Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Journey of A Thousand Miles

The biggest red flag for me when I first became ill was that I wasn't hungry.

Because, honeys, I am ALWAYS hungry.

Food began to strangely lose its appeal.


I drank a lot of smoothies. Chugged back a lot of protein milkshakes.


Actually chewing something solid evoked a gag reflex - it was like rolling an wool-covered eraser around in my mouth.

I became engaged in 'shove the food around the plate a little' trickery, in order to persuade my family that nothing was unusual.

One of the hardest things to do at the beginning of this process was the withholding of information. And deciding, like some horrifically skewed triage, who would know first.

Past the immediate family, this became rather tricky.

As a couple, my husband and I move amongst more than a few distinct communities. As a family, the number becomes exponential.

So, who would be the perceived favorites, the darlings, the intimates? Who would get all bent out of shape when they heard wispy rumors floating around?

This process - for which there should really be a playbook - became a source of much anxiety. Because this is truly what one needs when one is faced with some pretty serious shit.


Mind-bending, paralytic, medication-numbed anxiety.

I would have to say that this decision-making really drew some lines in the sand. Like I cared. Okay, I did. And I didn't. Simultaneously. The clarity of it all was pretty immediate and acute.

Color me enigmatic, but if you and I have not more than an passing acquaintance, is there some sort of social contract where I am obligated to make you privy to everything going on in my life? Or, potentially, what's left of my life?

In retrospect, to those people who were so bothered, so pissy - so insulted - I extend a big "Fuck You".

You know nothing about me, and given your reaction, I am in no hurry to learn anything further about you. With your puzzling agenda, you have effectively driven that train right off the rails. Well done.

The place I probably needed the most but was loathe to go to was our house of worship. Sure, if we had our timing down, we could scoot in right before services started, and make tracks right after the final prayers were murmured.

If, however, we lingered even a microsecond too long, someone would march up:

"Oh my god!" (oh my god, indeed)

"Look at you!" (I'd really rather not - I find the betrayal of my body against me fairly disgusting)

"You look fantastic!" (yes, we all know that that's all I am - the sum of my looks. I have no depth, no purpose. That's all I do. I look good)

"How much weight have you lost?" (Oh, about 30 pounds...so far)

"What did you do?" (well, it's the darndest weight loss program ever...)

What did I do?

Here's what I did - I decided not to be amongst situations like this anymore. I decided to draw my beloveds around me, and jettison out the rest. I decided who meant anything to me and who didn't anymore.

And for that, my mild acquaintance, my awkward chit-chatter, I rescind my earlier "Fuck You".

For that- instead - I sincerely say, "Thank You".

For, while you navigated me directly into such difficult terrain at beginning of this path I walk on, in turn you taught me to seek out the refuge amongst the jagged rocks.

And to seek out a path I can choose to walk.


  1. Sometimes, withdrawing in to the Dark Places brings sanctuary. Solace. Refuge. I am glad that you found the unexpected in the jagged rocks; they offer surety, honesty and a strange cold comfort.

    On a side note, I've said "okay, Un-fuck you." a few times in my life. Usually not out loud, but always with an understanding nod.

    "Even in sleep there trickles through the heart
    The disabling recalling of the pain:
    And wisdom arrives regardless of desire,
    A favour from daimons
    Who have taken the seats of honour, by force."

    -Aeschylus: Agamemnon

  2. Ti: If anyone would know about charting the obstacles, it would be you, my beauty.

    '...who have taken the seats of honor, by force'

    LOVE this!

    Thank you, as always, for showing your fortitude again and again.