I write this post from bed in a state of semi-hystery. I say “semi-” due to the fact that I can’t decide whether to cry inconsolably or laugh uproariously. You see, added to all of the lovely, nauseated side effects from the new treatment of the past four weeks, I have added a fever, body aches, and a head cold. Perfect. Just perfect.
Normally, I’m the type of active girl that goes running even when she has torn muscles surrounding her rib cage. I’m the girl that gets up early to watch my frosty breathe moisten the scarf wrapped around my jogging head before teaching middle school all day long. I go stir-crazy during snowstorms and can be found climbing up down the staircase to clock a little activity. Now, I actually don’t want to get out of bed. It has been nearly four weeks of barely pulling myself from my pillows long enough to teach. Yet, I feel no compulsion to end that routine. My head aches with fever. My joints with the infection raging in my body.
I’m done. I think I’ve reached the bottom of this pit. And . . . I find it rather funny. Hilarious even.
Years of unsuccessful infertility treatments, months of stressful full-time graduate school, and weeks of grieving my grandfather’s death have taken their toll. I’m done. Done. Too tired to care. Tired enough to laugh.
Maybe this is where God takes all of us at some point…down to the depths of despair long enough for us to see the humor of darkness, the craziness of the pit.
You see, I have this suspicion that I might not “get better” anytime soon. It may be a while before I wear out the tread of my running shoes again. My cat and I will continue to grow fat and lazy – stuffed full of any carbohydrate and/or food that grabs our fancies. So far, we can add pickles, waffles, honeydew, peanut butter sandwiches, mustard, a lot of mustard, and sparkling drinks to my eating history. Jell-O and chocolate pudding round out a diet lacking in many vital nutrients. Oh, well. This girl can only stomach so much, here, at the bottom of this pit.
Mother’s Day was excruciating. The pain of not standing with the women that I have longed to join for so long at church hurt more this year than it ever has before. The reality of my dream feels further and further away. The flowers sent by a compassionate friend bring a small amount of comfort as I stare at my still empty body.
Yet, something else is going on here. Something much more magical. The dark is not so dark after all. The depression is not so all-consuming when one looks for the absurdity of the situation. It’s absurd. Already nauseous for three weeks. Let’s add the flu to all the other symptoms. Oh, joy.
I think it is going to be okay though. Besides a new (albeit regrettable) love for the TV show Grey’s Anatomy, I think the scars are going to heal in this dark, dank, nauseous pit. If nothing else, I am going to appreciate my jogging trails with new fervour. I’m going to appreciate a normal person’s diet with pleasure unexpected. A circle of friends that I would have never known existed has drawn around me during this time – from a husband that strokes my back to fellow teachers who look the other way when I show up to work in sweats.
Insanity might have some perks.