It was brought to my attention the other day - by THREE people - that I was looking a bit.... tired. In other words, I looked like death warmed over.
"Are you ok? You've got dark circles under your eyes."
Oh, you mean the dark circles that are taking my love of wearing black to a whole new level? The black circles that were *throbbing* with pain?
"Maybe if you had on makeup.... That would help."
"Ummm..... I HAVE on makeup."
"Oh. Well...." That was my mom. She tells it like it is. So if she's telling me that I look like something the cat drug in.... then that's what I look like.
I guess I'm going to have to invest in a really good, really effective concealer!
Although, my dear friend Lora from My Diabetic Child tells me to try Preparation H on those pesky circles. Although she stresses the importance of buying a NEW tube before applying it to your face. Good tip, Lora!
It got me thinking...
Makeup is not the only way we conceal what our lives are really like.
How about laughter? Jokes? That's a great way to conceal what's really going on. It's a great way to hide our fears and our worries so that others don't see. So others don't know how scared we are when our kids get sick. So they don't know how frustrated we are when blood sugar just won't cooperate. So they don't think of us - or our kids - as different. It can be a healthy way to deal, too. A laugh can be a way to hide - or medicine for the soul.
How about that word. That four letter word... You know the one. FINE.
"How's she doing?" FINE. Because how can you explain what it's really like? That sometimes she IS fine. And sometimes she's not. And sometimes the difference between fine and not fine can be 15 minutes. How can you explain the complexity of diabetes? Sometimes it's too much. And FINE is a great way to conceal the truth.
How about those relaxed fit jeans? The flowy shirts? The baggy clothes? That's a great way to conceal.... what lies beneath. Over the past 2 years, I've come to learn that there's a fine line between dressing to FLATTER your figure and dressing to HIDE your figure. Unfortunately, I'm falling into the latter category these days.
You know... I sat down to write a quick little funny post about my dark circles.
But as I write this... I realize that this is another way for me to conceal what's really going on. I've written about this before. A while back I wrote a post called Lost. But the truth is, these posts have just scraped the top layer. They've been a way for me to share... but not totally share... what's going on with ME.
So... Guess what?
I'm going to tell it like it is. No more sugar coating it. We've got enough sugar in our lives... we don't need any more. So here goes...
I used to exercise every day. I loved it. I felt great! Then I got married and exercised about 5 times a week. Then Sweetpea was born and it went down to 3 ish times a week. Then came diabetes.
It's been almost 2 years. I pretty much have not exercised in 2 years.
I've gained 15 pounds. And I was between 5-10 pounds from where I wanted to be then.
When she goes to bed... I eat. I snack. I'm not hungry. I'm eating for something else. To make myself feel better? To dull the ache that is there so often? To make the pain of having to hurt my child go away?
I'm tired. I haven't had a good night's sleep in soooooo long. I'm stressed. I'm trying to juggle a full time job, being a mom, being a wife, and being a pancreas. And I can't do it. It's exhausting.
And when I'm tired... I have no motivation to exercise. I make terrible eating choices. And the cycle continues.
I used to wash my hair every day. Now I wash my hair.... every 4 or so days? Yup. It's true. I'm lucky that my hair is SUPER THICK so I can get away with it without my hair looking like an oil spill. My hair doesn't get oily. Thank God for small favors. It's just that it takes SO LONG to wash and dry it....
And showering? Yeah... I don't shower every day. If I happen to get hot and sweaty... but otherwise... I'm too tired to do it when I wake up in the morning. And I'm too tired to do it before I go to bed. Someone I know in the DOC has been known to "Febreeze" herself. She shall remain nameless. But it sounds like a good idea to me!
My skin would not be described as "glowing". Not unless you'd describe an old gym shoe as glowing. No... I look more old, worn, and leathery.
Makeup? I wear it. But it is haphazard. Thrown on. In an effort to cover up the paleness. The dark circles. The tired eyes.
I look in the mirror when I get ready in the morning and then I avoid them the rest of the day.
I hate getting dressed. I used to *LOVE* it! I looked so cute. Now I hate my clothes. I hate the way they look.
I hate the way *I* look.
SO... What's a D Mama to do?
I don't know.
All I know is that I have to make ME a priority, too. And I know I have to do it for myself. But honestly... that's not enough motivation for me. I'm not just doing it for me. I'm doing it because it's going to make me a better pancreas, a better mom, and a better wife. (And isn't it sad that my first thought was to be a better pancreas?!?)
I'm going to have to count what I eat - even though the thought of counting MORE FOOD makes me want to scream!
I'm going to have give up my beloved Coca-Cola. We're going to have to break up. We can still be friends... but no more lunch time rendezvous. I'm sorry. It's not you... It's me. Well - actually it IS you. You and your calorie loaded goodness.
The kitchen is going to have to close a 8pm. And J is going to have go all Jillian Michaels on my ass to keep me in line.
Exercise. Gotta do it. I know I'll like it once I get back into it.
You know... Maybe I avoid those mirrors because the person I see is not one that I recognize. I don't who that person is staring back at me.
Why would I share all this with you?
I don't like it. I'm certainly not proud of it. No... I'm embarrassed. I'm ashamed. This is not me. This is not who I am.
Telling you that I've gained 15 pounds, I don't shower regularly, and I look like Hell is pretty personal. Normally I'd gloss over it because I wouldn't want anyone to get the wrong idea... or think less of me.
But here it is. Here I am.
And I have a feeling that I'm not alone.
I'm not the only one who has put her child's health in front her own.
I'm not the only person who eats to dull the ache that diabetes brought into our lives.
I'm not the only one with dark circles.
I'm not the only one with unwashed hair.
I have a feeling I'm in good company.
And I really can't blame diabetes for doing this to me. No... *I* did this to me.
I have been so consumed with diabetes since April 27, 2009 that I have let everything else go.
And while I am still consumed with diabetes... While I still don't get a good night's sleep... While I still feel sad, mad, scared, beat down...
This has got to stop.
The concealer's not working anymore, folks.
Here's to doing whatever it takes to not need it anymore.