This is not meant to be a sad post at all. Not my intention.
Today would have been my mom’s 53rd birthday. She passed away a little under 3 years ago from complications of a very speedy progression of young-onset Parkinson’s Disease. I’ve had a hard time trying to grapple with the emotions revolving not only around her death, but also how the disease changed her- both physically and mentally. In reality, I lost my mom years before she physically passed (but that is an ENTIRELY different story and not the point.)
Why I am I talking about this on here (and how is it NOT supposed to be sad?!?!)?
I’m sure that none of us have had perfect families and perfect lives. I am also sure that it is completely in our power to figure out how we deal with the ups and downs. Are we strong enough to move forward no matter how many bumps we face? How do we cherish the peaks and weather the valleys?
I know personally I’ve weathered the valleys by eating. Dulling the pain with a big order of cheese fries (with extra ranch, duh) was so much easier than trying to grapple with my emotions. Alienating loved ones (poor hubs) was also a way to shut down from whatever I was feeling. I became unhealthy mentally and physically whenever a valley was encountered.
- When my mom started getting noticeably sick: I ate. Gained weight. Depression.
- When my mom asked for a divorce and moved away when I was in college: I ate. Gained weight. Depression.
- When my mom was too sick to live by herself: I ate. Gained weight. Depression.
The only reason I didn’t gain weight when she died was because my wedding was approaching in 6 months and I had to fit in my dress. After the wedding, I ate. Gained weight.
You can fill in the blanks of my mom-issues with your own: lost job, boyfriend break up, losing a friend, etc. I guess the point of my rambling story is that when we hit these valleys, we must RECOGNIZE our past patterns and use them to propel ourselves through the pain. Consume ourselves with something OTHER than destructive behavior. REALIZE that we are much, much stronger than we think we are at the time, and that coping in a destructive manner doesn’t help ANYONE, much less you.
Today, I CHOOSE to focus on happy times with my mom and on happy things going on in my life right now. I will NOT break down and eat away the pain.
How do you weather the valleys?