Just like almost everyone, I decided to try and get in shape recently. I actually settled on this before Christmas, when I was skiing and reminded myself of how great it feels to move like that. I get so much ‘bad’ adrenaline from being so anxious, I’d forgotten there’s the good kind too.
I love pushing my body hard. Perhaps it is just another form of self-harm, but I get a lot of satisfaction from inflicting a punishing workout on myself. It makes me feel alive. Working so hard I feel like my chest will explode gives me a sense of my own power. I get this invincible feeling when I’m out on a long run or ride, splattered with mud, breathing fresh air and taking in the scenery.
I stopped working out almost a year ago now. When I had my breakdown, I wasn’t eating and I couldn’t be bothered with anything. I went for an occasional swim, but spent most of the time holding my breath at the bottom of the pool. I must have looked strange.
Anyway, I used to run, do some weights, cycle and swim. My daily yoga practice was part of my ritual. A few weeks ago I thought, I’d like to get that back. But I already feel like I don’t have the motivation. It’s like I don’t want to commit to getting fit again, because that would be committing to my future. That is way too big.
It’s the same reason I won’t quit smoking, even though it’s a disgusting, expensive habit. I’m not ready to say that I want life. My therapist says there must be a part of me that wants to recover, or I wouldn’t go to my sessions with her. And I suppose there is. That part that keeps me alive on a day-to-day basis. It eats and sleeps and has a shower in the mornings. It goes to work, goes through the motions of being alive. That part needs to see her to stave off the suffocating loneliness.
I do want to get through this moment, this hour, this day. I know that I have a chance. But the idea that there is even a remote possibility I will always be this messed up makes thinking of future weeks, months or years feel crippling.
I know I will most likely regret a lot of the choices I’m making right now. I’ll probably fall out of love with my tattoos. I might get lung cancer and hate myself for ever lighting a cigarette. But I simply can’t fathom that time just yet.