We had a doctor’s appointment this week. It was the first of multiple. You woke up that day feeling jumpy, agitated, and nauseous. You always seem to be nauseous. I am trying not to be irritated with you about that. It’s hard some days. I just want to feel well and to eat well and to do life like normal.
Except all of your issues aside, normal isn’t even a thing anymore. I keep forgetting that.
Either way, you are kind of high maintenance right now, Body. I suppose that is your prerogative.
I know I should just shower you with kindness and compassion right now, and usually that gives me great joy, but I will not lie: Some days I feel so messy and so tired that I’m almost angry with you.
My capacity is low lately. I have very little energy to expend. I walk up the stairs, forget something downstairs, and by the time I get back up them again, I have to lie down on my bed for a moment because I am so worked… from walking up the stairs. I pull weeds and almost pass out twice.
And I have so much to get done right now! Like, I do not have time for this shit, Body! (I know, I know! The truth is YOU do not have time for this shit.)
Pandemic or not, it’s still May which means our schedule is a relentlessly standard level of crazy around here.
The kids are each in sports (thank god, they needed this SO badly!) and their school schedules are so ridiculous it harkens back to the preschool days, when I would drive all over town for 2 and a half hours just to get one and a half hours alone twice a week- and look, I’m happy to do it. Truly. It’s just a lot of back and forth again. I wasn’t ready for the busyness piece to creep back in yet. You know?
Nate’s end of the world is completely bananas right now. Work is insane. All positive things. Good hard work and growth are so exciting. And also. The home projects are adding up. He is burning the candle at both ends, and has been for a while. I had to sit him down and get a little bit bossy about him carving out rest for his body, because we know better now.
And when we know better we do better.
These days we are freshly aware of what our Bodies can handle… and what they cannot.
By the way, Body, I am so proud of you.
You are handling so much, and most days you do it pretty well.
We traveled! We vacationed! We ate whatever foods we had access to and we made the best of digesting it. We even enjoyed some cocktails without any fallout. We wandered and explored and we got way out of our comfort zone again and that felt good.
We have kept this ship running for a whole pandemic year. The house. The kids. The meals. The laundry and cleaning. Ohmygod, it is endless.
There is the job of taking care of you, too. We have not abandoned that, because we CANNOT abandon that.
I am hyper aware of you all the time now. Im not sure if I’ve ever been more tuned in to you?
Every bit of tension, every flutter of concern, every alarm bell, I am feeling it all. I can feel the exact moment when I need to stop what I’m doing and check in with you.
On the flip side, I am hyper aware of your pleasure and joy and delight too.
I know what you want most of the time now, and that is something, isn’t it, Body?
Practicing these harder elements of embodiment, of staying connected with you even when it’s difficult and painful and confusing (especially then) has also made the bright spots of embodiment that much brighter.
The sunsets stop you in your tracks now. You are always looking up. You are stunned, every single time.
The laughter is less often but more helpless now. You loudly cackle and howl when something strikes your fancy, and you do it unselfconsciously. I love that about you. I don’t even mind that your nostrils dance. It’s whatever.
The pleasure is off the charts. This is something else entirely. I am shook. In the best kind of way. I don’t just mean physically, either, yet you’re leading the way there, Body. Because of course you are.
I guess what I’m getting at here, is that it’s a weird time for us.
On the one hand, we’ve never been stronger together. I have truly never loved you more, understood you better, or had more compassion towards you.
On the other hand, I have never been more afraid of you.
No, wait… that’s not the right way to say it.
I’m not AFRAID of you.
I’m afraid of distrusting you again.
It’s the distrust, isn’t it?
Underneath all this, the thread that’s woven together all our seasons of devastation and delight… it’s the distrust, I think.
Sometimes you pleasantly surprise me.
Sometimes you frighten me with your neediness. With your urgent new ways of operating.
Then again, I don’t know WHY I’d be surprised that you’d be dramatic enough to have actual fainting spells. What can I say, we are enneagram 4 to our core, baby.
The good news is that at least I’m not harsh towards you anymore, but look… I don’t want to fear you, either, Body.
I cannot go back there. It’s more painful than fully inhabiting you and whatever it this is that you’re going through. Or maybe it’s just more painful than actually hearing whatever it is you’re trying to tell me?
I don’t know if I’m ready.
I’m a little scared for more appointments and the pokes and procedures that might follow… and I think you might be too?
It’s okay, Body.
It makes sense.
We are not weird.
It’s a lot to carry, and you will be doing all the of the heavy lifting here. I won’t pretend otherwise.
To your surprise, you actually felt much better after that doctor’s appointment.
He was a naturopath, which you were excited about and even though they barely peaked out over his mask, his kind squidgey eyes instantly put us at ease. He sat quietly and attentively as he asked thoughtful questions for over an hour.
“Where does it hurt? What was happening in your life when this started? How is your support system? What makes you feel the most like yourself?”
It was such kind care, the fact that I did not cry is somewhat gobsmacking, here.
You do love a good cry, don’t you, Body? You rarely miss an opportunity for one. That used to make you feel like too much. Now we just laugh and say, “Welp! Yay for completing the stress cycle today!”
Because we are the kind of person who says that now.
I just need you to know that it’s different now. I’m here with you. I will not ignore you. I will not resent you if you disappoint me. If you are afraid, that’s okay, we can be afraid together. We’ve got this. We can do hard things. We are going to be okay. We are going to be great, actually.
Love you. Mean it.