2014 kicked off with… a tarot reading. Yes, my best friend loves tarot cards and, on the occasion of another friend’s birthday, while we were discussing getting older, the new year and the future, she laid them down and read them for the three of us just for fun.
The Hermit card came out in my reading, and it felt in consonance with what I was already perceiving I needed at the time. Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis brought a lot of social challenges with it. I chose not to tell most people for several reasons, but one of them is simply – and very honestly – I just don’t have the energy to educate people. Probably everyone has heard about multiple sclerosis, but apart from some notions that most likely include wheelchairs, no one knows much about it. I can try to explain, but there are so many tiny details and symptoms involved that I can’t possibly make people keep up with them all. I can hardly keep up with them all myself.
Then in the middle of January my ex-boyfriend and I had a fight and never spoke to each other again. I’d broke up with him in July because he wasn’t very supportive. He told me several times while we were together that he saw me as the person he could spend the rest of his life with, yet he didn’t make the slightest effort to learn about my condition. I find it weird that you plan to spend your life with someone with a chronic illness and nonetheless you don’t go online, don’t read about it, don’t ask about it and don’t do anything to support the person you’re with. When one day he accused me of faking symptoms, that’s when I broke up with him. I thought that by breaking up we would grow apart and he wouldn’t be comfortable with treating me as harshly as he had before, but that wasn’t the case.
So that was the last straw. I needed a break from people. A break from making up excuses, a break from feeling I needed to explain myself, a break from feeling I needed to apologize for not being like everybody else. Starting college at the end of January and having my apartment building affairs handed over to me were the perfect excuses for keeping to myself and not going out much.
Come July and I’m on break from college. I feel like I should have more time, more energy, more desire to go out. It’s summer after all. But I’m still on hermit mode. I still don’t feel like facing people. And I’m just drained. There’s physical fatigue, and then there’s mental and emotional exhaustion. Every time I think about the number of e-mails I have waiting for an answer, from friends, teachers, neighbors, I feel like crawling into bed and staying there for months in a row. Hibernating. The amount of things I need to remember about so as my life keeps running smoothly overwhelms me. Shutting myself in, living in my own world, becomes a defense mechanism, dissociating from everything that’s too much for me to handle. So here I am, hermit me, waiting for the world to stop spinning, for the day I won’t feel so dizzy.