The last few months have been like walking through an emotional minefield. I never knew if what I was undertaking, my step forward, would later blow up in my face and instead lead to two steps back. Back to a place all too familiar. A place that’s slightly more comfortable for me, but very dangerous if I stay there too long.
Three months is too long.
During this time I have had many familiar experiences. I’ve dropped out of school twice, had one round of surgical testing and scheduled a second in April, I’ve found both healthy and unhealthy coping techniques that lead to gaining over 30 pounds, and changed medications and/or doses 4-5 times (some changes were effective and some not). These changes had side effects that were new and slightly unexpected. All of these things are hard for me on their own. Experiencing them almost back-to-back in such a short period of time has been damaging.
But it’s not all bad. I’ve found a book I think is great for anyone struggling with chronic illness, despite being about epilepsy specifically. “A Mind Unraveled” by Kurt Eichenwald has been a source of comfort and relief. It’s relieving to read something and say “Yup. I’ve been there. Absolutely true.” It’s relieving to find out that his medications, doctors, and seizures have been problematic at times as well. And it’s comforting to find out that despite many challenges, he has come through to have a great career.
Most important of all, his book was one of the factors that encouraged me to start writing again. And all this after only reading through the introduction.
Confronting all of these things is hard. A lot of my life I’ve lived by either trying to figure out the meaning of the past, or trying my best to plan for the future. Some memories I’d blocked out completely. But living in the present is really difficult. And while I’ve written almost exclusively about past experiences thus far, this wound is fresh. These things are still unfolding.
But I want to talk about each of these things individually. And I will.