I find myself in that moment cranky and short with my words to others. Don’t bother me, don’t ask me, don’t push me, don’t help me….I can’t do it. I don’t feel good. I’m not well enough. I’ll get sick if I go. I’m too tired. I can’t breath. All of this crap is ‘me’ and ‘I’ because of latent bitterness and frustration and helplessness and it just coils out like a whip, with just as much of a sting, at anything and anyone that comes around. I don’t stop to see what is going on in the moment. I don’t think what other people might need or that they may be weaker or hurting even more than I at that very time.
So often the times I force myself to do these things that “will make me sick” or “push me too far” are the most rewarding and the return is worth the pain or the recovery time because it ends up being about someone else and not me. It is for someone else and not me. I am with me, alone with me, inside of my head, alone with my pain, tallying my unhealthy times and days in the necessary journal so much of the time that it IS a physical thing to be pulled out and seeing something else. It can be a physical pain to be pulled out and doing something that last time made me sick…there is certainly fear working against me, a silent stalker that I bravely deny.
I am proud of myself for the times that I make (yes conciously stop and force my mind to see) myself to focus on what someone else might need from my reactions and how I go about my life and how I express what I feel. That it might effect someone how I carry my body, what my body rather than my words say and what I choose to talk about. There are choices for my care, for my health and for what I do in general that now I often make for what it will do for others, not whether it actually helps or might hurt me some. Because if it eases anothers pain, if smoothes the lines of worry and the tears of stress and futility on anothers face, isn’t it worth it?? So you take medicine you know may not make a difference, because the offer will let them know they are helping. You drink the tea you had 10 times today, because it is something they can do. You go on the trips you know in your heart you may not be ready for (or capable of), because just the fact that you did it will make them feel you are doing better and there is hope. Is it so wrong to ease anothers pain this way if it does no new harm to me? If I might have gotten sick anyway, isn’t this a better reason to risk the suffering for?? I am by no means a marytr and I am often selfish, self-pitying, and just dwelling in one symptom or another. But there are those precious moments of time when I do live for others as well. Times when I remember that I am not really alone in this one room as it so often seems. That others near and far are often feeling and being effected by me in this room whether I like it or not. That my pain is not just my own pain. My worries become their worries. My illness is in some part their illness also. As is my joy, their joy. So I must make the moments of joy, beauty, creativity, hope, healing and laughter be the most important focus every. single. day. To constantly push to regain the little pieces of me and of them that we have lost along the way.
It’s not just me. It’s us. And we need all the rewarding days we can possibly grasp and we need to hold on tight.