My mother is dead. The words are stale in my mouth, still hard to digest after sixteen months of her being gone. I have done a great job at avoiding the pain by staying away from the little town that I know as “home”. Or had I? I now, deeply, revisit all of these feelings as I have come back home to deal with her home and belongings. My mother’s illness and death were both unexpected, swift and I can tell you I have never felt grief like this before and wish it upon not even my worst enemy. When I knew something was wrong, I didn’t even pack a bag. I just went home and within 30 days she’s was dead. This part…is what brings me so much pain. I ate. In that 30 days there were so many “blows” given to my psyche. I knew something was terribly wrong before I got home. When I arrived I found my mother on the sofa, she could barely move, weak from not eating or drinking and was in so much pain from the tumors. I ate. Within 24 hours of being home we found out her tumors were cancerous. I ate. 4 days later, she had a stroke. I ate. She was hospitalized and during that time she had a heart attack and continued to develop blood clots. I ate. The cancer doctor came to see her while she was being treated for her stroke and heart attack…she said “The cancer is growing quickly and has spread to her liver so you must understand this is terminal, not curable. I ate. Blow after blow after blow…with many more to come. By the time I buried my mom I had gained roughly 30 lbs. Food has always been my drug of choice. Giving me that false sense of security and comfort. It pained me so much that my mother couldn’t eat, she couldn’t take care of herself and even though the stroke had altered her mind, she knew what was going on and that hurt me the most because my mom was a very independent, private type. She was extremely modest and traditional so watching her as people invaded her privacy, on all levels, was agonizing and bitter sweet. Bitter sweet because I was able to protect her, the best I could and stay by her side during her last days. I am her only child and I am so glad she knew how much I loved her through my devotion. I coped by eating and closing myself off from the world the best I could but now I am home. Dealing. Coping. Gaining control. Day by day. It hasn’t been a smooth three weeks but I am so glad I am finally dealing. I came to some realizations since I have been home: a.) I have been deeply avoiding this b.) I am depressed and still mourning her loss(mourning is ok!) c.) I needed this to move forward in my own healing d.) there is no right way or wrong way to come to these realizations just do so! e.) my mother’s belongings are not her f.) EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT!
I have been home as of today for 23 days and I can say I have come a LONG WAY. That desire to want to binge will more than likely always be there but the key to controlling it is not controlling it but gaining an understanding of self, being mindful and conscious of the feelings that rise up when the desire to binge shows up and replacing that binge with something more conducive with my current lifestyle, which is one of healthy living, loving myself enough to make choices that reflect self love and great self care. Practice, practice, practice until it becomes habit.
I have lost all the weight that I gained during that time and with continued perseverance, determination and maximal effort with a focus on self care/self love it will get easier with time. Universe, willing.