This latest data-mining fad of posting side by side selfies from ten years ago and now is really triggering a ton of grief in me.
I’m a solid 100 pounds heavier of toxic stress weight since 2008. It’s a full 100 pounds because I had not yet recovered the 50 I had lost while nursing my screaming autistic firstborn on a brutal elimination diet.
I look back at those pictures and see a shell of a girl, swirling in PPD, starvingly skinny, and still shell shocked by parenthood.
Beauty standards would say I looked better then. More healthy. More vibrant, even.
Well, I could still fake it back then. I still had something left in the tank. I kept drawing on that vitality for the next six years until the aftermath of the third born took me down completely.
Being out of control of my health has been very humbling. I was mostly bedridden for two of the last four years. My two younger kids don’t even know what’s it like to have a mom who plays with them or hikes with them, or can even manage to take them to the park every day. They don’t even recognize pictures of me the way I still think of myself in my head.
Physically, I would change almost everything between now and then.
Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, I would NEVER go back ten years. I have put in a decade of brutal internal growth. I am a better person, wife, friend, and parent. And I am helping others become so as I go.
I don’t think it was necessary to have sacrificed my body for my soul. I think I was wrongly socialized to wear myself to nothing for the sake of others, and I’m sad that I didn’t learn better until a few years ago.
But I wouldn’t trade this soul for that body. And I think that’s what aging gracefully and well is really all about.