I’m writing this from my perch of alternating ice and heat. The thing about a sore/non-functioning joint is that when it ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. A sore joint will do everything it can to not hurt, usually at the expense of other body parts.
It’s merely compensating for what it can’t do. And man-oh-man, do I know a thing or two about compensating.
What a thick, complicated, multi-faceted word: compensate. Compensation can cause harm and it can mean to make amends. It can be birthed from guilt or true compassion. Sometimes it’s subconscious, other times not.
Our bodies do it without our knowing. We do it without knowing.
Compensation is, literally, a pain in the ass. My left knee is compensating for its inability to function correctly by asking – or rather forcing – surrounding joints, namely my hip, to pick up its slack. This is causing a painful fight in my sacrum, to the point where I’m welcoming surgery in 12 days. Yes, welcoming. I just want relief from compensation.
Compensation is a pain in the ass figuratively because it’s what I’ve done throughout my life. All the times I made up to my kids for the things I didn’t/couldn’t do – obese or otherwise; all the times I made excuses to and faked feelings for people I didn’t really like or who treated me badly because I didn’t know how to live without them; all the times I accepted that which was not acceptable – from lousy service, sex or food to weighing 300 pounds…I’ve done a lot of compensating. Too much.
But what I realize is that since losing weight this way and this last time, I don’t compensate like I used to. I don’t accept as readily those things that don’t feel right. I don’t make up for or feel I need to offset those things that I don’t believe are my “fault.” On the flip side, I more readily compensate for the things I’m willing to own, mostly because I know or am at least more comfortable with owning what is mine to compensate for.
I wanted relief five years ago because I was tired of compensating. I still am. The surgery I’ll have in 12 days is in a way making up for the abuse I heaped on my knees when I was obese. I owe them. But I’m in a physically better place to rehab and not cause further injury. If I was 300 pounds and having this surgery, I’d be more afraid than I am right now (and trust me, I’m pretty scared). I’d be compensating and making all kinds of excuses, if I had the surgery at all.
Deep breath. I can do this. I can pay back and not accept, all at the same time. I can make friends with compensation and let it do its good work. My butt, at least, will certainly thank me!
In between writing this and making dinner, I heard this song on the radio. I loved this song when I was in high school. “Turn me loose, turn me loose, turn me loose…I gotta do it my way, or no way at all.” Fast forward 28 years and I finally am doing it my way.
Although I prefer this video from 1982, but it won’t let me embed. Check out the headbands and tight red pants! Loved the early 1980s....