I went on an outing and was feeling pleased about it. I realized, as I was walking through the door, that when I have something I'm upset about or excited about or just want to share my thoughts the first people that come to mind are my partner (of course) but also my blogging buddies. I feel like we have kind of a virtual family of sorts.
I was able to do something today that would have been impossible for me six months ago. I met with some people whom I'd never met before. All of us have this disease. I'm filled with different emotions as I write. And, because I'm tired, I'm having more brain fog so I'm wanting to write everything down so I don't forget anything. As a consequence this blog post might be all over the place.
It was a wonderful experience to meet with people-in person-who also struggle with this illness. I had all these thoughts and feelings as I was sitting with them. I was aware of how much each has suffered and many times had tears in my eyes as I listened to them. I could see the pain in each of their eyes and I wondered if mine looked the same. I was struck by the similar themes that each of us talked about: the poor treatment by doctors, the thoughtless comments of well meaning people, the countless doctors before getting a diagnosis, the sense of isolation, etc...None of us were complaining by any means, we were simply talking about our lives.
I was aware of how freeing it was to be able to talk about these things and know I a) wasn't bringing the other person down b) wasn't trying to pretend I felt better than I did c) that I was being taken seriously and, most importantly, that I mattered even though I've been housebound due to this disease.
I was moved by the simple fact that I was at a table outdoors with people I liked. Such a normal thing but so barren from my life these past two years. There were times when I wanted to shout "I'm doing it! I'm outside! I'm with people! This is amazing!"
It was also great to meet these people and like each of them. I hope things work out so I can get to know each of them over time.
And then there is the fact that I'm having improvements that enabled this to happen.
As I walked back to my car I thought to myself "how wonderful to have such a normal experience." I'm not returning to my car because I just had a doctor appt or my blood drawn or had some other medical test done. I was walking back to my car after having tea with some potential friends. What a gift. And I was deeply grateful.