“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”

— Samuel Smiles

I got a phone call yesterday.  A conversation I have been fearing to have for months now.  I have literally avoided it.  I didn’t want to hear the news and definitely knew, in my head, what was going to be said.  So when I got the first phone call in October, it was simple for me to say, I will fix things before I go in, so that everything is a non-issue.  I’d like to see the doctor when I’m healthy (yeah that sounds stupid when I say it out loud).  I just had to get my life back in order, and then I would be able to focus on myself.  First I need to clean up my world, then I will be able to do the things for me.

These months have dragged me further down in so many ways.  I have lost control of many things, and it just seemed like everything was off.  No matter what I did, I was always just in a weird state and nothing ever worked out.  It was just one thing after another, and I was having a hard time handling it all.  I am usually really good at working through things, calmly, systematically, but for some reason not anymore.  I couldn’t take any more bad news, especially news that I thought I could fix, I just need some more time and hard work.

Yesterday, I finally answered the dreaded phone call.  Her voice was friendly, but stern and the things she told me were scary.  Not that they were bad news, but she knew exactly what was going on with me, how I was feeling and she had a way to help me gain control.  I was so confused, excited and upset.  How could something so simple be the cause of my pain, regret, frustration, and anger?  How could I have not known?  Why didn’t I put this all together?  God, I wish I would have answered the call months ago, and my life would be so different.

Sometimes last year, I was told by my doctor that I would not be able to run again.  Well at least for a very long time.  This was devastating because that is what I did to focus my mind, what I did to quiet the thoughts in my head, to stop from overanalyzing, and to help me sleep.  Running provided me a goal and a way to get healthy.  It provided me focus.  I had lost the one way that I knew how to control my world around me.  What I didn’t understand then that I know now, is that I also lost something that I had no clue was so important.  I was no longer going outside as much since I wasn’t going to run.  I was remaining inside the gym working out, or just sitting at home looking at my medals in sadness from races past, or going on walks late at night.  I didn’t realize how powerful running, being in the sun, and exhaustion was to my physical and mental state.  I am Vitamin D deficient.

Also, for the sake of disclosure.  Because I’m lactose intolerant, I stopped anything with milk in it.  And multivitamins are a horrible source of Vitamin D.  Also, I still had the eating habits I did while I ran, which caused all sorts of problems with my body.  The perfect storm if you will…

Apparently, Vitamin D is very important.  It helps fight diseases, reduces depression and sadness, and boosts weight loss.  And Vitamin D deficiency causes:

  • tiredness, aches, and pains
  • the general sense of not feeling well
  • severe bone or muscle pain
  • changes how you walk
  • sadness and depression
  • weight gain
  • uneasiness

So I was losing a battle I didn’t even know I was fighting.

So between stress, external pressures I couldn’t control, and my lack of Vitamin D, I was losing control.  And the biggest thing was that I didn’t know what was going on, and was grasping at straws trying to fix myself.  I should have answered the phone call.  I wish someone would have put it all together sooner.  I wish that I knew these things and would have not been so horrible and uncomfortable.  I wish I hadn’t pushed people away.  I wish…

After I got off the phone, I told Caleb something that I was pretty embarrassed about.  I told him that I had been avoiding the doctor for so long because I didn’t want to hear bad news.  I wanted to falsely think that everything was okay and that I could fix it all. I then told him what the doctor told me.  He listened intently and even asked very smart questions.  But I could tell that it all was sitting well with him.

When I was done, he gave me a look that stopped me in my tracks and forced me to sit down.  I knew what was coming next, and I knew that I deserved it.  He told me something that I had to hear… he was strong, and was very direct.  He told me that talking to the doctor is an important thing, he questioned me on why I would want to avoid being healthy, and he asked how I would be able to fix things without getting help.  The next thing I wasn’t expecting, he looked at me very somberly and said that I was important to him, and he needed me healthy.  I did the only thing I knew to do, I hugged him, and told him I will never, ever do something that stupid again.  That hit me so hard.

I have been working, so hard these months trying to figure out how to fix things, how to be better, what I could do to get myself back.  I know that this one bit of information won’t fix everything, and may not have changed all that happened to get me here.  But I do know that the person I was, is not the person I am.  This information is a big step in getting that person back, the person that I deserve to be for me and those that I love.

I now have a way to fix this problem.  I have a plan.

I am important to Caleb, important to those that love me and that I love, and I am starting to understand that I can’t fix things on my own.  I really would love the opportunity to go back and fix the things that I messed up, but I am not able to do that, can’t go back in time.  Things may not have been any different, but I sure would like to have acted differently.  Been in control of myself.  What I am praying for now, is a second chance to do everything better.  For me, the goal is to learn from my past and be a better person, better dad, and a better person to those that I love.  I feel so horrible for the hell I put Caleb and all those that I love through because I was afraid to answer the phone and listen.

Caleb is such a mature, caring person… wise beyond his years.  I am so proud that he is my son and best friend.  I couldn’t ask for a better person to be on my team.  I am a better person for having him in my life.  I am so happy that he knows that he can talk to me in a way that I need, that our relationship is more than just father and son, but best friends that care about one another.


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