I have a lot of complex issues and the conditions of my life aren’t exactly conducive to accomplishing self-care activities.
Here’s the laundry list:
- Single parenting a child on the Autism Spectrum
- Dependent on ex to pay the bills and basic necessities
- Subsisting on less than $100/mo and $350/mo SNAP benefits, aka food stamps
- A support person for adult daughter and her family with three children under four – depending on availability
- In treatment and recovery from PTSD & Bipolar Disorder
- Fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, diabetes
As you might imagine, I feel overwhelmed and isolated much of the time.
The isolation exacerbates the intensity of the overwhelm from all the challenges.
In the past, I lived by the mantra, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”
I became the go to problem solver and rescuer of those around me.
A lifetime of living that way is what led me to where I am…a 258 lb woman under 50 with diabetes, high cholesterol, unable to maintain employment, dependent on government assistance and the ex.
I have very good whys for changing my health style by exercising and improving nutrition.
However, those whys aren’t motivating when the overwhelm kicks in and takes over my brain. They just add to it and make it worse.
This is where I need community. I need a village of support people. I need a network and a safety net for the times when I’m going to backslide, cheat, or start to give up.
I need to feel the hope and inspiration from the success stories of others who’ve gone before me. I need the camaraderie of those in the trenches, marching beside me. I need the cheers of those who believe in me. I need others not yet where I am who I can offer my experience, hope, and strength to.
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone with these needs. I’m almost positive that we all need these kinds of connections…which is more than challenging in the culture and society we live in today.
Everyone has their own laundry lists, their own challenges, and maybe even their own sense of being isolated.
What, then, is a person to do, especially when making the kind of changes I am making and can’t afford to join the weight loss programs and organizations?
I started online with my social networks on Facebook & Instagram.
I also did a little research and discovered Spark People. In the two days I’ve been engaged on the site, I’ve discovered tools (food/exercise tracker), information regarding making the healthy changes and sticking with them, as well as all the things I listed above. All for free.
I’ve found my tribe in a virtual village.
What does your tribe look like?