I will just say it’s been a tough week where finding inner resolve and doing lots of contemplation and thinking while in my near solitary confinement this past month has pushed me emotionally. It pushed me to dark places that one can only go when you get really sick, live alone, and don’t have people at your beck and call to take care of your every need. In those dark places though, I come to good insights about people and the world around me.
Since I had my stem cell injections in mid December, I have just been sick. I finally made an appointment with urgent care last Monday as I realized my neck was excruciatingly painful as was my head in a different way than usual. The most troubling part was that I was getting forgetful and confused. I could think of the words in my head, but I couldn’t get them to come out of my mouth. I was ending up on my bedroom floor in the middle of the night unsure if I was dreaming or in reality. It was weird as I knew I was having issues and as a couple friends pointed out to me with basically the same wording, “Lizzie, delusional people don’t question if they are delusional”. There were many other troubling symptoms I thought warranted wracking up more medical debt.
Anyway, the urgent care sent me immediately to the ER as the urgent care doctor said I needed a spinal tap. I guess I was slurring my words very badly and falling asleep while I was talking to her. I don’t remember much about that day except sleeping in the ER waiting room. Sleeping through the whole ER process knowing the ER doctor was an idiot and wouldn’t look for the right things. I was right! With my blood pressure at 60/40, I was discharged totally disoriented and exhausted.
So in being sick these past nearly 6 weeks, I’ve been mad at all the people who haven’t shown up. I’ve been angry at the people who said they loved me. I’ve been mad as I checked in on them without an ounce of return to see how I’m doing. It’s been the old, you get sick, you disappear, people forget.
I then made a mind shift right after I got out of the hospital to how many people have shown up for me. I’m not privileged to have family or a spouse or partner or significant other who would usually be the one to take care of you when you’re sick. I also don’t have the finances to pay anyone to help me, but people have shown up regardless. Forget the person who said they were going to come on Thursday and Friday and never gave me an answer why they didn’t show. I’ll have gratitude for the person who sat with me the other night for an hour and rejoiced with me that I had turned enough of a corner to organize my aromatherapy shelf.
My aromatherapy is like those crazy chemistry sets that only my friends with cool parents got when we were kids. I make blends for people and mail them all over the US for all sorts of ailments. It’s my joy and a loving hobby of something I can do to give back to people as my way of paying it forward. It was a jumbled mess in a box of the oils themselves along with the different types of bottles I put them in and mailing supplies making me hate my hobby. So it was nice to have a few minutes of energy to organize so I can get back to doing something I love.
I also have a very special friendship with a woman that we unfortunately share the not joy of chronic illness and difficult coparenting relationships. We do share a love of books, our children, finding joy in the little things, and genuinely being supportive of everything good, bad, and, in between. She’s too ill to talk on the phone, but surprisingly through our messaging that could probably be a book by itself, she feels more like family (I really hate that word) than anyone I know. I believe she loves the way I love. She’s a lifeline and genuinely hope, pray, put out positive energy that someday we are both well enough to meet.
So in my solitude, I found plenty of anger for people who didn’t check in, show up, felt like they just didn’t care. I also know that people’s actions are more a reflection of them than me. Somehow my mind shifted to the people who do love me the way I love others. They might not have a lot of time, but with those specific and select few, it doesn’t feel like an ignore or “too wrapped up in my own garbage to see beyond my tiny bubble”, it’s more about they have obligations and when they have time for me, they will come.
Even the healthiest people don’t have tons of people in their inner circle. You might have one or two if you’re lucky. The majority of your life for people my age is usually filled with career and family. I’m at least on a hiatus from those things (I will see my son again, I’m just not sure when or how. As for career, I’ve been getting opportunities I’ve just had to put on hold indefinitely or forever, I don’t know).
So basically, I’m just trying to recognize for me, and maybe for you that if you feel alone, perhaps you have done a good job at only allowing love into your inner circle with authenticity. I didn’t even used to know what an inner circle was. I was simply a chameleon who matched the situation so people would like me. I had tons of friends, but I felt lonely, not just alone. There’s a big difference. No one knew who I was as I didn’t know who I was.
We have rings around us, usually several. Who do you want in which ring? Even people with healthy families often don’t have parents in their inner ring as they get older. At my trauma resort, I saw a therapist draw the rings for another client and how she inappropriately had people in the wrong places. Just something to think about.
Keep those people that love you the way you love others close.
Just a picture of lots of random birds/ducks/geese as I went to explore a new park, which was quite an adventure as I witnessed lots of crime. I didn’t take pictures of that!! I just decided to appreciate all these feathered friends and that I was outside for a few minutes at the end of a week that started out in the hospital.