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I grew up around drama. I grew up around people struggling with weight and weight related health issues. In 1968, Thanksgiving weekend, my mother’s brother, died of a stroke. He was only 45 and dangerously obese. He received a Purple Heart in WW Two and I suspect he was haunted by The War to the day he died. It just occurred to me that this is the 50th anniversary of his passing.

That was a very real bit of weight drama. My mother’s weight drama was ongoing. She would get serious about losing weight, then start jonesing for sweets. Eventually she developed heart disease and diabetes. She too had a stroke, but lived on another eighteen months afterwards before she died.

Her weight drama and her depression went hand in hand. There were tragedies galore in her family, her father’s alcoholism, her sister’s out of wedlock pregnancy, her father’s death from a cerebral hemorrhage. For a crazy woman, she did the best she could. Pure Christian Love prevailed over most of this.

But I came out warped, broken. I had a few missing pieces to my puzzle of mental health. The disease that is alcoholism affected me and I found recovery in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and its 12 Steps.

The other bit of drama is my rather casual attitude toward diet and exercise. I would lose weight, gain it back over the past 12 years, I would commit to a regular program of swimming, then my sense of hopelessness would take me out of the pool.

This all combined to give a general lack of purpose to my life. Until. This time when I found out I was diabetic, I embraced healthy habits with a passion.

Today, after learning we have to replace a vehicle, I was all worked up. I was about to blow off swimming today, but did not. And I had a good workout, the longest in almost ten weeks, 1750 meters.

It takes effort for me to live life as free of drama as possible. My mother’s craziness, her outbursts of anger live permanently in my memory. Thank God she never physically abused us. And she loved us, took care of us, and wanted us to grow up to be decent human beings. But the repercussions from her brokenness linger in me to this day.

So every carbohydrate I don’t eat is in honor of you Mom. Every lap I swim is for you. I want to be the healthy person, you could never quite be.

I choose to be a positive example,