Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Elephant in the Room

I started to feel like I was coming undone yesterday. Had a crying jab in the shower. I got my period as well. I was tired, but it was a beautiful day so I went for a little run just to see how I would do. My bladder ached, but I kept at it. The fibroids press a bit on my bladder so jogging is very uncomfortable activity, especially if I have any liquid in me. I may have to just settle for a brisk walk. I just have to remember that when I first started training to run for a 10 km, it was difficult at first, but it got easier. I can do this. This is good for me.

Life never ceases to amaze me. My friend asked me to appear in a documentary about women and how they deal with their self identity, their bodies and health. She asked me had I ever been judged by my weight and appearance. I had to hold back a laugh. I tried not to get too personal, but I had to admit that men often believe that they women they marry should stay exactly the same as the day they met them. I wish I could have stayed the same. Back then, I had no one to worry about than myself. I didn't cook meat and potatoes 5 nights a week, I went to the gym rather than spend time with a boyfriend, I danced the weekend away with friends, I didn't spend 3 days a week hanging out with a demented mother, wasn't responsible for her physical and financial well being, I wasn't infertile and didn't spend months injecting myself with hormones and popping pills and having my blood drawn. I was far too busy running from temporary office jobs to auditions, to bars and parties and theatre shows. I took the bus in the rain and rode my bike, and had popcorn for dinner. I didn't have money for junk food and even if I did, I would have spent it on something pretty. I was having far too much fun to worry about weight. I was not model thin, but I only cared about my career and keeping a roof over my head. Ah, the single life. Getting drunk and eating pasta with salad dressing.

You know, looking back on things, I realized that I was always a great cheerleader for someone other than myself. Earlier this week in counselling, my husband was telling the counsellor about his career progression. And I was amazed that he didn't mention my part in any of it. It was like he had done it completely on his own. Like I was never there. So when we went back on Friday, I corrected that. Went back down history lane and reminded him that I was there every step of the way, supporting the decisions that he always consulted with me. I reminded him that he received all his recent jobs because of people he knew, friends of mine to be specific. Not to take away his accomplishments, he always worked hard and learned quickly, and taken quite a lot of crap so that he could provide for us. I was and am so proud of him. I always knew he was a natural born leader. I guess I forgot to take care of myself over the years. Just sloughed it off. Not sure when I decided to do that to myself. I'm sure it was even before my mother got sick. Somewhere along the line I couldn't quite figure out how to be married, go for my dreams and make everyone happy at the same time. I put it aside because it freaked me out I guess and I ate Dairy Queen right along with him. It was fun. No one had to put a gun to my head to eat a hot fudge sundae. And it was great not to have to worry about working at shitty jobs to pay the rent. I liked it. He shouldered the load so I didn't have to anymore. Sure we argued about money, but he would relent and tell me what I wanted to hear. I did the laundry, cooked the meals and made sure his ass never touched a dirty toilet seat.

And so what if the gigs slowed down, and the pressure of dealing with my mother had us eating more takeout than not. I quit going to the gym after the first IVF attempt. Those pesky appointments got in the way. We were married right? We would always be there for one another, no matter what. Oh my gosh, I should be on Oprah as one of the many women who "let themselves go". I actually had the audacity to let life get to me and I focused on other things and other people. I gave up and just struggled to get by. I wasn't unhappy, mind you. I had a lot to be grateful for. Mmmmm, does that strike a chord for any woman out there?

Well, I'm not in denial any more. There's a big fat elephant in the room, and how on earth did I miss that?


dmarie said...

So many of us would be seated right next you on stage. I don't feel like I "missed" the elephant, I just kept making excuses for its existence. Yes, it certainly strikes a cord with me.

Lori Lavender Luz said...

"I was always a great cheerleader for someone other than myself."

You know, a fried of mine who is on a Search & Rescue team once told me the top 5 priorities they use when rescuing someone.

1. Take care of myself
2. Take care of myself
3. Take care of myself
4. Take care of my partner
5. Take care of my victim

I often recall this when I find myself over-extended to other people. If I don't take care of ME, who will take care of THEM?

The documentary sounds fascinating. Are you going to do it?

Pamela T. said...

It's easy to lose yourself when you're so busy looking after others. Sometimes the cold shower is just what the doctor ordered. I'm going to deliver the "when life hands your lemons make lemonade" speech now. As absolutely awful as your last few weeks have been, this is a time to refocus on what you need, what's good for you and how you want to proceed. The more you have to offer yourself, the more success you have in getting healthy, the more progress you have in pursuing your new dreams, the more appealing you'll become not only to yourself but to your man. The question as you reinvent yourself is does he deserve you?

Deathstar said...

Yes, I did do the documentary interview on the weekend. It was very interesting. Women so get it, they just smile and nod their heads.