[The Story] John’s Muscle Degradation

I was sitting in my writing chair some hours ago when I began shrinking into myself. Every muscle seemed to reach fatigue simultaneously. I was scared, but calm. My mind went to “The Story.” Although I wrote about method writing with this specific physicality recently, having felt John’s perspective with much more force than even last time, I feel like it warrants retreading, perhaps because this is my lowest point I want to be traversing.

Spoilers?: Minor [an early section]

As I wrote about last time, this scene takes place early after “The Scene.”

“The Scene” is the section where John, having been friends with Trishna over the Internet for years by that point, finds himself in a situation where he needs her family to pick him up. They do. When they retrieve him, they find a weakened, fragile, and otherwise broken… child. He is severely underweight, malnourished, and barely able to do anything.

See why this is a dangerous territory to continue being in?

I’ve known about this section and how he will eventually recover through resting and eating, and I never wanted to find myself in this situation, but here I am. After two months of constant pain, where I couldn’t even find the energy to cook for myself, my body began to be in that same position! By the time this essay publishes, I should be on my way back to my former physicality.

I can’t eat much without feeling nauseous, but I do feel myself recovering.

Even though before I could imagine all of this, I no longer need to imagine with quite the degree of plausibility based on general understandings of life. I can, instead, recall back to needing to hold my body upright as I sat in the doctor’s office, exhausted after telling them details about my situation. I’ve lost 20 pounds over the past two months. I would normally say burned off, but this wasn’t burned off through physical fitness and exercise.

This was my body eating itself but not being able to tell me to support itself.

I haven’t felt hungry at all over the past two months. I almost wonder if my body was considering the act of eating, which mostly was painful because standing was becoming painful for me, to be painful enough to start to ignore? I will hopefully be on the mend soon, between an extended leave and Hydrocodone to relieve my body’s strains. I am exhausted, even now, though.

I imagine John’s recovery will be much easier than mine.

For him, he had survived all throughout his high school years on a diet of undernourishment, so once he arrives at Trishna’s family residence, they treat him with a respect he never had growing up, and begins learning how to take care of himself. He has, for instance, regular access to food. I’m not sure how much of that recovery process I’ll outline here, but I imagine once I complete the novels that will serve as practice for writing “The Story,” I will have a good framework for jamming that out.

I will return to this feeling I have currently only once more beyond today.

Beyond today, the only time I will return to this mindset will be once I write the section of “The Story” immediately after “The Scene,” because up until you start eating again and feel nauseous for having more food in your stomach than it’s used to having, you feel normal. I ate three sandwiches and my stomach has felt fuller than it has in years. This is an awful feeling to be in, and I’m writing from a perspective where I can write.

I couldn’t write when I felt my muscles collapse on themselves hours ago.

I barely have the energy now to write. I don’t have the energy to sleep, nor the lack of it to sleep. I don’t feel like making coffee. I could crack open an energy drink. Instead, I’ll just say that this will probably be a far longer path to recovery than I imagined, both for myself and for John. It may take me a few days before I have any regular appetite again, and a few weeks before I return to rowing to any degree.

Will it take months for John to reach a healthy weight and physicality?

He won’t have to deal with a spine that has turned to brick, in terms of feeling like any motion can cause massive pain, but he also had never really experienced any feeling of strength throughout his young life. It might be a journey for both of us, in our different ways. When I look at where I was, where I am, and where I want to go, following the doctor’s orders and doing my best to remain patient with myself will help me achieve my goals.

I don’t have the support system that John will have with Trishna’s family.

I’m doing this alone, mostly. If you want to call help from the American Healthcare System help, well, go read my thoughts on that. My family has been mostly unsupportive. So as I rebuild myself and return better than I was in previous months, I won’t look back to this moment with the disdain I might, were it not for “The Story,” because I can consider how John can receive support from a family that wants him there, wants to help, and does everything they can to help.

Even if it’s “Trishna’s mom saying “you can help out once you’re recovered.””

There’s a calm to be found in storms like that, where maybe it’s the mind’s way of coping with the physicality of the body, or maybe through some sort of higher purpose, but for me in this condition, I’d rather have my dreams of “The Story” than something insidious. Everything I’ve done toward the direction of writing “The Story” has led me to better places in my life.

In this way, this current place isn’t that bad, I guess.

Quotes: None.
Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.
Inspirations: I was trying to figure out what to write, and then I realized, well, it’s not out of lack of motivation, but out of a lack of energy.
Related: Essays building “The Story.”
Picture: Template
Written On: 2020 June 12 [6:37am to 7:10am]
Last Edited: 2020 June 12 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]


My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.