Wednesday, July 02, 2008

And, the Good News is.....

One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 7The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” 8Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” John 5:4-8

I am 62 years old, and I have been sick with respiratory problems most of my life. I don't remember when I wasn't sick a lot.

Yesterday, my pulmonologist told me that my lungs were in good shape, my cardio stress test was good, my thyroid was good, my anemia was gone, my asthma was under control, and that basically I am healthy. I have never been told that in all my life! I am healthy.

Then I asked "Why, if I am healthy, my life is a struggle with tiredness and breathlessness?" He told me I needed "de-conditioning". When pressed for a definition, he hemmed and hawed, but eventually inferred that I am overweight and out of shape. Then I heard him begin to lecture me on that...I'm not sure what he said that created that impression for I can't imagine his lecturing me. He is a good and kind man...just not very blunt.

I became ragingly angry. The only thing that is wrong with me is something I have done to myself. It's all my fault. And, I've failed at Weight Watchers, and I don't do enough of the right kind of exercise. And, I am a failure.

I drove the 15 miles home on a back winding road at speeds far above what was safe. I stormed into the house in tears. My partner, who has been saying this for some time, tried to comfort me. There was no comfort.

I have been healed. I am well. Well, except for the things that I do to myself. I'm around enough AA people to know that I have just been twelfth stepped - confronted with my disease - overeating, not exercising. Now the choice is up to me - continue overeating, not exercising and die - or choose to be healed, to be well.

Hey, last night I didn't much want to be well. I'm not sure that I'm willing to do what is necessary to be well. I wanted to die instead; it was too hard.

Someone this morning asked me what changed when I decided to quit drinking. I don't even remember. Seems like I woke up one morning on the floor in my own vomit and decided I didn't want to do that again. After that, alcohol began making me sick when I drank. So I quit.

Now, I'm confronted with a different prospect. I can't give up food as I gave up alcohol. Food is my comfort. Even last night, food was my comfort. I ate three tacos, then went to Dairy Queen and had a small chocolate malt. I felt so much better. I quit crying; I was able to think; I wasn't angry; I didn't hurt. I wish food didn't work as a pain (of all kinds) killer. It's easy to give up a coping mechanism that doesn't work any longer.

Do I want to be well? The verdict is still out on that one. But, for this hour, this minute, the answer is yes.

6 comments:

shallotpeel said...

I am of two minds about your recent news. However, both of them love you & support you ... Hugs.

Jane R said...

Dear Sharecropper,
Food is difficult for me too and for many of us. I just wanted to send you some prayers and encouragement, whatever you decide to do -- and congratulations on the bill of good health. See if Cecilia's journey can help you (she writes at Closeted Pastor) -- her writings about woundedness and healing and, incidentally, food, are very moving.

LutheranChik said...

My partner and I struggle with the same issue. She's had a series of physical setbacks that have made exercise difficult for us to do together, but we are slowly changing our eating habits in a healthier direction. Blessings to you on your journey, and if you need any encouragement/accountability/empathy, we're here!

Judith said...

Oh dear, I know just how this feels. I am currently stalled on the diet, and some days I think, "Enough." Sometimes I just want that peanut-butter sandwich SO MUCH. Was I happier when I ate everything in sight? I don't know. But it was one less thing to think about. One less thing to blame myself for!

Know that you're in my prayers!

Jan said...

Kate Morningstar referred to both you and me about this weight loss business. I've been told the same thing and have joined and failed at Weight Watchers so many times I can't tell you how many. And then today I post a recipe for Iced Butterscotch Brownies!! You check on me, and I'll check on you, ok?

Little church guy said...

I'll add a little something from the masculine perspective. Like you I grew up poor and now that I can eat whatever I want I overeat. Now that I am retired and no longer work out my weight has ballooned. So far it has been impossible for me to quit eating those foods that are not good for me. Something that has helped me is to quit beating myself up over my weight, because that makes me upset and when I'm upset I eat. Hang in there!