Well, that’s a wrap, people! I went through with the surgery and made it home safe and sound.
Funny thing was, thanks to a really good doctor and the miracle of modern medicine, the biggest post-op hurtle for me was not internal.
(Oh, trigger warning for anyone who would gladly trade a body part for a little peace and quiet and just can’t with me right now. I get it- we have that in common sometimes. Still, you may want to look away.)
The most challenging thing about the past two weeks has been to do nothing.
Believe me, no one was more excited than I was, at the prospect of endless Netflix and guilt free napping. In fact, when I was making the decision to go forward with a hysterectomy, I had to check in with myself several times to make sure it wasn’t just because I wanted a vacation.
It took all of four days for the fun of that life to wear off, which is when boredom, and boredom’s BFF, anxiety, came a knockin’.
Doing nothing was surprisingly un-fun, and not because I have such a kick-ass work ethic or anything. (Obvs.) Actually, I couldn’t put my finger on what it was that made taking a break in order to heal so hard.
I thought maybe it was Facebook.
You know, seeing all those people out in the world with all their goings on, maybe that’s what was getting me down. So I made what was, for me, a giant leap, and took the app off my phone. At the risk of being flagged by Zuckerberg’s flying monkeys or whatever, let me just say that, while this turned out not to be the answer to my acute post-op discomfort, it did end up being the single best decision I’ve made in months. (And you know how I feel about Facebook.) It has been nothing short of life changing, but I digress.
One thing that happened was, by cutting way back on Facebook, I had one less place to hide. Same with my daily list of things to do, without it I felt exposed and just, well, uncomfortable.
No, too general. Ok, I felt anxious.
Nope, go deeper. Ok, the truth is that without the wall of distractions I have carefully built, brick by brick, I felt guilty.
It seems weird, but the feeling that I do not think I am good enough unless I am constantly doing shit (driving, teaching, cleaning, trying, working, writing, talking), was so rock solid, and I would bet my last Percocet I am not the only woman who feels this way.
I can’t just be here– Mama’s gotta earn it.
One of the perks of having a hole drilled in your belly button and an organ pulled out is that you can’t get up and run away from the realizations that find you while flat on your back in bed.
Not that I didn’t try.
First, I did some serious online shopping. Pro-tip: If you ever have surgery or an injury or anything else that requires a lengthy convalescence, do yourself a favor and disable Amazon on-click ordering. The irony that, to escape feelings of existential guilt, I would turn to plastic mason jar lids, new underwear, black toothpaste, scented candles, and a spiralizer, thereby plunging me into still more guilt of the money-blowing variety, is not lost on me.
When that got old, I resorted to my go-to remedy for guilt and self-loathing, which is, as you may know, planning!
I planned the shit out of my future life. I planned meals and trips for the family. I planned activities for the kids and wrote out an entire home yoga practice which actually makes me want to laugh, it is such a pipe dream. I signed some online petitions and planned how I might take action on causes like gun-control and immigration.
Hey, that’s a good question, isn’t it?
There I was with all that time, and a deep craving to fill it, so why didn’t I do something worthwhile? Why didn’t I research the issues I say I care about so that my knowledge goes deeper than a BuzzFeed article?
Why didn’t I write, since I’m always wishing for more time alone to do just that?
Because that’s the joke, y’all. Being “crazy busy”makes it impossible to do deep work. And even though I’m just learning, my suspicion is that it’s no friend to deep love, either.
You know how every yoga class ends with Savasana, or corpse pose?
I always hear teachers saying this is the most important of all the asanas, and also the most challenging. “Yeah, right,” I snort, positioning my little lavender eye pillow and settling back for my version of the pose, where I ponder the perfect shag haircut and consider what I’ll have for lunch.
It turns out that the reason Savasana is easy for me is that I’ve never really done it.
For some of us, being still is hard-won.
For some of us, believing we have the right to be still, to take up space while doing absolutely nothing, is the true work of healing.