Sunday, February 28, 2010

life really is good

Sometimes there is no identity crisis.

I'm sometimes short on words. I don't write as much as I should, and get all panicky when faced with a blank page sometimes - how do I fill it with meaningI struggle with my body image. I feel inadequate in a lot of ways - just read the previous post to learn more about that. We all have our days...but at some point today, I remembered that in spite of all the self-doubt, and the obstacles I throw in my own path, I am incredibly strong.

I really had an awful weekend. It was one of those...when you wake up on a Saturday morning and race for the bathroom, because you're feeling sick - and you're on the other side of that life phase - well, you know it ain't gonna be great. I remember morning sickness. I don't ever want to experience it again! Staying in bed was not an option - I had a first aid/cpr class all day, so I got up, skipped that oh-so-necessary coffee and went for it.

I made it through. I felt like crap, and for that reason alone, I was almost happy that the hot instructor was leading the first-aid class downstairs while I froze my ass in the attic with the motherly, matronly instructor who had short term memory problems and hot flashes. Every damn window in the attic was open, and in case you don't live in Ontario, I should let you know that it snowed yesterday. A lot. I'm nauseated, hungry, and freezing cold at 8:30 in the morning, when really, I should be asleep...

And she was really hot. Why do I pay so much attention to appearances? I mean, so what if she was that just-right combination of androgyny and butch that I love? Shouldn't I be focused on more important matters, like the right way to do CPR?

But I finished the day - I can do chest compressions, and the heimlich manouver, and I can even operate one of those AED machines that are popping up in airports and shopping malls. 

I think the nausea was related to the migraine that followed me around for the rest of the day. Try doing chest compressions with a pounding head.

And the migraine has everything to do with the time of the month, which has everything to do with the (once again) low hemoglobin that I've been blessed with. So I collaped last night, woke up this morning to one of the joys of parenting two girls who are fourteen years apart.

Megan moved to a new apartment today. She had a large group of friends and relatives already on hand to help - and I wanted to be there. But in addition to feeling terrible, I realized that I'd signed Emily up for a community skating lesson more than six weeks ago, and that lesson So I scuttled between the old apartment and the new place, the outdoor rink, and the grocery store. Her step-dad was there. My parents were there...but I wasn't, for the most part. I think that I moved about forty times between the ages of twenty and thirty-three, and my mom showed up for each and every move. She bought me groceries, helped me unpack boxes, hung my pictures before she left (because a house just doesn't look right without pictures) and just made me feel good about my choices. I wanted to be that kind of mom.

I am that kind of mom. But as emotionally strong as I am, I just can't do it all. Nor does anyone expect me to...except maybe me. As an obese adult, I never really experienced chronic illness, except for the two months leading up to my surgery, when my herniated disc was in full disaster mode. I managed to get things done quite nicely, albeit a bit slowly. But anemia - well, I'll be happy when I can finally be on the other side of it. My body will probably never absorb iron properly again ( and was the surgery worth the price - I still say yes), but a minor surgical procedure that I'm probably going to undergo this summer should alleviate some of my symptoms. In the meantime, I do what I need to do, and I get by.

I bought Megan the groceries that she needed.  I took Emily to the rink. And it was fun, sipping hot chocolate, and watching her gain some confidence on the ice. After an hour outside I definitely felt better. I always do. I skipped exercising today - as I must when my hemo is really low.  I caught the last minutes of the big game, because I'd invited the movers - including my brother - over for pizza at my place, where there was cable.

I had to let a few things go. I usually cook a lot on weekends, because I try not to rely on pre-packaged food at all, and I don't have a lot of cooking time during the week. I managed cookies, but not dinners.  I didn't submit a story for a contest, even though I'd wanted to. I didn't finish the piece I've been working on, to my satisfaction anyways, and I decided, somewhere in the turmoil of today, that even though the stuff I wrote a few years ago is good, I am a much better writer now.

Coming out changes everything. It does. It even changed the way I parent, the way I teach, the way I hold my head up and smile when I walk into a room. Because I own it, and I've claimed my sexual identity. And it changed the way I write - so much for the better. Not that the subject matter has changed all that much - it's just that even on paper, I used to hide.

I wish I could think like this every day. Depressive thoughts usually strike at this time of month - and let's face it, in spite of my bravado, in spite of really knowing that the right person will come along at the right time, there are days - or rather nights, when I am really, terribly


and my friends are amazing people, but there's something missing.

Thing is, I've never had it. Not ever.

But in the meantime, there are so many things, little and big, joyful and painful that occupy my time and space. The writing I need to work on. My girls, beautiful and strong, who both still need me. There are moonlit walks on snowy streets, cats purring on my lap, chocolate chip cookies in the oven, and a low moaning wind that rattles my bedroom window. I can hold all of this, and know that it will be okay.  Okay if it stays this way, okay if things get worse, and okay if things get better.

 I used to think I was open, but I was a five-year diary with stilted lines, and a rusty key that wouldn't fit the lock. That lock was the only thing that held me together. What will I do when I finally pry it open, and rip the bindings away?


Making Space said...

What a beautiful rollercoaster of a post. Sending you strong hemoglobin vibes; and happy kid transition vibes; and surrounding peace in the middle of the night vibes; and may you know love that both takes your breath away and oxygenates your soul.

Camlin said...

Well, I am nothing if not a roller coaster, especially this time of month.

Anonymous said...

Hope you feel better. I know what you mean. I have been having a hard time myself and for me I think it is the time of year. I have gone through winter and it is like I am at the end of my string of dealing. But we move on and deal however we can. I also get the idea behind "lonely". Feel the same many times.

jelly said...

I can relate to body image issues. I used to HATE my body, its curves and craziness.
But, after I turned for a couple of years ago, I decided to embrace my curves and my look.
I really try to focus more on my inside these days...and if I feel good inside, I reflect that on the outside.

Good post. I hope you get to work more on your writing.

Avril Fleur said...

The last paragraph of this post is so beautifully written, it is practically poetry. I am constantly in awe of your writing talent and your ability to convey your feelings via the written word and I draw much strength and insight (even into my own feelings) from your posts. You seem to be able to verbalize what I am feeling more often than not and it gives me hope that, even though our situations are different, that other people share a similar "inner-world" journey and that I'm not going through this alone.