The Damn Pill

Just over 20 years ago, I wrote the following poem after being on the birth control pill for a few months.

Sacrifices

Every morning
I place the pill
on my tongue

and think
of the time
when you came

to me and asked,
“What have you
ever done for me?”

This was one of my favorite poems and one of the few I had published (this was in Hammers, No. 12, 1997, a publication of doublestar press).  I liked writing feminist and angry poetry back then. And of the many things I wrote in college and beyond, this one piece always stuck with me. I feel like it’s still relevant to my life now, except the only person asking me to take this damn pill is my gynecologist.

Three months ago, I had a procedure done to make sure my body was working properly and I didn’t have endometrial cancer. Everything turned out ok but my doctor recommended I go on the birth control pill to slow down the endometriosis that was wreaking havoc on my system. I expressed my concerns, telling her how angry I had been when I took the pill in my early 20s. Of course, I think I was angry in general back then. During the 2 years I was on the pill, I fell in love several times, had my heart broken, graduated from college, started graduate school, got engaged, and was bulimic for a large portion of that time. In other words, I was fucked up. I don’t think the pill hurt my situation (I didn’t get pregnant and that was a very good thing), but it didn’t help my moods at all.

Now that it’s 20 years later, my doctor assured me that things had changed and she thought I’d be ok on this pill. I’d only have my period once every 3 months and it shouldn’t intensify my emotions. I was willing to give it a try, at least for a 3-month cycle.

By the end of the first week of taking this pill, my husband *begged* me to stop taking it. I was not only angry and snappy but I was unbelievably sad.  Of course, this was also in February when things are gloomy here in Maine, my back was still messed up so I wasn’t running, and a friend of mine was dying. I know all of these things contributed to my sadness and the moodiness. But having my husband tell me he could watch me go through a wide range of emotions in just a few hours was a bit unsettling. And honestly, it was exhausting. I sometimes could see myself react to a situation with anger when I knew that I shouldn’t. I’d scream at my son or at my husband and I *knew* I was overreacting, but I just couldn’t stop myself. This had happened once or twice before I went on the pill, like my hormones were raging and out of control, but it happened too many times that first month.

At the beginning of the second month, I started bleeding uncontrollably…for 7 days. I was weak, light-headed and scared. I called my doctor and she told me to stop taking the pill for a few days. She started me too soon in my cycle the month before and now my body was trying to make up for the mistake.  It was friggin’ horrible. But maybe my body was trying to tell me, “Hey! You’re *supposed* to bleed once a month, goober, and not every 3 months!”

This third month has been better, though. Sort of. I’ve only had a few days where my emotions flared up into a firestorm, but I cooled down very quickly. And apologized. A lot. And now I’m in the week with the fake pills that I don’t bother to take. My period has been….weird, to say the least. Not horrible but not my normal, either.

But the one thing that has happened over the past 3 months that I haven’t mentioned, is the water weight. Or what I *assume* is water weight. Over the winter, I gained 8 pounds. Fine. Whatever. But I’ve been trying to do something about those 8 pounds for the past 3 months. I’ve counted calories and exercised. I’m now running 4 days week and walking or working with weights 2 other days a week. SO WHY HAVEN’T I LOST ANY WEIGHT?!?

Has my metabolism really changed this much? I know it’s possible, but much of the time I don’t just feel heavy, I feel bloated. Like a sausage being squeezed out of its casing. I just feel so, so FAT. And it’s seriously messing with my head. I don’t care what people think I look like. If they think I look slim or “just perfect” then that’s wonderful. But I don’t think that nor do I feel that. My self-esteem has diminished greatly. I can feel myself slouching more. I’ve been extremely anti-social. I seem to only be able to talk with my friends via email or Facebook. I have phone calls to return but just can’t do it. For 2 months, I’ve put off spending an evening with my closest friends because I just don’t want to be around anyone.

What I need to know is what this extra weight IS. Did the pill cause this or has my metabolism just changed as my body crossed that mysterious boundary into my 40s?

I really want to know the answer. I NEED to know the answer.

But *today* I need to decide if I continue taking this pill for another three months. Yes, it would be nice to not worry about my period or horrendous cramps for nearly the entire summer. But if this extra weight is caused by the pill, what will this do to my mental health? Can I stop worrying about the weight for 90 days? I seriously doubt it. Maybe I can find some comfortable but cool clothes to hide in for the summer and not feel like my fat is oozing out everywhere? Maybe.

Or maybe just stop taking the damn thing and talk to my doctor next month and find some other alternative? Maybe.

I’m having a really hard time deciding. I just don’t know what I should do. I don’t think either choice is fantastic, but I just don’t know which is *right* for me, you know?

For right now though, I’m going to get my butt out of this chair and go for a run. Maybe that will clear my head and help me make a decision.

Anything is possible, right?

Run Your Butt Off

During the past few months, my running schedule has been nearly nonexistent. My back was not cooperating. I walked a lot on the treadmill and used a variety of Leslie Sansone walking dvds just to try to keep up some level of fitness through the winter.  As my back seemed to get better, I attempted a run or two. Although it felt good at the time, I was usually hurting the next day. I was frustrated, feeling fat, and just plain sad.

Then I found this book.ryob

This was a book my library bought over 3 years ago. I didn’t read it at the time because I didn’t need it. I was at my ideal weight and had already been running for a year or so. But now after a long winter AND spring of being 8 pounds over my ideal weight, I’ve had enough.

You know, I thought maybe breaking it off with Mr. Scale would not only help my mental state, but also improve my physical one. But it didn’t help either my mind or my body. Instead, I counted calories the entire month and tried to workout once a day. And after 31 days? I weighed *exactly* the same. I’m glad you couldn’t see my face when I weighed myself. Hell, I’m glad *I* couldn’t see my face. I must have looked shocked, disappointed, pitiful.

After a few days of moping and probably some angry eating, I started to delve more into this book. I had to forget that I ever ran before. The authors say that in the book at one point. Everyone needs to start at the beginning. And it’s ok. Stage 1 is just walking 30 minutes a day for 3-4 days a week. I had been doing that all winter, so I was at least all set with Stage One. The next part was only running a minute and walking for four. Each stage thereafter is less walking and more running, until you’re running 30 minutes and walking to cool down.

I’m currently at Stage 5, walking for 2 1/2 minutes and running for 5. You move on from each stage after a week or two, depending how you feel. Since I’ve been sick all week and only ran this twice, I will stay in Stage 5 for at least another week.

Do I feel like I’ve made a huge leap backwards? Oh hell yeah. Thinking that I was gearing up for my half just 2 years ago, feels a little like a dream sometimes. But….I have to remember that this is all ok. I have to start somewhere, and at the beginning seems the right place to start.

But….I will say that I wish…oh how I wish….that I didn’t care about these fucking 8 pounds. But honey, my pants would be on fire if I said I didn’t care.

My body just doesn’t feel “right.” My clothes don’t fit correctly anymore. I just returned a medium-sized t-shirt for a large because I felt like my muffin top and back fat were oozing out everywhere. *This* is a horrible feeling!!! If you’ve ever experienced it, you *know* what I’m talking about. And when it’s only EIGHT pounds making you feel that way, remember what it was like when you had those 80 pounds? Or 50? Or 150?

I REMEMBER.

I felt…insignificant. I felt….ugly. I felt….ashamed.

And this is how I feel right now.

I hate it. I don’t want to feel this way. I’ve tried so hard to overcome these mental beatings I keep giving myself. And there are days when I can do it. A lot of this past year has been about me working on loving who I am….but loving my body is just not easy for me to do.

I know my sister often gets mad at me when I’m counting calories and obsessing over food and my weight. She has certainly overcome the body image issues we grew up with, and I’m so proud of her. I keep hearing her voice in my head, telling me to stop being this way. To love my body like she has learned to love hers.

I’m just not there. Not yet.

Do I hope that this Run Your Butt Off program will solve all of my weight problems? Of course I do. Just like I hope buying a lottery ticket will solve my financial problems. But do I *really* think that? No. Not really. I do hope the RYBO program will get me in better shape, though. I think if I don’t push myself too hard or run too many days in a row, my body should be able to run a bit again. And yes, I most certainly hope it will also help me lose these incessant 8 pounds.  But do I think the program will make me love my body? Nope. It’s not a program filled with miracles or brain-washing. It’s just about running.

So…let’s just concentrate on that right now. I need to deal with my body and learning how to run again. How to breathe again. How to warm up and stretch. And just how to enjoy that time outside with my music, my beautiful surroundings…and my body.

 

 

 

 

It made me look forward to running again. It made me love it again.

 

Love

Tomorrow, this little boy will be eight-years-old.

sweetbri

Ok, I know he doesn’t look like that anymore, yet that image is still what I see sometimes when I look at my little guy. I see that same sweetness and innocence and a little bit of wisdom that I’m not sure he even knows he has.

My son is in no way perfect. His penmanship is atrocious, his table manners have a lot to be desired,  and he’s a bit smelly. He still can’t tie his shoes, when he brushes his teeth I usually make him do it twice because you’d never know he brushed after the first time, and the boy loves video games more than nearly anything in this world.  The only toys he really likes to play with are toy weapons (guns, swords, and lightsabers). Sometimes his tics drive me mad even though I know they’re not his fault, I truly wish he’d blow his nose more instead of snorting or wiping it on his sleeve and of course, I wish he liked to run—even just a little.

And yet….I think this boy is the greatest thing in existence. His empathy for other people astounds me. His wordsmith skills are top notch. I love how much he cares about his cats, but also that he can purr like one! The fact that he not only loves to read but loves to read to others just makes my heart sing. His observations of the world are just so pure, so free of prejudice and fear and hatred (“But *why* do some people think gay people are bad because they’re gay? I don’t get it. That’s just silly!”).  He’s tall and has the cutest lips and ears and the most beautiful brown eyes that often con me into doing things for him that I really shouldn’t. (Maybe he’s not really a Jedi but a Sith….)

This boy loves me with such unadulterated love. His love feels so complete and absolute. It’s not unconditional, mind you. He needs love and caring from me, too. But the trust that is tied in with his love can feel a little scary at times. I do NOT want to fail this kid. This little person *knows* I’ll keep him safe and won’t lie to him and will provide any answers that he needs, and that I’ll always love him. That’s a lot for a person to live up to.  But I suppose that’s exactly what I signed up for on April 20, 2007.

I’ve done the best that I could up to this point and will continue to do so. I’ve tried to keep him safe (although I dropped him on his head when he was a baby), I try not to lie to him (although it may be time for Santa and I to have a discussion) and I *have* provided LOTS of answers that he needed to know (recently had many conversations about bodies, sex and sexuality).

And the always loving him part? That, my friends, is the easiest thing to do. How can you not love someone who thinks you’re one of the greatest people to ever live? How can you not feel deep affection for this boy who adores both Star Wars and My Little Pony? How can you not cherish this person who continually gives great hugs and wants to dance in the kitchen with you?  I can’t. It would be impossible for me not to love him.

I have never needed or wanted to love someone more.

Happy birthday, my sweet baby boy.

briandky

“The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.”

Dear Donna,

I went to your wake tonight. There were sooo many people there! Having 10 siblings and an extended church family, I knew you would have many visitors, but obviously I underestimated the amount of people who knew and loved you. I shouldn’t have, though. I’m sorry about that.

I loved all the photos they had there, Donna. You would have laughed at some of them, probably rolled your eyes at others. I particularly loved seeing the younger photos of you. I hadn’t ever seen those before. You had that amazingly long hair even back then.  And your wedding photos. I loved those, too. I was so happy you invited me and the other bookstore folks. I *love* weddings. I may be one of the most unromantic people, but I still love going to weddings. And yours was pretty awesome. It totally made me laugh when you and Craig were trying to shove wedding cake at each other. You were having fun, having a good time, and Craig seemed so gaga over you.

You know, people have said that he took care of you 24/7 near the end. He loved you, Donna. Loves you. But I think you already know that.

I think I saw your boy there, too. I haven’t seen him in person since he was just a little guy, but from your Christmas card I think I recognized him. He seemed ok. Surrounded by a bunch of people, but not being smothered, you know? I wanted to say something to him, but I didn’t think he needed to hear anything from a person he didn’t even know.  Did you get to talk with him a lot in the past few months? I hope you did. He still has his dad, Donna, and all of your family. He certainly won’t be alone, will he?

Were you angry, though? I know you believe in God and an afterlife. I know how much your church and your faith has meant to you….but you still must have been pissed.  Or…maybe you weren’t.

Maybe I was angry enough for both of us.

You were 50, Donna. Just 50. A teenage son still needing you. A husband and family and friends who love you, who still want to talk with you, who want to hear that amazing, life-affirming laugh you always had.

But Donna? So…after I waded through the throngs of folks in the funeral home, signed my name to the guest book, looked at the photos of you everywhere….I saw your casket. I walked to it, keeping my eyes averted so as not to look at you yet. I needed to find a bit of courage first. I knew you wouldn’t look quite the same, losing so much weight from being sick but honestly? People that have been embalmed never look quite the same as they did in life, do they? No matter how hard the funeral directors try, there’s always this doll-like quality to those in the caskets. But sweetie? Oh, Donna. You didn’t look like yourself at all. Not only had cancer shrunken your body, but you aged so much this past year. So, so much. I couldn’t find you in there. I couldn’t find you in the body that was lying in the casket. I didn’t recognize your face…at all. I know you must have suffered so much in the past few months, but I don’t think I could really comprehend that, until tonight.

But…my friend…I refuse to remember you that way. I refuse. And I know how my mind works. I will actually forget that image of you in the casket. I will block it from my memory until I only remember you, the real you. Our Donna, laughing at the bookstore or looking so in love when you talked about your boy. Every Christmas I will think of you as I send out cards. Yours was always the first or second one I received. We used to “race” each other with our cards, remember? When I look at photos of my cat, Ginger, I will always think of you and how happy you were to give her to me…and get her out of your house! (She really was a grumpy kitty, wasn’t she?) And anytime I see a woman with long dark hair wearing a long jean skirt, how can I not think of you?

I will miss you, Donna.

Love,

Holly

What I do

Here’s a little sample of what I do:

  • Assist library patrons with tax forms, computer issues, and downloading e-books
  • Suggest book and film titles to patrons for both research and leisure
  • Catalog new materials for the library by using the Dewey Decimal System, our automated system and my vast knowledge and years of experience

What I don’t do:

  • Read books all day
  • Shush people (I do yell at people, though.)
  • Try to scare children (I don’t try but sometimes my size freaks them out. They either love a giant or run away from them. You get used to it.)

What you didn’t realize I do:

  • Plunge toilets
  • Clean up scary unidentifiable messes with rubber gloves
  • Put up with LOADS OF CRAP from many people ALL DAY LONG

I’ve said before how much I love what I do. I’m not disputing that fact. I feel privileged to be in a profession that I am not only well suited for, but one that I’m really good at. I work with and for so many wonderful people that make me laugh and bring me joy and I am so grateful for them.

But then there are days like today. Days when I wonder why I do what I do.

As a librarian, I have had my fair share of scary or disgusting people to deal with. Like the Masturbator–the teenager who sat on the beanbag chair and who apparently didn’t realize that I could see what he was doing. A laptop on your lap really doesn’t cover up much when you have a sweaty face and glazed eyes…and I can see your hand move, you idiot.  (As a side note, the beanbag chair was removed by me wearing rubber gloves and was stuffed in a closet. I haven’t stepped into that closet since.)

Or the Greasy-Haired Dude who always talks to the computer and pounds on the keyboard calling it a piece of junk. I have to continuously threaten to kick the guy out (and ban every so often).  He at least doesn’t look at as much porn as he used to…although he may be stalking young women on Facebook. I’m not sure.

Or the Smelly Ones. The folks that don’t do anything “bad,” but you have to keep your mouth open and try not to breathe in too much when they’re at the desk.

And then there are just the people that are rude for whatever reason or the ones that hit on you or just the folks that are lonely and linger a little too long. You expect these types of folks when you work with the public. It’s just how it is.

But today, I experienced something new. And something vastly unpleasant. Something that made me angry and hurt and honestly, I wanted to hit this person.  Today, I was accused of stealing.

Here’s the situation:  A patron called to say she got her overdue notice in the mail and would be returning her books. Great! I knew the patron and when I sent her this “final notice,” I was never worried if she would return her books or not. She’s often late and pays her fines and it’s no big deal. It may take a while, but she’d be back.

Apparently she had never read any of her “final notices” before and was astounded that we mention prosecution in the letter. I assured her that this was a form letter that every single person gets when items are a month overdue, but yes, it would be stolen property if you don’t return the books so I think the language in the letter is appropriate.  I do want the items returned, but in her case, since she was returning them, she had nothing to worry about. She then went on to say that she found it interesting that our maximum fine is $2 per item, when she had to pay nearly $50 in fines last year and there was no way she had checked out 25 books.

Ok. Here’s the point where I kind of lost it. She kept repeating that “someone” at the library charged her this amount and “there’s something wrong there.” I asked her point blank if she thought we maliciously charged her more than what she owed or “padded” her overdue fines. And then she repeated that “someone at the library” business and I thought I was going to bitch slap her through the phone.

Here’s the thing. We have 4 employees at the library. F-O-U-R. I have worked with two of them for nearly 10 years. NO ONE PADDED ANYTHING. I’m quite certain that *I* was the one who collected her fines last year. And you know how much money and for how many books? $42 for 21 LATE BOOKS.  Not 25 books mind you, but 21. (“I never check out that many!”)

AAAAAARRRRRGGGHHHHH!!

I’ve said before that I don’t make much money doing what I do. But would I pad someone’s fines to pocket a little cash? Would I steal from my job, from my library? Absolutely fucking not!! I, in fact, have some friggin’ integrity. (Probably not for everything, but most definitely in the workplace.) To be accused of something I find loathsome….it just burns my butt.

And yet when this patron did come in to pay her fines with her two young children in tow, do you know what I did? I pasted that smile on my face, thanked her graciously for her books and her money, asked her young son about coloring Easter eggs and if he wanted to find more books to read. I was downright delightful.

I didn’t shove her fine history in her face and tell her horribly wrong she was. I didn’t tell her what a rotten person I think she is for accusing me of stealing from her and from the library. I really wanted to tell her that she was so fucking wrong. Wrong about everything.

Did she forget that I was the one who forgave her fines after she had a baby? (Seriously, that was the least I could do.) Or how much her son enjoys story time at our library? Or that we help pack her book bags and make sure she’s all set before she leaves the building with her little ones? Did she really forget all of those kindnesses and instead just thought horrible things about the library and our staff?

I think I’m heartbroken.

I shouldn’t be, right? This person doesn’t really matter. She’s going to think what she thinks and maybe there’s nothing I can do about it. I probably need to teach myself that little lesson I tried to teach my son a few weeks ago, about not trusting everyone. Not every person can be your friend and not everyone will like you. I’m just coming to terms that not everyone likes me. I think I’m ok with that.

But accusing me of ripping off a library patron? It’s not only inconceivable, but unforgivable.

 

 

 

Don’t Mess with Mama Bear

As the youngest of three children, being teased was a daily part of my life. Being a fat kid made me a target at school, on the playground and on the bus. Especially the bus. Remember Molly Ringwald’s line from Sixteen Candles? “I loathe the bus.”  Yup.  That was me and probably 90% of the kids on it. There were always a few guys (usually) in the back that would pick on a variety of kids and typically if my siblings were with me, I wouldn’t get picked on. No “hippo” or “fatso” shout-outs on those days. But any other time? I’d try to shrink as much as this big girl could shrink and hope they didn’t notice me.

And now it appears my son is being teased, bullied, picked on, whatever you want to call it. And, of course, it’s happening on the bus.

There are a few kids involved, although we initially thought it was just one. Let’s call him Mark and his friend is Tony. Apparently, since last year, Mark has been calling my son names–“baby” and “c.o.o.l.” being the ones I’m aware of. Cool is no longer a good thing, I guess. It’s an acronym, but the only words my son knew were “overweight” and “loser.”  So I’m guessing that fat loser is really what cool means now?  Un-fucking-believable.

I didn’t know about this happening until last week. My son mentioned that a boy was teasing him on the bus and sometimes teased other kids, too. Ok. I’m going to confess something that sounds unbelievably horrible, but here it is. Initially, I was just happy my son wasn’t being singled out. Not being the only target can make things easier, you know? Not every day will be hell, just some days. But yesterday he tells me that he doesn’t think Mark is teasing anyone else, or at least it doesn’t seem like it. When I asked him what he did when Mark called him a name, he said he told a teacher. Awesome! Good boy, that was the right thing to do. Yet once the teacher was gone, Mark’s friend, Tony, picked up where Mark left off.

These kids are only one year older than my son. At dinner last night, my boy was already wishing to be in 5th grade because those boys wouldn’t be in his school anymore. A 7-year-old should not be wishing the next 3 years of his life away!

Grrrrrr…….mamabear

At that moment, I wanted to hurt someone. Human mothers are very much like mother bears–we want to rip your throats out if you touch or hurt our babies. End of story.

But, since we are supposed to be civilized, then other solutions must be found. I told my boy that wishing to be older was not going to solve anything, so we needed to talk to his teacher. This morning, I wasn’t feeling well, so he went into school alone but went directly to his teacher to tell her what happened. Meanwhile, I went home and immediately emailed the same teacher. An hour later I had an email from her. She ended up personally talking to the student and made the principal aware of what was happening. This woman was “all over it” so fast and it made me love her even more than I already do. She made my son feel safe and cared for and reassured that everything would be ok.

When my boy got home, I was here and I got to ask him how his day went. He told me that Mark was now his friend, but Tony was calling him names now.

“Your friend? Mark is your friend now?”

“Yup!” my little innocent replied. “He gave me a pencil!”

Oh. Oh my sweet boy.

I couldn’t say anything right then. I just couldn’t burst his bubble. Not yet. Instead we worked on his homework. As he read aloud the instructions without stumbling once and sounding older than his 7 years, I started to cry. He looked up at me and just smiled. I gave him a hug and told him to not let *anyone* tell him he wasn’t smart or awesome or my kind of cool. He smiled again and said, “I know, Mom.” But does he?

After dinner, before we started chores, I sat my boy down and told him we needed to discuss Mark. “Honey, I know you think Mark is your friend now.”

“He is, Mom!”

“Just listen for a sec, ok? I need you to be…wary…to be cautious about Mark.” He had no idea what I meant, and what little kid would? Hopefully not many.

“Look, this boy has been calling you names for a year, it’s seems a bit odd that he’s now your friend because a teacher told him to be nicer.  If he *is* kind to you, then great! Maybe he’s realized he was doing a bad thing. Just…try not to get too close to this boy until he can prove he’s your friend.”

Thankfully, my son did not roll his eyes, but he did give me a very skeptical look.  When I asked him if Mark defended him when Tony called him names, my boy’s face fell just a bit. “No,” he whispered.

“Then, honey, you just need to be careful, ok? It’s ok to be friends with Mark if that’s what he truly is, but I wouldn’t call him a friend until he can tell Tony to stop calling you names.”

*big sigh*

I think this was the toughest conversation I’ve had with my son yet. More than the “how babies are made” talk, or “what really is sex, Mom?” discussion. Telling your child not to trust another child just sucks. Plain and simple.

I’m not sure what will happen next. We’ll keep talking about it, asking about the bus rides, seeing if things change. You know, I’m grateful for the school and its teachers and how they’ve been trying to handle the subject of bullying. They’re trying and I know that. But unfortunately, bullying will never go away. There will always be bullies at every age and every town. Hopefully there will be fewer and fewer as tolerance and empathy is taught in schools, but how about at home? You can’t force parents to be good examples of tolerant and empathetic individuals, although I wish we could.

You know, I told my son yesterday about the bumper sticker I used to see a lot in the mid-90’s, “Mean People Suck.”

“I like that,” my boy said. “Can we have that sign EVERYWHERE?!?”

Now *that* would be cool.

Meet my nemesis

DSCN2910

Meet my nemesis, Mr. Scale

I thought I was like Wonder Woman in the fact that I didn’t have any kind of longtime rival. (I know. Comparing myself to Wonder Woman is foolish, but I *often* wish I was her. Still. Even at the age of 41.) Interesting fact: There is no one villain that opposes Wonder Woman, like Joker to Batman or Lex Luthor to Superman. She has no archenemy. Isn’t that odd? But I digress.

The fact is I do have an archenemy. I’ve been fooling myself by thinking that he was my supporter, not my opponent. I thought, in fact, that we had a decent although sometimes rocky relationship. Yet after a few weeks of bad mornings, I’ve decided that I need to take a breather from this relationship. As of today, like Ross and Rachel, Mr. Scale and I are on a break.

For the past 6 years, I have weighed myself nearly every day. SIX YEARS! I’ve let the scale’s wicked numbers dictate how I feel about my body. He could boost my self-confidence for the day or bring me to tears. He was a cruel bastard while I PMS’ed, and I finally learned to stay away from him during those times. But to be fair, over the past few years he was mostly good to me. Until last fall. When those numbers kept crawling back up and I couldn’t make them go back down.

Now look, I take full responsibility for my actions and the pounds of chocolate I consumed over the holidays. My running days are still very limited, but my eating is not as controlled as before. I try to count calories, but some days I just don’t have it in me. And even when I seemed to be in a good, healthy groove,  those rotten little digits refused to go any lower.

I just can’t take it anymore. I need to cut this toxic relationship from my life….for a month.

I’m not ready to cut him from my life completely, ok? Don’t judge.

Just listen when I need to talk about him. Remind me of the cruel way he kept jumping up past the 170 mark and refused to budge. If I seem agitated and tell you that I just need to see him soon, tomorrow maybe, just to make sure my weight hasn’t skyrocketed….then hold my hand and tell me to hang on.

And if I visit your house, hide your own Mr. Scale. You heard me. Hide him!

I just need this month–the month of March–to find some self respect, to find other ways to define my self worth, to discover that I’m so much more than that damn number.

Whatever that number may be.