Posted by: catsandfish | October 14, 2011

Some Really Intense Real Talk- Don’t freak out

I am at home.

I am always at home lately.

I have a lot of time to reflect on things.

Life just totally flipped a bitch on me a while ago.

Life. You don’t even notice it. You just don’t even know it’s happening. It’s your life and it’s just there, ending one minute at a time. You’re bored. You wake up and it’s just another day. You breath, you eat, you sleep. It’s just reflex. You talk to people. You worry about your problems.

You’re working 40 hours a week, cleaning the house on the weekends, having some friends, driving around. Stuff you don’t think of. Walking the dog. Petting the cats. Getting out of a chair. Eating whatever you feel like. Drive through dinners. Morning coffee. Life. Stuff you hate. Having a dead end job. Taking out the trash. Being stuck in traffic.

You just do it, and it’s one moment to the next.

Just know that everything you know, everything you do, everything you have, even everything you are, it can be gone in a second. Vanish without a trace.

Life is just passing the time until you die. You choose how you use every second.

That big existence thing that none of us ever talk about because it scares the hell out of us to admit the fact that we have no idea what is happening or why.

It was my life.

In a lot of ways it, ended.

I almost died.

In a lot of ways, I did.

I just did what we all do, lived one moment to the next. Worked my job. Worried about my stupid shit.

Then life threw me a curve ball.

I lost a lot. Jobs. Friends. One friend in particular who decided to take his own life.

It was just gone.

I got sick.

Really sick.

Crohn’s Disease is an immune disorder that causes my immune system to attack my intestines and joints.

It sounds so simple when you say it like that.

I won’t get into extreme detail about my symptoms. They are horrible and I wouldn’t wish them on anyone. I have a severe case of Crohn’s. It will suffice to say that my intestines break and leak into my abdominal cavity and blood stream. When this happens, it poisons the rest of my body. Many doctors compare it to Vietnam vets who took a blast of machine gun fire in the guts and then let it get infected. My joints are just swollen and in pain. I am aware of every movement.

You think that the little things you do everyday are not a big deal.

They are.

You don’t realize what independence means until it is gone.

Fuck the word success.

Success is everything you do, good or bad.

Success is just existing.

You think your little job doesn’t matter.

We are always supposed to be doing something bigger and better.

We are always supposed to look better.

Feel better.

Be better in every way.

You think you are not good enough.

I did.

Why?

Close your eyes and take away everything you are doing, everything you are in your life right now.

Just bring it down to rock bottom.

Erase it.

Zero your shit out.

Now build it back up again.

Everything you do, from getting out of bed until you go to sleep.

Hell, even sleeping.

Your everyday bullshit is damned amazing.

You are a fucking rock star, a super hero, incredible.

You are good enough.

You would understand that if you suddenly couldn’t do it.

It could happen to any one of us.

There are a million things that could change your entire life happening every second.

The fact that you are sitting here reading this is astounding.

Congratulations are in order.

Any second the universe can just sweep the game off the table like an angry child.

You could end up stuck in a bed every day like I was or much, much worse.

I consider myself lucky.

It’s hard to talk about what this kind of thing does to you emotionally.

Imagine being helpless, useless, not even a functioning part of society anymore.

Totally invisible to most of the world.

Anger, guilt, constant pain. A bottomless pit of depression.

Every day you have to find something little to live for.

Feeding the pets.

Morning tea.

A bubble bath.

These things become events because it is all you have.

I tried my best to not let anyone know how serious things were.

I just said I was sick.

I didn’t even let family know.

If this pissed you off or hurt you, I’m sorry.

I had to cut myself off from almost everyone so I didn’t hurt them too.

It would have been like spreading my disease.

William took care of me.

The man is a saint.

I couldn’t really leave the house.

Imagine being dependent on another human being for everything.

Imagine being responsible for everything another human being needs.

There were times I tried to leave and go to a care home.

He wouldn’t let me leave.

I went through 2 years, 6 doctors, countless blood tests, wrong diagnoses and medications before I finally found a team of doctors who correctly diagnosed me and started treating me.

Things are getting better, really, really slowly.

I feel like it is safe to let people know more now.

I feel like I can tell people without hurting them.

I still can’t do a lot of basic things. I still have to keep an insane diet. I have to read every food label.

The medication is insane and has terrible side effects, but it is a hell of a lot better than being almost bedridden.

I still hurt constantly.

Most of the time it is just a dull all over ache.

Sometimes it makes me hit the floor.

I still can’t really go out.

I have to take about 15-20 pills a day to function at all.

Steroids, antibiotics, anti depressants, pain pills, sleeping pills.

By function, I mean eat, sleep, and move.

I have had to accept the fact that this isn’t going away.

I have had to apply for disability.

That was hard.

Admitting that this was in fact real, and not a really long bad dream.

The government makes you put it down on paper.

I had to fill out forms.

One form was explaining what my life was like before I was sick.

Another was explaining what I can do now.

All in extreme detail.

Everything you do, from getting out of bed until you go to sleep.

So there it was in black and white, staring me in the face.

Life.

My Life.

My past.

My present.

My future.

Here it is, ending one minute at a time.

You choose how you use every second.

When I was sick I turned into nothing.

The walking dead.

It was like walking in a snow storm.

Your mind has to shut off and your body just keeps going or you will die.

You just keep living.

Now I have to restart.

Feeling and thinking and doing things again.

Start from scratch.

I am undead.

Reborn.

I have this incredible opportunity to rebuild.

There is a lot of good material to work with- my relationship with William, my amazing family and friends. The strength it took to get through what happened.

I am so damn happy about it I disgust myself.

I enjoy the sunrise, birds singing, fresh air.

Everything I eat is exciting.

Every conversation is meaningful.

I am sure I am annoying as hell.

It is like I just landed on this planet and everything is new and exciting.

At this point in my life, being able to stand long enough to cook a simple meal is a victory.

I am so grateful for little things, like being able to go to the store once in a while, see people, play with my pets.

Being able to take my dog out to shit makes me ecstatically happy.

Now that I realize it, my life is amazing.

And your life is too.

Let yourself enjoy things.

Especially little things. Food. Relationships. Just sitting by yourself thinking.

Be grateful for what you have, no matter what it is.

If you don’t like it, there’s no reason you can’t just zero out your shit and start over.

Be happy with who you are and all the amazing shit that you have accomplished.

Every day when you get out of bed, every day you decide to get back up and keep going is incredible.

Life is crazy.

But it’s our’s.

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