337 // The Good News

The only good thing about having to work during a pandemic is at least the schedule is light. The first half of the week was hard, but in order to minimize the number of people in the office, everyone’s time is split and Wednesday has become my new Friday. I only have to get through midday and the second half is all mine. Hours to fill as I please, or as my energy or anxieties will allow, though there is more hope for me this week than in many weeks past.

To be honest, I’ve been reluctant to write here lately. For so long now there has been nothing but bad news and worse news. This year, my year, like the year many of you are having too, has turned out to be one of the worst in recent, if not complete, memory and for many more reasons than the collective COVID one.

It’s no secret chronic illness has been kicking my ass and with nowhere to go and nothing to do but work and wallow, there hasn’t been much worth sharing or saying, until today. Today I feel good. I have been feeling good, and I want to share the good news with you now.

Some weeks ago I started a new medication and treatment plan and for the first time in many, many months pain, fatigue, and distress are no longer defining every waking moment of my life. For the first time in many, many months, I recognize myself in the mirror.

What’s funny is, this year has been so hard on me that even speaking that good news scares me. I’m worried I’m wrong or that the improvement was only temporary, a tease, another trick of 2020, but some time has passed now, enough to allow a sense of optimism to creep in.

I can imagine a life that is more than work and sleep again. I’ve been reading constantly and thinking more and more of writing again. I’m excited at the prospect of making something of this last month, even if all I do is spend it preparing for the new year. My expectations aren’t high. Being able to do anything at all is progress. I’m happy and hopeful again, and that is everything.

I’m doing better than yesterday but I’m still not okay. I’m teaching a class this week and thank God I’m not on my own. I’m toughing it out as much as I can and looking forward to leaving as soon as I can. I wish everyone around me knew how hard I was trying. It feels good to give my all, to know that I can fight through this disease, but it doesn’t feel very good that I have to; you know?

It wouldn’t be so bad but my schedule is relentless right now and I feel bad for not doing my best work, or, I’m afraid I’m not doing my best work. I’m also in desperate need of some time for myself, to do the things that make me feel better. I don’t know if I mean that. I think I’m in desperate need of the desire to do the things that make me feel better. Right now the only desire I feel is for sleep.