It’s taken me a year to build up the courage to share this… Fear has held me back. But I recently celebrated another birthday and what the hell! Yolo, right lol?! IT’S TIME TO BE BRAVE! My hope is that sharing my story will help just one person. If one person can heal or grow stronger it will make all of this worth it.
Although another year has past, I don’t feel any older but I have learned so much this past year. Not only about life but about myself and just how strong I am. Saturday I celebrated my birthday with my love and it was an amazing day. But when I think back over this past year it is with a heavy heart.
Last year around this time I was going through one of the hardest years I’ve had in a long time. After returning from WhatIf I blogged about my attack and that I had come to the realization that it was time to get some counseling to address what I had experienced and so my healing process began.
I began seeing a counselor about the attack and the things I knew I had been feeling deep down for a long time. I discovered I wasn’t truly loving myself or giving myself the respect I deserved. In fact some of the reasons I didn’t want to go to counseling in the first place had to do with me trying to put others first. I felt like this happened so long ago that I shouldn’t be wasting the time of the counselor or other people who might be needing help more. I wasn’t taking care of me, I was only seeing that someone else wasn’t getting what they needed. I think part of that is just in my nature, wanting to help and care for others. But in the end it was crucial for me to do me. I was being walked over and allowing people to cross boundaries with me and every time I felt unsafe or insecure I used food as a way to cope. Being told I had been treating myself like a garbage disposal with little to no regard to what I was putting into my body and that I allowed others to take advantage my whole life, well…these words were a hard pill to swallow, but it was true and painfully so.
Below is a little something I had written about my thoughts on food during this time, I call it Spaghetti Truths…
This post is about the scariest and most honest thing I’ve ever written… Their are many spaghetti truths in my life.
Truth # 1. My mom makes the best spaghetti in the world. Honest
Truth # 2. I can never recreate moms spaghetti even if I use the exact same ingredients, I mean for gods sakes it’s Ragu. All I can figure is the secret ingredients is love.
And Finally Truth # 3. It can be my worst enemy
How you may be asking?! It is just one of the many foods that overwhelms me. I wish I could say I have a healthy relationship with food, but I don’t. I wish I could say that I’ve never grabbed a big bowl of spaghetti and popped a good tablespoon or two of butter on top. Let’s face it, after a minute or two in the microwave the butter melts into creamy goodness.
It’s just one of the many foods that I struggle with. For the most part I eat rather healthy but my demons lie in over eating. Eating when I’m bored, emotional, stressed but of course least of all when I’m hungry.
It all started 12 years ago when I was faced with a traumatic event which changed my life forever. After years of not dealing and 100 lbs later, I still struggle with my relationship with food and the excess weight I carry with me. A constant reminder of certain events in time…
As hard as it is to admit, I feel it’s time for me to stop the cycle! Live life to its fullest and take back a part of me which was once stolen.
So why have I just shared my spaghetti truth? I suppose partly, I have a strong feeling I can’t be alone in this fight and frankly part of me wants to face it head on instead of continuing to stuff it all deep inside. Knowing you’re not alone in life’s struggles helps us all reach or goals.
These are my spaghetti truth…
Not only was I dealing with the emotion pain of working through things that happened so long ago in therapy but I started to feel the physical manifestations from it all. I began feeling a tingling sensation in my left foot. Progressively it worsened and so I thought I should get it checked out. I went in for X-rays and the doctor told me I had Spinal Sentosis and that I should go get physical therapy, thanks doc. Leaving I was a bit frightened, I had no idea what Spinal Sentosis was or what that meant for me but I did what she said and went for physical therapy for several months along with swimming daily, chiropractic work and acupuncture. Over the course of several months the pain worsened, I spent nights crying in pain, needing my hubby’s hand just to help me in bed or to turn over. At one point it got so bad that I needed help getting dressed most days. (This is the stuff they mean when they say for better or worse, in sickness and in health)…
Here is a piece from that time period when I was journaling my experience.
Struggling To Find The Cold Side Of The Pillow
” For the better part of this year, since WhatIf to be exact I’ve been living with constant pain. It started right after I got back from the Dominican. Right after I decided it was time to get counseling for the attack which led to my weight gain over 12 years ago. While counseling has been amazing and has really helped me heal old wounds, it awoke something deeper inside me.
For a good month I had days where I couldn’t get out of bed by myself. Couldn’t turn over at night in bed, couldn’t do much of anything without pain. 24hours, 7days a week of pain. Nights spent crying my eyes out in pain, many times Keith cried too. Apparently seeing your beloved in that much pain will also bring a spouse to tears.
I continued my pursuit for reclaiming me again, in counseling along with swimming five days a week, physical therapy, chiropractic work and even Acupuncture . And while some things where starting to get better, the pain has shifted and gotten worse. I ended up with sciatica, I had a bulged disc that has began pushing up against my sciatic nerve, the largest nerve (I believe, I’m not a doctor) in the body that runs from your bottom to your feet. I couldn’t stand up straight or walk too far, even going to the bathroom was painful.
I am doing everything in my power to heal and love myself and nothing was helping. I have never in my life felt defeated, until this moment. I feel like my spirit is broken, like someone stole my happy. And feeling that way makes me feel even sadder.
I feel alone, defeated and broken.
I don’t want to answer the phone, respond to emails or even do what I love. It breaks my heart that “pain” has taken over me physically and emotionally.
Every night is spent tossing & turning, trying to find a comfortable enough position, hanging onto the headboard or my husband to get enough leverage to turn myself over, getting hot while just trying to find a place to nestle into. Meanwhile struggling to find the cold side of the pillow.
Through this journey I found it rather interesting, my Acupuncturist said that in Chinese medicine the left side of the body has to deal with fear and in Raki, problems with your back tend to represent issues from your past, your left side representing femininity. Now whether you believe in that holistic means of health or not I was amazed at how much this all seemed to be tied together. I get counseling for an attack and deal with issues with my weight and voila I now have constant back and sciatic pain.
And it’s scary. I had many times just walking a block and crying at the end of it where I felt how in the world am I ever gonna get through wedding season?! It terrified me. I was already feeling broken but then take away the thing I’m most passionate about on top of it?! I decided it was time to get really aggressive with treatment! I went to the Neuro Science Group of Neenah and Dr. Koa. decided we’d try injections, after having two injections I was pretty much back to normal by June. Now with exercise and living a healthy lifestyle I am doing pretty good overall. I still have some mornings when I have a little bit of pain but nothing like what it had been.
Looking back over the year I think I might have gone through all of the physical pain to push myself even more to take care of myself. It’s easy to become complacent when things are simple but knowing I need to stay strong to support my spine is the extra push I think I need to keep me on track. Not saying every day is easy or that I wish it wouldn’t just go away altogether, but for now anyways it’s helping me stay on track. That saying what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, has definitely put me to the test this past year. But I wouldn’t change a thing! I just know now that no matter how hard something is I can’t let it consume every aspect of my life. I can’t let the negativity creep in because when it does it spreads like wildfire. There are so many things I will take with me into this next year so many of the things I’ve learned…
- I learned to love myself
- Don’t let the negativity consume you no matter how hard things get
- Find your voice and don’t be afraid to use it
- It’s never too late to get help. Ever.
- That what doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger!
- Never, ever give up
After a year of loving myself through counseling and living a healthy lifestyle. I am happy to report that I am not only comfortable in my own skin, no matter what the scale says but I also know my self-worth and am now able to stand up for myself. I have found my voice and it is beautiful. I hope anyone out there struggling to find theirs can find it! xo-laurie marie
Thank you to the people who helped me grow and heal so much this past year.