Yesterday I stepped out of my house to get my mail and smelled gingerbread in the air. A sign of summer ending in my neighborhood! I happen to live near a bakery factory where the famous Swedish Mor Annas gingerbread cookies are produced and each year, at the end of summer, the wind carries the baking smell of Christmas cookies right to my front porch. Some leaves are turning already and it won’t be long until autumn is here for real and marks the start of yet another new season. And just like the seasons of nature, everything has a beginning and an ending. Nothing is static, everything moves. Even Long Covid.
Today exactly 500 days ago I started writing about having covid-19, which turned into Long Covid, and how deeply that affected me. Throughout the six seasons that followed I added my writing to the Corona Chronicles on this blog which up to today have been read by tens of thousands of people from all over the world. I am beyond grateful to have been able to contribute with something positive for other people in the midst of the global pandemic.
Oh, what a ride it has been! I have been on a constant roller coaster: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, in a way I’ve never experienced before. Not the intensity of it and not the relentless, 24/7 continuation of so many strange and challenging physical symptoms in my whole body that no one could explain. Living with Long Covid is a special kind of hell and, as with any other condition or illness, you can never fully understand it unless you’ve experienced it yourself.
My body has needed 71 weeks and two vaccinations to return to a state from which I can live my life pretty much like ‘normal’ again. Medical professionals haven’t been able to provide much useful, instead I am beyond grateful to have found Bioresonance-treatments which proved to be exceptionally effective for me. I drastically changed my diet, needed LOTS of rest, took a variety of natural supplements and added low-intensity exercise (walks and yin yoga) when possible again. Add the support of my husband, children, parents, friends and the people from Body Politic’s covid-19 global support group on Slack and here I find myself still standing after all this time. I have some lingering chest issues that might stay with me for a long time still, I don’t know. Also high-intensity training (stuff that raises my pulse) is not something my body tolerates very well yet but otherwise everything finally has returned to ‘normal’ in my body.
If you’ve read this blog before you know that ‘living according to what feels true to me’ is what’s most important for me in my life. Living my truth. Cultivating the capacity (and courage) to be with ‘what is’, observe what’s going on and be a real, authentic person are things that did not stop just because I got ill. Instead it intensified enormously. So for the past 16.5 months I have turned inwards for most of my waking hours in order to connect with depths inside me that I previously had not touched. I faced huge existential fears, cried my eyes out, felt incredible desperation, anxiety, hope- and helplessness. But also, by diving into what acceptance really means I found a deep, deep calmness and gratitude for life. The calmness that accompanies just-being and the gratitude that followed when I could breathe freely again and understood that I would not die.
So, as you know, I wrote about all of this and published it here on my blog. Especially the stuff about how the virus and Long Covid affected me mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I haven’t found many people who talk about that! I wrote, published and shared my writing in various groups online not because I want attention but because I thought that someone, somewhere out there, might find something useful or inspiring in reading about my experience from this perspective. Writing has been such a resource for me on my Long Covid-path and it’s been my privilege to share it here on this little piece of the world wide web (does anyone still call it that?).
I now feel that I have come to a point where it feels natural for me to end my chronicling about having Long Covid. I have found myself an incredible consultancy assignment in the Swedish office of a Dutch-based global NGO which feels like a dream. I will also start a building project at my home that will result in a room with a separate entrance. This will allow me to work as holistic counselor/trauma therapist with clients from my house (in person or via Zoom) in a safe, quiet and beautiful space that I will create myself (think: lots of windows with views of the woods, pillows and tea). That is a dream come true as well! My trauma therapist-training will continue and I will teach evening classes Dutch at the Uni here in Stockholm again. Life!
Does this mean that I will stop writing on this blog? No, definitely not. I will continue writing about living life with all its magic and messiness, as I have done for the past 3.5 years. Just because I can and just because writing feeds my soul.
A new season is arriving and pretty soon the gingerbread cookies will be piled up in stores here in Sweden again. We are so privileged in this country, to live in peace and have access to food, housing, vaccines and professional health care to name just a few things. It’s so easy to take all of this for granted. Just as many people take their health for granted. I will try NEVER to take these things for granted ever again. Every day of my life truly is a gift, however cliché that might sound. And however strange this may sound, Long Covid has been a gift too as I have learned so much about myself. But as I wrote: the roller coaster has come to its end and it’s time to close this Long Covid-chapter to, once again, enter a whole new chapter of my life.
So here I go.
Thank you for following me on my Long Covid-journey! I hope you will return to this blog at some point. If you want you can subscribe to it (see the bottom of this page) or follow it on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. And as always, please share it in your circles if this resonates with you. Thank you! ♥
Photo: James Butterly – unsplash.com