Thursday, December 16, 2010

Practicing Patience

A long time ago, Richard Simmons asked me to represent the process of "Practicing Patience" in his video "Love Yourself and Win".  I was incredibly sick at the time; in fact, still deathly ill, having survived yet another in a series of near death incidents thanks to my IBD.  When the video came out and I got a good look at how I looked and sounded when I am that ill, I cried my eyes out.  Eric tried to tell me that I was just nervous and that I didn't look that bad, but I did.  I was not nervous at all. I was completely at ease, but was so sick - the image helped by editing, of course, to explain why I looked so horrid on screen - that I was almost nonsensical. 

I was a hypocrite at the time.  I shouldn't have been talking about that particular subject especially.  I wasn't a patient person then; I'm not even now.   But I was in a situation from where there was no escape.  My body was continuing to fail me, and so I consciously put myself in a state of mind where I believed what I was saying in the video... in life, even if it wasn't true.  Just like any good salesman will do.  I sold myself on the concept, and so it was easy to convince others of the same.

Now I'm in a different sort of health crisis.  I still have ongoing major problems with my IBD, but thanks to long-term use of steroids combined with declining ability to sustain an exercise program, my hip joints have gone completely out of whack.  I am in incredibly intense pain, and the initial diagnosis of Bursitis has probably been augmented by Avascular Necrosis.  That's an extremely serious diagnosis from which I will not recover.  Things, if it is true, will do nothing but get worse for me from here.

I used to love exercise class.  It was a place of grounding, it was a place of emotional growth and physical miracles.  But as of late, it's been a source of intense pain for me, not only physical but a place of mental anguish too. 

I am no longer a success story, even though the vast majority of my weight after all these years is still gone.  There is a lot of pressure on me in that class to get back to where I was.  I don't think I can. 

There is not room in that classroom for me anymore.  I've clawed and fought my way back in so many times that the powers that be, even though they wanted me to practice patience, have run out of patience for me.  And I am profoundly depressed over it, and over the current pain which is unremitting, and over the fact that while I will work very hard and do everything that I am asked to do to mitigate it, I truly believe that this is it.  It's over for me.  I am shelved and I don't have the ability to fight my way back anymore.

I have lost my sense of humor, I have lost my friends, I have lost myself.   

I am in constant pain, excruciating pain.  The last time I saw Richard, he made a comment that I hide it very well, and I affirmed for him that yes, I hide all the health crises extremely well.  I don't think he believed me at the time even though he should have because if there's anything I've been in the past 8 years, it's been brutally honest with him.  But it was not what he wanted to hear, even as it was the truth.  If he only knew the agony that even sitting cross legged on the floor was for me at that moment.  But I had kept quiet about it up until then, a normal pattern when I am crashing health wise and don't want to admit it even to myself, and when I finally tried to express what's going on, it didn't fit the profile or ambiance that he was trying to create in the room and I was cut off. 

Although I was upset - extremely upset - then, I realize that he was right.  I am of no use, I am worthless to him as well as myself now.  Had I been honest with him though(via e-mail) before that moment, he would have known better than to even start a conversation with me.  One that, from his point of view was inevitably going to go awry.  I would have been fine without the talking; we hadn't really talked at all in months and months and months anyway.  But I guess what happened that day was inevitable. My weight was bound to come up in class sooner or later and we were on a collision course for disaster.  It was my fault.

The bottom line is that I can't practice patience anymore.  I'm not capable of it.  I will do my best to recover, but to be patient implies a certain degree of acceptance of what's happening, and a willingness to work around it.  While I will, at least for the moment, do what I am told, I desperately want to punish myself for my body's latest failure, and punish myself badly.  And what better way than to go back to exercising full bore without regards for the long term consequences? 

It's that impulse that I'm fighting now.  That of wanting to damage myself permanently.  And the timing is so sad, too.  We've finally figured out the mystery of my fainting after so many long years, and I truly believe it's over.  We know that my thyroid was in play, my medication for the thyroid issue was just doubled from when we first made the association 2 months ago, so it very well may be that the weight is going to go away without much effort on my part (the thyroid medication in combination with the Adderall, that is).  I'm fighting the other issues, and hard.  But I don't know how long I can keep it up.

Wanting to hurt myself is an old habit.  But working hard is one too.  It remains to be seen which impulse wins in this horrible battle.

1 comment:

Ang said...

((((love you))))

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