It still astounds me how one thing can effect everything. There's a scene in the Disney movie Pocahontas (bear with me here - I watch a lot of Disney movies) with the Grandmother Willow Tree. She's explaining to John Smith and Pocahontas how their actions can have a far reaching effect. She does so by touching one of her vines gently to the water. She tells them to watch the ripples. They start out so small... but eventually touch every part of the lake. One thing can effect everything.
It's been a little over 3 months since my Dad passed away. It already seems like a lifetime. And it has touched every part of my life. In the 60's, my Dad was a professional baseball player. He played in the San Diego Padres farm organization. My son worshipped his Pop for many reasons, not the smallest of which was the fact that his grandfather played pro ball. 2 days after Dad died, we took my son to his baseball game. As soon as we came over he rise and set eyes on the field, I burst into tears. My Dad had never been able to see his very talented grandson play in person. I will never watch one of Connor's games the same way again.
A week after he died, I tried to do something "normal". I went to one of my favorite classes at my gym, a 75 minute killer class. Thinking I could just loose myself in the sweat and difficulty and forget for just a few minutes. Instead, I wound up fighting to hold it together half way through the class. It was almost 2 months before I went back.
I'll hear a song on the radio and tear up. Look at a particularly beautiful sunset. Walk past the place where my husband asked Dad for permission to marry me. Find an old voicemail, wishing me a happy birthday. Realize that I will never have another birthday with a Daddy. The opportunities to rip open the wound again are many, and usually quite unexpected. I'm told all of that is a "normal" part of the grieving process. Like that makes it suck any less spectacularly.
But these ripples touch even more places. Almost 2 years ago now, I completed a life-changing weight loss journey. I lost almost 80 pounds, going from 215 pounds to 138. And I kept it off, continuing to fluctuate around the 140 mark, and I was thrilled with the me I had become. Dad died October 23rd, 2014. Enter grief, the holidays, grief, some traveling, and a little more grief. I have always been an emotional eater. Happy, sad, frustrated, tired, bored, excited - all reasons to eat. I thought I tackled and defeated that monster during the loss of all that weight. I was very wrong. I got on the scale this morning and weighed 160 pounds. Twenty pounds in just over 3 months. Ripples.
I could chalk it up to the crap. I lost 3 significant members of my family in 2014. That alone would drive anyone to find comfort. Some would say it's great that it didn't drive me to drink. For me... food is my drug of choice. So the fact that I didn't drown my grief in a bottle is no consolation. But it's not just that. We decided to move 300 miles away, to where we know next to no one. We're selling our house. We're moving my kids to where they have no friends (yet). We're spending a buttload of money to get our house ready for someone else to fall in love with. We don't have a house to move into, yet. My husband doesn't even have a job where we're going. He will before we move, or we won't move out of our area, but still. All major stressors. All "reasons" for that 20 pounds. But none of that makes me feel any better, or any less fearful that I'm on a slippery slope back to 215 pounds. My BFF told me that she wasn't worried. That she knew this was just temporary... a coping mechanism. And that when I was ready, I'd drop it without a problem, because that's how strong she knows I am. Today, looking at 160 pounds on that scale, I don't feel that strong. I feel... weak. A little defeated. Lost.
All I can hope, today, is that I can make it through today, faking being strong, so that I can wake up tomorrow and be a little closer to actually being strong. You know... "Fake it 'till you make it!" Right?