Last week, I picked up When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chöndrön, because things fell apart during my recent flare. Namely, my false sense of security.
Over the last year, I’ve rebuilt my life to accommodate MCAS and avoid triggers. My steady progress boosted my confidence in my ability to manage this disease. I thought I had woven my own safety net with a series of daily precautions.
But this last major reaction sliced that safety net in half and I plummeted without knowing how far I would fall. Overnight, I lost my ability to work, eat, or sleep. I reached for help but the hospital wasn’t safe and the emergency doctors were reluctant to do anything for fear it would make me worse. No one, not even one of the world’s leading MCAS specialists, could tell me for certain what was happening or how to fix it.
I was terrified.
So I read When Things Fall Apart in search of peace. I found comfort in Pema’s wise words, but the funny thing is I don’t remember any of them. The only thing I distinctly remember is that she threw a rock at her husband when he told her he was having an affair and he wanted a divorce.
I never scored well on reading comprehension.
Upon further reflection, I realized that’s how I felt when I lost my sense of security. I wanted to throw things too. Specifically, I wanted to whip a full set of ceramic dinner plates against a wall like frisbees. The pain was too much, the situation was too scary, and I wanted to protest its unfairness.
I think I’m supposed to just acknowledge these feelings. However, I’m still holding out for a box of plates and a sturdy wall. My second takeaway from the book is I think I’m still eligible to become a Buddhist nun.
I probably should re-read the book.