Sunday, April 3, 2011

Need Help

Funny thing how vain I am about my face... hair too, I guess. Last Thursday I had an odd (and fairly fast growing) mole removed from my lower lip and sent for biopsy (no results yet). It's taking a huge amount of will to post the picture that I took today of my lips.

Looking at myself from the perspective of an acquaintance, I see a woman who is struggling with grief over her mother's death, holding it inside, nodding and outwardly saying things like, "Well, she was 94 and lived a good, productive life... Our love and mutual respect was solid as a rock," while inwardly feeling lost, abandoned, stricken.

I see a woman who is eating her heart out, big plates heaped with food, seconds, between meal snacks, reverting to old habits for comfort, not asking her friends for help.

And here's a big one. I see a woman who did not go to her OA meeting on Saturday, even though it's a place where she always finds comfort and support, a place where just maybe she can open the door to her feelings. Why? Because of vanity. Plain and simple. I did not want to show my face.

It's OK. I'm not beating myself up about this. I suspect it's a pretty normal thing. Being aware of how important my face is makes me much more sympathetic to people who have birth defects, scars or other deformities of the face. It makes me more sympathetic to women who have face lifts and cosmetic surgery. It makes me want to contribute money to the Drs. who donate their time to do cleft palette surgeries on children from other countries. In the meantime, I am feeling the results of three weeks of overeating in the way my jeans fit. It's time for me to admit that I need help.

Help me, dear universe,
to feel rather than feed my feelings.
Let me cry and rage.
Let me curl up in a little ball and moan.
Let me turn toward friends
and away from food.
Let me write and speak my truth
rather than the deception of "it's all OK, really."
Let me breathe in healing energy.

Here's a picture of Mom, taken by my sister-in-law last fall, a time when she was feeling pretty chipper.

She loved to go to my brother's house, and especially their garden, every Sunday for dinner. There she would have a glass of wine and delicious food, very different from her regular nursing home meals. She's wearing Karen's gardening hat to keep the sun from her sensitive eyes and holding her arm up so she can wave for the picture. Absolutely a sweetheart! (See a couple more pictures here.)

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Gratitude for today: my husband, having had 68 darn good years with my mom, signs of spring, all three of my sisters-in-law.


  1. I went and read your post from April 1st... what a lovely tribute to your Mom. I can relate to a lot of what you said, and how you incorporate your art in processing your feelings. And also in falling back on old habits, using the comfort of food.

    I hope you feel free to write whatever and whenever you want about your Mom, and how you really feel. I know writing about my Dad's recent passing on my blog has helped me deal with it. I experienced feelings of being an "orphan" now that all the older generation in my family is all gone now. But the writing is helping. I hope it helps you, too.


  2. how you handle things right now is okay..and certainly being vain as u call it is ok too. HUGS

  3. Nope! I am NOT here to enable you to feel sorry for yourself though overeating!! Want a kick in the butt! Well this is it. Yes I understand your grief and have been through it myself.

    When I read one of your posts about how much weight you had lost, I knew that you were on the right track for you. OK, the train jumped track a little, but its time to get it back on track and go to the meetings!!

    And as far as the face thing goes, I have a good feeling that it will go well. And heck, the people that go to your meetings don't give a hoot about a few stitches on your face. It may be a topic of conversation for about a minute. Go, no, run to your next meeting and let your friends there give you all the comfort you deserve. You can do it Robin. You really can.
    Much love to you, and hoping that you move to the next grief stage quickly.
    xx, Carol

  4. I've had three skin cancer surgeries. Two were on my face and I certainly got some looks and comments about my bandaging and scarring. I hope you will keep us posted. And if I can offer any help with this or the eating, please let me know.

  5. OK. Just so we're all clear. Feeling sad when someone you love dies, expressing that sadness, and trying to find ways to ease that pain is NOT, let me repeat, NOT feeling sorry for yourself in the sense that it's somethintg that is not okay to do.

    Yes. If you had a good relationship with your mother, it wuold be natural to feel sorry for yourself for losing her.

    You would feel sorry for your friend if SHE lost her mother, right?

    It is a sad thing. It feels bad. Sorrow is called SORRow for a reason.

    Naturally, you don't want to harm yourself in your sorrow, but for goodness sakes! You are working on ways to express and work thru your grief in a healthy way.

    You have my condolences. The fact that you're feeling deep grief is evidence that you had a deep relationship. What a blessing. And this post is evidence that you're going to be just fine.

    Hugs to you. To Carol--well, she needs a kick in the pants.



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