I’m going to start this post with a disclaimer – when I say I “asked for” this, I don’t mean that I deserved to get sick. It is not my fault that I got sick. I have made plenty of mistakes in my life, and plenty of the mistakes that I’ve made have to do with taking those Cipro pills. But still, the bomb that went off in my body as a result of taking Cipro was not my fault. Those of you who are sick from fluoroquinolones or other Rx drugs, it is not your fault. The disproportionately horrifying adverse reaction that you are going through makes any responsibility that you have in creating the problem miniscule in comparison to the responsibility of those who are at fault. There are people who are to blame for your illness, but you are not one of them. You are a victim. So, when I say that I “asked for” the things that have come into my life after getting Floxed, I mean those words literally – I asked for them.
I’ve always wanted:
- Something to say that was important/interesting
- To be heard/validated
- A spiritual outlet
- An identity
- To be a fighter – to be strong
- To lose 10 pounds
I asked for those things. I sent those desires out into the universe in whatever form I sent them – vague thoughts, wishes, desires, prayers, etc. If you had asked me at any point in my adult life if I wanted any of those things, I would have said yes. There would have been no hesitation. Without a doubt, I wanted each of those things to come into my life. I didn’t have a plan of action for how I was going to obtain any of them, other than the most trivial of them – to lose 10 pounds – I always had a theory on how to do that. I wanted all of the more important things too, but I had no idea how to get them.
I vaguely looked for purpose, direction, passion, righteousness and an identity through my education and career choices. I got a Masters in Public Administration with the hope of finding a way to make the world a better place through public policy. I had every intention of finding my purpose and passion through my Master’s program but when the program ended it was a struggle to pick a topic for my thesis because I hadn’t discovered anything that I really cared about.
I work for a non-profit. The non-profit that is my employer does good work in the community by lending money to developers of affordable housing. I like that I do something that is generally helpful, but I don’t feel passionate about what I do. I admire the people who feel passionately about their careers and their lives. I wished to live like them, to have something that got me riled up, something that I really cared about, something that made a difference in the world and that made me someone important.
I never thought that I was particularly tough or strong. I have always been strong physically, but emotionally and mentally, I was sensitive and (I hate to admit it) weak. I would sacrifice myself so that others could win, or not feel bad. I needed validation and was torn down easily. I never had much will-power, thus the fairly constant unfulfilled wish to lose ten pounds.
Despite not having passion, direction, etc. my life wasn’t bad. In fact, it was quite good. I had my health. I had a family and friends who loved me immensely. I had enough money (everyone wants more, of course, but I had enough to get by). I had a job. I owned a home. Life was good, it just didn’t have the “oomph” that I wanted it to. I wanted more “oomph” and, over time, never specifically consciously, I wished for the things listed above. I wanted them. I asked for them.
I got all of those things. I survived getting poisoned by Cipro and in doing so I learned that I’m not only a survivor, I’m a fighter. I gained passion, direction, righteousness, etc. through screaming that it is NOT OKAY for people to be poisoned by prescription antibiotics. I found that I have something to say and a surprising number of people are listening to me. I found spiritual outlets (you can read about that here http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/09/14/a-journey-through-pharmaceutical-induced-illness/) and I found my soul. I found my purpose.
I got exactly what I wanted. Through getting sick. Through recovering. Through Cipro. Out of all the things in the world, fucking Cipro, brought me those gifts.
I asked for them. I asked and I received. They just didn’t come in the packaging that I was looking for.
It’s kind of funny, isn’t it? In a shoot-me, horrifying kind of way, it’s funny. Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.
There are some other things that I gained from getting sick. If I had been a more wise person, I probably would have wished for them ahead of time. They are:
I gained those things from being knocked down, from being sick. When I was healthy, I didn’t even realize that I was lacking those things for those who are not healthy. I now see the world in a way that enables me to have empathy, compassion, patience and tolerance for those who are struggling and sick. In gaining those things, I have become a better person.
To wonder if it was the right thing, to wonder if my health and longevity should have been sacrificed so that I can have a purposeful and passionate life, is futile. That choice, if it was a choice, was not made on a conscious level. I certainly know that I will never sign up to get poisoned again and that I will do everything in my power to keep others from going through what I went through. But the experience of getting sick, the experience of recovering, and now the experience of fighting, have made me a better person. It’s good to be empathetic, compassionate, patient, tolerant, passionate, determined, righteous and even skinny*. These are not bad cards to be dealt.
* Do NOT even think about taking a fluoroquinolone for weight loss. I could list the ways that that’s a stupid idea, but I’ll just leave it at – don’t be an idiot.