It's official - my year-long leave of absence has been approved. For the first time since I was a teenager, I find myself both unemployed and out of school.
I actually have nothing to do.
Brilliant Husband and I are beyond fortunate to have a housekeeper/goddess/friend who takes care of us two days a week. This woman is a Godsend; she bakes us homemade gluten-free bread and makes fresh yogurt and jams, she does our laundry and keeps all 4000 square feet of our house clean. Even though I could probably take on more house work with my new-found free time, I am soaking up the wonderfulness of having so much help.
Whether the balance of my symptoms are caused by depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus or narcolepsy; it doesn't change the fact that there are still some things within my control: like sleep, food & exercise. For now I am working on getting myself on to a schedule and working to build my physical strength and endurance. It is a slow crawl right now, but each day gets a little better.
Even though I know that taking time off is the right decision, I still worry that people are going to judge me; that they will think less of me for being at home, or accuse me of being a 'lady of leisure'. I wish that everyone could understand that having time off isn't that great when you aren't feeling well enough to enjoy it. But at the same time, I also know how privileged I am to have this luxury.
This is an interesting time in my life, I've never felt so adrift.