Friday, June 10, 2016

Do Cocoons Hurt?

I always assumed the process of turning from a caterpillar into a butterfly wasn't a painful one. Sure, it seemed like a lot of work to spin that silken cocoon to wrap up in, and getting out seemed a bit tricky, but I never gave much thought to what actually happens inside there. I guess I thought it was a womb-like transformation-- where awareness doesn't exist and growth just happens. Turns out I was wrong. Inside the chrysalis the caterpillar digests itself by releasing enzymes to dissolve its own tissues. Then a group of surviving cells rearrange into a butterfly. Ouch. As a person whose own pancreas has tried to digest itself four times (pancreatitis), I only pray some opiates are mixed in with those enzymes to dull the poor caterpillar's agony.

Right now I'm picking myself up from my biggest fall in five years. It's been three months since I last blogged. In that amount of time I've been to hell and am hopefully halfway back again. Again. But every time I break there's a little bit less of me to put back together. My fissures are more obvious, missing pieces more pronounced. And the fresh memory of pain and anguish scathed so deeply into my psyche, I wonder how I was ever able to soothe the raw wounds in the past.

Half my battle was swallowing the bitter pill of acceptance. It took me months to realize I worked too long, my immune system got hit too hard, and I was diving into the unlivable hell of viral CFS/ME again. Too sick to exercise, but still chugging my veggie juice, I finally had to accept that holistic may keep my health from spiraling out, but once my ship has sunk it's not enough to tow me to shore. For that I need a doctor.

After a change in sleep meds and an increase in my anti-viral dose, I can see a fuzzy light at the end of the tunnel. But the woman peering out from inside the cocoon isn't the same woman who went in. And I don't know if I ever will be again. The darkness that filled the void of my soul isn't entirely gone. It almost seems to be a necessary part of me now. A part I want to hang on to. Reminding me of how much it hurts, how bad it can get, and if I am ever lucky enough to stabilize my health ever again, how very much I stand to lose.

Thanks for joining,


  1. Thanks for a moving post, Leigh. It takes me back to the many dark days of fibromyalgia that went on for more years than I can remember. Thanks to the beautiful wellness work, Joy of Healing, I am in remission, both pain and prescription free. Never give up, there is too much to loose! Love and blessings, Janet Komanchuk

  2. That resonated with me so much. I feel your pain and my pain. Your words painted a vivid picture and bought tears to my eyes. I hope you pick up and find some balance again.Big hugs xx

  3. I'm so glad you are blogging again Leah! I knew things weren't good, but I had no idea what you were going through. I'm so sorry. I fear that I am going backwards. My pain meds, after 2 years, seem to be less effective and every thing follows, lack of sleep because I'm woken by pain, less sleep = foggier brain, etc., etc. And with the DEA in everyone's medicine cabinet now docs are running scared so I'm left without a solution. I'm trying to keep positive, to be functional and productive every day, but it gets more an more difficult with the pain and without the energy. I'm so glad you're back!

  4. Yes, thank you so much for the update. Hope you can exercise again soon. And ALL western doctors are not ALL evil, just most LOL. Keep the faith.

  5. Thank you for blogging again. I've missed your posts and enjoy your shared thoughts. I also appreciate your experience and wish you the best on this journey back up again.