I think I am finally ready to publish this.
Re-entry is harder than I thought it would be. You’d think that nine months following my transplant, I’d be eager to “get out there.” But the truth is, it causes me a bit of anxiety each time I imagine being surrounded by people, especially people I know.
This may sound counterintuitive, but strangers don’t know “my secret” and don’t care. On the other hand, the people who know me have been willing me back to health, and I don’t want to disappoint. I smile, sometimes pretending. Even now, my need to please others is at the expense of resembling how I genuinely feel.
I don’t fault them, everyone is so happy to see me doing better, looking normal. It makes them feel better.
It’s like a tiny fissure appeared when I went away last July. Friends either took flight; became overly concerned with my health, or were more concerned with expressing their distress over a “weave-gone-bad.”
Maybe those cracks always existed, but I experience them like small tremors now.
Except for my most intimate of connections, I am detached like I’ve fallen off a ledge; my shattered parts spilling out from beneath me. I doubt myself…a lot. I distrust my decisions, my next move. FOR SOME REASON, LIFE CHANGED WHEN I LEFT!! And I find it hard to integrate back into a world that seems to spin faster now.
So until I reappear as another version of my former self, I will learn to be patient. Realizing that while my recovery might look complete, it is yet beyond my grasp. It isn’t as distant as it was several months ago, but I am still isolated; feigning a smile; and fighting to maintain. My inner self struggles to find the women it fully recognizes.
This may take a while.