This post has taken me almost two weeks to write. Or, more accurately, almost three months. I have an alarmingly long list of partial drafts stacking up on my dashboard, none of which will be likely to ever see the light of day as time goes on. And on. And on.
I have a perfectly valid reason for all of the false starts and delays over the past three months. I picked up a bit of a common cold bug while I was out on Salt Spring Island. No big deal. Except that I have a hyperactive immune system. So while my Incredible Hulk immune system smashed that wee cold before it even had a chance to get fully established in my sinuses, those pesky antibodies proceeded to smash a lot of other stuff too. I spent two months in full flare, pretending nothing was wrong and pushing through projects and trips and meetings. I've been feeling better for the past two or three weeks, but I am now in what I call "The Debris Phase." This is the point at the end of a flare where I discover all of the soft tissue bits that have been damaged by the swelling in my joints. Tendinitis, muscle strains, torn cartilage, odd pockets of fluid in big joints that make things a little unstable...all the debris left behind.
I have been here before, and I will be here again. That is the joy of chronic illnesses like Rheumatoid Arthritis. They ebb and flow. I have been ill long enough to recognize the cycles, and I know that after the Debris Phase comes the Feeling Great Phase and then the Overdoing Everything to Make Up For the Flare Phase.
This time around, though, I am noticing another kind of debris. I am seeing the emails that I never returned. The text message conversations that were left hanging. The bill payments missed. The birthday cards unsent. The half-finished weaving projects. The partially filled bobbins laying on top of half braids of fibre. The blog posts stalled in the draft stage.
You see, while I thought I was "pushing through" and coping with my life, things were slipping through the cracks. Nothing major. A few bills that had to be caught up. I probably owe a few people a chat or a coffee. Nobody will die because I didn't notice these things while I was out of service. But it scares me. I am at a juncture personally and professionally where SO MANY opportunities are presenting themselves. And I am afraid to take them.
The very worst debris from a flare is this fear that I can't. I can't be healthy. I can't keep track of bills and birthdays and blogs. I can't be reliable. I can't plan or risk or dream, because who knows when the next flare is coming. How can I commit to a future when I can't guarantee that I can follow through with it?
I know this is simply more debris. I will clear it away and find my path again.
And now, a random picture of tulips...
... that I planted last fall, because they popped up this spring to remind me that I do get things done.