Tag Archives: fear

Letting Go

me

When you make big changes in your life with the intent of making improvements, you have to be willing to let go.  You have to let go of the bad behaviors that are holding you back.  Let go of people in your life who have a negative impact.  Let go of old ideas you have about yourself that hold you back.  You have to do all of this so that you can let in all of the new things that will enter your life once the changes have begun to take effect.

Letting go is not easy.  It is easy to stay the same and do the same thing everyday.  Change is scary.  Even good changes can be scary.  The known pain and sorrow is easier to deal with than the unknown whether it is good or bad.  The problem is, this is no way to live.  If you’re not willing to make changes to your life, things will only stay the same or continue to decline.

Changing your own behavior, stopping the bad, starting the good is key.  For me, the change took a long time.  There was a lot of fear, pain, and anguish in letting go many of my bad choices.  I didn’t start the process on October 24, 2012.  I started the process a long, long time before that.

I spent nearly one year prior to my surgery planning and preparing for the surgery, but I would argue that the change began before then as well.

I am not certain I can pinpoint an exact moment in which I had an epiphany thinking, “Gee, I need to change my life!  I think I’ll start today!”  Nor  can I pinpoint what precipitated my finally taking action, but I would say it was more a slow build than a bright shining moment of clarity.

I knew I my morbid obesity would eventually kill me.

I knew my high blood pressure was out of control.

I knew I was borderline diabetic and would most likely one day cross the line and become an actual diabetic.

I knew I could not walk very far or very much.

I knew I had asthma and could not breathe well.

I knew my family and loved ones worried about me daily.

I knew I was unhappy with the status quo.

Making changes required a lot of letting go and it took me a long time to do that.  I had to let go of many bad behaviors.  I let go of my gaming addiction.  I let go of many of my bad food habits.  I let go of my many fears that kept me unable to from doing what was necessary to become healthier.

I’m not sure how I found the strength or inner fortitude to finally let go other than to say my will to live was stronger than my fear of change.  It did not all happens at once, but it happened.

I cannot say that all of my problems went away with this change.  Far from it.  I still struggle every day against my inner demons.  I still struggle against the urge to over eat.  I still struggle with my ability to avoid my problems instead of facing them.  I have made a lot of progress, yes.  But I know the journey is not complete.

It may never be complete.  I may have to work against my own fears for the rest of my life.  The difference is I now know that I can beat them and the rewards are well worth the battle.

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Living With Fear

So, I feel kind of frivolous about my post yesterday, talking about clothes and shopping after what happened on Boston.  My heart really goes out to the affect families.  Somehow, it feels wrong to celebrate my own accomplishments and plan shopping sprees amidst such a tragedy. 

I really hate stuff like this.  I have not been able to really sit and watch 24-hour disaster news-tv since 9/11.  On 9/11, I lived in Phoenix.  I happened to be awake before 6am MST, which was 3 hours ahead of the east coast at that time.  I was not scheduled to work until noon, but I was up for no reason.  I turned ont he TV and saw that a plane hit the World Trade Center. 

My sister, with whom I was living at the time, came out of her room to berate me for watching tv at 6am.  I told her a plane hit the World Trade Center.  She asked me, “Do you think it’s a terrorist attack?”

As she finished her sentence, the words still echoing in the air, we both watched together as the second plane hit the other tower and left us with no doubt that we were under attack.

After that, I had to watch the news 24/7.  I did this for probably two years.  I felt like I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Eventually, I was able to let go of my fear and start enjoying life again, but I had to let go of watching every minute of every disaster. 

When the children at Sandy Hook were killed, I was working from home.  I still watch cable news off and on, but because I was working the TV was always muted.  Unfortunately, I broke my 24/7 disaster news fast and watched everything that unfolded.  I have a young 5-year-old niece.  All I could think about was her.  It was her face I saw in each of those children, and I was infuriated. 

I did not, however, watch the 24/7 news of the Boston attack.  I did watch a bit to get all of the details, but I could not watch the same people talk for hours repeating themeselves endlessly while replaying the explosions over and over again.  I could not do it.

Like most people, I feel the pain of these events very deeply.  If I allow myself, I get very emotional and scared.  I have lived most of my life in fear.  Fear of what people think.  Fear of my own feelings.  Fear of being ridiculed.  Fear of going out amongst people.  Fear of not being able to walk.  Fear of other people judging me because of my poor health and weight.  Fear of dying from my obesity. 

After the surgery and my attempts to change my life, I find that I am not afraid of every single thing.  I am doing more.  I am writing more.  I socialize.  I walk.  I exercise.  I meditate.  I cannot and will not go back to a life of fear and resignation.

I pray for the city of Boston and the victims of this tragedy.  I hope the authorities find who is responsible and hold him/her/them accountable.  I have great hope for the city of Boston and this country as a whole.  I know we will recover and be stronger, while honoring the names of all who were lost in this senseless attack.

So, to those who perpetrated this horrible crime, you failed.  You did kill at least three of our citizens.  You injured many, many more.  But you have not resigned us to live in a state of panic and fear. 

That said, today I am celebrating that I am down to 200 pounds.  That is a total of 98 lost.  Two pounds from reaching the momentous 100 pound mark and one pound from dropping below 200 for the first time in over 15 years.  My journey continues.  You did not stop me nor will you stop city of Boston.

Conquering The Fear

Like pretty much all people, I have been living with fear my entire life.  In my case, however, that fear has been paralyzing.  I felt stuck for a very, very long time.  I kept waiting for it to end, for life to get better and less scary, but that just was not happening. 

I tried many forms of escape to keep me from dealing with my problems and facing the truth.  I have already discussed on this blog my obsession with World of Warcraft.  Obviously, I over-ate.  And I had a whole host of financial problems.  Each of these fed off the other, spiraling around and around, keeping me in a very dark place for a very long time.

I was unable to break the pattern and set any kind of realistic goals for my life and I was not doing the things I know I needed to do to make my life better.  Furthermore, I was absolutely convinced that my obesity was going to kill me sooner rather than later.  I could not handle any kind of real stress.  My blood pressure was out of control.  I had pains all over my body.  My feet are a mess.  My back is a mess.  I was certain I was days away from a stroke or heart attack.  I was afraid of dying.  I was afraid of not dying.  I hated going out with my friends in case I got myself into a situation where I could not walk to where they wanted to go or I could not afford a cab if I needed it.  Not to mention my finances were out of control.  A few more months of ignoring the problem and I’m sure I would have been homeless.

What did I do about all of this?  Nothing.  I spent more time living in Azeroth, (see previous WoW reference), than the real world.  I mean it would have been fine if I was living inside some fantasy world that I created in my head and was writing it all down in the form of short stories or a novel, sold the book on Amazon and made a mint,  but I wasn’t.  My escape was a computer generated fantasy land where I totally rocked.  Except in real life, I did not.  My real life was falling spectacularly to pieces around me.

I had to do something.  I finally accepted that my life would not improve if I did not take action.  When I made the decision to do something about my health, I just started fixing everything else as well.  I kind of had to.  Everything was connected.  Things were a mess for quite a while, but they did start to slowly get better.  Some of the health changes that I started making before the surgery really improved my quality of life just a little.  And let’s face it, a little bit of improvement was a big change for me. 

I took control of my finances.  I had to borrow money from a friend of mine with the caveats that I would take decisive action to fix the problem and that I pay him back.  I am happy to report all of my bills are paid.  I have money in my savings account.  Furthermore, I only owe him one more payment, which will occur next month.  I’m not proud of the fact that I had to do this, but I am very proud of the fact that I was able to turn things around and pay him back.  He’s has been my best friend for 25 years and I would do nothing to jeopardize that friendship.  Clearly he is way too good to me.

I have moved out of Azeroth.  I no longer play WoW.  I did have a very short visit there recently when I took advantage of a 10-day free trial.  I took that time to put a whole bunch of game gold in my personal guild bank which was chock full of game goodies.  Then I gave it all away to some random newbie player.  When the 10 days ran out, I did not re-up.  They had my old debit card info and I never gave them my new info, so the account has been deactivated and I have not looked back.

My health has significantly improved.  I have lost 90 pounds.  I walk everywhere.  My back no longer hurts so much.  My feet still have some problems, but they are getting better.  I no longer live daily wondering if today is the day I will have a stroke or heart attack.  I know I still have a long way to go and that I still have many health problems to fix, but I feel so completely different.  I feel good for the first time in a very, very long time.

I am no longer afraid of every little thing.  I feel more confident.  My friends have even told me that I act more confidently.  At one of my writer’s group meetings, one of my friends told me that during a critique I spoke confidently and with authority.  I was kind of surprised.  I never thought of myself that way.  Yeah, my little brother and sisters always told me I was bossy, but that was only because they are family.  I immediately thought, what right do I have to speak with authority about someone else’s work?  I’m a novice and a dilettante at best.   Then I thought, meh, somebody has to do it, why not me?

You see, I still have fears and doubts, but I am no longer crippled by them.  I still find myself falling down that dark hole sometimes, being tempted by horrible food.  Not wanting to leave my apartment.  Still tempted to return to my old ways of escape.  Still wondering if my bad choices will catch up to me some day.  I just do not let those thougths paralyze me.  I recognize what is happening much sooner so that I can stop it.  I just feel much better equipped to face my fears.  Maybe one day, I will actually conquer them.

 

I Am In Trouble

I hate to admit it, but I am a big coward.  I hate pain.  I cannot even watch someone else fall down or get hurt.  My own legs and feet will hurt and I get shivers through my body.  I always have to turn away from the movie screen or tv when someone is hurt .

People who know me would not think that I am such a big baby when it comes to pain because they all know that I have lived with some kind of pain most of my life.  One would think that I have a high tolerance for pain, but I do not.

I had a kidney stone in high school.  I lived with that pain for a year trying to pass it before they finally did surgery.  See, back when I was in high school, before the dinosaurs died, there were no cool sonic procedures or microscopic surgery to deal with kidney stones.  You either passed it or they operated.  Since I apparently could not do one, I had to do the other.  It was an unpleasant experience, but I was 16 and bounced back quickly.

I also have dealt with foot and back pain most of my adult life.

Why this sudden preoccupation with pain?

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday for my annual physical.  Two things happened that I did not like.  One, they took my blood.  I hate getting stuck with needles, but I’m willing to concede that I must have my blood drawn if I’m going to proceed with this surgery.  Two, I had to get a shot.  It really stinks getting a shot as an adult.  At least as a kid they give you candy, but not me.  When I get a shot all I get is a needle in my arm.  No lollypops, Dora stickers, nothing.  I know my niece would not stand for that, but she is just a kid.

My doctor informed me that it has been a while since I had a tetanus shot.  The shot itself is not too bad.  But today my arm is really sore.  That’s the problem with a tetanus shot.  I’ve had them before and my arm always hurts for a couple of days afterwards.    Because I’m such a big baby, I’ve been sitting at work all day thinking, “Owie my arm hurts! poor me!”

This started me thinking…I am really in big trouble.

I am really worried about the pain of the surgery.  I know it will be short lived, but I remember the pain of the surgery I had in high school and I did not like it one bit.  I won’t let my fear of pain keep me from doing it, but I am probably going to worry way too much about it and be very miserable for a while afterwards.

I have been thinking about this for a while, but I have managed to keep my fears at bay.  Today, with my arm in pain however, I am starting to think about the pain of surgery more.  I know these feelings will abate as the pain in arm starts to feel better, at least until the surgery actually rolls around, but it is a concern that I have.

I know that I will deal with it as I have dealt with many other things.  Many of the other health problems that I hope will abate after I’ve shed the pounds are much more painful difficult to deal with sometimes.  That thought gives me strength and the courage to face whatever pain I may have to endure to get through this.

But today, I am a big fat baby.

Speaking of big fat babies, this is Max.  My brother and his wonderful wife took Max in when he was just a kitten.  They kept him until they found out their little girl, who arrived a year later, was very allergic to him.  They found Max a new home, but I do miss that crazy cat.  🙂

 

I think I am going to do an open call for kitty photos.  If you have a cat doing something crazy, funny, or super-cute, just email it to me and maybe your little baby will get a feature on my blog.