Still I Rise

I was born a feeler, feeling the weight of the world.  Baby pictures reveal dark circles under my eyes so soon into my stay. My upbringing was that of a very “Doctor knows best” nature.

I thought every kid had a Rolodex of specialists.

Memories of runny nose-covered sleeves flash before me. Always itchy, always rashy. Always on that dank-ass pink potion of death. I speak of course of the refrigerated vial of Amoxi that seems to pervade every time strain I cross through. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t on some form of nature-disrupting serum. I was a mess.

Then the fatigue came.

Waves and waves for days, sometimes weeks at a time. I was diagnosed with Epstein Barr . A year later, I was “officially” diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was told to sleep it off…..um, ok….sure…and that was the end of my life with a Rolodex. I was 14. Everything seemed to affect me. Constant muscle and joint pain. Brain fog that made me forget my name. Crippling anxiety. A tunnel of sludge where it was expected of me to set up camp and deal.

That was my freshman year of highschool. By my senior year, I got kicked out of a prestigious Catholic highschool that I loved because I physically couldn’t get out of bed. I begged my mother to homeschool me….I can still hear her saying …..

“WHAT DO YOU THINK WE ARE,  AMISH!? WE DON’T HOMESCHOOL.”

So, I did what any level-headed 17-year-old would do.  I moved out. I signed myself up to take the GED, passed it in 45 minutes and said goodbye to establishment education for a while.

I was very angry for a very long time after this. I felt abandoned. Unloved.

I was not a good person, to myself or others. I became destructive in every aspect of my life. I hid my illness with booze and cocaine. They were the best of times, they were the worst of times. Yet one cannot survive on falsehoods forever. I started to look a little deeper.

There comes a time, it happens a billion times a day, when you have to choose life or death.

Slowly, I began choosing life. Rare as those occasions were, it was a start. I began by reading Donna Eden’s Energy Medicine,  then anything by Alan Watts, Khalil Gibran, Rumi. I found myself reading every book that I could get my hands on that had to do with this internal magic that I KNEW was inside of me. That’s when I found the book that would change my life. I read “Coming to Our Senses” by, Jon Kabat-Zinn.

I began to see that everything that was happening to me was actually happening through me.

We live in a very blame-happy society. It’s ingrained in us. The woes of life because of the actions or inactions of others flowed freely in my adolescent household. The cards we’re given, our own raw deal is a lamentation revisited almost without interruption. But I began to see things from an amazing new perspective. What if, not only was this illness a lesson, what if this illness was paramount to my lesson? So my spiral downward into nothingness became nothing more than a staircase. And with each singular step, I began to rise.

I have set-backs. But I’ve learned to translate those set-backs into different perspectives that I need in order to move forward with my evolution of self. As long as there are steps in front of me, I will continue to rise.

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