I have an anomaly I would appreciate feedback on. I have noticed a pattern in my life. As I get older and more sedentary I try to muster up the enthusiasm to work out  and get back in to good physical shape that I had during my youth; I am middle age now. The pattern I keep seeing is this: When I finally get motivated and go work out on a consistent basis and push myself a little, I start to notice a slight improvement in my shape and feel of my body. When I get serious about it, I can see instant results. The problem I have is that as soon as I see and feel ANY results, I get a sore throat and feel run down and get very sick with a respiratory infection of some kind. I can be sick in bed for a week or two with a hacking cough for months afterwards. This stops all of the progress I had accumulated (which was only a small beginning). I am sick as I write this. This scenario keeps playing out in my life over and over and over and I can’t get back in shape. If I don’t exercise outside of my somewhat physical job, I don’t get the “crud”. I can be exposed to very sick people and my own family coughing and hacking on me and I don’t get sick. It is only when I work out and push myself to get in shape that I get the “crud”. What is happening? Should I go to a nutritionist? My doctors have no advice, and I don’t feel like they listen to me. Does anyone else ever notice this health phenomenon or is it just me? It seems to pop up like when one gets a fever blister on their lips when they get a fever or a cut on the lips. Could it be some kind of unknown viral thing that blooms when I get my body hot and sweaty? I don’t think I start working out that hard. I have the will power to get in shape but am very frustrated that I always get the “crud” when I try. The “crud” stops me. I have a job to keep with a very strict attendance policy and I can’t be off sick. I will be traveling to southern California this summer and would like to swim with the dolphins and fit into one of those wet suits and swim in the ocean without looking and feeling like a blob. When I was more youthful, working out keeps my appetite at bay and I have a desire to eat right. Any suggestions out there? Please no rude comments.

Divorce… the most underestimated form of grief

It has been almost 20 years since my divorce from my first husband. When I met my first husband I look back and realize that marrying him was a very poor choice due to my immaturity. I lived with him for about 8 years and married him two weeks before giving birth to my baby girl. I would do it all over again (to infinity) just to have her in my life. She is my baby girl and one of the best things I have ever done. That being said, my relationship with my ex was anything but good. I will spare you the details so that I can stay on point. It doesn’t matter if you are married or living with someone, the pain of ending a long-term relationship can be down right devastating, in fact, living with someone can be more devastating due to the fact that when people hear you broke up with your boyfriend (been there too) they do not convey feelings like when they hear you are going through a divorce. A break-up with a boyfriend seems to be taken more lightly. But for the sake of story, I will refer to it as divorce.

When I was a child and then a teenager I remember hearing women rant as they gave advice about how they would act if a boyfriend misbehave. They would say things like ” I wouldn’t put up with that for a minute” or “he’d be out the door in a minute” and “leave his ass”. Turns out most of these women stayed in relationships way too long or are still in them. I learned talk is cheap. People can give advice based on their over inflated egos. Although, there harsh words did help me to leave a bad relationship because I needed to leach from their confidence as mine has just been sucked dry.

I remember when I was freshly divorced, I was so devastated and in shock, I didn’t think I could go to work. I couldn’t eat, sleep, or function. I lost a lot of weight, and all I wanted to do was to talk about my break up, over and over again. Talking really helped. But after a while those around me were burnt out and I could tell they didn’t want to talk about it anymore or at least so much. It is a weird place to be, you don’t feel like being alone. When going through a divorce your normal interests take a vacation and seem no longer interesting to you.

What a lot of people don’t understand is that the grief from a divorce can be so devastating it should be treated not like a death in the family for sure, but right below that, it is in a league of its own. The power of the pain divorce can inflict on someone is phenomenal. It is way underestimated. It can be sheer grieving, it was to me. When you are in the midst of the pain, you can feel as though you are in a vacuum, isolated by your all-consuming thoughts. You can look at those around you and view their problems as petty. You might think you will feel this way forever. I was convinced I would and that thought haunted me. It stifled my growth. I needed a lot of people to shout in my face that it WILL BE OK and IT WILL GET BETTER.  I found myself seeking out opinionated people, because I was desperate for any piece of advice that might help me. I bought self-help books and they helped immensely. When people seemed tired of talking to me, I would sit and read self-help books.

It seems that people forget how painful divorce can be. I didn’t. The pain helped me make better choices next time. It is amazing how the mind has a way of healing. Divorce physically felt like a blow to the brain; like it was bruised. It heals.

The good news is that it gets better. It really, really does. I wish more people had told me this. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes people give advice or comments you wish they would keep to themselves, like when my sister smugly told me to “get over it, you will live” and then the next day smugly stated to me ” see… you lived through the night”. She gave me that advice but when her relationship ended she had to go through divorce, she didn’t take her own advice, she was mean, angry, and blamed everyone around her for everything that was wrong with her life. Everyone responds differently, just like everyone grieves differently.

I ended up going to a therapist to talk with and get some feedback. It was the best thing I ever did! I highly encourage others going through divorce to do the same. Something else that I needed to hear was that I was not alone. People acted like I shouldn’t be upset after a day or two. I spoke with my mom on the phone for hours at night and that really helped. She understood to some degree. She helped just by listening to me endlessly and agreeing with me that the relationship was not a healthy one. I will forever love her for it. Praying to God also helped me. I have a closer relationship to God because of the pain.

For those of you in the midst of divorce pain, remember, you are not alone, it does get better (way, way, better) let yourself grieve, give yourself time to heal and seek out people that are understanding and things that are productive to your healing. When you are done grieving, don’t forget how you felt so that you may be a beacon of light to those you might encounter in your life that are going through the same situation. My heart goes out to any of you in this place, but remember it does get better!

Hang tight!