Gratuitously stolen from my LJ, September 22, 2011:
So today a (balding, beer-bellied) client took it upon his creepy self to suggest: “You could really improve your figure if you started walking every day.”
Me: “I like my figure just fine, and that’s inappropriate.”
El creepo: “But you could IMPROVE it if you started walking a mile or two every day!”
Me: “I love myself exactly as I am, and THAT IS NOT APPROPRIATE.”
It got me thinking: why is it so very, very difficult for people to accept that I am honest-to-god happy with myself? I like my body, I like it a lot. I love how I look. So yes: I’m not complying with the constant bombardment that I’m supposed to starve and be miserable to reach an impossible airbrushed standard that nobody can achieve, INCLUDING THE MODELS WHO HAVE BEEN AIRBRUSHED AWAY. I’ve made peace with my body and I love it, it gets me from place to place and it’s delightfully squishy in all the best places. Life’s too short for celery sticks! (Unless they have tons of peanut butter and raisins. Yum. ♥)
I know I’m just as guilty of this as anyone- getting jealous of someone else’s happiness and trying to sabotage it. I solemnly swear I’m trying to take more note of when I do it and stop the behavior before I stomp all over someone’s joy again. This includes “concern trolling” as above. (Though honestly, that client was just being his creepy self. He gives me the heebie-jeebies. Something about him- and I don’t just mean the schizophrenia- is just not right. I swear to god he’s some sort of predator and we just don’t know it yet. He’s pinging all over my creep-radar, almost as bad as the antisocial pedophile on my previous caseload.)
I’ve started trying to visualize my illness as a terminal one, and behave appropriately: All the good minutes need to count. I’m allowed to be happy, and I should enjoy what brief respites I get from the ongoing suck that is a mental illness. I might have good days that stretch into weeks, and that’s wonderful. I guess it’s like remission. But the bad days, those are the chemo days, the days the illness flares up and makes life all pointy, sharp edges, and it’s okay to feel like crap because your body hates you right now, but you’re still fighting, even when you’re flat on your back in excruciating pain. Just getting back up the next day is fighting.
Mom told me today that she’s proud of me, because I do get up and go to work, and keep trying to function, even when I just can’t get together enough spoons to get through the day, because I won’t give up. Even when giving up is all I want and it’s always sort of there, hovering in the background, a shimmering desert mirage of a lush oasis and escape from the pain and torture of my illness.
It’s been getting better. Betterish, anyway. I’ve been using my Happy Lamp a lot because it won’t stop raining. I feel like I walked into Bradbury’s “All Summer in a Day,” except summer just happened so I’ve got a year (or was it five?) before the sun will come back out.