Secret Lives

“TERRITORY”, 1997, 50″ x 40″, m/m

There are those of us who, when ill, demand care.

Others pull into their cave and use any and all energy to tend to themselves.

I fall into the later category.

It is a little bit of my upbringing; the be seen and not heard thing.

Sometimes it gets a bit extreme and I spend days in bed sleeping and reading.

A friend of mine who also deals with MS has a husband who wants a life, too.

She tells me of the extra strain on her to make sure his needs are taken care of.

I recognize that because I live alone, I am able to make ‘drop out’ choices as I see fit in my own healing.

Sometimes I am just hiding and I do tend toward isolation at times.

It really is a privilege I claim at this point.

I often feel that full out participation in this culture of excess and noise and blaming the other guy is a good reason I now deal with my health challenges.

Not all of it but part.

My nervous system is not tuned toward the lowest common denominator we all tend to move toward when more than one of us are gathered.

My intermittent ‘cave-time’ leaves me markedly ready to rejoin society from a stronger position.

One from which I see I can make a difference.

So, in the end, my disappearances are a vital part of my ‘get healthy’ tool kit.

I have to be vigilant with myself to avoid the trap of denial.

When to PUSH THROUGH the utter weakness and depression and when to do cave time?

I really have not the answer as it is a moment-by-moment thing.

But I am getting pretty good at leaving the shame behind as I do whatever it takes to reclaim health even if it looks antisocial.

I love people.

And it seems possible I am being given the grace of time and space to do a little make-up homework in the ‘loving Cathy’ department.


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