Wow. My decade was full. At the start of the decade, I had recently lost a baby and had serious anxiety, forcing me to step down from Youth Development consulting. By the end of the first year, my mother had gotten sick, and died shortly after, leaving me without parents. I lost a job, running a bookstore. It was more than I could handle, but I truly loved it and losing the job was shattering to me. I became a yoga instructor. I had a home water birth, which was divine. I watched as my oldest son grew into an incredible child/teenager. I took an amazing trip on a train with my family to Portland and Ashland, where my husband performed. We got pet rats who lived long lives and died. We bought our first house. Friendships disappeared and dissolved. New ones were formed, despite my illness.
I finally got a diagnosis for all the anxiety, sensory issues, immune issues and more that I and/or my kids had struggled with for decades. My kids and I were diagnosed with life-threatening illness that are not wholly curable. I reconnected with old friends. I ate fish and chips even though I am gluten free and it was the love and company and helped me do okay. I struggled to get the support and the help I need to get through this illness, and have realized that our world seems to have lost the willingness to lend a hand to the weak and weary. I have been blessed with a few neighbors and a few friends, and a few current and former students who are interested in honoring my illness and my needs and for that, I am grateful.
I am exhausted. More often than not, I want to give up. I don’t follow through on much. I never imagined that one year into my treatment I would actually feel like I am closer to the edge of death. When my lymph system is full and my heart is racing, when pain, exhaustion and overwhelm takes over, my courage vanishes. I remember that I am fighting decades of infections that want me to lose. When I am ready to give up, I think of the people who understand. I think of the people with similar diagnosis’ to my own, and I know that I am not alone, even if I feel like it.
So, what are my intentions for 2010? To let go of asking for help, in all ways. To simplify my life/our life on my own, and to slow down the treatment if I need to, in order to accomplish that. I know, without a doubt, that I can not continue at this speed (the chaos, the running around, the searching for things in the clutter).
I intend to accept the fact that I rarely write, I can’t remember much of what I read or do, and that I don’t have the energy to grasp on to failing relationships with friends and family. I accept it, own it and leave it all behind. This is the decade for a new me to expand into the space where another once stood. Maybe that new me won’t ever finish a young adult novel. Maybe that new me will let go of the need to give voice to people with chronic illnesses. Maybe the new me won’t teach yoga anymore. Instead, I am going to make space for the divine to manifest a new me. One that is healed and whole and different. I was infected with Borrelia, Babesiosis and Bartonella when I was 20 years old. I have never know adult life without life-threatening parasites in my body and my brain. This decade, I intent to have them controlled so I can learn about the Me that isn’t sick. The Me that isn’t invaded. The Me that I am becoming.
Cheers to 2010. I’m ready for the new decade.