Monday, January 23, 2012

Memories


I feel like I'm living more in my memories than I am in the present.

Something has happened to me in the past few years where I am finding it more difficult to live in the present. (Hm, I wonder what that something could be?)

I'm in the middle of a homeopathic treatment right now that, before it makes me better, must first make me worse. The ironic part of this (let's face it..as if the idea of getting worse before getting better isn't ironic enough) is that in my last post I spoke about the healing powers of the body and to have faith in its capabilities. Oh, do I need some faith. I will say this- I do, with all of my heart, believe in the amazing capabilities of the human body, and I truly do believe every pain I feel is my body's attempt to heal.

..but, you know what?

Reliving my worst hell over and over again is no picnic in the park. More like a trip to crazy land, where I pace around my room and cry, shake and sweat, call my Doctor, and text friends (Shannon and Candice in particular-hi girls) to ask them to remind me that I'm not actually dying.

At a time when I should be in the midst of creating the greatest memories of my life, I find myself living in the past. Last Sunday, Dave and I spent time with two of our friends who we have both known for years. I have been friends with both of them since I was a teenager-Meghan, since we were 12 and met figure skating, and Teddy, who I've known since I was 16, when he was my high school boyfriend's best friend. Oh, and now they're dating each other. Told you, my life is weird.

We were at Teddy's house, the boys watching the football game and Meghan and I pretending we cared, and Teddy, being the great host he is, continually offered me food and drinks..none of which I could eat. I felt like an alien imposter as I watched them whiz around the kitchen, heating up leftovers, popping popcorn, cracking open beers-none of which I have seen in months-some of these foods, in over a year. Nothing makes you feel more like a sick person than watching the normal people behave in their natural habitat, crunching on popcorn and drinking beer like it's the most normal thing in the world.

Well, I guess to them it is.

Seeing them sit there, attempting to pass me food which I had to politely decline repeatedly, made my heart ache. Not for the food, but for the life I left behind. A life where reaching for a favorite snack wouldn't always give me a stomachache, a life where every move wasn't calculated and considered. I looked at Meghan, smiling, talking, watching her sweet daughter play on the floor next to us, and I wondered when I got left behind.

Meghan and I, we skated together, literally side be side during practice. We'd spin around together, measuring our success by how well each of us mastered each move, knowing what we'd need to practice more based on who aced the spin or jump first. We entered college at the same time, continued to meet up and skate together on weekends, and then..the floor fell out beneath me, and it's kind of a blur how it all ended. I feel like her life, and the lives of those around me, have moved forward, forward, forward, while mine has crept forward, sometimes been thrown back, and I have crawled again, sometimes just to get back to the place I was in a few months before. I feel like while everyone around me is making memories, I am busy surviving.

I find myself each Christmas or birthday saying to myself "next year will be better, I will feel better next year". I was flaring so badly this Sunday, one week after spending time with friends, while Dave was over I was just completely losing my marbles. I was pacing in pain, crying as I tried to simply breathe, while I eeked out the words "just leave, just leave me here, please go live your life." I cried while I told him that I didn't think it would ever be over for me, that my life was standing still, asking him to please be friends with me when I'm still this sick years from now. He just looked at me, and I could see sadness in his face. He took a moment, the pause he took taking so long I managed to look up at him, when he said, "But, I believe in you."

Belief. Hope. It always comes back to this. And today, belief is someone believing in me. Maybe my memory isn't watching a football game with friends this Sunday, but it is of someone believing in me, wholeheartedly, with unwavering faith. And that is a memory that not just anyone can make. That is something created from hard work, from a life that has been built and worked for, from challenges coming forward and facing them head on. Maybe I didn't have a rockin night out with friends, but I do have someone-a few people, actually, that believe in me, and that is a memory to recall on the hardest of days. Maybe there's a lesson here..

The memories that matter in life are not wild nights out, but of the relationships you have created with people. The memories that you recall when you are old are of the love you share with those who are close with you-those tiny moments between just the two of you when you are both truly in a moment together, whether that is the moment I hear Shannon's voice on the phone, knowing she is completely with me in my pain, or the moment I see Dave's face change, knowing he actually wants to be in my presence during this dark hour, that I will recall when I am looking back on my life.

I can choose to push aside these moments as things that occurred during my "sick days", or I can take them for what they are- true care, sick day or not so sick day. Look for the love in each moment, look for the hope and take time to look at the faces of those who believe in you. The rest is just details.

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