100 lb. Club - Afraid of losing myself again...




View Full Version : Afraid of losing myself again...


famograham
03-27-2008, 06:21 PM
I feel like I'm yammering about the same old stuff...so I'd like to first apologize to anyone who thinks I am.

This is something I'm feeling kind of angry, and very scared about, and I'm going to need your help to keep myself a priority.

So many of you were here for me when my mom lost her home. I fell off track and gained all of my previous weight loss back because I needed to focus all of my attention on making sure I did everything I could to help my mom get a new home. She now has a beautiful new house, and I'm am incredibly proud that I helped to raise enough money for the deposit/down payment.

This time I want to do everything I can to help her fight for life itself (she was diagnosed with lung cancer on Tuesday).

My question is: HOW on EARTH do I continue to keep myself and my health a priority, while all of this is happening????

I KNOW it's more important than ever that I am healthy and strong. I KNOW my mom wants this for me more than anything. How do I be a mother myself, a wife, an employee, a runner of household....and still do anything and everything I can for my mom, AND continue on my path to better health???

My own stuff is the easiest, and most natural thing, to let go of from this list...but I know I can't do that..I'm just so afraid of what the near future holds for me.

I feel so selfish for even thinking about this, but it's a major concern on my mind right now.

I had four bad/off days (including Easter) and am now back on track...I just really want to stay on track, you know??? :dunno:

I'm so sorry for the rant/repetition

:hug:
Linda


JayEll
03-27-2008, 06:36 PM
My own stuff is the easiest, and most natural thing, to let go of from this list...but I know I can't do that..I'm just so afraid of what the near future holds for me.

I feel so selfish for even thinking about this, but it's a major concern on my mind right now.

Hey fam! I'm going to go out on a limb here... please bear with me--and keep in mind that I mean no harm.

At some point you got the message that you weren't as important as everyone else in the world. You believed that message.

That's why you will do anything and everything for other people while letting your own needs go by the wayside.

You think it's "selfish" if you do otherwise.

Well, it's not selfish. I think it's wonderful that you want to help your mom, and your kids and your husband and your job and your house and and and... But the hard question is, where will that leave you at the end of the day?

Have others come to expect that you will just always be there? Because this situation can become self-perpetuating. You are showing those around you that you don't count. They may come to believe that... :(

First, have you talked to a therapist or counselor about your situation? I'd highly recommend finding a professional to help you. Perhaps your doctor can give you referrals--and there are also help lines in many communities. Your church can help.

Second, you simply have to begin carving out time for yourself! Otherwise, you'll disappear. Start small. Decide on 30 minutes, one-half an hour, during which you will not help others or do what they need done. 30 minutes. You can schedule it at any time you like--6 a.m., 10 a.m., 10 p.m., whatever works--but schedule it, and make it happen. Even if all you do is sit in a room by yourself with the door closed for 30 minutes! Even if all you do is go for a walk around the block for 30 minutes! You need to feel that you can afford time just for you.

So, those are some suggestions off the top of my head.

I'm really sorry to hear about your mom. :( I'm hoping she'll get all the care she needs.

Hang in there, famograham!

Jay

GirlyGirlSebas
03-27-2008, 06:53 PM
Linda, you aren't being selfish at all. You're actually approaching this in a very healthy and mature fashion. You won't do yourself a bit of good by neglecting your own health. Some people are probably going to tell you that its okay to not worry about the weight loss and working out right now...because you have so much on your mind right now and its perfectly understandable to put yourself on hold. I'm going to go a different direction entirely and tell you that these stressful times are not a good excuse for neglecting your health. You will do your Mom no good by being a "martyr" and "sacrificing" your own happiness and well being. I apologize for sounding a bit harsh and direct, but I speak from experience.

My Mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in July of 2004. She had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Most people may not know, but this is how most people find out they have ovarian cancer....when its too late to do much. Within 6 months, she had to leave us. Like you and your Mom, my Mom and I were extremely close and I felt like my world was turned upside down. I lived in a virtual fog for a long time. I put my health on hold....I didn't eat right, I didn't exercise at all, I wasn't sleeping enough. I developed adrenal fatigue....which means, I threw my whole hormone balance off-track. I also was diagnosed with insulin resistance and gained 32 pounds the first year and another 42 the following year.

During these times, I forgot that I need to take care of myself so that I can be around for, hopefully, a long time for my children. And, what kind of tribute was I being to the love my Mom showed to me all of these years? She loved and nurtured this body and this person within the body.....why would I not want to do the same?

Take care of yourself, Linda. Because you are a wonderful creation, because you love your children, because you love your husband...and, because you love your Mom.


famograham
03-27-2008, 07:05 PM
Thank you Jay and Rhonda...this is exactly what I need right now.
You probably both know by now, that I'm not the kind of person who need delicacy...I need reality, and I need to talk about stuff, even if it hurts.

Your words mean so much to me...so don't think they are harsh or unkind. I'm alll about the honesty! I think honest communication is the ONLY way I'm going to make it through this!

Rhonda, I'm So, SO sorry about your Mom. I think it's the same with lung cancer, although I'll know more after her biopsy. It seems that once ANYTHING can been seen on a x-ray...it's really late in the game. There was much more showing on the CT than one small shadow. 2 tumors/masses in the left lung, and two in the right, PLUS multiple tiny tumors spread throughout the right lung.

All my love,
Linda

LaurieDawn
03-27-2008, 07:40 PM
The thing that I've learned through this weight loss journey - FINALLY - is that it was actually quite selfish of me to play the martyr. I would kill myself doing for anyone and everyone, and then I would have all of this resentment build up in me because no one seemed to appreciate these things that they really didn't ask me to do in the first place. It was a little painful at first to pull away from doing things that people had learned to expect me to do, but it was really eye-opening the first time I really thought about quitting this. My husband made it clear that, even though I wasn't doing everything for him that he had come to expect anymore, he was much happier being around me because I was so much more pleasant to be around.

Take care of yourself. I don't know much about lung cancer, but I would imagine that you would be helping your mom a great deal by preparing nutritious, on-plan meals for your family and making enough for her, or by going for a walk and bringing her with you. There are ways you can make it work. You just need to plan. And do not begin to believe that a clean house or a satisfied boss are more important than your health. That's a trap that you don't need to be caught in right now. You have more important things to worry about.

Sending my best wishes to you and your mom as you go through this difficult time.

amouse
03-27-2008, 08:25 PM
hi linda ,
Im so sorry about your mum, My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 96 . she had the top cancer doctor tell her to find another doctor becuase he doesnt work on lost causes ( which obviosly is why they think he is the top.. *******) anyway , mum found a new doctor and that was a very good thing.. My aunty was diagnosed just after my mum was .. Mums Cancer was 10 cm wide and had got into all the limpth nodes in her armpit.. my aunt had a cancer that was 2cm and hadnt spread at all . My aunty had the ******* doctor and my mum had the other on.. the bothj had masectomies followed by chemo. There cancer was the same but they were both given diffetrent drugs by the different doctors.. My mum i still here and has never had any reacurance at all no spread nothing .. My aunt died in 2000 and had spent almost 2 years in a wheel chair.. She followed her heart and di a complete worl trip with her husband pushing her in the wheel chair.. she came home and within that week she passed away.. Cant say she wasted anytime feeling sorry for herself.. BUt we are sorry that she is gone.. She really was a great lady.

Im telling you this becuase i beleive the doctor has alot to do with survival.. But lin please dont be so hard on yourself , i know your heart is breaking at the thoughts of what the future might hold.. The best thing you can do is look after yourself, if you dont and you get sick you wont be any good to anyone.. As far as the house goes.. i would ask hubby to step in more so you can spend that time with your mum.. If he wont could you get afford someone in to clean it for you ?..

Self sacrafice is not going to help you at all . eating healthy isnt that hard even if you eat out 3 times a day at most places there are healthy options.. and you know what they are ..

midwife
03-27-2008, 08:48 PM
Hi Linda,
:hug:

My mil was diagnosed with uterine cancer last fall. I wanted to crawl into bed and cry for months. But that was no good. For the first time in my life, I had to figure out how to be the grown up. Sure, I am mature and responsible, but I always have my mil who I can crawl to and put my head in her lap and have her tell me it was going to be okay. And she couldn't do that. I had to cope with one of the hardest situations in my life without leaning on my anchor.

So so hard. And here you are dealing with one of the worst situations in your life and the person who is supposed to rub your hair and make it all better can't....cause you can't burden her that way.

It is very crappy. :hug:

You don't have to be strong all the time. You don't have to have all the answers. But you do have to find a way to engage in the behaviors that are important. Have a meltdown. Cry your eyes out. And eat on plan. Fill your body with good nutrition to keep your mind and body strong.

Grieve, be confused, be angry...and walk outside, in the glorious spring and thank your Creator for this life....so full of love and tragedy, but by all of Heaven and Earth, so blessed....

Pray for miracles as you cherish the miracle of your physical self.

What does your mother want for you? What would you want for your child?

Go on all the head trips you need to, but cling to the actions that will keep you healthy and fit and around for your family for a long long time. It is the actions that count, even when your mind is falling apart.

findingfawn
03-27-2008, 08:52 PM
You have gotten some wonderful advice here! I really don't have much to add. I do love the make sure you have 30 minutes a day that are just yours. Honestly I don't have them much me time in a day, I have about 15, while I shower. I use that time to center myself and say ok this is what I'm gonna sneak in for me today... and right now that stuff I sneak in is eatting better and exercising.

Don't feel selfish.. everyone around you bennefits from you being healthier and more fit, because there will be more of you to give!

:hug:

rockinrobin
03-27-2008, 10:30 PM
Oh Linda, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer 8 years ago and it was a rough time. Thank G-d she is still with is and is healthy.

I don't think you sound selfish at all. I think you realize just how important it is that you be at YOUR optimal health, so that you are better equipped to take care of Mom and be there for her. And I commend you for it.

It can be such a hectic, scary time. It really is imperative that you carve out some "normalcy" and you time during all this. Just think how much better you will be able to deal with things. I know for me actually focusing on the healthy eating, preparing the meals and all, has been a wonderful diversion during times of stress. And if this doesn't qualify as stress, I don't know what does. I think you may find that being in control of your food, ya know the one thing we really DO have control over, to be very comforting.

Please be sure to take care of yourself and treat yourself with the kindness and respect that you so very much deserve. I wish you, your mom and the whole family all the very best. Robin :hug:

Sorcha33
03-28-2008, 01:11 AM
Linda, I'm totally new here but hope you don't mind me chiming in. I lost my mom a couple of months ago to leukemia, and her illness was the hardest thing I've ever gone through. She was my best friend, and I'm still grieving her loss deeply - no matter what anyone says, I don't think it will ever truly go away. More likely, I'll just learn to live with this hole in my heart. :hug:

My advice is to be kind to yourself. Now is a time to take care of yourself, but not to mount crazy pressure on yourself. Do what you can, try each day, and work towards building your strength and health in a way that is also nurturing to you. Focus on eating well, sleeping well, and getting some exercise...but do it with the knowledge that this is the way to cope with this scary whirlwind you're caught up in - don't make it about the numbers on the scale. It's awfully hard to be motivated by a scale or a size 10 dress when such bigger issues are present in your life. Supporting someone with an illness is exhausting, but eating well and taking a little time for a head-clearing walk are two of the easiest ways to battle that fatigue and stay afloat yourself.

We truly cannot care for others if we don't care for ourselves. The best way you can be sure to have the strength to help your mom now is to MAKE IT A PRIORITY to look after your needs as well as hers. How? There's no easy answer, it's HARD. But you have to do it....you have to approach it like you don't have a choice to at least try your best each day. Every day, it seems, there comes a moment when I say to myself, "if my mom could go through the **** of chemo, I can do this". We're stronger than we realize, and you CAN find a balance for yourself. There's no shame in putting yourself first....even if it's just at mealtimes and for a 20-minute walk in the afternoon. Even just that much will make a difference for you, I promise.

Make things as easy as possible. I don't normally love frozen meals like Lean Cusines, but if they work for you then now is the time to keep some on hand. Stock your purse with some baggies of almonds, dried fruit, or other healthy snacks you enjoy. Get a load of bottled water and fill the fridge so it's always to hand. Give yourself the luxury of an afternoon to cook as many things as you can and get them in the freezer, so a good, healthy meal is never far away...invest that bit of time now so you won't need to later. Eliminating temptation is a good idea, too - if you know that by having soda in the fridge you'll always grab that over the water, then just don't by the soda. Do all you can to let yourself ride on autopilot when it comes to the mechanics of eating healthy so you don't need to think much about it in addition to everything else.

Your walk is your prescription - just as if a doctor ordered it, you need to take it each day. Twenty minutes is so little to ask, but the reward to you in your health and even more your MENTAL health, will be great.

My thoughts are with you, and I wish your mom all the very best. She's lucky to have you - and even never having met her I can guarantee you that she wants nothing but the best for you. Take care of YOU, so you can help to take care of her. :hug: :hug:

Lovely
03-28-2008, 01:14 AM
More :hug: :hug: :hug: to you. Putting your health on hold is not going to help anything. It'll just make you feel worse. It's more than OK to take care of yourself! :hug:

barbygirl43
03-28-2008, 10:44 AM
:grouphug: Linda I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I too don't think it's selfish at all to try and keep your health a top priority. Like the others have said, it will benefit you. I think Jay gave you great advice by carving out 30 minutes each day for you. :grouphug:

bluex
03-28-2008, 10:46 AM
I don't think it's selfish or callous. I think we all are going to have some pretty rough things happen during our journeys. We can't allow those things to give us a reason to stop what we are trying to do. I know it's hard but for me at least, having this has been an anchor during tough times, i.e. "at least I am getting healthier myself and making big changes."

Healthy Mama
03-28-2008, 11:44 AM
Everyone has given you great advice I just want to add my :hug:. You have a long road ahead of you and it's not going to be an easy one - you know this. You are going to have to be the strong one (at least in front of your mom) so find a good support system where you can let it go, cry, scream, talk non-stop about everytihing that is killing you. You need an outlet and you need time for you. Make it a priority.

I guess I am giving advice too.

I am just remembering back to when Paul was sick and how I would spend 24 hours a day obsessing on the subject. I really did lose myself - but I had a friend - that I met online who's husband had been through the exact same thing and survived and she became my touchstone and my lifeline. I think she is who kept me sane.

Thinking of you...

:hug:

Jen415
03-28-2008, 11:49 AM
Oh Linda.....everyone has said it well...just remember how much we all love you!

Sandi
03-28-2008, 12:01 PM
Linda :hug:

You know how much I love you and I am so sorry that it did turn out to be lung cancer. I am here for you if you ever to need to talk, that's how I lost my Dad. I know all to well the emotional toll it takes when someone you love so much gets sick.

I need to tell you how terribly proud I am of you at this moment. You saw that you have two paths you can take right now. There is the "easy" path of just letting yourself take a backseat, eating away your emotions, making the excuse of "I need to put my energy elsewhere right now" and the other much harder path of finding a way to keep on with losing weight and getting healthier all while adding the additional responsibilities of being there for mom right now and dealing with all the emotions that come with someone so dear to you being ill. Linda, before, you would have run right down that easy path, but you have grown and this time you paused and you reached out for help. That is so awesome. :hug:

You already know the path you need to take and you know the reasons why. You just need a little shove in the right direction. Well, here's your shove. The good news is that the harder path is filled with us. Cheering you on, supporting you, and even carrying you when we need to.

YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!

famograham
03-28-2008, 02:21 PM
You guys are amazing, thank you SO much!

Rudy and I were talking about this issue last night, which is a miracle in itself!
He had seen my thread title, and I could tell he actually wanted me to talk to him about it.
I explained my fear....and he said to me "Well you know, this time really is different! It's not like we are going to throw a benefit concert and she's going to get better".

OK, so that sounds TERRIBLE in print, but he's SO right. Last time, there was a MILLION things I could DO...I was sooo insanely busy planning that whole thing, it really did take up my whole life for several months.
The point he was trying to make was that this time, what my mom needs from me is strength, and emotional support..and when the time comes, she'll need help with her own day to day stuff. But I won't actually be busy from waking to bedtime DO-ing. So I should still be able to take care of myself. I just hope I'm strong enough not to use food to escape this.

I have been back on plan for several days now, and I'm trying to fill myself with hope for the very best. I'm thinking in terms of the QUALITY of the time we have left, even though I still don't know how long that will be. From what I've read...it could be several weeks, or several years. I guess we'll know more about that, after the biopsy.

I LOVE YOU TOO!!!!
:grouphug:
Linda

Jen415
03-28-2008, 04:31 PM
One thing I'd like to mention...if you start thinking too much about the future (how much time she has left, etc), you will TOTALLY miss the present. She is here with you NOW...don't miss out on it!

famograham
03-28-2008, 05:05 PM
YES!!! That's exactly what I was talking about here:

.... and I'm trying to fill myself with hope for the very best. I'm thinking in terms of the QUALITY of the time we have left, even though I still don't know how long that will be. From what I've read...it could be several weeks, or several years. I guess we'll know more about that, after the biopsy.

I am allll about the quality, and will NEVER, EVER take another day for granted, don't worry!

:hug:
Linda

Dorys Girl
03-28-2008, 05:42 PM
The best thing you can do for your mom to take care of yourself. You can't be your best for her if you're not healthy. She loves you and wouldn't want you sacrifice your health just because she's going through a rough patch.

Slashnl
03-29-2008, 01:48 PM
Linda, just wanted to add my support to this thread. You've received some great advice and you sound like you are taking some positive steps.
Keep healthy! And keep taking care of yourself!

famograham
03-31-2008, 01:12 PM
Today, I REALLY miss our Sarah :angel:....I wish she were here right now :(

:hug:
Linda

PS Mom is at her appt. with the lung specialist right now...I will update when I know how it went.

Jen415
03-31-2008, 01:15 PM
I believe she IS here, Linda....:)

famograham
03-31-2008, 01:25 PM
True enough! :) I believe that, too :yes:
But I wish I could hear some of her always amazing words!

rockinrobin
03-31-2008, 01:39 PM
PS Mom is at her appt. with the lung specialist right now...I will update when I know how it went.

Sending lots of positive thoughts your Mom's way. :hug: