My monster doesn’t have fangs or red eyes or a long spiky tail. It doesn’t bother to hide in my closet or under my bed. It doesn’t wait for the dark to make me scream. It’s always there, either creeping under a hood or standing up straight with arms akimbo. I’m done trying to figure out what it will do next. I’ve gone from crying about it, to pretending that it isn’t really there. The needles I’ve poked into my flesh (Copaxone, Rebif, Tysabri) have been full of preemptive strikes against a shady pattern that I still haven’t figured out. Those medicines were never meant to be cures, I understand, just survival tools. I’ve survived without them for
four five years now. I am surviving. It’s the thriving that’s at hand now.
My monster is a crafty one, though. With every surge of effort to eat clean or keep up an exercise regimen or simply get out of bed in the morning, it climbs onto me slowly, like a gigantic sloth, and lies on my chest. It spreads itself long and wide, covering every inch of me with a soft pressure that’s not so fearful as it is lulling. It’s a lull that turns into lethargy and weighs a thousand pounds. There are pills I can take to put some sort of pep into my step and avoid many slothy moments when I’m glued to the couch in the evenings watching rachet TV (don’t judge me). I refuse to cave in to that (see Not Off the Ground She Licked It), so I’ve started running. I’m not a runner. I don’t have any experience with marathons, track, or even jogging. I probably need new sneakers, some sweat-wicking tank tops and shorts that don’t ride up the crotch. So far, I can’t go longer than a minute with stopping for recovery, but I’m not quitting. I have empty hands, remember?
I’m not sure how far my legs will take me. Not sure how fast I can go. My monster is always on my tail, it’s in my shadow. But while I can run, I’m running…