My entire life I’ve lived without boundaries. School came naturally, family life has carried no major difficulties, I have confidence in social situations, and my socio-economic background has opened the door very wide for any kind of life I want to live. At 20, I had plans to study abroad and go long distance backpacking in the summer. My expectations were enormous. So when my body became shackled in constant and crippling fatigue last year, I spiraled into hopelessness on multiple occasions. Saying to my mother what no parent wants to hear from their child, “well if my body continues to feel like this, I don’t really want to live”.
A year and a month ago my world was split open. I went from running 3-4 times a week, going out at night, and backpacking on the weekends to a spendng a full weekend in bed for no apparent reason. Feeling fatigue so intense that it sent me into a panic attack, thinking an organ was failing, having an ambulance called. Realizing later, that the fatigue was here to stay, becoming a part of me. Taking up long term residence in my body. Even today, after countless visits to many different doctors, no one is sure when my body will feel normal again. I have felt robbed of life.
There was a period where I would wake up every morning and expect to feel slightly better. I would go to bed every night and hope and plead that tomorrow was the day I would wake up and return to normal health. That this nightmare of drowsiness would end. That I could get back to living. That period ended maybe 7 months ago. It had to end. I couldn’t handle the overwhelming disappointment and frustration which was thrust upon me every time I awoke. My hopes were crushed every morning, over and over and over.
I wake up every morning exhausted, regardless of how much sleep I get. I move through the day without energy. My focus is blurry, comparable to when you don’t sleep at all the night before. Eyes heavy, and feeling like when you open your eyes in a pool. That achey stinging sensation in my eyes comes over me as the day progresses. My body feels weighted, sluggish. Every action requires desire, pushing my body have the energy to do everything so that I won’t do nothing. A disparity exists between what my mind wants and what my body feels able to do. This disconnect grinds inside me every day. All of my dreams and desires burn within me just as fiercely as when I was healthy, it seems impossible to satisfy them though. Each day, as I fight against the fatigue and try to reconcile this disconnect between my head and body, I am constantly aware that my struggle is non-existent to everyone else. It isn’t seen, it isn’t recognized, it surely isn’t understood by anyone but me.
Recently I wrote something that encapsulates my current desire,
When it is all said and done.
I want it to be said that I never accepted anything but full and complete agency. And that I lived a life where I continued to say, even in the darkness. But most importantly during the darkness,
I am yours truly,
Unbroken, inspired, and in awe.