I’m not going to say that Monday was the worst day of my life, because I know that’s both untrue and overly dramatic.
I love my job, but work was rough. The last week or so has been pretty bumpy; nothing is ever easy. Mary says that’s because we’re doing good work for the Kingdom of God. I told her if that was the case, maybe I’d better start slacking off. Just kidding.
That night I hurt someone’s feelings (a story for another day). I hate that. I hate doing something that you know is going to destroy another person. Even if you know it’s the right thing to do.
I cried at work, I cried at home, and I cried myself to sleep.
I felt like a truly horrible person.
But I was excited for Tuesday. Mostly because I was only working 7-11:30. Who doesn’t love a half day of work??
But there was a catch. I was leaving at 11:30 to make it to Arlington by 1:15 for a follow-up appointment with my orthopedic surgeon. From there, I was driving to Towson for a 4:00 counseling appointment. From there, I headed down the road for a 5:15 appointment with my dietitian. Eventually I would make my way back home with an empty tank of gas.
I was excited. Despite my “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad [Mon]Day”…I had a little bit of pep in my step. I just drowned my exhaustion in espresso and I was ready to go.
I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so excited to see Dr. Ochiai. I love my orthopedist. Some people think I’m crazy. “Why do you keep going to someone who has had to repeat the surgery more than once on you?” Because he’s good. He knows his stuff. I trust him. It’s not his fault that my history is a nightmare. I didn’t give the guy much to work with, so I think he’s doing an awesome job. I make sure to tell him that at the end of every appointment.
I also feel bad for the guy. I can read his eyes and body language. I can see the frustration and discouragement build up…at times I’ve thought he experiences these things even more than I do. I’ve been with him for over 2 years and I think I’ve challenged him. He wants to fix me and I haven’t made that an easy feat for him to achieve.
Needless to say, I was excited to see him and tell him I thought I was doing well.
He walks into the room and looks at me. “Well you’re smiling, so that’s a good sign! But then again, you’re always smiling.” It’s nice to know that’s what he sees in me. A smile despite the pain. I’m always afraid I’m projecting this injured victim-like persona. That I look weak and whiney. It’s nice to hear otherwise.
He moves my leg around in every direction. He reads the note from my physical therapist. He asks me how I think I’m doing.
“Good. I can’t explain it. Things are tough and there’s still some pain and a long road ahead. But…I just feel stronger.”
Now it was his turn to smile. “I must say, Brittany. I am encouraged. Stay the course.” He then proceeded to tell me (more than once) to call him any time; if something didn’t feel right, or if my physical therapist was pushing me to hard, or if I just wanted to chat. Then I scheduled my next visit with him for 2 months out.
During my counseling session several hours later, I felt the same sort of apprehensive confidence. I laid out the events of the last week or so for my therapist and I did so with a chuckle. I mean there was some tough stuff. Some really tough stuff. But I knew what I had to do and it sucked and I did it anyway. I think I proved to myself and to everyone around me that I’m capable and wise and vibrant. I’ve been doubting myself; wondering if I was truly ready to press in and reach out. But I proved my doubts wrong. I just feel stronger.
While meeting with my dietitian, we talked about a lot of different things. Meal planning, goals, hunger and fullness cues…at times I think the 30 minutes with my dietitian are way more draining than the hour with my therapist. She asked what eating disorder behaviors I’m struggling with. I told her something like, “Honestly, I’m doing what I need to do. I may not like the results. I’m struggling with body image more than I ever have before. It’s not always easy. But I’m doing it. I just feel stronger.”
While waiting for my therapist to get me for my appointment on Tuesday, I saw a fellow recovery warrior in the waiting room. I asked her how she was doing. She told me. She asked me how I was doing. I said, “Alright.” That was it.
Until I finally got home Tuesday night and had a few minutes to reflect. Why did I tell her I was doing alright? Gosh darn it, I am way more than alright. I’m taking chances, making messes, investing in relationships, solving mysteries, laughing, crying, and everything in between. And I can still wake up each day, take a shower, eat my breakfast, drive to work, and face the day wearing my big girl panties. “Alright” implies surviving. But I think it’s safe to say I’ve proven that I’m capable of way more than that now. I’m thriving.
Last week was rough and Monday sucked. Hardcore. But today I feel stronger.