Rain on Window by Flickr user ToastyKen
Some days are darker than others. And wet. Like when the light that usually shines from you, making everything seem possible is obscured with tears. You don’t know where they come from any more than where the sun is hiding or the rain came from. Just that it’s natural, and normal, and that on any other day you would make a fire and read by it, drinking tea. But on this day, you lay in bed crying, the storm as much from within, and as passionless as the endless drizzle. Dear god, just don’t let it last, let it be quickly passing.
Today is one of those days. So far, nearly every bit of data that has entered my pores and pouring eyes has made things darker and wetter. An unschedulable celebratory dinner led to self-pitying sobs. The thunder of “me first” roaring to an audience that either didn’t care or ran from the clapping cacophony of my need. No, the dinner is not a big deal. But in aggregate, of all the times when what I wanted and needed were irrelevant, when I wanted the buck to stop at me, just this once and it floated past….. In aggregate, it was a flood. It’s not that we make mountains out of mole hills, it’s that mole hills are made of many small stabs and scrapes, and eventually blind destruction crawls out of them and we are surprised.
Some days I just can’t be patient, or relaxed, and I know it will hurt too much to expose myself, so I stay in bed. Crying. It’s dark and wet, even in my warm places, this way.
I know this is being fed by having been so ill for so long. It’s all I can do to be awake and functioning for 3 hours. And that will send me back to sleep. I don’t know my body any more. This body that used to lift heavy weight, run impossible runs, that even with a broken neck was an athletic machine. For weeks I’ve been barely awake. That connection between my brain and body is so real. It’s so intimate. I tell my body it can do things, and it does. In turn, it triggers all manner of thought and fantasy in my brain, daring it to make just a few of them real. And so we go my body, my brain and me, creating magical worlds in which we are the magic maker and dreamer of dreams.
But so much of what we do when we’re healthy, when things are working well, is so much more subtle. It is the blocking out of petty fears as irrelevant, the filtering of data that obfuscates the process of life, the ability to believe that we can do it, alone if we must. Stripped of those things, life is harder, scarier, it seems insurmountable. It’s the defenses that go first.
Even little things, like rescheduling a dinner, or going to a party alone, or having to make dinner, or having to do the shopping, or having to organize something, or track down a response…… Those stop being events in time, and become points in a large data set that would be otherwise ignored, that in aggregate prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you don’t matter, no one cares, you will never get what you want and that you are alone. Worse, you are alone and probably can’t handle it. Whatever it is. And whatever it is, it is now far larger than it would seem, if things were working right.
That’s where I am. And I want to scream, “Me First!” I don’t care if you don’t want to do it, you have to, whoever you are, because I need you to and you need to want to be there for me when I can’t handle it. Because right now I can’t handle it.
I know how people see me. I do. I am strong and amazing, a force of nature, an unstoppable generator of change and magic. I know that. I even believe that, most of the time. But not now. Right now, I am lying in bed crying. Alone. And I don’t want either of those things.
In my brain I know that this is the illness. This is to be expected. When someone like me is taken down and thrown in bed and has no control over her body or ability to use her energy, this is only natural. I would tell anyone to just ride it, learn from it, be present in it. I tell myself that too. But it doesn’t change the fact that it is where I am. It hurts no less. Where I am is very fragile, and I need to he handled with care. I’m doing my part. I’m bending over backwards to give my body what it needs.
But I need help. I need people to bend over backwards to support me. Just a little. Do the one thing that you don’t want to do, because it will help me. Because you want to help me.
And no, I can’t think of what this is on any practical level. Maybe just let me be dark and wet. And acknowledge that you know I’m in a really dark and wet place. I am mossy. This is the now, and it is real. We are going to have to change course and act as if this is real. Because it is. I am lost in a forest that I know little of. Things are growing and shrinking and nothing is as I think it should be. Which is going to impact you. And you may have to be the one carrying the light, leading the way and being strong to support the burden that is me right now.
I will return the favor. When I am well again.
This will make the better even better. When I am well again.