Thursday, March 27

the trouble with me


Lately it has been raining outside and inside. And unlike the original title of my blog {dance in the rain}, there has been absolutely no dancing.

The warm days are taking their final curtsies, and as the skies are growing increasingly grey and the air increasingly cool, my body is also hibernating. Which wasn’t supposed to happen.

I had written this strikingly positive 2014 script in my head. I held out masses of hope that this winter would be better, because this winter we were staying still in one place, and because I’ve changed my diet radically, and because I’m ‘happy’ here. This is supposed to be the year for getting well.
Now that I write that, it seems extraordinarily naive. Especially in such a ‘doesn’t respond to anything you do’ kind of illness. Especially as I have had five years to ponder the reality that the whole me-in-control concept is false.

If this illness is hanging around until I’ve learnt what I need to learn, I fear it will be hanging around for a long long time. I really hope that’s not how these things work.

I think I have been chasing for the perfectly ripe healing environment, and now that I supposedly have it and find myself plodding into a winter just as miserable as the last four, I am a mess.

Not an external mess. You wouldn’t be able to tell really. If I were to show up somewhere you wouldn’t see the tongue ulcers, swollen glands, red throat, and starry vision. Plus, it would increase tenfold once I returned home, and you wouldn’t see that.

On Saturday night I pulled myself out of bed after a nasty migraine, to attend a party of great importance to me. My eyelids were so puffy that I had to ice them before leaving the house. Later in the night I was talking to a lady I hadn’t met before, and she was charming. Part way through our conversation, my lips began to tremble as I smiled. At this point I became so fixated on releasing my smile slowly and controlling my over exhausted muscles, that in the process I lost complete track of what she was saying. I don’t know if she could see the twitching, but that and my vague replies might have backed up my initial statement that I wasn’t so well.

I feel like I should be joyfully settling down to the ill virus-ridden life with a ‘dance in the rain’ kind of optimism.

“Yes I’m really unwell, but I’m so content.” Smiley face.

“Sorry I can’t come, and no I don’t feel guilty.” Smiley face.

Where is that positivity in the face of sad times which I admire in friends and strangers? I could swear I have had it before. I even believe it will return to me, but in the mean time I feel both unwell and sad. It’s an epically drizzly combination.

Even though I know the moral of the story is not to have my happiness dependent on improvement, realigning my thoughts is slow and uncomfortable. The trouble is that conditional contentment masquerades as real contentment – and then the conditions evaporate, and the contentment is gone. And then you weep because you lost both the thing you wanted, and your happiness.

Perhaps it’s good that I have realised in no uncertain terms that my ‘well 2014’ will take whatever path it will take. It will take it’s path, but my emotional path must be rooted in something else. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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