“The right now you, well it’s the best you. Best in a long time.” —Isabella Martell
It’s a feeling I could barely describe, even when I sat in front of my doctor. “I just want to feel like ME again.” was what I said when I sat down.
And she knew. She just knew.
I’m so glad you came to see me today, Ali, she said. She knew, even if I didn’t, that THE ANXIETY was getting the better of me.
But things are going great, I thought. And said.
But because she knew, she asked all the right questions. Well, things are great, yes, but yes I am edgier with my kids, quick to anger, quicker to yell. And yes, I am finding myself less social with my friends and no I don’t like it. But my sleep has always been bad, but now that you mention it, it’s worse and there have been more than a few nights that I’ve woken up in cold sweat worrying over a mistake I made at work, or a conversation I had with Josh. Why yes I am excited for Emily to have an awfully big University adventure, but yes I have slept in her room more than once and holy moly do I miss that girl like a limb has been amputated. I do love writing and cooking going to the gym and, but you’re right, I haven’t been able to find my words and my funny and even pull out my mixer or find my way to OrangeTheory. And she knew I wasn’t able to return emails sometimes or hang up my clothing or make my bed.
And she wrote me a prescription.
Even though I reminded her that the last time I quit the meds cold turkey because I put on 10 pounds in 6 weeks. And the weight gain sent me into a terrible anxiety spiral.
So we talked about it.
We talked about weight gain. We talked about how a body with some extra softness and an extra cup size is not a bad body, it’s a different body. And about raising daughters (and a son!) to love their bodies and learning to love my own body and prioritizing my mental health so I can be a better me. For them. For myself.
AND here’s the thing.
I’m sleeping better. Not great, obviously, but better. I’m not waking up in cold sweats, or even sweaty sweats anymore. I don’t yell anymore. Like, at all. I’m communicating better with the kids than I have in years. I took my bike out…twice. I’m finding myself wanting to be more social — I even convinced a few friends to go out on a Sunday night to see Adeena Sussman on her Sababa book tour. I’m baking again, pulling out the giant mixer to make cookies every Friday. I talk to Emily every day and I find myself too excited to hear all of her stories to miss her. And, well, I have been hanging up my clothes every day.
And as you can see, I’m writing.
And I’ve gained weight.
“The right now you, well it’s the best you. Best in a long time.” —Isabella Martell, during a very important carpool car ride.
And if you ask Emily, she’s noticed.
And if you ask Josh, he’s noticed.
I even met a friend for lunch last week. That was hard for me too, before.
And the first thing he said to me when he saw me was,
“You look so happy.”
He could tell. And didn’t give one thought to the weight gain.
So neither did I.