About 10 years ago, I lost about 65 pounds. I was on top of the world. I felt the best I had in years, and I was ready to take on the world. Except that I didn't. Life intervened, and I lost myself again.
I lost myself to the grief of 3 miscarriages within a year, a malfunctioning gallbladder, a child who was lost in her own little world of anxiety, who took it out on me physically for over 2 years, and the loss of my church family somewhere during all of this. Things were just starting to get on track when we found out Scooter needed to have a spinal fusion, followed by the death of my dad just 5 weeks after being diagnosed with lung cancer, the suicide of my nephew 5 months after that, and the imprisonment of a nephew, just a few years younger than me, for the death of the driver of the car he hit when he was driving drunk sent me into a tailspin.
In the midst of the paralysis of my grief, the basement flooded, and we had to deal with mounds of stuff and how to get rid of it, followed by a winter consumed by the swine flu, several allergic reactions to medications, and the stresses of hospitalizations with the kids and dealing with Hopper transitioning out of high school as well as the whole guardianship debacle.
Needless to say, I haven't really concentrated on me, and all the weight has returned and brought extra friends to the party. Creeps. Each and every one of them.
Anyway, a memory of something someone said to me after I'd lost the weight several years ago came back to me yesterday, and that's what started me along the line of thought of my weight. It just takes me awhile to get to my point.
I have a friend that used to live just a few blocks away but has since moved out of state. A few months after she moved away, she asked me, if I'd gained the weight back yet. She seemed like she was actually hoping that I had failed at it. Granted, she's heavy herself, and I'm sure that played a role in it. She was hurting. I totally and completely get that. But I don't know that I'd ever known anyone I'd considered a friend who had actually wished for me to fail. I'm sure that there have been plenty of people, both friends and others, who have waited for me to fail, but I'd like to think not many have wished it.
And I realized that after she said this, our friendship was never quite the same again. That's just how it is with some friendships. Some of them just fade into the mist like a distant memory, and others are still just as wonderful and vibrant no matter the distance and years between you. I have the compassion for her that I lacked as a child, and I understand that part of her wishing I would fail has to do with the fact that she, herself, hasn't had any real success with losing weight. And I honestly feel no ill will toward her.
However, I realize that's part of the reason I've been avoiding my blog. I know that if my friend can wish me to fail on my weight loss, that there are those out there who are wishing me to fail on my dehoarding. That there are those out there who want me to fail, because they don't want to think of me as anything but a slob, because they hate hoarding and what it means to them, whether they're a hoarder themselves, or whether their a family member of a hoarder.
And you know what? I'm not angry with them. Because I don't know what things in their lives have caused them to feel that way, and I don't know what they've been through. All I know is that I made a commitment to myself all those years ago, when I realized I was a hoarder, that I am going to make it through this in one piece.
I am not beaten. I have not given up. And I will not leave this for my family to deal with once I'm gone. Not only will the hoarding not get the best of me, but the weight won't either. I know in my heart it will happen, and I will be successful. It may not be on anyone else's timeline, but it will happen.
To those who are wishing me to fail, I'm sorry you're going through whatever you are that makes you want to see me stumble and fall. I'm sorry you're hurting. I pray you find peace.
And to those of you who are silently and not-so-silently rooting me on, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.
You can read the start of my journey here.