My Last Summer of Health
I spent my last summer of health doing unhealthy things: I drank, I smoked, I stayed up late, I played my favorite sports, I had sex as often as I could. I didn’t let my body say “No” until my hips stayed locked for 2 days after an eventful evening of recreational softball and kickball.
The season ended on a bittersweet note. It was prematured, left me empty handed, and in many shades of pain.
I spent the summer with a person whom I shared very little interests and personality traits with. We went on picnics, danced in the living room, pretended to be rich and famous, kept close. He turned out to be a source of uncertainty and anxiety who dumped me when shit got real on the pretense that I needed to ” learn to love myself “. Dude, if you only knew.
My last summer of health was spent trying to forget. I needed to get passed turning my back on my first love earlier in the Spring: a 5.5 yr commitment, my main source of comfort and support. I needed to forget for a moment that life was going to get rougher inside this shell of a body that had taken so long to accept and begin to love. At the peak of my self-acceptance and physical well-being, my “inner” body was suddenly breaking down on me with this AS intruder.
People take the phrase “Love yourself inside and out” naively lightly.
I should have spent my last summer of health going places, taking spontaneous trips, simply MOVING instead of over-indulging in “chillage”, excessive sit-down partying, and late night movies (Did I not tell myself this a million times?). How was I to know I was going to miss walking before having a beer only a few months later?
I should have spent the summer sincerely securing lasting friendships. Then I would have built a strong network of support. Instead I remained my natural social butterfly self, going from one circle to another, unwilling to acknowledge that I need others. How was I to know that Mr. Summer fling would bail?
” La cigale ayant chanté tout l’été, se trouva fort dépourvue, lorsque la bise fut venue.” – La Fontaine
Only a month into the fall semester…
I cut off drinking and smoking. Every time I muster the strength to go out in order to get my mind off things, I suffer the consequences of a drink or a drag through huge flare-ups the next day. I wish I had never tasted spiced whiskey or developed the want for menthols.
Lessons in causality.
The last thing on my mind is sex. With another person, that is. Practically speaking, I can’t really widen my legs anymore and I can no longer bend down to shave my legs. For someone who’s always seen the bedroom as a playground, the status quo could not be more frustrating. You just can’t make sweet lovin’ if you can’t move… Unless the person you are with gets it. I am not that lucky for now.
I haven’t been playing team sports, biking, swimming, practicing yoga, or doing manual labor in weeks seeing that I can barely walk. I truly forget what a normal back and legs are supposed to feel like. I wait patiently for the solutions in place to have some sort of effect and watch the muscles I worked so hard to develop wither away. Damn you, Jillian Michaels!
My professional life is in sufferance. I work for a comprehensive organization but I’m systematically late due to morning paralysis, and frequent doctor appointments. I should add that it is hard to concentrate when you casually have to stifle your urge to cry all day due to unpredictable flares of pain.
Being sheltered-in all summer drove me crazy because I had an urge to move; time was ticking and I knew it.
Now that I am physically restricted I feel secluded and incredibly lonely. It’s not easy trying to have people come to you when appearances do not leave them guessing how much you need them.
Fall is my favorite season but this one severely blows as it is.