I am – I think – on the way back up.
I’ve been rumbling downhill hard for two months, the last five weeks or so of which I’ve spent on the sofa in a jolly old relapse,* my first for eighteen months. I’m mad as hell that I’ve had one. I thought (hoped), I’d left that behind and learned how to outsmart them.
This week I managed to get out for a few hours and see some friends. Marvellous!
However, as always with relapse you lose ground, fast. One month in the hellbox eats you away, like being in a sand-blaster. I’m back to having to walk next to the handrail on stairs again, and back to having a very finite number of stairs I can manage in any one day. I can’t open packets again. My eyes have degraded further than ever before, and I will have to have them tested once I am well enough to get to an optician’s. My skin is so thin that every pair of shoes I own makes my feet bleed within 100 yards of leaving the house, and my hair has been coming out and is thinner. I’ve piled weight back on that I worked hard to lose, and lost muscle I worked so hard to gain – ah, but I have not lost ALL of the muscle I put on!
Back to square one-and-a-half.
I have to give myself a chance to come fully out of relapse before I start trying to improve again. I’ve only been on the way back up for four days as I write this. I’m sleeping better. My hair has stopped coming out. My skin seems to be beefing up, and I have no sugar cravings at all. Also, and this is a highly subjective marker, but an important one: I no longer feel quite so acutely as if I’m drowning, or being crushed under some great rolling wheel. Now I don’t feel so acutely ill, my ability to love has returned, like a cool wave breaking across a desert, and with it, my normal outlook, which is positive and outward-facing.
In short, I’m staggering back to my feet.
What I take from this episode is that I am not now, and am unlikely to be, well enough to attempt to have a relationship with anyone. It folds me up like wet cardboard if things go wrong. I’m too feeble to keep up if things go right. Well, plenty of fine people have gone through life on their own, and if that’s how it is, that’s how it is.
* There is nothing whatsoever jolly about a relapse.