By Lauren Jonik
You should get more sleep. You should sleep less. You should go out more. You should stay home and rest. You should pray more. No, like this. To this God. You should try this drug. And this one. And this one. And this one. This one, too—it’s via IV.
Did we mention that the IV catheter will be surgically implanted in your chest? And that it will stay there for a year? And leave a tiny scar to remind you, twenty years later, every time you take a shower or wear a bathing suit? You should see this doctor. And this one. And this one. And this one.
Did we mention you will stop counting doctors after the fiftieth one? You should eat meat. You should stop eating meat. You should avoid sugar. Completely. For seven years. You should exercise. You should make sure you don’t overexert yourself. You should sleep only when it’s dark outside. You can’t? Okay, then don’t sleep at all.
Did we mention you will stay awake for three days straight by following this rule? Or that it won’t solve anything? You should try Chinese herbs. You should try other herbs. You should try supplements. You should drink this liquid concoction that looks and tastes like tree branches. You should walk barefoot on the earth. You should embrace your feminine power. You should put your menstrual blood in a flower pot and watch it nourish plants. Yes, really.
You will believe you can heal then. You don’t have to do anything else. You should create a vision board. You should manifest health. Like magic. You should accept your fate. You should fight. You should listen to everything outside of yourself. You should listen only to what is within. You should go get drunk. It’ll cure ya or kill ya. You should drink more water. You should stop drinking so much water. You should get out of that room.
You should trust yourself. You should trust the process. You should do whatever you can, however you can. Take as much time as you need. Yes, yes, this.
Lauren Jonik is a writer and photographer in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has appeared in Artemis, Calliope, Vending Machine Press, Panoplyzine, Caravel Literary Arts Journal and on Ravishly.com. She currently is at work on a memoir about coming of age with a chronic illness. Follow her on Twitter:@laurenjonik