Monday, April 21, 2014

It exists

Um.. I don't know if you guys know this, but I'm actually a pretty fun gal.

I mean, I am FUN.

But see, the problem is I am sometimes (note: always) not feeling well, and that puts a bit of a damper on things.  Sometimes I think funny things in my head but am too exhausted from the day to say them out loud.  Oh, Laura, you are just so funny.

Sometimes, I don't even have the capacity to think funny.  But sometimes, I am a trip.  I am a singing along to Taylor Swift, dancing barefoot in the grass (okay, now I just sound like a hippie..) driving in the car with the windows down, laughing when I'm leaving somewhere and it's pouring rain and everyone is caught in it and I'm just- this is so much FUN what is wrong with you people why are you frowning?-- rockin good time.

The problem with chronic illness (remind me to change this term, I don't like it) is that it can steal your joy.  Or, it can try to steal your joy.  And I admit, I have let it sometimes.  I don't mean I actually handed over my joy-no, I like to hold on to that good shit, but sometimes it just sneaks up behind me and takes it.  It's a pesky little beast, that illness.

And once that joy is stolen, and those symptoms come, and they stay..oh they stay, for days, weeks, MONTHS, I start to look like a shadow of the girl I was.  I no longer accept the title of, "therapist, daughter, girlfriend, friend, granddaughter, inventor of fun children's games when young children are sad and I have only 15 minutes to help them feel better before the next client arrives"- but, I hold tight to the title of "sick girl."

Ohhh sick girl.  But um, hello, just because you are one thing, doesn't mean you aren't a million other things.  Remind me to read that line again tomorrow when I'm crying while applying my mascara. (yes, that is as counterintuitive as it sounds. and just as difficult as you can imagine)

What is my point here?  Good question.  My point is, just because you are one thing, it doesn't mean you aren't all of the other things you once were or want to be.  And listen, yes, feeling like you have had the flu for two months (yup) can bring you down and make you start to wonder if you will ever start to feel well again, and it may make you think you are no longer fun and are destined to lay in your bed and talk to your cat for the rest of your days (even though she IS such a good listener), but, that is just not true.  You can feel like you have the flu for two months and still be fun.  In fact, I dare you to be both.  So, okay, you are not hanging out with anyone while in this flare,  and maybe you aren't dancing in a club (um, do people do that anymore?), but you can make some fun, right where you are.

So, put on your favorite pandora station, close your eyes, and picture yourself in the car singing at the top of your lungs, or dancing away in that club ( people still go to clubs?!), or drinking that class of wine with your friends (ah, remember wine?), and smile to yourself.  Let yourself actually feel it.  Wait, wait.  I see you.  I see you feeling sad and remembering good times and feeling afraid you won't feel that happiness again (do I know you, or do I know you?).  Back up.  See that person, that person you are visualizing in your head, deep in those memories?  That person exists.  That person just didn't disappear because something happened or changed.  That person exists.  That person is real.  That person is still inside of you.  Give them a high five, raise your green juice, and tell them, "see you soon" with that little knowing smirk you have.

If it existed once, it exists.  Nothing can take away that truth.  No matter how hard it tries.

The pieces.

Sometimes I swear I can see the pieces of my life that were taken away from me shattered on the ground.  I want to pick them up and fumble them with my fingers, quickly, and place them back together.  I can almost see them, what exists in these pieces, all of the places I did not go, the people I lost along the way, the dreams that have to wait- some left behind all together.

But I do have pictures, frames of what is.  They show me what has persevered despite overwhelming odds.  I will look at them fondly, I will, but I always long for more.  I have always been a person who has longed for more.

This is both a strength and a weakness.  Longing for more pushes me ahead always.  Wanting more for myself both keeps me alive and keeps me awake at night.  The pieces may have shattered, they may have been taken away from me, but I will never stop trying to put them back together.  I will never stop trying to repair what was broken.  I’ll kneel on the ground now, pick up these imagined pieces in my hands and say, “I’m sorry I left you.  But please do not leave me. I am not finished yet.”  I will never, never, never stop trying to put the pieces back together.