October 13, 2022

Here we go….

“When confronted with a challenge, the committed heart will search for a solution. The undecided heart searches for an escape.”

Andy Andrews

The above quote couldn't be more true for me at the moment. I feel like currently in my life I am struggling with a few things. I'm not sure if it is a midlife crisis or what, but my therapist recommended starting to write down my thoughts and seeing where it goes. I have always been one that has struggled with commitment, but at the same time crave it, or maybe it is control that I crave. By the end of this first post, you'll probably see that I am a walking contradiction. With that said, I'm not exactly sure just where to start...

"Just WRITE!", my therapist would say. So "Here we go..." One would be my current physical appearance. I have just turned 39 in August, I'm 6 ft and I currently weigh in at about 380 lbs. To put it simply I am a BIG dude.

In one way I have always struggled with weight. As a young kid I was always a little chubby, as I get older it probably had to do with being poor and living off mac and cheese, top ramen, and hot dogs. At about 11, I hit my growth spurt, I grew quick and the weight just seemed to melt off. At a perfect weight I was about 210 pounds. I was that way all through high school.

After school though, is another story. I quickly started to put on the pounds, having my first job, a car and a little extra money to spend on anything I wanted. Typically that was food. Not much has changed in that arena. I get pleasure from eating and enjoying new food. Nothing beats a good dining experience for me.

After a few years I grew to about 280 lbs. Around this time I was about 21 and I happened to run across my new friend, alcohol. Boy did things change then. I started drinking EVERY DAY! I quickly became bulimic, so that I could get a quicker buzz. Shortly after my weight dropped down to 200 after about 6 months. Not healthy for sure, but its what I loved. It was an escape... Escape from what you ask? I still don't know exactly. I have an idea, but I'm trying to work through that here.

After about a year, the drink was taking its toll and I knew I couldn't keep up with it. I think what I wanted more than anything was to not be alone. Well wouldn't luck have it, shortly after that year, I found the love of my life that I have been married to for the last 16 years.

For years, I struggled with alcohol off and on. Never to where it affected my job or my commitments, but it was a problem. I wasn't a good person.

Since meeting my wife I have roughly added about 180lbs to my frame. I like to think it was sympathy weight when my wife got pregnant, but the truth is it was a problem before then. I have literally added another person to my body. It's not pleasant and I struggle with it every day. I think I may use food as an escape too, but the cycle it creates is a tough one. Fat Bastard said it best, "I eat because I'm fat and I'm fat, because I eat." I guess we can call that one issue down.

El numero dos, suicide. My father decided to take his life the morning of September 1st, 2008. I had just turned 25. My daughter would be born 6 weeks later. I still have embedded in my mind one of the last images of him. He grabbed my wifes belly and simply stated that he was so excited to meet his little girl. The joy on his face could have lit up the room.

It is something that haunts me everyday of life. I know there is nothing I can do and there is probably nothing I could have done for him then. I just think about all that we missed out on together. I think that is the struggle. When I was a kid I didn't appreciate that my dad loved me and would have done anything for me. Being a child of divorce, the truth can be skewed. It's not until you are older that you can cut through the bullshit and get a more accurate story.

The trauma from this single event has led me to number 3 on the list. My arch enemy, anxiety. Since that moment and becoming a new father, I was quickly thrown into the reality of having someone rely on me alone. I don't think I was mentally ready for it. I quickly found myself suffering from debilitating panic attacks. I didn't want to leave the house. I had struggled going to the grocery store and being around people.

After a couple of months I decided to talk to my family doctor. She prescribed 2 drugs, a regular anti-depressant to help curb the overall edge of the daily anxiety I was experiencing and Xanax. Xanax was the perfect drug, it numbed me from everything. After about a year I was able to get off the anti-depressant and just rely on the Xanax for those panic attack moments that seemed to have subside for the most part.

Fast forward 2 and a half years and another baby girl, I was thrown back in the anxiety all over again. This time it would last 2 years, and didn't seem to ease up. After being on that medication for that long I started to notice I was like a zombie. I didn't enjoy the things I should have been enjoying in life. Lets not even go down the road of how it impacted my sex life. I also didn't feel the things that I should be bothered by. After some discussions with my wife, I decided to leave it behind and try to get through it without drugs. Off and on, I would fall back to good ole alcohol. It allowed me to "self medicate", cut off the edge and allowed me to escape.

So where does all of this lead, back to the original quote I suppose. Maybe all my problems come back to this... I can't commit, so my undecided heart is always looking for escape. Escape through food. Escape with alcohol. Escape from reality.

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