One Step at a Time

There’s no school today. The weather took a sudden turn. From nice weather to sleet and rain, all in twenty-four hours. Missouri should be known as the Bipolar State; everyone around my own area refers to it as such given the state’s penchant for drastically changing weather. Last week, one day we had weather in the 60s; the following day, there was snow.

No school, just me and my room and my laptop. Music and dancing. A coke or two, on the side. I have classes tomorrow, weather permitting. I have my Lab Final (then Monday is Theory), and I think the one part I’m nervous about tomorrow is the script I have to recite to my teacher before I give him his massage. It’s a standard script, really. An introduction and such.

“Hi, my name’s Nikki. I’m a Student Massage Therapist and I’ll be working with you today,” the words are odd in my head and odder coming out of my mouth. I can picture myself standing in front of my teacher and stumbling over them. Then I’d smile, shake his hand, and say, “How are you today?”

It’s odd, really, because I know him. I have to pretend I don’t.

I know the setup of the introduction. I can rehearse it in my head. I’ve done it so many times, by this point, that I’m dreaming about it. I’m going to school for this, yes, and I’m good at it (I’m still learning, but it’s natural for me to do this in some odd way I can’t quite describe), and, apparently, I give a killer massage once I reach the glutes. I’m a butt-person. Go figure.

And, yeah, part of a full-body massage is targeting the Gluteus Maximus and Gluteus Medial. There are three places on the backside that contribute to a great deal of lower back pain. Many people tend to avoid having their backside worked on, and I can understand why, but it’s nothing sexual or anything remotely similar (unless you have a Crappy Therapist). When I first worked on my classmate’s backside, learning where to put my hands and how to lay them so I don’t accidentally grope them, I was a bit nervous.

This was someone’s butt! Their ass. Their hindquarters!

It’s also a thick muscle with a lot of meat. There are nerves that run through there, tendons that connect the pelvic bone to the muscles around it and to the bones nearby. It’s all interconnected and our backsides carry a lot of tension and are, in many cases, in a great deal of pain (but we just don’t realize that). It’s freaking weird how marvelous it is to have someone dig into those muscles and the trigger points hidden in the layers beneath the skin (trigger points are knots in the muscle and they’re painful).

Google Images

The body is an intricate thing. Just by learning the different muscles in the body, how they work (somewhat), and how pain travels, I’ve come to learn a great deal about my own body. I learned I’m not aware of my body, I’m not connected to it. It’s like I exist over it, floating above my own head and connected to a thin, fragile string. Dysthymia doesn’t help, but I have found out that getting a massage every once in a while helps lessen the depressive states I sink into. So, part of my own healthcare will be a combo of Massage Therapy and Chiropractic Care.

On the other end of the spectrum, I’m starting to delve into nutrition. Food is something I’ve always taken for granted. I eat when I’m upset or sad or when I’m angry. Or when I’m bored. I eat for everything. The relationship I have with food isn’t a healthy one. I’m slowly teaching myself about how much I should be eating, what my body actually needs to function, the different portion sizes and how that differs from serving sizes. I’m looking into how to prepare vegetables, how much fruit I should be eating, how I’m overeating in general and consuming way too much meat.

I’ve learned a lack of exercise can cause a lot of health issues.

I’m teaching myself to care about myself, about my own health. It’s an ongoing process. Sometimes I slip up and I fall, and then I have to pick myself up and dust the shadows away.

As time goes on, I’m learning that my apathy is a disinterest in things I deem inconsequential. If it doesn’t have some importance to me, as an individual person, I can’t bring myself to care about (even if I would like to, in some cases). I’m selfish, in a lot of ways, but not intentionally. I’m wired a certain way, my mind revolves around certain aspects, and I can’t be bothered by anything that falls outside of the lines that are carved through the stones around me.

In all the time I’ve been going to therapy, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve been able to put words to my own structures, to understand them better, and it’s a blessing. I was confused, a lot of the time. I was frustrated by how people seemed to connect with other people with ease or how they could express themselves so easily. How they could laugh and be happy. How they could see beyond the hazy mirror I’ve been watching the world through.

***

“Fake it till you make it, Brittany,” the doctor folded her hands on the desk, gaze intent as she met my gaze. She was silent, for a moment. I knew she was pulling her thoughts together, piecing together my behaviors and my reactions over the months we had been talking. She leaned back in her chair, smiling, as she said, “You know how you work in a way few others in your situation can admit to. You know your weaknesses.”

My legs uncrossed, falling to the floor as she continued, “You sought out my help to make sense of the things confusing you. You might not care about a lot of things in this world, and you could care less if the people around you up and left, but you like structure. You like control and order.”

This was true.

We had discussed this on many occasions. I’d be fine without people in my life.

I could manage.

I’m not social, by nature, but when I take an interest in another person, I’m there for the ride. It takes a lot of energy to get to know someone, to be around them, to deal with their troubles and their issues, and to force myself to care when, on the inside, I’d rather be somewhere else. Some people have a hard time with simple things, and I can’t understand it. It’s frustrating when they’re constantly updating me about everything in their life. I’m solitary.

I don’t like people. I can get along with them, yes, but it takes so much effort… 

“When you invest in people, you invest your time, and having that time be wasted is something you don’t like,” it was odd how the doctor seemed to know what I was thinking, but she’d spent a great deal of time poking in my head. She knew where I stood and what could possibly be going through my mind. I’m a reflective person. I live in my head. She smiled as she continued, “Fake it. Fake everything, if you have to, because, in time, you’ll understand the things you don’t understand right now. You’ll look back and see that the things you’re struggling with now are easier for you. You’ll learn what you need to move forward, no matter how difficult it is.”

***

I’m a writer. I’m a reader, a student, a thinker. I’m an Omnist Pagan, a Druid-of-Sorts, a begrudging friend, a sister and an aunt and a daughter. I could be other things if I met the right people to be that person for. I’m not sure how things would unfold, but I know that, as I get older, I’m okay being who I am. I’m different. That’s all there is to it. I’m unique, I see the world in my own way, make sense of things through logic and color.

I’m not the best person in the world. I wouldn’t say I’m a good person, by any means, but I’m trying to be. I simply want life to flow steadily, with ease, and I’m making it happen. At my last doctor appointment, my doctor gave me some sleep aids to help me settle at night. After taking them, I’m out in under an hour. When I remember to take them, the world is a lighter, brighter place. He had my meds refilled for PCOS (birth control and Metformin), and, as long as my period keeps coming, my body gets better.

As I lose weight, I’m a tad happier. When I see changes, I’m excited.

Google Images

When it comes down to it, life is a road we’re all on. We’re all on a different part of this journey, each of us undergoing a unique trial. One of my closest friends, who understands me and my quirks (no matter how cruel they can appear to be), is getting married. Out of the left field, she has an 8-year-old daughter. The wedding’s shy of two weeks away and I have to come up with a speech for the reception. This would be the second time I’ve had to do this (the first being my sister’s wedding).

My other best friend’s birthday is tomorrow and he’s having a hard time. He hates how things seem to get harder as we get older. I’m sure he has some issues with depression and his own self-image. He’s been through the wringer and the butcher shop, but he’s working towards getting to where he wants to go in his own way (he’s taking the long, winding road).

Sure, the two of them drive me crazy, but I love them. I think.

I suppose I can say I love them in the only way I can love them. By being here, listening to them when I want to strangle them. I smile politely while I envision myself shoving a bomb down their throats. I had rage issues when I was a kid. Now I play out the same tendencies I had then in my head. It works. And more often than not, the scenes I get make me laugh.

Mortal of the story? Everything happens with a single step.

Just don’t fall off the road while you’re walking.

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