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Lonliness and Lemon Juice

Posted Oct 08 2008 9:32am

Ugh, I feel like I’m sipping a large mug of loneliness this morning.  Lonliness, black without sugar or cream, steaming up the windows and shutting out the view.

I want to go to work this morning.  I want to put on a pair of slacks, a sweater, a blazer, a pair of dressy boots, and top it all off with my favorite raven pearls.  I want to drive to my office, chat with my co-workers while I poor a cup of tea, then settle at my desk and get to work. 

Complaining, yes I am.  Feeling bad about complaining, yes I am. There are so many hard working people who’ve been carrying out a daily routine like the above for years who I know would love to trade places with me, at least short term.  Staying home, dressing in casual comfortable clothes, taking one’s time, watching some daytime tv, reading a novel, must sound pretty good. I imagine though, that after awhile, a couple weeks perhaps, they’d tire of it and want to get out of the house.

For me, not being able to work has been one of the hardest losses to swallow.   I was just beginning my career as a teacher when I became ill in my twenties.  I was the first to arrive at the school and one of the last to leave.  I brought home a satchel of papers to correct.  I spent hours lesson planning.  I couldn’t wait to go back to college to finish my master’s degree and start working on my PHD.  I loved to work. I loved to learn and wanted to pass a love for learning on to young people. 

There are days when I am at peace with my daily life now and with the changes that physical challenges have brought. I appreciate the time I am able to spend in my cozy home and my freedom to choose what do to with that time.  To have the time to write poetry, to read, to blog, I am grateful for. I appreciate the peace of solitude and silence and for the moments I have to do simple things, such appreciate the view out our windows.  One early spring morning I was doing just that and at least a hundred doves descended on our newly greening grass.  I would have missed that if I was out working.

But, I’m not feeling that appreciation this morning. I’m feeling lonely.  I’m feeling bored.  I’m feeling sorry for myself.  After twenty years I still miss working and being out there with people.

Making lemon-aide out of living with chronic illness, meaning learning from it, discovering the silver linings, finding tools and inspiration, are my favorite parts of writing this blog.  But there can be no lemonade without the lemons.

Today I’m squeezing lemons, feeling the pervasiveness of loneliness that is a reality of living with disabling chronic illness.  Hopefully soon I’ll add sugar…but not today.  Today, I’m cutting lemons and squeezing out the juice.


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