I'm Bad At Keeping Secrets
I’m not someone who has many secrets–– clearly, considering my social media footprint is as big as a continent.
But I do have a few, like the level of embarrassing songs I sing while cleaning my house, or the 90’s celebrities I still occasionally have dreams about marrying. My biggest secret as of late? I’m feeling better.
You’re probably asking yourself why the hell that would be a secret. After 8+ months of Saturday nights in, a monumentally bloated face, and a diet more restrictive than Beyonce-inspired veganism, wouldn’t I want to shout “I’M FEELING BETTER” from the rooftops?
Yes and no. I’m thrilled to be feeling better. I’m thrilled to be weaned off prednisone. But what most normal-health-functioning people don’t realize is that for the chronically ill, “better” is a spectrum. I don’t go from sick to well in a day flat. When I say “I’m feeling better,” it simply means that currently, I’m having more good days than bad days, which is something to celebrate.
But if I take that celebration public, I’m nervous about the response. I’m nervous that people will assume “better” means I’m back to my vodka drinking, burger eating, dancing-til-the-bars-close self (and believe me–– I wish that were the case. That girl was fucking fun.) I’m worried if they get it in their heads that I’m “better,” they’ll assume all the bad days are behind me. They’ll expect too much, and they’ll be disappointed.
So I guess I’m outing my secret right now–– I’m feeling better. My hair stopped falling out. I’ve started to drop some of the weight prednisone packed on me. I’m getting more sleep. I can occasionally eat candy and chips and not worry my intestines are gonna fall out of my butt as a result.
On the flip side, the fatigue still lingers like a bad ex-boyfriend who won’t stop texting me. I still go to bed at around eight most nights. I still take ten pills a day, on average. I still have to stick to a diet of mostly bland foods like fish, bread, and eggs. I’m still dying for a cheeseburger and a big ass sangria.
So maybe instead of saying I’m better, I’ll just say I’m on an upswing. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel that’s been this flare. I know now that an autoimmune disease isn’t something you can just ignore and hope it goes away–– it’s part of my life, and I’ll always be at risk of another life-altering health situation. But I’m choosing to be cautiously optimistic about the parts of me that are feeling better. And I’m choosing, based on writing this, to stop keeping it a secret.
So HEY GUYS, I’M FEELING BETTER. Let’s just celebrate the news at like, 5 PM so I can still be in bed by 8.