a letter from my body.
My purpose is to keep you alive. Every part of me has a function, a task to complete, a job to do, all of them done for you. I am coded to build blood cells and bones and tendons and nerve endings, to take little pieces of the universe and turn them into life. Every day I struggle to keep you alive, and I am exhausted. I am doing my best, but my best isn’t what it used to be. I’m running on fumes; as much as I love you, as hard as I work, I can’t keep going like this forever. Do you remember the way the grass feels between your toes, the way the wind runs fingertips along your skin? Do you remember the sounds of cicadas drifting in through your window, the smell that comes after rain? I do. It is what I was created to let you experience. Remember the taste of that croissant freshly made at the corner café in Granada, when the trees came alive with hundreds of birds beginning to awaken, your best friend at your side as you climb the steep hill. I breathed a little faster to help you make it to the top. Don’t you want that? Don’t you want to see what the world has to offer? I was meant to move and to see and to take you where you want to go, and I can’t do that if you keep treating me in this way. Have I done something wrong? Have I done something to deserve this, something so awful you are willing to kill us both? I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong… I am trying my best. I always have. It is my job, after all, and I love you. I would do anything for you.
You’re killing me. I didn’t want to say it, but I think it’s time you knew. You’ve been ignoring my messages for months now, or has it been years? I can’t remember anymore. I tried making you hungry, I tried making you feel sick. I tried making you tired and foggy, and you ignored it all. Is everything okay? I just want to help. I’ll keep us going the best that I can.
You’re still not listening, but that’s okay. I’m still working as hard as I can. I’ve seen better days, if I’m honest. Resources are running low, I’ve had to make some sacrifices. I know you noticed your hair coming out in the shower, and how your nails always seem to be broken. Sorry, but I have more important things to take care of. It’s exhausting trying to keep everything running. Sooner or later we’re going to run out and when that day comes I don’t know what I’ll do. Help me, I’m begging you. All I’ve ever done is keep you safe, I don’t understand. I don’t understand. I don’t understand.
You need to turn this around. I am doing the best that I can, but my best isn’t what it used to be. We are headed to a place we might not come back from. You tell me I am safe now, but I can never be too careful. I just want the best for you. We are dying, and this time, this time we can do something about it, and I don’t know why you won’t listen. We don’t need to end up there again. I’m scared. I am trying so hard to let you see the world, to do what you love, to learn, to laugh, to cry, to pet fluffy dogs and sing silly songs in the car, to love and be loved, to live. Let me do this. Let me keep you alive. Let me do my job so that you can live. I can heal, I can fix this. I just need you to listen. I will never give up on you; I will always keep trying the best that I can. You are my world, my purpose. You are me. I love you, and I need us to live.
. . .
I wrote this over a year ago before my first treatment stay. today, my dietitian read it back to me in our session. I sobbed. in some ways, many things have changed, but in others? not much is different. it breaks my heart to think of the hell I have put my body through, and it would seem like making the choice to pick recovery would be clear. it isn’t. despite everything, I still struggle to make that choice. I will make that choice though, because my body deserves better. because I deserve better.