I have been sick for so long now, that I have gotten used to it – the doctors appointments, the blood draws. My aim when it comes to peeing in a cup for labs is pretty impressive. I can swallow 15 pills in one gulp. I can spot a “good” pillow from across the store. Sick has become my “normal”. So much so, that when the “good” days come along, sometimes I’m actually intimidated by them. I’ve spent many good days lying in bed hiding from the world under the covers, because too many times I’ve been tricked by the good. I think that wow! I feel so good today! I can get so much done that I’m behind on!!! And what happens? I do too much – I don’t remember my body’s limits. I make myself more sick than before.
I fear health.
I fear the good days that make the following days worse. I fear being disillusioned by my own body. And I have been guilty of using this fear to keep me complacent in my illnesses. My Lupus and Behcets had greatly calmed down after I had my little girl. Unfortunately, I was so deep in Post-Partum Depression and Anxiety that I couldn’t really take advantage of the good days. After a few months, I was being treated for the PPD and PPA and the clouds started to lift a bit. I was enjoying my new family and cherishing these almost completely pain-free days – I decided that this would be when I’d start to help myself.
My dad lost his mother when he was only seven years old to Lupus-related complications. Looking at my new baby, I knew I didn’t want her to suffer the same fate. I know that this isn’t entirely in my hands, but I wanted to do everything in my power to be the healthiest I could, so if her fate is the same, at least I can say that mama tried, babygirl. I joined a gym that offered childcare included in membership fees, so there was no excuse for me not to get there. I spent days wandering around aimlessly looking at all the stuff…machines, bikes, and would occasionally sneak a peek at the big “scary” weights where the guys with muscles on top of muscles drank bright drinks and grunted a lot.
I fear health.
I cannot tell you how many times I have sabotaged my own health because I am afraid of the good days. How many times I’ve been in this zone, where I’ve had good day after good day and have had spoons to spare at the end of the night. I’m catching up on home responsibilities, work responsibilities, friends and relationships. I’m active with my child and able to get a really good workout in each day…and then it sets in. That fear. That sense of “this is all going to catch up to me and one of these mornings I’m going to wake up paying for all that I’ve been doing” and so I stop. I slow down. I get stuck in my own tunnel of doubt in my head…where my brain tells me that I’m not meant to have the benefit of good health.
But I am.
I am worth it. I am deserving. And whether I have 50 good days in a row or 2, I am fighting to take advantage of them, instead of live in fear of them. I will fight to live in that moment of health, and not be afraid of it. And I hope you all do the same. Because we all deserve it.