Checking in: one about sickness and identity

17 05 2011

I keep thinking about writing something for this space. I prefer to read blogs that are regularly updated. But the fatigue can be pretty crushing and I seem to use all my energy to do the tasks of daily living. I’m learning how much is manageable and how much causes the next day to be miserable. Trying to be present in the moment and not spend too much time ruminating about how the next year or two will go.

There are plenty of joys: clean air, technology that helps me to see and hear Andrew every most every day (sometimes more or less of the seeing or hearing depending on the vagaries of the internet), the love of friends, amazing yoghurt. There are also improvements along the way. Discovering I can go another minute on the rebounder, following the plot of a novel… And the amount of time I can spend on skype has nearly doubled in the past few weeks. I usually make it to 40 minutes before the vagueness overcomes me! And I managed to get my hair cut which helped me feel more like myself.

Praying the daily office is also making me feel more like myself. I don’t really have many thoughts about this whole experience of being sick yet. I bought a book about Benedictine approaches to living with illness and to be frank it pissed me off so much I threw it on the floor! In my spiritual director’s office. He made me pick it up and at least try and tell him why I threw it on the floor… I didn’t do particularly well and I guess am still working it all out. So I don’t know what I’d say about the spirituality of sarcoidosis or where my theology is at exactly but there is something about the rhythm of readings and canticles that connects with my sense of who I am. A priest. A part of something that is both much bigger than me and bigger than this moment. A community that stretches across place and time, bound together by the call to follow in the way of Jesus.

(It’s funny because the office book I’m using at the moment has it’s problems. I get pissed off with the language and that makes me feel like myself too!)

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2 responses

17 05 2011
Jayce Tohline

Prolonged sickness can be so discouraging. Sometimes it’s easy to lose the desire or will to fight. I started reading your blog because of the work you’re ding in China. The people there need you healthy and whole again.

I encourage you to draw the line and know God wants you whole again, too.

“the thief comes for no other reason than to kill, and to steal, and to destroy. I came that you might have life, and that more abundantly.” John 10:10

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17 05 2011
Lilian Nattel

I’m glad that there are places and ways you’re feeling more yourself. Illness is hard and distance from your partner is hard and both together has to be very hard. Sending love and light.

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