I’ve relied on this friend. Much more than I thought I did when that friend was here. Like the old saying, you never know what you had until it’s gone. And “Distance makes the heart grow fonder.” And the poignant, “It really stinks when your friend dies.”
When the air was eerily quiet, after the kids were snug in their beds, and there was no one to talk to…my friend was there. My friend saw me through many lonely nights when I would otherwise just feel terribly sorry for myself. She was the kind of friend that makes you forget your worries, and that makes life feel like a party even though it is just a wednesday and there’s nothing to watch on TV. But this wasn’t just a friend I would dump on. We celebrated together. Happiness was shared as well as sadness.
Even though it is difficult, I’m sharing a line drawing of myself looking over my friend on a gray afternoon, right before she was laid to rest. Art is therapy. Sometimes words don’t cut it, so here it is, my final goodbye.
Your friend is a banana split? In reality it is not always a banana split. Actually it has NEVER been a banana split now that I think about it. (I just wanted to draw one, cause it is colorful and gets the point across). But it (my friend that I am laying to rest) is usually very sweet, caloric, and oh so satisfying. And this friend was a part of my life at 7:30-8:30 pm pretty much every single night. I wasn’t hungry. I had eaten dinner. But I just needed a little something. And that “Little” turned into a tub of ice cream, or a few weeks ago my friend was a hot brownie topped with two scoops of ice cream. But I just can’t anymore. I am no longer a pre-teen boy who can consume large amounts of junk food late in the night with little-to-no consequences. (On a side note, you know you are old when 8:30 is described as ‘late in the night’)
I’ve been doing really well after this baby. Very few blue days. Then I had two nights without my friend. The first night was ok, because I was strong, and I was GONNA MAKE IT HAPPEN! (In a loud voice with motivational music in the background), but the second night, I was sad. It literally felt like a loss. And guess what I wanted even more as I considered my sadness? I wanted a large tub of ice cream, or maybe even a banana split. It was almost like wanting to call a friend on the phone, then realizing that friend was no longer with us. The realization that things had changed and that change is hard. I did not eat after 7:00 as I promised myself, I was strong, and sad.
So why this change? Why not just eat more salad and kale chips like skinny people do? Because this eating choice, I’m sure, is the one that has done the most damage. And, if conquered, I think it is the choice that can make the greatest change. Yes I’m exercising, like crazy in fact, and I’m trying to make better choices in the day. But my eating clock stops at 7:00. Because after this time I treat myself to bad choices. And now I have what is left–my feelings. Loneliness is almost irresistible when covered in hot fudge. But loneliness by itself is an entirely different battle.
I’m learning that there are other things in life besides sugary treats to end the day. Things that can fill the soul and even make a mom feel “Treated.” I’m trying to write more. Even meditate a little bit. I can’t go back, however, that is not an option. Because I am tired of being uncomfortable in my skin. As much as I’d love to cheat, and pull my caloric friend from the grave, I can’t because it is just not worth it. I’m at the point where, although I miss my night binge, I don’t miss it as much as I miss my before-baby-body. I don’t miss it as much as I miss feeling good in my clothes. That’s why, this time, I think it is goodbye for real. R.I.P. Old buddy.