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The Bang Bang Theories

It Hits Different

Catastrophic blues.

I’m in them.

Some times things just hit different and you’re not even sure why, until you have a Darling who points out the why to you, and validates all your feelings in a simple sentence.

Last night I sobbed – open mouth, tears flowing, gulping breath sobbing – and the tears have lingered into today, and are still right beneath the surface, looking for escape.

I’ve tried all my tricks to snap me out of it – brightsider sunny-side-upper that I usually am. I can stave them off for a while, but the tears are right there, trying to escape my green eyes, mostly succeeding.

My very best friend once told me, “You’re so lucky!”

When I asked, “What part of my life is lucky? The part where I am twice divorced – the last one that devastated me emotionally – or the mom who had a heart attack and died in my arms when I was 29, or the time I almost died at 18 in a car accident – which part of that was lucky?”

Taken aback a bit, she responded, “I forget all that happened to you. You’re just so happy and positive all the time!”

Am I a pretender? I don’t think so. I think I am genuinely happy and feel fortunate.

But apparently, I have Triggers from my traumatic injury from 40 years ago, when I nearly killed myself in a self-inflicted car accident.

For some reason I don’t afford myself the grace to have lingering trauma response to that incident. Thirty days in ICU, outcome unknown. Week-long coma from a significant head injury, which I still try to hide the resulting scars. If I wear bangs, it didn’t happen. Cover up. Move on.  Three months and umpteen surgeries and rods and wires to patch me back together. Ineffective counseling by a hospital physchologist who didn’t know a goddamn thing about helping an eighteen year old deal with a life altering event. An eighteen year old who didn’t know a goddamn thing about how to deal with a life altering event.

Pretend. It’s okay. You’re still here. You’re doing fine. You got this.

But the body keeps the score.

It let me know it was unhappy yesterday, when I tried to Do A Thing that this body – my imperfect and under constant stress and some level of pain – is just physically incapable of doing.

And I have to be honest, because I’ve had an entire bottle of Chardonnay which is Adult Truth Serum, it just shook me and for the first time in a long time, I’ve felt handicapped and incapable and all the Sads hit I have had a full-blown motherfucking crying pity party for myself.

I don’t even want to write this post, because it’s too Raw for me, to admit to my sensitivities and things I literally cannot do, all because of a bad decision and things will never be the same for me. But the body keeps the score, and it might just be time to own it.

My knees need replaced. Eventually. They hurt. All. The. Fucking. Time.

My feet? Same.  Broken toes and ankles will do that.

Hips? Complaining.

All of it. Just. Fucking Hurts. In a constant level of 2, usually more, but we ignore that. I survive on Aleve, 2 at night please, and a CBD gummy and whatever else it takes that’s legal.

I  T. R. Y.

All Caps. TRY. To make the best of this delicious life I have. It generally IS delicious and blessed and a goddamn miracle that I get to walk around in it and do what I do.

But sometimes, Man, it catches up with me, and I see it right in my face and I can’t ignore it, because the Body Keeps the Score and it’s telling me, “hey, remember that time you almost died and also your legs are fucked up and hurt all the time? don’t forget that happened.”

I ordered a Peloton bike. That was the Triggering Event. Seems benign enough. I want to be healthy, skinnier, more bendable, more cardio-vascular. All from the comfort of my home, especially now since I have a delightful basement to accommodate a workout machine.

And then the shoes showed up. I looked at them with trepidation. Are these fuckers even going to go on my feet? There’s a lot of clamps and slick bottoms and how the hell do these cleat things even work and why would anyone want to be CLIPPED IN to a pedal that they can’t easily get out of and put their foot down on the ground??

My bike arrived yesterday. I was hopeful, but also anxious about it.

I figured out the damn shoes – getting them on was a workout in itself – and then had to watch a Youtube to figure out HOW to clip into the pedals and why in the motherfuck is something so hard to do that you have to watch a video to figure it out? and finally got situated and …. I just can’t do it. The bike does not work with my body. It’s too …. not forgiving. There’s literally no wiggle room. You are locked in and that’s it.

My body can’t abide being locked in to a position. It needs some flexible space.

It needs a comfortable seat, with a little extra room for leg rotation.

It could not cooperate within the constraints of the Peloton. I tried several times, to give it a chance as My Mister encouraged.

Even he later admitted, “You looked horribly uncomfortable on that thing.”

I was horribly uncomfortable on that thing. I dreaded even trying it after the first attempt. I dreaded the SHOES. If you aren’t even into the SHOES, how in the hell would you be into a 45 minute workout? You wouldn’t be.

At 9:00, after my last attempt to “get used to it,” – I called it.

It’s going back.

It’s not for me.

I’m not for it.

And then I laid down on the air mattress in the basement that is still up from when we had company last month and bawled. Hiccupping sobbing.

Because I can’t use a Peloton bike.

Who cares that I can use the ones at the gym. I couldn’t use THIS BRAND and I felt all my body limitations rise up and present themself to me in one inglorious moment. Take that, You.

You think you’re a normal girl? You’re NOT.

You’re BROKEN. You’re LIMITED. You’re NOT.

That’s what my body told me last night and it made me cry and cry and cry.

I cried for all the things I want to be and do. The walks I just physically cannot take. I’m talking to you, Camino.

It’s interesting how when one thing is a set-back, we don’t focus on all the set-forwards. I have done so many things. Sky diving and waterfall climbing and general fun things but all that was forgotten as my Body Kept The Score and it was only reminded of the trauma.

I felt ridiculous because the Rational Me knows there are way way way worse things to be dealing with (hey, Gaza, I’m speaking to you). And yet. Yet. My thing was a real emotional thing, too. Both of these things can be true at the same time.

Worse things don’t make your thing a less thing.

My Mister said a nice thing during my crying. He said, “That just doesn’t work for your body. We’ll find something else that works for you.”

And then he spent the day looking online for better bikes that will work for my body, and don’t require me to be locked in because that’s stupid AF, I’m 57 and don’t need my feet clamped into a bike. Ever. I’m not that aggressive.

So. I’m still not over it. But sometimes the body just doesn’t do what we hope it can do. But I’m going to keep trying, even if I’m crying. Some days that’s the best we can do.


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