Moving on from the C word,,,,,
I should introduce myself, give you a little background. So, here's the skinny (she says, ironically) on me. I am 35, and originally from the south of England. Five years ago I married my Rhode Island man, and we now live in Massachusetts, in a one bedroom apartment between the Y and the Supermarket. (These two places may feature heavily in these blogs, as I am usually found either swimming at the Y - a good day - or swimming in the big freezer which has the cheesecakes in it at the supermarket - less so...) We have one cat, who, in my opinion, has the most personality, and indeed the biggest variety of facial expressions, I have ever seen on a feline. I didn't say it was a GOOD personality. Her name is Parsnip, and her nickname of 'Snippy suits her well.
I have struggled with weight and health issues for many years. From childhood, I think food was always my way of dealing with feelings, my coping mechanism. During my teen years most people who knew me would have said, I think, that I was strong - I had arthritis from the age of ten and spent a lot of time in pain and in hospitals or in physiotherapy. I LIKED people thinking this, but I think it made me feel like I HAD to be, and that, combined with family issues I couldn't talk to anyone about, laid the ground for the full on eating disorder which my 'coping mechanism' became. For the next twelve years I was in and out of treatment for bulimia and depression. I had varying degrees of success with this, and through a combination of two great therapists of different types, some amazing friends and a lot of faith, I had a great deal of recovery.
About seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I had just come out of my third time through treatment for bulimia, and it was just one thing too many. I felt guilty, thinking it was my fault because of the eating disorder - I now know that while this certainly contributed to triggering the disease, I also have a family history of it (being adopted, I only found this out later). I never really dealt with this properly, or got a hold on my treatment, before I was taken up with other things, and the next couple of years involved meeting my (now) husband, going through the visa process to live in America, moving countries and getting married!
Now, while most of these were wonderful things, I combined a lot of those 'most stressful life events' in a short time, along with some things left over from the past too. I felt like I should just get on with it when I was homesick, so I didn't talk to anyone - anyone seeing a pattern yet?! I desperately missed my best friend back in England (still do, Sarah!) I was angry - I worked so hard to get free of bulimia, and not be obsessed with everything I ate, and now I had diabetes and had to watch and count and record everything? Of course I had my lovely new husband, but this is me we're talking about - when I should have opened up to him, I was busy working on 'Perfect American Wife' (oh, my distress when I turned an entire load of laundry pink....!)
So, here I am now. Things are better - I am making a life in America. I have not stopped getting homesick but I have accepted that a little of that will always be part of my life, and that is ok. My dear husband and I have just celebrated out fifth Wedding Anniversary and at last I have some proper 'girlfriends' here - the sort you can call when you need to, and when they need you.
My struggle, still, is my weight and my diabetes, I am all for accepting yourself as you are - no one should ever be made to feel that they are less because there is more of them. I, like many, experienced this attitude in school and you do NOT forget. But for my health (and, ok, because I WANT to wear those clothes!) I need to lose the weight, and I need to get my blood sugar under control.
I am afraid to take away my way of coping with feelings, because I have relied on it again for the last five years.
But I believe there is another way. With this blog, I invite you to join me on my journey, and my hope is that THIS time, I don't give up - and that I end up with a story that will help you, if you are reading this and have been in some of the same places as me.