Thursday, August 29, 2013

Moving With And Packing Up Lupus and RA: New Beginnings And Bittersweet Endings, Baby Steps And Quantum Leaps

In preparation to move from Michigan to New York, I had to get rid of something I’ve been holding onto for the last five and a half years – all of the prescription bottles since I got sick. 

 They became, to me, what felt like the only tangible mark of illness. 

Just by looking at me, you probably wouldn’t know that I’m sick.  Aside from the litany of doctors’ appointments and tests and procedures, the only thing amiss is the fact that I take a bunch of pills. 

My therapist told me that someday, when I had the validation I needed, I would get rid of them.  And I guess, in a way, he was right.  I have a man in my life who has embraced me despite my illnesses.  And I am at a place in my life in which my life and my illnesses no longer seem completely like opposing parties.  I am more comfortable with who I am in spite of my illnesses. 

It was definitely hard to part with all of those bottles.  It felt like a part of me was going away.  But it simply did not seem realistic to take them with me.   And in reality, they were more of a crutch than anything else. 

In some ways, getting rid of those bottles feels a bit like leaving me with nothing to show for the last five and a half years of illness.   

 And it’s weird.  I sort of feel that way about the last six years that I spent in a PhD program.  All I have is a piece of paper.

And I got this key chain and card case.  I guess this is kind of my gold Rolex. 

But the reality is, I have so much to show for the last six years.  Maybe they aren’t tangible things, but I have learned so much, matured a lot, and learned what the important things in life really are.

And those things are just a key chain and card case, and they aren’t a ridiculous amount of empty prescription bottles.  There will certainly be more of those in the years to come, and I can certainly amass the collection again if I so desire.

On the other hand, it is in some ways liberating to be without them.  They were a big part of my life, but they weren’t the only thing.  So it was a baby step to part with all of those prescription bottles, but it was a quantum leap to move to New York City. 

 I have so much more to talk about – my move, what it’s like to live in New York City, and why I’m here and the wonderful, new adventure I am embarking upon.  So this is a quick update for now, but I’ll be back soon.  


  1. Those bottles are something else. I have two dresser drawers full of them, but I keep old pills that didn't fly for treatment for my art work. It's always a pickle trying to keep people from picking pills from one of my installations. :)


  2. I always have to force myself to throw my bottles away. I don't know why it is so hard to let them go.

  3. Talk about a picture that says a thousand words! Thank you for sharing this with us Leslie. It really does sound like you are in a very positive place in your life right now, and it is quite motivating,