Mundane Monday: on being optimistic


On Saturday, I spent perhaps an hour and a half crying — no, sobbing, raging with tears in my eyes, lamenting my situation to the heavens above. They didn’t listen very well, but I don’t expect them to.

Then on Sunday I did things. I was generally productive. My boyfriend came to visit me and we got to watch some TV together, because I was feeling well enough to sit up for a little while. It was a fairly good day.

Today I got around all day without the walker. A big feat, considering I had to go get bloodwork done at a lab and then went to physiotherapy (which was nice, though a bit tough at points). And then I walked back to the apartment after physio. (It’s across the street.)

I was upset on Saturday, and I had every right to be. You see, I’ve never been young. Well. I’ve been young, but I’ve never felt physically young. And I’ve suffered enough emotional traumas to age me prematurely, so I’ve never felt mentally young, either. I’ve never fit in with my peers — never understood them, or been able to relate to them. What has seemed important to them has always baffled me.

My obesity started when I was a young child, and it complicated health problems already extant. My inability to stay healthy continued my downward spiral, and as a consequence I’ve never felt like a young person in this body. I’ve never felt that youthful joy, that energy, that feeling of immortality. I’ve always felt older than I am.

I sort of had this dream of getting healthy, presumably losing some weight, though perhaps not all of it, and then becoming young. I had this dream that I’d get healthy and then finally be able to do all those really spontaneous things that young people do: sky-diving, maybe, or a four-day hike through the wilderness. Maybe I’d take up street hockey, or horseback riding. All those physical things, those things that make it a joy to be in your body, those things I’d never really enjoyed before because it was exercise and exercise has always been tainted in my mind by both emotional trauma and the fact that it’s difficult for me to do.

I’m fat-positive, and I do believe in HAES. But the fact is, my body is not healthy at this size and it never has been. I felt much better when I was 60 pounds lighter. My frame operates better when there is less adipose tissue weighing it down.

Now, my discs are bulging.

And what that means is that my dream of being a young person is gone. I’m not being overly-dramatic here — I have to be careful. I’m forever that unfun friend with the back issues, who has to constantly be on guard lest she injure herself doing something completely normal that everyone else can handle. And the thing is, even though I had my issues, I tried to never let anything get in the way of doing things.

Which is possibly what led me to this predicament.

So no, I’m not going to be fun, spontaneous Katje anymore, and I’m never going to be able to feel that youthful immortality. Which, perhaps, is better for me in the long run — but at the moment I’m having trouble seeing the bright side.

I’m trying to be optimistic, though. I’m looking at what I can do.

I can go jogging (once I’ve lost some more weight, and once the back is healed). I can take up boxing. I can probably do some forms of martial arts. I can write, I can paint, I can sing, I can dance burlesque. I can go swimming. I can canoe and kayak. I’m going to have to be careful doing some of these things, but ok — that’s my new reality, now, and the point is I can do them in the first place. They’re not completely stricken from my list of options.

And I have to force myself to be optimistic. To be happy with what I can do. Because I’m basically a cat declawed, and there’s no going back from that.