Rinse and Repeat?

Shivering, I grab the handwritten receipt with a mitted claw.  The chill of the morning wind blasts against the van’s rusted passenger side door, flung open and to my right.  I reach over the Mickey Mouse cut-outs sprawled across the seat, clasping an outstretched hand to seal the deal.  Running back to my car, I let out a giggle, imagining Mickey’s beady eyes staring after me.  There must be some logical explanation  for the Mickey clones held hostage in my new landlord’s vehicle, I thought.  I grip my damage deposit receipt between my hand and the steering wheel, hardly believing that the tiny apartment ad I saw less than 36 hours ago has now materialized into my new home.

That was this past Friday, during an early morning “drive-thru” transaction on a quiet street, mere blocks away from two of my previous apartments.  On two separate occasions, exactly two years apart, I found myself draped in my green hospital gown cape, transported back in time and into the loving care of my parents.  And now, here we are again, back to the part where there’s a new hobbit hole for the second phase of healing. You know, the part that actually involves cooking and cleaning for yourself?  The deja vu feeling is hard to ignore, the vicious cycles of the past hang low around my head.  How long will you last this time, my dear?

The very same day I looked at the apartment, I went with my sister to deliver cookies to her co-workers.  The cookie delivery was going to the scene of my “hospital-cape-wearing-crime.”  I hadn’t been there since.  I walked past the Emergency Entrance, avoiding eye contact with it’s wide automatic doors as the sweet smell of freshly baked cookies gently wafted up my nose.  Wisely, my sister chose to enter through another door nearby.  I silently thanked her.  There are some doorways you don’t need to go back into.

It was hard to write this today.  It’s been hard to write about my “lupusface” at all, as you can tell from a longer than usual gap between this post and the last.  I feel like my recent posts  are veering off from the original “Lupus Awareness” intent of the blog  and even as a personal exercise, I’m not sure if I am discovering anything new.  Much like my life cycles, I feel like I just repeat the same thing over and over again.

There seems to be a lot of moving going on, a lot of shifting, like those small square puzzles with tiles that we used to slide around with chubby, childish fingers.  I move into my new, less duty-intensive position at work in 2 months.  It’s bitter-sweet, laced with relief and sadness.  Who knew working less would be so hard?  In the more immediate future, my move into my new hobbit hole happens in a week.  I figure the best thing I can do is move in one box at a time.

A Reminder

I would like everyone to know that I am a 28 year old grown woman who used to have her own apartment on the top floor of a beautiful house, in the coolest, hippest neighbourhood in the city, who had her own car and paid her bills and was in charge of the general operations of an organization that works with almost 500 youth and their families a year from across the province.  I am the woman who backpacked across Switzerland and the South of France all by herself, who washed her own clothes and cooked her own meals when she had time, the woman who could improvise a speech on a moment’s notice and facilitate training sessions from memory.  I am the woman who took care of her house plants and volunteered and directed theatre productions.  The one who tried to be a good girlfriend, who tried to visit with her parents at least once a week and made sure to spend time with her friends.  I am the woman who did all that with Lupus.  I am that 28 year old woman.  

I am not this person.  This person who is back in her childhood bedroom for the second time of her adult life.  This person who just leased a new car, but rides in the back seat behind her aging and retired parents.  This person who trips over her speech when reaching her two hour limit out in public, this stranger who looks up at me with a face and body I don’t recognize and who does and says things that make no sense and embarrass those who she cares about the most.  This person who isn’t in any condition to be a suitable role model for anyone, much less 500 children and the young university staff that work with them.  This person who can’t keep it together long enough to toast her own bread or remember to take her pills or get out of her pyjamas or pay her bills on time.  This person who cries and yells and laughs and screams and runs around in circles pumping her arms like a lunatic and repeats it all over and over again every hour every day, who yells at her father for asking a question, who yelled at her mother in the crowded foyer of a movie theatre.  This person is not me.  IT IS NOT ME.

I just need you to know that.  I just need you to remember that.  

… I need you to remind me.