Oh, What a Relief It IsJan 06, 2021
What would you do if your biggest shame was revealed and all your defenses came crashing down?
You have two choices …
1) You can let it take you down completely.
2) You can let it make you better.
Since you’re reading this sentence, I have a feeling you’re at least thinking about Option 2. That’s a great sign. Read on …
When last we left InspiraGirl, she … okay, I … was dealing with the best worst day of my life, having been diagnosed with a stage IV pressure ulcer and facing an extensive recovery period on strict bed rest.
Huge bummer? You’d think so, right? But, maybe not … That’s where the choice mentioned above comes in.
1) I could let the shame take me down, telling myself, “You royally screwed up. Look at the mess you’ve made of your health and your life, overeating for all those years, working overtime to justify your actions to yourself and trying to hide them from others. You don’t deserve to be InspiraGirl. You never did and you never will. Turn in your superhero cape!”
2) I could rise to the occasion, walk my talk and truly begin my journey to becoming the best, healthiest me, living the life I’m meant to live.
At this point, I’m sure you know or can guess I went with Option 2, but how did I get to that decision?
It turns out that years of denial about a weight problem—about 30 years, in fact—can take their toll in more ways than one.
Yes, there’s the obvious blow of three years of almost constant bedrest cutting off my active lifestyle and inconveniencing my parents with taking care of me.
But there were also the psychological, emotional and physical effects.
Denial and shame create a vicious cycle. Deep down, you know you have a problem, but you don’t seek help because you’re ashamed to admit it and you don’t think you can face the humiliation. Therefore, the problem persists and gets more and more control over you, and not only do you have the problem, but it’s compounded by the pressure of denying it.
Desperately trying to deny … i.e., cover up … my overeating and, let’s face it, rather obvious weight gain, was thoroughly exhausting, not to mention extremely stressful. And I had the high blood pressure to prove it, which by the way, I was also trying to deny by putting off my annual physical.
Bottom line … Denial takes up time and energy, makes a situation worse the longer you stay in denial and it only puts off the inevitable.
Of course, the inevitable happened. My body could no longer take the abuse and the weight I was packing onto it. So it rebelled, and what you think might have been a bummer turned out to be a blessing.
You see, there was nothing to deny anymore. The damage was done, and I had to face the fact that I had done it, BUT the diagnosis ultimately provided a huge relief because I no longer had to keep up the facade of being healthy when I wasn’t.
NOW, I WAS FREE.
I was free to go about the business of getting healthy and becoming the best me I can be. And, yes, without the stress of living in denial, it’s easier to maintain my now-healthy blood pressure.
Taking all that into consideration, I wasn’t about to let this mess of mine take me down. I was InspiraGirl and I’ll keep my superhero cape, thank you very much!
In fact, last year, I gave myself a superhero promotion, and InspiraGirl became InspiraWoman. At 53 years old, it’s about time, don’t ya think? ;-)
Now, some touchy questions, but I’m asking them anyway … Does any part of this story resonate with you? Do you feel stuck in the vicious cycle of shame and denial and is it keeping you from living the life you desire? If so, I’m here to tell you there are ways to move beyond the shame and you don’t have to reach the crisis point that I did to do it.
Wanna know more?
Then stay tuned for next week’s installment of The Adventures of InspiraWoman!
All the best to you,