I haven’t been so well.
I’m never well, as my regular readers know and my trolls are pleased to remind me. I am a basket case. But the past few years, thanks to getting the PCOS under control, I haven’t had nearly as much trouble with chronic fatigue and head fog. The fibromyalgia was all but in remission. I only had to deal with the OCD and anxiety, and the severe introversion, and the autistic naivete and all around bad luck getting me into comical and tragic scrapes. That was plenty.
The week before the Fourth of July I got sick with a mild virus of some kind, which only lasted a day or two but which activated my fatigue again. My energy’s been coming back, in sporadic bursts. I do foolish things like take Adrienne swimming because I feel fine for a few hours, and then I pay for it by being too tired to move the rest of the day. Or I get in the car to go to the store and end up forgetting half of what we need. Last night I couldn’t sleep at all until well after dawn– not for any reason, just because my body didn’t want to– and then I fell asleep and had weird vivid dreams for three hours.
The last thing to come online is my brain. My brain doesn’t feel like writing. I’m trying as hard as I can, but the words don’t come. I can manage a few bon mots on Twitter, but writing anything more substantial is so difficult.
This short apology for what I did when I ought to have been online, for example, has taken me more than an hour to compose. I keep dozing off. After I finish this paragraph I am going to stop and take a rest.
There, that’s better.
When I don’t write, nobody feeds the tip jar and our income dries up, so we haven’t done much that was exciting. We drove to the lake twice, because we didn’t have cash to go to the pool but Serendipity had a full tank. I can drive when I’m very tired and my mind is very fuzzy, as easily as I can play a video game. Driving is almost as good as lying still. I love the drive to the lake, even more now that there’s construction on the main road and we have to take all those odd detours. I love the woods. The last time we went to the lake, we spent half an hour driving around the campgrounds at Raccoon Creek State Park, looking for a back way out of the park that turned out to be fenced off. It felt good– so peaceful, like being home. I told Adrienne stories about playing with my cousins in West Virginia. It was the best time we’ve ever had, while driving around lost.
When we’re not getting lost in the backroads of Eastern Pennsylvania, we sit up on my bed playing on our devices. A friend replaced Adrienne’s phone for an early birthday present; she likes to show me videos by her favorite YouTubers. She wants to buy all their merch to wear to school in the fall. She keeps reminding me that her clothes don’t fit and showing me the holes in her old favorite t-shirts, and I keep asking if she won the lottery. She showed me the t-shirt she got at the zoo last year, with a big rip in the collar, and for some reason I felt like I was dying.
Last night I heard her cleaning her room very late when she couldn’t sleep. This morning, I found the rickety old dollhouse in the living room, stripped of furniture.
“She wants to get rid of it,” Michael said.
I felt like I was dying again.
Part of me has died, in a way.
In the past four years or so, besides witnessing a world-altering pandemic and an attempt to destroy our democracy that is still ongoing, I’ve been through so many things. I got my driver’s license and my first car at the age of thirty-six. I learned that my chronic illness diagnosis was all wrong, got the correct one, suddenly lost thirty pounds and changed my health completely, though I still have bad days. My stalker next door’s mental illness became full-blown psychotic and she tortured us until I thought I was going to die, and then she herself died. I lost what was left of my family. I experienced an extreme betrayal from someone I tried to help and thought I could trust. The revelations about the abuses in the Charismatic Renewal and at Franciscan University piled up until the broke me, and more revelations are still coming out to this day. I’ll never have faith in the Catholic Church again. In God THROUGH the Catholic Church, that’s a different question, but I’ll never trust the institution itself again. I’m still too anxious to go to Mass regularly, though I’m trying. And my daughter who means everything to me has become an adolescent. She’s going to middle school in six weeks. I am not a homeschooling mom anymore. That’s a lot.
It’s a whole lot.
I wish I could disappear and just lie on the beach for a few months, like a Victorian convalescent. But at least I can go to Raccoon Creek.
I think I can have mercy on myself for the exhaustion and the writer’s block.
I think my brain has been very busy with other things.
Anyway, that’s what I did when I wasn’t here. I should have been writing, but I’ve been sick.
I think it’s going to be all right pretty soon.