Dear Diary; What do I do when the people and things I love are making me sick?
I hadn't seen my friends for nearly five months. I missed them and wanted to see them, but I'd be lying if I said I couldn't wait. For weeks now, a little voice I hear in my deepest knowing, has whispered "You need to be alone. More time alone."
The voice worries me, so much so, that I even brought it up with my therapist. "I'm worried I'm isolating myself more and more. I feel like I'm walking away from a lot. I don't want to miss out on this time, I don't want to...
be a bad friend,
not have fun,
And so I ignore the whispering voice and seek out my friends and family. Seek out the things I love to do, simple everyday things like going out for dinner. Having a cocktail or two. Simply being in the space and company with the people I cherish.
I ignore the little voice that has been talking to me because it's not what I want and it doesn't seem fair. I say to myself loudly, louder than the whispering voice,
"you'll be fine, enjoy yourself." And off I go...
My little voice doesn't whisper anymore. My body screams back a simple NO.
Whole body shaking
Loss of appetite
Whole body pain
Bones that feel like glass
Swollen sinuses & difficulty breathing
A combination of symptoms that feels nothing short of complete body shutdown and failure. It's a whole week later, back in my apartment, and I haven't stepped a foot outside or seen another soul since. And so I ask,
Dear Diary, what do I do when the people and things I love are making me sick?
There's no response from Dear Diary, but that little voice is back.
"It is not the people or things that you love that are making you sick, but I did tell you that you needed some time, time alone."
I eyeroll to myself, sigh, physically cross my arms in defiance - only noticed a few moments later with a hint of amusement. I trust my intuition, what my body knows and tells me, and with a lighter note than the rest of this post, I do trust and believe that my body can heal. It wasn't always that way and perhaps that's part of the reason I got sick, who knows? But years of practices dedicated to knowing my body, listening to my body, feeling my body, demonstrating compassion and kindness towards my body have lead me to a place of trust in both my body and intuition.
With this is mind, I think my question needs to be simpler.
Dear Diary, what do you do when you are sick?
I sighed again typing that. It feels so defeatist and defining. That was never my intention and not what I want to admit.
M.E/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Chronic Illnesses are rife in our stressed and depleted world, and we need to pay attention both to that and to ourselves. I want to end on a hopeful note because in this moment I have that to spare. I do believe that one of the most precious things we can have, under any circumstances, is a relationship with ourselves. Like any relationship it takes work and commitment for it to be a true and honest one. It begins with getting to know yourself, understanding yourself, feeling, listening, asking, being and as far as i'm concerned nothing is off the table between me and me. The goal isn't perpetual happiness, calm or peace. Instead, it's to feel, experience and honestly acknowledge through the lens of compassion and curiosity, any boy does a chronic illness give you a lot to feel and experience.
I'm okay if right now it feels defeatist and defining because it's more important to me to be honest with myself than pretend to be okay. And, actually, if I think about it through the lens of compassion and curiosity, just a little more, that being okay with it, is actually the exact opposite of defeatist.
A note on my intention about this post; It is simply a sharing of my personal experience and beliefs. If it resonates and you'd like to comment kindly please feel free to do so below.