I get jealous.
Of course, I get jealous. I probably get jealous about things that most other people don't get jealous about. You can catch me eye-fucking corn-on-the-cob as I walk by people eating at a restaurant. It may look like I'm looking at a wedding ring or the cute dude. But really, I'm thinking about what it would be like to gnaw on a juicy, fresh off the grill buttered salted cob. Or, the greasy chips and salsa. Or, the sushi...ok, I'll stop now.
You get the picture.
Some people that have food restrictions or are on diets try to tell me they understand what it's like.
One of the things I work hard to do is make you feel comfortable with my fucked up situation. I try really hard to not focus on my own problems. Complain. Whine. Be bitter. Or talk about myself the entire time.
I protect you guys from a lot of really bad, really awful things. I've shared only a sliver of my horror show so far.
The one thing I ask in return is to not make jokes about how you understand my situation. Unless you've lost four organs and can't eat solid food, of course. Then talk away!
Otherwise. Just don't.
I'll admit I do get jealousy of that kind of cluelessness. To live in a world where my situation is so unfathomable...I do. I get jealous of not understanding.
Weird. I know. But I do.
It's kind of an outdated emotion. I'm not an anthropologist but I imagine it persevered to ensure that people stayed with mates to ensure that offspring were created AND survived.
I don't see what other purpose it would serve but if you know about this stuff, do tell!
The reason I'm writing about envy/jealousy/the green monster is because I see how prevalent it is in our culture, especially exacerbated by social media now.
We WANT so many things.
I just want one thing: a functioning digestive system. I can live with the dehydration issue, the constant cancer screenings, even a short life.
Oh, but I only want to be able to eat again. Even a limited diet. I dream of it. I really do! I dream of eating gluten-filled pancakes that would be like glue in my GI tract. Waffles. Bread. I haven't dreamed of eating salad yet but I'll let you know when I do!
Starvation and thirst. That's how they torture people.
So no, I don't get jealous of things that other people get jealous of anymore. I can remember what it's like though. I was like you before. Not entirely. I'm not a terribly envious person.
However, I do still get jealous of long, tan legs on occasion. Not burning in the sun sounds really lovely. Not having to worry about money would be a relief. Not because I need to be rich and/or feel like it would make me better than anyone else. But because it would provide a sense of security about a future, if I get one. And I'd be able to fund weird medical treatments that might help me.
But most of the time, I get jealous about only two things that most people don't think about.
People that get to eat. And shit without pain, interventions, IV fluids, or hours of certain movements and stretches.
Yep. That's my wishlist. Eating and shitting.
I see people around me, and I think sometimes they are worried I'll feel bad about other things. I think they might even feel guilty. If their life is going really well and mine is, well, literally in the toilet (yes! pun totally intended!).
But I'm here to tell you. It's ok. Don't feel bad if your life is going great. Don't feel bad if you want to share awesome news with me. Don't ever, for ONE SECOND think that your joy and happiness is something you should hide from me.
That's the odd thing about my position: I LOVE when people are happy. I love when my loved ones are doing well.
I'll tell you what really, really upsets me. When people don't ask how I'm doing. Or, aren't sure what to say so they say nothing at all.
Feeling like people don't care how I'm doing really hurts.
But your promotion? Share away! Your new house? Send me a million photos! Your engagement? I want to hear every single detail. Your pregnancy? Tell me your excitement, your fears, your joy.
I don't get jealous of you being happy. I don't get jealous if your life is going awesome.
You know why?
Well for one, if you're in my life, I love you and want you to be happy. I want you to have joy. I want you to get everything you want and deserve in this life.
It also keeps me tethered to the good things in life. When you feel joy, I get to feel joy with you. When you're excited, it makes me excited. Your happiness oozes over to me and spills out over my tired, sick body and rejuvenates me.
I NEED your stories of joy. I NEED to remember that there are good things happening outside of my strange, weird existence.
Your JOY reminds me to find JOY in mine.
When we remove jealousy from our world, joy becomes contagious.
Have you ever been around happy people? They're fucking awesome to hang out with.
You pull me up with your stories of good news.
Most of my life is divided into three areas: health crap, resistance work, family/friends.
The first two are depressing as all hell. I love my resistance friends and the work. But it's really, really hard. To keep myself informed in order to make a difference, I have to read a LOT of really difficult stuff. I don't need to explain the depressing part about my health crap.
The last category is friends and family.
Do you see now why I WANT you to tell me good news? Share your latest gooey story about the new person you're dating? Or the business you're starting? Or the vacation you just took?
When I hear or read or see good news from you guys, it's like rain after a long, dry spell. I soak it up.
Your joy is like food my for my soul.
It fills my soul with reminders of what's possible in life. Keeps me going.
So please, don't ever, for one second think that you can't share your good moments with me. Or feel "bad" about telling me something that's amazing in your life.
Quite the opposite. You're doing me a huge favor.
You're reminding me that it might be possible again.
For me. To have my own good news to share.
When you're doing when you share something wonderful in your life with me, you're giving me something I desperately need.
You're giving me hope.
So here's to joy, happiness, and good news. May all of you have lots and lots and lots of it.