Day 40 of 100 intentional reflective steps.
The hospital/clinic was established on some lovely grounds. Well manicured thick grass, outdoor pool, and a wide variety of trees and plants lulled first time visitors into thinking this was a place of peace and comfort.
Now, there are two ways to look at this. The grounds could certainly be seen symbolically as a sort of oasis in the middle of the F’in desert. I hate the desert. Give me deciduous trees and four seasons any day. I’m basically a cactus when I’m in that kind of horrid heat; prickly and everything about me says GO AWAY!
The other way to see these lush surroundings is as a breeding ground for pestilence. Seriously. Every mosquito in a tri-state area had discovered this lush little getaway. I could not step out side of the buildings for 30 seconds without getting bit. One evening I was so desperate for fresh air that I spray painted myself in bug spray. Really, I’m pretty sure there was a Jill sized dry spot in the middle of a bug spray lake right in the nursing station entry way! Fully saturated I confidently slopped my way to the great outdoors. I was out no less than five minutes before I got bit. These aggressive little vermin climbed up my pants and bit me five times on my only spray free zone, my ass. (Public nudity, even for the sake of bug repellant was not allowed.) No matter what the beautiful promotional materials say this was not an oasis. This was a mosquito hostel. Holy hell.
I gave up and spent most of my leisure time indoors. My wounds and pride healed from my battle with the mosquitos. But the emotional pestilence that surfaced at the hospital still exists. When one is given a diagnosis of any sort, whether minor, catastrophic, or terminal, it changes your view of life. I see life differently now. Somedays, I see myself as sick, damaged, and disposable. Other days I am recovering, progressing and thriving. I generally distrust my emotions and interactions. I am unconfident that if I make a commitment for another day that I will actually be able to fulfill it, based on my emotional needs. The irony? I don’t remember feeling that plagued by a lack of confidence or self doubt prior to treatment.
However, every day I rely on the strength of my faith that declares that I am not defined by an illness, a success, a failure, a relationship. My worth is related to any of those things. Some days I believe that, but other days that knowledge is as useless to me as my bug spray was. It rolls off my emotions and washes away like rain down a gutter.
Thankfully, today is not one of those days.