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  • Adam 10:17 pm on November 11, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: better, crow, forward, , it will get better, journey, light, quote, release, story, , uplift   

    It can’t rain all the time… 

    My favorite quote from the movie “The Crow” is that it can’t rain all the time.  It reminds me that no matter how bad things get that they will always get better.

    One day 15 years ago I was in florida in a bookstore. I was feeling sad about my life. I got a cup of coffee and settled in to read a novel in the cafe area. A woman immediately got up and walked over and asked if she could sit at my table. I immediately looked around me at all the open tables in confusion. I nodded and mumbled  “Sure”.

    She sat down and asked me how I was doing. I’m guessing she could tell from my face and posture that I was troubled. I wasn’t sure how to react to a stranger but she had taken the initiative. I told her things weren’t going well.

    She stopped me and told me this quick story. She said – “I’m 28 years old, I haven’t seen everything or done everything. But I’ve been around and seen a lot and I’ve had my share of heartache and disappointments. I’ve been so low that I couldn’t see any way that things would get better. One thing I’ve realized in my life as the years go by, is that it will always get better. No matter how bad or how low your life gets, eventually, it will turn around. If you wait long enough and remember this – It WILL get better. There’s nothing so terrible that you can’t recover from it and there’s nothing so bad that will keep you from ever being happy again. It WILL get better.”

    With that she left and I sat there open-mouthed. Confused. The suddenness of her arrival and leaving left me agape. For the next hour I analyzed what she had said but didn’t think much of it. I shrugged and read my book.

    But now, 15 years later, I still see her and I still remember her voice and what she said. She said it will get better. It will. I do know that now. I’ve been through enough between now and then to know that it can’t stay bad forever. It can’t rain all the time.

    Carrie ended things with JJ last night, I was so angry at my lot in life that I rushed to confront her and tell her I couldn’t stand by anymore, that she would lose me forever by doing this. I got there and she dropped it on me, like a bomb. “I ended it”. It sucked the wind out of my sails and the fire from my heart in a split second.

    I told her that we need to act with dignity and respect to do the right thing. To be honest and straightforward no matter what comes to get through this alive and whole. I believe it, and I hope she does too. I’m going back to working on myself and living life again as a person. Just me. But today more than ever I remember, it can’t rain all the time.

     
  • Adam 5:55 am on October 27, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: bemused, journey, new direction, new life, odd, questions   

    Grocery Shopping – Who Knew 

    I’ve been grocery shopping. I went for the third time today. At my new house, my room for rent, I have 2 fridge shelves and I have to restock them fairly often.

    I noticed a change in myself, my pace, my speed while I went shopping. I feel lighter, stronger and more focused. I got what I needed and wondered at this life.

    The more things I do, the more things that feel normal and every day the more I wonder at where I am and how I got here. My routine can get old but I have new habits, new shopping traits. New plans. But they still only go as far as Carrie. I have to start couples therapy tomorrow. I start to find out if we can fix this, heal and come back from it.

    I wonder at this life going forward, how different it will be and what it will include. I went to the old house yesterday to drop off something and it felt strange, cluttered, unfamiliar. I’m not sure how to feel about this. I miss my life, I miss carrie, I miss my friends and not feeling ashamed. But I’m also starting to gain an awareness of what I have to leave behind, what I have to do as a new and better person. It can’t be what I did before.

    My life is delicate, hanging by a thread, but my vision and my focus is better and better. I’m often left bemused, amused, and confused by this strange new world. My new life. It’s just beginning.

     
  • Adam 2:30 pm on September 29, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: adrift, , , future, journey, lost, no phase, , present, what happens now   

    The Final Phase: No Phase at All 

    After everything happened I had days upon days of harsh reflection. Everything happened so brutally – so quickly and so hard – that I didn’t really have any excuses left. I managed to finally see things how they are. The ugly things, the terrible things, the way I’ve treated Carrie.

    The entire endeavor changed in scope and suddenly I could see the things I’ve been doing not for two months but for two years, for five years, for TEN years. I could see for the first time the fear that had been ruling my life and what it meant I would lose.

    What I did to Carrie to bring this to a head was only the last in a long line of relationship-based atrocities. I did recognize a few things right away and made some decisions.

    I decided to stop drinking. I was afraid of doing it which only confirmed that it’s something I needed to do. I remember being told I’m following in my Dad’s footsteps and I just couldn’t live with that path any more.

    I knew I had to start eating right.

    I knew I had to start exercising not just a little but every single day.

    The changes I want to make started coming fast and furious and pretty soon I couldn’t see much of the person I was, in the person that I wanted to be. I didn’t want to be a person that missed out on the fun. I didn’t want to be a person that couldn’t walk around Disneyland for three days with my wife. I didn’t want to be a person that responded to caring questions with anger and accusations. I didn’t want to be a person that couldn’t hold a job or couldn’t fix something they had wrong with themselves when it was very easy to see what it was.

    At some point my qualities turned into my faults and the assertiveness, confidence, humor and joy I had in my life turned into a sick parody of themselves.

    Finally a few days later Carrie and I talked and she told me that she needed to move on. That she couldn’t be in our relationship, she couldn’t trust me, she couldn’t even believe in love anymore.

    I’ve never felt like more of a villain than when my wife told me that I made her stop believing in love.

    That’s the kind of thing that can cut you to your core.

    I feel like a criminal, an ex-convict, someone who has nothing left to do but make amends. I can’t look my friends in the face. I can’t go online and I can’t do anything but re-hash everything over and over.

    The hardest part is that I can’t make amends. Even if I tried she wouldn’t be around to show them to her anymore. I started seeing a therapist, I started health classes, I work out every day, I eat right every day.

    I’ve made a promise to myself to be genuine, to be kind to people, to be respectful of women. Also to be more honest with myself and to never flinch away from what I don’t want to see, at the expense of everyone and everything around me.

    I’ve spent so many years being immature and selfish and I feel now that the only thing I can do is to be more mature and more selfless that I’ve ever been in my life and that maybe if I do that every moment of every day for the rest of my life that maybe someday I’ll be a better person and maybe she’ll notice.

    Maybe someday she’ll meet the person I’ve become. And maybe if lightning could strike twice and there really is such a thing as love we could have it together again.

    I want to be the kind of person that people want to be around. I want to know when someone spends time with me that they know that I’m being honest and that I appreciate them.

    I want to make people smile and not just laugh.

    I want to be the kind of man that just hugs someone and doesn’t mean anything by it. I’ve been told that I’m not the worst person in the world and I’m sure that that’s true. But there’s so many miles between where I’m at and that amazing person I could be. I can see all the catching up I need to do.

    It’s so strange, I exercise every single day, and my knees don’t hurt. I don’t worry about it that much and sometimes I even think about doing it twice in a day. Everything that I was afraid would happen if I just bit the bullet and did what I needed to do, just never materialized and all I see is progress. My wedding ring feels loose and my belt doesn’t hurt quite so much. I have dreams of being a fitness enthusiast, of being strong, of being the kind of person that people admire – physically, mentally and spiritually.

    It seems to beat the hell out of being good at video games and sarcasm. It seems like something I can be proud of and not just for a little while but every day. I’m so ashamed of myself right now that all I can do is try to be a better person and if I can accomplish that and show it to myself every single day for the rest of my life then maybe everything I’ve done up until now had a purpose.

    I am so horrifically afraid that I will have to do this alone and I miss Carrie like my own limb is missing. In the silence between the sounds I hear her singing. When I close my eyes I see hers. When I roll over in bed I can feel her warmth behind me.

    I would take 10 years of silence if I knew at the end of it I could hear her voice. Instead I just have to try, I just have to improve. I have to be the man she deserved all along. Someone who would leap to help her with the chores so that she wouldn’t have the burden to herself. Someone that could take her anywhere she wanted to go because she deserves it. A true partner someone who is invested completely in our mutual happiness and our future.

    That Future is gone, it’s muddy now and I don’t know if it even involves me anymore. That’s my punishment for 10 years. That’s what I deserve for 20 minutes of lust. I didn’t just cheat on Carrie I let her drag me behind her for 10 years before I did. She doesn’t deserve that, nobody does, and I hope maybe someone reading these words will avoid that same fate.

    I wish I could write the next chapter now and let you know how it all turns out.

    I can’t.

    But I can tell you that there’s an adult who will march quietly into a better future. Hopefully this time with dignity and maturity and who shakes your hand and looks you in the eye and that you can tell has his shit together. That man used to be fat, he used to be sad, and he still loves Carrie.

     
  • Adam 11:18 am on September 29, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , collapse, , guilt, journey, mistakes, , ,   

    Phase 10: Full Circle 

    That kind of brings us to now. I have always had a high sex drive. I’ve dated people I didn’t like and done things I’m embarrassed about. Before I met Carrie, I had awkward one-night stands, weird relationships, marathon porn sessions. Most of that stopped after Carrie and I started dating, well everything except the porn.

    After a few years into our relationship, we started trying ‘swinging’ with another couple. And it was two nice attractive people who seemed to like both of us physically, even though I was not looking so great. For a while it was a balm to my ego and it made me feel like not only can we handle this, but that it’s good for us. It made me feel wanted, and made me feel like there was someone else who would also sleep with me.

    I couldn’t be that bad could I? I mean TWO women are willing to sleep with me on occasion and they’re both gorgeous. It’s something I clung to night after night when Carrie would roll away from me, annoyed at my fumbling attempts to just ‘get off’.

    Oh do my problems stop? Nope. I’m a womanizer.

    Not in the classic 1950’s sense of “A man who treats women poorly or engages in multiple sex-based relationships” more like “A man who flirts constantly, gropes women, and generally acts like he’s single when he’s not”.

    When I was younger I used to just be a flirt, maybe a little over-confident at times, and fairly notorious when I was drunk. But I never thought of myself as someone who made people uncomfortable. I’ve found over time and over the years, that I got worse and worse. More and more bold with people.

    I’ve gotten warned away from people’s girlfriends. I’ve had to make awkward apologies. It got to the point where people would warn other people before meeting me. He’s “Handsy” they would say, or “Doesn’t have boundaries”.

    It’s taken me a while but as I got more and more heavy, more unattractive and more unhappy. I would reach out more and more to everyone around me. If I could grab-ass a little and kiss the girls I must still have “it” right? I felt so bad all the time about how I looked the only way I could get through the weekend was to push boundaries and feel sexy. Most of the time I did this just as readily in front of Carrie as behind her back. It seems like I’m scum, but I honestly did want her to know. I’m not doing this as a secret. This isn’t a “cheating method” this is a just me being me, and if I’m not hiding it from own wife, how much harm could it really do?

    Carrie would tell me how embarrassed she would get at parties when people would ask her “Why do you let him do that?” and she would shrug and say “Oh he doesn’t mean anything by it”. I guess frankly I didn’t. I didn’t want to sleep with everyone, I just wanted to feel like I was the same old Adam who used to break hearts and change women frequently. The Adam that didn’t have a weight problem and people thought was dashing, handsome and charismatic.

    I do at least assure you, I was all those things at some point.

    I think eventually I got by on pure charisma, and then eventually I got by on feeling up women and breaking boundaries.

    One month came along where Carrie was gone for four weekends in a row. She was off showing her prize goats, which she loves to do and it made her happy. I was feeling particularly low when she sat me down and told me that she would be gone for four weekends in a row. Because of our work schedules we didn’t see each other much during the week and I knew with her gone during the weekend that I would be largely alone for an entire month.

    I actually welcomed the solitude. There were times where I was depressed and I just wanted to be alone. These four weekends I actually took the time to be by myself and for the most part I enjoyed it. Things had been strained between us for a while, maybe a break is what I needed.

    For the first few weeks I lazed around and enjoyed myself and it wasn’t so bad. I even got some thinking done about my life. On the fourth weekend things it started to get old and I found myself missing her more and more.

    I remember resenting that she was gone for so long and that she didn’t seem to mind that I wasn’t with her. She seemed preoccupied with what she was doing and all I could think about was that I was by myself and no one seemed to care.

    That weekend I proceeded to get drunk at home by myself. I put away a few glasses of whiskey and started texting with people one of them was my old coworker Liz who told me that she was going to quit drinking and that this was her final day to drink. I guess at that point I kind of knew what I was doing although I definitely had some liquid courage in me. I invited her over and we ended up drinking even more together.

    A lot of it’s a blur but I remember making a move and having it reciprocated and things quickly escalating. we ended up in the bedroom and thanks to alcohol, there wasn’t much I could actually accomplish. It’s safe to say that I basically embarrassed myself – and while it was wholly inappropriate – it didn’t go well.

    The whole endeavor took about 20 minutes and afterwards sobriety came crashing in. We both stood there awkwardly, she asked if we could still be friends, I told her yes that we could be friends and while it was clear we both regretted what we had done. We mutually agreed to put it behind us and pretend it hadn’t happened.

    About two months went by and in that time I experienced a lot of guilt I thought about telling Carrie in 1000 different ways what had happened. I even thought maybe if I came clean the right way that she wouldn’t be THAT mad – that she might understand. We had had these experiences with other people and maybe she was open-minded enough to see that this wasn’t as bad as it could be and it was just a mistake.

    I actually started to clean up my act. I think it was the first glimmer I’d had in a long time that something was seriously wrong and it wasn’t going to go away on its own. I started helping more and volunteering more. For a while I actually felt like maybe I was starting to change and be a better husband. Maybe that’s part of why I kept silent.

    Ultimately I was afraid. I knew there was every chance that I had blown everything and if there was a chance that it would ruin everything I couldn’t risk it. They often say that confessing an affair is often relieving your own guilt and putting the burden on the other person and I guess I thought maybe I was doing her a favor or the right thing.

    As most secrets do – It all came out and in a single hour – and in a single day my life collapsed.

     
  • Adam 8:08 pm on September 27, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: attraction, backsliding, dysfunction, , journey, limbo, , , sexual, ugly   

    Phase 9: Backsliding 

    After we got back from Disneyland I fell into limbo. I was making good money, Carrie was safe and secure, at least financially. I stopped talking to my mother, first for one week, then two and three. I stopped paying attention to what I was eating and eventually I was just getting McDonalds for lunch and not really caring. I was so happy to be paying off my credit card bills that have haunted me for years. Credit card bills I racked up buying things to distract myself constantly.

    Yes I also have a spending problem.

    For the most part I would just keep my credit cards maxed I never really went beyond that but I would always spend enough to keep them maxed out.

    I called my Mom at one point, I told her I was concerned about myself and my behavior but that I was doing something good for myself. I was paying my bills. She told me it’s okay to tackle one thing at a time and to go ahead and get it done. So having absolved myself of any responsibility I just plunged onward. Somewhere in the middle of this I was about 375 pounds.

    For a long time, sex with Carrie had turned kind of perfunctory. About once a week we could get the job done and sometimes it was fun and other times it was just another chore. I remember when things slowed down and I kept constantly asking myself why, why did it go south all of a sudden. The whole time packing on weight like there’s no tomorrow and not doing much to keep my appearances up.

    I think I knew why we didn’t have sex that much and I so desperately wanted to believe that Carrie just had a low sex drive and it had nothing to do with me. But truth be told. I wasn’t very sexy. I wasn’t being charming or fun, in the bedroom.

    Sometimes sure, but most of the time. I was needy and demanding. Petulant and wanting. For the most part even the act of sex, probably my favorite thing to do in the world, was difficult and awkward and more often than not I couldn’t please Carrie.

    More often than not, I just stopped trying to please her.

    We will tell ourselves anything to not hurt and I told myself that she didn’t want to sleep with me because she just wasn’t into sex. I wanted to believe it. She wasn’t into sex because I brought nothing sexy to the table. An overweight guy with a hungry look in eyes who will just get off and go to sleep. Every woman’s dream right?

     
  • Adam 8:14 pm on September 26, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: career, disneyland, , ecstasy, , , finances, job, journey, money, pain, , shame, vacation, walking, wheelchair   

    Phase 8: Ask and Ye Shall Receive 

    Quickly enough, I found a job, not just a job… A great job. For an educational company, making really good money. Suddenly, everything seemed possible.

    I had money coming in, I could pay my bills, I could pay her bills. I could afford groceries and I could treat her kindly for a change. I was so glad that my life had turned around so quickly that I just wanted to make everything about Carrie for a bit.

    I took her to Disneyland for vacation. We ended up walking around so much that first day that I was in agony. I was still 350 pounds, and after 12 solid hours of walking the dream vacation turned into a nightmare. My ankles, my knees, my hips, were on fire. I felt like I was walking on knives.

    Carrie was so excited about Disneyland that she didn’t want to abandon her hopes and dreams because I was “sore” she tried to talk me into getting up at 6am and going back to the park the very next day and doing it all over again. I got mad, we yelled, we fought. I told her “I can’t do this”. Eventually she relented and let me sleep in a bit and to take it slow the next day. The next day stretched into 9-10 hours of walking and I was almost worse off than before. I was dying on my feet and I was so scared of another day of this that I was ready to fake a heart attack to get out of it. We fought again.

    That next day I tried to go out again and perform this miracle a third time. Carrie was trying so hard to make this happen. She offered to get me a wheelchair. So that I wouldn’t have to walk. I felt embarrassed but I figured if it’s the only way for her to be happy that I’d give it a try. We awkwardly went up to the counter at Disneyland and asked about renting a wheelchair. They didn’t ask any questions they just rented us a chair and they wheeled one out. Of course, it was too small.

    They went back and brought out an XL chair, for people like me. You know, people that don’t even fit in normal wheelchairs. I sat down and awkwardly placed my feet in the stirrups. Then of course the reality set in. How do we move this damn thing? It’s a giant chair with 350 pounds in it. I tried spinning the wheels myself but I could make about 1 mile an hour at best. Carrie as a trooper just started pushing me. This next 5-10 minutes was some of the most shaming and awful of my entire life.

    My wife huffing and puffing, straining and grunting to maneuver me through a theme park. As I sat with my feet up and tried to look sheepish. Wondering if everyone saw this and thought I was injured, lazy, or retarded. We barely had made it inside the park when I just called a stop. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t spend the next 10 hours listening to my lovely wife shove me around a park while sounding like she’s pushing a boulder uphill. I would rather hurt.

    I silently popped about 5 ibuprofen and we returned the chair. Knowing what the alternative was now, I had decided to suffer through. I was careful not to wince or complain or to even show how much it hurt. I stumbled around we saw some more of the park. Mostly I tried to do what she wanted but I was in almost constant agony. Eventually we took some Ecstasy we had smuggled into the park toward the end of the night, and in a haze of artificial happiness and a complete lack of pain, we rounded out the night and ended on a good note. The next day we flew home in a fog and started living life again. I didn’t even really think about it for a few days.

    Then I would think about that wheelchair and how hard it was for Carrie to move me and the feelings I felt floating along and feeling miserable while she carried me.

    I guess it felt like a little too perfect of a metaphor.

     
  • Adam 10:55 pm on September 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: 20 pounds, cavalry, , , journey, mom, , , rescue,   

    Phase 7: Calling in the Calvary 

    Where is my Mother this whole time? Waiting patiently in New Mexico. She had basically retired and constantly worked on spiritualism, self-improvement, life-coaching and even nutrition. She was everything that I was not. She was very organized, financially responsible, spiritually attuned, and passionately healthy.

    When my Dad started to slide under, so many years ago, my Mom chose to rise above. She got versed in alcoholism, in recovery, in the spiritual side of life. She rose to massive challenges in the harshest conditions you can imagine. I respect her immensely and I never really felt like I had much to offer her, in her enlightened life. But I knew she cared and I thought she would help.

    I called and I basically spilled it all out on the table. My weight, my depression, my feelings of being lost and unsure about everything. I tried very hard to give control over to her. I didn’t believe in a higher power, but I did believe in my Mother. She was amazing. She gave great advice and in short order she had me reflecting on my life and planning my meals and working toward a better way.

    I remember feeling guilty. That I could turn to my Mom but not my own wife. Carrie didn’t have to struggle with what I did. She hadn’t been so fat that you can’t wipe yourself properly and experience the anguish that comes along with that. Being obese is impossible to describe to anyone because it’s a slow ongoing process. You make more and more discoveries about how your body has betrayed you that it’s never just ONE realization. It’s a hundred realizations over a thousand days and a million meals.

    There was a few months there, where it got better. I started walking several days a week. I changed my whole method of eating and was trying different approaches. We talked 3 days a week and she was like my trainer, my counselor and my food coach all wrapped into one.

    I lost 20 pounds.

    Eventually finances reared their ugly head. Carrie was happy that I was making changes and she even offered to pay for my rent and my bills to keep me going. I couldn’t accept that. I couldn’t deal with her suffering for me for another 6 months, or year or whatever it took, while I peevishly ate brown rice and tried to take walks.

    I was still extremely ashamed of my behavior thus far, and I couldn’t imagine continuing to be a burden. I started looking to a job and I felt like maybe I could handle that and my current path of righteousness.

     
  • Adam 8:48 pm on September 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: break, business, entrepeneur, , , journey, pause, , reprieve, short,   

    Phase 6: A Short Reprieve 

    During a solid year of my unemployment, Carrie worked constantly and made good money. Her wrist would hurt, her back would hurt. She was a pet groomer with her own business and it’s active, hard work. She kept us afloat, paid for dinners, paid for groceries, paid for everything. While I blew my meagerly unemployment checks and under-the-table work on treats for myself, gadgets, video games and distractions. I tried starting my own business but in retrospect, it was stupid. I think about what Carrie went through to start her company, the long hours and the endless questioning and fear. The setbacks and the heartache.

    I think inwardly, I was proud of Carrie and maybe even a bit jealous and I wanted to show that I could do what she had. I tried starting my own Web Design company. I got a business license. I opened a business checking account and I did everything you’re supposed to do to start a business. In my head I could imagine myself on the phone 12 hours a day hard-selling myself.

    To be honest I wasn’t really up to selling my self. My work ethic was lax at best and my work was decent but not anything exciting. I think I just loved the idea of being my own boss. To do what Carrie had done and to be proud of something I created. I managed to get a few clients and talk a lot about it. The spirit was willing, the flesh was weak. Eventually I stopped trying.

    I stumbled through some work projects and told myself I was doing okay. I argued with Carrie a lot and eventually after months of this I got buried under a deep fuzzy blanket of pure depression. The likes of which I hadn’t felt since my Dad died. I would get up at 10am, stumble to my desk, check emails and pretend to work for 2 hours. Then I would abandon the facade and just play video games for 5-6 hours.

    Carrie would come home, exhausted, upset, and tired. I would be dying for human company and spoiling for a fight. I would claim that I was working too. That I was working hard. Just so I wouldn’t feel so guilty. She would complain and I would complain right back.

    I was so desperate to support this lie – that I was also having a difficult day – that I would refuse to help her with anything. Claiming that I was ‘also tired’ and she would have to do more and more every day to keep the household stumbling along, cleaning, laundry, running her own business. While I sulked and pretended not to play video games.

    At some point I got so depressed I just couldn’t move. I couldn’t even play games. I was just wander around in a funk and watch movies. I was really scraping bottom. It was only after a week of that that I realized I desperately needed to change something.

     
  • Adam 9:32 am on September 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: fast, , , gallbladder, journey, juice fast, nearly dead, , , , sick, starving, surgery   

    Phase 5: Like “Really” Fat 

    I’d been heavy since I was a teenager so it never shocked me how fat I was. It comes on in stages, in waves and you don’t really think about it.

    There’s lots of little cues you start to see. Parts of you start sagging. Other parts jiggle. You feel more tired more quickly. Stairs become scary. You’re afraid to let people see you without a shirt. These things just slowly build up.

    I remember when my belt started bothering me. My belly hung over my belt buckle and because my jobs involved sitting a lot, my belly would press down into my belt buckle. It’s strange, I never really had the issue before, and suddenly my stomach hurt all the time. It would leave scratches and callouses on my stomach. I got used to the idea that every time I stood up, I had to brace myself for a sharp pain and pull my belt out of my stomach.

    Carrie commented one day that I had horrible skin where this occurred. I was so instantly ashamed that I snapped at her. “I KNOW” I would say with a hint of sarcasm. I would desperately try to draw her attention anywhere else.

    This was my body, I knew all its faults and features. She would stop talking about it but her eyes said plenty. God, what I wouldn’t give to wear a belt without a sense of fear. Every time I strap one on, and trust me at this weight you NEED one, I would shudder a little inside. I knew it would hurt later. I felt that I probably deserved it. I thought about switching to suspenders, but just the thought of explaining why the hell I looked like a 50’s nerd, sent me into paralysis.

    I tried juice-fasting. We watched the movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”, and it was fairly inspiring. It seemed like there was not only a way back from my condition, but a quick way back. I fasted the first time for 23 days and I lost 30 pounds in that time.

    I was so exuberant. 30 pounds. I don’t think I’ve ever lost 30 pounds…. ever. Inevitably, this proved to be a quick fix with a quick backlash. I started gaining some of the weight back. I hadn’t really learned to change anything. I just hoped that motivation alone would set me on the path.

    After a month or so I started having stomach pains. I ended up losing weight so quickly, I gave myself gallstones. Eventually after 3 trips to the emergency room I had to have surgery to remove my gallbladder and I was bedridden for days, barely able to move for weeks.

    I was terrified and in pain. Carrie was with me and beside me the whole time. I made it through and silently vowed not to juice fast like that again. Around this time I weighed about 340 pounds, dipping to a low of 330 around the end of the juice fast. Before I knew it, I was 350, 360 pounds. I was closer to 400 pounds than I was to 300 pounds.

    There’s something about nice round numbers that people love. 200 pounds, 300 pounds. These are milestones. If you pass 200 pounds, you’re getting unhealthy. When you cross north of 300 you’re definitively unhealthy. When you approach 400 you feel like human garbage. I watched the scale silently scream toward 400. Hell, I had to get a new scale because my roommate’s old one, only went to 350. That’s right, the scale didn’t even work for me anymore. Every time I thought about it I felt a deep and burning shame. That sometime as simple as ‘eating right’ and ‘being active’ seemed impossible, crippling, terrifying.

    As I hovered and fluctuated around 370, 380, I would try to focus on other things. I did improv comedy, I worked in journalism and writing. I laughed with my friends, went to the movies constantly. There wasn’t much I could do at that weight. So every few weeks I’d find myself, standing on shore while my friends went ‘tubing’ and hanging back while people walked ahead. Pretending constantly that I didn’t want to do things because they were boring, or tedious. When in fact I just didn’t trust my body to keep up. I got so ashamed that I couldn’t really even process it. I just ignored it. I’d have fits of shame almost daily but just tamp them down to avoid getting depressed.

     
  • Adam 6:30 pm on September 23, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , happy, journey, , proposal, safe, ,   

    Phase 4: Wedding Bells 

    There got to be a point where there was a lot of tension about our relationship. We had some major fights, some major make-ups. My weight came up a lot, my health did, and I deflected it. I was trying – I’d say – I was struggling. I wasn’t really, I was just frozen. I didn’t know how to eat better, to exercise, it all seemed so foreign. Like changing my life and my hobbies and my happiness for some idea that didn’t quite make sense to me. It just seemed like staring at the base of a mountain of change, and thinking, “I’d better not, it looks dangerous”.

    I remember intellectualizing everything. Turning it into a philosophical debate, and browbeating Carrie into seeing my own misguided point-of-view. Working out was dangerous for me, all I could do was ‘walk’. I needed a trainer, a professional. This is just the way I am. Any excuse I could come up with to not drastically change my life – I provided. I actually tore my knee ligament one time while camping and after that I had a pretty solid excuse to not work out because it wasn’t ‘safe’ I hid behind everything.

    Carrie could see deep down that I was afraid. I was afraid I would fail, I was afraid she wouldn’t love me if I did fail. I think she understood on a deeper level than I did what it was that motivated me at my core. That I desperately wanted to be loved as I was, even if I wasn’t perfect. I wanted to believe that I didn’t need to be any better than I was just now. In an effort to show me that and to give me the foundation that I could really trust. She proposed to me.

    I was shocked, she asked me to meet her in the park where we first started seeing each other. Some horrible part of me actually thought she was going to dump me. But she did it. She was brave. She dropped to one knee, told me that she would stick with me through whatever I needed to go through, to be the kind of person I needed to be. I accepted whole-heartedly. Even though I wasn’t the person I wanted to be, I knew deeply and instantly that she was the person I wanted to be with. I told myself I would earn this. I would deserve a love like this and that I would reach the mountain-tops with her by my side.

    That year flew by like a whirlwind, we planned the wedding, she was aching to fit into her wedding dress and she dieted and exercised and once again flew through the process that seemed so effortless to her and so insurmountable to me. By the time the date came around, I was heavier than ever.

    She was radiant. She was so beautiful it hurt my heart. I felt that if I had done something to deserve this creature, then I must be a pretty great guy. But I remember looking at our wedding photos and being ashamed.

    Each photo had an unflattering angle, showed some sign that I was not just overweight but obese. My hair was thinning and I was developing a bald spot. I couldn’t look at those photos and not feel a little bit disgusted with myself. Carrie looked like an angel and while I couldn’t have had a bigger smile on my face, it was a face surrounded by too much landscape to really see it.

    Soon it was over and we had some talks and really tried to adapt to a LIFE together. To forever. I went through some changes, my mind and my point of view changed.

    I had to wrap my head around what a marriage was. I always thought when I was young that people did it because they simply knew. Later in life and after I got to be a little more cynical, I thought that people did it because they wanted to have kids, or were afraid to be alone. I didn’t really know what marriage meant, to me, or anyone.

    I started thinking about ’till death do us part’ and to be honest, it didn’t scare me. I knew I loved her with all my heart and that forever with her wouldn’t be so bad. I never flinched at growing old with her.

    Some selfish part of me knew I might die young. That I would probably die when my Father did. Around mid-fifties. His crutch was booze and mine was food, and like peas in a pod we would both succumb to heart failure by 55. At times it was almost comforting. On some level I knew she would outlive me and then I would be gone and while she would suffer, and probably live a good long time afterward, that she was the strong one. She would pull it together like I never could. She would be OK.

     
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