Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blog Peep Questions: Round 16

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Does it drive you crazy to be alone all the time?

Honestly, it is so much more complicated than yes or no. The truth is that I want to scream Yes and explain No all in the same breath. I'll tackle the yes part first.

Yes. Oh my goodness, yes, there are times it gets really old being alone. I'd say mornings are probably toughest for a number of reasons. One is that I never feel well in the morning – I always wake up in a lot of pain, oftentimes I don't breathe as well first thing in the morning and it's hard for me to get sitting up to take my meds and get my body moving. So I'm not starting off from a place of strength, and I look at the clock knowing I have a whole day ahead of me, alone, to get through.

I know, not the hop-up-happy answer for the way a person likes to start the day. But that's probably when I most take note of being alone… partially because I don't feel well and partially because there is the knowledge that I don't know what's coming, if I'll be able to get up or not, if I'll feel well or sick, if I'll be exhausted or have a little energy to do something. All I really do know is that I'll be doing it by myself.

So that's why mornings can seem a little lonely. That is, of course, until Riley notices my eyes are open. Then he flings himself across my chest because he's certain that I've been longing all night just for the privilege of scratching his chest for him.

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He's a little narcissistic. But I made him that way by entertaining his every whim, so I can't really complain. :)

But him noticing I'm awake and being so happy about it is what makes me smile every morning. He's my physical therapy as I start to move my arms and get my fingers working simply by petting him. He's pretty much my lifesaver.

Onto the no portion of this answer. The truth of the matter is, I am ok being alone most of the time simply because I know it has to be this way, and also because it gives me the freedom to do what I need when I need it. There is no one here to entertain or do things for or keep a schedule with. That means if I want to eat supper at ten o'clock at night because that's when I am less nauseous, that's ok. If I lose a whole day to coma sleep like Saturday, I'm not messing up anyone's plans. If I can't breathe well or am in a lot of pain or simply exhausted, I don't have to fake my way through it keeping someone company or making sure they don't worry.

I guess Riley gets his narcissism from me. :) But really, being this sick requires that kind of flexibility. I am in control of nothing, including the whims of my body, so I have to let it dictate what I do and when. I can't keep any real sort of schedule, which would be hard on other people. And that would make me feel incredibly guilty. More importantly, I could never live with someone because every germ they encounter out in the world, I would encounter when they came home. I have to be ok with being alone because it just simply wouldn't work.

I was the most social person you can imagine, so it was an adjustment for me, but it was a gradual process and I adapted as I went along. The sicker I am, the more I crave quiet. The more I crave simplicity and don't tolerate drama. Being tired a lot can sometimes make me melancholy, but it also makes me need the quiet and solitude.

So, yes. I get lonely every day. And no, it doesn't drive me crazy because it's what is absolutely necessary. And it all really depends on how you define being alone.

In the movie Harry Potter – Order of the Phoenix, there is a scene when Harry is feeling isolated and alone because of the lies being spread about him by followers of Voldemort [otherwise referred to as "You Know Who"]. His friend Luna says to him: "I suppose that's how he wants you to feel. If I were You Know Who, I'd want you to feel cut off from everyone else because if it's just you alone, you're not as much of a threat."

And that's what all of you do for me. You make sure it's never just me alone. You defy my circumstances for me. You show up here and comment and keep me company. You send me notes and pictures of the outside world, even when I don't have the energy to write you all back. You all make sure I'm not cut off from living, and I can't imagine how much more crazy being alone all the time would make me if I really was alone.

But I'm not. I have you all to look forward to every day. Which means you all pretty much save my sanity. So you can mark one off in your win column just by being here and keeping me company. You do so much more than you think. :)

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