Her smile was bright and beautiful with white teeth showing off her tan. Her eyes twinkled with a bit of mischief and happiness. The white shirt accentuated her golden brown skin from a week in the sun. Her arms were shapely as she had been lifting weights a lot, you could see her clavicle, she was much lighter there than other years. She looked outright happy.
Could that be me? It was. The picture jumped off the “share a memory” page on Facebook. I almost didn’t recognize that happy woman. I haven’t felt that in quite a while. I thought about that time, only 2 short years ago. I was happy in my work, and my life. We had just celebrated my niece’s marriage with a beautiful wedding. I had lost weight for that and felt great in the gown I had worn. I was in a friendship that I thought might turn into something more. He said all the right things, and we had such a unique connection and chemistry. We had great fun and could go deep on life. Something I had never really felt before. My family was well and happy.
I couldn’t put a current picture next to this one. I knew it would make me cringe or cry. In the 7 weeks since my mom died, I have gained almost 10 pounds. I haven’t worked out in months. I don’t feel like doing anything but sit home and eat anything that was sweet or salty. I know, don’t have it in the house. That isn’t working right now; instead I go shopping and buy vegies, fruit and Fritos! Yep Fritos were in the house. That bag was gone in 2 days.
The relationship is barely a friendship today, we rarely talk anymore, something that we both couldn’t get through a day before without doing. Now we go weeks. I’m sad for that and feel that void. I’m sad for losing my mom. Probably more than sad, I’m devastated and don’t know how to move forward. I’m sad for all the voids in my life. And when I’m feeling voids I feed them, either through food or shopping. I haven’t shopped in quite a while, so food has taken over. I am explaining it away through the losses I am suffering, knowing full well it will only contribute to the sadness and anger I can harbor against myself. I know I need to stop and I know I need to not harbor this against myself or anyone else.
One of the greatest lessons of my life has always centered on self-love. Through this time I am trying to focus on not judging myself. Judgement will only cause me to spiral more, I know that. So I looked back at the picture and reminded myself to be gentle with this woman looking back at me. I know that I can get back to that happy person. I reminded myself (actually had to repeat this several times) that I deserve to be taken care of and deserve to be happy. My heart was open then, it isn’t today. I know why. I have been hurt again, I am afraid of being hurt. I know I need to open my heart again in order to fully love me and fully love another.
I don’t like how I feel today. I don’t like how I am reacting to events in my life today. I don’t like being closed. I am worthy of more, and know I need to now take control. Stop feeding the void through food and feed it through beautiful thoughts, exercise, nature and help. I don’t think I can get through this chasm that I feel I am in all alone.
Seeing that picture made me realize how far I have drifted away from my best me and how much I want to get her back. So beginning today, I will stop feeding the void and stop obsessing over lost relationships. If they are lost, they are supposed to be lost. It is time to put me, my health and happiness first.
Thank you Facebook for sending me that memory today. I needed to reframe how I was feeling and realize that this is a crossroads for me not a dead end. Move in the direction of self-love Suzy, you will meet that woman with the twinkle in her eye and the happiness written all over her face.