I’ve been really sick.
I was really sick & tired for about 6 months.
When I quit smoking, it sent me straight to Hell and into Hypothyroidism that went unchecked for 3 months. As a result, I gained 5 pounds a week for 8 weeks in a row, pouring a swift and staggering 40lbs onto my petite frame. Far more than the standard 10 lbs one can expect, from the slow down to the system that smoking cessation typically creates. It was the freaking WORST!!
I was miserable!
And I do mean MISERABLE, in every possible way!!
Not only did I suffer the worst that Hypothyroidism could throw at me: Puffy face, extreme fatigue, hoarseness, muscle weakness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, zero concentration, weight gain, more hair loss, and some bonus depression. I had to deal with the withdrawals from smoking, on top of all that! It threw me into a radical, personal pole shift, no doubt about it. There was so much going on with my body that I had no control over, I was a veritable stranger in my own skin. I hated every other ounce that had found it’s way into every area of my body. I was an emotional shipwreck, washed up onto territory that was completely foreign to me. I had no idea what to do with myself, besides consult a physician and possibly a psychiatrist. I was all but lost, without my 40 year constant companion, who could always calm me down.
I WAS IN CONSTANT PAIN.
I was afraid that was my new normal.
My body hurt everywhere but especially my legs and my hands. I felt like a balloon that had been blown up too quickly, just shy of the popping point. I felt like I was as full as one could possibly be, without actually exploding. Carrying this new weight HURT! I was too damn tired to carry it, too! It hurt physically like I would never have imagined, but also it hurt me mentally too. It really threw me to the ground in a way nothing had before. I thought, WOW… IAM really found me weak point now, good for them!
I was not a gal that ever really worried about how she looked, and certainly not my weight, so this was very left field for me. But with the world potentially watching me turn into Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka, my pain was magnified by raw embarrassment and the idea that my enemies would actually delight in my suffering.
I found myself facing all the fears, every human who does not feel perfect, faces. This fear was tangible, and quite the heavy low down. I suddenly felt a monumental heaviness for every overweight person on the planet, who felt they did not measure up to the impossible standards, of a freaking hanger. I developed sympatico for the kind of worries only high profile folks are subject to that I previously had no understanding of. It is bad enough having to hit a low cycle in your life, it is exponentially more horrific doing so, while god and everyone is watching. I felt for every single one of us, and it made me cry.
I am not going to lie, there were times that I wished with all my heart, I would just go to sleep and not wake up, so I could avoid the ongoing humiliation and the colossal amount of work that lay ahead. I absolutely did not want to face what I needed to, to get past this hurdle. I did not want to do this!! I was pissy-pot-pie on pep pills. I was dragging my tail behind me like a 800 lb leash. I was spitting nails angry that I would have to undo, what never should have occurred to begin with -had my doctor been a better advocate for my health. I knew the only way to get through this terrible turn of events, was going to require a whole bunch of effort on my part to fix. I cannot even describe how pissed off I was about it. Brad can though. He knows. He was my primary higher witness. He was the one I reached out to for the most part, although Papa and Christine were there for me also.
I called Brad a lot, so he caught the brunt of my furious rage. I called him crying, screaming, ranting, whimpering and too angry to speak. I called him just about every single day for months, working myself into lather almost every time I did. He witnessed my death throes and I promise you, it wasn’t pretty. I had no way to dial myself down without a cigarette! I was screaming to the moon without a safety harness. I am convinced Brad must have put me on mute to get through the bulk of it. The endless repetition would have driven me crazy, but Brad took it like, he was actually paid to deal with me. No really. That is exactly how I would describe it. He really was a rock, on the other side of my hard place. I was frozen in my angst for months, before I was able to get moving again. My anger had eclipsed everything in my life, and I had become a shadow unto myself.
The most horrific part of this for me was, dealing with the mirror. The one staring back at me was “Consumption V”, the version of myself who drank far to much to avoid her pain. I buried her almost 11 years ago, and here she was again, bloated and ready to gloat. It was incredibly hard to face her. I did not get sober and quit killing myself slowly, to face HER again!! Her very presence added insult to injury, and damn near pushed me, over the edge of myself.
I was absolutely distraught.
Literally everything I knew how to do to move pass this, I ignored. I was obsessively hanging black crepe, in an effort to hide the terrible truth. The terrible truth was, there was no short cut! There was no easy fix. There was no savior on their way to magically fat burn me down and spit me out fabulous! I was ultimately going to have to move all the way through this alone, and it was going to take a tremendous amount of effort on my part, to do so.
After a couple of professional examinations of my heart, and lungs, I got off my fat arse and started moving. It was my second attempt to do so. I had started with the gym the moment I became a non-smoker, but had to pause until my doc could figure out what was going on with my body. When I first started “Striding” (a combo of running, walking & occasionally some interpretive dance) I was so freaking out of shape, I could barely move myself at all. I felt like I was carrying 600 lbs of cement on top of my 800lb tail. It was such a drag! Quite literally. I was glad I had all the tests for my heart first, because it felt like I was having a heart attack every time I worked it out, for the first couple of weeks. I could not even believe how out of shape I was overall, having not been in a gym for 2 decades. I promise you when I say, there are a couple of smokers in my neighborhood that know I bawled my way through, many of my strides!
I hated every minute of the first several weeks of it.
I did not lose weight.
I GAINED it!
I was the biggest baby you have ever seen, and Brad heard it all. He would do everything he could, to intuitively diagnosis what ailed me, no doubt hoping my angst would end soon. It was he (and my mum) who suggested the thyroid was out of whack, when all my other tests were coming back normal. I really am grateful to him for his time and efforts! He went to heroics for me, he really did.
But the thing that bothered me the most throughout this entire ordeal, was the fact that I could no longer feel the presence of The Illuminati in my life. I felt fully abandoned by them. I could not feel them in any way, shape, or form, even though it was clear my Initiation was still in progress, throughout it all. I know, I know…they are always watching. But for me, it seemed they got into their space ships and decided to watch me from Saturn while they turned up the heat. I thought they no longer cared about me, or how I was feeling. I felt they had pushed me down and left me for dead, even though it was my decision to quit smoking. I had several significant fires going in that same 6 months period of time, and I can honestly say it was (by far) the hardest part of my Initiation process, to date.
The whole time I was losing my shit, I reluctantly and RESENTFULLY moved towards the solution. I committed to exercise 5 days a week and for the most part, I followed through on that, even when I did not want to. Mostly, I did not want to. I was still livid that I even had to. The only reason I was able to show up at all, is because I knew showing up was the only way to get that person screaming at me from the back of my head, to shut the hell up. Besides, I immediately felt better knowing I was moving into a solution, even if I could not see any evidence of it.
At times I put all my heart into it and at others, I showed up halfheartedly. I showed up in the grubbiest fat clothes you can picture, but I showed up! Even when I gained an additional 7 more pounds, and I was in a state of despair as a result, I showed up. Even when I was crying, I still showed up. I showed up to stride even if I had to take a nap beforehand, to do so. I showed up when my legs were like painful balloons ready to pop. I showed up and strode through the freaking burning pain and the bloated loss of motion. I showed up with or without the music. With or without my enthusiasm. And with or without any desire to do so. I hated almost every minute of it for 2 full months, possibly more, but I showed up.
I freaking showed up!!
While I have yet to reach my goal, which is predicated on how I feel in my skin not how I look, I still feel 1000Xs better than I had before. I am starting to move more fluidly again, and the constant burning has ceased. I do not see “Consumption V” in the mirror anymore, and that alone brings a sign of relief, which has the potential to create hurricanes.
Without a doubt, this has been one of the most challenging battles of my life. This was on par with fighting your way back from an injury, after an accident for me. Even though it does not yet show, I can feel HaPPy and Healthy V, being carved out inside of every corner of me. I know it will not be very much longer, before the outside matches what is happening within. I can tell you right now though, my sense of accomplishment is over the stack right now! It is especially sweet, when you didn’t even want to do the thing, that you have kicked arse, taken names and DONE!!
OH!! And it turns out…this exercise stuff is GREAT at diminishing the smack my head likes to talk, and it doesn’t look so bad on my legs either! I’m starting to get excited about this renovated and ravishing V, I just know will emerge; eventually! The one who faced that freaking mountain, and strode all over it, like the Victoryas Princess-Goddess that she truly, and thoroughly is!
The whole point of sharing this snippet, is to serve as a reminder for us all that we can face whatever it is, that stares us down. We can stare right back at it, face our fear, and conquer the fork out of whatever we must face.
That is a fact!
We are never given more than we can stand.
Please do NOT lose sight of that EVER, Beacons.
When you think you cannot do that thing, you don’t even want to do.
When you think you can go no farther, on a path you never wanted to take.
You can and you will.