Part D: A Strange Sort of Freedom

Part 7

It was good, facing life with God’s assurance. He was there. He cared. He knew. The down side to life at that point was difficulty in sleep came upon me. Exhausted in every way, laying down to sleep at night led to no sleep. My skin felt crawly, itchy and twitchy and though over-tired, sweet nothingness of rest wouldn’t come. Something inside of me was awake and it wouldn’t shut down. Hormonal imbalance lead to deadness in mornings and alertness between 10pm-1am.

Heavy-lids, tossing and turning, waking to find a twisted blob of blanket and sheet wrapped around me and feeling the weight of a restless night, I would force myself to rise and climb those stairs with my numb and dead-like limbs, focusing on each step so I wouldn’t trip. Sometimes I had to crawl, using my hands to get me upstairs into the sunshine. All was forced as there was no energy in my being. Hands wouldn’t work as they should in morning hours. I broke many dishes, dropped things constantly.

Done. And to refresh myself in the barren wasteland of the north? It seems there was nothing. Snowboarding. I took up snowboarding but even that would exhaust me, so it had to take place on Sat so I could have Sunday to recuperate. All was like death around me. In the barren winter there were no robins or beautiful life around. All was frozen, icy cold, white and black. It suited my mood.

In 2nd semester I moved to ¾ time. It was more manageable. And I had another hope: that good lookin’, blue eyed guy had expressed interest in me. Over Christmas we wrote back and forth, tried to decide of we wanted to give it a go. We decided yes. This sparked life in me as nothing else had. Suddenly, I wanted to get better. I was determined to step out of this fog I lived in, to get out more often, to begin living life again.

Still plagued by the sicknesses, I trudged on. Still yellow skinned, foggy-brained, exhausted old me, but this time with purpose and hope in my heart. Someone noticed me even when I was out of it. Someone dared to take a chance on sickly, nothing me. And he kept taking notice of me. By February we were dating. I met his family and loved them. By the end of the school year I was beginning to suspect Lyme disease. My brother and his wife who lived in Idaho had to move due to extreme symptoms. She discovered Lyme disease in her body and was encouraging me to get checked for it.

 

Part 8

I spent much of my summer at the blue-eye guy’s house. Their family, their home and even the area they lived in was a breath of fresh air. I loved it. Once again fishing, small hikes in the bush, learning of things such as juicing and eating raw foods. In that summer I returned home for some tests and to visit my family. Much had changed; acceptance of my reality was present. I paid for tests at Igenix Lab which returned saying the Lyme proteins were highly present in my body, as well as the co-infection of Babesia.

I felt liberated! At last I was free, I had an answer! I wasn’t crazy in the head as my doctor had told me! I was sick and there was a reason for feeling as I had. I called my boyfriend and told him, also that I would have to decide on a treatment route. At that point, all I knew was antibiotics. But at least it was an option! In all the freedom of this I had another choice to make: was I going to return to work at college in the fall?

I had wrestled with this before getting a diagnoses. I loved my job, loved my boss, loved the girls and to see God’s work in such a direct way was beautiful to me, so beautiful. And yet, loving and standing behind others was what I needed to do. Could I, in the state I found myself in? Could I stand behind my boss or would she end up carrying too much? Was I capable of reaching the girls as I had become such a different person? Did I fill the role and did I have the energy it took to help run functions? As I sorted my thoughts, I felt my heart rip in the middle. I couldn’t. I shouldn’t. I loved the college and the people there and that was largely why I had to quit. I couldn’t offer what was needed. The second reason was that I realized how severely I had been neglecting myself. The entire way through my job I carried the mentality that nothing was too good for the girls under me and that all my energies should be put into my job and duties. Wrong. That mindset had been wrong, accomplishing my own defeat. I had to take care of myself. I had to make some changes. I had benefited no one.

And now, I had a boyfriend. Should I forfeit the hopes of marriage and life with him so that I could continue on with my role as assistant dean? I wouldn’t have the energy for both and if we were to get married in the upcoming years, I would need a recovery. I couldn’t marry anyone in my present state. Yet how did I know if we would one day be married? Was he worth quitting a job?

With a torn, heavy heart I called on the set date and informed by boss and the dean of students that I had made my decision: no. I would not be returning to work at PRBI in the fall. I cried. So did my boss. It was more than walking out of a job. We had become fast and steady friends. I felt that conversation in the gut and pit of my being. Yet I knew what the answer had to be. And I knew that the girl’s lives would carry on.

False ideas were revealed to me. I really did believe that I had an important role in their lives and if I was removed, perhaps God might not be able to reach them. “No,” I spoke the truth to myself, “but rather God was and is reaching their hearts.” I was privileged to be part of it for a time. Now, that time had drawn to a close. I wasn’t needed there anymore.

Life. Now I felt a weight but also a freedom. I could do as my needs called for. I could take care of myself and actually turn around. No longer did everyone else and their needs have to come before my own. Free. Heavy-hearted once again but free.