Saturday, June 29, 2013
Why Are You So Distant?
I've gotten this question, or some form of it, A LOT lately. Friends, family members, even co-workers.
So for those of you wondering, let me try to explain.
To begin with, I feel apart from other people. Like I'm now (because of my heart attack) in a different category than other people are in and so therefore somehow different than my friends and family. I feel like it's harder to relate to others now, or like others view me differently. Related to this is the fact that while I used to feel tired all the time, and used to joke about being old, I didn't really feel old, at least not emotionally. Now I feel great - better than I have in years - but I feel like I have aged emotionally. As a result, I no longer feel "young." I feel middle-aged, with all the vulnerabilities that brings.
Secondly, I think a certain sense of embarrassment or shame is involved. Those of you who know me know that I had no family history of heart disease. Clearly I had a heart attack at 38 because I made a lot of bad lifestyle choices for many years. Choices that were obvious to those who know me. So it's embarrassing. I'm getting what I asked for, publicly.
Third, I don't really like talking about "how I'm doing," as if I'm an invalid or something. So it's often easier to just avoid people. Of course, I realize when people as how I'm doing it's because they care about me.
Fourth, because I have made such drastic lifestyle changes, I try to avoid situations that will tempt me to overeat, drink, or smoke. Unfortunately, this means I don't go out with friends and family the way I used to.
Fifth, the drastic lifestyle changes I have made have not been easy. I basically quit nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, fast food, sugary foods, and virtually all processed foods cold turkey literally overnight. I also began a 7-day per week exercise routine and cut my daily caloric intake by more than half. As those of you who follow my blog know, to date I've lost about 40 pounds in three months. To make all these things happen, it has been necessary for me to develop a strict lifestyle routine. I pretty much have the same routine every day, from the time I get up to the time I go to bed. It's the only way for me to achieve what I need to achieve health-wise.
I am convinced that this strict routine is probably the biggest reason I have become distant from others: making phone calls, texting, hanging out with friends and family - those things aren't part of my routine.
So that's why I've been so distant. My hope is that it won't last, that I'll eventually get back to normal and won't fear the temptations of smoking and drinking and overeating, and will get over my feeling of being different from others. Please bear with me until then.