i’m back!

Posted: January 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

Probably you didn’t notice I was “gone,” since I’ve fallen out of the habit of blogging here regularly, but I had encountered a particular difficulty recently:  my new-to-me computer up and died, choosing to offer me a blue screen when I started it, and then trying to run repairs, but persistently failing.  So I had been writing stuff out by hand, and then carefully enunciating it into my iPhone, using the voice-to-text function to make blogs happen.  Let me tell you, editing a blog on a little iPhone screen with 50-year-old eyeballs and fat fingers – it’s not the easiest thing!

However, God had arranged for an easy replacement of that computer that died mere weeks after my getting it.  I’ve spent the last couple of days wrangling this new-to-me replacement in between my other real life tasks, and at last it is properly protected, Chrome is installed, and Internet Explorer has been banished to the corner, so that it can’t invite viruses into my world.

Ahhhhh.  Much mo’ betta.

But that’s not the only way “I’m back” today.  As I mentioned in a previous post, last month after a bunch of impediments and delays, I was finally able to do labs through my chiropractor to try to get down to the business of why I’ve been hamstrung by exhaustion for nearly two years.  We got a few preliminary answers, and I got a plan from the doc – supplements (sooo many supplements – handfuls at every meal) along with other diet and lifestyle tips.  I started obeying all of that as soon as the stuff came in the mail (my doc is very adamant about the quality/purity of what I take) on December 29, which means I’ve been at it just a bit less than 2 weeks.

My expectation has been that this will be a long, slow climb to get up and out of where I’ve been stuck for so long.  Honestly, I didn’t expect much to change in the first few weeks, because we’re not just throwing a bunch of stimulants at me, and we’re not just artificially replacing things that my body seems to have forgotten how to make.  We’re working on healing my body so that it can do the things it’s supposed to do, and healing is generally not as fast as symptom management.  That’s fine with me; at 50 I’m very much NOT a fan of symptom management.  I’ve noticed it doesn’t really work, in the long term.

I’ve been surprised, then, to experience actual improvement already.  I’m not “fixed” and there’s still a long way to go, but two things are already happening.  One is that I’m waking up earlier in the mornings – the alarm is set at the 10-hour mark, but I’m waking around 7.5 or 8 hours.  I’m not fully “there” yet – generally I’m awake for twenty minutes or half an hour and then need another hour or so of napping before I can really get going – but still:  progress.  This feels like progress to me.

The other thing that’s happening is even better than that:  I’m starting to get mental clarity back.  The thing about not having clarity is that it’s so easy not to realize what you’ve lost.  I happen to be extra (unwillingly) skilled at denial, which means extra oblivious to a lot about myself until I can either look backward at it or maybe do some extensive writing (God almost always speaks to me when I write, and I learn the most surprising things about myself and the world around me).

As I begin to step out of the mental fog, I can look back and realize:  holy cow, I have been OUT OF IT.  I have been walking around just wishing I could go back to bed almost always, feeling the weight of “I just can’t do this” pressing down on me, resenting every task that keeps me from curling up on the couch, but meanwhile just muscling through for a long, long time.  I have these well-developed “get stuff done” mental muscles and I’ve been doggedly doing the next right thing, and the next right thing, and the next right thing, all over the loud objections within me begging, “Can’t we just go back to bed?”  I look across it all and realize:  I think I’ve been depressed for quite awhile, only I didn’t know because I am so happy on so many fronts (tricky work my brain has been doing, keeping that all separated and compartmentalized.)  Getting depressed is not an unreasonable reaction to the challenges I’ve been facing, I suppose.  It just needs to be dealt with.

I feel like I’ve been kind of a badass, pushing through, now that I see more clearly.  A younger version of me wouldn’t have managed it – I’d have missed so much work and dropped out of so many other things.  I’d have yielded to the yearning to be in bed more often than not.  I’ve let some things slide (as clarity comes, I am unpleasantly surprised at discovering some of those), but really I’ve kept up surprisingly well with the “handicap” I was working through.

I’m still tired.  I’m typing this before leaving for church, and I’ve been up for hours, so what I really feel like doing is baling out and getting back under the covers for more sleep.  Per usual, I will disregard the default to atrophy and get myself out the door shortly.

But at last I’m feeling hopeful.  I had written awhile back that I felt like I was walking down a long hall, with doors closing along the way blocking my most basic opportunities more and more, being herded toward a room where I’d be contained, doing nothing.  That got worse since I wrote about it – really right now I feel like I’m IN that room.  But I’ve got a foot in the door, and it’s not closing.  And finally the hands that were trying to clutch at me and drag me back so that the door could slam…have let go.  Still a lot of work to do to get back to anything like normal functionality.

But I have hope.

And hope feels so, so good.

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