Pain. The great motivator. I’ve reached a particular point in my life where, looking back on the last few decades, I wonder if any of my decisions were made without the influence of some kind of pain. Whether emotional, physical or even psychological, pain seems to be one of the strongest influencers in decisions we humans make.
Today my heart hurts.
When I sat down to tell the world “About Me,” I wasn’t sure how to start. Enter the dream I had last night and boom, here’s were we’ll start. This particular dream was centered around the house of a former mentor that I’ve visited numerous times. I entered a room lovingly decorated with awards and pictures of events from the past. I reach out and pick up a trophy, recognizing the weight and the coolness to the material. As I scan the pictures I realize that I’m in each photo, smiling at events that I haven’t attended in years. Suddenly, I realize that these things, these pictures, all document who I was in happier times. This was who I used to be when I was happy, and it’s been a very long time since I could say I was happy.
I start to cry.
Actually, I woke up crying because the dream was so poignant. And so we are back to pain. I have spent the last 10 years sick from a mysterious illness that doctors couldn’t quite nail down. We’ve treated the symptoms, even gone as far as surgery for a few, but to no relief. Pain, in one form or another, has been my constant companion. Finally, in December of 2014, a practitioner in Seattle diagnosed me with Lyme disease. I’m still in the early phases of treatment, but the physical pain has disappeared. The emotional pain is another matter all together.
The physical ailments inherent with Lyme slowly erode your lifestyle until one day, you look in the mirror and don’t recognize the person starring back. As you lose those parts of yourself, questions about self worth and capabilities arise. I’ve spend so much time questioning my sanity and my intelligence that my confidence is shot. But with physical healing comes the ability to reengage with others, to take up those activities that feed my soul and are rooted to the core of who I am as a person. Writing is one of those activities that makes me feel confident, smart, and yes, capable.
So who am I?
I am a reflection of who I used to be, refracted through Lyme and slightly off kilter. I am a mother, a best friend, a Bitch with a capital b. I wear high heels to grocery shop and my tiara in the bathtub. If you need cheering up, I’m your gal. I love robots and I’ll proudly wave my geek flag any day of the week. Beyond this? I’m not sure. But we’re going to find out together.