Since my thyroid radiation in July, I’ve been struggling with still feeling like general crap. Fatigue and brain fog have been intermittently worse. A pretty leisurely two-mile walk with Rango and the boys recently wiped me out for two days. My bloodwork shows wildly-swinging levels of thyroid hormones, indicating that the regrown tissue is indeed dying off, though it may be months before it normalizes.
With that has also come more weight regain and self-recrimination and outright self-loathing.
I have tried to get back into the gym even semi-regularly. It’s hard enough to juggle work and school and kids successfully, and trying to find even six hours a week for myself in that is sometimes unmanageable. Of course I know the exercise will actually help me to feel better, but the fatigue that comes with hypothyroidism can be unimaginably oppressive.
Recently I started a series of virtual races through Yes.Fit. Of course I chose the Alice in Wonderland themed races. After I complete so many miles, as tracked by my Misfit activity tracker, my medal is sent to me automatically. As of today, I’ve completed three of the six Alice races, totaling more than 60 miles.
As it does every day, Facebook was kind enough to remind me this morning of memories from this day in previous years. I find it interesting to see how life has changed over the last few years, but I tend to face those reminders with some trepidation. I love the pictures and funny quotes from my boys from their younger days. Sometimes the memories are useless or now meaningless, or sometimes even too painful, and I’ll delete them. Sometimes I leave the painful ones, knowing those ghosts will haunt me again next year, because I’m either not ready to deal with them or I know they’re so important that I will need the reminders again.
But today, there were two things, from 2010 and 2011. Not surprising, there were pictures from a 2010 concert, of a band I loved then and love now. It was the second in a series of shows that were seminal for the changes that would come over the following two years. A year later, it was the memory that was down 99 of the 115 pounds in total weight loss. Yet another year later, I’d just separated from my now-ex-husband.
All of that has fueled my writing since 2010, which began with the realization that I’d lost my muchness--just like Alice in Wonderland.
I have said repeatedly over the last year that, for a variety of reasons, I felt like I was back in 2010 and didn’t know why I was reliving such similar circumstances. Regardless of the logistical changes and strides I know I have made, I have replayed the past in tandem with the present and come up with only confusion and emotional failure. I have continually grappled with figuring out which choice I didn’t make or should’ve made differently. I’ve tried to re-learn whatever lesson I obviously needed to repeat.
But somehow, I keep sliding farther and farther into the past. Where 2010 may have felt like a rabbit hole, 2016 is feeling more and more like the other side of a looking glass. Where then felt new and exciting and rebellious, now feels reflective and reversed and exhausting.
What is it? What did I miss? What do I need now that can only be retrieved from then?
It just so happens that Alice Through the Looking Glass comes out on DVD this week. Of course I saw it in the theater when it opened--how could I not?--but I really didn’t love it as much as I did the first one. It was beautiful, and I looked for the clues to my missing lessons, but the torment of Time was unsettling to me. I could willingly believe in a lost young woman traveling to surreal place and conquering her fears, but it was almost impossible for me to suspend my disbelief as the same woman mended old wounds.
But maybe that’s it. Maybe my path has been a big circle, and maybe the obstacle is an unturned stone.
Certainly I can pinpoint errors and mistakes and regrettable decisions, but I feel like I have done everything in my power to apologize and make amends for those actions. I would say I have done my best to move on, but I damn well know there are frozen moments that continue to haunt me.
I don’t know what it is, but there is something. It is maddening, appearing and disappearing, always just out of my reach.
So I’m starting back at the beginning, at Alice. I am literally retracing my steps, one foot in front of the other, until I can find a way to the next landmark on this destination. I don’t want to believe that I am personally destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over, that there is literally no way to avoid spiritual repetition. I’ve already seen the White Rabbit, I just passed the Cheshire Cat and am making my way toward the Mad Hatter. There is still the Caterpillar and the Queen of Hearts.
After that, I’m seriously considering the Pac-Man races, where I get to eat a series of brightly-colored ghosts.