Everyone talks about the stages of grief.
- Denial – When I claimed the doctor didn’t know shit since all she did was guess at an x-ray and found nothing in my bloodwork)
- Anger – Oh, the nights spent pounding my pillows into smitherines. Well, trying, since the pillows hurt my hands.
- Bargaining – Not being a God-believer, I promised my body juice cleanses and/or cookie cleanses if it would just chill the fuck out.
- Depression – I didn’t see this until after. A lot of self-pitying. A lot of yelling at the people who were just trying to help. Nothing funny about this one, folks.
- Acceptance – Great, Ankylosing Spondylitis, ok. Whatever. Just give me the damn drugs already.
But there’s a process when you start feeling better again, too.* Let’s talk about that.
- Fear – The side effects are terrifying. Don’t look them up. Knowledge is NOT power here.
- Assumed Fragility – My students told me they could recognize me across campus by my walk. It took a long time, even after I felt better to not think about little things like walking.
- Kick-Assitude – the attitude one exhibits when one feels they can kick ass (and just REALLY wants to)
- _________________ – Don’t know yet. Hopefully stability?
I’ll be honest. I didn’t think this out too much yet. Those stages are not scientific, proven, or even well-pondered, but I really want to talk about:
Last night, some punks smashed in my windshield. Insurance will probably cover it (waiting to hear back), so it’s not a huge issue, but damn, I just want to get my Humira-injected body out there and SETTLE this. I’ve never been aggressive, but now I want to lay into those punks. Why? Because for the first time in so many years, I THINK I COULD WIN.*
Because of the muscles I’ve been sharpening at the gym? Because of the endurance I’ve stockpiled during my marathon miles? Because of the agility I’ve gained from dodging left and right around orange traffic cones?
No. Are you kidding me? Ha.
No, it’s because I have nine years of repressed physical-ness that is over-inflating my bones and joints and it wants to womp these punk ass kids like their mommas never womped them.
There are so many things you want to do when you start feeling better, but not all of them are things you should do. This desire to beat the crap out of some kid (probably a sixteen-year-old) for damaging property that I probably won’t have to pay for is one example.
The other thing is that I keep wanting to jump over things I pass. Today: highway dividers and a small Dumpster behind a funeral parlor (in which some bat-shit crazy grandpa was teaching his eight- or nine-year-old grandson to Dumpster dive).
It might be time to move out of this neighborhood.