For Me, for My Son – Patti

For Me, for My Son

Patti P.

Good morning Marco and Susan.

Most people fear honesty when it comes to sharing stories, it makes them uncomfortable for the reader and writer but I need to share this and some how I don’t think I’ll make you uncomfortable and you will understand my need to share.  I am not a person who generally shares this sort of thing but I’m pretty sure there are others out there who need to hear it so that perhaps they can see their way through to the other side.  I believe your site is about more than just having a pretty body (though that certainly doesn’t hurt), so in part, that’s why I’m doing this and also in part, to selfishly help me.  Maybe if I see it in print on this computer it will hit more home for me as well.  I am not looking for sympathy or “tada’s” it’s just a need to share.  So here goes:

I have a story to tell you and it doesn’t have an ending yet; it will be life-long and I’m hoping for a happy one.  I did something yesterday which other than when I rocked my very ill child until he passed away, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  I locked my child out of my house.  When he came to my door, I went to him and told him I loved him but I could not continue to let him in.  You see my son is a hard core drug addict. Not only is he addicted to drugs, but he is also a dealer.  He lives wherever and does whatever he needs to in order to feed his habit.  

There, I’ve said it and yes, it hurts but in order to stop enabling him I had to find the strength to do it.  I stood at the door and listened to him screaming at me as he walked away that I didn’t love him and I’ve hurt him terribly.  I wanted to run to him take his face in my hands and tell him I could not love anyone more and that didn’t he realize each time I saw his extremely skinny body and sunken face and eyes it hurt me, but I didn’t.  Instead I watched him go, I went into my house, sat down and mindlessly ate a whole box of chocolates. I didn’t cry or do anything else; I just ate and ate and ate.  Somehow throughout the rest of my evening, some realizations came to me.  I had all this time thought I could love my son to the point of him beoming clean, but what I was doing was enabling him to continue destroying him and myself.  I realized I was not showing him a mother (woman) who was strong, confident, respectful and who could help him, but instead I was showing him someone who was tired and beaten down, self loathing and defeated.  


When I first started running it was hard and when I first started running with a partner, it was even harder.  I thought because I had only ever run on a treadmill that I wasn’t good enough, strong enough or fast enough to run beside another person, especially not a man!  ( sorry partner,  LOL)   The person who has ran beside me for almost a full year now, does not know how much he has given me by believing in me enough to stay beside me and help me reach goals I never thought attainable.  

I remember when I said I wanted to run a half marathon and he said he would do it with me and that I would finish it and  he said he would make sure of that.  Incredible how that made me feel.  I did my half and just finished a 30k with my partner cheering me on.  

I guess you’re wondering what all of this has to do with my son.  Well when I was training, even though lots of days it was cold, snowing, I didn’t feel like it, felt tired, busy, cranky, life getting in the way, but I went and did it.  I Ran the streets and the hills.  When I got to the 30k race and the longest, biggest hill was looming before me, I had to find the inner strength to keep going  because my legs at this point were saying “stop, you’re not strong enough” and when I was almost at the 30k mark somehow I dug deep down and drew strength I never thought I had and energy rose within me and I sped up and ran as fast as I could go to cross that finish line.     

As I told my son I loved him and locked that door I had to find that same inner strength; the strength that got me through the race and across the finish line when I was sure I was too tired to carry on… and I did it! 

INNER and OUTER STRENGTH – How fitness helps

You see, I now know that it really does work all together.  The same strength it took to train for the race is what I had to dig deep for in life, but I couldn’t have done it if I hadn’t taken care of myself.  

Exercising and eating well is more than just getting a “to die for” body that looks great in clothes (though there is something to be said for little black dresses)! It’s a way of getting through life’s day to day stuff.  Eating a well balanced diet is what will keep me energized and mentally clear.  The same energy that helps me through a workout is the same one that will help me through my day.  I will gain strength through weight training, so that when my son is ready to get help, he will find a strong woman inside and out.  I will run and do cardio to gain endurance and stamina so that when my son comes to me, I will be able to physically and mentally, be ready to go the distance.  The lean body on the outside will be a testament to the length I will go to help my son.  The physical training and eating I do will give me the inner strength and power to face what is yet to come.   

It all has to work together to be the best we can possibly be for ourselves and those around us whom we love and care about.  Being physically fit really isn’t just about the hard abs and the tight bottom, it’s about empowering yourself for all areas of life.  It’s about learning balance and control and about finding something inside yourself that you never thought was there, and letting it shine.  It’s about making mistakes and moving forward regardless.  It’s about being who we were made to be; strong, healthy, powerful physically, mentally and emotionally.  The days ahead are not going to be easy and there are still lots of hills to make it over.  

Am I worried about my son? Yes, I am; that won’t change.  Will I cry today? Probably. Well not “probably,” I will,  but I’ll be damned if I won’t start this day without working out and knowing I am gaining strength physically and mentally to meet head on what is yet to come.

We all have our stories, our heartaches and troubles, but I hope if someone is struggling out there that they can read this and find that inner strength to keep going, no matter what.  To realize “if this ordinary woman can do this, so can I.”  You are special and you are worth it! It only takes one step and that step turns into two and then you’re walking around the block and feeling good.  Before you even realize it, you’re running a marathon and saying  “holy crap, I DID IT!”