I’ve walked through my storm, I’ve ran through my storm, I’ve sat in my storm and cried.
For the last three and a half years I’ve lived out of bottles of pills.
When you take a medication for a long enough period of time your body begins to form an addiction to it, your body becomes used to functioning with it. For the last three and a half years my body has become addicted to handfuls of medications. Four handfuls a day of at least three different medications, sometimes eight. These pills are the only way it’s been possible for me to walk through my storm.
For the last three and a half years I have woken up and drug myself out of bed and down to the kitchen where I pull out eight different bottles, I swallow a handful of pills. For the last three and a half years I have eaten lunch and reached into my pocket to pull out a handful of pills, and I’ve swallowed them. For the last three and a half years I have eaten dinner and made my way to the cabinet where I pull out my basket of pill bottles, and I’ve emptied them into my hands, and I’ve swallowed them. For the last three and a half years I’ve stumbled to the kitchen right before I fall asleep and I’ve pulled out a handful of pills, and I’ve swallowed them. Four times a day, 28 times a week, 112 times a month, 1,460 times a year. For the past three and a half years I have swallowed handfuls of medications round the clock 5,110 times.
For the last three and a half years I have fallen to the ground, unconscious, unable to care for my own self. I’ve learned the familiar wave of dizziness as the room spins and my body is overcome with sweats and a numb feeling. For the last three and a half years I have taught myself to bend my knees when the all too familiar feeling overcomes my body because then maybe my knees will catch me and protect my head. For the last three and a half years I have become self conscious of wearing shorts because my legs are bruised and scarred from all of the times my legs have protected the rest of my body from injury.
For the last three and a half years I have learned how to give up my wants and hopes to settle for safety and protection. I have learned to say no to plans and yes to help. I have become so comfortable in letting others care for me that at times I have forgotten to care about myself. I have become so used to the feeling of sickness and weakness that I have forgotten the feeling of healthy and energized.
Three and a half years later I am here, preparing to pack my bags and set off on the greatest, most exciting, yet most terrifying journey of my entire life. I am preparing my body to learn to live without the medications that over 5,110 times I have shoved down my throat. I am preparing to learn to live a life in which I will catch others from falling. I am preparing to begin a life of health and energy.
Nothing about this last three and a half years has been pretty, it has been ugly, so terribly ugly. It’s been disguised by smiles, and happy faces, but it’s been hard so very hard. When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness somewhere along the lines you learn the art of masking what’s happening on the inside to portray an image of a brave, strong, fighter on the outside. We all do it, and we all know we do it, because it’s the only way we can get through our day.
Three and a half years later after a journey I never ever thought I would take I am somehow packing my bags and preparing to set off on a new journey with endless possibilities. After traveling a journey not chosen by me, I am preparing to set off on the greatest journey of my choosing. I often have covered up the ugly of my journey, we all do in life. Really at the end of the day we are all fighting something, mine has just shown itself in different ways than most. They say you have to walk through the storm before you can see the rainbow, well I’ve walked through the storm, it was a freaking tsunami, and the rainbow, it better be freaking beautiful. If it’s anything like what I’m starting to see then it’s going to be one of those double rainbows from that dumb song.
We are all going to be thrown storms that aren’t of our choosing. However it is how we choose to battle and brave the storm that depicts the outcome of it. Don’t let your storm rain on your parade.
Walk through your storm, you deserve to see your rainbow.