My husband and I had a long discussion last night about illness. About people we know from the places we have lived. Moms. Their children. Me. We spoke about signs and symptoms and how some people have to bear so very much hardship in their lives, while others run along unscathed like indestructible bumper cars. I hate to read about sick children and sick mommies. It hurts me to even think about it, and it makes me feel small for complaining about my own woes.
At a recent doctor visit, my new doctor who is still trying to unravel all the twists and turns that Lymes seems to be taking me on, had some interesting observations for me. He told me that sometimes 'our bodies tell us things we don't want to know about, but that we need to know'. I've been chewing on that observation, and while I can't bring myself to attribute that truth to suffering children and mommies, for myself and my personal journey, I find that I have to agree.
I do not find it to be a coincidence that I became ill at a point in my life where I was on complete and utter autopilot. Externally things were perfect. Great job. Great house. Handsome, successful husband. Gorgeous kids (one boy, one girl). Fun city, etc. But just below the surface I had become a hollow vessel. The soul and juice of life had been draining away for a very long time, and I was too blind by our 'success' to be aware of it. My marriage was inhabited by two people who had left their assigned seats a while back, and had the car placed on cruise-control. We had both checked out in our own ways. We were ghost ships passing each other in the night, even though we slept in the same bed, lived in the same home, texted grocery lists back and forth and paid our bills.
It makes me sad to look back and think about us back then. It makes me sad to think about all the small moments that went unnoticed with our kids. It makes me feel ashamed to know that while I was searching for attention and excitement, thinking happiness must be in next exercise fad or pretty dress, my husband was looking for attention as well (and he wasn't getting it from me). We both wanted something from each other but we had grown into dysfunctional missiles, consistently and entirely missing their true mark.
And then I got sick. And then the world stopped. And then I knew how much I needed my husband. And I knew how much I loved him. And then I finally saw things that I should have seen for a very long time. About us both.
The issues had been stored up, and finally overcame my tissues and they leaked out like a mac truck. In hindsight, my illness is what brought us back together. My being sick is what stopped the madness and re-calibrated our world.
My little tick-born mess has actually forced us to make good choices. To talk, to plan, to dream again. My sickness has resulted in many things in a very short period of time. I quit my job. I got a better one that didn't make me crazy. We moved to a place with loads of sunshine and glorious water. We play with our kids. We breathe and rest and give ourselves the grace to be human, and the love to keep figuring it out. Together.
Being sick has made me grateful. It has made my husband grateful. My sickness has given us a window. No, it's given us a door back to the selves we really wanted to be all along. My sickness has given us permission to pause, to re-calibrate, to reconnect and re-align.
I agree that our bodies may be trying to tell us things we need to know. If only we had the presence or heart and mind to listen... before they have to shout, rather than whisper.
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