Nights Like These
As I’m sitting in bed in pain, I can’t help but feel nothing but frustration with my body. Tonight alone I’ve dislocated an ankle during a wheelchair transfer, and then later coughed to the point I had a rib do *something* to cause extreme pain. It just turned 3:45am.
My mom has been asleep in the recliner in my room and quickly woke up to help me readjust when my rib caused the sharp pain from coughing. I tried stretch after stretch, all the twists and contortions I could think of to try and get my rib back from wherever it decided to relocate. It just turned 3:48am.
I wanted to write about my take on body positivity and instead tonight I feel no positives. I’m stuck in a body that doesn’t want to do its job and it’s pulling everyone else down with it. I have days filled with such joy, fun lipstick, and cute reels. But I also have nights like these. It just turned 3:50am.
Truly I don’t blame my body, I’ve worked tirelessly to accept and love it, not despite, not in spite, but simply because it’s all I have. It’s not inspirational, honestly I feel like anything but. It’s simply what I have and I know it’s trying its hardest to hold me together the best way it knows how. Is this a body positivity post? Maybe? Am I being positive about my body? Not really, but I’m being realistic given the current circumstances. It just turned 3:54am.
My mom fell back asleep, it takes her no time at all, but I know at the slightest noise from me she will wake up ready to help in whatever way she can. She’s gotten so good and attuned to my needs and I wish she didn’t have to be. My humidifier made a noise and she lifted her eye mask instantly to check on me even though she was just sound asleep. It just turned 3:57am.
I am 25 years old and I moved back into my moms house and she is my full time caretaker. I use a wheelchair full time due to a neurological condition that affects my legs. It just turned 3:59am and I cannot believe this is my life.
It’s 4:02am. This is my life. I’ve accepted that. And it’s also hard as hell, not just for me, but everyone it touches. It’s 4:03am and I roll my eyes as I think to myself “I can do hard things.” Sure Jan, that’s what she said. I hate clichés. It’s 4:05am and the back pain from my rib *doing something* is setting in and I still remind myself that I can do hard things, even this. 4:06am and I’m still using my writing to get through this pain, literally having to take it one minute at a time.
Now it's 4:07am and my mind wanders to the nights I used to live, full of painting, loud music, and late night drives to some random location. It’s 4:08am and I miss getting ready at 3am to go over to a friend's house; my night only just starting. It’s 4:09am and my eyes sting with the memory of experiencing pleasure and company and freedom. I’d have class the next morning but it wouldn’t matter, I could power through on the two hours of sleep I’d get and the morning adrenalin rush of walking into class like nothing that just happened, happened. It’s 4:11am and I’m lost in thought on the days I could get lost in a different type of thought; a happy daze I’d eventually drift down from, but always welcomed back warmly.
It’s 4:12am and my life is no longer that of the paragraph above. Nothing truly feels like mine. It belongs to some other form of me, one I hope to shed some day like a discarded cocoon. This version of me dresses like 6 year old Annie always thought was so cool; a walking rainbow, minus the walking. Rolling?
It’s 4:15am and I’m getting a better grip on my mind. Disassociation isn’t a negative to me, it’s coping at this point. A mindless activity to make it through the bulk of the pain. My rib is still doing its own thing, and my mom is back into deep sleep. It’s 4:18am and the world goes on, pain or not, it just keeps spinning*.
*Unless you're the Earth’s core?! What’s up with that? Does anyone know the deal with that?
Update: it’s 6:08am and I’m still awake