I used to be all about craving my own company. I think it stems from being an only child. I would look forward to the end of the work week when I could spend time alone, unwinding and enjoying solitude. Now I find myself needing to spend time with other people. I still enjoy time alone, but I want to connect with others in person.
My skin is so sore right now. I’ve been off work sick. My legs are thumping in pain, inflamed and swollen. They rub against my clothes, hard to walk on and feel better elevated. The skin on the backs of my hands are cracked, inflamed and hot. It hurts.
My pain is private. Skin infections can be yucky, and I don’t want to repulse people. Not many people see it, and it’s hard to explain. It’s a bit lonely. The skin shed tells many stories. I’m the main witness, along with my parents, and the medical staff. I remember how it cracks and peels and gathers in the bed. I remember how it stings and thumps and feels sore from my bones to my clothes. Unfortunately the renewed skin still has a memory, and the pain cycle continues.
I struggle with the responsibility of having a chronic illness and saving face. If I am not well enough to be at work, am I well enough to see loved ones while still resting? My brain still works, and I never stop talking or eating. Still, I want to see people. I want to laugh and have a hug with friends, chatting away to pretend its not sore.
I have been resting. Sleeping. Reading magazines, blogs and Twitter. Online connectedness isn’t enough for me right now.
I needed to get out of my mind, and out of my pyjamas. I saw two friends, my movements were slow, yet I was happy. We talked and laughed over meals, and for a while, I forgot I was sore.
It was nice, these impromptu, healing catch ups. I have good friends.
(Picture of street art taken in a carpark in Victoria Street North Melbourne)