Yesterday marked three months. Thirteen weeks, if you’re counting that way. But three months, from Jan. 21 to April 21.
I am healed. From cracked open and splayed all about to wired shut and ready to go. In 13 weeks.
Amazing, isn’t it?
When you’re down, physically, sometimes it’s impossible to imagine being up again. You know you’ll get there, eventually. You know it, rationally.
But when you’re down, physically, when things hurt that never hurt before, when you can’t sleep, you can’t do the things that you love, you’re taking pills left and right and nothing is just … quite … right … the doubts creep in. I remember thinking, back in late January and early February, “Is this the new normal? Am I ever going to feel good again?”
Even now, as I’m supposedly fully healed, I wonder: Am I really? Because, after being on the shelf for three months — 13 weeks, whatever — things have changed. I am weaker. I am older. Can I get back to where I was? Do I want to go through the pain to get there?
Heck, why don’t I just chalk this up to getting older and live with it?
But no. That’s not how this works. I hope that’s never how this will work.
I’m cleared now to resume things that I want to do. Lift more than five pounds, for example. Go golfing with my brothers. Increase my workouts. Twist my upper body, even.
After three months off, I’m not going to try to bench press my weight (which, by the way, is back to normal). I’m not trying to smash a 250-yard drive. (Mainly because I never could smash a 250-yard drive. And I haven’t benched my weight — haven’t tried — in years.)
But I am going to try to get back to where I was, health-wise. I’m going to hit a bucket of balls or three this weekend and play golf with my brothers in mid-May. I’m going to go buy a new basketball and get my body used to the pounding on the court, with the idea of getting back to pickup after I get back from golf.
If things hurt, I’ll back off a little and try again. If things hurt a lot, I’ll back off even more. And try again.
But when you’ve gone through what I’ve gone through — what my whole family has — and come this far, there’s no sense in stopping now.
I’m healed, they tell me. I’m about to find out how healed.
Life outside my birdcage is, for the most part, back to normalish already. Luke is a month away from graduating. Mary Jo is working, still, every day from her office. I’ve been back full-time freelancing for probably eight or nine weeks. Things are a little disturbingly slow, freelance-wise, which has prompted me to ramp up the full-time job search. (I just got an email from the NFL turning me down for a gig. That was fun.) But that’s freelancing.
The next big change in this year of change comes in a couple months when Luke moves into the dorms at Georgia Tech. Then it’s Mary Jo and me and Brodie in a new chapter. We are all at once looking forward to that and quietly bummed about the boy moving out. It’s great for him. Yeah, yeah. But, again, we kinda like having him around.
So, we will go on. If not stronger than before, hopefully just as strong. And healed. It’s all good.