Nearly a year ago I was inpatient at a psychiatric hospital. I was pacing and crying uncontrollably and I had lost 10-20 lbs from not eating. I was coming up on 12 years of sobriety and my father-in-law ,the kindest and most engaged father I had ever had, including an alcoholic stepfather and absentee birth father, had just died on New Year’s Eve.

I had been battling chronic health issues since 2015 when I got pregnant with my daughter and they seemed to only become worse and more mysterious. I had no answers. Test after test, procedure after procedure, and doctor visit after specialist visit at Mayo all yielded a whole lot of frustration and I still couldn’t functional at a normal capacity.

Spending six years thinking the next test or appointment would yield results left me devastated. I constantly promised myself and others that we had the answers to fix me, to make me whole again. Can you imagine promising your principal they could get your high risk pregnancy under control so that you could finish out the year only to be saying the same thing six years later to everyone else. I left my favorite teaching job before the school year ended and I was unable to go back. I left a decade of materials I had collected in my room, along with shoes and a lamp and whatever else I had left at my home away from home (my classroom).

Today, I know what is wrong with me and some ways to help sometimes alleviate some symptoms (that’s a lot of “some”) and it is better than nothing at all. So I’m thankful. “Some” days more than others (bad joke).