today was a big day.
today i went to the gym
i have not darkened the door of a gym in well over 3 years
hard to believe it used to be part of my everyday daily routine
afterwards, as i was walking home, all of a sudden i realized it's april
ok, so yes, it is generally fairly apparent that i still have unresolved date and calendar challenges but they aren't quite that bad anymore. like, i knew it was april - it is just that this very week of april, 3 years ago, i started treatment.
april 11, 2007
3 years of the blood, sweat and tears of treatment
3 years of one step forward, 2 steps back
3 years and it's not over yet
ive arrived at a milestone
a humdinger of a marker on this wretched marathon called recovery
i went to the gym
i honest to goodness did
it makes me weep and scream and shout in victory
20 minutes on the treadmill
even jogged for 3 - 2 minute intervals
even lifted weights
1 set of arm curls, 8 reps with 5lb weights
that is an accomplishment
it is the marker
of the begining of the end;
it is the line drawn in the sand.
that pivotal moment when faith becomes sight;
it is that epochal moment when i can finally see proof of life;
it is that unforgettable moment when the impossible recedes and possibility begins.
its walking into my old stomping grounds,
seeing the faces of old friends, those die hard gym rats i used to see on a daily basis
feeling like i've stepped back in time or maybe that no time has elapsed at all
oh, i'm not delusional, on closer inspection, it's apparent they've all aged
shucks, so have i
a lot of time has passed between then and now
as i picked up those 5lb weights and faced the mirror to monitor my form,
the image reflected spoke volumes of the passage of time
sure, i am no longer the buff and robust and athletic woman that i used to be
sure, i am older and pale and gray and saggy and whole lot fluffy-fluffy
when i looked in that mirror, i saw a warrior.
yup. i've come along way baby.
this week i read a post on my friend Melody's blog. Melody has just recently started IV treatment. she blogged about it and as i read her post, i wept...for her and for all of those that live through the insanity of this wretched disease. i wept because her post conjured up my own vivid memories of living in the eye of the storm, a twisted wreckage of body and mind, mercilessly sucked into a vacuum of death...for it is the very death of this disease that nearly costs you your life. in fact, the memories i have of living this horror are still so close to the present that they have almost not earned the merit to be called a memory quite yet...
when i look back at this journey thus far,
those first 18 months especially were absolutely harrowing and terrifying,
i spent most of them bed bound for weeks or months at a time
it was a lonely, lonely, lonely non-existant existence
i spent a lot of time, locked away in my bedroom, scared and alone. the insanity of recovery drove friends away and often dictated the need for graham to flee the suffering with the kids in order to shelter them from the all consuming fury that death to this disease unleashes - that inconceivable phenom called herxing.
herxing in it's death defying fury has brought on 4 hour long panic/anxiety attacks, OCD, suicidal ideation, hallucinations, tremors, twitches, fevers, sweats, chills, noise sensitivity, sensory overload, vision loss, memory loss. at times, it took away my ability to walk, talk or understand what was going on around me. and always there is the pain. unrelenting pain, agonizing pain, pain beyond description...
death was on my brain alot during these times
i thought i would die
i wanted to die
i begged to die
i prayed to die
i planned to die
i've lived it and it is still nearly inconceivable to me that the road back to health is the horror that it has been. am i dramatizing? not at all. in fact, the opposite is true. the road to recovery is an impossible, unimaginable, inarticulable agony.
unexplainable really, unless you have lived it.
and even having lived it, i look back now and find it hard to believe that i've not only survived itbut that
i am finally, miraculously emerging from this living death
today is proof of that
i've come a long way, baby