Hi, lymphies.

I am so overwhelmed with a lot of things right now; between my progressing lymphedema, long hours at work, and my ever-present body image issues, I feel like I’m drowning. But I’m also overwhelmed with good things, too. The comments you all have left me after yesterday’s post were so beautiful and supportive that I began to cry. It’s amazing how people can come together and support one another, without ever having met. It’s more than amazing – it’s wonderful.

Yesterday, I was so depressed. I felt utterly awful, and that the spreading of the lymphedema to my “good” leg was a betrayal by my body to me. I cried, I screamed, and I moped all day long. By the time I had checked my email, I was emotionally drained and tired, but your comments lifted me up immediately. I read them aloud to my mom and we both just glowed at one another, so overcome that we were speechless.

Instead of replying individually, I’m going to thank you all at once because I am literally overflowing with gratitude for the compassion and friendship you all have shown me. Jim and Barbara especially, as you two have consistently been active voices on the blog (I encourage everyone to read their most recent comments here). Their words have made me feel like it was okay to be angry (or, as Barbara put it, “combative”), but also that life goes on. Yeah, this sucks. Big time. And it’s a giant inconvenience in my already busy life. But it’s not the end of the world, and I (we!) can’t let it stop life from moving forward, as it is so wont to do.

If there’s one thing that this blog has taught me, it’s that nobody is alone. We may feel like it, especially because it’s difficult for people without a chronic condition (let alone one that is so physically manifested) to relate or empathize with us. But once we find each other, we see that all our crazy, sad, depressed, angry, despondent, fighting, willful spirits are connected. Kindred, even.

Not only do I have people who frequently comment, but also many who email me. They are lymphies (and their families!) from across the country to across the world, all searching for somebody who can finally, finally understand what it is they are going through. I encourage you to get to know each other, because you all are so full of your own individual experiences, coping mechanisms, and wisdom that we could all benefit from.

You are all such wonderful people – I can’t even begin to express how lucky I feel to have met you, and to have you all as a support system. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

Much love always, and I hope you’re all doing well,

Alexa is a writer, book hoarder, and cat enthusiast from Baltimore, MD. By day, she works in the marketing and communications department for a large health system; by night, she runs The Lymphie Life. Learn more about her here!

2 comments on “Overwhelmed

  1. Just remember that you ARE beautiful. When you stop defining yourself by your legs and start defining yourself by the essence of who you really are, you will be at least a bit more comfortable with things.

    That said, we all have our rough days, and rough weeks!! There was a solid two weeks where I didn’t go anywhere else besides work and home when I was doing my bandaging. Now I’m on the other side and rocking my custom stocking. It goes up to my knee and it is BEAUTIFUL because it prevents my leg from getting worse. I feel a bit timid wearing it out at first, especially out here in LA where image is everything, but then I’m like fuck it, I want to wear a dress! or shorts! My friends are understanding and give me the support when needed. But as you know nothing compares to the support you get from other lymphies. And for that I thank YOU for having this blog. I’m 24 and it’s very lonely to get lost and frustrated – I think everyone at my LE therapist is over the age of 65. So keep it up girl, bitch when you need to bitch and share your strength with us when you have it to share :)

    Hang in there, I’m thinking of you!

    • Oh, whew, for a second there I thought I was too OLD to post on this blog. But since I’m only 62 and have had this fricking leg thing for over 40 years I guess I’m not totally too old. Okay, that was meant to be funny.
      Meredith, I remember when I took that same attitude as you when I was about 30 years old. I moved to a new town here in Colorado and wanted to wear shorts and bicycle shorts (those lycra things? yeah, those) so I said the same thing – fuck it – I want to wear what I want to wear. So I ditched the jeans and stepped out there in shorts. It is an AWESOME feeling to take such charge of your own life. So, Alexa, get that garment on and get out the door because you are stronger than any negativity that might come your way.

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