I woke up early this morning and was looking for a post on my computer that I read on my phone last night. I wasn’t able to find that one but I happened on another posted by a person of the female persuasion. As a general rule, I am careful about commenting on a woman’s blog out of respect for my wife. This one pulled me in though, but not in a good way and I didn’t react well to it. With that said, and without delving too deeply into what was written, the general gist had to do with acceptance on the extremes (meticulously fit vs. obesity). More to the point, learning to accept that which is unacceptable, in this instance, one’s being overweight. The act of manipulating one’s own mind into the belief that being overweight is somehow acceptable – for whatever reason – is not acceptance. It’s deception, or worse – delusion. To be sure, some people have a better time watching their weight than others and one may choose to see that as “unfair”, but what in life is fair?
Please allow me the kindness of explaining myself, because I’ll get to my acceptance on this in a moment.
I am an alcoholic. A drunkard, lush, boozer, loser and a scoundrel left to my own. I have accepted this fact, but that is not the end of the conundrum. I have made (and paid for) many stupid decisions in my life because of this simple reality. Now I can “accept” that I am all of these, in the true spirit of the word, but that doesn’t solve anything. A human being is not meant to be comfortable under those circumstances and the attempt to justify them to oneself as somehow being acceptable seems preposterous. I’ve made the point before, the entire State of Michigan wanted me to stop the behavior to which I’d become accustomed. Let’s go to the dictionary on acceptance: Favorable reception; approval. The manner of living to which I’d grown accustomed was not approvable. For me, it was disastrous, for those around me it was worse. I alienated my family and friends and I was simply incapable of fending for myself, yet an utter terror to have around. I was faced with a choice in the end. I could either accept what I was and continue the wreckage or accept what I was and fix it.
In other words, is it fair that my parents put their DNA together to make me, which resulted in me being one of the ten percent of the population afflicted with alcoholism? Some will say yes, others would argue no. I say why bother – laying blame won’t fix anything. In the end, I have to live with myself. I have to look in the mirror in the morning whether I like it or not. That may not seem too big a task, but you’d have to try it in that state to understand where I’m coming from. The first time I looked in the mirror without having trace amounts of alcohol running through my system, after I’d made the decision to quit, was at once horrendous and completely freeing. It was horrendous because I saw me for what I’d become without having the alcohol to dull the pain and freeing because I knew I didn’t have to be that anymore. My plea to God for help came the night before in the midst of the DT’s.
Weight is no different. Sure, excessive eating won’t kill you as quick but it’s the same concept. In fact, my favorite aunt died at 49 of morbid obesity, a shut in and alone, in such filth it took two weekends and more than 40 garbage bags for my mother (her sister), my father, myself and my brothers and sisters (that’s six grown adults) to clean the place up. In my very first post on this blog, I wrote: “I actually stood in front of the mirror one morning and decided that I would just get fat. I can still remember the day”. On that day, looking in a mirror, just the same as I had done after putting the jug down, I accepted that I was overweight and decided that I would continue the behavior that had gotten me to that point. I was at 195 then and imagined what I’d look like at 250 and it wasn’t pretty. Now you understand the full meaning of that moment for me. I am certain it is possible, over time, for a person to convince themselves that this is “ok” and that happiness can still be attained afterward, but I’m not big into kidding myself. In other words, pain is an excellent motivator, why work to dull it when it’s the main thing that gets me off the couch?
So that brings me to the pair of ducks and my acceptance. I get heated when I witness people deluding themselves with rationalizations about their weight. In part because there’s no good reason for it but mainly because I take facing the guy in the mirror seriously. I have to simply to survive. When I run across notions like that, I tend to get angry and I react poorly. I say (or in this case, write) something that is destructive rather than constructive because I still have a tough time organizing my thoughts through the anger rather than realizing that there are people out there who simply haven’t been fortunate enough to achieve the ability to look at life honestly. In this case it would have been wiser to shut the laptop down and shower that off and come back to it after I had calmed down a wee bit. Which leads me to an amends that I have to make…