Into the Light

October 30, 2011

 

 

I think I’ve been depressed for a long time.

Not the “can’t get out of bed, won’t do anything” kind of depression, just unmotivated and unhappy.

I felt like I was under a black cloud.  And the rays of hope could never quite get to me.  I was unhappy with my body, my lack of motivation, my energy, my job, my surroundings–but yet no matter what efforts I attempted to make to resolve my issues, nothing ever worked.

Life felt pretty hopeless.

But I never quit looking for the answer to my weight issues.  I read book after book.  I saw doctors of all specialties.  I tried and I tried and I failed and I failed.

I knew there was a solution out there.  I just had to find it.

But 15 years of failure take their toll on you.  My once happy-go-lucky demeanor was gone.  I looked in the mirror every day and as time when on, that person looking back at me became a stranger.

Trapped in some kind of maze, l knew I was in there somewhere.  But as the failures continued, every way out seemed further out of reach and just another dead end.  I didn’t want to go out anymore. I really didn’t want to see anyone or do anything.  I felt ashamed of how I looked and the lackluster person I had become.

My parents saw my sadness as did my husband and my close friends.  Oh, I covered it up as much as I could.  But I lost my spark, my humor.  I assured them all I was ok.  But inside I knew I was desperate.  I knew I needed a drastic change and I had to find the wherewithal to stick with it.

I prayed for help, for guidance, for strength and courage.  I prayed for a cure to my weight battle, one that would keep me slim the rest of my life.

The answers didn’t come quickly.

The thing that really woke me up was the economic crash and my subsequent losses at my job.  Then I was not only fearful, I was angry.  The anger went on for months and months.  My losses at work were not my fault, they were my bosses fault, in my eyes. I was bitter and pissed off at the world.  I literally held my arms outstretched and screamed…”What more God, what more can I endure?”   It was unfair.  Everything that had happened in the last decade seemed so misconstrued and I became a victim of my own self-pity.

I had to make some changes.  I set some goals.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and engaged in the world.  I took some classes.  I networked,  I stretched my mind.  And then, I found my voice again in writing.  With that I found passion and hope.

The days felt a little brighter, my mood lifted.  But my weight went no where. Although I was feeling better about myself, I was still uncomfortable in my own skin.

Then, the last straw to my fortitude…my Dad became terminally ill.

My life, whether I wanted it to or not, was going to change forever.  And I had no control over it.

I could either choose to face it head on, or wallow in self-pity.

I wallowed for a while.

But as I watched my Dad face his mortality, I learned something.

He faced his death with dignity and courage and laughter.  He was kind and giving and honest.  He was more forthcoming with his own feelings and shared more with me while he was sick than he had throughout my whole life.  We had lots of talks in those 6 months. And I, maybe for the first time, really listened.

Funny, my Dad was always kind of a lecturer. And as a teenager I sort of tuned him out.  But he didn’t lecture anymore. He talked honestly about his successes and failures.  About the chances he never too, about regrets and choices.

My Dad has always been very supportive and I always knew he was there if I needed him.  But I don’t know if I ever really knew him until he was dying.

And it took losing him to find myself.

It was like a fire was lit under me.  I started taking chances. I started reaching toward the light again and the clouds were finally starting to break.

I decided to go on a very controversial diet, HCG.   I didn’t listen to the nay-sayers, I believed it would work. I started feeding my body what it needed.  Clean food, no chemicals, no sugars. I stayed consistent.  I began to exercise, again, consistenly being the operative word.

My Dad was routing for me. I had to make him proud.  I promised him that I would deal with my weight issues and not stop till I had succeeded.  I promised him that when I met that goal, I would strive for another –a career that fed my soul.

Every weekend he’d see me, tell me how good I looked, how proud he was of me that I finally found the answer.  He’d say, “make sure the rest of the family gets in shape too, your sister, your nephew…teach them what you’ve learned.”

I’m hoping they will follow my lead.

Now 55 lbs lighter, the sun is shining upon me again.  I’ve emerged from the maze of darkness. I’ve traded in my bitterness and self-pity for kindness and motivation.  I feel alive and strong again.

Maybe my Dad’s spirt is with me, his strength of character and joyous nature seemed to merge with mine.

I almost feel happy…proud.  I look in the mirror and see myself again.

But I’m not suposed to feel happy, right?

I lost my Dad after all.

I feel a little guilty sometimes, like I should be mourning more.  And believe me, I am.  I look at his photo every day I think about what he would want for me. How he would encourage me and be happy for the little victories in my life.  And then I realize that I am honoring him by reaching these goals, and finding my laughter again. He didn’t want me to dwell on the pain.  He wanted me to be happy.

I feel strong now, confident.  I know I can do this.  I will be at my goal weight by spring. I’ll have completed several classes that will bring me closer to the kind of work I desire.

Then, I’m geting a makeover and a new job.

I will be renewd. I’ll have a second chance to do it right this time.

This next part of my life will be bright; and this time, the light will shine srongly upon me.

Only through the depths of darkness can we find ourselves and come into the light.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Comments

One Response to “Into the Light”
  1. wow!awesome post, chris!!! what an inspiring story…….
    thank you for writing it!

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