I lost weight. I lost a lot of weight. Over the course of 8 years, I went from 5 hours of sleep a night to “whatever amount” I got.
I went from eating two meals a day to eating one or none a day.
The people around me, relatives, bloggers, friends, that had personal access to me thought I was sick. Oh I know they talked among themselves. Some of thse talks were nefarious, some of them were out of concern.
I didn’t realize how deep I had sunk into this abyss of desolation until I saw a photo of myself posing with my child at her graduation ceremonies.
I didn’t look like myself. I was ashamed of my appearance.
I knew then something about this shit has to change – I cannot keep this up.
The physical appearance wasn’t the sickness. There was nothing wrong with any vital organs, I didn’t have any of usual suspects like cancer, crack, or an STD zapping my weight. Doctors confirmed those weren’t the culprits.
Yet my physical appearance, physical functions, even my eyesight, seemed to be compromised by something.
I was stressed. Stressed for a long damned time.
“While it’s true that a little can be good for you, the consistent presence of it is not. Chronic stress, of course, has been shown over and over to be a bad thing for body and brain,”
“It actually seems to suppress the generation of new nerve cells and inhibit memory, not to mention increase one’s risk for being overweight; developing heart disease and possibly cancer; developing addictions; and experiencing depression, anxiety, and sleep problems.”
You see I have experienced some major losses in my life. Losses that I was ill equipped to deal with alone.
Every two years it seemed I’d lose something that was a major anchor in my life.
I lost a marriage, from that I felt I lost my family(the one I cultivated). I lost a brother, I lost a job, I lost a home, and I lost a dog. The dog, somebody shot him in his own yard. My best friend gunned down.
I blamed myself – wallowed in self-pity and hid behind pride.
I was setting a course to kill myself without ever firing a bullet, swallowing a pill, or jumping of any structure of a lofty level. And I didn’t give a damn because after awhile one gets sick of losing shit to the point it looks like you don’t have any shit to lose.
Yeah, folks lose money all day everyday but I was losing more than that. Money ain’t everything – believe that shit.
I was losing me. I was losing me to stress.
Stress is easy to identify.
“If something consumes your thoughts and life daily more than anything else – that thing or things are stress.”
That something is sucking the energy you have for every thing else out of you into that one thing.
Anything can inject unhealthy levels of stress in your life. The usual suspects are a man, woman (relationship woes), financial challenges, and health issues. Now that last one, health issues, is a double-edged sword in relation to stress.
Stress is a mental health issue (no you’re not batshit crazy although you might get that way if you don’t reel in stress) that creates physical issues. It doubles down on your ass.
After I saw that photo of myself posing with my princess at her graduation I called a professional and told them everything about what I was going through and how long I had gone through it.
They gave me a sigh of relief. My problem is fixable they said. And immediately (I mean immediately) gave me a plan that consists of counseling, a nutrition map, and exercise regime that will get my body weight, face weight, and most importantly my mental weight back to healthy status.
It turns out I’m not the first to let stress drag me down to the depths of hollowed halls, bodies, and minds.
I didn’t know that it was nothing to be ashamed of.
I didn’t know millions before me had gotten out of the incarcerating bars of stress and gone on to be mega successful at life and everything else.
For those that supported me during my dark moments – you’re about to be rewarded and highly surprised. For those that didn’t sign off on me with “I don’t know what’s wrong with him” thank you I love ya’ll and do know I’m gearing up to do something great – again.
I should especially thank Lucille and Janiece for probing and mentioning my changes. They never ridiculed or speculated (at least in front of my face) however they never mitigated their concerns. I love you two for that.
For those that ridiculed me and made crude comments about me – I ain’t mad at ya. I just ain’t got no place in my life for you – you like stress are toxic and toxins need to be done away with or they’ll kill.
I’ve just finished a dinner of Chicken Pot Pie, Kale, and four biscuits. Tomorrow morning the nutrition plan has me eating four pancakes, two turkey sausage patties ,and two eggs for breakfast. The mind folks have something called “Tackling The Toxic Past”set up for a 2:00 PM appointment.
For the first time in 8 years the inhale feels like all fresh air. I can’t wait to exhale.
The Muse has an article that is the perfect addendum to this post. While their “5 Signs” centers around work – it is applicable to any context of your life that is consumed by stress.