The more observant among you may have noticed something missing the last two Wednesdays. Yes, it was my blog.
It turns out, although I can write from the depths of depression, I cannot write from a hospital bed.
Despite my last blog on managing ourselves and our health, sometimes it’s not enough. Sometimes you can do everything right, and everything still goes wrong.
Or maybe, you leave it too late to do everything right.
With an autoimmune disease, the body attacks itself. Sometimes the attack is so vicious and prolonged the body starts to shut down. This shutting down can become life-threatening. Yes, you nearly lost your regular Wednesday blogger. My family nearly lost its wife, mother, sister, daughter. I give grateful thanks for the medics and nurses who saved my life, and for modern medicine. To the person who donated the blood – thank you.
I’ve been home for a few days now, but things are different. There will be a long recovery period, and that recovery will not be complete. Life will never be the same. My future is not the one I expected and planned for.
The most shattering thing has been the realisation I must retire from work - immediately. My body has shrieked “Stop!” My work has been more central to my life than even my family; my business has been my baby. Now, I am closed, and my studio is cold and empty. I will never again be able to transform someone’s life, giving them the gift of confidence and authentic self-expression. Suddenly there is a vacuum where my core used to be.
I’m not alone in this experience, and mine is a minor loss; I am not a Syrian who has lost everything in the earthquake. I know many others who have had their lives changed by tragedy, and tragedy comes in all flavours: death, natural disaster; bankruptcy and more. Maybe you have already experienced this for yourself.
So, how do you deal with it?
I don’t know. Somehow you go on. You do the next thing and the next thing. You don’t think about it too much. The time for tears will come later.
Part of me is in panic mode, looking for something to fill that vacuum. I want a new project and a new direction; I need a new vision to follow. Ideas chase each other in aimless spirals, and nothing sticks. Instead, the message comes from all sides, “Rest. Recover. Give yourself time to grieve.”
Rest is inescapable: this fatigue is beyond debilitating - it is disabling. Recovery will take months. The grief? I don’t know.
Some of you have been through this. From you, I ask advice. Some of you will be sympathetic and wish to offer support, and that wish is more than enough; thank you. Many of you will go through this at some time and I want you to know you can and will come through it.
In the meantime, I’ll be writing from the sofa for a while.