We, as people, don’t often like to talk about super personal things. Or when we do, we try to make it as impersonal as we can, because some things are just hard or awkward to talk about, and to listen to.
I’m going to tell you guys about the “hard truths” that the beginning of 2013 brought me, and I can’t promise it’ll be a comfortable read, because I know it’s not going to be comfortable to write.
I mentioned before that I quit smoking last year, and I think that’s actually where we need to start. That was kind of the start of my wanting to be healthier. This is not to say that it was the first time I’d ever tried to lose weight or something. Dear gods, I’ve been trying all my life. I can’t remember I time when I wasn’t being told that boys wouldn’t like me if I didn’t lose weight, by someone or other.
But even last summer, I was doing a lot of thinking about changes I’d like to make, but not doing a lot of DOING anything. (although, I do think that I learned a lot about loving myself in that time)
And that’s pretty much where I was at the end of January this year when my mom died. I always want to stop people, and I can almost hear the “I’m so sorry.” reflex from some of you. *Smile* I’m sorry too, but that’s not why I’m telling this.
I feel like I should explain, or at least mention that I was not close to my mom, and that there was a good deal of unresolved baggage between us, but that’s not what this is about either.
See, without going into details I don’t want to type, and I promise you, you don’t want to hear, I believe that my mom inadvertently brought about her own death, through a lack of care for both herself and the people who loved her. And frankly, for several weeks after her memorial, I was pissed off about it. I mean, ragey every time I thought about it. I was like, “Ok, fine, if you can’t give a shit about yourself, lady, but what about the people who love you?!” because my brother was devastated and I felt so damn helpless to do anything for him, and then I discovered that, even after all that we had between us, mom and I, I was kinda devastated too.
Anyway, I went on in this vein for, like I said, several weeks, and in the middle of one of my internal rants about how she should have at least given a damn about her family, a little voice in my head said, “Oh really? How ’bout the phrase, ‘Healer, heal thyself?’ ” (it was actually much much more mean, I’m toning it down. *smile*)
And it was an epiphany.
I thought of what kinds of things my husband would have to go through if I died of some obesity related issue. I thought about what kind of inconveniences I would put on both him and our kiddo if I lost mobility because I got too fat, or if my joints gave out on me. And I thought about how goddamned mad I was at my mom, and I did not want my kiddo or my husband, or my brothers to be left feeling that kind of mad because I didn’t care enough about THEM, let alone about myself to treat my body well, to strive for health.
And now I’m writing this because I need to be able to remember this when I get complacent like I have been. This isn’t about being thin, this isn’t about looking great, this is about staying alive so I can love the people I love,and *live* the kind of life I want and so that none of them ever have to say, “Goddamn it, Tracie, why couldn’t you have just taken care of yourself?!”