Tuesday, September 2, 2008

what i really did this weekend

sometimes i just like to lay in the lawn
And then sometimes I like to lay in the lawn and take photos of myself.

While the bright photos and adorable video make it look like I spent the weekend frolicking in my garden, hugging children, and twirling in ecstatic circles of great joy and sunshine, I'm afraid that's just not the case. Not to say I didn't have fun taking photos and talking with my 23-month old neighbor - I did. In fact, those were the most enjoyable moments of the weekend.

No, I spent my entire holiday weekend deep in introspection, wading through the quagmire that has become my life and trying to figure out how to make things better.

I'm not happy. I look happy, I smile and chat with people, I am well-groomed, take showers, and leave the house every day to work hard at my job. I paint my toenails wacky colors, sing stupid songs to my dogs, and and enjoy watching Dirty Jobs just so I can lust after Mike Rowe. But on the inside, there's a lot of work to be done.

When I was sick, all I wanted was to be better. I wanted my life back. And now my Lyme is 95% in remission, and I'm finding it easier just to remain in sick mode. Which is, I suppose, not good.

I work great in a crisis - while herxing, I could set myself up on the couch in 10 minutes flat so all I had to do for two days is get up to use the bathroom. I know how to battle bacteria, breathe through a bout of depression, and do all sorts of things to feel better. I know how to get healthy, I just don't know how to live healthy.

In my defense, the past four years have royally blown chunks. I got Lyme disease which I didn't know was Lyme and my doctors and friends thought I had gone crazy; my boyfriend broke up with me after four years and moved on to someone else immediately; my grandma died; I finally got diagnosed with Lyme, and then started the soul-sucking treatment that killing those nasty bacteria entails. I mean, who wouldn't want to disappear from life? You can't deal with all that without finding some sort of coping mechanism. For me, it was medicating myself with food and staying home a lot. It was so much safer - I was so strung out and raw from all the crap that I couldn't stand to put myself out there and live like a normal person. I don't blame myself for finding a way of coping.

But, as Dr. Phil would say, "how's that workin' for ya?" Well, Dr. Phil, I must say, it surely is not.

On Friday night I milled restlessly around my house. Should I call someone? I should. Did I want to call someone? No. Why didn't I want to call someone? Why was I spending a sunny three-day weekend with no desire to leave the house? Why wasn't I reaching out? Why was my kitchen filled with all sorts of junk so I could numbly munch another weekend away? What if I lived to age 100 like this until one day the meter reader discovered my lifeless, mummified body sitting under the walnut tree still clutching a bag of Funyons? This just couldn't go on.

In three days I read four self-help books. I took notes. I wrote stuff. I processed stuff. There were some tears and frustration. I'd take a break when it was too much and then go back at it. I didn't do much of anything else - I just sat under my tree with pens and books and notebooks and GOT THE HELL THROUGH IT. Pondered my body issues, my anger about getting sick in the first place, my absolute exhaustion regarding men and relationships. Last night I came to the end of all this, and I leaned back on the couch and thought, "I think I just woke up."

I'm not saying I'm instantly cured, but whatever it was that clicked for me this weekend was amazing. And hard. But mostly amazing. It's like I peeked out of my hole and saw that there was so much more to life than what I'm doing. I've laid the groundwork to break out of my rut, take my control back, and live the life I deserve. Finally.


Gen said...

I love that top in the photo. It's so pretty. It's something i would wear myself!

It sounds as if you've come out of the 'big, black hole', as my friend and i call it. It is so much easier to lay in bed and feel sorry for yourself, all whilst eating junk food and watching bad television. I know because i've done it too many times.

But working through it, now THAT takes courage. You're a brave woman, beautiful Lisa. Who knows why one day we feel like living another day is too painful and the next, we notice flowers on the side of the road and realise how wonderfully blue the sky is. Sometimes, the transition period from 'i have a horrible life' to 'things ain't so bad' is so short, i can hardly believe it.

But that moment we get out of that hole, that is a beautiful moment.

charlize said...

next time - call. 3 am, i don't care. just to have me come slap you and say "get over it" like cher did in moonstruck and then leave you to your processing. maybe then it would only take you a day and a half and only one bag of marshmellows. :-)

on the other hand, so glad to hear you have turned over this new green leaf, are 95% in remission (so no more lyme excuses) and that you feel amazing. you are amazing, so that isn't surprising.