I derive this almost perverse pleasure from pushing myself to the limits. Of not stopping, or even slowing down, especially when I’m unwell. I hate it when I have a fever, or when the BP tanks or when the migraines come calling. I hate being reminded that I’m human, and my body is not a machine. That I should take care of it. I believe in mind over matter.
I dont know when and why and where I picked this up. Maybe the growing up years when I was repeatedly told that I cant. Maybe it was those years of devouring Dr Who’s and Alistair McCleans. Or the years of being told I was fat. Somewhere I told myself that my body didnt matter. My mind could do whatever it wants. And I pushed myself.
The last few months have been quite punishing. Most weekends I find myself dazed. Too exhausted to do much other than laze around. By Sunday evening I force myself outta the vegetative state. Go out, or do something. And that proves too much for me. I barely manage to make it to office on Monday morning – counting the days to the next weekend.
Then I chide myself for being so weak. For being exhausted. I’m guilt ridden – for vegetating thru the weekend. For not playing enough with the kid. For not fussing about the house. For not cooking.
I tell myself, it’s the age factor. It’s because my days are so packed. It’s only because I’ve too much on my plate this week, this month. It’s only bcoz of the 2 hr dance class. It’s only because I haven’t got enough sleep this week.
And then I look back. Over the years. It’s always been this way. Back in college – I remember my bff perpetually telling me to slow down or I’ll burn out. That was 15 years ago. Of course I didn’t listen to her. I managed by sleeping through most classes and borrowing her notes. In the single years post college, I made the most of my freedom. I traveled, I danced, I signed up for half a dozen classes. Life was full. I had recurring BP issues, breathing problems, a weak ankle. I mostly ignored them.
Post child birth – again same story. an ankle plaster for a few months, hurt the arch of my foot and couldnt walk proper for another few months, breathing problems – cant walk up a flight of stairs; a slow 20 min walk leaves me breathless, patches in front of my eyes, fainting spells; oh and thru the pregnancy a 10cm dia fibroid, severe acidity – the kind where I couldnt eat anything but boiled, bland veggies – for a year.
2012 it’s been 5 months of wheezing and coughing non stop; another 5 months of sever dry eyes and eye drops 6 times a day, cumulative 2 months or so of migraines. The last week – BP tanked on Monday; had to head back home by noon. Bedridden. Tue traveled to Bombay for a recruitment drive, with severe migraine. Up all night interviewing. Wednesday – tried to sleep thru the day. Didnt help. I’m pushing myself back to a normal routine. It doesnt help. Migraines continue. Hence this tirade.
These are the kinda things that dont quite show up. They arent visible to the external world.
I’m struggling to recall a patch where I was fully hale and hearty. I’m wondering whether I’m being paranoid. Or I’ve pushed the body beyond repair. 6 months or so ago, I forced myself to slow down. Even now, I’m slower than I was a few years ago. I’ve let go of an incredible lot. I try to take the time out for myself. I try to rest. But it’s still not enough. I’ve got to make this body last another 35 yrs or so me thinks. What do I do?
I dont want to admit my fraility. I dont want to admit that I’m not in control always. That I’m not perfect. That I have to slow down. That I’m human.
It’s silly. It’s stupid. I know. But I dont know the solution.