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Abundance

“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Fight

There's a moment, when my husband comes to bed after I've already been drifting in and out of sleep for a couple of hours. His movements in the room cause me to stir, to surface back to consciousness. I don't know what he sees, but sometimes he reaches over and caresses my forehead, like a parent would a sick child. It is the only moment when I am truly aware of my suffering, and I turn my face to him, begging him not to stop. Sometimes he continues softly rubbing my forehead, comforting me until I fall back to sleep. Sometimes he pulls me to him, and I am wrapped in his warm, safe cocoon.

When my relapse became so bad that I had to cut out all my remaining external activities, a friend of mine was worried. She said it sounded like I was giving up. What she doesn't realize is that I fight this disease every waking hour.

I fight this disease when the alarm goes off and I stumble out of bed to wake my children. When I referee an argument. When my daughter wants to talk. When my son needs help with homework. When I have to defend an unpopular decision.

I fight this disease when I take my pills and drink my protein drink. When I stretch away the pain. When I rest half an hour longer. When I choose soup for lunch. When I add vegetables to my pasta dish. When I go up to bed while my husband and children are still laughing at the programs on TV.

I fight this disease when I take my lunch outside to enjoy the sunshine. When I see the snow on the mountains. When I notice the first day lily bloom. When I hear the birds through my window, their songs, their dialogues, and the one nobody answers.

I fight this disease with every smile I smile. Every pleasant conversation. Every phone call. Every note I write. Every tear I give in to.

I fight.

Until the moment when I feel my husband's hand upon my brow. Shhh. I'm here. You don't have to fight anymore.

18 comments:

Sue Jackson said...

Shelli, what a beautiful post. Your writing really touched me. And it's so true! I was just thinking about exactly this today.

I spent 24 hours at a women's retreat this weekend. On the way home, I was wondering if I talked about my illness too much (lots of people asked me questions about it). But I realized it affects me every minute of every day, no matter where I am and what I'm doing. It's just like you said here.

Thanks for saying so perfectly what I've been thinking and for sharing such a tender moment.

Sue

Renee said...

I am writing this with tears in my eyes. Your words echo my own. Fighting these diseases are a full time battle ~ yesterday I had a meltdown. The pain has been so intense that I feel I cannot cope. It is like burning, needle-pricking, bone crushing, all over pain and to keep going takes all my energy. Having Joel hold me while I cried with my heart expressing my sadness and desire to quit fighting...for a few brief minutes anyway...and he just listens. He just holds me and tells me he is sorry and he loves me...while fighting his own battle.
We are Warriors Shelli...every single one of us...courageous in our unseen battles...
Bless you for sharing this. It is raw, honest, and connects us all.

Alison said...

Yes...yes yes yes. You should e-mail this to all your friends :)

Lori said...

Shelli,

So beautifully written! I just wish that people who don't understand could read it. It speaks volumes.

Jo said...

Oh Shelli! Thank you.

Dawn said...

Shelli -

This truly brought tears to my eyes, I forget how much I am fighting also - thank you for reminding me. Also, give your husband a great big hug from all of us, his tenderness to you has truly touched me today.

PJ said...

I echo all the previous comments. Very touching & so true!

hiddenlives said...

Ohh, well said! Applause!
Wonderful post!

Kerry said...

Oh Shelli, that was beautiful...send out for publication beautiful. I have goosebumps. You conveyed the love between you and your husband in a way that has tear lined up behind my ducts and I'm swallowing them down.

I'm writing a post on our children and how they experience our illness (ME/CFS &MCS) and how it impacts their lives. This is my Awareness week project. I'm looking for parents (and their kiddos if they want to) to share anything they want to on this subject, so that I can learn from all of you.

Thank you for a wonderful read. You combined tenderness and strength into a work of art.

Mo said...

Unbelievable words. I am in my bed on my laptop, watching my Hubby on the love seat on his laptop. He got his laptop about six months ago so he could spend more time with me in the evening. Even if we don't talk...he is with me. Lucky is the woman that has a loving man.
xoxomo

Dominique said...

I think this would make a great CFIDS Awareness post! Excellent job! This is a "you had me at hello" kind of post. I related with the very first three words...there's a moment.

Powerful!

Sue - I have the same struggle. Do I talk about it too much. But how do we not when it has become so in trenched in every aspects of our lives!

Annie said...

This really was a powerful and beautiful post Shelli! Everyone should be reading this!

Hope things are going as well as possible...

tight-rope dancer said...

Lovely writing :-). I have added your blog to my blog list as I hope to attribute to awareness. I hope you don't object. Let me know if you do. :-)

Shelli said...

You guys have been amazing! Thank you for your kind words and support. I don't know how I would get through this journey without you.

Louise said...

Shelli, I'm a bit late in getting around to reading this blog, but I'm sooo glad I read it.

As with so many other people who commented, this sums up my experience with CFS so perfectly. For the most part none of us want to whinge and feel sorry for ourselves, but sometimes it truly gets to the point of being sick of the fight. I think it's important to occasionally feel sorry for ourselves, have a good cry, and also acknowledge how much we do despite this illness.

I am sitting here with tears in my eyes too. You captured the experience of CFS so beautifully. I want to post this link to all my friends. I'll definitely be putting it on my facebook page - as fledgling as it is!

I am lucky enough to have my husband reach over and stroke my head as I lay there in bed too. I sometimes don't appreciate him enough. My first husband was equally wonderful, but after 14 years it & a few others things wore him out. He fought for so long with me, but in the end he had the option of stepping away from the fight. I understand why he did. I just wish I could! One day ...

Louise

Neeta said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, it is one of the most beautiful posts I have ever read in the blogosphere....I am writing this with tears in my eyes and heart filled with gratitude for my husband, my soul-mate.....thank you once again, you are awesome....
Neeta

Laurel said...

So true. Thank you for writing this, Shelli.

Chai said...

Thats so beautiful it makes me cry.
Thanks!