It’s always warm and sticky in the doctor’s waiting room. I’ve become used to it, used to the drabness and the way the walls and seats and floor look kind of washed out. Even the obligatory fish in their tank looked a bit bored and grey. Sitting here is not overstimulating, and I appreciate that. Everyone sits still and silent, in as unoffending a manner as possible. I wonder if they are thinking about what the rest of us are here for. I wonder if they are wondering about me.

I’ve started taking very long walks again. I only really do that in times of trouble, otherwise my heart isn’t in it. I do it because I feel a comfort and safety in circling familiar roads that I don’t get from “going out” or even staying at home. I am autonomous—I alone decide whether to walk further or turn back home. I am in complete control. I can let my thoughts float while I focus on the beat of my feet on concrete. I am physically moving forward, not trapped inside four walls.

Moving forward is all I ever want to do—to get better, to get stronger, to become more me. Being ill was easier when I didn’t feel like I was rapidly running out of time to get better and get stronger and prove things to people. I thought I was on an upward trajectory, but I’ve lost control. So much time has been spent in bed or waiting in a doctor’s office or walking the same old paths. ♦