Straight Talk Blog

Do The Thing

By Kelly Wilkins

I’ve been battling what I thought was severe bone-on-bone arthritis for a few years now. It’s kept me from doing a lot of the things I really love to do. Recently, my insurance decided that they would not cover any more steroid shots into my knees until I’d tried physical therapy.

I recently had my first appointment, and it was something I’d been dreading. My therapist said “This is the hardest thing you’ll do in here, coming to this appointment. Congratulations, everything after this is easy in comparison. It’s one of the hardest things to do, asking for help.”

After my range of motion consultation, I had surprising news – my knee joints are achy and crackly, yes, but they’re not the main problem. My main problem is that over the years, I’ve adapted a bad walking gait and it’s causing my leg muscles to overstress. 

But it’s treatable. The damage can be mitigated. 

The next thing he said was “I’m going to ask you to do things your body isn’t going to want to do easily. We have to teach you how to walk again without pain and strengthen your muscles. It’s going to suck, but work with me and you will be walking better.”

I said “When I’m doing difficult things, I congratulate myself for doing them. We’ll start with doing one thing, and we’ll move on to more, and better things. Deal?” He took the deal. So did I.

Today, I walked the length of my front yard without my cane. That was my one thing to do today. I did the thing. I celebrate doing that thing. It wasn’t easy (it hurt, not going to lie), but I did the thing, and I feel better for doing it.

As you recover from disclosure or discovery and enter into the new life ahead of you, you’re going to have difficult things that suck to do. You won’t want to do them, and they’re going to hurt, but in the end, you’re doing them to help yourself. So be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Congratulate yourself when you accomplish a difficult thing, and encourage yourself to continue. 

Just do the one thing today. Better things are coming tomorrow.


3 responses to “Do The Thing”

  1. Amity Buxton says:

    Wonderful news for you and “right on” advice for anyone having gone through a challenging life-changing event like a partner’s disclosing ( or finding out) that he/she is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans. Congratulations!

  2. Amity Buxton says:

    Congratulations on your own gutsy decision. And hurrah for your using it to help others move to conquer their challenges on their individual paths dealing with a partner’s disclosure.

  3. jennifer brooks says:

    Sometimes “one thing” is just to get up and sometimes it’s scaling a mountain. Being especially kind to myself was new to me after 23 years of trying to please my closeted, gay husband. I came through that scarred and grateful to be on this side of it. Better things have come day after day.
    Thank you, Kelly, and I’ll be cheering for your recovery of strength, mobility and comfort.

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