My thinker appears to be broken. Well not really broken, as much as sprained. Maybe it’s the rain, the wind that has been howling through the Hudson Valley all day. Maybe it’s just too late in the day for my brain to do any more thinking. Either way what I set out to share with you all tonight has flown out the window in the last gust of wind. For now, let’s talk about anniversaries.
Friday was my 12 year anniversary working for the state. It was odd I realized that the same day I was doing some stuff for disability and retirement. I always figured if I retired after 12 years it would be because I somehow become a millionaire, not because my body has been infested with corkscrew-like bacteria for the past couple of decades rendering me almost unable to care for myself (if not physically, then financially).
As I thought about that over the weekend I realized it was 14 years ago this week I moved to Albany. Bright eyed and bushy tailed from 4 years in Utah and Idaho, I transferred to school up there which is what led me to working for the state. You know the rest up until the next anniversary, which was 2 months ago when I left Albany to return to Saugerties to move in with my mom as I began IV treatment for my Lyme disease. After 9 months of fighting this disease through oral antibiotics and other supplements it was time to move on to the big guns, and at the same time I gave up my apartment and it’s expenses to be able to continue to pay for treatment and medicine which was not being covered.
It struck me as funny how it all came back full circle. Starting with 14 years ago when I left Saugerties for Albany, to the career I had that kept me there until 2 months ago when I returned for reasons beyond my control (and to be quite honest beyond my ability to comprehend). It’s more than just an Aerosmith song, full circle really does describe life pretty well.
So I wonder what circle is being formed with all of this sickness and change going on. A year ago my life was completely different. I was pretty sick by that point, but I just didn’t know why. But it was still a fast paced world where I commuted the 2 miles to work on a city bus, spent my days downtown in shirts and ties laughing with my coworkers, days spent in my cubicle working on budgets and spreadsheets.
My life could not be any more opposite today than it was 365 days ago. On my good days I will tell you that being sick with Lyme is really a blessing (on my bad days don’t even ask!) Throughout the last 11 months one of the only ways to keep my sanity has been to find the good that has come out of being sick. Some times it’s the littlest of things that I rely on to keep me going. But as I ponder the anniversaries occurring and the circle that was created by those anniversaries…I can get a little excited finally. Because this disease is starting a new chapter in my life. I don’t do well with change. Plain and simple. But when I look at the changes in the last 14 years and the circle that just closed, I’m kind of excited to see what’s on the journey in the next circle.
So while this all sucks royally…and when I say it sucks, I mean it. This has been beyond anything I could have ever imagined. But tucked within the layers of hell that I’ve endured in the past 11 months I have found quite a few things to be thankful for, several of which never would have happened without this illness. Would I have chosen to be sick again if given the choice? No…I could never knowingly go through that, but I can find some good things in it, and I know I will find many more as I get better and can start to get my life back.
It helps when you can find some kind of purpose in what’s happening to you, especially when what’s happening to you is a life altering event. There are days it’s easier to lay in bed and feel sorry for myself, but I know I feel better when I can get out of bed and find a reason to my day. Day by day as I find reasons I can start to see the bigger reasons. So today, while I’m frustrated at how slow my recovery feels, I am thankful for the progress I have made overall in the last 11 months. I have come a long way in that time, and I’m grateful I’m still able to see that the grass is greener on the other side, and I’m beginning to see that soon enough I can get to the other side.
It has recently occurred to me that perhaps my body is recovering one lesson at a time.