The fun, self discovery, pain and joy in my unfolding road
I am a mother, fun haver and survivor! In June of 2018, amid ailing health and a long list of things going wrong in my life, I decided to embark upon a new and challenging journey. I wanted to take my life back, and I am doing that, one step at a time. Thank you so much for reading along with my crazy life xx
I haven’t been able to write for a few days. My heart has felt overwhelmed. I have been angry and feeling so discouraged at some situations that have happened in our life. For me, when I feel like that, I just tend to sit with it for a while and then I let it go. One thing I have long realised is this – that I can’t control anyone else – the only person I have any control over is me. So I let myself feel whatever it is that I need to feel, and then I let it go. It’s quite interesting actually because as I let things go, I have found that quite often I have remnants of unwanted memories that dance around in my mind! Regrets or the grief at my own folly, lack of judgement or previous bad decisions try to sneak up on me. Hard on the heels of these things is always my old nemesis, Self doubt.
I believe that Self doubt is like gnawing rot in the human soul. It works it’s way into spaces in our heart and our memories without us realising it is there, and casually takes up residence. It is the unwanted, lingering feeling left behind after something unpleasant has taken place. It is found in that long held exhaled breath, or that lingering look. What I have found is that it is never what I feel first in any situation that I find myself in ……. but it is always what is left when everything else is said and done.
I honestly believe that self doubt goes unchallenged and often unacknowledged because of the spaces that it chooses to inhabit!! My own self doubt lives alongside the most painful experiences I have had in my life. Who wants to revisit those? I know I actively avoid it if it is at all possible!! So when I find myself reminded of something painful, well I can be floored for days because of the self doubt that I have let live alongside the hardest of my memories.
Today has been hard. Today I have wanted to allow myself to run away from life and hide in bed. I haven’t done that but I wanted to. Today has been a reminder of my darkest feelings and thoughts about myself. I know tomorrow will be better.
This morning I have done a lot of thinking. A friend of mine from an admin team on one of the facebooks groups we run asked a question the other day on one of our pages- and while I know it was a bit tongue in cheek ( concerning the ailments doctors have blamed on obesity) it has had me revisit a story. I wasn’t sure I would ever share this because I was so ashamed of it. It’s about bum stuff so if that bothers you STOP 🛑 and do not read anymore because mine will feature in this narrative! No pics 🤣🤣🤣 but the story is there just the same!
I decided that I am going to share this because, you know what, I am not the one that should be ashamed. All I did was eat too much – what the other person did was be a judgemental wank!
A number of years ago, right before we moved to Geelong, I went in to have a doctors appointment at the clinic I had gone to since I was a baby. The owner of the clinic actually delivered me and was my mothers doctor! Her mother before her had always gone to that same clinic also. I had grown up around these medical professionals and there had been a bit of an “if you lose weight that would help …… your ingrown toe nail, your asthma, your wart, your sore shoulder etc etc etc” But I think that I just accepted it. I figured, yeah I am fat and if I wasn’t fat I wouldn’t have all of these problems. I sat there and endured appointment after condescending appointment over decades!! Why I did that I DO NOT KNOW!!! We will put that down to some kind of odd self esteem issue!
Anyway, that final appointment – Once again I had really really REALLY bad piles! You know, awkward and painful thing escaping from ones anus …. or so I thought. I knew that this was going to mean hanging my arse out and parting my cheeks for ole mate doctor! I am pretty sure that there are few things more embarrassing than having the GP have to address the rear!! Unfortunately the GP did need to examine me and he told me that I also had an anal fissure. It wasn’t the first time that had happened. I knew need antibiotics and the doctor actually said to me “If you weren’t so fuck ……….. if you would address your weight I believe that this situation would be greatly improved.” I said “If I wasn’t so Fucking Fat? Is that what you were going to say?” He just ignored me, while I pulled my pants back up, wrote me a script and I got up and left. Determined to never ever go there again but just as determined to say nothing because of the shame I felt burning in me!!!
At that time I didn’t let myself speak up. I couldn’t let my voice rise above my own self loathing, fear and shame. At that time I was so frightened of drawing attention or saying something wrong that might make me the subject of additional cruel taunts or ridicule that I would sit in silence. That day I accepted that he didn’t answer me, I accepted that he insulted me and I just looked down, hanging my head in shame. I went home and cried and cried. Steve said, “just never go back there babe” and I determined that would be my course of action!!
BUT that Tash isn’t here anymore. I am not the Tash of a decade ago…….. I can, will and do speak up because I know what it is like to feel too afraid to say anything. I was recently standing at a deli and a lady was ahead of me but the server tried to serve me first, I watched the ladies head bow as she was overlooked and I said “no, this person was waiting before me.” And took a step back. I hate that kind of thing!! Don’t overlook someone because of their size!!!
Anyway, I plan to go and see my old doctor when I next visit my old home town. I am happy to pay for him to look at me for 15 minutes and remember that he once made a really disgusting comment to a really down-trodden woman but in spite of his cruelty, she eventually got up and changed her life. I won’t be unkind but I will ask him to remember that everyone deserves to be treated with respect. As a side note, even as a thin person I still get these issues! It wasn’t a fat thing it was just a my arsehole thing lol!!!
I was talking to my mum about this just this morning and as a Mumma to 3 kids that have all had weight loss surgery and as a woman that is still large herself – this is what she said. “Yes well you go girl. People should not be so disgusting to obese people, no one actually wants to feel terrible about themselves.” Please know that regardless of size we all deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. It IS a basic human right. Never forget that we can kindly insist on being treated with respect. You are so worth it. Sending lots of love today xx
The other day a friend was talking with me about my decision to have weight loss surgery. She said that she found it disempowering that I opted to surgically change my body to be acceptable. I wasn’t offended at all. I sat with it for a while. We quietly sipped our drinks and I thought. I am aware that a LOT of people share that view and I don’t just dismiss it with no thought. However, here is the flip side of it and what I shared with her.
My disempowerment came from living inside a body that I had not learned how to master. My disempowerment came from unhealthy habits that had a firm grip on my mind and on my self esteem. I told my friend “Others are allowed to have their own thoughts about our lives and our journey and our choices. I am not responsible for those. I am responsible for my “why!”
There is nothing disempowering about choosing to live, rather than to die in an obese tomb of my own making – One that was unhealthy and failing me years and years prematurely!! I don’t justify my why to people in person anymore – mostly because I respectfully do not care what others think of my life choices. I love my friends and family, I value their care for me and their kindness but at the end of my days, when all is said and done, I am the one that will have to look myself in the eye and know I lived my life making the right choice for me. I am the person that I am responsible for and I am the only person whose responses I am able to control.
I don’t presume to know enough about someone else’s circumstances to think that it is a good idea to set myself up as someone that has a right to be their moral compass or their judge and jury. If we want to give our opinion on the life choices of others then perhaps that’s a control issue that we have? I know for me, when I lived my life thinking it was okay to just say things to others – that is exactly what it was.
I am accountable for the choices that I have made and gosh I am glad that I have made them. My life is simple now from that point of view. When your sense of self worth and value isn’t based on what anyone else thinks it makes so many things much easier 💕
We all need people in our lives who will tell us what they think – I have those treasured souls and I love it when they open up and we talk. I love and appreciate them but ultimately I’m responsible for me 🙂
Blogs are sometimes strange things. I often feel like I am writing for my friends and I just share my heart and thoughts and everything in between but there are a heck of a lot of things that I don’t talk about on here. I always find it interesting when my blog gets heaps of hits on certain dates. So for those stalking along at home – sorry – no juicy goss.
On the home front – Well we are coming to the end of the term three school holidays. The kids are enjoying themselves and what a full and busy time the last few weeks have been. We love the families and friends that are part of our lives. They are precious to us and to our boys and it has been nice to reconnect with people in safe, socially distant ways throughout the school holidays. On Tuesday of next week, our younger boys return to school! What a day that will be. And on Wednesday of next week our older two sit the GAT, learn online for the remainder of that week and then return to onsite learning for week two of term four. The reality is that our year 12 only has 3 weeks of onsite learning until he is finished year 12 and then commences studying for his final exams. So the 29th of October is his last day. My heart feels very much like it jumps into my throat just talking about it. How this has happened, well I am really just not sure. How did we get to this point. It has been a year like no other in living memory and my heart has broken for the year 12 cohort of 2020. Although I will say that they are some of the most wonderful, kind, resilient and good natured people that I know.
Our gorgeous year 12 has been eligible to get his p’s since March but covid has seen to it that he has not been able to sit his hazard or driving test. With all that has happened recently with my health we were able to obtain a medical exemption from Vic Roads for him to sit both of those things. Thankfully and unsurprisingly, he passed, so we now have another driver in the family. This comes in mighty handy at times – like today when children had to be in different places and my blood sugar was 2 and I was not allowed to drive anywhere. I remain very thankful that we do live within an easy distance of both campuses, and I am grateful to my wonderful friends that have offered to help, should we ever need assistance but all of those things are hard during covid restrictions.
We also patiently await news if the border is going to open to Victorians wanting to travel into Queensland for Christmas. Once open I am OUTTA HERE! I shall not be seen for dust. Oh the fun that we will have.
My blood sugar has been through the floor for the last couple of days and as much as I wish it wasn’t and that I could just go about life as normal, the facts are – I can’t right now. In my quest to get things sorted out for 2021 I have been setting myself some goals. Some of them are terrifying and some of them are going to happen with ease but in any case it keeps me with my eyes firmly fixed in the forward position.
I read a blog nearly 5 years ago and, that particular piece of writing has actually changed my life. My ability to be able to convey to my family and those closest to me, the way that I am feeling on any given day has changed my life. It gave me a framework, which on my worst days, I have clung to like my life depends upon it.Chronic illness is heartless and often times I have struggled to convey the true impacts that it has had on me. I have Celiac Disease and looking back now, I can see that it affected so many things about my life when I was growing up. As an adult it caused many problems and difficulties – until it was finally diagnosed and my diet changed. In more recent times, there was something profoundly wrong. Not just a little bit wrong, just an all encompassing, profound wrongness that I tried to articulate to my doctors. It took nearly 18 months but the diagnoses for that was accidentally discovered due to the timing of a blood test. I am learning to live with a really terrifying condition – that is severe in my case. Having to speak to my kids about things like, “if I happen to fall unconscious while I am out in public, this is what you do” and teaching them how to inject me has been frightening. I keep a stiff upper lip to them, laughing about it and we joke – but underneath it all they know that it is not anything to laugh about.
Anyway the writer of Coins was part of my life when I was a child. She was a glorious dancer, kind with her words and I so aspired to be like her. My earliest memory of her was as she danced across the stage in a church musical as Delilah – I thought she was the most beautiful lady I had ever seen. My first impression of her was accurate – she is a beautiful person and when I read her online piece about Coins years ago I took it to heart. You can read that article here. https://keepinmindproject.com/2016/02/09/coins/
Today I am clutching my metaphorical bag of coins very tightly and I am aware that it is not as full as it would usually be. Yesterday I did so many wonderful things – I did something that I have promised to do with my children for 10 years. I tested my BSL and determined that because I hadn’t eaten yet (my sugar drops dangerously low when I eat and drink) it would be safe for me to do a quick trip to the shops and get a few things. That number of things that I need always seems to multiply!! This shouldn’t be an exhausting exercise but it is. The whole time I felt a level of anxiety and I kept reassuring myself that I had my jelly bean stash and at the worst, my injection in my bag should it be needed. We were walking through Kmart, in search of the Bunch-O-Balloons that weren’t available a few weeks ago. There was great excitement when we found some and positioned right by them were tents. Justus (now 13) said to me “I wish we could go camping mum” as he wistfully eyed the tents. and I said “we can, pick that tent up and bring it with us!” He and Lincoln nearly exploded with happiness. But I could see the doubt in their eyes. I was determined that I would not disappoint them again. Big me said no to them constantly. It was easier to say no than to just admit – I cant do that because I am too big.
Moments like those are filled with so much happiness but also with bucketloads of regrets. I think about the things that my daughter missed out on and the mum that my older kids didn’t get to enjoy. There is no fixing that now, no coming back from it now BUT there is the fact that I am not that person anymore. So regardless of the fact that I was feeling unwell, I pushed through the things that I needed to do in the house. I had promised to bake Lincoln cookies so we did that – I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal but the mixing can be hard for me. I powered through that, got dinner ready – which is never a simple affair at our house. 2 lactose intolerant people, one Celiac and one Crohns Disease, meals are complex and everything is always from scratch. After that I did some other writing that I needed to get done and found myself sitting outside at 11:45am with everything completed for the day except the new task, erect the tent and make it habitable.
Thankfully the older boys helped with this and before long the tent was up, we hung string lights, put mattresses in it and the boys continued to enjoy it for a few hours more. Our Regional Covid restrictions have rolled back recently and we were expecting our household bubble person yesterday 😁😁 so we enjoyed time together and after putting the finishing touches on our evening meal, we watched a movie together as a family and then we retired to the tent. I had the best sleep I have had in years (literally) But the pressure of yesterday has taken a toll.
Today I am bereft of coins, I did not manage my energy well yesterday. Everything that I have to do today has gone by the wayside. I did not pace myself yesterday and I’m glad because I loved every moment of it but today I am exhausted and that is my trade/off. I have had three hypos where my blood sugar was under 1.7 and I am curled up in a ball on the lounge, pretending that the washing doesn’t need doing and that mount washmore will fold itself.
Tomorrow will be better and until tomorrow I will just be gentle with myself. Lots of Love Tash
Don’t allow yourself to remain frozen in the past or bogged down in the muck of things that may want to drag you backwards! Allow yourself to run, even if its with a bit of fear in your heart, into your future.