Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The View From Here

Last week, I got sick. Not the kind of chronically sick that I've written about in the past, but a small flu-like infection. This sort of thing isn't an afterthought for a healthy person. Which is how I initially approached the situation- as a healthy person. Because I am now, right? Wronnnng. I've been feeling so great for so long, that I had totally forgotten that the body of a person with an autoimmune disease can take much longer to heal than one without. This isn't to say that every little cold would turn into a three-month infection- I don't want to scare any sickies here- but prolonged fighting for those of us with chronic illnesses isn't uncommon at all. 

I took some doses of Sudafed and drank copious amounts of juice, but when things didn't get better in a hurry I, for the life of me, couldn't understand why.

I guess I've been busy since I went into Crohn's remission last July. I started school this year. I have multiple jobs now, and still do freelance design. I see friends often and hang out with my dog in the park. This is the year I turn 30, and I want to cram in so much of what I simply couldn't in the last few. It seems though, that I'm always running from one thing to the next. When you've got the kind of disease that comes and goes without warning, you take advantage of your healthier time as best you can. You just do. Unfortunately, attempting to make up for the moments you may have lost could turn into your becoming reckless about your body in it's current state and just bring your ass right back to the hospital that you spent countless hours planning your escape from.

I haven't written a Stale Cabbage post in four months. Recognizing a serious health issue is easy when it's your number one job, every single day, for years. When I was sick, I wanted to share my experiences with people who were lonely and scared, who wanted to know more about their sick partners or friends ailing bodies but were too afraid to do it in person. I wanted to create a network of support for sillies who just didn't want to believe that their lives were different

And then I got better.

I didn't want to pay any more attention to the thing that stole my life. But as I sit here again, laughing and crying, feeling the pull back to what my situation really is- uncertain, enraging, impossible to map out- I feel it's only necessary to keep myself from turning it away. There's a constant haunting in me to keep in mind that at any moment, I could lose everything all over again. Balancing that fear along with the idea that experience, responsibility for myself that not everyone can understand, and the happiness that brings will lead to healing, is exhausting, and excruciating. Because I'll never really know how long I have until it's time to put the armor back on. 

My reasons for going into detail about how difficult this part is are the same as they've been for every other post I've given. If you are trying to balance a normal life with the fear and actual loathing of a chronic illness, I applaud you. Your fearlessness in continuing to live with each heavy thought is brilliant. Remission is a wonderful, and absolutely beautiful thing. But it is also a heart-wrenching and brutal part of our diseases. Please remember to breathe. Remember to stop beating yourself up about what you can't do yet, and start raising your glass for the things you can [Even when that glass is fulla Pedialyte].Take your time, knowing with full faith that you'll not only be able to regain your self when the storm is over, but you'll become something truly unstoppable in being mindful of the beast you now know. Because your time isn't limited- it's just on a different kind of clock.

So sit the fuck down and relax. You've earned it.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...