Just a phase

Maggie resting on our couch

Momma said there’ll be days like this, there’ll be days like this, my momma said. Some days like today, it is like a thick fog ties me down, and thoughts and words come slowly. I feel drugged and physically exhausted.

This is when I need to have a banner in my living room right above the couch where I can see it. It would say, “This is just a phase.”


I used to think this illness would last forever. Recently, I realize it is just a phase. I am thoroughly convinced I will be completely well again, even though most people with this condition are bogged down in it with no hope of a cure. Knowing that this is a temporary phase, I feel more relaxed and I don’t get as frustrated when symptoms flare up.

A phase. I can make it through a phase! I remember when I was in college, especially undergraduate. It felt like it took ten years, but it only took five. And it took five because I switched universities three times, and my major a few times. But back then, if felt like college was taking forever. I remember I would make these charts trying to figure out how I could squeeze the most credits into each semester, plotting out exactly how many months and years I still had to go. I possibly poured more energy into those planning charts than I did into my actual studies. Ahh, the torture. I remember it fondly. I was miserable back then, but I was healthy and strong and had my whole future ahead of me. I remember being really depressed and moody, thinking my life sucked then. I didn’t want to be studying in college, and I hated my circumstances then. I could barely see past each day, let alone a month or year.

Looking back, I do laugh at my misery then at feeling stuck. I want to visit my younger self and poke her and say, “Lighten up! You will eventually graduate. You have no reason to be miserable. Enjoy every moment you have!”

I’m imagining my 60 year old self. She is probably itching to come back to poke my 37 year old self and say, “Lighten up! This is just a phase! It will pass before you know it. Enjoy the moments of good that you do have!”

So I’m listening, older me. Thank you for your reminder. It helps me to relax and accept this phase more easily.


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