Today, I’m frustrated beyond belief by my limitations. I feel like I just can’t do anything.
As a kid, I wasn’t just told I could do anything I wanted, I was expected to do everything. It wasn’t an empowering sort of thing–it was dysfunctional, though I probably couldn’t have named it as such then. I don’t think that it ever occurred to me that I could refuse to do everything. I look back at high school and don’t know how I did it. I was doing an MFA-level creative writing program at the #4 high school in the country, I was the leader of the church youth group, I volunteered every week at a Teen Court program, I volunteered at a science museum, I volunteered with Special Olympics, I taught creative writing to a second-grade class, I babysat, and I worked three nights a week at a fast food restaurant. I honestly don’t know when I slept.
Now, I feel like I can’t do anything, and it makes me feel worthless. I bought my family’s approval–what I thought then was love–by always trying to be good enough. It was never good enough, of course, no matter how much I did. Now that I can’t do most things, I feel like I’m even less worthy of approval or love.
And it frustrates me because I know I’m capable of much more than my body lets me do. I got an email earlier this week from a major political campaign, inviting me to apply for a field organizer position. I wanted SO BADLY to send them my resume, and I’m pretty sure I would’ve gotten the job. I would’ve been awesome at that job, and I would’ve loved it. Plus, they would’ve actually paid me! Maybe I’m still an idealistic teenager, but I think it’s pretty fucking awesome to get paid to do something you love.
But my body can’t handle it. Just walking four blocks today was painful. There are days I can’t be more than a few yards from the bathroom because I can’t tell if I’m going to fart or crap my pants. Some days I can’t function without narcotic painkillers, but they made me so stupid I can’t accomplish much. Some days, I don’t have the energy or the blood pressure to stand up long enough to boil pasta. I would kick ass at a field organizer position, but I no longer have the stamina to kick ass.
And that pisses me off.