“I know of people who are bedridden. I’m not saying I’m not grateful.” I smirk at her. “You know I’m a lot more grateful now, than I ever was. I see the greatness in my life, the potential, options, beauty, goodness.”
I look down, play with the black tassel of the zipper on my bag. “I fight it. I don’t think I’ve accepted it, how it affects me, controls me, every day.”
My therapist smiles softly. “How do you fight against it?”
“Struggle to be awake, to focus, to get rid of a chronic illness, one of many. It’s like I’m filled with lead in a world of people filled with helium. And I’m sitting here berating myself as if I’m only being lazy.”
“And how would you be if it didn’t affect you?”
I shrug. “Without ME? I’d have energy. Suddenly not be affected by it at all. Be able to focus and be part of my life. I actually like life now. I want to be here for it. Instead I’m sleeping it away.”
“What do you think you’d have to do in order to stop allowing ME to affect you?”, my therapist asks.
My laugh is short and without humor. “Be God.”
She laughs and smiles. “You’ve got it.”
“There are only two things you need to know about God.” She holds up a finger. “One, there is a God.” A second finger. “Two, you aren’t God.”
“You’re experiencing a lull, yes. But it’s normal.” She responds to my concern. “Life does this. Humans do this. It’s like going to college. At first, you’re excited, you’ve got your eye on the prize – your degree, your desired job. Freshman year is a breeze. But then it gets hard. The homework. The papers get harder. The professors, the lack of sleep.” She looks at me, kind, clever, and all-knowing as ever. “You’re somewhere in your sophomore/junior year. Keeping going.”
“Right,” I agree, nodding my head as I think it through, “life is always going to be hard.”
I brighten a bit, a troubling issue illuminated. “You’re right. I’m doing everything I need to be. I’m taking care of my responsibilities and striving to do better at being kind to myself, accepting myself for who I am. I’m finding ways to enjoy my life. I eat some froyo and deal with the minor migraine later that night. Then the next day I go back to eating the way my SIBO having self can deal with, without regretting or getting down on myself for indulging. I’m still trying and in many ways succeeding.”
I smile to myself. Take a deep breath in, let it out.
“My depression and anxiety are just taking me through a detour. I’m still on the right path.”