The Rebuild, Part 1: What got burnt up in the fire....

Before I got my diagnosis of Mono, I began to get paranoid about everything I was putting in my body. As I am always taking a few new supplements, I began to have strange thoughts- is too much folic acid making me sick?; is it this brain food formula I’m taking?; did my herbs go bad and have E. coli? Truth be told, I take at least 15 supplements a day… many of which were prescribed by a naturopathic doctor, and some of which have been self prescribed by this unlicensed Dr. Shaw :)

Getting sick can be like a reset for the body and mind. During the six days of my very high fever, everything had to be simplified- work, rest, eat occasionally. 

Now that I’m better, I feel like I did when I returned from John of God in February: I have an oasis of peace and calm within, and a quiet that I must guard with vigilance. Upon returning to normal body temperature, it appears as though something got burnt up in the fire of my fever. 

Here’s what happened: 

  • I had to look at every single thing that I ingested and ask, “Will this help or harm me?”
  • Every day, I had to talk myself out of a workout. As I get back into it, I am focusing on taking it slow and working out minimally- light resistance band work and hot yoga. However, it was a lot of self-talk to not go to the gym prior to this (or to exert myself more).
    • With me and movement, I believe in the motto "more is more.” I love the endorphins after a workout and will chase it at all costs. I’ve learned that this mindset does not serve myself at all. 
  • My television has not been on at my house since I’ve returned from the hospital. I feel as though turning it on will lower my energy further; instead, I have read two books. Fiction, too!
  • I've returned to my meditation practice that I somewhat abandoned a few months ago. 
  • I feel an increased need to surround myself with friends and people that I am 100% sure will not suck my energy… energy vampires are everywhere. These friends have to have very shared healthy interests, and need to support my lifestyle. 

There is a lot more quiet in my head, and my heart, now. The day before I got sick, I was walking along the East River in Brooklyn listening to some Sarah McLachlan and the words from “Elsewhere” really struck me that day. 

Today, they hold even more meaning... 

I love the time and in between
The calm inside me
In the space where I can breathe
I believe there is a distance I have wandered
To touch upon the years of
Reaching out and reaching in
Holding out, holding in
I believe
This is heaven to no one else but me
And I'll defend it as long as I can be
Left here to linger in silence
If I choose to
Would you try to understand? 

There is beauty and a reverence in lingering in the silence. It’s at the edge of each breath and it’s the sheer joy of being alive… and the possibility of another breath to follow. 

Beth Shaw