In the middle of March, 2013, I found some files on mom’s old hard drive. This Microsoft Word document titled Personal Fears.doc was dated July 20, 2008, although she had entered June 23, 2008 when she began writing it.

I’m not certain who Mary is. I am pretty sure she is a therapist mom was seeing at one point. (I have no idea if this Mary knows that mom is dead.)


June 23, 2008


I find that I’m terrified to try to change my life. I have lost and gained 500 pounds, and I always fail.

I don’t like a lot of the foods that are healthy. I hate living alone, and I miss both of my children terribly. I have no idea why they both moved so far away, except that it might have something to do with my weight. I’m going to my son’s sister-in-law’s wedding next weekend in Daytona, and I know I’ll be the only fat one there. Everyone else is the “beautiful and rich people.” I’ll be wearing the dress I wore to my son’s rehearsal dinner in Maui.

It’s as if the only thing in my life that’s good is my dog.

I have one friend, and it’s not me.


My doctor keeps changing my blood pressure medication, and, after several years with her, I don’t think she even listens to me any more.

She wrote me list of medications to take and when to take them, and she entered that I needed to take Toprol at night for palpitations. I have never used the word palpitation with her. I only mentioned one time that my previous doctor said Toprol helped to regulate heartbeats.

I have a very slight mitral valve prolapse that poses virtually no risk.

My cardiologist says I have two very slight valve issues and that my heart is in good shape and can certainly take losing up to 80 or 90 pounds.

No one knows how alone I am, or how much I still miss my mother.

I don’t know if I can be anyone else. I don’t know if I can stand to lose weight again and then gain it back.

I’m terrified. I don’t know where to turn.

I have still not had any interviews for a teaching job, so I may have no money at all very soon.

I don’t know what to do because I have no one supporting my efforts, even if I can get started. Since I left your office, I have been eating everything that is not nailed down.

I feel like a loser, and, I’m really scared. I need to lose a hundred pounds!