Throughout illness, I could not simply or efficiently answer the question I was so often presented with: “how are you?” I’m sure the answer seemed like an obvious, “not good.” To the outside eye— I was undeniably amidst a shipwreck. I was skinny and pale and frail and depressed and being told there was probably no way out. But “not good” didn’t resonate—it wasn’t true. The experience of being sick felt (feels/felt/feels) dynamic. I was learning indispensable lessons. I was developing as a human, deepening as a spirit and as a creative. I was gaining a wealth of knowledge and a sea of love and compassion. How could I be miserable about such a beautiful makeover? I was very hopeful—always, almost painfully hopeful. I once read that “hope is the opiate for the truly hopeless.” I wondered if that was me. I still wonder if that is me. Maybe it is, but it feels more true to say that it has been light and dark all at once. All of my life, maybe—I have felt the lightness in equal proportion to the darkness. Amongst these monumental inconsistencies was the desperate loneliness I felt while absorbing more love than I even knew existed. A love not only from my fellows but also from myself. But what brings me to this post is not necessarily the reflection of the past (although, I am very much reflecting) but the feeling I have presently: Why after getting so much healthier do I still sometimes feel so completely heartbreakingly alone?