Monday, July 28, 2014

Alive - Part I

What have you done lately that has made you to feel really alive?  I mean the type of alive that sends excitement for living coursing through your veins and your mind racing with possibility for the future?  At those very moments it seems nothing is impossible: you start dreaming big dreams, making plans for the future, and setting sights on adventures yet to come.

That feeling of being alive awakens you from the lifeless state of just existing.  It's amazing how quickly we can become so consumed by our daily commitments and schedules, forcing us to forget what it really feels like to be alive: each breath exploding with excitement and possibility.

Lost Time
I have been PICC free for over two weeks.  Where has that time gone?  Have I been living or just merely existing?  What about for those 68 days of IV's?  Was I just numbly getting through the days, or was I really "living" out each of them?  I am always so amazed at time and how quickly it seems to be flashing before me.  When I begin to think about time and how quickly it goes by, I begin to feel pains of desperation and panic.  I feel as if time is sand pouring through my fingers: the tighter I try and grip the sand in my hands, the more I lose.  I find myself these past two weeks hesitant to write these words or even speak them out loud because I know they can all change so very quickly.  And that is my very worst fear.  Those words?  I feel alive and the best I have in a long time.  There I said it, and I can hardly believe it myself.  Of course, my body still reminds me daily of the CF lurking beneath, but I feel truly alive.  To be honest, feeling this way terrifies me.  I know, it sounds crazy.  I feel so good that I feel I need to make up for lost time, that I need to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of my day because it might all change tomorrow.  I think back to the last two weeks and all the living I have been doing: the places I've gone and the activities I have done that I haven't felt like or had the energy to do in a very long time.

I catch my mind running loose with dreams for the future. At that very moment of dreaming I don't feel bound by the realities of CF. I feel invincible.  For just a moment I am making plans of traveling: going to all those forbidden places, riding on an airplane or metro system and not thinking about wearing a mask to protect myself,  and exploring a new city by foot without worrying about how exhausted I might be at the end of the day.  But then something brings me back to reality.  I realize that my life will never be that way: there are forbidden places, there's a serious risk of any confined space with people and wearing a mask is a reality to keep me safe,  and my body gets fatigued quicker than my mind wants it to.  My dreaming doesn't stop there.  I find myself dreaming about having a family.  I catch myself thinking, "I can do it. I will show CF, myself, and everyone else I can do it." I dream about what Christmas morning would be like for Mark and I, or what it would be like telling my best friends and family that we were going to be starting a family.  I dream about my future as a musician, a teacher, and all the things I wish to accomplish.  But then I am brought back to realities of CF and how they impact all these dreams and make some of them impossible and dangerous.  For that one moment though my mind is racing with possibility and I feel absolutely alive: nothing seems impossible, and I forget about the treatments, the doctors appointments, the bacteria last cultured in my lungs, and how it all affects the people I love.

Will I stop dreaming and searching for those moments that make me feel so alive?  No, but I do have to bring myself back to reality at times.  It's a delicate balance between not allowing myself to be bound by reality and being reckless and irresponsible with my life.  Today, I feel great and I know it will be a day of dreaming:  knowing I could wake tomorrow morning reminded of CF and its ruthless presence in my life.  Today, I am going to cherish every beautiful moment and each wonderful breath I have been given.  Love to you all.

Do something that makes you feel alive today.

This is Part I of a three part series. 

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