We are recently home from paradise. I returned from my six weeks of healthful living in North Carolina, spent one week at home seeing my own doctor and signing up for a local wellness center that offers all the fun classes I will want to take in order to preserve the exercise portion of my healthy lifestyle, and then we boarded a plane for Hawaii to celebrate Blue Eyes’ 53rd birthday.
Transitioning back to real life is difficult. All the stressors and temptations are, of course, still very much here. Blue Eyes did well while I was away. He attended a whopping 45 SA meetings. He enlisted the help of his friends to keep himself busy with healthy, fun activities. He was lonely, but that was to be expected. He always took me for granted, so I knew he would miss me. Truth be told, I am quite a presence! I, on the other hand, managed just fine 2300 miles from home. I loved it there. For five and half weeks I had no desire to return home. Then, as going home became a glaring reality, I adjusted my thinking. I made myself ready. By the time Blue Eyes picked me up at the airport, I was ecstatic to see him.
The first day back was stressful. I could feel the familiar tightening in the chest whenever I was anxious about something, or when I started thinking about all the stressors that home life entails. I did not feel that feeling once while I was away. I am struggling with scheduling in the necessary mindfulness activities that were such a big part of life in NC. Due to our busy schedules, I have been relying on walks, free weights, and the elliptical for my exercise when I would really like to be at the wellness center taking yoga classes and HIIT training. My eating has been okay. I really need to focus on sodium and fat. My weight has come down about three pounds since I returned home, which is good. It’s not just about weight, however, my normal blood pressure readings rely on low sodium, low stress, and some high intensity exercise. I am a work in progress.
I can say that my home doctor was beyond thrilled with my results. My fasting blood sugar reading was down 50 points from my appointment just prior to leaving for back east. My A1C dropped 1.5 points, almost into the normal range. Considering it is a three month reading and I was only gone six weeks, that is a very good sign. My weight was down 20 pounds and my triglycerides were normal for the first time in decades. My total cholesterol and bad cholesterol were cut in half and my good cholesterol more than doubled. To say I experienced incredible results is an understatement. I went from 11 medications per day to 5. In three months, she would like to reduce my medications down to 2-3.
For the most part, life is good. Really good. Our beach house is days away from completion. It looks like we will be able to spend Thanksgiving there as a family. What fun. I know I have a lot to be grateful for and in reality, I am incredibly grateful. The thing is though, I am also forever broken. The gaping hole of pain and trauma has narrowed to the smallest of cracks, but it still hurts. The wound may have healed, but there is still a scar and sometimes that scar is painful.
While we were in Hawaii enjoying the gorgeous view from the deck of our Oahu timeshare, somehow we launched into the topic of childhood, specifically my childhood. I was talking about how my sister experienced severe anxiety when transitioning between our parent’s houses. She was 9 months when they divorced and during her toddler years both she and my mother were tormented by the back and forth of the custody arrangement. Truth be told, and after loads of therapy, I realize I was traumatized by it too. At seven years old, I took care of her as best I could because our Dad was ill equipped. Somewhere in the middle of that conversation, my voice cracked and there was a big intake of breath and I couldn’t hold the tears back. Blue Eyes jumped up and asked what was wrong. All I could mumble out was “how could you hurt me so?” I have literally spent my life taking care of people, innocent, vulnerable people, but also capable adults. I know I sound like a broken record, but it just gets me every time, like a stab to the heart, when I think about the fallacy that by being good, honest, open, kind, and loving, that that same level of love and compassion and respect will be given back to you by the people you love. It doesn’t work that way. Sometimes we are taken for granted. Sometimes we are betrayed by the ones we love most.
It just isn’t fair, and it.still.hurts.
I have much, much more to share about the past 10 weeks, but I needed to get this behind me. I still cherish this space as my way of unburdening myself. Of knowing there are people out there who understand.