Ah! What do I do next today? Read? Write a letter to Jamie or Armando of other inmates I care about? Work on my book, answer msgs that came in concerning other posts? Put on my shoes and go walk as I try to build up my strength? Make phone calls personal or business? Life is full. I’m busy. I’M ALIVE!
When I woke this morning and struggled to an upright position feeling every pain in my body telling trying to convince me to give up, ( I have that thought every morning) I swallowed 5 mgs of methadone, my blood pressure med, an extra strength Tylenol and anti-rejection pills for my liver transplant and went to the kitchen and poured a cup of coffee with a little organic vanilla creamer. There is nothing better than that first swallow of hot coffee in the morning. (my morning begins at noon and bedtime is around 4-5 am) My husband always makes sure it is ready and waiting. I try as much as possible to limit putting chemicals into my body because I’ve researched it enough over the years and found the saying “you are what you eat” is very true. If you have the ability to choose what you eat and don’t care, then accept the fact your food is going to lead you to a different death through cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke or memory loss. Your choice. It could happen anyway but your chances are a hell-of-a-lot greater.
I stumbled back to my bed with my hand on the wall for balance. I can’t take the chance of falling again. The last time nearly derailed me. I have to wait for the pain meds to go to work. All because of the effects of the causes I made earlier in my life. But I’m still here and kicking, not wasting a single precious moment of life, because I sure do love living! Do you? Or do you exist just to die; a question we need to ask ourselves especially when we get older. Now that I am far enough over 60, optimistically having a third of my life left to live, how do I want to live that life? That is a choice we make, because much of it takes place in our minds which dictates what actions we take.
We all die. But our actions help bring about how that happens. I have tried more times than I can count to help people close to me understand the consequences of the food they eat and what certain ingredients do to their health, but damn, they just don’t care – enough – to stop eating things that only TASTE GOOD! Who cares what your body is supposed to do with the chemicals in their food even though it’s killing them. I realized I cared more about them than they cared about themselves. I had to understand they had the right to destroy their life any way they wanted. I was naive when I thought if they knew they would want to stop destroying themselves. I was wrong about that. The attitude most people have is – you gotta die somehow. So who cares? Or they think they really are doing the best they can and fool themselves.
I can look at people in society, and often see their health. In grocery stores I have to fight with myself to not go up to people’s grocery carts with a perplexed look on my face and ask them, “Are you really going to EAT that stuff?” If I started doing that I’d never get out of the store. Why don’t they care? Their life has it’s own complex reasons and nothing I say will change that, so I don’t try.
Case in point – my mother has diabetes and she had a stroke a year ago. For at least ten years, since it was diagnosed, I tried to teach her what she needed to know about the food she was eating that caused her diabetes. I might as well have talked to a wall. She was going to eat what she wanted to eat regardless of the possible consequences.
We all have our own addictions. I surely understand that. Now my mother is in a wheel chair with a brace on her leg if she wants to walk with her walker. her body is weak now from little use. The phrase, “A body in motion stays in motion” is also a truism. Her mind and memory now is like Swiss cheese.
It’s been hard watching her decline and wondering, could this have been prevented, if her life and the quality of it had mattered more? It’s too late now. The damage is done. All of us have to live with the consequences of our actions. In Buddhism it’s called the law of cause and effect. In Christianity it is taught, you reap what you sow. In everyday secular life, what goes around comes around. It’s all real. It’s absolute, but most people ignore things they don’t think applies to them.
My younger sister now shoots insulin, and my daughter takes pills, and both also have diabetes. They “try” to eat better. Major cop out. That really means, “I try to eat better sometimes but if I see something I want to eat, I’m going to eat it”. If I had that attitude with the problems caused myself I’d be dead. No one cares to learn from my mistakes or learn the knowledge I know, even if it would help them. They don’t have to listen to me, but where is that gut level desire to live and learn what it takes to implementing good food instead of good tasting tasting food in their diet on their own? I don’t understand that. At all.
If my sister eats her way into a stroke it’s not my problem to deal with. At 61 she better shit or get off the pot because the effects of diabetes are nipping at her heels. But I promise to give her all the love and caring she showed me as I fought to live, which means I’ll ignore her. My daughter at age 36 I will fight tooth and nail for, to help encourage her to exchange her diabetes for better health. I will do for her what my immediate family never did for me – if she ever needs me.
Learning lessons from the mountains we climb and gaining wisdom from it is what propels us through life. It teaches us compassion. That can be paid forward to people you can help and encourage. My family taught me how cruel family can be. My “family” are people I’m not blood related to, at least the ones I was born with. That family is gone.
It is only fair I put in a disclaimer. My older sister was there for me through my illness. She was the only one. Literally the only one who cared enough to come see me when I spent two years in bed. Isn’t that sad? Through the insecurities of someone else I lost the only family I thought I had an honest relationship with, and that hurt. It still does. Sometimes people need to believe things that aren’t true to validate what they do.
So on that note I’m going to eat breakfast, put on my shoes and go outside on this beautiful day. I’m going to take a deep breath of flower scented air, smile and exclaim what a great day it is to be alive, and go climb a few mountains. Hills really, carrying a container of coconut water, the best hydrating liquid there is with all the electrolytes I’m going to sweat out. Gatorade is crap.