Sunday, October 20, 2019

Tired, Bone-Weary, and Old

An immense liberation: the heartbeat, slosh and knock, like a dishwasher heard from the other room -- sure, all that, and the fear that wakes you in the night with a sour taste, and a sudden jolt of forgetting -- but mostly the clouds moving, the dappled ground, the sense of space that comes when you have drastically, drastically shrunk.

And I have shrunk, and I may shrink some more, in prosaic inches and pounds. The desire to vanish altogether is almost overwhelming, at times. When I first lost my weight, I immediately embarked on a project to build more muscle. I was panicked by the thought of being small. But now I don't care. I want to be small. I want to turn sideways and vanish. I want to feel the air blowing through between my ribs and carrying the last bits away. Something for the squirrels to build nests with.

But that too is one of the deflections, one of the ways I have always evaded the real issues, and my patience with all those subterfuges is pretty much gone. The truth is that I have always been fearful and desperate for approval, and there is something unlovely and sly about the way I linger. But another thing I have lost patience for is blaming myself for being what I was inevitably made by my circumstances. I need only do that if I am determined not to change, if I'm not willing to do the work. I'm willing to do the work, now.

I ate lunch in my car, today. Romaine with bits of carrot and radish; almonds; two bananas and an apple. A rain shower visited while I ate, and moved on, and a rainbow appeared to the north. I wasn't feeling up to lunching with the other people in my workshop, even though half my motive for taking it was to find people to practice Thai with. Time out. And eating is still so hard, so fraught. I remind myself of our older, rather neurotic cat, Kiki, who can't bear to eat if anyone is moving about within a few yards of her. I sometimes try to sidle past her in the kitchen without disturbing her at her meal. I'm usually unsuccessful. She hurries away, and like as not Van Buren saunters up to eat her dinner before she can stand to come back.

So no: one thing at a time. Willing to do the work, but not all the work all the time all at once: that's not possible either.

The almonds were sweet and good. And I am tired, bone-weary, and old.


6 comments:

rbarenblat said...

I was thinking recently about my kneejerk reaction to the ascetisism I see in these posts. As the world seems to be darkening and getting worse, I've been taking my strongest pleasures from learning to cook more things. I spend evenings reading cooking magazines and dogearing pages for new things I want to try to learn how to make. I feed my friends, and I feed myself, and that's what brings me joy. I worry about you, reading these posts. And then I remind myself that I don't really know anything about how or where you are, from this distance, in these mediated glimpses.

Dale said...

I'm as happy as I've ever been, I think. I have certainly wandered a long way from where I was when we first met, though!

One day we'll get to sit down and have a long talk.

Murr Brewster said...

I have nothing germane to say but like to comment every now and then so you know I'm over here, waving. Here's my marginally-related story for the day: the late, great Jessye Norman once got stuck in a narrow doorway on her way out of a venue. People tried to help, and one of them said "Miss Norman, try turning sideways." She said, "Honey, I don't HAVE a sideways!"

am said...

Rachel addressed what I have been debating about commenting on. Now that I read your words about "shrinking more," I begin to wonder how much weight you have lost beyond your original goal which was at the top of the healthy range for your height. I hope your weight has not now dropped below the normal range for your height.

Although I could not stop eating large amounts of food and struggled with my weight for years, I then went to the other extreme after I found the key to not needing so much food and found that no amount of weight loss was ever going to satisfy me. I could not see that I no longer looked healthy nor was I healthy. I was baffled when people commented on my weight loss in a way that didn't seem positive. I restricted my food unnecessarily to the point that I became secretive about how much I was restricting my food, not wanting to draw attention to myself and increasingly disordered eating habits. I have not mentioned this part of my experience before because, until now, I didn't think you were having that experience.

Fortunately, I allowed myself to regain some of my weight, and it has remained in the normal range for 32 years. I've known too many people who have gone from a lifetime of being overweight to becoming drastically underweight, developing the euphoria that comes with anorexia. I didn't think you were one of them, but now I wonder. As Rachel wrote, all I know is what you write here. I hope I am wrong about the possibility of your weight loss developing into an eating disorder.

Dale said...

Yeah, I had someone pm me wondering if I was working my way into an eating disorder. No, I'm still smack in the "healthy weight" range for my height, and lining up the weight loss with the desire to disappear was just a literary conceit. The eating alone thing is mostly that I love the food so much, and I want to focus on it. Eating socially is just a great way to vacuum up calories without ever really tasting them.

My goal now is to get my waist hip ratio to 0.9, and I'm very close to it. The nice thing about that goal is that if I eat so little that I start losing muscle mass, I'll move farther away from it, not closer. So the numbers should protect me. (The numbers have been my True Friend all the way through this process, however quirky and weird they are!)

Dale said...

Heh. Yeah, Murr, I'm tickled to have a sideways again. It's useful in daily life!