Tuesday, April 07, 2009


This is not my foot.

It's not my foot because the labeled fourth metatarsal of my foot has a stress fracture, known as a march fracture. I've been walking around on it for a while -- which is why it's called a march fracture to begin with -- thinking I'd done something to my little toe again until I noticed how swollen my foot was and started poking around to see where the tenderness is. A consult with the `net and my father has confirmed what I can't quite bring myself to pay someone else to confirm only to be told what my father told me: wear a stiff-soled shoe and stay off the foot.

I can, however, wear the stiff-soled shoe and I've taken the week off from dog walking, which is a lurching, pausing, pulling six or seven miles a day.

My manuscript is open in another window, as well as a new document to begin outlining it in order to see where I can impose more of the story line. I just walked Daisy and my foot's throbbing a little. I have better sympathy than usual for my former AFG cohorts who have knee problems. I'm not used to picking and choosing what walks I can take and regretting running into a good friend on the way back from Key Food because we lingered and talked.

Right now I'm avoiding that outline. I think Angry Fat Girls is a more important book than Passing for Thin. It's reality whereas PFT is true for so few women. But it's been a painful book to write and isn't my foot enough pain???

Well, no. If, in fact, I pay someone to diagnose and possibly treat this, I'd better keep working through the soul-pain since I'm not making any money off the foot-pain.

It's one of those times that I feel like I did at my highest weight and was so debilitated. It makes me feel like I weigh 340 pounds. Weirdly, I had more of a social life then. I fought the pain my back, legs, feet were in. But I also fought the physical pain with food and fought for a social life with food as well. I'd come home from seeing people feeling inadequate -- inadequate because I so disliked myself and inadequate because I couldn't taste the food we may have eaten together and certainly didn't get, for me, adequate amounts. I'd stop by the all-night deli and have my real meal at home in bed. In some ways, eating after socializing was also prolonging the pleasure on the literal gut level.

Maybe it's not so weird that I've become skittish about leaving home and mixing with the world in the last few years. I've been in the food most of that time but I've lost my innocence about what I do with it as well. I haven't learned enough about being a myself in public to be relaxed about it.

Emphasis on "being" because I act like myself but am not, quite, myself in most settings.

When I was a young poet, Dick Hugo asked how it was that I wrote such precocious poems. I told him that "I" didn't. I had a sort of role I slipped into that got me past my tongue-tied-ness; I acted up a storm of confidence in putting pen to paper.

It's an apt description of me in social situations as well.

How much does it have to do with weight? Everything and nothing. Obesity debilitates some of my confidence and a lot of my genuineness because I have to act harder to get beyond the place of crumpling outsiderness and self-flagellation that being around people stirs up.

I'm not sure why I'm writing this or where I'm going with it. Bea responded to my last post about using fat to absorb the slings and arrows and I immediately thought, "I use food, not fat, to do that." There is an Easter brunch my closest friends are hosting and my hostess called last night to discuss what she was serving that I can eat and what she could make for me instead. I told her I'd bring stewed fruit and a salad, things I can eat. I don't think I resent making the offer or having the conversation or being the imposition...but I'm aware that this is the first party I've gone to since getting clean and I'm going to have to act graciously, consciously, soberly -- and possibly even funnily and interestingly.

I'm exhausted already. I wonder if my plaid dress fits and if I have hard-soled shoes to go with?

I think this abstinence is going to include chucking some stuff out. I can feel the radiation of blame from my friend over the situation that arose last week and I have a certain proactive response to it that refuses either to be her target, if it comes to that, or to have the self-pity fest I've held at other ruptures in our acquaintance. On my side of the street, I've tried hard to be a good friend. Period. What I did in my efforts doesn't matter because they're score keeping. I'm sticking with "I've tried hard to be a good friend". If sniveling is required to be forgiven, then chuck it.

Holy Week.

What an ironic time to be working toward finishing my Third Step and outlining my book.


Gallis said...

LOL! Who says Jesus has a monopoly on resurrection anyway?

Cindy said...

Sorry about the foot. I hurt mine wearing too high of a heel over the weekend and I am wearing my trusty sturdy shoes now to recover. Happy step three, and I am so glad you post more often now. I want to work the steps on my food now. I am working on the first half of one. I still have the illusion of control sometimes when it comes to food. Hope your week off from dog walking does not hurt you too much in the pocketbook and maybe you can enjoy a little time off.

Laura N said...

I hope the shoes & rest are helping your foot.

I can't wait to read AFG. Positive vibes & prayers sent your way for the work still to do.

You've got such a rich, introspective mind. I think most people don't even realize when they aren't truly themselves in certain social situations. I recognize myself in your descriptions of slipping into a role, but I have never been able to articlate it like you have.

I'm glad you post more often, too. I hope you get as much out of it as you are giving to us.

Best wishes with Easter dinner. May you find renewal this weekend. Such a beautiful time to feel reborn.

Bea said...

Do you think displaying a false self is the norm for most people? Sort of like putting your best foot forward. (No pun intended there about your poor foot.) I think about this a lot.

Maybe wanting to be able to be completely "myself" in all situations is selfish. Maybe a social self is just plain old courtesy. Like not airing your dirty linen in public. I struggle with this as my social self is cultured and calm and my private self is chaotic and crying.

I hate being vulnerable. Hence my fat padding and smiling social facade. If I give up the fat does the facade have to go too? Scary. Obviously I have boundary problems. Is my social self a polite addition to civilized living or is it a cowardly cover? I sure hope you get a bunch of comments about this because I would like to know how others cope with this dilema. Great post. Happy Easter.