Big Girls Cry

Well, it’s happened again. This morning a kind, caring person approached me in a kind, caring way and my eyes welled with tears. I can’t remember at what age I started to be embarrassed by my propensity to cry, but I do remember thinking something like, “Someday I’ll outgrow this. This is not something grownups do.” Wrong!

Fittingly, it was the yoga instructor who taught the class I alluded to in my last post. Several weeks ago I got up in the middle of that class and left, wrists aching, frustrated by my alien body. (Not for the first time, either. Before that it had something to do with weak triceps, chaturongas, and a shirt that no longer fit. Good lord.)

Before I knew it, I was telling her something that I have begun to realize as the weight of the past year is starting to lift: THAT YEAR WAS HARD, MAN. Really hard!

Here’s where having a blog gets tricky. I’m sharing this publically, but the details of what made everything so awful involve my kids. If it was just me, I probably wouldn’t care, but I’m pretty sure they would mind my telling the whole world. It was hardest on them, but in a different way.

Some of the consequences of “the situation” were that I suddenly had next to no time to myself, and that I was the main source of stability for my family. When you’re a caregiver, you’re supposed to do all this self-care to make sure you don’t fall apart. Which any caregiver can tell you is almost a cruel joke, even if it’s true. For me, self-care boiled down to this: If it adds difficulty, don’t do it. If it adds comfort, do it.

I was (and am) incredibly fortunate to have a person in my life who added a lot of comfort and who was not difficult. So I have that going for me. Plus he genuinely loves me no matter what my measurements or how many chaturongas I can do. But getting to the gym, balancing proteins and fibers and so on, was not only difficult, it was often actually impossible. Whereas things like eating donuts, drinking beer with a sweet man, and sleeping in on a weekend morning with him instead of getting up for an early run were easy and comforting as hell. And worth it.

This is all to say, I forgive myself for getting here. I congratulate myself for getting here, actually. And I know that it’s not over. I haven’t arrived at a finish line, things will change, and maybe this little reprieve I’m feeling will change yet again. Yoga Lady told me some of her own story, also heartbreaking. We are not alone. And if you meet someone who can’t help but judge you, just remember that they are probably living in a hell of self-judgement.

And with that, I think I’ll try that yoga class again.

Card by truth-teller Emily McDowell which you can get here

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