Some know this and some do not, that a healthy mind and a healthy body go hand in hand. It’s important to take care of yourself, in every way.
A month ago, I joined the Optavia program to better myself, mostly my physical self. What I’ve come to realize is, my mental health is just as important and when you work on them both, they effect each other.
Today, I began a four week challenge within the healthy habits group I’m in, that’s a part of the Optavia program. It’s a weight loss challenge, but it’s more about us as individuals, not for us to compete against one another. This isn’t The Biggest Loser, no one is getting voted off if they have a rough week.
One thing we’re supposed to do is work on a healthy goal each week. This week, mine is to focus on my mental health. I have struggled with mental health issues since childhood. I’ve learned to manage them much better over the years, but they still get the best of me some days. As of late, I’ve been more irritable. The mania has kicked in and I’ve been so short tempered and over stupid stuff.
My grandma just died, a week ago, so I’m sure that has a lot to do with it. Losing her is the hardest death I’ve had to deal with. I’ve lost family and friends over the years, but no one was super close to me, except one friend, who died nearly two years ago. I still have a hard time with that sometimes, more lately for some reason and now my grandma is gone.
She was not just “Grandma” to me, she was a second mom, a friend at times, and someone I could count on when I felt alone, when I had no where else to go, when I needed help with bills or needed a sitter for my son, or just needed to talk. She has done more for me than anyone else. As I write this, my heart aches. I feel the grief tearing at the scar tissue, ready to burst open to painful wounds.
I feel grief, sadness, and like a part of me is missing. Grief is the unfortunate price of love. I’m glad, in a way, to feel this pain. It means that the love we shared was real, that the connection we had was strong. But, oh, is it ever gut wrenching and sometimes outright debilitating.
Next comes the guilt I feel, over not being there enough the past few years. She did so much for me. When she needed someone to look after her, but wouldn’t admit it, I stepped in.
I took care of her on my own for over a year. It got increasingly difficult and eventually, I left and let my uncle step in. I feel awful. I made sure her home was clean, her meds were taken at the proper time, fought with her to shower and use her walker, paid her bills, ran her errands, did her laundry, made and transported her to appointments, cooked meals, and kept her company. It was difficult, but things seemed to be managed. I left and the house got destroyed all over again and she became a shut in.
I feel angry at myself for walking away when it got too hard and angry at my uncle for not doing more. He’s a big part of why I stepped in in the first place. I thought maybe though that things would be different this time. My mom also said I needed to focus on my son and relationship with my now husband. She told me not to feel guilty, that I was doing what I needed to do for my family. Yet, a part of me still feels so angry with myself. I need to let it go, but not sure how. I need to stop being angry with my uncle for letting things get the way they did, with my other family members for not being there at all, and with others, who like myself, maybe could have done more. I need to let go. She was old, unhappy, and in pain. It was time for her to be called home.
Something else weighing heavily on my mind is my son and this court situation. I need to stop obsessing over what I can’t control, give it to God, and pray for the best outcome for my boy. It’s easier said than done though. His well-bing and happiness are so important to me.
I fought the good fight, as it were, nine years ago. If I’m being honest, it went the way it needed to back then. I didn’t see that at the time. I didn’t lose and neither did his dad. Our son won, because he finally had a set schedule with me and that was much needed. His dad retained placement and I saw that as a slap in the face, but now I know it was what was best at that time.
Things have changed drastically over the years and I, along with many others, no longer feel this is what’s best, not for him or anyone closely involved. He has been asking us for years to have primary placement given back to me. His dad either ignored him, said let’s give it more time, or outright said it’ll never happen. I tried to work with him for years on this, but he won’t budge. Our son finally told me last summer, “He’ll never change his mind, Mom. You’ll need to go to court to make it happen.”
I held out hope for a little bit, with every bad thing that happened, I hoped his dad would see this change needed to happen, but he’s just dug his heels in more. So, I decided I was done waiting and would honor my promise to my son, he’d asked me to promise that I’d never give up on him and that I’d fight to bring him home. So, that’s what I’m doing. It’s been stressful on everyone. I pray it goes well, that it’ll all have been worth it. I just want to see my son happy and successful.
It feels good to write about these things, to get them off my chest and not feel judged, like I need to vindicate or explain myself. It’s freeing to express my thoughts and feelings. I hope doing this more will help me live less bogged down mentally and become a better version of myself. I hope this will lead me to take better care of myself, in all ways.
I got a diffuser and essential oils for sleep and stress aides, better pillows to help with sleep, joined the Optavia program to help with my physical and emotional health, am working on praying more to help with my spiritual health, and am now turning back to my writing as well, to help myself grow. Here’s hoping and here’s to my health!