I was sitting in the hospital a few nights ago when I decided to put on Pandora. As I was listening, I heard an interview with Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic, he went on to talk about their first popular song, Apologize, the one they did with Timbo and the song after that. The one that kept them from being a one hit wonder. He said Stop and Stare is basically about a person looking at the town/life they are in like there is nothing left to give it. I felt that, perhaps it is because I have an affinity for the band. But despite that, the words ring very true to me. I am not someone that is typically dissatisfied with life, I can find the good in anything, but monotony and complacency is something I despise. Lately I feel like I am moving but I go nowhere. I was sitting in the hospital room staring at four walls, alone. I do admit that I enjoy the company of silence at times, but this time the silence was deafening. If this hospital stay doesn’t get me off my ass, I don’t know what will.
I am working on getting back motivation and because I know what it was like to be the healthiest version of me, how hard it was to get there, the prospect of doing that all over again is terrifying. BUT I miss the confidence and energy I had about me. I look at myself sometimes and I don’t like the impression this body gives. I look lazy, and I’m far from it. I usually give no fucks about what people think of me, but when that perception has become my own reality, it is kind of hard to ignore. There are many things I love about myself, none of which have anything to do with my appearance. I do not feel comfortable in my own skin, I haven’t for a while now. I feel like that is the one facet in my life I’ve lost control of. Although there appear to be rational or more logical reasons surrounding this, there are times I am sure I do not have the relationship I want in the way I want because of what I look like. I feel like the old me is the person someone would drop everything for, but not for this version of me now. . .you don’t leave everything for this. I’m just Jo, far from perfect. I hate that I diminish myself so much but sitting with myself in those four walls was like barely surviving an internal bout with my own damn left hook, I lack the confidence I once had and it’s no one’s fault but my own. I don’t like the person I see every day in the mirror. I truly don’t feel like myself looking the way that I do with all this weight on me.
For the past few weeks even months my body has been going through a lot, my fibromyalgia has gotten worse. Some days I can’t sit still for a few minutes before my body starts to hurt again. When I was healthy, and working out consistently, my health was incredible. My circumstances have changed, things are different now. I have an adult, my kid isn’t a baby anymore. Jonathan cooks a lot of his meals, washes his own clothes, checks in to tell me he is safe when he goes out and needs me zero hours of the day. I don’t have to take him to school and practices and everywhere under the sun, I am busy in different ways but not in any way that prevents me from prioritizing myself. I have more than 50% of my time to myself now. I honestly no longer have an excuse.
while I was sitting in the hospital, I thought I had truly fucked up. One of my test results came back positive enough to have me admitted. Yes, I went in with chest pain but up until that point I thought maybe I was having a panic attack. The possibility of facing permanent consequences of my irresponsibility had been looming over me. I have been complacent in the way that I became that person that did everything for her child and others yet left herself behind. Twenty-four hours in the day and the only hours I have been giving myself is sleep. I blame it on my surroundings and the fact that I am just not happy here. I see the same people day in and day out okay with being stagnant and due to a lack of effort, so have I. I see my son making plans and preparing for his future with excitement and I envy him in a good way. He motivates me to find that happiness and feeling of looking forward to what I have in store for myself. I can remember the last time I really applied myself and busted my ass to get where I wanted to be, I want to be there again.
After over 24 hours of tests and tension, I went home with a clean bill of health. I am slightly anemic, which isn’t much of a shock to me. I eat more ice than a pregnant woman and am always the coldest person in a room. Anemia (a slight case of it), isn’t the end of the world compared to what I could have had. My entire family suffers from different ailments, from diabetes to thyroid issues. All of which I have masterfully evaded despite my irresponsibility in self-care. Yes, I am asthmatic and have Fibromyalgia, but both were completely controlled when I was in shape. I ran without an inhaler and now I have been dependent on it as of recently a few times a month.
When I lost all the weight the first time, I had just gone through some big life chances. I became a single parent and had shared custody with Jonathan’s dad (50/50), one week on, one week off and we discussed holidays. It was hard at first, I missed my son and didn’t know what to do with all the time I suddenly had in my hands. Things eventually got better, and I found ways to keep myself busy the weeks I didn’t have Jon. I would give myself 100% of the time of day. I became addicted to working out. I did my bootcamp 3-5 times a week, I ate healthy, I studied and wrote on a regular basis. I was in the best shape of my life. Finally, on the weeks I did have him, I would focus on him and took care of my needs in between, I plugged in the writing when he was sleeping and still worked out, cooked two meals – because at that time, you could not catch Jonathan eating healthy. That life seemed at first impossible, then it became my norm. I did that for about 3 full years. But eventually I had him full time, middle school flew by and high school was around the corner. That change impacted me in many ways.
I’m thankful that I have been a present parent, the football mom and wrestling meet mom, I didn’t miss a single thing, but I didn’t show up for myself, I no longer had the free time to spare and energy. . .well that is what I told myself. The truth is I know I could have kept that up if I had not lost my motivation.
This past weekend was a huge wakeup call, as I sat waiting for cardiac results, I was already devising a plan to fix it and try to undo the damage I had done. Knowing there is nothing critically wrong with me, isn’t a free pass to keep the same energy. I have somehow managed to be healthy despite my weight, it’s been easy to fall into that trap. Although I was able to go home without complication, I will never forget the fear I had as I waited for my results. I don’t want to put myself through that ever again. After taking the time to fully take a look at myself, I know my body deserves better.