When Life Happens
A couple of weeks ago, I woke up one morning and started my normal routine. I walked to the bathroom and did my business in the dark because it was too early to have lights shining in my face. I then headed to the living room, glancing down and deciding I didn’t care that my t-shirt and pajama pants didn’t match, to say hi to my furry friend and get ready to take him for a walk.
I picked up Mr. B and snuggled him before heading out. It’s been super humid this summer and we had already hit the high nineties with over ninety percent humidity. This means mornings are a muggy mess. We did a short walk making all the necessary stops including sniffing and barking at people so they would take notice of how cute he is.
When we got home, I unclipped the leash and gave him some fresh water and a treat before he sped off to my bedroom. Mr. B knew it was time to get ready for the day and he likes to be part of the process.
As I was brushing my teeth, I looked in the mirror for the first time that morning. Yep, I said it - I went outside and walked my dog in public without so much as a glance in the mirror.
And that’s when it hit me. Who was this person staring back at me? She didn't really look like me. She had major bags under her eyes. She had gained a HUGE amount of weight.
Her acne was out of control and her glasses bore teeth marks from when a certain furball stole them off her face. I didn't recognize the person staring back at me. AT ALL.
Looking at that stranger in the mirror made me sob.
You guys! How many of us have had a day like this? Where we look in the mirror and wonder?
Do we really look like that in person? Do others see us like that? Or did they see what’s in our hearts?
I won't lie - I cried like a mad woman when I had this epiphany. First, I was angry for allowing myself to get this way. Overweight. Mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. For not eating well, for not exercising - or only doing it sporadically. For not loving myself.
You see, it was two years ago that I set myself on a path of health and healing. I had an unplanned hysterectomy. (If you've read my blog previously, you are familiar with my story)
And then the proverbial shit hit the fan. My hormones were gone - POOF! The few I had left then decided to go on strike. My heart began tap dancing and I required medication to counteract the unusual rhythm. I started to take anti-anxiety medicine. I started fighting for my life again.
Prior to my hysterectomy, I worked out and ate well. My body was more forgiving. Then it all changed and I forgot how to take care of my basic needs.
Babies made me cry.
Happy couples made me cry.
My hormones were so out of control that EVERYTHING saddened me.
And all that medicine - it made me tired.
Oh. So. Tired.
I spent all my energy trying to get mentally well, that I forgot to get physically well too.
But during this time I also learned many valuable lessons. No one would ever treat me better (or worse) than myself. I needed to stop giving others the power to control my happiness. I couldn’t let the naysayers rule my world any longer. I'm stronger than I believed. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally.
And then Mr. B came along. I truly believe he saved my life. He's taught me what love is. He snuggles with me all day while I'm working because my lap is the best place for a nap. He’s excited to see me every time I walk through the door. Whether it's a short trip or a long trip, he wags his booty and gives me love. He loves me, and I love him.
Recently, I went to an event. Each morning I woke up and readied myself. Hair done - check.
Makeup done - check. Cute outfit - check. Then I headed downstairs to put my best self forward. But again, I began to focus on how I looked, how I felt. Fat. Ugly. Emotionally dead. I hated everything about the photos that were taken. I wondered why people wouldn't talk to me. Whether I really looked that awful to people who saw me.
Then a few things happened: Someone commented that I looked happy in those photos.
Someone inspired me to be better. Someone shared with me that exercise helps them to combat anxiety. Someone told me "you can do it." Someone gave me a hug and told me they missed me. Someone said, "I'm here if you want to talk."
No one told me I was fat, or lazy, or ugly, or miserable. Only I told myself that.
And I'm trying to really work on my self love, self talk and self actualization. My overall authenticity. My determination. My exercise. My eating habits.
I love Mr. B with all that I have. He doesn't judge me; just loves me unconditionally. So why can't I do the same and love myself?
Do you struggle with these things? It's okay if you do. It’s okay to have these seasons in life (just ask Rachel Hollis). It's NOT okay to get stuck there. Learn to live through these seasons and don't let them takeover. Go for a walk. Eat better. Drink your water. Tell yourself 'I LOVE YOU' and mean it. Create art. Spend time with friends and/or family. Learn to accept and love YOURSELF.
This is my mantra and I say it every morning without fail.
I am a good person. I
have a good heart.
I love my friends and family.
I have a good job.
I can do this.
So friends, take a minute.
And if you fail.
Try again tomorrow.