I lie with wild abandon.
At least six times a day I get asked how I’m doing, how do I feel. My reply is almost always, “I’m fine.”
I haven’t been fine in several years. Some days I feel good, of course, I can forget I’m sick. I can wake up feeling refreshed, stay awake and feel motivated. I have good days, but I have a lot of bad days. I just don’t talk about them, not really. I may say that I don’t feel myself that day, or I may sleep a whole lot more, but I’d rather not put it out there how I really feel. When people ask you how you feel, they really only want to here that you feel fine. A lot of times when I say the words, “I’m fine,” on the inside I’m screaming “You can’t handle the truth.”
Living with a chronic and debilitating illness is so incredibly overwhelming that sometimes I sit up at night and just stare at the wall trying to piece it all together. I try to find the sense in the madness. One minute I was fine and quite literally the next my entire world was changed and there was no going back.
I’m in mourning for the person that I was. That’s an overwhelming and complicated thing. To mourn oneself, to know I will never be that person again. I carry inside my head tiny parts of the me that are dead now. I wonder a lot what memories am I missing. How much have I changed? Why can’t I just go back? I have always loved to write, however. Now I have nothing but time. My head is brimming. I have had five strokes so I apologize ahead of time for spelling and grammar errors.
I was pregnant with my daughter the first time I read about the new literary form called blogging. I know it sounds odd that I would remember that moment so clearly when other memories of mine have been lost to my disease, however, I’ve revisited that moment over and over again in my quiet times over the years. In college I had high hopes of finishing with my English/Education degree and Minor in Journalism. I was excited at the idea of helping impressionable kids love the art of reading as much as I do. My secret desire, however, the reason I minored in Journalism, was to one day be an essayist, a la Lance Morrow, and be featured on the last page of Time Magazine. I eventually switched my major to History, still minoring in Journalism, deciding on a path in Literary Journalism.
Life happened, of course, I instead found myself a young mother, pregnant for the second time, reading about blogging in Newsweek at a prenatal visit.The wheres and hows of how I got from point A to point B is a story for another day, but the reason why I always go back to that moment is-what if? What if I had started blogging that day? I was fascinated at the idea that someone could write and publish essays on their own on the Internet. This was nearly sixteen years ago, Google was new as well. Internet and cell phones were a luxury still. How many people remember Prodigy? There are all these terms and computer things I have to learn now. I’m excited though. It’s been a long time coming for me. I regret not starting at the very beginning, but that doesn’t mean I can’t start now. I just have a little catching up to do. I’m going to have to give myself vocabulary tests I think! I’d love help in learning all the ‘blogging’ terms. Feel free to drop me some suggestions!