Tomorrow I'm supposed to have my fifth session with my pilates coach who's also a physical therapist. Have I mentioned how expensive these sessions are? They are so ridiculously expensive.
But in less than a month, my god. MY GOD.
I can't really describe all the billion little things that are different, the tiny minute changes. But I will say: I remember this. I was like this about two years ago. I remember the habits that go with this level of disability, the pace, the outlook on life. It's so odd to be here again, to go back
instead of progressively getting worse.
I'm trying not to push myself, to be careful, to not pile on too much at once. I don't know whether this progress will stop after the next sessions, or after the one a month from now. I don't know if any of this progress will keep
, if without my expensive personal trainer I'll be able to maintain this level of functionality. (I mean, I'll obviously keep doing various forms of exercise she recommends, but without someone tailoring workouts for me, who knows. I've learned not to trust improvement.)
In less than a month she's already taught my body to do so many things I didn't think it was capable of anymore.
There is honestly no limit to the amount of time and energy I'm willing to invest in becoming functional again. When my back problems started, I changed my living situation, my daily routine, I incorporated an hour of exercise daily, each evening, at least 6 times a week. If I had a penny for every person who's since met me, heard about my health problems and recommended I start working out to make it better. With each of them I've wanted to go "friend, how much money do you wanna bet that I spend more time exercising than you do?"
So, after all those years of progressively getting worse instead of better, despite many trips to insurance-sponsored physical therapists, you have to understand how bizarre and suspicious this feels.
A friend recently told me over sushi "whatever happens in the future, this has changed your life now
. Objectively, it has. So make the most of it, enjoy it, however long it lasts." I'm trying to, I guess. I just have to keep telling myself not to get attached to this level of functionality, because getting attached and losing it again would be... let's not even go there.
Since I've moved like 9 times in the five years, I've kept my physical possessions to a bare minimum (I don't own any furniture except for my bed, for example, and no kitchen appliances except the kettle I got as a gift recently), which has been particularly painful when it comes to books. I've learned to be very selective about which books I get in a physical format.
However, I've also learned that there's one category of books that I HAVE to have in physical format if I'm going to have them at all, because I can't read them in any other form: poetry books. I have zero regrets or uncertainties about the small number of poetry books I own (unlike most other books which I'm sometimes torn about keeping).
Which is all a way of saying: Warsan Shire's first collection of poems, Teaching My Mother to Give Birth
is only 6$ on Book Depository (with shipping, to anywhere in the world!) and I have zero regrets about purchasing it.
I can't recommend Shire enough for anyone who likes modern poetry. If I were to write an Authority-style comic about poets with supernatural powers, she'd be The Spirit Of the 21st Century. She started so young, and her poetry resonated so much online and was initially rejected by publishers. In a way, more than any other modern poets I know (including spoken word poets) she reinvented the form and made poetry a Thing again for an entire generation. As evidenced by the work she's done for Beyonce's "Lemonade", I guess.
Anyway, probably her best known poem online is For Women Who Are Difficult to Love
, but I think my current favorite is a different one, under the cut. What They Did Yesterday Afternoon
by Warsan Shire( poem )