My father in law is a good man who loves me very much.
He gave me a job.
He is continually concerned about my health, my well-being, and the welfare of my family.
And for whatever reason he believes that everything that ails me, Bipolar, Anxiety, Obsessions, suicidal thoughts and actions, and Insomnia, all of it, can be healed by exercise and losing weight. Now to be fair, maybe he doesn’t think it will heal me but maybe it is his best idea and he just really wants to help.
Now, he isn’t completely wrong. The best extended periods of feeling good in my life were times when I exercised regularly. And I have some serious weight to lose to be healthy. And I’m sure if none of those things help my mental condition. But the conversations about my weight and exercise are near daily with him and make me feel more like a bloated loser.
It isn’t just with me though. When we are all camping as a family he likes to lead morning workout routines, even if no one joins.
Talk of burpees and pull ups and jumping rope are part of his daily lexicon.
I find it soul crushing, especially when I know I can’t do what he can do and he is twice my age.
I often wonder what makes certain people physical while others are not. I enjoy physical activity, I enjoy the gym and working out, I enjoy sweating, playing sports. I enjoy all of it. But I’m not a physical person. Not in the way my father in law is. And I wonder why. I wonder what it is that separates us. Competitive drive? Desire to live a long time? Complacency? I have no idea.
Sometimes I wish I could be more like him, if only to please him more. We are working on our relationship and it has grown a lot in the past two years. He has taken on a desire to learn about my disease and provide as much help and stability as he can. I think there is still a disconnect there and it may be founded in our physical differences.