I only come around when I'm sad.

I've had ...a year.

I've had incredible highs and devastating lows. It has been a rollercoaster that I'm so very tired of riding.

I haven't written here in a while because things were good. I was healthy, both physically and emotionally.

But maybe I wasn't.

In April, I went on a brief vacation and returned only to say goodbye to my beautiful Reuben.

Shortly after, James went on the trip of a lifetime to Malaysia, only to return early because our Jack was dying. He was diagnosed with megaesophagus and for the next two months, our lives revolved around battling this rare and devastating illness. Sadly, we lost that fight.

The next day I went on an amazing trip to Isla Mujeres, where I swam with whale sharks and ended up with a nasty bout of food poisoning (I can tell you exactly what did it. Ceviche shouldn't taste like pesto).

Just recently I went to Northern California to be a part of a dear friend's wedding. It was such a beautiful time, except I got a little bit sick.

And by a little bit sick, I mean I either caught or reactivated a mystery virus which paralyzed half of my face and landed me in the hospital for three days.

I'm now on day 12 of Bells Palsy - partial facial paralysis.

I'm scared. I wake up every day, hopeful that it got better while I slept. I spend the rest of the day trying to keep my stress down, trying to find hope, trying to relax, trying not to crumple into a sobbing mess in my bed.

I know that I could be better in 3 weeks. I also know that I might never get better.

I cannot smile. It's physically impossible.

It's hard to eat. It's hard to drink. It's hard to speak.

I'm tired and I don't know why. Is it the mystery virus? Is it depression?

Who knows.

My face hurts and that's supposed to be good. Sometimes it crawls and itches and that's uncomfortable but that's also supposed to be good. If it doesn't crawl and itch, I'm terrified. Crawling and itching means my nerves are doing...something. Nothing means...nothing. Continued paralysis.

I can't close my right eye. Which means I can't just lay down for a nap or even risk falling asleep watching tv. I have to tape it shut to sleep. Or nap. Or rest. Sometimes I tape it shut because it just bothers me. I can't risk being out in the wind because my eye can't protect itself. I can't squint in bright sun. I have to manually blink my eye through the day with my fingers, and use synthetic tears. The blinking and the tears temporarily compromise my vision, which makes it hard to do all of the things I love.

(This was a few days in. It got worse.)

I've gone through the gamut of emotions, some realistic and some not so much. Did I do this to myself? Because I celebrated with too many margaritas? Is it because I'm unhealthy? Because I was too happy? Took on too much? Because I quit running? Anxious? Too stressed out? Why do bad things keep happening when we travel? Are we being punished? Are we bad people? Is God trying to teach me another lesson? Will God ever tire of teaching me lessons? I'm so very tired of life's lessons. How do I rest? Am I lazy for resting? My poor husband. He married this broken thing. Why am I so broken? What else is wrong? What's next? How can I be better so this stops happening? Am I terrible?

And on and on and on...

My therapist says that I'm very hard on myself.

I'm aware. I don't know how to stop. I was wired at a very young age to believe all bad things were my fault, even when it's ever so obvious that some things simply aren't my fault.  Apparently that's just a battle I need to keep fighting.

I am being proactive. I'm eating well. I've backed off from all big projects for the moment. I'm painting for therapy. I'm sleeping. I'm practicing relaxation and stress management. I'm seeing my therapist. Acupuncturist. Doctors. I'm doing all of the things.

But I'm scared. And I'm sad. And while I believe that I can do hard things, I would be lying if I said I relished these battles. I don't. I'm tired. Some days I feel like all I do is fight. One thing after another after another. But other days, I feel so lucky for every great and beautiful thing that has come my way. There are a lot of those. Battles and beauty, I guess. And we keep moving forward. One day at a time.


meg said...

Seeing you bare your vulnerabilities and being honest with your feelings is really inspiring. Rooting for you, dear heart.

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your doozy of a year. But your honesty and transparency are so appreciated. You have such a gift with writing; it's a comfort to me (and others as well, I'm sure) to know others out there feel similar insecurities/struggles, and that no one is alone in feeling broken. Thank you for your openness. Praying for a quick recovery, and rooting for you. <3