From the Bridge to the Abyss to the Serenity Prayer - its a journey not a race


If Saturday was the peak ~ Sunday was the valley. 

I think I fell off that beautiful bridge and careened right down the dark, scary ravine!  I hate to write about the bummed out, down in the dumps days because they smack of self pity and depression and hopelessness.  But to be fair, I have to write about it because it is a real part of weight loss and I want to be honest and real.

Sooo here goes.  Saturday was awesome!  We hiked and we rested and then we planned an excursion to the Memphis Arts Festival and dinner at a great oyster bar.  However, something twisted around on Saturday night that had me in funk for a couple of days. 

I think it started when I was trying to find something to wear to the Art Festival that looked nice but was still easy to walk in.  I ended up feeling fat and frumpy.  It was a tough realization that even though we had just put in several miles in the morning I was not miraculously skinny by Saturday night.  Here in lies the rub, as they say. 

I work and I work and by golly I work and I see results, sure, but often they don't come fast enough and big enough to keep me motivated. This is where I come into great danger. When I sail high I take a huge risk that I am gonna come crashing down. When I forget the reality of time in the equation of weight loss. Oh woe is me!!!!

Saturday night was a huge disappointment. I killed the fun vibe. Smacked it like a fly on the cabinet.   It is hard to explain or even understand, but even as we are going out to enjoy some local culture and have a nice dinner, I am overcome with sadness and loneliness which was totally unexpected.  This mood carried over into Sunday when our upstairs neighbors launched a successful campaign to make me as miserable as possible.  They stomp around upstairs like they are the only people that live in the complex.  Their three year old son alternates between gymnastics and track as he bounces around and then runs from one end of the apartment to the other.  This went on for hours.  It was a beautiful day and I wanted to scream "why don't you take him to the park??"

The incessant racket only drove me further into despair making me feel I had no control over my environment and that I was trapped in the apartment and this life where I am overweight and struggling.  It was a real emotional turn around and a return back down the negative path.  I felt so sad and so homesick and soooo emotionally drained. 

I tried to remember my own precious three-year-olds and the joy of watching them play but I just couldn't get into the spirit of generosity.  I was just too angry and disgusted with them. Then angry and disgusted with myself for being so upset about it.  I felt so petty! Why couldn't I just friggin let it go. 

I don't have any answers.  Shocking I know. All I know is that some days are like this. I really believe all people trying to create great change in their lives suffer from these moments of despair.  So what do you do when you fall into the abyss?

The only thing I know to do is something a close family relative learned in AA and shared with me, Do the Next Right Thing.  Yep, is it that simple.  My weight watchers leader once explained it this way;  If you are driving somewhere and get lost what do you do?  Do you despair and say oh no I'm lost but keep going the wrong direction?  Duh. No way.  You turn around (the next right thing) and at least start heading back to the departure point when you last knew where you were. 

So Monday, even though the tentacles of sadness were still clinging to my legs and trying to hold me down, I mustered up all my courage and determination and headed to yoga.  After class I was telling my instructor how much I enjoyed the day's lesson and we began to dialogue.  I ended up sharing with her about our move to Memphis and how much yoga was helping me.  She was sooooo supportive and kind and reminded me how hard this must be for me to give up EVERYTHING and follow my man here to fulfill his dream. 

She acknowledged how I probably had a different plan for my life and what I would like to be doing right now and the direction I would like to be going.  She hit the nail on the head time and time again.  She even understood why I haven't seriously pursued a job yet.  She validated that my stress in trying to support my husband and adjust to this new life was probably enough and that I should be cautious about the stress building up inflammation in my body which leads to disease.  I was so grateful for her validation, understanding and insight.  Generating energy to follow our own dreams is difficult at times.  Generating enough strength courage and determination to sacrifice all for someone else's dream - well it can be done but it can and is at times  - draining. 

Not to be unkind to my dear husband.  He is the man that married a woman with two children and supported us all for all these years, sacrificing his desires to provide for us. He could have been selfish and done this totally different.  I do not fault him. For the most part we made this decision together.  Although I knew if I didn't support him I would probably lose him.  I never asked him to choose between his dream and our marriage.  I just couldn't do that.  

This is life.  I came here willingly to support my husband.  I want him to succeed and I want him to be happy.  There is a lot of fear tied up in this mixed bag though.  What if he finishes school and dies of a heart attack, takes a mistress, finds out he still can't be a happy person?  What if I get cancer, never find a good job, never get out of student loan debt?  I have put a lot of faith in him that he will honor me as we move forward but I know I can't control the outcome of this huge risk.  I have to accept that.  I also cannot control my stupid, thoughtless neighbors (although I did find the rap channel on cable and feel that might be a good defensive device - boom, boom, boom, boom...hahaha).

But...I can control me.  I can leave the apartment if the neighbors get too rowdy.  I can take myself off to the park if they won't take their child.  I must accept the fact that I didn't get to this weight in a day and I won't get out of this weight in a day.  If the scale stops moving, I must increase my efforts.  I can rebel and throw the scale in the trash and give up or I can muster up the courage to push ahead. 

Gonna take it back to the serenity prayer.  (By the way, I wouldn't have so much knowledge of this prayer had a loved one not gone through some serious hard times.  In that abyss we learned how to live life (even the scary, treacherous life) more abundant by letting go of the things we could not change.  It was the worst time in my life but look at what I have learned from it! So many tools I never had!) I am going to trust that no matter what happens from this experience I am going to learn and grow. So I close for now with this;

grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

That's all ~Thanks y'all

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