Can I say that I’ve ever been healthy? I didn’t drink much in high school. I didn’t smoke or chew tobacco either, until the end of my senior year.
I grew up with a step mother, who was educated thoroughly and personally invested heavily in health and wellness. I listened to her at times.
But, in reality, I ate shit. I worked out horribly. I was obsessed with losing weight and “looking good.” So even in the 2 year period that is now decades ago, when I was in the best shape I’ve ever been, I was literally starving myself and compulsively exercising, not healthy.
Last year I followed up 3 months of the healthiest I’ve been in over a decade with the worst reaction ever, to the freak infection in my surgically repaired ankle. I got out of the hospital and just didn’t care for a year. When I did care, it would be out of depression and just trying to grasp on to the fading life I could trick myself into believing I had.
This lead to, possibly, the least healthy year I’ve had in my life. And this lead to where I am now; two days into not smoking, not drinking, and following Whole 30’s strict dietary rules to start off 2016.
First off, fuck resolutions. They never work, just like diets. I want to do this month to a) prove to myself that I can, b) prove to those around me that I can, and most importantly c) quit fucking smoking.
Smoking will kill me and lately I’ve come to the realization that it already is. In December I would wake up coughing twice a night and every morning. Sometimes I’d cough so hard that I’d almost pass out. One time I did, luckily I was with work friends, annihilated, at our unofficial end of the year party and I came right to. Another time, I coughed so hard I got a bloody nose.
Instead of terror, and a realization that I need to change, now, I started to feel the familiar pull towards “fuck it.” The pull towards the feeling that this isn’t going to get better, and there’s not anything I could actually do to change it.
For the first time in a while, I see a future that I want to experience. I realize that I have a lot to experience. I realize that I may not be able to handle moderation. I have to do this drastic approach to see if I can slowly inch back in some of my “bad” habits, and not all of them as soon as this month is over.
I am literally shocked how much better I feel 2 days into this. My lungs are basically thanking me like they just won a championship and me not smoking is their higher power. My head hurts less and less, and while I am still “expelling the demons,” I don’t feel like I’m going to shit my pants every 20 minutes.
I have an urge to get exercise, as opposed to an urge to sleep all day. I have a positive outlook. One where I look at my particular MS and realize that I probably have a great shot at not getting worse. I understand that people won’t totally get the times i feel horrible, and I understand how horrible it feels to be called lazy when you can’t control it. But, I also know that I use this as an excuse a lot. And that I could do more and want to.
I look at the person who triggered most of this, and instead of hoping something works out with me and them, I realize that just that being a possibility is what’s exciting.
An in shape, financially responsible and mostly sober Matt Walker, is a person that is highly date-able. I’ve looked at most of the people I dated more than just semi-seriously as a “last chance.” Right now, the possibilities are endless in my head. I still don’t totally know what I want in life, but for the first time in a long time, being alone isn’t terrifying.
I know that a lot of my thoughts and genuine feelings are, a lot of time, genuinely fleeting. I know that I cycle, hence the last time I wrote in October. I know that MS cycles too. I know that I have a long, long road.
But, it’s just different. In 2014, when this blog started, it was mostly because I just went through hell with my long time ex, and then dated an incredible girl, that didn’t work out. I felt like shit about myself, and wanted to make myself the type of person who could work with this girl, and who could move on from my ex. I wanted to do it to show myself, but really to show her, that I was awesome, that I was desirable.
That’s just not the case right now. I want to show my friends and family who I am. I want to look in the mirror and not think about how good I look or about how “fuckable” I am. I want to look deep into myself and figure out exactly who I am. The big realization is that if I’m constantly being someone I’m not proud of, and mixing that in with exuberance from my periods or drive and accomplishments, I never will find who I actually am.
I’m not scared. I’m not anxious I know this all may change, and I know that it’s shortsighted to act like this didn’t start because of a girl, just like last time. But, it’s different. Instead of doing it to be with that person, I truly understand that I get chances to date great people right now even. What will happen when I’m the me I should be?
That’s a huge change from 2014, and a huge change from even a few weeks ago.
Let’s climb some more mountains.