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Sunday, January 16, 2011

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.



  1. Hallie, YOU are beautiful just the way you are

  2. Striking a chord, my friend. WHEW!

    I've had a post like this sitting in my drafts box for weeks. Partly because it's too hard to face. Partly because it's to hard to write. Mostly because I just can't bring myself to hit publish.

    Thanks for your transparency, my friend. I have gained so much strength from pals like you. Who knows...maybe it'll show up afterall.

    (((luv you!)))

  3. Ugh... the mirror. If I stand way far back then I can't see the utter carnage that has become of my facial skin from lack of sleep and dehydration...I totally feel you babe. Now I'm also on my way to I tend to use that one as a PART of the reason. But for the most's just flat lack of sleep and lack of motivation and lack of time and constant consistant WORRY AND STRESS. Hell Ellie doesn't even look that great all the time like she use to??? Ugh. D is bad flippin' news and I am just soooo fed up with the whole song and pony dance. But...we can't break up, buy it off or slam our door in its here we sit. I did go out and purchase some new "house clothes" for my new stay at home status. This helped me a lot. These clothes are very humble and actually old lady almost, but they match and they are comfortable and appropriate for outside of the home errands and such. I'm soooo sorry about these feelings. You keep your chin up and remember you don't have to be a superhero all at once. It's one Coke at a time and one push up or sit up at a time...the bags? Well when you figure out how to get rid of them and still manage the Beast D, you just send that info over. I'm working on my 3rd layer of bag under my eyes!!! First time for everything! ((hugs)) and loves to you and yours!!! =)

  4. Oh Hallie, I'm so glad I'm not the only one! I could have written your post word for word. BUT, you forgot to mention the state of my house! The stack of dishes in the sink I can't manage to get through, the un-mopped and un-vacuumed floors, the crumbs on the counters, the laundry both clean and dirty EVERYWHERE, the clutter, clutter, clutter that just never goes away no matter how much of it I pick up, and the endless toys that I just don't have the energy to get after them about anymore. Maybe every few weeks I do a really good clean up, but in between it's a disaster zone. No time, no energy, no motivation, too TIRED.


  5. Ohhhh yes. You arent alone, for sure. Same here. I eat for comfort too these days. Its horrible. I feel gross. I look gross...ICK. Tshirts are now my BFF. :(

    I think its pretty darn awesome you shared this blog post. Its SO hard to get out of this kind of rut....but we will. One day at a time :) ((HUGS))

  6. I think you will find many of us in the same boat, my friend. Like Wendy said...I too have a post that has been written and saved, why I haven't published it is simple, it makes me sad, it's embarrassing, but it's life.

    I have definately put my needs on the back-back-back burner for a loooong time now :( It's something that I have been working on, I really want to change that...not just for me, but for my girls too. They deserve a happy AND healthy mama!

    Thanks for the beautiful and TOTALLY real post!!!


  7. Im kind of the opposite. I wear make up do my hair and try and dress cute to hide the hurt and fear in my heart. But i have gained weight since dx. Forcing myself to get it into shape. Gotta be healthy for my boys.

    We understand. We support and love you! And seriously youre still a hot mama!! Xoxo

  8. I have no energy to type what is in my head right now, so I will just say "same".

    And I agree with Wendy P., my house has totally taken a toll too. :(

    Hoping to get back on track, soon...

  9. Yep, not alone!
    I've had a similar post in my drafts for a while now.
    And I sit here convincing myself I can go another day without a shower cuz I am too tired to deal with the process, esp. of drying my hair after. The weight, the eating, the bags under the eyes, and the messy house...yep.
    THANK YOU for posting this....cuz now I know I am not alone either!

  10. Hey, you can do it! I was the same for such a long time after Isabel was born (pre-diabetes, for her anyway) and I had a slipped disc and was on heavy meds for months. I put on about 10kg in the space of 2 weeks because of the pain and the meds and the tiredness and the mood swings that came along with the meds. Then Bob gave me a good hard talking-to one day when I was sitting there in yesterday's sweaty clothes with my dark circles, my flab and my whingeing. He won't let me go under any more - I was horrified by some of the things he said, but he was right. Even later, when diabetes came and knocked on the door again, I have managed to keep it up. It IS possible. There are times when I don't manage to get my training in, and when I fall off the wagon quite heavily (e.g. last November when both the kids were sick one after the other and then I got all these injuries) and I've piled on about 14kg again that I now need to lose, but I'm clawing my way back up there now! It is SO important for you to do this. Take time for yourself. Do something you love to do, just for you, every day, even if it's only 10 minutes. LOVE yourself. You CAN do it, I know you can! (((HUGS)))

  11. Oh you are SO not alone in all of this and I SO appreciate your honesty hon. It's the first step in all of this, isn't it? None of us have it all together and if we say we do, we are lying, I am convinced of that. Some of us are just barely hanging on and some of us are swinging at the end of the rope, but we are all just hanging on. Get time for yourself and keep yourself healthy so you can take care of the princess. Great honest post my dear and yes, I feel much of this.

  12. Oh you are SO not alone in all of this and I SO appreciate your honesty hon. It's the first step in all of this, isn't it? None of us have it all together and if we say we do, we are lying, I am convinced of that. Some of us are just barely hanging on and some of us are swinging at the end of the rope, but we are all just hanging on. Get time for yourself and keep yourself healthy so you can take care of the princess. Great honest post my dear and yes, I feel much of this.

  13. Hallie my sweeet, I agree with you AND all the commenters. Especially with Tracy who said she doesn't even have the energy to write down all she feelings she shares. I feel like if I sat down to write my story of letting myself go, it would turn into a 5 part series ;).

    Just know you are NOT alone and many of us are struggling right along with you.

  14. I have so been there! Over the years I've cycled through times where I felt like I was almost recognizable, then Em gets sick and I fall back into this unrecognizable world.
    Stress and sleep deprivation leads to depression and it can become a serious problem. I opted for meds at around the two year mark, and took them for at least 6 months. It helped me a lot and I recommend it to anyone who is really having a hard time.
    Currently I live on caffeine all day, then long for my glass (or 3)of wine to help unwind my mind at night. I've become nocturnal over the years and I hate it. I stress eat, I cant get to gym often, I never pamper myself.
    You can't live like this and be at your best. It's not possible. We D mama's have to take care of ourselves and seek help if things get out of control. It's a long relentless road and we have to take care of US if we are going to survive it.

    Big hugs to all the D mamas! Thanks for sharing Hallie! <3

  15. Wow, thanks for being real. Ditto, our girls must have been dxd 2 months apart and I am hitting that wall, too, where I have to do something for me so that I can take better care of Maura and the family. Sigh.

  16. Fist bump!!

    From one disheveled, stanky, big clothed, sleep deprived, non excercising, out of shape, stress eating, dark circle eyed fellow D mom to another!

  17. I might have been able to live without the "linky love" on the prep H. lol
    But since its out there... I read that super models do it and since I wish I looked like that... GAME ON!

    Seriously though, I hear you girl. The hair on my legs might start curling if I don't go in with the weed trimmer soon. Good thing its winter.

    Today, I looked in the mirror and realized that I am about 4 quarts low on the oil. Suppose I should have washed it this morning.

    I am glad to hear you are going to put yourself a little more in the front of the line... I have been thinking the same thing lately. I have to. If I don't... I won't be around for Justin later on.

    You are awesome Hallie. Keep telling yourself that. (((Huggs)))

  18. Great post! You can do this! AND thanks for not letting them know about me and the Fabreeze! LOL. xoxo

  19. First Great Post. There is a lot of hiding emotions in our culture. It is OK to be bummed about bad stuff - for a week or so, maybe 2 and then get right back to normal!

    Gah! It doesn't work that way! If the only thing I learned after my son's dx was that emotions are important and until you deal with your sadness, grief and other feelings, the rest of your life goes to hell. So it took me several months and I'm not perfect yet, but at least I feel good and don't get too stressed about his care and how we are doing. But it took a lot of emotional work. A totally foreign concept to me at the time, but mainly it comes down to feeling what you feel and asking why? until you get to an actionable point. Then taking some action on it. (Sorry that explanation really doesn't do it justice.)

    However specifically on showering - if it helps you feel better - many dermatologists will tell you that Americans WAY overwash everything. It is actually better for your skin and hair to NOT wash it everyday. So for me, I only wash my hair 3 times a week. I love the days I work and don't have to wash and blow dry. :)

  20. Oh my GOD, Hallie! I can't believe I almost missed this post. I would have if you hadn't mentioned it in your more recent post. I have just been too tired (and sick...) to catch up on reading blogs lately. And I almost missed it. Which would have been horrible. You know why??? I NEEDED to read this. I needed to see all the concealers that you were talking about and I needed to realize how much they apply to me too. THANK YOU dear friend.... thank you for your bravery... and your beauty. Never doubt it, my dear, even with dark circles and unwashed hair and 15 more pounds you are BEAUTIFUL. And so am I... we all are.

  21. Ditto! And ditto to WendyP house is a WRECK all the time. My midnight snack of choice is a bowl of Frosted Flakes and my treadmill currently has a thick layer of dust on it from being ignored :-(

  22. This made me laugh and tear up! I have been adding more and more moisturizer under the eyes this week and tried my first Ambien when i had a break from the D. Ugh!

  23. Count me in as another D-mom who, even though it's only been 2 1/2 yrs. since daughter's diagnosis, feels like I've aged about 10. And yes, it shows--for all the reasons you mentioned.

    And ditto WendyP and Tracy and everybody else who said their house is a wreck. I thought it was b/c we've since had another baby (that makes 4) but SHE'S 18 months now. You'd think--I thought--I'd have it together a little more by now.

    Hope springs eternal :)


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