I haven't written in several weeks, and I find myself now coming back to the blank screen as to a friend I haven't spoken with in a bit too long, as if the cursor can feel the strain of our separation and we are circling each other, waiting to see if we still have that same old rapport.
I feel as if I'm coming out of a great fog, as if I am remembering what it feels like to be myself. I guess I'm wondering, too, if the cursor and I will have that same old rapport.
The last six months have been like a grinding weight that fell on me slowly, that incrementally chipped away at my energy, my buoyancy, my mood. It's been half a year of near constant sickness, of countless rounds of antibiotics, of going under the knife to have my tonsils removed, and then wading through the painful, hazy days of recovery. At some point in early spring, I found myself questioning if the old shackles of depression had slipped themselves around my wrists again, binding me to days of darkness and apathy. I couldn't quite discern whether it was the round after round of sickness or the beginnings of depression that kept me from having the motivation to tackle the pile of mail on the counter or get out and run or sit down and write something already.
And without knowing, really, what caused the tremendous funk I've been in, without knowing whether this surgery will be able to curb my tendency to turn every cold into a full blown infection, still I sit here tonight feeling pretty good and being in a place where I will take an evening of feeling pretty good as the gift that it is. Today I went to the gym at lunch, something I haven't done for months and months, since long before this funk set in, and when I settled back in for an afternoon of work, I thought to myself, "I remember this feeling. I remember feeling tired and overheated and sweaty beneath my work cloths and strangely, euphorically good." I think the quicksand took me so slowly I didn't even realize I was sinking until I was nearly buried. And tonight, it's like I am looking down at my muddy pants, suddenly realizing I've crawled out.
I've been listening to this song "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz over and over because that's a certain sickness I have, ruminating on the same song, keeping it on repeat until I've understood exactly what it has to teach me. This song reminds me of my husband, but I haven't been able to listen to it for a while because it hurt to hear; it made me think of what it must be like to be married to someone who's sick all the time, who's sad or cranky or sleepy or in pain more often than not. Tonight, though, this song makes me think of how lucky I am to be married to someone who shows no signs of giving up on me.
There's no one else I would rather have tie my hospital gown in back and make fun of the way I look in a paper hair net. There's no face I would rather see when I'm coming out of anesthesia.
Sometimes I think I never love my husband more than I do when we are in the hospital together, sitting in some waiting room or some exam room or some recovery room, because we are always laughing. Everyone around us may be grim, but we are like teenagers, speaking in our carefully honed language of sarcasm and inside jokes, giggling and making too much noise. Sam still acts like any exam room we are in is some kind of amusement park, and he wants to see everything the place has to offer. He's opening cabinet doors and blowing up latex gloves like balloons while I'm chiding him and praying the doctor doesn't come in until Sam is done exploring. And I realize every time he starts wearing the one of those little face masks like a yarmulke that we are constantly pulling each other away from our own extremes, him loosening my white knuckle grip on following all the rules and me reminding him to maybe not break all of them.
I guess what I'm saying is that if you are going to need someone to set their alarm to bring you medicine and ice every four hours, day and night, it's pretty great if that person can also be someone who makes you a better version of yourself even on your best of days. It's pretty great if it can be someone who smiles and reminds you he promised in sickness and in health, and he meant it. And he means it.
I feel soaked through with gratitude this evening, thinking of the way I was cared for in the past months, thanking my lucky stars that both my mother and Sam's parents came to help out after the surgery. It was time I expected to be lost to the blur of recovery, and yet it turned out to be the kind of quiet, everyday, unassuming time that we almost never get to share with our far-flung families.
I'm thankful that I am remembering how it feels to have sore muscles, that even though my brain wanted to fixate on my reflection in those floor to ceiling gym mirrors, I did a right decent job of drowning out the concern over the size of my thighs by meditating on the work, by making the movements a prayer that said, "Thank you Lord for this miraculous body and what it can do." I'm thankful that I'm coming out of that great fog, that it turns out
the cursor and I still have a mostly amicable relationship. I'm feeling pretty good tonight, and tonight that's all I need, this long overdue feeling. I'm feeling pretty good, and right now, that's enough.