Escaping

IMG_0508

 

Whilst in the midst of my ‘I could scream’ mini breakdown my friend Eve told me she was going away for a few days. To Bexhill.

“Why Bexhill?” I asked.

“Because I’m thinking of moving there,” says she.

“What?! Why?! What’s wrong with here?!”

It turns out there’s nothing wrong with here, it’s just not home. Eve was born and brought up in the South-East and while she’s had a lovely time living in Cornwall the past 8 years it’s time to go home to where her family are.

We continued to amble along beside Loe Pool, as we do, chat, chat, chat when I said I was thinking of asking my brother if I could borrow his flat in London for a few days. Just to get away from my son, painful though that is for me to write. My brother spends half his time travelling and happens to have a lovely little flat in Camden.

“If he’s not going away you could always come to Bexhill with me,” said Eve.

“Why Bexhill? I ask again.

“I’ve been doing my research and it looks nice. I need to live by the sea and my budget rules out places like Brighton”.

So here we are in Bexhill. It is not nice it is a dump. It is soulless. There are endless shops devoted to old age: Alzheimers and Dementia Society, Mobility Aids, charity shops, many, many residential homes and funeral parlours. No doubt I will be delighted with all those things one day, but that day is not now. I cannot believe Eve is even considering it.

As the place that Eve booked had no space for me I did some googling and found myself a  bargain price hotel room. I totally lucked out. Eve’s place was grim, mine was fabulous. Lovely, comfy hotel: swimming pool, great bar, excellent breakfasts. The only downside to my otherwise very pleasant room was that the floor sloped at an angle of about 30 degrees, which was incredibly disconcerting whilst walking to the loo in the middle of the night, still half drunk.

The plan was to do lots of walking over the next few days to counteract the food I knew I would succumb to. As my hotel was a couple of miles outside Bexhill this was quite handy as it meant I more or less had to walk lots, just to get to Eve. Up and down Cooden Beach I walked, getting pebbles in my boots. My thighs are now strapping. I still managed to put on 4lbs in 4 days though. That takes some doing. I blame the hotel breakfasts. It just seemed rude to refuse the full English. Every. Single. Day.

Yum.

IMG_0505

I could scream

One of the hardest things about trying to lose weight over the years has been the need to cook highly calorific meals for my son, who has cystic fibrosis. The kitchen needs to have drawers full of chocolate, crisps, cakes etc, simply because he needs the calories. Of course he eats healthy meals as well, the cakes etc are the snacks he needs to make up the calories.

So I’ve never been able to simply ‘not buy any biscuits’, as many a diet article will tell you to do. I’ve always had to have these highly tempting things in my house. Still, despite the mountains of roast potatoes I’ve cooked over the years, Angus remains very thin. He is improving though now that he has a gastrostomy tube.

Anyway I digress. The reason I could scream is because despite loving my son very much I also find him so frustrating I feel like leaving home some times. He does nothing, or very little, to look after himself. When he’s in hospital he always promises that when he gets out he’s going to do more exercise, lift more weights, maybe get a part time job, be more helpful round the house etc, but he never, ever does. I went away to Center Parcs for a weekend recently and when I got back he’d not taken his tablets. The tablets that I help him make up, in little pots, that sit by the chair he sits in when he’s watching television in the sitting room. I couldn’t make it any easier for him.

If he doesn’t take his tablets he will deteriorate very quickly and end up back in hospital. Which he professes to hate. I have tried everything to motivate him. Bought him a treadmill so he doesn’t have to leave home to get his exercise (what the hell was I thinking?) I have paid for memberships to racket sport clubs. I have suggested he might be depressed and told him to go the doctor. He was prescribed a low starting dose of citalopram and then never went back to get the dosage increased to an actual therapeutic dose. I have offered to pay for 6 counselling sessions. He went to one, said it was quite useful, but then refused to go to any more. I have paid for holidays, meals out, take-aways every night he’s in hospital, bought him a car so that he could do a college course that he’s never capitalised on, the list is bloody endless.

But. I’ve had enough. The final straw was when I found myself bribing him, financially, to take his medicines, do exercise etc. Even that didn’t work. I have to just accept that if Angus wants to be ill and stay ill then that is his right. But I don’t have to put up with it going on in my house. Angus will always hold the trump card because if he gets ill, which he can do very quickly, then he knows whatever hard stance I am trying to take will melt away in my panic that I’m going to lose him.

I have lost one son (not to cystic fibrosis but an accident) and I don’t want to lose another. But I have to just accept that I probably will. I now have to try some tough love, knowing all the while that in the short term, and maybe the long term, it might make Angus’s health worse. It is shit. But I am all out of ideas. I’m quite terrified of implementing the plan my daughter and I have come up with (which is that he goes to live with her for a bit, she won’t stand any nonsense from him) but if I’m honest I’m more terrified of what I will do if I don’t take this stand. I am so close to just running away. I’ve had years of this and I’m worn down with it all.

***

Last week we had snow. Actual, lying on the ground snow. In Falmouth! This is quite unheard of as we normally have mild winters and we are on the coast. In terms of walking myself slim it was fantastic because I couldn’t bear to stay in, I was out in it, walking miles, taking photos, slithering around but having the best time.

In dieting news I am so fed up of losing and gaining the same few pounds that I’m now trying a bit of 16:8. That is, I only eat in a window of 8 hours. So I’ve been skipping breakfast. Now I’m not one of those mysterious people who ‘can’t possibly face food first thing’. No, I am one of those people who LOVES breakfast. In fact it’s probably my favourite meal. So this is quite hard but so far I’ve been replacing breakfast with either an exercise class or a bottle of fizzy water. I will report back as to how it’s going. Or not!