December 7, 2018

it's different when you ask for it

A strange thought occurred to me this morning in the shower.  It was strange even for a shower thought, where most strange thoughts are known to originate.  The thought was this:

I did something stupid yesterday and I am grateful that I am the only one who has to suffer the consequences.

Sound ridiculous?  It isn't.

Yesterday, at the brisk, frosty crack of early, The Kid and I went out and tried to jump-start the minivan, which had turned up Wednesday night with a dead battery.  This was a complete fail, so I had to remove the dead battery and wait until the auto parts store opened and go trade it in for a new one, an act that called upon a fair amount of hubris, given that I had never removed a car battery before.  

It also involved pushing the van out into the driveway.  Minivans are heavy.  I know you think they're heavy, but you're wrong, because they're even heavier than that.  The Kid and I put everything we had into it, straining over and over, and moved the van a few paltry inches each time, panting and grunting and ignoring the cold of the metal and using visualization techniques and remembering everything every phys ed teacher had ever yelled at us, and by Dog we got it out there where we wanted it. 

Car batteries are heavier than you think, too.

I installed the new one and reprogrammed the van, and it worked, and nothing blew up.

I drove to work.  I came home.  I made dinner.  I went to bed.

I woke up this morning and instantly regretted it.  My first attempt to roll over alerted me to the fact that a team of CDC officials with advanced Parkinson's tremors had come in during the night and administered tetanus shots all over my body.  Understandably, this made me angry.  I'm getting sick of unauthorized government officials coming into our room at night

Then it dawned on me that this was the result of being a flaccid forty-something who suddenly decided to push a boulder up a hill yesterday.

And by the time I hit the shower, it further came to me that unlike the stupid things that I sometimes say or do because of the bi-polar disorder, this time no one else is affected.  I have extremely sore muscles and I keep having chills, and all that is very not-fun, but no one is having to tip-toe around my irritability, or deal with constant talking while wishing for a quiet evening, or feel compassionate or tolerant or anxious or amused or patient or vicariously embarrassed, or do anything other than think, "Thank fuck it's not me.  That sucks."

My anger about the illness - at the illness, and at the Universe - grows by the week, by the month.  I'm stuck in a loop of watching myself say and do things that I cannot tightly control through an act of will, then watching the sequelae.  Usually there's humiliation in there, peppered with guilt.  The anger doesn't feel like part of the process of moving toward acceptance.  It feels like a furnace with coals that glow more brightly over time.  The earth rumbles in the deep.

That's why I'm grateful for getting sore muscles.  They are logical.  They make sense.  They are mine and mine alone.

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