Twice in the past two weeks I’ve been forced to stop, lay down, and rest. The first time, my body just collapsed, and I spent the morning recovering in a bedroom at the health center. The second time, my body ached and burned, then dragged itself to the health center. A sympathetic nurse picked up my expanding file, checked my ears and glands and throat and temperature, and quarantined me in my apartment.
The refrain of Sharpay Evans from High School Musical comes to my mind:
This is not what I want. This is not what I planned. And I just gotta say, I do not understand. Something is really, really wrong.
This bed rest is not what I wanted. I wanted to go to Trader Joe’s this morning to buy granola and nuts and fresh fruit. I wanted to go for a run in the gorgeous weather. I wanted to frolic and rejoice in the beginnings of spring because this winter has already been just. so. long. But I can’t. I’m still here, stuck in my bed, in my pajamas and my groceries are running low.
This spring, really, is not what I would have wanted, either. I should be focusing on finding a job I’ll love, or planning a fun road trip with my friends, or simply reading books I’ve always meant to read while I still have the freedom of time between classes and meetings. I’ve gotten to do some of these things and have felt the blessings of laughter and silliness with my friends. But a lot of my free time is taken up by appointments at the health center, phone calls home, and trying to think, work, and feel through my eating disorder. And it’s not what I would have wanted for my last semester of college.
But these times of forced rest, in these beds and in this season, have been freeing. I can’t exercise. I can’t meet anyone for lunch. I can’t go to work or class or turn any assignments in. These times of forced rest pull me out of the rush of my own life, the rhythm that gets too fast sometimes. And for peaceful hours, I can breathe, read, and pray. I choose to believe: this season of recovery will restore my life as bed rest has restored my day, given it back to me, like a seashell dropped and lost but washed ashore again.