Well, things got even worse before they got better. And they still aren't completely better. On Thurs, when I had to travel back to LA, I had a temperature of 102.7, I found out. I made it to my general practitioner, but she said I had a viral infection and then gave me antibiotic drops. So I'm not convinced she knows what she's doing. My flu-like symptoms are improving slowly, but my eyes seem to be staying pretty puffy. So I have an optometrist appointment today.
This has not been a delicate, dainty ailment, where you fan yourself with a lace hanky and blush prettily with fever and say, "I do declare, I am under the weather." This has been an ugly, sweaty, runny, knock-down drag-out sickness. Most of my body systems shut down or went haywire. I couldn't speak without coughing. I sound like Froggy from Our Gang. I feel I don't belong in polite society because I look monstrous and carry the funk with me everywhere I go. While I was in Colorado and various airports, I had a baseball cap jammed over my eyes (and I don't wear baseball caps), and I avoided eye contact. I noticed lots of shoes. It was as if I was hoping that if I didn't look people right in the eye they wouldn't notice my puffy condition. It was the first time in a long time that I felt like I really wanted to isolate myself from the rest of the world. I have to thank Jennifer, Pat, and Jennifer's family for being so supportive; my parents for being there with me (electronically) every step of the way; and Cynthia for constant text support. You all kept me from coming unglued, and I am forever grateful.
I know there's more here for me to learn. I don't buy Reyes' or Anonymous' theory that I'm facing my mortality, though. If you live in the moment, as I have striven to do ever since I went off the grid, you basically face your mortality every moment, because you know that every moment could be your last one. That's why you do your best to enjoy every one. Hence my adopted motto from Breaker Morant: "Live each day as if it's your last, and one day you'll be right." (I'll be the first to admit I'm better at that at some times than at others, but that's always the goal.) I do think I have pushed myself too hard in recent months, and that my body finally decided it had had enough. But I don't buy the mortality argument. I still don't know why I've brought myself to this level of illness. But I'm going to make good use of the down time, and by that I mean I'm going to be extremely good to myself while I'm not training and then slowly work the training and other things back in around the self-care.
More on reyes' and anonymous' comments, especially reyes'. Some context for this first: Recently I have noticed how differently people who read this blog interpret things I write compared to what I actually mean. LOTS of people. So I'm commenting on it now because it's just the latest time it has happened. I don't mean to single you out, but there you go. It's just that if you truly believe that this past two years has been about depression and maladies for me, then either you are misunderstanding, or I am a horrible writer. Yes, I have suffered my share of sadness and setbacks. I am human, after all. But I have experienced just as much--if not more--joy and contentment, and I have learned to live in the now better than most people I know. Recent posts about my illness notwithstanding, I thought I expressed a lot of that in many, many posts. But maybe not.
I'm not picking a fight with you. I'm just marveling at how different your perspective on my life is than my own. That means you and I have interpreted most of my 400+ posts wildly differently. I look at that body of writing and see that my life has taken a generally hopeful, positive turn in the past 2 and a half years since I left the grid, interspersed with the requisite sadness and difficulty (as I said, I'm human, and when I try to pretend I'm not, I get into trouble). You two apparently see something far more dismal and depressing. If I saw what you see, I would have stopped reading long ago, for fear I'd slit my wrists. I always wonder whether to write about the sad and difficult stuff, but I always do. It's that stuff that gives me context for appreciating how great the great stuff is. And actually, it's that stuff that readers really seem to resonate with. Not in a schadenfreude kind of way, but more of a "thank God someone else feels that way sometimes too" way.
Anyway, I don't know where that leaves us, but truthfully, if I got out of my blog what you seem to be getting out of it, I'd have bailed a long time ago. So thanks, I guess, for sticking with it.
Still no training for me for the foreseeable future, either CrossFit or BJJ. I may pay the academy a visit tonight or tomorrow just to say hello to my teammates, but I'm really going to make this a true rest.
I'll leave some of you with a favor to consider. Again, this is something I have been noticing over the past several months, so those of you who have commented recently, please don't feel singled out: I know I open myself up for comments by writing this blog; it's the nature of the beast. But please think twice before judging me for my mistakes. Believe me when I say I'm far better at beating myself up than any of you are. And while I try not to be defensive and to learn from everyone, sometimes getting unsolicited "advice" makes me not want to write at all anymore, or to make me ask whether the people who are advising me have their own shit together as well as they are expecting me to have mine.
So I'd just like to ask you to put yourself in my shoes before commenting. If you do comment, I'll do my best to be open-minded, but I'd also like to invite you to be as reflective in your own lives as you are asking me to be in mine. And if you're feeling particularly brave, share with the rest of us. What mistakes have you made recently, and how have you handled them? I know I'm not the only human one out there. And if you immediately say, "No way, I'm not going to share my mistakes and hard times," then please consider how hard it must be for me to share mine. Because it is. But I do it anyway. And by doing it, I'm entrusting you with a delicate part of myself. I think it's worthwhile to do that, but it's difficult enough to do without judgment, let alone under the disapproving stares of relative strangers--you all know far more about me than I do about most of you. Again, that's my choice, but when I'm under the gun, it's a choice I don't feel like making as much. And who knows? Maybe that wouldn't be such a terrible thing, for me to make a different choice. Just something for us all to consider.
That being said, heartfelt thanks to everyone for reading and for the support and well wishes. I'm slowly getting better, thankfully.