Saturday, February 9

the second step, again

Going downhill after four months of giddyingly good health is not what I would call fun. But neither is it shocking, or acutely devastating {just moderately}. I actually thought my reaction would be more one of catastrophic depression, because I was having such a wonderful time feeling well, and was wondering if I had an addiction to it. But here’s the thing: I feel kind of normal again.

I know this life. This has been my norm, my familiar, my staple for the last few years. I can slot back into this old groove, as challenging as it is. And now I realise, I have adjusted to being unwell and it happened without me even realising.

It was strange feeling so well. I had to pinch myself, to know if it was true. I didn’t feel like me at first.  It was all so surreal, so sparkly. I would burst into tears if I thought about it too much because it was so overwhelmingly ridiculous to feel like that.  And with it came lots of adjustments for me, and for Ben. What to do, if I did get well? I felt this huge responsibility; now you have health, you need to do something really worthwhile. But I had no idea what because I have changed so much. Our home life was different, our housework roles were changing, our social life was changing, our dates were changing – and even when change is beautiful and exciting, you don’t necessarily feel secure. It’s like when you’ve just met someone you really like, and you are in this crazy hyped state of excitement whenever you hear from them, touch them {even accidentally}, talk to them...but it’s not like the stable, comforting closeness of being in a committed relationship with them and knowing them deeply and intimately. Not that being sick is like being in a committed relationship {although I must say, chronic illness is VERY committed to it’s victims}, but that change makes you feel a little uncertain, and tips you out of the groove for a while. 

If most of the things that come with being unwell are nasty, at least there are a couple of pros. One is the comedy of my brain. Most days at the moment we get some serious laughs from the things that my foggy brain verbalises, particularly at night in bed when it’s at its finest. It was a bit boring when I could say what I meant first time. 

And then there is lying on the couch with my dog. It was so odd seeing him lie on the couch while I was up and about, and there is something very precious about his cuddles and his loyalty. Other perks include getting to drink more cups of tea, and....I actually can’t think of anymore pros right now, but the point is, when you find yourself on the second step of the staircase, after having been near the top, at the very least you have been there before and it’s not new and it’s not scary.

And you know that it is possible to be well, and you know that you were loved and comforted last time you were unwell and feeling like a complete mess, so you settle down to hope and wait. 

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