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I walk a lot.  I walk in short bursts, 5-10 minutes every couple of hours.  I walk with fast, confidant strides, music blaring, around my block, maybe two blocks.  I walk even when my joints are sore, when my bones throb, when I am short of breath.  For those few minutes, I am not sick.  I am just me.

It takes me a few minutes to recover after these walks.  As the night grows later, I am increasingly exhausted by these brief moments of exercise.  I lay on my couch and am too tired to get up.  I want something to drink but my legs feel impossibly heavy and I have that warm shudder starting up my spine.  Even simple tasks become insurmountable.  In these desperate moments, I recognize my body for what it is: a prison.  These shackles have been on for so long that I barely notice their weight.

You can get used to anything.  It feels in some ways like this has always been my life, that I have always had this broken body.  It seems impossible that I could ever just go for a walk without consequences.    

I want so much to believe in an afterlife where I will be healed.  I want to know that after all this pain, there will be this oblivion and that I will be whole again.  This is all I have sometimes.  

Tonight is one of those nights when I am so tired that my eyes hurt but I cannot sleep.  My body is struggling against itself and I am so tired of this illness that it makes me cry.  I have to believe that it can’t go on forever.  I have to believe that there is an end.  

I just want to be free.