I’ll Be Fine

I’ve been more active lately,
as in I’ve been more social.
I’m doing things.

Things after work instead of lying on the couch, fatigued and in pain. I’ve been hanging out with friends.
Plus, thrift shopping last week and to the dog park this week.
And the poppies last weekend.
I’ve been experiencing much fuller days,
which makes me anxious.

Partly because I’m scared that I’m going to do too much and flare, and partly because I know I need to be more on top of my schedule of drinking water and eating enough food and resting. It’s just a lot.
Plus, I’m in the midst of finding a new PCP, so those little “interviews” are scattered in between everything like a bunch of blueberry seeds caught in your teeth.
Just a very busy time for Melanie right now.

But, I know I have the Tools To Succeed. I have a better space in my mind to work with. It’s no longer cluttered with grief and numbness. I can fully experience what I’m experiencing,
what’s all happening.
But it’s also so open that it can fully think up all the ways Things Can Go Wrong. However, I don’t think that’s a good way to use this free space.
But just thinking it’s not good
doesn’t mean it just goes away.

It’s hard to calm these thoughts running around my brain.
Elephant thuds from the neighbor upstairs. What are they doing? Jumping at night?
I feel like I am constantly grounding myself and meditating and doing biofeedback, and all of that is tiring. Using the Tools is becoming overwhelming,
because there are so many now.
And they all work in different ways.

I have body scans for when I’m not in too much pain yet getting distracted from my physical needs when I’m caught up in the moment,
but not for when pain is pervading the soul of my being. (I have Netflix for that.)
And I have meditation when I’m stressed
and biofeedback when my thoughts just need to focus on that tiny hot air balloon. Fly away, buddy. Fly away, out of my brain.
I have friends for when I need to get out and be social Despite It All.
And I have my couch for when I Need My Couch.

This, with so many caveats
and lots of moving parts.
But I’m glad all these things are here for me.
And I’m glad my mind is better than before.
And I’m glad I have this rest from flares because I know summer is coming and this comfort inside my body won’t last.

I guess that’s another thing that scares me—having to go through all this again. Knowing I will flare again. Knowing it’s lurking there, under the surface. Knowing that shit will come spilling
out of my knees and spine and hands to infect my mind.
It will happen again, and I can’t stop it.
And that’s life.
That’s my life, at least.

My little friend will come clinging again
someday in the near future.
Hip hip hooray.

Yes, that’s the majority of what’s fueling this inner turmoil right now;
my little friend.
My pesky little friend.
Stay away.
But I am just too irresistible,
I know, I know.

Eh, well what am I to do other than try to enjoy life without you crawling into my skin and taking this body for a life of your own.
Just sit here and breathe, Melanie.
Enjoy this silence, and do not think about the piercing shriek of fire ants on parade to set your palpitating heart on fire.
Do not think about that.
Yet, of course I think about it.

So why not think about it?
What if this is about letting myself think about the slow lips
and twitches
and small voice
and those fire ants up and down my body?
Think about those invisible hands suffocating me.
Those limbs of pure lead.
The hot metal iron rod in my head and the shards of glass
clinking around in my skull,
carving up my brain.

Yes, it’s thinking about it
and knowing there’s some solace in knowing it will come.
Some grim solace.
It’s called solidity, my friends. I know it’s coming and that’s a fact. And that’s much more than what most people know about the future.
So there’s my superpower, huh. Great one, in fact.

Yes, it’s coming.
And I can’t stop it.
And that’s okay.

When I’m in it, I know it. It’s familiar.
I know how to navigate that twisted-up maze with all the dead ends.
Just gotta get into that mindset.
Not yet, not now.
But I will when it’s time,
even when I don’t want it to be time.

I’ll be fine.
I always am.
Fine.
Even when I’m not good,
even when I’m bad,
I’m still fine.

And knowing I’ll be fine among the lows is comforting.
It means I don’t have anything to worry about right now.
It means I can relax.
It means I can go out with my friends,
It means can spend time with my family
and know that yes, my flare is coming.
But I’ll be fine//

-Mel

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