Now, at 41 years old, my life had gotten very difficult. A mixture between my divorce, my inborn introversion, job and financial struggles, my obesity, depression and anxiety had made life incredibly difficult.
Where had that 19 year old girl gone to who had the self confidence to go look for her birth parents? That kick ass, self confident girl who believed in life, in God and in other humans – where was she? Sure, at 41 years old I know that 19 year old girl was sometimes naive in her faith – but she had a strength that I no longer have. She had a faith in the world, in goodness that I can’t see any longer. Is it possible that the 19 year old was smarter than the obese, terrified, lost and alone 41 year old I have become? What would the 19 year old do right now?
My life simply felt out of control. I felt lost, alone, exposed and terrified, with nowhere to turn. I am naturally introverted and that had left me with very few friends, and social anxiety had started to creep up on me as well. Of course, with all this stress, I was fatter than ever.
My mortality had also started to really scare me – I mean – my birth mom died at 56 years old weighing well over 400 pounds. I didn’t know her well, but I know I have her genetic predisposition for obesity, and I know for sure I can’t imagine the physical pain of weighing 400+ pounds. I also know I want to live longer than 15 years from now.
In the middle of all this, in the middle of prayers, fear, tears and feeling so alone, in the middle of it, I started to think “it is time I do something big, something different”.
As that thought struck me – I felt breathless with excitement for maybe 15 seconds – then I thought – I can’t possibly do that. I can’t do anything. I am tied to this apartment because I have to take care of my cats, and I can’t afford to do anything. It was 15 seconds of reprieve and the depression took hold again. Yet, that 15 seconds had an impact. The next day my brain kept circling – “I have to do something big and different”. It wasn’t followed by the excitement because I couldn’t see a way to do anything big – but the thought wouldn’t leave me alone. The next morning I woke up again, and it was like I felt that 19 year old – WHY, WHY can’t you do something big and different? She was challenging me, reminding me of other things I had done that were big and different. My mind grappled with it a bit, ideas started to swirl. I still didn’t believe it. One more nights meditations, prayers and sleep and finally an idea had taken form.
I wanted to horse back ride around the US. I wanted to fund raise, and I wanted to find a solid “cause” to do this for. There were different ways to make sure the cats were taken care of. The magnitude of this left me breathless, scared and still with giant doubts if I was simply delusional.
This is where the introverts strengths came out – because as a good introvert I had one friend who knows me deeply, and as with most introverts this is a true friendship that in times of distress stands up to the stresses and grows. I called my friend – and I think during this call we spent a solid 3 hours discussing my idea. She was supportive, encouraging and while we agreed this was huge, giant and difficult – at the end of the conversation I was off doing research.
During the next two weeks my Friend, Maureen, spoke with me hours almost daily. The route was discussed, budget was discussed, and possible causes to do this for were discussed. By the end of the two weeks the idea of the horses were scrapped. Financially it was too difficult. It was decided I should walk the route instead of riding it. My cause – obesity – was decided on as an obvious cause. My budget and route was set. Maureen remains an incredible friend and someone whose opinions and support I ask for frequently – almost daily.
Without Maureen, I would have been lost, I owe her a great big debt of thank you’s. In many, many ways I believe the track I was on before the decision to do this walk was deadly. Between the obesity, the depression and the financial struggles, I was quickly going down to some very dark places. The 19 year old I was is now assisting me survive. It is her faith, her ability to manifest some amazing things that is sustaining me. Because the 41 year old I had become had lost faith in the world, in myself, and in God. The 19 year old knows different.
When you support this walk you support many different things. You support me losing weight. You also support me regaining faith, and I think that is probably even bigger than weight loss.
You support my ability to take a message of empowerment on the road, as I use myself to say “we have been through enough, we can fight back”. You support a belief in people, and a spiritual message of kindness and caring.