In the past four months I was diagnosed with the most severe case of TMJ Dysfunction that my dentist has ever dealt with and Spondylolisthesis; both of which cause extreme pain at times and leaves me in a perpetual state of discomfort. I found out that I have growths on both of my optic nerves, a possible retinal detachment and there is fluid leaking in the back of my eye. And, currently, I have a tooth infection that is visible from the outside.
I found out all of this shortly after my neighbor sexually assaulted me b/c the stress from the sexual assault aggravated the symptoms I’d already had.
I can’t tell you guys how difficult it is to stay positive now. My body is failing this 26-year-old self of mine but there are three things that have kept me going:
I go through phases where I want to give up, but I don’t know what that would look like. I’m tired all the time but not in a sleepy-way. I’m just exhausted by life. But I keep going. I make lists of all the books I want to read, have collected in 2017, ones that I got on Black Friday the past two years; I make lists of things that make me happy and lists of ways to make myself happy when I’m feeling down.
Those three things have keep me going.
Although I’m swamped with medical bills and I will always have them flying at me, I still buy the occasional new book, which is ill-advised, it just makes me so happy. I love touching books and browsing; feeling the covers and flipping through the pages, imagining the world within. I get a thrill out of purchasing a book but eventually I’ll feel the effect it took of my paycheck. It’s a way to help me feel happy. It’s something to look forward to, a book every few weekends, but I can’t keep this up, I know.
I still volunteer with the senior German Shepard’s that desperately need my help and I snuggle my Beardie and play with my turtles. I found out that I qualify for a service dog. I absolutely plan on getting one one day when I’m more financially stable.
On the weekend, I reward myself with 2 oz of loose-leaf tea from Teavana to celebrate the two drinks from Starbucks I did not buy. I love tea that just doesn’t make sense (margarita tea? Lavender white chocolate?) or, as my friend calls them, “white people tea.” Yes, I am that white.
I’ve found ways to keep myself going through all of this. It’s just scary not knowing what’s going to be next or how these illnesses will progress. For now, though, I have my animals, books, and tea.
In the meantime, I’ll be right over there, reading.