Wow. What an interesting couple of days.
If you are on any social media site with me then you know my son turned sixteen yesterday. What an awesome milestone in his life. I am so proud of him. And I’m not just saying that. We’ve been through a lot. But I have to admit, my mind has been a lot of other places too lately.
This weekend, I was working in Nashville. I lived in Nashville for several years; got both of my degrees there, both of my sons were born there, got married and divorced there. And every now and then, I become nostalgic. When I passed by the exit of where my son Jordan is buried, I just went under.
I started to see myself the day before my son Jai was born. I was having back problems. I went to the doctor because I was paranoid at that point (deathly afraid of losing another child) and I just didn’t feel good. I remember getting on the scale that day. 232 pounds. Never in my life had I been so large. The depression from Jordan’s death and my soon-to-be-ending marriage had just gotten to be too much to handle. I had not gained a lot of pregnancy weight. I was already 210 pounds when I got pregnant. But 232? It’s a number I still fight with sometimes. I sat in the chair and they asked me if I felt “that.” My question was, “what?” I was so big and used to being in pain that I wasn’t sure I could tell the difference. It was labor. They had to TELL me I was in labor. I had my son 21 hours later. And the pain of what my life had become never really subsided. It’s just that now I had a child that kept my mind off wanting to die.
As I rode through Nashville and subsequently Lebanon, which was my final destination, I literally got chills. My exit was 232. When I got off the exit, it all came back to me. My ex-husband used to work out there and I would stay up at night, while pregnant, waiting to go pick him up. All of the sadness just came over me and I just felt like pulling my car over and getting a mirror and saying, “It’s OVER now. Look at where your life is NOW.” But I couldn’t. I just kept seeing both of my boys and the two flannel jogging suits I would rotate out of because I could no longer fit any of my clothes and was too embarrassed to go shopping and the arguments and the fear and the anger. It took over my body and I physically crashed in a class for the first time in I don’t know how long. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat.
And then I looked at a picture of my 16 year and said, “This is where you are NOW.”
Sometimes the hole of where you’ve been is so deep that you can’t see above it. You are minding your own business and BAM!! You fall in, no one knows you’re there (how can YOU be THERE? Your life is so GREAT.) and you lie there, trying not to make a sound so people won’t call you weak but too weak to devise a plan to get up. And my “plan” was to just start looking up. Because, as Les Brown says, if you can look up, you can get up. I’ve been down before. I haven’t always come up swinging or dancing but I got up. This time, I got up, dusted myself off, dragged myself into the gym and, with my extremely fatigued body. tried to do some squats.
And then I saw it.
Her and me.
I’m not her anymore.
I literally walked out of that 232 pound body, right there by the Smith machine and stepped into my reality. And my reality is…
I’m Tasha and I’ve been through some changes. But I’m up for the challenge.
And that’s what I’m thankful for. I’m thankful that I can now tell the difference between being stuck and staying stuck, between being down and staying down. That’s how I’ve managed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s never easy and I fall off the wagon sometimes. But it isn’t the wagon’s fault. It hasn’t malfunctioned in any way. And it’s still rolling. And I can get back on it. 🙂
Do you ever feel nostalgically sad? Was there an outcome you can now be thankful for?