Lumbering body, pulling it into the shower. Just got off the scale, weight is up as it always is when I am premenstrual. But for a minute the panic of it overwhelms me. I struggle for a breath. Breathe deeply through my nose. Remind myself, “you’re okay. you’re okay, you’re okay.” I feel the bile at the back of my throat—the raw etching of fear inside me. Again, my breath won’t come. I panic at getting trapped inside of this. This body that seems to consume me most days.
To lose mobility is to lose sanity for me. I have crept close to that edge again and again. Awkwardness at standing or sitting. Always hiding, always looking for coverage, always living in the fantasy realms inside myself rather than the bleating, harsh reality surrounding me. You can’t move easily anywhere. Negotiating every movement up and down. Economizing going up and down the stairs. How many trips do I actually have in me today? Terror at never getting better, never improving.
Obesity in youth has the hubris and ego of youth. This will get better. This will improve. I am strong. I can overcome this. I can win this battle someday. I held on to that someday. I wanted that win. I wanted that triumph, that glorious story of against all odds and look who overcame?
Obesity in youth also deals with emotional eating, lack of internal stability, crippling self-consciousness, deep sadness at lost opportunities and a darkness that overwhelms me almost daily.
Age has brought pockets of wisdom—friends who talk me through the emotional crevices, writing that helps me find focus, quiet that helps me find my center. And my nearly obsessive quest for health has brought me no closer to that finish line. I am still here in a 300-pound body, aching for change.
The most common phrase I have said to myself over and over again? “I’m so tired.” I’m so tired of lies. I am tired of new vistas that promise hope. I am tired of darkness. My next most common phrase? “I’m exhausted.” I have played those two endlessly.
I don’t want to keep going. But that is also a common thread for me. And I have stopped many, many, many times. And been swallowed and internally eviscerated. Stopping doesn’t seem to be the answer either. The misery continues in its own very particular way. Chewing and spitting out the canals of blood it carves through my entrails.
I admit the panic brings a questioning for me. Why do I continue? Why? I have tried. I have kept trying. I have been relieved. Felt new hope. Tried again. The panic brings with it the decay of my lost vigor and my unsung youth. Living this life? It is very painful. I weep for fighting. It is not enough. I weep for belief. It is not enough. I weep for anger, exhaustion, rage and idealism. They are not enough. They never have been.
I can’t breathe because I may get swallowed by both my biggest fear and challenge. I would like to live in love and effervescent authenticity but I am angered once again at the joy and youth that has been sacrificed on the cross of this thing that is my body and is my life. This life I wasn’t supposed to live. This challenge that I do not want to claim.
I am deeply attracted to charisma and shining goodness in others—talent, wit, and charm. For whatever reason, they get to share their great gifts. And I fall back to a place where I feel deeply undercut—I did not get the life I wanted. I did not get the life I deserve. And those thoughts take me one place—rage. And I have had so much rage over the years. And it still has not gotten me what I wish or what I desire.
I don’t want to fight. I want life to come to me. Enjoy me. Root for me. Love Me. I am sick of asking, elbowing and screaming for my place in life. It is again why the panic sets in at those moments. No one hears. No one sees. Or what they see and hear is not the best of me. And I want to shine. I want the best of me to come through. I want all that is intelligent and good and wonderful about me to come out. I don’t want to push her or sell her or incentivize her or goad her. I just want her to come. Meet the world. Live her. Live truth. Live. Just live the best parts of herself without aching at every turn for just a crumb more of love to infuse her.
The pain is chewing and spitting my blood.
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