I miss who I was and I struggle to accept that she may never return. I used to bounce, constantly. I had a bottomless well of energy. I was constantly social, always connecting with others. Now even bouncing wears me down. I wouldn’t label myself anti-social, but I no longer make and maintain connections like I used to.
One of the things that hurts my heart the most is that I am not able to be there for my friends like I used to. Supporting the ones I love has always been so important to me. I missed my friend’s bachelorette party (that I helped plan) because of herx reactions. I will miss another friend’s wedding because I don’t have the energy to get there and back. Even just reaching out and being a friend is difficult for me.
I miss being academically gifted. I hate suffering from dysnomia (the inability to recall the correct word from memory.) I am a concise writer and select each word carefully; due to the dysnomia, I will search for the word I want for 20 minutes or more. (ok, I’m also neurotic.) I’ve also noticed that I struggle to pronounce words, which I wonder if that is a similar neurologic process. When talking, I may say what I am thinking but random, incorrect things might come out of my mouth instead. Sometimes I am able to catch my errors but sometimes not. It’s even harder for me to write my thoughts. I am blessed that a friend has volunteered to take dictation for me so that I can finish up my summer semester. I know that I should be careful what I wish for but I almost wish that I wasn’t able to recognize the cognitive changes; I find myself longing for the bliss that ignorance bestows.
In a backwards sort of way I was blessed when twice I considered just giving up. Each time I was presented with an easy way out: the first time I was swimming and ran out of energy; I looked around to find the pool edge to grasp and realized I was in the middle of the deep end. I knew that I could have just allowed myself to drown and I would be released from my suffering. However, I chose life. I kept my lungs inflated, did a deadman’s float and waited until I floated close enough to grab the pool edge. The second time was a couple months ago while I was struggling with pneumonia and was in so much pain I wondered if I could continue to bear it. While swallowing my joint supplement pills, they lodged sideways in my throat. A couple months prior to this a dear friend had choked and died suddenly, so I knew how dire my predicament was. I knew that I could panic and allow my throat to close and that would be it, the end. Once again, I chose life. I remained calm, continued to breathe, and waited for the pills to dissolve and pass through to my stomach. It took a few hours but it was worth it. My doctors say that I have too much life left in me to give up yet.
The fact is that the past is gone. What was cannot be retrieved, so I must figure out how to work with what I have now. I must love who I am now, learn patience and acceptance. I just really miss her.