How we got here

Once upon a time there was a middle aged dude (that’s me) who woke up after 8 years at the same job, in the same building, in the same city with a manager who didn’t seem to see the world in the same way that he did and realized that he really didn’t like his job. That the place that he was always so excited to come to he now dreaded. That it was time to move on.

I think this is the point where it all started. But before I tell how I think I developed this condition, I should really start with some basics.  I should start with my family:

I grew up in Delaware. I was one of those DuPont kids, having moved from the outskirts of Cleveland, OH when I was 10 to little ol’ Delaware. My dad was some kind of middle manager and my mom stayed home with my brother and I. When I was in high-school she went back to work as a computer consultant and later as a general manager at a chain of Veterinary clinics. There was no abuse, no issues, they raised Pete and I well. The only negative thing I can say about the ‘rents is that they could have done a better job selecting which genetics they passed on and which they didn’t. Although I guess that’s not really fair and to be honest the problems that I’m facing are more from behaviors and patterns taught during my childhood rather than genetics.  So maybe there is some blame to dole out.

You see my mother passed away more than 10 years ago from non-cirrhosis of the liver, a serious complication from type 2 diabetes that I don’t wish on anyone. She was massively overweight and constantly struggling with both her size as well as her self-esteem. She really was the most caring, loving person I’ve ever known. She was insanely generous and would put herself (and my dad) in serious hock to give a totally stranger anything they needed. Seriously, she was that kind of person. She would spend hours and hours hand crafting a piece of art for someone, and then turn around and spend hundreds of dollars on a gift because here work wasn’t worth anything. I loved her dearly.

But, I still have some anger at her for not taking care of herself – for not taking the condition she was falling into seriously. You see, I take after my mom. We were similar in so many ways -from ideology to let’s admit it looks. I took it really hard when she died. And like my issues, her spiral wasn’t really sudden.  If you look back, you’ll see that it crept up on her over the course of years like it’s starting to creep up on me. 

 I’m angry because she didn’t seem to fight it. That it was easier to eat that last bit of ice cream rather than face down her internal battles. I know it’s not easy because I’m going through these same battles myself, so it’s really irrational and selfish to be angry at her for not doing something I have just as much trouble with, but I’m human. We’ve already established that much.

The manner of her death is probably the main reason for my ultimate decision to go under the knife in December- I refuse to end up like she did: in a hospital bed, incoherent and slurring her words (due to the ammonia build up in her brain) before she was even 60. She missed so much and I don’t want to end up the same way.

I guess I should say something about my father. He’s a good man. But he’s an enabler. I still hold him somewhat responsible for my mother’s death – that’s the truth. He was the one that couldn’t say no, couldn’t refuse to continue to serve my mother the food that ultimately killed her. Ok, that’s not fair – I know that, I really do. It was her fault. 

 She didn’t have to eat that which killed her – my father would have done anything for her. If she had told him that she wanted smaller portions or less carbs and more salads he would have gladly complied. After facing the same demons the my mother had faced, I’ve come to realize that there’s really only one person I should blame – her and in the same vein, myself. If I had lost 50 lbs before I left SIG and ventured into the city, would I have developed the scarring on my tendons that ultimately led to 2 ruptures? Probably not. But, I get ahead of myself here… 

Enough about my family for now. I think you get the picture. My mother had problems controlling her impulses whether it was with shopping or food and that excess led to a decline her health. As much as I didn’t think I would, it seems I’ve picked up some of her bad habits over time. Self-discipline and I don’t get along very well and that, coupled with being in pain and unable to walk, has led me down a dangerous path. One that I’m only now starting to correct.

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