Two-fold: I’ve received the results of my recent bloodwork and I’ve been seeing results from my current treatment plan.
I won’t keep you in suspense–it’s all GOOD NEWS!
First off, I feel great.
I mean f*cking awesome. Seriously haven’t felt this good since… I can’t remember… and even then it would require a trenta iced coffee and it would only last 24 hrs. I have been winning at life for over a week now.
Do you know what I did yesterday? I actually emailed/made the calls I needed to make first thing. Then got myself and BG ready and out of the house by 9am. I took her to the mall and we rode the carousel for the first time and ate lunch and shopped. Then BG fell asleep in the car and I went to the specialty pet store and grabbed dog food. Then drove and parked in Trader Joe’s parking lot while BG finished her nap. Then did our shopping (smoothly, even with my todddler in tow, because my mind is much sharper and my anxiety is less). Then drove to our UPS box and got our mail. Then came home AND unloaded groceries AND made a healthy dinner AND played with BG.
Even before I was officially sick, I unofficially felt like sh*t most of the time. I would aim to do 2 or 3 things per day (in addition to caring for my kid). Since I have to commute from the ‘burbs to go shopping it adds an extra 1.5 to 2 hours to my errands. So going to trader joe’s, putting away groceries and making dinner were, like, my big accomplishments for the day–even prior to my health crisis.
It’s sad, I know, and I felt embarrassed and ashamed and I blamed myself for being lazy. I seriously felt lucky that Mr. MLACS tolerated my underachieving a** when he works his a** off (literally he gets between 15,000 to 25,000 steps per day even though he has a white collar job). He never made me feel bad–I did that all on my own.
Me now feels bad for me then. Why did I just accept that? I didn’t feel good and I wasn’t happy. My answer is that I was too exhausted to go digging for answers and solutions. And I bought into the idea that if I just ate better and exercised more then I would eventually be “healthy”. You know, like any other regular person. Because I don’t generally regard myself as a”sick” person. Because our society is prejudiced against sick people.
I was prejudiced against myself.
How sad is it that I was more comfortable identifying myself as lazy than I was admitting than I was chronically ill?
So I’m pleased to learn and pleased to inform you that I am NOT lazy. Au contrare, I am a self-disciplined and self-motivated powerhouse…
When I’m not sick.
I believe that God’s plan is perfect even when life sucks. Even as I sat on the toilet crying in existential misery, I knew there was a reason.
I imagined myself like Captain Dan in the movie “Forrest Gump”, up on the mast of his ship during the storm. Raging. Warring. Except this was going on inside of me, not externally.
I had to confront my fears–who am I if I am mentally and physically incapacitated? am I still loveable? am I still valuable? will I ever get better? will I ever be able to live the life I envision? if I can’t create my perfect life for myself and my family can I ever be happy? Etc.
I had to confront deep-seated feelings of inadequacy and self loathing.
I had to apologize to myself and my body for all my negativity.
Let me put this in writing:
12 year old self, I’m sorry I told you that you were fat and lied to you that if you were just skinny, then everyone would love you and admire you and want to be your friend.
12 year old body, I’m sorry I starved you and then hated you when you still weren’t skinny. You never deserved that.
I could go on but this was the beginning of a pattern of self loathing and self torture that has gone on, to a greater or lesser degree, for decades.
And part of my healing has involved saying to myself, over and over again,
I am enough.
This horrible flare has taught me that even at my worst I am valuable and I deserve to be loved…
And then I started getting better.
Now I want to say that there were many other factors besides my emotional baggage that contributed to me getting sick.
Just like there are many other factors that have contributed to me getting well–I am grateful for traditional Western medicine and I believe Humira has been critical to my healing.
But God’s plan wasn’t for me to start Humira and feel all better and go back to trying to achieve my “perfect” life.
His plan was for me to learn to love and accept myself, even at my worst. His plan was for me to learn to let go of what is “supposed” to be and to accept what *is*.
Truth be told, I’m still working on it. I had a huge burst of energy this weekend and even though I knew I was overdoing it, I found myself OCD cleaning the kitchen. And I was angry, because Mr. MLACS was just sitting on the couch watching tv. Didn’t he care that I was busting my a** and trying to play catch-up so our house can be perfectly clean? Couldn’t he help so we could get it done quicker? Because as soon as the house is perfectly clean then I will feel ok.
And I knew I was being OCD and I knew that I needed to stop but I couldn’t. So instead I griped at Mr. MLACS. And then I burst into tears. And when he asked what was wrong, I found the words to tell him… “I know I need to rest but I can’t stop because I just want everything to be perfect! Like I feel like I have to make up for all that time I spent feeling sick and worthless… and I think I need you to tell me that I’ve done enough and you’re proud of me and that I should go lay down”. And he came into the kitchen and held me, and I took off my rubber gloves and wiped my eyes. Took a breath and said to myself “I am enough”.
I’ll have to write about the lab results in another post. This post has surprised me as I didn’t intend to write about all this emotional sh*t. But I’m glad I did.