Single Mom Slice of Change:
The Power Of Tough “Self Love”
“I am not giving up on you the way everyone else has.”
The sounds of Rene’s voice echoing through my head – even twelve hours later – is still making me cry.
Why? I’m glad you asked.
I have this – let’s call it a phobia – that I cannot be loved. My biological mom was/is a junkie and has not been a part of my life for nearly 20 years. My dad has seven children in all – and living in another state which means that if you’re not in front of his face, he doesn’t remember your name. I’ve titled it his, “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” complex. Then there was my husband – until he beat me one too many times and wasn’t my husband anymore.
I tell you that to tell you this: When people who are biologically hard-wired to love you don’t, you find a way to cope.
I chose food as my way.
Related: Single Mom Slice Of… Change
Food has been my drug of choice for over 20 years now.
This week, I started rehab. Not literally, but – basically. I traveled to Texas to join a group of women, Rene included, to learn how to eat, how to exercise, and most importantly, how to take care of myself.
I have, with the exception of a few Facebook postings, never met these women before.
Together, we laughed, we shared stories of ourselves, we ate… then we went to work.
My aunt Rene and me. Love knows when to push harder
Our first bonding experience was a hike. By the end of it, it had more of a, “3-hour tour” feeling. There were tears, there was laughter, there were pleas for the torture to stop, and one small incident where I may or may not have fainted.
You see, this wasn’t a calm, “oh-look-at-pretty-flowers” sort of nature walk. This was a “climb-rocks, crawl-under-fallen-trees, try-not-to-fall-over-the-cliff” kind of HIKE. And through it all, these women, who less than 24 hours before, had never laid eyes on one another, held hands, encouraged each other, applauded over every rock and hugged at the end.
Climbing, balancing, stretching, growing.
It wasn’t until the next day that we learned we had completed a trial hike rated 4 out of 5 on the difficulty scale – and we’d done it in the rain.
By the end, Rene and I had words for each other. Remember, we’re family, and families fight.
My chosen words will NEVER go down in history: “Don’t baby me!”
Her words were a little more eloquent: “I am not giving up on you the way everyone else has.”
Two things occurred to me at that moment:
- I suck at verbal sparring.
- I had given up on myself.
It is very hard not to fall apart like a baby when one more person, who could have walked away from me, chose not to. It’s even harder when five other women are seconding that statement.
Since my journey started, my eating habits have changed. I’m more active. And I’ve lost 26 pounds.
But, thanks to Nicole Sanders, the brilliance behind Ladimax Sports and Fitness, my Aunt Rene, and a group of beautiful and strong women who believe in supporting each other instead of tearing them down, I have gained so much more.
Me: Scared but ready for the journey
– A new found belief in myself
– The realization that I am worth love
– I am loved, supported, and believed in.
It seems cliche, but those will all help me move to a better, happier, and healthier place…
… and that’s what makes change a little less scary.
Have you ever had someone like my Aunt Rene, give you a dose of reality that really stuck with you? What was it?