I had a dream.
It wasn't a big dream, especially compared to the dreams I had in my twenties, but it was something that would cause my eyes to lose focus and for my voice to get all breathy when I talked about it, like in a play when the heroine moves to stage-front and the spotlight is on her while she gives a monologue.
I was going to open a café. Everyday, I would go to the market and buy whatever looked best and decide what to make for the day from there. I'd serve different coffee drinks, local wine and beer, some baked goods. Everything would be fresh and local without scary ingredients. The details would occasionally change. I'd serve cold sandwiches wrapped in waxed paper; I'd offer sewing and crafting classes and allow people to use machines and supplies; no, we'd appeal to the local art school and sell graphic novels and comics; instead, let's offer printing services for free and sell zines and chapbooks, accepting donations to keep supplies in stock.
It was all based on what I discovered was my love. In my twenties I liked good food, but wasn't entirely sure what it was. When I got into my thirties, I'd decided that good food was whatever I made out of real, whole ingredients and contrasting or complimenting flavors and textures. Good food nourished your body, and it didn't matter about fat or sugar content, as long as it wasn't processed and chemically treated.
I was passionate about food, and loved feeding my friends. I baked and cooked and made homemade ice cream. I loved having people over for dinner.
Four weeks ago, I was in the hospital. I had an abscess on my groin caused by a cyst (female doctors winced every time they had to deal with it, and I was thankful when the male doctors took over because they were dispassionate about the issue). They had to perform a small surgery which I'm still recovering from to drain the pus (yep - just as disgusting as it sounds), then another area burst and drained, and they had to cut me open some more.
Here's the thing - that wasn't the worst part. Sure, it may sound like the worst. It was definitely the most disgusting.
While I was there, in fact - in the emergency room - I was diagnosed with diabetes.
My love of food had not always been so pure. It had been lustful and gluttonous and dirty. It had included fast food and candy for years.
Also, I'm fat. Like, huge. I'm a big fat whale, but I was starting to like myself. I'd been working on accepting the fat in myself, and as a result had even become political about wanting others to accept my fat. Like many other fativists, I had no noticeable health problems. Since I'd moved to eating better foods, I'd begun feeling healthier and more able to run and jump and play (something that had become limited while on a high fructose corn syrup diet). I was refusing to allow others to make me feel badly about my body, and wasn't content to allow life to pass me by.
But, diabetes... Suddenly, I wasn't healthy. And, at only thirty-four, I was in the hospital because I was sick - not some weird accident or pregnancy or something.
I moved from having a loving and beautiful relationship with food to hating it. I don't have a dream. I count carbs like a Nazi (if Nazis had counted carbs instead of committing atrocities in the name of national pride) and intake less than my dietician recommends because I do not want to have high blood sugar, be on insulin, or even pills. I want to come out the other side and be able to say I turned it around; I'm not a slave to my disease.
But I hate food. I feel betrayed and guilty and like I deserve this. I do deserve this, because you can't expect a couple of years to make up for a lifetime of poor behavior.
I'm losing weight, and I have a ton more to lose. I've lost weight, and I'm still morbidly obese - which can be so depressing. Morbidly. The word says it all.
And through it all, I still don't want life to pass me by. I still don't want anyone to feel like they have the right to judge or look down upon me because of how I look. I don't want to wait until I'm better to be pretty or do things or be interesting.
I'm looking. For my present and my future. I'm looking for a new passion. I'm looking to rekindle my old passion in a new way. I'm just looking.
My name is Trudy. I have Type 2 diabetes. I am morbidly obese. These are facts.
I like to sew and craft and decorate my apartment. I like makeup, clothes, talking to friends until 5 am, and adventures. I love laughing and making other people laugh. I love telling stories. These are also facts.
I'm looking. I'm living. Now, I'm blogging.