Being in the hospital last week and now home (attached to an IV pole) still feeling rotten has made me feel very isolated. Isolated from friends. Isolated from conversation. Isolated from school drop-off. Isolated from hiking and tennis. Isolated from the world. Isolated even from the bathroom (now that’s low!).
Now, it’s not to say that friends haven’t offered to come over. Because they have. They have offered to sit with me even, they say, if I don’t feel like talking. I love them for that.
Truthfully, though, when I feel as bad as I feel (on steroids-literally, I might add), being around anyone (even the HOTY, I’m sad to say) is just not feasible. The most I can muster is changing my IV bag and moving from one fetal position to the next.
Good gracious, I read that and even think: Really? I’m afraid so. Really.
Coincidentally, two people emailed me today about this same topic. One person has FBC and the other is helping her Mom through FBC. These are very real, and quite frankly, unexpectedly burdensome feelings (apparently shared by many).
I now recognize that these feelings of isolation have been growing for some time. As of last week, when I was laying in the hospital bed, it really dawned on me that my world seems to have shrunk and is squeezing me into its confines.
The reality is that for three weeks out of every four, I have been confined to a space less than I am accustomed to – a room, a bed, a home (now, I DO love my home, so if I have to be stuck anywhere, it’s home!). During this period, I surrender my car keys (usually I do like to be driven; however, I also like the option of driving if I want to!).
As nurse and social worker, I recognize that during extended periods of illness, all sense of time and proportion can fade (& fast!). Illness is an emotionally as well as physically depriving experience (Ahem, YES!). It can do lasting harm by threatening a person’s sense of well-being, competence, and feelings of productivity. No way, no how am I allowing FBC to have lasting harm. Having this professional knowledge is what keeps my brakes on. Keeps me from going off the deep end into the FBC abyss.
The scope and intensity of the these feelings of isolation and subsequent emotional pain fluctuate from day to day. More often than not, though (FINALLY, a Silver Lining!) they carry me closer to invaluable inner resources.
I refuse to be dragged further from my recognizable self. The reason for living is life (SL). The incentive for becoming psychologically well is the potential for the future (SL).
So, you know what I did today? I left the Isolation Island. Sianara, baby.
Even though I didn’t think I had the physical, mental or emotional stamina, I got dressed. I got in my car. I went to a friend’s home where we had a delicious lunch and even yummier conversation (SL). In the sun (SL). Eating melted truffle chocolate with our fingers (SL!). Take THAT, FBC!
A healthy social life is found only, when in the mirror of each soul the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the whole community the virtue of each one is living.
– Rudolph Steiner