You Only Live Once

I have a sugar addiction problem, as well as sedentary problem. The combination of the two is proving to be very unhealthy and my body is paying the toll. I treat myself rather poorly. This is not new information for me, but the longer my unhealthy lifestyle goes on the more I feel the effects of it.

My joints and muscles have been causing me a lot of discomfort; my neck, shoulders, elbows, upper back, lower back, hips, and knees have been the worst.

For other reasons I had been doing a little research on the causes of cancer and whether stress is a contributor or not. While I have a lot more research to do on the stress/cancer topic, I did discover that chronic inflammation, lack of activity, and unhealthy diet are all contributors to cancer.

It wasn’t until later that day, when I was talking with my therapist, that it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was telling her about the research I was doing and we also talked about how sore my body is. I don’t recall if the conversations were directly connected, but they were had in conjunction of one another. She told me that sugar is a cause of inflammation, and that eating healthier would help to reduce my inflammation and the pain I’ve been having. It was then that it all came together in my head, and I said, “I’m killing myself”, as my eyes welled up with tears. My therapist asked what was coming up for me and, possibly for the first time, I realized that I have a real love for myself.

I am not afraid of death, but I’m also not in any hurry to get there. There are so many things in life that are out of my control; I need to be mindful of the power that’s been given to me over the things I actually can control. How I treat the body I’ve been given is entirely under my control.

I could go on feeling like shit on a regular basis or I can change my lifestyle and begin to feel better on a regular basis. The choice obvious, but I’m certainly not going to blow sunshine up my own ass by telling myself it’s the easier choice.

Making a lifestyle change isn’t easy for anyone, but adding the process of recovering from severe developmental trauma, brings a whole other level of challenge to it. I know I will stumble. I know there will be hard days. I know there will be days that I won’t give a shit. I know that these will be the days that I will need to learn to forgive myself for.

I’ve talked to people about giving up sugary treats, and often times I’m met with comments like, “you only live once, eat the sugar”. The reality of this statement is, in itself, life changing; we only live once (at least in this life and body). With this one life I have here, I would rather feel good than live in pain and discomfort.

It’s merely coincidental that all of this comes about on the 1st day of the new year, but I am not considering it a New Year Resolution, I’m considering it a start to a new lifestyle. I’m considering it an attempt to save my life or rather to extend the length of my life.

There are countless ways for death to find me, I refuse to consciously be one of them.

-Dani

Goodbye

I had 20 minutes left of a movie I was watching on my phone when my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number, I was mildly annoyed that the call stopped my movie, and thought to myself, “if it’s important they’ll leave a message.”

I finished my movie and then listened to the the voicemail left by the unknown caller:

Hey Dani, this is JC, W’s sister. Can you call me back as soon as you get this message. Thank you.

As soon as she said her name, I had a terrible feeling. I immediately called JC back:

Me: J?

JC: Hey Dani

Me: What’s up?

JC: W passed away yesterday

Me: No! (takes off glasses and slides them across table)

JC kept talking through her tears, but I for the life of me can’t remember what she said after she told me. I remember trying so hard to pay attention to what she was saying, but I couldn’t. My mind was in such disbelief. After what seemed like an eternity I was able to pull my attention back to the words JC was speaking; I’m sure only seconds had passed. It’s amazing how many thoughts can travel through our minds in a matter of seconds.

I felt numb and completely disconnected emotionally. I refused to feel the reality of what JC just told me. It felt so unreal. Like this couldn’t be true; we haven’t seen each other in a few years; we need to get together and catch up; she can’t be gone.

I’ve known W for about 26 years. Our friendship was the kind that could stand the test of time and all of what life had to throw our way. We had our ups and downs and in and outs. We had gone days, weeks, months, and years at times without seeing or speaking to one another and we had those same time spans when we were inseparable. No matter what happened between us we knew that in time we would always forgive one another because our friendship was so much more important that all the shit. We also both knew that if at any time we needed the other we would be there in a heart beat, no matter what.

She always had my back. I remember one time there was this woman who was all up in my face and trying to intimidate me. She talked about how she was a black belt in karate. She asked me if that scared me. W was standing right next to me, I looked at W, then looked back at this woman and I said, “if you touch me, she’s going to hurt you. So no, I’m not scared of your black belt.” That was the end of that exchange.

We weren’t fighters by any means, but we were protectors and if that meant we had to fight to protect our friends then we would. I don’t ever recall a time it came to that though (a few close calls).

The two of us were driving around one night. She was driving and I was riding shotgun. We were on some back road somewhere; we crossed over an old rickety bridge and it was as though our minds had been communicating because both of us began talking about “The Lost Boys” movie, which lead to the assumption that there were probably vampires hanging out under the bridge, literally hanging under the bridge. We may have had wild imaginations, but we had a lot of fun together.

I have so many memories of the times we spent together. This still seems so unreal. I struggle to wrap my head around the reality of this. Tonight is a Celebration of Life ceremony for her. I suppose this will make it a reality for me.

Dear Friend,

Thank you for the laughs;

Thank you for the tears;

Thank you for sharing in good times and in bad;

Thank you for your unwavering  love and support;

Thank you for all you taught me;

Thank you for the many, many memories;

Thank you for your friendship.

I hope my words reach you; I wish I had said this so much sooner:

I have always admired your strength, your courage, your kind heart, your resilience, your ability to forgive, and your ability to always get back up.

I am so happy you found love and happiness. You’re so deserving of it.

I’m sorry we never found the time to get together like we’d talked about. I’m really wishing we had.

You’ve been my rock so many times in my life. There are no words to express how much appreciation I have for you; it was an honor to have you in my life.

You will definitely be missed. I will forever keep you in my heart and thoughts.

Goodbye, my friend. I’ll see you when the time is right.

With Love,

Dani