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.