I considered suicide in 2010 when I was at my sickest, coping with an ongoing illness that doctors couldn't diagnose. I was unable to keep weight on, felt perpetually sick, could eat only certain foods, and with a depressed immune system, was frequently sick (colds, pneumonia, sinus infections). I tried to stay on my feet and go to work as often as I could. My family was in the Midwest while I lived alone in California. My mom talked to me on the phone each week. So-called friends disappeared when I just wanted to be with someone. I went to doctors and finally pain doctors and begged for help. They analyzed me for an hour and a half and then told me to make an appointment to come back a week later. A week later?! I lay on the living room floor of my dark studio and ranted at my body. If I did anything, I wanted to be sure it would work. A therapist I'd seen sometimes intervened and offered me free appointments. She carried me through some dark days. Love for my mom no longer mattered. Illness had taken over like a stranger and made me unrecognizable to myself. I realized that I had to matter to me. Three and a half years later I am in many ways healthier than I was before the illness. Art, meditation, prayer, writing, and being my own best friend were key. I feel closer to my family, to God and to myself. Two new, solid friends appeared in my life when I wasn't looking. But I'm still my own best friend.
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