In 16 days, Allie will be 5.
I have not bought her a single gift. I have not sent out invitations to a party. I have not registered her for kindergarten. I have not signed her for swim lessons this summer.
And I never will.
Allie is never far from my mind. The truth is, though, most days I can think about her and be happy - or sad - and go about my day. I have her sister to take care of, after all.
Something happened to me this year. I am not sure when. December? January? It's been a while now and I have been just ignoring it. The guilt I feel over her not being here has come back. The anger, the depression, the anxiety - check, check, check. I felt low and did not even know that I was acting low, too. I have been tired, lethargic and just generally down. Not all days, mind you, but many.
So I decided to get help. I did not get this far in my life to let myself get that low for that long. I sought out a therapist. One who deals with eating disorders. I then went to see a nutritionist. One who is helping me learn to not "diet" but to eat healthy and take care of myself and make smart choices with my food. In other words, make the kind of choices for me that I make for Miranda.
I have always turned to food in times of, well, anything. If you can relate to that, then I hope this blog helps you realize you are not alone. If you can't, then I hope you realize that all people handle their battles and demons in different ways.
I feel like I am blaming Allie's 5th birthday on my downward spiral. But to be a real adult about it, the only person I can really blame is me. I have to re-learn how to deal with my grief and sadness without binging. I need to "fill the emptiness" in other ways.
So I am sharing my story. Again. When I make my journey public, I feel like I am letting it go. Then I can focus on me.
We joined the YMCA this week. I have already exercised there twice. It feels good to take care of me again. I got some freelance work to do this week. It will be good to get into that groove again, too. Then I will focus on more workouts and more clients.
We decided on a family picnic on Allie's birthday. Gary is taking the day off and we are going to back a basket (of healthy foods!) and go sit by Allie's tree and eat lunch and remember her. Miranda can play on the playground near by and Gary and I can use the swings. We will bring her a little cake and sing to her and celebrate her as best as we can.
As for the rest of the days? Well, we will take care of ourselves to make sure we are always here to remember her. That's the least we can do.