It’s about time for me to write again. What has been holding me back? Earlier this summer I had a major setback. Recurrence, relapse, a Herxheimer reaction, whatever, it sucked. For once, I, the relentless optimist, had nothing. My therapist called it an existential crisis. Of course he is right. I had bet the farm that I’d be well by the end of September. Rookie mistake. Instead, I’m learning to play the waiting game. The list of things that are on hold is not long: work, travel, working out, love and health. In short, a life. At what point do you move forward, Lyme disease be damned? I haven’t figured that out yet. Instead, I read books with titles like “The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness”, or “In the Kingdom of the Sick: A Social History of Chronic Illness in America.” It’s a phase. At some point, and soon, I’ll be back to my relentlessly optimistic self and be entirely confident in regaining my health.
I will have to step out of my comfort zone and try again soon. Earlier this summer, I went back to work, travelled, and started to work out. Maybe that’s why this particular setback bothered me so much. Because I have already learned to manage my life while sick (when I feel well, clean the house, grocery shop, cook first, everything else second), the trick to reentering my life will be what and how much to add. Work is first. I feel useless. It’s one thing to not work by choice. To be denied work is another thing entirely. Finding work that is flexible and not too taxing mentally or physically is the goal. HAHAHAHAHA! It’s probably easier to win the lottery. Which, by the way, was won by someone in our neighborhood, because the winning ticket was sold at a 7-11 less than a mile away where I buy my tickets (DAMN IT!), but I digress. So, work first. Health, or more accurately, self-care, is second on the list. My mistake last time was twofold: doing too much and shirking on self-care. Third, travel. Because travel. I owe many friends a visit, and I want to go watch some tennis somewhere exotic. Not Monaco. I can’t afford it unless I win the lottery.
The last thing on my list is love. I’ve been thinking about love recently. Over the past year and a half, I’ve found my circle tightening. I tell my dad and Katie I love them more often. I tell friends what I like about them. One thing I’m not doing, however, and that is looking for romantic love. It takes way too much energy, all that shaving and primping and doing stuff together. This is one area where ‘wait’ is a no brainer. It’s not that I don’t want love in my life, it’s that I have nothing to give. This waiting until I’m “well” or “dead” is not set in stone. If someone comes along I hope that I’ve had a shower and those dark pits under my eyes aren’t too bad and I’m not wearing anything stained or holey. I hope I’m not in one of my “I hate people” moods. My dad found love again at the full, ripe age of 87. He mourned hard after my mom died for almost four years. Love smacked him in the face, and he has a new bounce in his step and a smile on his face. Not that I want to wait that long. I hope I recognize love if it comes up and smacks me in the face. Until then, I am reasonably content with the waiting game.