I can't exactly put my finger on the moment or even the year that it began, but as I piled the pounds onto my frame, a fear of falling appeared. Maybe not so much the fear of falling but the fear of seriously injuring myself or someone else if I did fall at that weight, from any height. If you'd known me for years, you'd be shocked. As a kid I loved hiking, climbing, anything associated with heights....loved gymnastics. For the past decade, though, I've been afraid to stand on a step stool.
Immediately after my first daughter was born, I was at my heaviest weight ever....397lbs. I remember laying a blanket on the carpet so she could coo and kick at the ceiling fan. And, then, I remember never allowing myself to walk into the room. At the doorway, I would literally get on all fours and crawl to her to avoid, at all costs, tripping and falling on top of her. For the ceiling fans that I can't reach with my vacuum extender, I beg the hubby to climb onto a chair to dust them. Ladders? No. Public staircases? Only while gripping the rail, to avoid squishing unsuspecting strangers below me like a bug.
Even bigger than my fear of falling while standing or perching is this giant fear of falling while....sitting. Confession: I do the chair shake test before I sit in any chair anywhere. You know, where you grip the back of the chair and wiggle it to see how sturdy it is? Every single chair, desk, bench. Every one. Because, no chair can possibly hold me...it's just a matter of time before one leg begs for mercy then surrenders, sending me careening to the floor below, bruised hind end parts and bruised ego. So, to estimate how long a chair could possibly hold me, I'd do a quick shake test. I can't imagine what people must have thought....but I'd rather have them see me wiggle a chair than break the darn thing with my lovely lady lumps.
Last night I caught myself....I caught myself NOT WIGGLING. In the art studio, there are "drawing horses"---thin wooden benches that you straddle with your drawing board in front of you. They are old. Ancient. And, they are moved constantly....we all know the dangers here....CRASH BOOM OUCH! Last night, I pulled one from the stack, eyeballed a good place to view the model platform, put it down......and sat! LIKE A NORMAL HUMAN BEING! No wiggle. No gauging it's max capacity. I. just. sat......like it was no big deal!
This, lovelies, is a major deal for me. It means that whether or not I see my weight loss in every picture.....something inside of me gets it! My completely irrational fear of falling has dwindled.....camping chairs? yes, please. plastic lawn furniture? sure! Home made benches? ok!
....maybe later, I'll grab a chair and dust the fan in my toddler's room. (the one that I've just left on because I can't reach it and the hubby keeps forgetting to dust it) Maybe.