The past several months have been very trying. I’m very close to my mother and now the doctors have lost all faith that she has longer than a few weeks left to live. I’m holding on, reaching, grasping for anything that might prove them wrong. My mother is a fighter. In the meantime, my sister and I have to fight for her until she is well enough to fight for herself. Unfortunately, my already shaky finances have suffered even more because it is difficult to physically care for someone who can’t care for themselves and go to work at the same time. To add insult to injury, I woke up this morning to see that my car had been repossessed in the middle of the night. It’s rough.
Back in August, I wrote a post about staying motivated during hard times. I need my own words now more than ever. To all the caregivers out there, just know that you’ll make it. I know how hard it is.
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Update: On January 9, 2020 just before dawn, my mother took her last breath. It is still hard for me to breathe sometimes knowing that she is gone. I will carry on.
Times are tough sometimes. Mental illness is no joke and I only recently began to seek treatment for mine. I got to a really dark place mentally and this poem was the result.
It is so important to take care of your mental health. It was literally a life and death situation for me, which was why I finally got help. So many people have told me that I am brave for being proactive in seeking treatment for myself. I didn’t feel brave. I still don’t. However, as I piece my life back together once again, I keep moving forward. I take my small victories, even those that others may view as insignificant. I’ll live.
I got this prompt from 3LineTales. Here is the link to the original post https://only100words.xyz/2019/09/05/three-line-tales-week-188/. If you want to participate, I posted the instruction below. This is my first attempt at it. If you follow this blog, then you know that I like to try to tell stories in as few words as possible. I think I’ll try it again next week!
“This isn’t so bad,” she said aloud while attempting to not scream for dear life as the snake made itself comfortable around her neck.
“Okay, okay! I’m done!” she exclaimed, waiting impatiently for the man to remove the snake.
That was enough of trying new things for one day for her.
For the first time in several years, I got up in front of an audience and read some of my poetry. I have to admit, it felt good and made me think about what more I could be doing with my poetry. Life gets in the way of dreams sometimes, but this blog gives me a chance to express myself and share my art. Here’s the video of one of my poems Pain Killer. I hope you enjoy it.
UPDATE 02/20/2020: On January 9, 2020, my mother took her last breath. It is hard to move forward without her. I will, though.
UPDATE 12/17/2019: Since initially writing this post some things have changed. Doctors have lost faith that my mother will fully recover, however, my family and I are still trying to keep hope alive. As of writing this, my car was repossessed due to non-payment because of days I missed from work to care for my mother. If you feel it in your heart at all, or if you would just like to support this blog, please donate to my PayPal or CashApp using the links below. Thank you.
This is something that I’d normally post on my health blog fit2bemyself.blogspot.com. However, I figured this is a message that could apply here, too.
Life gets tough sometimes. And it is in those tough times that it is most important to take care of yourself. Speaking from experience, one of the most stressful and emotionally draining things that a person can experience in their life is watching their loved one decline and face the possibility of them dying due to health problems, some of which could have been prevented with a little more self-care.
For the past several weeks, I’ve eaten more than my share of hospital vending machine food, as if I needed any additional inconveniences to make eating healthier difficult. Watching a life deteriorate while trying to maintain my own life and bring up a child’s life is hard. Add to that financial troubles that make going to my favorite fitness classes nearly impossible. My haircare has also fallen by the wayside. How do you stay committed through all that?
Well, the good news is that things have turned around for my mother and her health has improved. My overall diet has not, but I have made a commitment to staying active, even when I can’t go to my pole dancing class or I’m not in the mood to go to spin. I hit my step goals on a more regular basis now. I try to hit my water goals every day. I take my multivitamin and probiotics every day.
Overall, this entire ordeal has made me look at life from a different perspective. My current job situation has made me more appreciative of what I’ve had before and more humble about what I currently have. I’m just glad to be alive. Today I am going to work a little harder on the hair care aspect of my self-care because both my hair and my psyche definitely deserve it. However, despite the obstacles I face attending fitness classes, I have no excuse not to move, especially since I am physically able to do so.
Ways to help maintain/achieve good health:
Stay hydrated – Drink at least 64oz of water daily but aim for half of your body weight in ounces. It makes sense because our bodies are 40-60% water.
Get plenty of sleep – Aim for 8 uninterrupted hours every night, if you can.
Eat more vegetables, less fried foods, and fewer desserts
Take a multivitamin
Walk as much as you can, if you can – If you are able to move, do so. Several of my relatives on my mother’s side have been diagnosed and/or have passed away from heart failure. However, it is possible to live a fulfilling, healthful life for many years with this condition with healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and appropriate prescription medications taken consistently.
I’ve eliminated the excuse of not being able to exercise at home because I bought my weights and yoga mat a long time ago. I also have consistent access to YouTube to find workouts when I don’t feel like making up my own. I realize that not everyone has that privilege. But if you have the luxury of the internet, use it for your health.
I know all of that is pretty basic information that many people have heard from numerous sources, but the most basic common sense information is what some of us need to hear every now and then as a reminder to do better. I’m not a doctor, but I am a certified fitness trainer and I work to educate myself through reading, listening to podcasts, and watching educational videos. I know enough about how the average human body works to know that those basic things will help keep it healthy. Every body is not the same because some people are born with health concerns or disabilities. But most of us would do well to stick to the basics without getting caught up in specific diets, fads, and methodologies.
From a personal perspective, I can speak about heart disease, diabetes, and sugar addiction. Congestive heart failure is what inspired this post today. Heart disease is not always preventable, but if you have the opportunity to avoid it, I suggest taking it. Watching my mother go through the ups and downs that she has over the past five years since being diagnosed hasn’t been fun. I’m sure if she could press the reset button on her heart and have it be strong and healthy with no worries of arrhythmias, blockages, or outright failure, she would. However, without putting too much of her business out there, some of her troubles might have been avoided had she taken better care of herself, followed doctor’s orders a little more closely, and simply loved herself more.
Take care of your hair and skin. Move your body. Stay hydrated. Take care of yourself and stay committed to keeping yourself fit and healthy.
From the bestselling author of Bad Feminist: a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself
“I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.”
In her phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she explores her own past—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.
With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and power that have made her one of the most admired writers of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved—in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.
had been wanting to read this book for a couple of years. The title
and subject matter had me intrigued as a plus-size woman myself. I
wasn’t familiar with Roxane Gay before I listened to this book, but I
am going to be reading/listening to some of her other books in the
future. As for Hunger, I have mixed emotions about this book.
mixed emotions are not because I think this is a poorly written
story. I keep calling it a story even though it is not, it is a
memoir. It is the author’s truth and personal experience with life.
Lately, I have really been into listening to audio versions of
memoirs read by the authors themselves because I just love
biographies and learning about people and individual psychology.
Listening to Gay speak was fine. I thought she did a great job of
telling her story. However, it is the story itself that I have
story is not necessarily a pleasant one. In fact, it isn’t for the
faint of heart at all, especially if you have dealt with traumas
similar to hers.
It is difficult to listen to her describe the wrongs done to her body
by other people, which led to the mistreatment of her body at her own
hands, which led to her overall perspective about how society sees
her and how she sees herself because of her body.
into it, I thought the book would merely
a reflection over being plus-size, however, Gay’s story is more
sophisticated than that, as most of our stories are. I guess I
the presentation would be more shallow. Then again, I wasn’t aware of
who Roxane Gay is before this book.
appreciate her story and her storytelling. It wasn’t like a cohesive
chronology of her life, but pieces. As I was listening, I felt like
she was reading a series of journal entries or personal essays, which
I didn’t mind at all. I thought that she expressed herself clearly
for the most part. However, there were times where she would
introduce ideas or past experiences or personalities and then say
that it was too difficult to speak about or that she just didn’t want
to speak about them and I found that a bit annoying. She doesn’t have
to speak about anything that she doesn’t want to. However, whenever
she did that, I felt like I was being left hanging waiting for and
wanting more details and would have to force myself to forget that
she brought up certain things.
of her thoughts about society and human behavior I disagree with, but
it was interesting to hear. Some of the thoughts and experiences as a
large person I could directly relate to. I’m not super morbidly
obese, but I have always carried extra weight and know what it is
like to have to explain to some people that I can’t always move the
same way that they do or fit in the same places.
story is not an easy one to consume. I can’t say that I enjoyed it—it
is never enjoyable for me to listen to/read a description of a sexual
assault– but it is one that I can appreciate. As difficult as it was
for me to listen to in some parts, I imagine must have been even
harder for her to write and relive. Overall, I give it a 4 out of 5
If you are interested in checking it out for yourself, I’d recommend getting it from the library. If you’d like to own a copy for yourself, you can purchase from Amazon*, Books-a-Million, & Barnes and Noble.