• Looking back, and forward

    Almost a year ago I was sitting on a plane to Georgia, leaning against the window, praying to be well. Wondering what it would feel like to be instantly healed, to have simply the normal amount of energy to function. To not feel hollow inside, to not require determination and a hasty snack just to sit upright in my airplane seat. I mustered the faith to believe that God could heal me in that moment. And let myself dream of what that would feel like and what a difference it would make in my life.

    I can't believe that was a year ago. God definitely didn't chose to heal me in an instant, at any point along this journey of ours. Instead He is healing me gradually, with Time as His chief nurse, and rest and nutrition as His remedy, and books and doctors and parents and friends as His mouthpiece. I look back in awe at the bursts of light He's given at intervals, how several of His agents combined to point in a single direction, like in discovering and treating my low thyroid a year ago. And now, in regular bio-cranial treatments from my new chiropractor, which I'm cautiously optimistic about.

    After suffering from and aggressively treating my adrenal fatigue for almost two years now, I often look back with wonder. As with so many kinds of pain, while going through it you can't stop to reflect, you just have to push forward putting one foot in front of the other. A tightropist does not stop to admire the view of the surging waters beneath him, nor can he waste precious energy on analyzing his chances of making it across. But on the other side he may weep at his own fear and courage and retrace each step, feeling a sober elation that he actually made it. "I...made it!" I made it this far anyway.

    I'm still very much in the throes of "good days and bad days." But the good days feel almost like normal (if I can remember what that is) and the bad days are infinitely better than those ghost-janel days I'm now struggling to remember. Those days when I didn't know if I would make the short walk from the metro to the office, and how would I ever climb those two flights of stairs? Those days when everything in me wanted to lie down, but when I finally did, I still wanted to lie down. Those days when the Pink Chair was my best friend and the companion of my non-existent social life. Those days when I would try to journal the swirling thoughts of discouragement and misunderstanding in my shrunken world, only to watch my pen fall out of an exhausted hand.

    I don't want to forget how all that felt. Millions of people around the world with chronic illness feel horrible every day, and I don't want to just bound away from their bedside with newfound energy, never to return. Well, that's not to say I'm not forever changed by my illness, that I can't help but feel a deeper compassion and solidarity with those who suffer with physical pain. But I want to do more. I want to go on the offensive, not just personally, but in a way that helps others. I want those who are too exhausted to get up in the morning to know that they are not alone, and their problem is both bigger than they realize and yet very fixable. And mostly I want those type-A's who are headed for a crash to slow down and heed the warning signs of certain danger ahead. I DON'T WANT A SINGLE PERSON to go through what I've gone through. It's so unnecessary. Such an interruption in a life. And requires so very much time and money and determination to get back. (Although I hasten to say that God has certainly used this whole bad experience in my life for great great good.)

    I want to raise awareness for adrenal fatigue, but I'm not sure how to go about it. I feel like I should write something, but I'm not sure which kind of publication or what angle to take. I was just lying in bed thinking about all of this, and had to get up and write it down. I suppose I could write an article and try to have it published in some kind of health magazine. That's my latest idea, I guess. If you have any others, please share them with me. I just feel that with our culture being so busy and stressful and performance-driven, and the principle of sabbath being so neglected even in the church, any encouragement to the contrary would be God's work. And I feel I have a responsibility now that I'm starting to feel better to use my energy to protect and rescue the energy of others. I trust that God will show me how.

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