Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Am Alive

I am alive. I was planning on taking a break from this blog. Certainly, it’s a novelty when someone is completely honest about everything (of which she is aware…I get dispensation for lying to myself) she writes. It is pretty ugly.

As I recover from this last “oops,” what appears to be an ear infection run amok, I’ve become more and more grim. New fun fact. When ill, especially fighting a fever, your body requires more oxygen than usual to fight the bug. Running only on a quarter tank, I can barely function with the little that I had left for basic human functions- like breathing.

When ill but with healthy lungs, you’re tired and you’re using more of oxygen than usual. But you don’t notice the loss of breath. Gasping is for lucky people like me. And there is truly nothing more frightening than not being able to breath. Not a surprise that waterboarding was so damned effective in scaring the crap out of our Guantanamo guests. The seconds before drowning must be hellish.

I was assured that as I recovered I’d get back to where I was. (Not that joyful moment when you find out everything will be okay, but it’s the best that I could do. Take what you can get and don’t dare let go.) I’ve spent the past week in a state of panicked paralysis. I can only imagine that was the PTSD talking. Anxiety I know. You feel like you’re jumping out of you skin. Depression is the almighty abyss.

The better I feel physically, the more grim, panicked, and paralyzed I become. I don’t want this anymore. I don’t want to live like this anymore. It’s lonely and can be nothing more unless I venture out into the world and risk catching that fatal bug. The one that descends on my scarred lungs and wreaks my final havoc. (I know this sounds melodramatic. If only it were so. I’d much prefer to be a whining diva than a human living on the edge of life.)

Can any of you actually believe I could enjoy “the world” with Henry’s ax (or Anne’s blessed never-miss French swordsmen) hanging over my head. I guess I’d have to reach a point where dying was no longer an issue. Live for the moment. I was never very good at that at my best. And I truly would need to go for broke- damn the torpedoes. I’m still a scared little Jewish girl. I’m not ready for the big stage. The grand gesture. It’s not in my gene pool. The Hungarian lunacy not withstanding.

So, I was ready to put this blog on hiatus. Every post “…today was horrible…” “I feel so lousy today…” “I had a bad day…” This is tedium. Fresh and different becomes a stale piece of cheese. I am not just writing for myself. If that were so, I’d keep a personal journal. But the illness gave me a voice I thought crazy to waste. (No, that sounds as if I made some cool intellectual choice. Fat chance. I’m no less honest than I have been. I’m just much less interesting. That alone is very difficult to swallow. How do I know this to be true? I don’t. I’m making an assumption. I feel so alone (well I am alone), and the idea that I might be driving away the people who chose to read what I had to say, has just been too much for me.

I was saved by a phone call today from one of my “new cousins” who isn’t new at all. A 2002 family reunion introduced the Kallus family to one another. (My mother was born a Kallus, so we are dealing with the crazy Hungarian branch of the family.) I met David Stein in 2002. He lives in Amsterdam and came in for the big event. On my last vacation of my old life, Chip and I had a full day layover in Amsterdam on the way to Barcelona. I called David to see if he’d be around that day. He was. And he treated us like royalty. He picked us up at the airport at dawn and fed us everything and took us everywhere. Chip and I swore our next trip would be to Amsterdam, but that was not to be. No trips for me. But David, Chip, and I grokked each other. He called to check on me this afternoon at the very moment I needed someone. Forty-five minutes of yacketing did us both good. And for the first time since this stupid-ass ear infection, I feel human again. And maybe, just maybe, there’s a reason to keep on living.

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