Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Curious Consequence

Nearly a year ago, I took a "Long Walk." That's what some of my friends requested I call my attempted suicide.

I walked close to 15 miles from my house toward the Salt Lake, determined to float in 40 degree water until I felt the sleep of the cold.

I wasn't dressed for the weather - on purpose. I walked as fast as I could to get there before anyone could catch me on the main roads. I knew no one would have a clue where to look for me, and I was right. As soon as I hit the lake bed, I crossed as far from the causeway as possible so I couldn't be seen from the road, and kept the same pace through the sand as I tried to find the water.

Of course, I never found it. When I finally reached the wet sticky mud of the actual shore, my shoes squelched through the stench as the lake itself receded from me. Finally I yelled at the heavens, feeling betrayed that what had felt like the right and only choice was being taken from me, and headed toward the causeway so I could walk home.  

I can't describe the distance. Even now I look back and wonder how in the world I did it. Sheer determination, I guess.

I didn't realize how much I hurt until the guy who drove me to the gates let me out of his truck so I could wait for my husband. Walking to the other side of the gate to stand under the light pole took sheer force of will. I was determined not to let that man or his wife see what kind of shape I was in.

When I got home, after sleeping and freezing for I don't know how long, wow. I had to have help walking. I couldn't support my own weight for the first couple of days. I limped around, my hips and legs bundles of misery as I tried to function. I can't remember how long it took for slowly crossing from my room to the kitchen to feel doable.


Walking sounds so simple, so every day. People run and walk 15 miles easy for marathons all the time. 

Before the walk, I loved to do cardio. Kickboxing, treadmill, fun upbeat video exercises like P90x and TaeBo, I would do it all. I had a gym membership and I LOVED going at any time of day. It was something I could do that was wonderful, freeing, and felt good. Stuff I could never do while pregnant.

Now it's stuff I cannot do anymore.

It's been 363 days, and walking the mile to work still hurts my feet. Sprinting from the girls shirts to the phone in the fitting room - what, 20 feet? - to answer the phone makes my groin muscles ache for 3-4 days.

I walk to work because it's good for me. The fresh air is great for my mental health, whether it's rainy, snowy, overwhelmingly hot, or perfect outside, the walk is *always* beneficial. Especially on my bad days.

So mentally, the walking is great.

Physically, not so much.  I can tell I'm converting some fat to muscle because I need to wear a belt with my pants now. (Whoo Hoo!)  But the pain that accompanies the wimpy exercise is something that confuses me.

It's not nearly as unbearable as the pain that accompanied my last three pregnancies, don't get me wrong. THAT pain made getting out of bed, getting up from chairs, walking, riding in a car, pretty much any kind of movement, make me cry. Oh it was excruciating torture.  

However, when *not* pregnant, my body was pretty much willing to do anything. 

Now, dangit, it feels like my body will never forgive me for what I put it through. 

By now I should have recovered from the exhaustion and the muscle strain. Yet after a few hours at work it's hard to walk after I get home, and yes, I have awesome shoes.

I don't understand. I assume it's an inconvenience for surviving. No, that's wrong. It's a side-effect of the attempted suicide. The surviving part includes this additional issue on a day-to-day basis. It's worth it for the survival part, though. 

I still walk to work. I still love my job. I endure the pain because it's common enough that it's background noise while I'm working. 

At home, it takes a few hours before my feet stop yelling at me, but I've gotten used to it.

I may never know the biological reason for the weirdness. I wish I could understand the science behind the muscle changes and my body not functioning even after twelve months. 

I feel like it wouldn't bother me so much if I knew the why I haven't healed as well as I thought I would. 

It's sad that the idea of hiking to Timpanogos Cave with my kids sounds too hard. So does visiting the zoo, the aviary, DisneyParkOfChoice, etc. My current reality is Let me stay home, please, please, please.

Consequences. Sometimes they make zero sense.

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