About this time a year ago I was preparing road trips. Almost exactly a year ago I was taking a Megabus to Minnesota and visitings a dear friend who is also a fellow sick-kid and a sort of mentor of mine. The weekend after that I drove the long way to Canada (where I stayed the weekend with a wonderful family) through Michigan to visit another friend.
In the 366 days of 2012 I had countless doctor's appointments (primary care, rheumatologist, two different ophthalmologists...), physical therapy, acupuncture, blood tests, and if I'm not mistaken four emergency room visits.
One of the greatest desires of the human is for independence. We may long for human interaction but each person wants and hopes for freedom, the ability to come and go as we please, self reliance. The hope of freedom often grows to desperation for someone with Lupus or another illness. The thirst that spawns from aspiring for one's independence mimics the stubbornness of a two-year-old save our shout (if only internal) is closer to: "I can do it. I'm not that sick!" than "I wanna do it. I'm a big kid." This is a quality that people in general struggle with. It's the "normal"or "healthy" hope for self reliance and is sometimes taken to the point of pushing others away. So although we "sick kids" hope for it more than others, we rarely allow ourselves to pretend it is possible. Hold on a moment. If you're reading this and are saddened by what I've written... Especially if you are recently diagnosed, bear with me a second longer. What is at the heart of this post, and what I intended in my last post (by saying 2012 was a year of independence and learning how I am not allowed to have any) ought not inspire sadness.
At 23 I have been shown what it takes some a lifetime to figure out: being independent doesn't make one any better and it certainly doesn't make me any healthier. In my condition independence often makes me sicker. I would rather be sick and know that I have truly dependable friends than be the healthiest person and alone.
"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main... Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it..." (John Donne, Meditation 17)
Onwards and upwards dears.