Being well is good.
Today I was running in the snow as it fell, laughing, because I never thought I would ever be able to do that again. So many things that I thought I would never be able to do again, and it feels amazing when I realise. It still brings tears to my eyes. At first it was everything; answering the door, making a cup of tea, going for a walk, having a shower – I get more used to it all but there are still moments, even with things I do every day now.
Since I’ve been feeling better, the vast number of people who have come up to me and said something along the lines of “wow, I just saw you and knew straight away how much better you were because you look so much healthier!” is astounding. One of the top comments you get with invisible illness is “but you don’t look sick”… well, apparently you do. I don’t know if it’s people trying to delude themselves or be polite, but I suspect that it may be down to a lack of comparison to how you would look if you were well.
What else is different? I can think of ideas for the future with the hopefulness of knowing they are possible. That’s pretty amazing. Yet more than ever I realise how I have so little control over what happens. There’s some kind of peace in accepting that, a different peace to knowing the future but peace none the less.
Life feels normal so much of the time, whatever normal is, but there are moments like that, running in the snowfall, when I remember, and I realise I will never, ever stop being ridiculously grateful for what I have. I suspect the moments will grow fewer and further between, the experience fainter with time, but it won’t ever disappear – more than that, I hope and pray it doesn’t. If I ever wake one day thinking that I deserve this, when I know all too well who I am, and how many people will never have health, please give me a good slap.
Anyway, I’ve not been writing because I’ve been doing, and for me writing requires a lot of space to think. I’ve been earning money, and reading books, and cooking, and talking to people, and praying, and all sorts of good things that I missed. I’ve been struggling with myself just as I struggled before, and enjoying being able to spend time with my husband. My absolute favourite thing has been the delight on people’s faces when they’ve seen how much better I am. Everything has been so new and exciting, and yet so… normal.
There’s a strange juxtaposition here – I do feel so normal, so natural, like nothing ever changed; yet at the same time I am aware of how much really has changed, how I can never go back to how things were before. Even if I returned to the same place and position I was in before, it would not be the same. I know the risks, that I might not be fully better, that overstepping it could be disastrous; but it’s more than that, much more. I know how every moment people are seriously suffering, in so many ways, in ways I’ve suffered myself, and I feel powerless to do anything. I wish I had answers and solutions, or big things I could do that would change things, but all I can do is keep pottering on with whatever small thing I have before me – a word here, a help there – hoping and praying that God will answer the cries in a way I can’t. And I know how blessed I am, unbelievably blessed, to be able to run in the snow again.