I have a secret that I haven’t shared with anyone. Some days I’m not 100% sure I want to get better. Huh? Why wouldn’t I want, more than anything else, to be healthy? I freely admit to being sick of spending so much time in bed, not seeing clients, cancelling on friends, being unreliable about grocery shopping and cooking, rarely having date nights, seldom being a fun mom, and not being able to hike Mt. Tam or take Riley on long walks. If I was healthy I could host dinner parties, travel to exotic locales, take trapeze and dance classes, and grow my career.
And yet…there’s a strange and lovely simplicity to my life as it is now. I take each day as it is. I don’t plan ahead. I do only what I am able. I take naps when I need to. I say “no” to anything that isn’t essential or will not contribute to moments of joy and healing. I spend lots of time snuggling my cats and my dog. I’m more available to soothe my kids’ emotions because I’m not trying to tackle a million other things at the same time. I have long, interesting talks with my husband. I appreciate the small moments: a walk in the sun, playtime with Riley, board games with the kids, resting with my head in Harlan’s lap, a chat with a friend, time spent with a good book, a body without pain, time to observe: my puppy, my kids, my husband, the trees, a sunset. I live, for the most part, in the present. In a way, my illness has gifted me with a zen sort of existence that I was never able to achieve before I became sick.
Whenever I go through periods of remission I find myself trying to make up for all that I couldn’t do while I was sick. I become busy. I juggle. I listen to the “shoulds” in my head. I commit to too much. I get attached to plans. I feel stressed. And stress makes me sick.
I’d like to think that I could regain my health and still maintain the wisdom and balance my illness has given (forced upon) me. I believe it’s possible. I have to have faith that it will come to pass. And yet.