April 2010, I received some devastating news. I knew it was coming someday, I always knew in the back of my mind that I was going to have this exact moment in my life. My mother died. Most people would assume by my knowing that it would've been an illness like cancer but no, my mother committed suicide. This is something I've lived with in hiding for the past two years. Unable to say when people asked...I usually just said a car accident, I think once I said brain aneurism. My mother's second marriage was a pretty traumatic time for us...she was abused mentally and physically and she just couldn't fight anymore. I remember all her horror stories, pictures of her bruised face and her calling me scared, hiding in a goat house on her property (this happened more times than I can count). I remember once her calling scared and him screaming at her and I could hear his voice coming closer and closer until the phone hung up...I frantically called back to get the voicemail...having to call the police from thousands of miles away. My husband and I had tried so many times to help her but each time she'd go back, later learning this is just a cycle of abuse. I can't even count the number of times my mother had come to stay with us..only to leave a very short time later. I can still remember the many phone calls my mother had left me to say good bye before one of her many attempted suicides. We all lived in hell since 2003. But I never blamed my mom. I just felt she couldn't fight any longer and I've never been angry with her. It's a pretty lonely place to be, especially when survivors of suicide are usually hiding in the shame. The hardest part for me was feeling that I wasn't loved enough to stay and that I didn't do enough to help. I've been to therapy and even at one point was on medication for depression. The medication only lasted six months because I found myself becoming more and more numb. I couldn't even properly take care of my children and I was seeing the same side effects on a friend of mine. I got off the medication and let the depression take it's course. I needed to feel the grief, wholly. I ended up eating and eating to help the pain....I hit a whole new high on the scale. It took me 20 months to wake up. And on January 1, 2012 I made the decision to live my life. To stop feeling sorry for myself. To surround myself with people who really loved and cared for me. To rid my life of negativity. To be a better mother. To be a better person. I finally decided to let go of the hurt.
It's been a long journey. Almost 9 months later and I'm 78 lbs lighter. I started working out 4 times a week and using the myfitnesspal app on my phone to track my calories. I'm happier than I've ever been. I have so much energy and I love life! There were times through this journey where I wasn't sure if I could keep going but I would envision my mom's face and worked even harder. She kept me strong mentally. I owe it all to my mom, husband and my best friend who supported me the entire way. On August 25, 2012 I completed my first 5k in NYC. Every single pound that has shed was a piece of the sadness falling away. I truly am finding myself again and I love who is emerging from this journey. Along this way, I've come to many crossroads. I've let go of some friends but not looking back. Sometimes in life we must think of ourselves and our own wellbeing. After losing my mom I really needed people who were consistent, supportive, positive and loving. I'd rather have a few meaningful friendships, than a ton of meaningless ones. It's been an incredibly positive year. I felt it from the beginning. In just two weeks my husband will be commissioned as an Officer in the Navy. He's worked so incredibly hard for his family. It hasn't just been about how he looks on paper, he's worked hard and sacrificed to earn it. Out of almost 13 years of marriage he's been on sea duty a total of 9 years 10 months & 6 years total of time separated from his family. He has earned Sailor of the Year twice and has gone above and beyond his duties. He has made his way up the ranks when his chances were slim. I have trusted him every step of the way, even when I thought he was crazy to put us through back to back sea duties and extending his time on sea. But here we are about to embark on a new journey and I owe it to him for making the hard work pay off. Ohhhhh and how can I forget, he's lost over 40 lbs as well and will be doing his first half marathon this weekend for my birthday! It's a definite year of firsts for the Peter Pack. Well this has been part of my journey. I know I'm missing so much but here is what my scrambled brain has come up with.