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2020 can suck it.

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

This has been one of the worst years that I have ever lived through. Of course it’s not as bad as the year our daughter died (2007) but it is slowly rising to that level. At the beginning of 2020, I was just starting my new job, after leaving a job I loved for almost 20 years, when the Corona Virus Pandemic began. Then I realized that this new job was going to cause me a lot more stress than I was used to. Next came the business shut downs and lots of close friends lost their jobs. Over the summer, my husband's best friend died in a motorcycle accident, the raging fires on the West Coast and the hurricanes down south destroyed homes and also took human lives, but nothing compared to the hundreds of thousands of lives that were lost to COVID.

Now my 17-year-old daughter has a broken heart after breaking up with her (almost) 3-year relationship. It was a mutual decision but she is still pretty torn up. As a mother who is already missing a piece of her heart, I do not know how much more I can take. I want to make everything better but I am completely helpless. My mind keeps wondering into the scary and depressing zone and my fear is completely overwhelming me. I suppose this type of break-up is very similar to death. It just feels like everything around me is falling apart.

That said I tried to keep my hands and mind busy today by doing laundry, going shopping, walking with my neighbor, Rhonda, and then showering so we could go to my mom and dad’s house and celebrate my dad’s birthday and their anniversary. (Everything feels better when we spend time with them.) We played dominoes, ate a big meal and kept the conversation light and joyful. My mom always knows just what to say to take the power away from bad situations. My dad is a total goofball and rarely lets any of us get too serious about anything. But as soon as we left, reality came right back in and all I wanted to do was be with my daughter. She stopped to see me for a bit, as she walked by, but otherwise, she has stayed in her room. Rhonda said that I should let my daughter tell me what she needs so I am trying to stay back, but it is killing me.

I don’t want to make this a habit, but I decided to let this evening’s meal be somewhat of a “cheat meal.” This morning, I ate a big scrambled-eggs-and-toast breakfast, worth about 500 calories, but then I skipped lunch and only had a low-calorie coffee and a granola bar during the afternoon. It was easy to stay away from food, though, because the thought of my daughter's pain was literally making my stomach hurt. But when we were all together, in the comfort and safety of my mom and dad’s house, all of a sudden I was starving! My mom made a big supper with steak, potatoes, corn, garlic toast, watermelon, veggies and ice cream cake for dessert! Even though I only had about 500 calories left, I said yes to everything and even had a big slice of ice cream cake, since it’s right at the top of my favorite-desserts-on-the-planet list.

Instead of beating myself up, though, I am just rolling with it. I have had a few meals like this in the past three months and after a few days, the scale actually goes in my favor. (I really think there is something scientific about it, but that is not my specialty.) I am already signed up for Zumba tomorrow night and I know my calorie consumption will fall right back into place, so there is no need to worry that I will suddenly fall off the wagon. As for right now, though, I just don’t care. I only want to take away my daughter's pain, but I have absolutely no control over it. I feel totally helpless.

It is only September, so I don’t even want to think about the coming months and what else could go wrong. I just can’t keep my glass half full lately. It’s almost as if someone keeps drinking the water right after I fill the glass. But there really is no one to blame for all of this mess. My health might be one of the few things that I can affect. Maybe if I keep it simple, both in food choices and overall strategy, at least part of my life will be in line. I never would have thought that my diet would be one of the areas of my life that kept me grounded and in more control. It used to be the most unpredictable, pain causing aspect.

Maybe that is my silver lining for today. I am very thankful that I have gotten control over my eating. It gives me just enough hope to keep moving forward. I can only pray that my daughter finds her own source of hope so she can be excited for her future instead of missing the past. That’s really all I can do.

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