Me: (quietly pondering all the things I could do with my day).
Suddenly there appears a tiny little woman, who whacks me on the head with a very solid stick.
Me: Ow!! (Looking around frantically for the source of the assault.) Who are you?!
Tiny Little Woman: (pulling herself up to her full, tiny height and puffing out her chest importantly) I am the Chronic Illness Delusional Intervention Fairy.
Me: But I haven’t even done anything yet!
CIDI-fairy: True. But were you or were you not just thinking about vacuuming the entire house, despite having had a raging migraine for the better part of a week and needing to resort to the nausea medicine you had leftover from your surgery?
CIDI-fairy: And were you, or were you not planning on rearranging the freaking furniture when you have spent the past two weeks describing yourself as “numb with exhaustion?”
CIDI-fairy: And isn’t it true that you somehow believed that you could spend an entire hour doing high-intensity water aerobics when you lack the energy to go buy food, and have been cobbling together alleged “meals” using whatever stale ingredients you can dredge up in your pantry?
Me: (looking around anxiously)
Me: How did you know all that stuff?
CIDI-fairy: (smiling mysteriously) Oh, we have our ways. So what’s up, sweetie? Why are you so resistant to just lying down and taking care of yourself?
Me: Well, I can’t just do nothing. I have to find a way to CONTRIBUTE somehow.
CIDI-fairy: OK. But what has everyone been telling you about that?
Me: (looking down): That I don’t have to justify my existence, and that I contribute just by being here, because they are so happy to have me in their lives.
CIDI-fairy: Yeah. And do you believe them?
Me: (quietly): I guess so.
CIDI-fairy: OK, so what else?
Me: Well, I’m afraid that if I just stop working for a while, that all my cool projects and ideas will disappear while I rest.
CIDI-fairy: OK. So,has that ever happened to you before?
Me: No, I guess not.
CIDI-fairy: OK, so what else is bothering you?
Me: I can’t just do nothing , because I freaking HATE to be bored.
CIDI-fairy: Lordy DAY, don’t I know it.
Me: What’d you say?
CIDI-fairy: Oh, nothing, dear. OK, so, boredom. You’ve worked A LOT on this one over the past few months, and remember, you know how to “do” boredom now. It doesn’t freak you out like it used to, right?
Me: (grudgingly): No.
CIDI-fairy: So what is it, baby? What’s really going on here?
Me: I can’t stop, because when I stop I feel how much pain I’m in. It hurts so much. I don’t want to hurt anymore. It’s too hard to feel all this pain. And it’s not just the physical pain, but also the pain of seeing everything that’s happened to my body. And the constant pain and frustration of bumping up against all the things I can’t do right now. And the pain of watching healthy people just being able to do whatever they want without even giving it a second thought. It’s too hard to feel all of that. So that’s why I’m always trying to be anywhere else but here.
CIDI-fairy: I know, baby. And that’s why I’m here. To help you.
Me: (excited): By taking all of this pain away?
CIDI-fairy: No honey, I’m afraid not. I’m here to remind you that when you’re exhausted-oh, and hello, just went on two trips in two weeks!-your focus needs to be on what feels gentle and soothing. I’m here to remind you to keep asking yourself, “What would help me feel a little more comfortable right now?’ The other stuff will be there when you feel better, I promise.
Me: But I’ve already had to do this like 50 bajillion times, already. I don’t WANT to have to keep starting over at the beginning again. It’s not fair!
CIDI: I know, baby doll, it’s not. It’s hard. It hurts. And it sucks. And, it’s where you are.
Me: (sighing): I know. At least I’m getting really good at taking care of myself, right?
CIDI: Absolutely-you are one seriously bad-ass babe! And remember, I am always here, helping you.
And then, in a shower of fairy dust, she was gone.