It does occur to me occasionally that I am doing one of two things.
I am either destroying my body utterly and completely, or I am making myself much, much stronger. Eventually, the poison either kills you, or you come to the brink and learn that not only will you survive it, you will thrive with it. And nothing after that can ever quite cause you pain in the same way.
I feel strong. Yet the sleepless nights, the increasing pain, and the bleeding is not an easy thing to live with.
I know one thing with absolute certainty. I am not the person I was not long ago, and I will never be that person again. I am neither happy, nor sad, nor anything concrete. I am what I am at that particular moment, and that moment only. I may love, or I may not. I have denied myself so many choices.
I am here, I am gone, and then I may be back again. Deprivation adds perspective to ones world-view that cannot be obtained by any other means. This is my life now, I work extremely hard, sleep little, eat little, and live in small, bite sized increments that are easily digested, and should they be sour, pass through quickly, and are discarded. I am scared. Really and truly. Not like before, which really was a loud cry for attention.
I always fought well. Even when I lost. There is not a time I can recall that I did not gamely embrace a physical challenge, regardless of the opponents size and skill. I could take a hit man. Many hits. It took much longer to discover that I could also dish it out. But I can, even now.
I have nothing to be sad about. I am what I had been trying to be unsuccessfully for most of my life.
I have felt pride in things I had accomplished in my life. Things won, accolades earned, but I have never really and truly been able to stare back at my reflection and be proud of myself. This is so hard, and I am alone, and most days I ache in several places. I don’t stop, not for a moment. Only a short morning of sleep separates me from the next day full of things that need doing. This is my life now, I will never have my sons the way I once did. My marriage is completely and utterly finished. My future is my own to make. These things I knew, but never with such concrete certainty.
I am proud of who I became. I am happy to feel that way. One day, perhaps I will make someone else very happy as well. It is nice to think that and know that it is not necessary, because I’m just fine where I am.
But should anyone feel the need, go ahead, hit me.
You aint got nothin.