Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's been a long 3 months

It's 1:29 a.m. I am siting in bed with a heating pad, under 3 comforters, sipping Theraflu in much the same manner that a connoisseur may enjoy a fine vintage wine. My husband is snoring (rather loudly - I can easily hear him through my industrial strength earplugs!) on my left. On my right is Lola, looking none too pleased that I've disturbed her beauty sleep by switching on my bedside lamp.

The last few months have been exciting but exhausting. My sister-in -law J. has been staying with us for the past 4 months as she prepared to take the American National Board of Dentistry Exams. For the past 3 weeks, my parents have been visiting us from India. We've also moved house, visited Seattle and Mt. Rainier, and done a family trip to Vegas and the Grand Canyon. As I said, exhilerating, but so exhausting.

During this time I've gone through many ups and many downs. Sometimes, the fatigue got too much for me. And I would feel trapped. Frustrated. Imprisoned in my own body. My soul yearned to soar, but instead I would wave goodbye from the hotel room as everyone else went for a hike or to the casinos. And I would wonder what I had done to deserve this.

But each time this happens, I now take myself back to my trip to the Mt Rainier National Park. When we went to visit Seattle, Mt Rainier wasn't even on our 'places to visit' list. My husband almost had to drag me there. And now, I thank him for it everyday. Memories of Rainier have become my own personal place of peace.

I don't think I can ever explain the overwhelming sense of peace and 'rightness' that I felt sitting in those mountains surrounded by trees and brooks, no soul or sign of civilization in sight. Just a magnificent snow covered active volcano forming a glorious backdrop to an endless panorama of hills covered with green trees. In that moment, all my concerns and worries and stresses just disappeared. All that mattered was the nature around me and the contentment within me.

Rainier changed me in a fundamental way. Now, when things threaten to overwhelm me, I just transport myself back to those hills, overlooking a vista of pine trees and lakes, and nothing seems important any more in face of such majestic natural beauty.

For the first time in my life, I didn't care about work or studies, diamonds or cashmere. All I needed was a pair of jeans and the people I love around me. And even though I couldn't do the 15 mile hike that I would have loved to do, the rangers helped me find a hike that was 1/10th of a mile and being able to complete this gave me more joy than you can possibly imagine.

I think that all of us, especially those of us struggling like a condition with CFS/FM have to find our own personal Rainier. A place which is always inviting, where we can be ourselves and lose all the accumulated despair and frustration. A places that renews and re-energizes us. A place that makes us thankful for all the things - big and small- that we already have in our lives and perhaps do't give enough importance to.

I hope those of you that follow this blog have already found such a place (I would love to hear abt these), and I strongly urge the rest of you to find your Rainier. It will give you more joy than you can imagine!


  1. What a wonderful post and beautiful pictures! This has inspired me to find my own Mt. Rainier.

    Thank you for this. I really needed to read this today.

  2. Really Wonderful! Those rare times in the outdoors are really important high points in the struggle. And then they are there, in your memory, whenever you need them. :)