Dealing with it

March 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

I miss my mom

That’s it.

I just miss her.

Sometimes I pick up the phone to call her but I know she’s not there

So I put the phone back down


I want to scream that at the top of my lungs

I am only 39.

That’s not old, right?

My grandmother is 90.

She just turned 90.

That’s my mom’s mom.

So I mean I figured that genetically she’d be around at least that long, right?

I just didn’t think this would happen

She kept trying to tell me though

She’d say “Holly I need you to be autonomous. AUTONOMOUS

That is my mom’s favorite word

autonomous [aw-ton-uh-muhs]  
au·ton·o·mous   [aw-ton-uh-muhs]
Government .
self-governing; independent; subject to its own laws only.
pertaining to an autonomy.
having autonomy; not subject to control from outside; independent: a subsidiary that functioned as an autonomous unit.
Biology .
existing and functioning as an independent organism.

I think I’m somewhat co-dependent.

I always have been.

I depended on my mom completely before I got married.  Even when I was off “on my own” living in North Carolina going to college.  Or after that when I had my own apartment.

If you call your Mom paying your rent being independent.

But then I got married.

And I was dependent on him

And then I got divorced and I was mostly dependent on her again.

At least emotionally.

Because he was gone.

And now she’s gone

And the last few years she kept telling me I need to be “autonomous”

Because she wanted to know that if she was gone, I would be ok.

She needed to know that for her own personal peace.

She kept telling me that.

But instead of me saying “I’ll be ok, Mom”

I said “I will NOT be ok.  So you can’t ever die”

And then we’d laugh

And she’d say “No really Holly…I mean it”

And I’d say “Stop it Mom! You’re not going to die EVER so please shut up about it”

So she did.

And then a few months later she died.

And I tell everyone how shocking it was.

How it came out of the blue with no warning.

Only maybe there was plenty of warning

But I was too blind to see it

And maybe that’s how my divorce was too

Maybe there was plenty of warning

But once again I ignored it

Because I didn’t want to know

Until one day I’m driving home from the grocery store with my 10 year old daughter and she suddenly says

You know Dad is cheating on you, right?

And I say “What??”

Because that came out of the blue

Only maybe it didn’t

Because if my 10 year old daughter knows I’m being cheated on then maybe I should too

Because your husband doesn’t run up to the store for a soda and come back 6 hours later

Does he?

And part of this journey is learning to deal with stuff

The junk

The things I don’t want to know.

Or hear

Because I’d rather be oblivious

I’d rather be buried under a box of hostess cupcakes

Because they’re sweet.  And they taste good.  And they don’t cheat on me.

Or go out for 6 hour sodas

Or die

But now I’m realizing you can only avoid things for so long

Because even if you bury them under 500 cupcakes they’re still there

Only now you weigh 417 pounds on top of all your other problems

So you might as well just deal with it

Without the cupcakes

That’s harder than I thought it would be

Like right now when I just opened up a box of my mother’s things and found the necklace I gave her for Mother’s day one year that said “M” for Mom.

But that’s ok.

Because this is what it means to deal with life

Instead of eat it.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous March 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm

ack, i hear this! My mom passed away 1.5 years ago and her birthday was this week. I have been fighting eating all week, with mixed success. Sometimes the feelings are just too much.
Nice to know i am not alone


LuckyEight16 March 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm

I am terribly sorry about your mom. I cannot begin to imagine how tough that must be. But you're right, you can't hide your problems under cupcakes, or ice cream or whatever. They will still be there. And that's awesome that you realize that. You WILL be okay. There are probably days when you might not believe that, but you will. Much love and God bless.


Linda March 18, 2012 at 7:01 pm

You are really strong to face that box of your Mom's things without having a box of cupcakes beside you. You know the food will numb the pain, but its not a healthy crutch (physically or emotionally). I have to fight the urge to self medicate with food everyday.
Your Mom would be so proud of what you've accomplished and how independent you are becoming. She is with you.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 18, 2012 at 7:14 pm

I'm sorry about your mom, anonymous. I know it was hard for you with her bday this week. You are definitely not alone!!

Thanks Lucky. You are so right. Hiding problems under cupcakes does not work!!

Linda thanks so much for the kind words!! I appreciate it so much. I am definitely trying to become that emotionally independent person that deals with things in a healthy way instead of drowning them in chocolate syrup!

I'm sorry for having to reply here but I can't reply to individual comments right now due to my lovely tech skills that landed me in this spot!! I have someone tasked to help me fix it but hopefully everyone will read this and know I'm trying to fix it and I do appreciate their comments!


Staci's Slimdown March 18, 2012 at 9:13 pm

I can't reply on my blog, either. I'm also tech challenged. 🙂 I would wear that pretty necklace with the M. You are the mom you are because of her, obviously. Never knew you homeschooled for a bit! Has to beat getting your kids to school every morning in freezing cold Alaska! Ha! I homeschool. Anyway, thanks again for pouring out your heart and letting it be just what I needed to read. Dealing with life is hard, but eating always makes me way more hateful and angry, inside and out. Blah.


me March 18, 2012 at 9:19 pm

(((((Holly))))) My late MIL was my favorite woman in the world, the person I called every day, the one who always listened quietly and gave the very best advice when asked. It took me a good 8-9 years to be okay~even though I rejoiced for her in the beginning. She had been very sick for years! I think I felt like she had all the answers I needed in life~LOL! Finally I am okay again, though of course I miss her. My heart goes out to you as you grieve the passing of your Mom.

And I wrote recently how eating it all away was easier save for the fat. I never had headaches then, I never struggled with anxiety, I never had to deal with stress! Sometimes I don't want to take this weight loss journey, because eating it away seems easier. Other times I know better! It's all very confusing.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Stacie I know what you mean. Dealing with life is hard and not having food to help me has been a struggle. All my life I have used food for comfort and now I can't. I literally can't even if I wanted to which is why this surgery has been a good thing. But it still forces you to handle the pain. And that is all brand new because up until now I'm not sure I ever did that. But that is exactly what is needed!

Me…thanks!! I am sorry about your MIL she sounds sweet. I am glad to know there is hope for working through it. Thank you so much for leaving me that comment. I appreciate it!


Caron March 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Hi Holly, Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I've been reading through your blog and it is very inspiring. Keep up the great work! 🙂


Frickin' Fabulous at 40 March 19, 2012 at 3:21 am

I am proud of you for opening up Mom's treasure box. And now you can wear that necklace as a reminder of her and that you will be that person for your kids.


Wishful Shrinking March 19, 2012 at 5:20 am

I love the work autonomous. I used to work with a gal that used that word with our clients and I thought she was brilliant. I am really sorry for your loss. Your mom sounded like a lovely person.


Carrie - March 19, 2012 at 6:01 am

Wow…I kinda do the same thing. Like, if I don't acknowledge it, it's not there and I don't have to deal with it.

Same thing, sister. Same thing.

My mom and dad are both still with me and it great health and have a better social life than I do. I'll share.

You come to Austin and we'll grab mom and laugh and laugh and drink some wine and giggle and just be silly.

You just let me know when. =)


Joy March 19, 2012 at 6:03 am

You have suffered so much, in such a short time. I am so sorry!! Sounds like you found a treasure in your Mom's box! Praying for peace and joy for you!!

Stay focused on your health and fitness goals!!


Anonymous March 19, 2012 at 7:09 am

I am a journalist by training and I so enjoy your writing. You have a gift!


If Only She Were Thinner March 19, 2012 at 11:07 am

I think you and I share some sort of common DNA. Food was always there to comfort me when no one else was. Like you, food never cheated on me either. It didn't put me down, didn't call me names, and didn't abuse me. It made me happy for the few minutes I needed to get through the moment…

Now, of course, I have other vices now instead of food but even with WLS it was still hard to break the habit.

You are such an inspiration to me.


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bbubblyb March 19, 2012 at 11:34 am

Sorry about your mom. Way to go on getting through it without eating though, that is big 🙂 You are so right that eating over any of the problems isn't going to help make them go away.


*Christie* March 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Oh sweetie 🙁 I feel your pain. I am just 28 and I lost my mom 6 months ago. It hurts and I never thought I'd lose my own mom so young, before I am a mom myself.
I applaud you for wanting to learn to get through these things without the help of food. It is THE thing that will give you long term success. Hugs.


Sarah March 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm

I can only begin to imagine your pain. Hindsight is an evil thing. It makes us all imagine what if …


Expat-Mom (Sarah) March 19, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Wow, that really hit close to home for me. Sorry to hear about your mom. But YOU are an inspiration!


FreeJulie March 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Ugh, Holly, this post not only makes me want to cry – more than that it honestly makes me feel like throwing up. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I am so sorry. I don't think infidelity was an issue in my marriage, but certainly I was blindsided by the magnitude of our problems. Until I took control and ended things on my terms. But the emotions are still pretty raw and it hurts, and reading your pain hurts, too.

I'm sorry. It does get better. I'm sorry about your mom. I can't imagine.


Chandra March 20, 2012 at 7:50 am

Hugs for you, Holly.

As you know, we've been in a similar boat with losing our moms…

Only my mom depended on me. For a long time. She was sick off and on for 8 years. But I was angry with her a lot.

Every single thing wrong with her was related to her weight, not her age. Every single one.

It really ticked me off. What's funny is, I was really ticked off at her for not dieting, yet I weighed over 200 pounds. So what? I thought it was okay to be 70 pounds overweight? Did I think I had some kind of better control of things because I was not as overweight as she?

I do not. I do not have control at all.

The only thing I had on her was a better metabolism. Because I ate all the time. I ate to avoid my crumbling marriage. I ate to avoid knowing my husband was playing poker 5 nights a week, all night long. I ate to avoid knowing that even though he had a 6-figure income, I had no money for the $85 preschool tuition. I ate to avoid the feeling of selfishness I had about devoting every waking moment to my husband and children, and I ate to avoid knowing that I had completely lost me in my own life. I would have probably been in her position in 10 years if I hadn't realized this a few years ago.

Only now I'm headed back there. I stopped allowing her to need me so much. I tried to pull back; I did pull back. I made my brothers and sisters help out, but I know that she needed me. And I said no. I had to focus on my children; my childless siblings could help.

She died 7 months ago.

I've been eating the guilt of pulling back every day since, to the tune of 20 pounds so far. I've been eating the guilt of not being there to change every bandage after every amputation. I've been eating the guilt of not taking her to every doctor appointment and I've been eating the guilt of not driving the 50 miles to visit her every day.

You have expressed guilt about needing your mom so much. I'd like to challenge you to change or shift or look at that perception differently; it seems like from what you've said that your mom felt blessed to parent you. I think her requests for autonomy were out of worry for you, for sure, but not because she wanted you to not need her.

I think moms are wise and they know how things will go.

Your mom sounds wonderful and generous. She sounds like a woman who deserves to be honored in the way you are honoring her; by owning your life and taking control of it.

I have a lot of lessons to learn from you. Thank you for sharing them.

I'm sorry if this post is too much about me and seems like not a response. I meant to share in order to show how I am learning from you, but I don't know if it's coming across that way.



Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 20, 2012 at 8:27 am

Chandra–I can't reply right under your post b/c of my lovely tech skills making my template not work that way! But it will be fixed soon. Anyway, I just wanted to say to you and anyone else that reads this–that I do not mind AT ALL your reply being about you. You said that you were afraid it was too much about you and in fact I love that. I hope everyone who comments feels that it is ok to share whatever they want about them. That is how I learn too!! I like it much better as a conversation! Thank you so much for sharing what you did. When I read this I felt like crying for you and all you have been through. How amazingly difficult and the amount of pressure you must have felt on your shoulders. How awful it must have been. And sometimes we have to pull back to preserve our own mental sanity because we have to be able to function. I totally get that. I have done that in my life too. Pulled back b/c I have kids I've got to take care of and at the end of the day I have to be able to function. I know we both have guilt but like you said this is about owning the life we have. Because it doesn't last forever. Thank you so much for this!! You have really made me stop and think about things especially about what my Mom would want for me now. And I'm sure your mom would want the same. For us to live without the guilt and to be the best version of ourselves possible!! Thank you so much for sharing!!


Margaret March 20, 2012 at 8:50 am

Holly–I don't know how long your mom has been gone, but 39 is certainly too young. All I can say is that it gets better. It never gets okay, it never gets "right," but it won't always be as hard as it is. Mother died when I was 26–suddenly. I am now 46 years old and it still hits me like a 2×4 to the head, but much less often. Anyone who has the strength to lose more than 100 pounds will find the strength to get through this as well.
Thanks for stopping by at our place!


Morgan Dragonwillow March 20, 2012 at 11:15 am

It wasn't my mom that I lost, it was my sort-of Mother-in-law. It was devastating and I am sure it is only a fraction of what you feel. I love your writing, as someone above said, you have a gift! I hope that when you come to the end of this chapter in your life you combine all of your writing from this blog, possibly add some more to it, and publish it. I believe it would help thousands if not millions to read your story. You may want to check out Write on Edge or Story Dam, they are blogs that do writing prompt challenges that help you dig into your writing even deeper.



Maren March 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm

What a beautiful post.
Ignorance isn't always bliss. Opening one's eyes is hard, but reality is what it is, whether we choose to face it or not.


Ronnie March 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm

It is SO hard to find things to placate your emotions instead of with food, since we can't do that anymore… sometimes just crying really does help. I know you have 4 kids, and that you're not at liberty to be a mess in front of them, but watch a sad movie after they go to bed. Lifetime… it's a killer. And just cry whenever you need to. That's what I do!


OverMom March 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Hugs to you! I know how you feel. I lost my Dad 2 years ago when I was 31 (my brother and sister were only 23,21) We were young too. Way too young to loose a parent. So I hug you from far and let you know that you are not alone!


Kimberlynn March 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm

This is such a raw and beautiful post that has touched my heart. Thanks for being so open and honest.


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