An unexpected favor
A few years ago, I spring-cleaned my laptop & left everything on an external hard drive. When I moved across the country, I accidentally left the HD at home. The external HD contained, besides 151 gigabytes of blueprints on how to take over the world, pictures from my pre-illness life. I called my mom & told her to hold onto the HD, but somehow this got lost in translation as she wiped out everything but a copy of Harry Potter. She blamed it on Hermione Granger, but I reminded her I’m not as gullible as when I was 25. Clearly, Hermione would ask for permission first.
Truth be told, after I lost those pictures, I felt about 10lbs lighter. I wondered: could this be serendipity? As a patient with chronic illness, there’s never been a silver lining to nostalgia (like the movies make you think). It was just pure loss every time I looked back at old pics. When she deleted all traces of my past life, she took away the keys to my self-torture during sleepless nights. This became one of the best things that happened to me since illness struck, so thanks Mom.
Trust me, this diet plan works! If you mail your laptop to us, my mom will gladly delete all your pictures. To show we’re serious about helping you lose weight, she’ll delete the laptop too!
A few years later, I go into my mom’s computer to look at her pics, and I find that that sneaky woman has some of my old pictures. (Spy? Picture hoarder? I may never know until it’s too late…..) Well with my health on the upswing, I assume I’m ready to re-assimilate my old life and take back my old pictures. Well that was stupid of me.
Last night was another insomniac night, and since no one at the liquor store believes I’m of drinking age, naturally I seek out the nearest available alternative to poison myself and come across this old picture from 2005, taken at one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco:
That guy in the middle…he looks sorta like me, but everything else is unrecognizable: genuine smile, taste in clothes, tasty gluten-filled food, proximity to best friends (whose 2 weddings I’ve had to miss), and of course, being with someone I love. Looking at the photo, I notice that every single thing in this picture was taken away from me by illness, and I shiver as I realize that I’m no closer to getting it back. While my health is improving, the method requires an isolated and artificially constructed lifestyle to prevent my immune system from attacking my body. Let me say this: if there’s ever an affordable medication which forces my immune system to STFU, I’ll be the first to sign up. Even if it costs me 20 years of my life or increases my odds of cancer, I would rather live all out for another 10. Such is the deal with the devil that many of us with autoimmune illnesses might be willing to make.
Or maybe I’ll just ask my mom to “safeguard” my pictures again.