I Was Never That Weak. I Couldn't Have Been.

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 7.236% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

Week Nine into recovery from the heart surgery, and I’m edging normal.  My sleep habits are still all over the place, and my energy levels are inconsistent, but at this point there isn’t really anything I can’t do, just things that are painful to do.  (Like sneezing.  Oh my God, sneezing.)
And now that I’m mostly back, my brain is trying to rewrite history.
Take getting out of bed, for example.  I can get up in a matter of seconds, with only a twinge of pain.  And every time I do, I think, Oh, this is easy.  The only reason it was so hard before is because I was scared.
Or when I power-walk three miles in forty-five minutes and get off the treadmill, sweating, only to think: You could have done that before.  You were just reluctant to go full-out.
And I was reluctant to go full-out, my friends, but that’s because my chest was still freshly broken and my lungs could only suck in half the air they could today.  Yet I do not want to face that terror.  I do not want to ever know that I was that weak.  So I keep retconning history, making it so that the reason I didn’t get out of bed and tapdance is just that I was too timid to really take this new body out for a spin.
It’s ridiculous.  But I think that instinct to rearrange life is at the heart of a lot of bad politics, the kind of instinct that goes, “Shit, life is scary and uncertain, and even if you work smart and hard there’s still a chance that you could fail.  So… let’s rearrange life to be more predictable!  Let’s make it so that every person who has a lot of money got there because of their tremendous smarts and aptitude, and all the poor people are there because they are lazy!  That’s a much nicer rule, and it ensures that the money I have is because of all my effort.”
You see that a lot, that re-attributing things to willpower and gumption because, shit, the idea that you could lose for reasons that had nothing to do with you are terrifying.  Just like the way I look at myself two months ago, laid low by genetic factors I had zero control over, saved by medicine I barely understand, under the complete control of my nurses and doctors and the medicines pumped into my veins.
No.  Better to think that I was just reluctant back then.  I could have been my old self at any time.  That’s much more comforting, and it means if I’m ever there again all I have to do is kick my heels.

1 Comment

  1. CatFromUlthar
    Mar 22, 2013

    My own specific issues are quite different, but I can’t stress enough how much I empathize with the main point of this post.

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