(Originally posted on my ‘family’ blog, 07.22.13)
A “fluffier” me, taken by Husband. July 19, 2013
I am a little fluffy these days.
Okay. So, I stepped on the scale, and cringed at the numbers. Fluffy? Is a bit of an understatement.
Lupus is and will always be difficult. Even now, more energized and up to par, the side effect of one of my medications is obvious: weight gain.
Last July? I was a feather, with all of the right curves, and just enough confidence.
This July? I am a boulder, with curves going out instead of in, and I want to take hostages every time I don’t fit into a pair of pants, (which is a lot).
Despite the good intentions of family and friends saying, “You look beautiful!” or “You don’t look heavy!” I know the truth. I am a fatty. I am the chubby girl. I am a bubble-butt, with arms so floppy, I might take flight.
But I am healthy.
Nearly a year has gone by since my stint in the hospital. I have been on enough meds to make me feel like a human pharmaceutical; for several weeks, I walked with a cane; days were spent on the sofa, watching dishes and laundry pile up, (enough so that I wondered if we should fill out an applications for Hoarders); I quit my job, and I cried. A lot.
It was obvious that my lupus flare was not only a physical battle, but an emotional one, too.
“I’m just so tired. I don’t think I can keep doing this!” I often whined to Husband, who always responded with the same ease and gentleness, “We’re almost there, baby-girl, just hold on a little longer. I promise we’re almost there.”
So, I held on a little longer.
We have finally reached the door to There.
When I see my chub in photos, when I notice the roundness of my face in the mirror, when I put on clothes that are too tight (and once were loose!), I admit it is not easy to remember how far I have come. It is not easy to feel pretty or wanted, because this is not the body I am used to.
A few weeks ago, while visiting my family, Husband and I decided to stay overnight. The next morning, everyone wanted to see a movie. “I didn’t bring a change of clothes,” I said.
“Just borrow some of Holly’s,” my brother suggested, (referring to my sister-in-law).
“Yes, because they will fit so well!” I replied, wondering why my brother would propose I borrow clothes from a woman who would drown in my pant leg. A few minutes later, I hid in the laundry room and (like a big sissy) cried.
Husband found me, and wrapping me up in his arms, asked, “Baby-girl, what’s wrong? Talk to me.”
“I’m sorry I’m so shallow…” I managed, before blubbering about blub.
“Oh, silly girl!” he wiped at my tears, even tugged my hair, “I think you’re beautiful! Do you know that? You are beautiful to me.”
“I don’t feel beautiful.”
He held me out at arm’s length, and continued, “Look how far we’ve come, Mckenzie. We’ve come a long, long way! Be good to yourself.”
I realize this lesson applies to more people than just me.
Be good to yourself.
It is incredibly easy to forget how far one has come – what inner-demons we’ve all faced and conquered, because even when those troubles are put behind, there will always be more waiting. So, when I feel the critic begin to whisper in my ear, I do my best to remember Husband’s advice, which happens to be the same advice I give to you: Hold on, just a little longer, because you’re almost there. And when you do get there? Be good to yourself.