conversation went something like this… “Hi honey, just now coming home. I was at the hospital, (silence on my end) yeah I fell earlier in the back and well I thought it was nothing but then Joyce (her friend from down the street) and I went to run an errand and well I realized I couldn’t really walk so Joyce insisted we go to the hospital. We swung by and they took a few xrays nothing’s broken hon so I will be home in a little bit, love you”. I listened to the whole thing with my mouth open, after she hung up my mouth was still hanging open, then I was mad. I called back and “lovingly” laid into her about not CALLING ME when she FELL, have I mentioned she is stubborn?! She ended up on my couch for the next three nights watching the Hallmark channel, nursing an ice bag and having ibuprofen chasers with her ginger ale…the dogs were beyond excited at their g’ma’s sleepovers and I was grateful for no broken bones and the opportunity to have her close to watch over her.
I was attempting to finish some writing at the dining room table just past the living room where she had fallen asleep with Maggie at her feet, Tristan and Tully close by, not leaving her side. I glanced over and saw this tiny, frail woman looking more like my grandma than ever before. As my tears bounced off the random letters of the keyboard, my inside voice said the biting words, “She has grown old, Lori”. Panic, sheer panic is what I felt, it brought back a flood of fear. For the kid inside me, she is all I have left and the thought of her suffering the same fate as my father is at times too much for me and I question my own strength at dealing with such outcomes. This is not easy to share, perhaps the hardest thing to write because it’s not just about me and I have debated putting this out there for all to read, but as I sit here ready to start my new challenge tomorrow, I owe it to myself and to those who support me to share with you what happened over the last several days and where I am at as I start this new dog-lbs year.
Uncontrollable panic set in as I watched her sleep and I came undone. It began when I staggered away from the dining room table, I went to the kitchen and took a new jar of peanut butter from the cupboard and scooped out the top 2 inches and flung them into the sink, I then dumped in a half of a bag of organic dark chocolate chips and went to the garage and sat on the hood of my car in the stale, gross, summer heat. I ate the whole concoction, then in a self deprecating food fight with myself this went on for 7 days ending yesterday. I ate out of anger, sadness but mostly fear, I belly flopped right back into the deep end of old habits, drowning in my own decisions and unable to really reach out to those I know would have been right there… but I could not do it and I can’t explain it. I forget how powerful shame can be when you give it the power. I have gained 18 lbs in 10 days. I will start my challenge tomorrow somewhere around 320lbs, it breaks my heart to write this.
I had a soul cleansing, fur soaking, uncontrollable cry on Tristan yesterday morning. Poor guy got the brunt of my meltdown, but I can tell you after that cry it became a little easier to look at myself in the mirror. I made good choices yesterday and so far today I am feeling good and strong. Sooo I promise that tomorrow’s post will be a little lighter in beginning to document the new challenge that I am calling “The Vegetable Monologues” (thanks John!) one month celebrating eating fabulous, healthy food that does not include any animal/fish/poultry meat. People in my world get ready for me making announcements at every social gathering of what I am and I am NOT having! Accountability is where it’s at for me.
Please continue to read, root and post…. I am gonna need it!