Transitional Phases

I’m in a weird state of disability right now, in which I have a foot with four different conditions that doesn’t want to heal, and a back that has decided it’s going to stab me with burning cold stilettos if I move even a centimeter the wrong way. Even better, while sleeping helps the former, it makes the latter MUCH worse.

(I’m glad I didn’t Konmari; my Lordoloc back brace from my disk surgery in 2016 is proving to be a life saver.)

Before this happened, a dear, beloved friend of mine actually asked me “If you could heal yourself just by not eating meat, would you?” I had to remind her I’d already been vegan. I’m not that kind of meat eater. And I was well aware that her intentions were “holy cow there’s got to be a way my friend can heal. Maybe I can help her.”

It’s got me thinking about transitions and liminal spaces, and how much people want to be, and help you, through them. Most forms of sickness and disability are viewed as a phase that you need to get through. Healing is to be rushed through to get you back to an “acceptable” state.

There’s no real space for accepting where one is.

It’s frustrating, this rush to get back to the “healed” state. I mean, certainly I do NOT want to be in pain. That’s a given. But it’s not like I’ve had a trustworthy body all my life that has suddenly fucked off on me. I’ve had all sorts of issues since I was quite young. Skin, feet, back… all before I hit the double digits.

It’s not like all this stuff I’m going through wasn’t heralded.

When I put my foot back in the protective boot in order to not be in pain I felt a surge of rage at my backsliding that surprised me. My mental process was “As if I don’t have enough to deal with, the only way I can be pain-free is to encase my left foot and ankle in this clunky plastic-and-foam-and-velcro… almost exoskeleton. What the actual fuck.”

Didn’t even occur to me to be grateful there was an option. Some folks are just… in pain. And sometimes I… am just in pain. So on comes my lower back, stabbing me, to remind me what THAT constancy of agony felt like.

I think it’s about time that I stop treating this aspect of my life as something I can heal from, and quickly. That’s pretty ableist of me.

It’s time for me to think about what I can do to make this life, this immediate, as-I-am-right-now, life work for me.

The Day Before

I imagine this as a test.

“If you had only 36 hours left in the lifestyle you currently know, what would you do?”

It’s in me to have pretty melodramatic reactions to shit. It’s a useful trait in a writer, after all, and a hella convenient one for a project manager in a dysfunctional organization. Seriously, when I was doing project management in one particular company, having various “OMG DOOM INCOMING EVERYTHING IS GOING TO SHIT WHAT THE HELL DO WE DO” reactions saved my cookies more than once, because off I went, finding the best possible ways with the resources we had to respond in case the worst DID happen.

Which it did. More often than I like to remember.

But that org is a long time past and I’m no longer a project manager. Now my doom and gloom thoughts don’t have good redirection… and this is one of the doomiest election cycles I’ve had a chance to witness. So here I am, looking out the window at the charcoal-purple evening sky and wondering. If this was the last time I got to have this life as it is, what would I do?

Um. *heartflutter*

     Caveat: I can’t really visualize an arc-shattering event in my country.
     But I have family who lived through bombings & destruction in WW2.
     I see what is happening in Syria. I know it can happen anywhere.
     I owe it to myself to know.

Well, listening to the 2 early Hamilton Mixtape releases is a good start. I’ll luxuriate in Kelly Clarkson kicking ass on “It’s Quiet Uptown.”

I’ll listen to a selection of music I love. I’ll cry, like I do, at a lot of it.

Sweetie is at work. He’ll come home and I’ll say “YAY” loudly, like I often do, and run to him, like I sometimes do, and get kisses and skinses* before he can even drop his bag, like I often do.

We’ll walk the pup. Delight in the park. Come back and snuggle with animals and watch the Westworld episode we missed last night. Maybe watch some CW shows.

Then I’ll sleep. Hope to sleep well, but aware I’ll probably wake, often, worrying.

…I couldn’t even get past that. I don’t think I’d want to get out of bed the next day. The likelihood would be that all the roos would be with us. And I can’t imagine spending a better last-few-hours than that – safe, warm, supported, with the sweeties I love all around me.

It took a while for me to realize it.

I am exactly where I would choose to be. EXACTLY.

And that gives me more hope that I expected.