When you hit the bottom, the only direction is…back up. But you need a plan.

So, I’m not the type of person who puts it all out there. I know that sounds ridiculous because I write a blog where I post about my writing life, a few weird and wonderful things that happen to me, and introduce my readers to other authors I love. I tell things about myself that are public knowledge and that don’t really dig deep into my psyche. I don’t write a great deal about my family because they didn’t ask to be used in a forum such as this and I value their privacy.

I do, too.

But…

There comes a time in life when you simply need to get a few things off your chest and admit you have a problem.

I’m putting on my big girl Depends today and doing that.

Bear with me for a little backstory and explanation, first.

The past year hasn’t been one any of us will remember with pleasure. Covid, for lack of a more sophisticated phrase, sucks moose. Big time. Not being able to see friends or family, not being able to hug my daughter, having her postpone her wedding at 3 different times, none of that has been grand. My parents have basically seen no one but each other and me for the better part of 12 months.

Fast forward a bit.

My husband and I adopted a dog in September 2020. I missed not having a dog in the house – but it’s been 21 years since I did. Being the parent of a puppy at the age of 60 is not like it was when I was 28 and we adopted our first lab. I’m older, more tired, and not as strong. Plus, I hate to admit this, my patience is not what it was, either. These past 7 months have been challenging, to the say the least, with her. But we love her to the moon and back, so…

Fast forward again.

A few weeks ago my mother fell at home and broke the one hip she hadn’t broken yet. Three years ago she broke the first. So now she’s 2 for 2. As of last week she is in a rehab center with very strict Covid restrictions. She can have no visitors who are not fully vaccinated, and even then, she can only see someone for 20 minutes twice a week. My stepfather is at their home, bored, lonely, and let’s be honest- not at his mental best at the age of 83. I have been shuttling to and fro ( they live in another state, 25 miles 1 way from me, so 50 miles round trip) several times a week to take care of him, make sure he is okay, and even take him to visit my mother when he is allowed. I am not allowed to visit her yet because I only received my second vaccine dose this past Wednesday. I need to quarantine from her for 14 days, so by the end of the month I can see her in person.

Trying to write has been…trying. There is no other word for it. I am exhausted from caring for the puppy – who has been sick monthly since we got her with various ailments – traveling to my parent’s, taking care of my own house and husband and basically, trying to get a shower in once in a while.

My mental status reads OVERWHELMED on a daily basis. So much so, that today I did something I haven’t done in twenty years just to attempt to comfort myself. More about that in a sec.

It’s accurate to say I have reached a mental and physical low point. I haven’t been able to go to the gym because…Covid and restrictions, so my body is as gelatinous as it has been in decades. If I were able to get it measured, I would venture to state there is not one hard part of my body.

Well, maybe my head. But that’s it.

There aren’t many ways I can comfort myself and try to perk myself up, other than writing, which…read the above! So I’ve been eating.

A lot.

A way lot.

Today, after bringing the dog to the vet for the second time in two days, and after traveling in a wonderful April Nor’Easter to Vermont to bring stepdad to the rehab center, then back home again, I was feeling so low, basements looked as high as sky scrapers to me. So…I went to McDonalds.

Were you expecting that? Maybe not. But here’s the thing: I haven’t eaten fast food like that since my daughter was 9 years old, won the State Spelling Bee and one of her prizes was free Mcdonalds’ for a year.

Things have changed since the last time I was there. First…Covid, so everyone wears masks and gloves. Two, the drive thru is high tech. No more screaming into a speaker that distorts your voice and makes chicken mcnuggets sound like “licking maggots.” Three, you pay in a different place on the drive thru line than where you pick up your food. How they keep it all flowing and get the orders right is a mystery I don’t want to know the answer to. Suffice it to say, my #1 ( Big Mac meal) was perfect when I got it. Last…supersize. That’s a thing now. No wonder our country is so overweight.

I won’t bore you with the details of how my taste buds all stood at attention – happily- the moment I opened the fries bag and got my first whiff of grease and salt. Or tell you how I don’t even think I chewed the burger, just bit and swallowed. Or even how my stomach revolted a half hour after eating. Just know that Nightshade allergies are a real thing. I’m not supposed to eat potatoes in any form. And no, I didn’t forget french fries are really potatoes.

Somethings are better off left unsaid, you know?

What I will tell you is that, for me, this was the rock bottom of the bottom. When I have to get fast food that I know makes me sick to eat in order to comfort myself and try to pull myself out of a funk, I have truly reached the bottom: emotionally, mentally, and physically.

And when you’ve reached the bottom, there really is no place else to go except back up. For me, that only means one thing. I need to get a handle on my eating again and not use food to attempt to comfort myself. The way I have done that in the past, when my emotions have run away with me, is to go back on Weight Watchers, which is what I’ve done.

I re-upped my membership and am determined to get my life off this rollercoaster of bad, non-thinking eating.

Weight Watchers has changed, just like McDonald’s has.

First…Oprah owns it now. That’s cool.

On their points program, fruits are zero points, instead of in the past when every banana, apple, or grape I ate cost me 2 points out of a daily 20.

I get points for exercising now, so yay to that! Once my 14 post-vaccine days are over, I am hitting the gym again.

My self disclosure may not seem like much to you. But for me to admit I have an eating problem at the advanced age of 60 when I should have figured this shit all out by now, is HUGE with a capital HUGE! And doing so in this forum makes me accountable, because people will read it and in the back of their minds remember it. Since I am at my core a people pleaser, I don’t want to fail at this because I don’t want to disappoint people.

And let’s face it : I don’t want to disappoint myself this time, either.

I’m debating whether or not I want to take the dreaded BEFORE picture, though. Everyone (and by that I mean the WW people) says you should, so in the future you can see how far you’ve come, but I don’t know. That will force me to really see what I look like – something I don’t want to do. Okay, let’s be honest: it’s something I’m terrified of seeing!

What’s that old saw? If it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger?

Here’s hoping I don’t drop dead when I see myself in celluloid!

Thanks for listening and not judging…. Peg

6 Comments

Filed under Writing

6 responses to “When you hit the bottom, the only direction is…back up. But you need a plan.

  1. Thank you for putting this out there Peg. I have hit a few bottoms in life that I endured or as liked to say, “powered through” only to find the next bottom was even lower. When I learned to share the pain honestly with people who would sit in it with me with compassion, not trying to fix me or redirect me, I was able to experience it fully, and begin the climb up.

    Sending you compassionate vibes, prayers, and positive chi my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Peggy Jaeger

    Thank you my dancing friend!

    Like

  3. I know your pain. But you got this girl! Sending you strong and determined vibes!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. MJ Schiller

    You are not alone in the COVID weight gain, but I say, whatever got us through this last unprecedented year is forgivable. But it must feel good to be going in the right direction again. It’s funny how we eat bad stuff to make us feel better when it’s really the good stuff that genuinely makes us feel better. Keep going, Peggy. You can do this! I love your candor and sense of humor!

    Like

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