I spent the first day wallowing at home. Everything bored me from books to movies to household chores. I had no energy and felt listless and dazed. Everything in my life just then appeared to be worthless and cheap. I managed to convince myself that my achievements were insignificant and besides, they had happened long ago: I hadn’t succeeded at anything of late. I didn’t want to go out, but staying in made me feel trapped. So I slept through the hours and hoped that tomorrow would be a better day.
The malaise grabbed hold of me and quite literally squeezed the life out of me. I was tired, grumpy, dizzy and disoriented. All I felt capable of was sleep, but that wasn’t the cure. I forced myself out, desperate for the sunshine to restore my strength. It didn’t. Instead the bright light stung my eyes and the pollen made me sneeze, my nose congested with air. I escaped and returned to my indoor haven, but still did not improve.
Eventually I approached the healthcare system. One month it was a virus. The next it I was depressed. Later still a vitamin deficiency was diagnosed. Medications were prescribed. Tests that were done all came back normal. Still the lethargy and heaviness presided over my body and blurred my mind. It was concluded that I was lacking in self-esteem so I’d fabricated my symptoms to find attention. But attention is not what I most deeply desired: a decent night’s sleep would have been better, or enough energy to make my own meals, or even the strength to lift my own head. I withdrew, assuming that I was an aberration within our population.
I struggled on. I pretended to ignore the aches and pains, I walked despite the blurred vision and spinning rooms. I learned to keep quiet unless it was absolutely necessary for me to toss out some stuttered words that may or may not have been related to a conversation. I accepted the malaise into my life assuming that my parasite required a host. I prepared myself for never again feeling refreshed or excited. I awoke every morning without the hope that perhaps today would be the day I felt as I once did. I resigned myself to the forgetfulness and mourned for the last day I recalled clarity to my thoughts. I found I didn’t even have the energy to cry.
Until, one day, I received an answer. It was not the solution I would have chosen. It was not a cure. Equally there was no proven treatment. I would be lucky if I could find the medication to relieve even some of my complaints. But at least now I have a valid response when somone asks: