Friday, February 24, 2012
It's All About ME . . . Or At Least It Should Be
I didn't sleep, but stayed in bed all day. I didn't eat. I cried for no reason. Depression, you say? Yeah, just a bit.
It had been coming on for quite some time, but I'd somehow managed to hide it until our family dynamics changed and I found myself not only taking care of an almost-eighteen-year-old son with autism (with severe behaviors) and a 75-year-old mother-in-law (with advanced dementia). I could handle my son . . . barely, but to add another responsibility was just too much.
And in a desperate attempt to gain some control of my situation, I folded in on myself. NOT GOOD.
So here I was, having my own kind of pity party, not letting friends in, family pushed away, wallowing in the muck, when I began to reflect on my life. Okay, maybe the fact that I'm about to turn 50 had something to do with that too, but the point is, I discovered something. After 26 years of marriage, helping my husband run a restaurant for most of that, taking care of two boys with disabilities, losing one at 23 to a heart defect, and spending every moment taking care of everyone else . . .
I forgot to take care of ME. I forgot to LOVE me. And I never put me FIRST in anything.
How could I possibly care for others when I'd been neglected? How could I show love for those around me when I didn't even love myself? And most of all, how was I going to put myself first, when I'd always been second or third or tenth?
The answer isn't easy and it certainly won't come all at once, but today I took the first step. I went to a doctor who specializes in Bariatrics (weight loss). They drew blood to check all the important stuff like cholesterol, blood sugar, thyroid, etc. They did an EKG to check my heart. You name it, I was checked out from head to toe.
And then they got to the stuff that was a little hard to stomach. *gulp* I stepped on the scales. (Not revealing that number. Nope. No way) Then they figured my BMI (body mass index). EMBARRASSING. Took all my measurements. ICK! And I sat through a 45 minute presentation on how I can become a healthier ME. Pure torture, because I found out what I'd been doing wrong all these years and why I'm so unhealthy.
There's a whole list of things I need to work on, some physical, others spiritual and very personal, but taking this first step, to be healthy, has made me smile. And I haven't done that for a long while.
My favorite quote from today's presentation?
"Nothing will change . . . unless there is change." (think about it)
How are you treating yourself these days? Anything you can do to show yourself a little LOVE?