A Piece of Fabric Saved My Life

pearl

The story of how this unassuming, drummers T-Shirt saved my life can be equated to an “AH HA” moment. Have a seat…

Over 9 years ago, the love of my life decided to leave me the week of Christmas to go visit his Mother (which was his “secret” code for cheating on me yet AGAIN). At the time, I had walking pneumonia and a double ear infection but that was nothing compared to the SHATTERED HEART I suffered after playing Great Mouse Detective and discovering the truth. But I digress…

After a few weeks of soul crushing depression, I was finally able to get myself together long enough to gather up all of his crap and put it in a box. In the corner of my bedroom, crumpled up in a ball was his favorite Pearl Drums T-Shirt. I tossed it into the box and continued on with what I was doing.

The T-Shirt sat on top of his pile of junk for a good week. One night, my irrational emotions got the best of me. I exclaimed, “That fucker will NEVER get this shirt back- EVER!” and reasoned that, “it’s mine now, so I should wear it.”
I tried it on…

The struggle was real Kids. I got the T-Shirt over my head but I couldn’t get it past my shoulders. You have to understand that my Ex-POS BF was 6 ft, 250 lbs easily. He was a BIG BOY and now I realized I was even BIGGER. That’s when I started to spin…

It was time to feed my pain and I went out that very moment and hit Burger King AND McDonalds. After, the ENTIRE kitchen was my dessert. I laid on my very large, very empty bed in a food coma. Punishing myself seemed like the logical answer and I followed through with flying colors.

The next morning, I woke up with a food hangover and spied the shirt hanging half-way out of the box. Taking it out, I placed it on a hanger and hung it on the back of my bedroom door. Going back to bed, I made the drastic realization that I was fat enough to DIE. The wheels began to turn…

That evening, I went out to find a scale that registered high enough to record my weight. I brought one home and needless to say- fed my pain once more. I couldn’t believe the number! I was the size of a Linebacker- no joke.

Coincidentally, I had received a call letting me know that I was accepted into the Gastric Bypass Program at Kaiser Permanente a few days later and I took this as a sign. It would be a year until the surgery would be performed and I was required to lose 40 lbs before they would touch me.

Everyday, I would look at that shirt hanging on my door and use it as my incentive. The minute I wanted to eat the house or wanted to make an excuse not to go to my exercise class, I would gaze at the shirt. It saved me on more than one occasion. It gave me strength. It was a simple goal that turned into a support system.

By the time my surgery date came around I had lost 115 lbs. The night before, I tried on the T-Shirt. It made it over my shoulders and squeezed my stomach. I looked like a sausage. Off it came and back on the hanger it went. I was by no means disappointed- it was an improvement. Onward…

Fast forward a few months after surgery. 200 lbs lighter and feeling like I have my life under control, the T-Shirt comes off the hanger. I reluctantly place it over my head and pull down slowly. It fits- with room to spare.

This basic piece of 100% cotton was the catalyst to a HUGE metamorphosis. Yes, life changing events were part of it as well but the simple fact that a MANS EXTRA LARGE T-SHIRT didn’t fit on my body started the battle for my life. It helped me win the war.

Life went on for me and my T-Shirt. 4 years after my success, I gained 50 lbs. The T-Shirt was folded very nicely and put into the bottom drawer of my dresser. I’d see it occasionally but ignore it because it was now a symbol of my failure- not an incentive to succeed.

It took an illness to begin losing what I gained and in the interim- I was able to work on my INNER STRENGTH and SELF WORTH. I’m not even remotely there mentally. I struggle everyday with self-esteem issues but my mindset is progressing. As an incentive, my T-Shirt has reemerged from the depths of the clothing abyss as a symbol of my fight to feel normal. To feel human. To feel worthy.

Today, I put my T-Shirt on for the first time in ages. It fit once again- with room to spare. Small successes lead to bigger things and my T-Shirt will accompany me on this journey because- it’s got my back! 😉

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