Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Wild...

Into My Wild
"Will you take me as I am?  Will You?
Joni Mitchell
Quote from Into the Wild - By Cheryl Strayed

As I looked out over the golf course, my eyes seeing the tiny speckled stars I have become accustomed to, seeing the world as it's parts rather than their whole; separated, detached, moving, unsteady as my body so often feels.  I leaned against the two chairs and as my gaze drifted towards the foursome on the putting green I wondered if I would ever get to experience this world as a healthy person again?  That thought struck me without malice or jealousy, anger or bitterness and that made the question not feel so bad after all.

I was simultaneously cloaked in comfort in knowing at least their was a time I had.  I had been given the opportunity to live a healthy life much longer than many and I was still here.  I vowed once again with shaky determination to do my best to stop fighting the current of reality and find a way to create and mold this new experience as that, a "new" experience of what it takes to live without so many pleasures and eases I was once granted and dove into.  Trying again to find what I have gained in what often only feels an endless pit of what I have lost.  Looking at it as that, an experience with value and merit.  It is my experience, one I push and fight and get so angry at the constant unknown that I have separated "myself" from this illness.  I want nothing to do with it yet in that at times I then want nothing to do with myself.  I keep waiting and waiting for this to get better and begin my life again, and yet this is my life and somehow I have purposely forgotten that.

This week my experiences included two trips to Mayo Clinic for a minor test that turned out fine.  Yet two days of three flights of stairs due to my claustrophobia had my legs feeling like they had run a marathon.  An injection into my lymph nodes into my groin, the 10th I have had.  One blood treatment, one blood treatment that wouldn't work because I was too dehydrated.  An IV push of minerals that made my face flush and my body hot and yet I was tethered to the needle so my doctor and I discussed the "Good Wife" to distract myself.  My experiences included my 500th ham sandwich and mundane spaghetti with meat sauce.  A trip to the pool that I prepared for with the precision of an day long outing, yet I was in the pool no more than ten minutes and paid for it with achy exhaustion the next day.  A moment where I couldn't take it anymore, couldn't take one more second of every little thing being so hard so I took a 1mg of Xanax to let my body take a break from it all and so grateful that I am not an addictive personality that I can have those moments of repreive.  And a head so foggy at times I wonder if I am really talking...

I have done all this while finally having enough energy to begin reading, Wild, From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed.  I thought in reading it I would feel more lost and alone myself, so wishing that I could do something drastic and life changing to "change" my life...but those of us with a Chronic Illness or locked in circumstances beyond our control know that is not a choice we have.  In my "old" life it was.  That's exactly what I would do, I would "escape" to a different scenery, and oh how thankful I am that I did it then when I can't do it now.  But in fact it was this book and her words that made me feel more not less impressed with myself.  Her struggles on that Trail are the struggles someone with CFS deals with every day, yet unfortunately we can't end our journey after 1000 miles.

In her journey of "packing" her "monster" pack, reminded me of how I carefully "packed" my purse and accessorized myself for courage as I took off for the pool.  Her aching body and tired limbs I know so well, yet unfortunately as her journey progresses she gets to see her muscles and body become increasingly stronger, but without her strength of mind she wouldn't have gotten that far.  She does it alone, and despite strangers and friends that help along the way or helped her get to the idea of the trail, illness as I said many times at the end of the day is yours alone.

My confidence has wained that I will ever be able to "prove" myself in such a daunting task, and yet who are we kidding I wouldn't choose the Pacific Coast Trail to do it, maybe a "trek" along the promenade in Nice, but somehow in reading this story is what brought me to that thought in my head, I may not ever relish in this world as what use to feel whole but that doesn't mean I am broken.  I must learn to take myself as I I am right now not as I hope to be.  And like Cheryl, my path has strayed, a diversion I would never wish on anyone but it' is my diversion and I will find my way.

Stray.."or go beyond established limits.."

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