The other evening I visited with a friend who has a different but equally voracious chronic illness to appease. He spoke of his longing for his lost career, the 'toys,' he has given up, the dreams that have withered and died. His pain seemed to float on the air like a slightly sour smelling incense. Even though I walk in similar paths and know the gouges and cracks that illness has worn; it was heart breaking to sit and listen. I knew him when, I knew him before. And it quite simply sucks the air from my breast to be so powerless. No bandaid words exist to better him or me, for that matter. And, I realized what an insight he was giving me.
Confession time. I am so alone and lonely that I ache with it. I have many people who 'do' for me; clean, run errands, pray, bring books. The list is endless. I always feel so guilty for that not being enough. But I miss having friends. I miss being part of a bible-study group. I miss girl's night out. I can feel the difference between obligation and desire. Over the past year I have lost touch with many of my closest friends and it kills me.
Being in my life is no piece of cake. And, it was sitting and talking with my friend that gave me a glimpse of what being in my intimate circle must feel like. I've never faulted others who've distanced themselves. As I've said before, my life is one heck of a twisted carnival ride.
I have to find a way to live without my old nemesis's envy, jealousy, and anger. When I hear of others lives and their reasons for not being in mine too often my first visceral response is white hot and ugly. As my own emotions are being worn down to the consistency of drought-stricken corn I simply can't seem to work up empathy. This isn't who I want to be. Somehow I need to slip off the 'old me' and those who peopled that life and learn to find joy in this pared back world that MS has led me kicking and screaming into.
I no longer have the mental or emotional capacity to pursue the ones I've lost closeness with. I dread their upset. I mean no judgement with these words. If anything, maybe reading this can give folks the freedom to live the life that is best for them. Being open to the many hands who reach out to help and accepting the love that accompanies them isn't such a bad way to live with this MonStrous illness.