After fourteen years with too numerous to count misdiagnoses, this is my daily journey living with an unknown disease that has made me fully physically dependent, living by the help from my family, friends, and beloved service dog. It is how I have chosen to define myself to remain whole in spite of it.

Googling During Foggy Times

Googling During Foggy Times

It would be dishonest to portray that I am always on the sunny side of life. Hell, I don't think anyone who knows me would ever think that, plus I am far too sarcastic in nature to even try to think about portraying myself that way. However, when I am stuck in the fog internally, when my gumption drive is all out of gas, and the point in dealing with the physical pain becomes too much, I have a choice to make. Usually, if I have the time, I will allow my mind to wallow through the thicket and identify the source and feelings that are actually there. To be honest, I literally measure the time, either by a clock or by the number of songs that pass in the background. It's easy to get lost in this forest, and I keep myself on a very short leash.

When my time limit has been reached, regardless of where my thought was, I pull myself out of it— and sharply. Immediate distraction is required. Best yet for me is conversation with others about an issue that is not personal to either of us, such as world events, politics, or an upcoming movie that is about to be released. Once I am substantially removed, and then have another lull of time, I try to tiptoe around the fog, feeling comfort to be near it, yet not in its thicket. This is when I am most appreciative of technology.

One thing I do is google different paintings. A particular lover of Degas, Monet, and other painters from the Renaissance, I flip through the search engine results and websites as if it was feeding my soul. Having first reminded myself about other situations much worse than mine, and now getting lost in such beauty, such stories, it puts perspective on my pain and quietly calms it down. Learning about these artists who had such struggles, such drive against enormous obstacles, gives me perspective, as well as company.

Perhaps that's why I especially love Degas; he captured movement and posture so beautifully, so seamlessly, that it inspires to me to continue with my dream (fantasy, really), that one day I will hold myself with such grace and poise. I study the lines and positions so that during my therapy, I can help remember such emphasis when all other thoughts are fleeing.

The thought of one day possibly seeing such art in person is quiet drive for my soul to keep pushing, keep going forward for another day. Or at least until I have another stroll through the fog.

Jumping the Wall

Jumping the Wall

Herbert Marshall

Herbert Marshall