The Five Stages of Trying on Your Bathing Suit

Grief is an amazing emotion. It is so complex. It even has five different stages all rolled into one. Each lasting a long time. Yet unique to each individual. Everyone's grief is their own. Grief is very personal. Like snowflakes, no two people grieve in exactly the same way. This is my story.

It was a normal Thursday morning. I got the kids off to school. I was cleaning up the house. I threw a load of laundry in. I made the beds. I cleaned all the breakfast dishes. And then it happened.

Like most tragedies, I did not see it coming. I was completely caught off guard. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my day would go like this when I woke up this morning. Nothing can prepare you for this type of pain. Even if you think you are prepared. You are not. Nothing can prepare you. Nothing.

This morning I made a decision that would make me question the way the world turns. I made a decision that would change my life forever. I tried on my bathing suit.


This can't be true. This isn't happening. This is not my body. This is a cruel joke. That cannot be my reflection in the mirror. I feel so alone. Nobody will understand what I'm feeling. I'm fat. And cold. I. Can. Not.

I'm going to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head and sleep. When I wake up I'll find this was all a dream. A really, really bad fat dream.


This is total bullshit. I don't deserve this. It should have been you. Why is this happening to me?

I've been running on the treadmill for the last two weeks straight. And this is what I get? I've been doing everything right. This is so unfair. Why me? Why now?

I gave birth four times and this is the thanks I get. I will never don a two piece ever again. Or a monokini for that matter. I hate everyone. Especially skinny people. With Abs.



Dear God please make this blubber go away. I'll do anything. I'm only eating fruit from now until Spring Break. I won't so much as even look in the same direction as a ding dong for the rest of my life.

I promise. I'll be better. I'm going to run on the treadmill in the mornings and then go to Spin class at night. Every. Single. Day. I'll never eat another piece of bread as long as I live. I swear.

I won't have one more drop of alcohol (on weekdays before noon). I'll do anything. Just make it go away. Make all the lard go away. Please Dear Lord I'll never ask you for anything again for as long as I live. If you call looking like this in a bathing suit living.

Sweet Baby Jesus make me skinny again. It's all I ask. I just want to rock this tankini like all the other MILFs. I don't want to have to find the fattest person on the beach and lay next to them just to feel better about myself.


I can't go on living like this. I'm fat. I can't bear to see myself like this.

My family and friends and fellow beach-goers would be better off without me. I feel so hopeless. I did this to myself. I deserve every last pound.

I acted like a fool. Like every supper was my last supper. Bread, pasta, wheat. I'm so weak. Dairy, sugar, gluten. I'll never be thin again. I'm going to die fat. And alone. In a swim dress.


This is who I am now. I'm chubby. And that's okay. There are worse things in life. Although I can't think of any off the top of my head at the moment.

I'm going to be okay. This is my new normal. I'm going to own this new, bigger me. Everything happens for a reason. There is now just more of me to love.

I will just buy a floor length, turtleneck cover up. And I'll get a nice spray tan. That will make me look thinner. That will give me some confidence. And I'll pray for rain. Lots of it.


Life as I know it will never be the same. But I am okay. I will wrap my fat ass in a sarong and get on with my life. Because I'm a survivor. I'm not gon' give up. I'm not gon' stop. I'm gon' work harder. I'm a survivor. I'm gon' make it. I will survive. Keep on survivin'.

Eileen O'Connor is a woman-wife-mother living on the mean streets of the south side of Chicago. Follow her blog No Wire Hangers, Ever.
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