I once caught a virus so bad that it entirely depleted my body of any good nutrients and any will to continue to living as long as I had it. Unlike a bacterial infection, I could not go to the doctor and get antibiotics to zap it out of my system – I had to let it run its course. Run its course it did, for nearly two years.
Before I came to the realization that all the sickness and lethargy that I was experiencing might be due to a foreign invader in my body, I was living my life behind a gray screen. My body was constantly fatigued and I ached from head to toe. I had dark circles under my eyes that made me look like a sickly child.
I was so sick and tired all the time that I lost all of my motivation to do the things I loved doing like drawing, exploring, and writing stories. I became a slave to this virus’ every demand and was too exhausted at the end of each day to tend to my own needs.
It took advantage of all the good nutrients I put into my body, and used them to multiply itself and grow stronger. It manipulated my cells into following its every command, and made them think the virus was a friend to me. No matter how healthy I would try to be, it would take the health away and turn it into something that was toxic.
You might be wondering how in the world I lived with this virus for nearly two years without realizing I had it.
The thing is, not everyday was this terrible. The virus was smart and allowed some good days into my life so that I wouldn’t be too suspicious about something going on internally. Some days, all my aches, pains, and fatigue would entirely disappear. My outward appearance would change so drastically on these days that even other people noticed I was feeling better.
But, this is what made it hard for other people to recognize that I actually had that pesky little virus living within me. It periodically allowed other people to see that I wasn’t always sick, and even made them think I was getting better. When in reality, it was running its course inside my body, tearing at my bones and joints, slowly making me think I was losing my mind.
Day by day, I grew more and more sick. My body grew weaker and my mind began unraveling the more I tried to figure out what was causing this atrocity taking place within me.
This virus robbed me of my quality of life right before my own eyes. I was entirely unaware of the toll it was taking on my life and the relationships I carried with my friends and family. I never had the time or energy to even think about spending time with other people.
I was all alone in my misery with that virus. My friends and family could all see how sick I was, but I wasn’t ready to admit that it was anything more than just a temporary illness. That meant going to the doctor, and I didn’t want to do that.
Until one day, I woke up. I decided I was done having this foreign invader control my life and my health. I went to the doctor and told them everything I was experiencing, from the fatigue to the way the virus had me by the throat. After multiple blood tests and speaking to several medical professionals, they finally discovered that I did in fact have a virus. One that wouldn’t have stopped running its course until I was its last and only victim.
It took a lot of medicine and support from my family to dispel this virus from my life. It kept coming back, and each time fought harder and harder to make its way back into my system. Part of me wanted to let it back in, because even though it had destroyed my quality of life, I grew somewhat attached to it. At times, it was the only thing I had when there was no one else.
But once I finally decided to let go, and the medications did what they were supposed to, I started to get better almost instantly.
My health came back full force.
I was sleeping better and my night terrors were gone. My anxiety and depression became less amplified and I wasn’t on edge the way I used to be. People told me I was glowing and that they could visibly see the happiness in my eyes again. My motivation to start drawing and writing came back again, I was doing it better than ever.
It was scary, and definitely was not easy, because I had lived with this virus for so long, growing comfortable in the misery it brought into my life. However, I realized that the benefits of getting rid of the virus far outweighed my comfortability within the familiar.
Now, I am living life in front of the gray screen instead of behind it. Happy and healthy, for myself. Not for some virus.
And that is the beauty in letting go of toxic people.