Tuesday, May 12, 2020

How Did I Get Here

Where do I start?

How do I tell you who I am?

My name is Pam.  I am a married mother of 2 boys.  I live in New Jersey.

Boring, right?

I would love to tell you about my life and I will... but I think it is more important to tell you how I got to this point.  The major things that have shaped me as a person.  The reason I am at my lowest point as I write this.

About 9-10 years ago, I lost 90 pounds as I wrote on this blog.  Fast forward to today... I have gained it all back.  There are so many things that helped contribute to my weight gain but ultimately it was my fault.

I can pretty much remember the exact moment everything changed.  I had just finished a 5k race and afterward, I received a phone call telling me that I was laid off from the job I had for 15 years.  It was devastating.  The weight gain started from that moment.  I had a hard time trying to care for myself because I was feeling such a great loss.  It took months to get over it.  Losing my job definitely made me feel worthless.   And that worthlessness has followed me through the years.

I had a hard time finding a new job so I got the only job I could get working in a daycare center.  It was the most stressful 2 years of my life.  I worked with one year olds (about 18 of them in one room with 4 other adults).  It was my worst nightmare.  I loved working with children, but that experience just made me want to run the other way.  It was too much.  The weight gain continued.

I was lucky though.  At that job, I met a woman that would end up being of my greatest friends.  She was the mother of twins that I cared for at the daycare.  When I reached my limit at that job, she helped me find a job at the place she worked.  Then after 2 years, she helped me get an even better job within the company.  She ended up becoming my boss and I was so happy that there was someone looking out for me... a true friend.  She even got me into golf and it has become one of my favorite things to do.  She had so much infuence in my life in the 7 years I knew her.  She was everything I needed in a friend.

She found out in October that she had cancer and her sickness progressed rapidly.  Unfortunately, on 12/17/19,  she passed away at the young age of 37.  Being with her as she was dying will always be one of the hardest things I ever had to do.  As I sit here writing this, I still feel this loss as if it happened yesterday.  Tears are flooding my cheeks.  Why was I given such a wonderful gift to have it ripped away from me?

It has been almost 5 months since her death.  I think about her everyday and I wish she was still here.  I was blessed to have her in my life.

During that hard time, I started to have really bad anxiety attacks.  They were so bad that one time I ended up at the hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack.    I never want to feel that way again.  I decided to go to therapy to try to figure out what was happening to me and learn some ways to cope with my anxiety.  It helped.  I went for a few months but ended up stopping at the beginning of this year.  I definitely see more therapy in my future.  I also started taking medication for the anxiety.  Lexapro.  I am not by any means cured, but it has helped to bring my anxiety down a notch.

Now, we are going through this pandemic.  I work my full time job from home while taking care of my kids.  I miss going to the office so much.  I leave the house once a week to go grocery shopping.  The world is a scary place right now.  I think that is where the last 20 pound weight gain came from.  I'm not used to this world.  I would love nothing more than to hug my mom right now or to have a laugh at work with my coworkers or go out anywhere without having to wear a mask.  I have been taking comfort through food.  I let myself have pity parties where I would lie down on the couch stuffing my face as I watched tv telling myself it was ok to do this.  It's not ok.

No more!

I want to do this for me.  I want to be proud of myself again.  I want to feel success and I want to live a longer life.  I want to be healthy.  I want to lose this weight.

More importantly, I want to do this for the friend I lost.  The one who was always there for me when I was down.  The one who always tried to boost my confidence.  The one I laughed so hard with that my stomach would hurt.  The one who tried to get me to exercise more and always gave me advice about healthy eating.  She tried.  I wasn't willing.  Now I am.  Maybe a little late... but I'm ready.

This is for you NH.

Day one is on Thursday (5/14).

Until next time,

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