Ageless and Evergreen

Ah, the holiday letter;  I have been averse to writing, even here.  So many thoughts, so much emotion, packed into a couple of stupid weeks.  No matter how well I think I have prepared myself, it always comes up and bites me in the hiney.

This year is no different.  And yet, I like to think that I have made some forward progress.  I have learned many things from being chronically ill:

1. I have to do the things I really want/can do; no more.

2. I have to sleep.

3. Saying, “No” is a good and healthy thing.

4. Family drama helps no one and is to be avoided at all costs.  However, it will happen anyway.

5. Make good memories whenever and wherever you can.  Life will give you plenty of the other kind anyway.

6. You cannot please everyone, all the time.

7. Listen to what my body is trying to tell me, even if it is inconvenient.

Numbers 4 and 7 are particularly hard for me.  I would think that with the little bit of family I have left, number 4 would be a shoe in but, nah! Families have a way of becoming complicated and not just because people are  weird, but also due to the fact that having a member who is chronically ill is a burden on the whole family.  And, this is where number 7 comes in.  I have to listen to my body’s signals, which I am far better at doing now than a few years ago, even when they are horribly inconvenient.  By doing this, I have so far managed to stay out of the ER and hospital for a few months.

But, I have been told, quite clearly ,by my family, that my illness is the family dysfunction.  I think I knew that.  But, it is very, very hard to hear.  So, when there is drama, it is often created by me ignoring rule number 7.

That makes it kind of complicated.  Because, sometimes I literally cannot hear what my body is saying to me or it sneaks up on me.

Or, more commonly, I will get a rash all over and not even know it that is a symptom of fatigue: or, is it? It could be a new drug allergy or a flare or part of a virus or an infection of some sort.

I don’t always get simple 1+1=2  signals.  Things pile up on me.  I feel like a blade of grass that is fine with some rain and some cold and a light frost but when the temperature dives one too many times and I keep getting trammeled by the dogs and god-knows-what bugs are living in my roots; I start to fail.

That does not mean I can’t be brought back around with the right weed killer and some sunshine and water:  I can.

I am hearty after all. I am unbelievably resilient for a girl who was told all of her life that she was a weakling, that she was a just too big a whiner.


The crap I have been through and go through continually (and those of you who share these lovely things will agree) is most definitely not for whiners.

Because if you chose the path of self pity, you will die and yet continue to live.

It is better to try and learn the rules that govern this new world you find yourself in; even during the damned expectation- filled holidays.

You let go of stuff you don’t need.

You rest a lot.

You try to not get stressed by anything or anyone.

You let go of more stuff.

You rest more.

And then, things still go awry.

That is hard, hard, hard reality to accept.  But, we have no choice.  We have to choose to live ahead and not behind. And this is a reality for everyone, not just the chronically ill: The holidays are never made up of perfect vignettes designed by Hallmark.   (Besides, those are scary looking:)

I chose to live like the St. Augustine grass in my central Texas yard: I suck down water and pesticide and all kinds of nasty things to stay alive, but I always, always come back:

Ageless and Evergreen.

Just like the song….




2 Replies to “Ageless and Evergreen”

  1. love the metaphor and list – good stuff. And CONGRATULATIONS on no ER for a few months…as someone who’s been following you pretty closely for a long time, I know that this is a truly big big deal. Shhhh… Gods of the universe do not read this and tempt fate

    I think you are achieving clarity and homeostasis, one molecule of the time, and I applaud you

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