Sunday, May 6, 2012

Naps, Saturdays, and the Damned Scale

This was a strange day. Last night I slept fitfully, but today, I could not stay out of bed. I felt as though I must be coming down with something, but I have no other symptoms - just fatigue. The sleep felt so good! The day wasn't a total wash, though. I managed (between naps) to mow the lawn, run the trimmer, and pull some weeds. I had a nice shower after that, but I found myself in need of a nap before my hair was dry. After that nap, I took the dogs for a walk. We enjoyed ourselves in the late afternoon breeze. Bodhi attracted the affection of a neighbor, and Lily got a good sniff of all the neighborhood peeing spots. :-) guessed it - another nap. I think I had 3 or 4 naps today. Every one of them felt so good...

It's nice to have days in which I can do that sort of resting when I need it, particularly when I've had a hectic week at work or have had memories playing in my head at night.

Sometimes the memories are about the things I went through with Stephanie, and sometimes they are about my exes.

Mostly I have been able to forgive myself (and others) for things that went wrong with Stephanie. I know that we did the best we could given the situation we had, but her death has affected us all. I don't spend nearly as much time in depression as I used to, and the 3rd of each month typically comes and goes without flattening me. It's a good sign. But I am afraid of forgetting. Does that sound crazy? I became so accustomed to being hollowed out by grief that I'm not comfortable with being at peace with everything. It's only been three years. I've met other parents who are much farther into their grief and still have the same problems I was having in year one. I guess I expected that to be the case with me, too, but there is one major difference - those parents are still in their marriage. I know myself well enough to say that if Paul and I were still together, I would be leaning on him a lot, and I probably would not be as far along in my healing process.

Because I'm alone - and I live alone - and work, I have had to push through so many days in which I wish I could just have pulled the covers over my head. I have had to get up, feed the dogs, feed myself, work, walk the dogs...all the things that you have to do to live a life. I have had to find the strength in me to want to live again. There has been no one for me to lean on, and all I'm saying is that maybe that was the right thing for me. I don't know the big picture, and I certainly am not here to judge the way anyone else grieves. Stephanie's birthday and the anniversary of her death will probably always rock my foundation, but I have had to learn to live through it.

One of the superficial affects of everything that has happened since April 3, 2009 is that I've gained weight. All but 25 lbs of what I lost in 2006-7 is back on. Some of that is due to medication (which saved my life) and some is due to that fact I had to increase the salt in my diet due to another medical condition (the hits just keep on coming).

My doctor would like for me to try another diet, and that has left me feeling awfully discouraged. I tried going back on Medifast a couple of months ago, but I was feeling nauseated all the time. So I switched to Weight Watchers. I stayed faithful to the plan and only lost a half pound in three weeks. I was drinking diet sodas during that period (no more than one a day), and the aspartame caused stomach pain so severe that I ended up at the ER. I just gave up after that.

But my doctor wants me to lose this weight, through Medifast or another program called Ideal Protein. Maybe if I have one salt tablet a day, I won't have the nausea? I would like to lose this weight, because someday I might be interested in a relationship again. And I certainly don't want to get any obesity-related illnesses like diabetes. But all of this just makes me so sad. Why can't I be okay just like I am? Why do I always have to fight so hard to be thin, when my body fights me right back? I can't be perfect. My son has gained weight since his sister died, too. He tried a few diets, but I think food is his comfort. Sometimes it is my comfort, too, and then other days I have no appetite at all. Sometimes I just want to give up and tell the doctors to go screw themselves. I'm tired of being told I'm overweight. I'm tired of diets. I'm tired of the affects of diets. But I may give it one more try. I kept the weight off for so long....but struggling through the grief meant that my appearance was the last thing I cared about. Some part of me, too, thinks that I should set a good example for my son, but I can't make him want to lose weight. I love him so much, no matter what size he is, and I never want him to feel like he's not good enough just like he is.

A friend of mine has had the opposite problem since her son died. She can't stop losing weight, even though she eats. She has been tested for every possible illness, but the only thing they found was a thyroid issue. That's being treated, but her weight hasn't changed. It's come to the point at which people are whispering when she goes to family gatherings. She's as hurt by her weight loss as I am by my weight gain. Both of us have suffered plenty, and we don't need to have our weight be an issue.

I guess I wonder, does this kind of grief change us so completely that we never fully recover? Does it make sense for us to have these concerns of appearance and a number on the scale, when we lost one of the most important people in our lives?

And really, is it worth putting my body through another diet? Maybe I don't need another relationship. Maybe I'm okay just like I am -- me, the cat, the dogs. I kind of like having the freedom to have a day of naps without it being an issue for someone else, but I might eat better if I had someone to share meals with. I'm certainly still young enough to have a whole 'nother life, but how much am I willing to sacrifice to fit society's (or my doctor's) expectations?

Peace, D


Brian said...

Thanks for this post, Doris. I am at a point as of late where I have trouble sleeping, so I am up at 2:30 in the morning and have to be at work in a few hours for my fifth 12 hour day in a row. And here I am, catching up on blogs and old friends.

My diabetes is under control for the first time in many years. A low sugar feeling is what woke me up, driving me to the fridge for something . . . anything! . . . to bring it up. Better now.

As for the diets and relationships, I guess I can't really offer much. My wife has been by my side through so many ups and downs, in life, in weight/health issues, and refuses to leave me, something any sane woman would have done years ago. I guess I can offer you the hope that there is someone out there for you, who will accept you just as you are and never judge you or expect anything from you other than what you are capable of giving.

And I don't know if you ever fully recover from such loss. That lack is there always, right there when you least expect it to be. It's like an ever-present splinter, always throbbing, sometimes festering. We forget about it, and then remember it almost willy-nilly. Does that make sense?

Peace to you, my friend. Get through this day and face the next when it comes . . .

the walking man said...

You know Doris, though I never graduated college I was majoring in napping. There is true art to constructive napping. There is power Napping, lazy napping, napping just because it seems the most reasonable use of time and my personal favorite...napping to get away from the insanity of life.

Napping is conducive to better cognitive thinking and relief of mid day doldrums.

Daryl Edelstein said...

I always think WW is the answer to losing weight and not going hungry so then no cheating .. but the one thing that has stuck with me after 20+ years is no diet soda is good for you .. WW stresses water in place of soft drinks .. in fact since I did WW all those years ago I have not had a canned or bottle soft drink either diet or regular .. maybe try WW again but not the new version .. Google the original weight the food WW diet .. the one without points .. the one that is just eating what you should in the amount/weight indicated .. it works

Syd said...

If the weight is a health issue, then that is important. If it is just for the sake of appearance and to be thin, then that is a different thing altogether. I think that it comes down to the amount of calories taken in and the amount of calories burned by exercise. I am one who stays on the lean side. And a lot of that is genetics.