It’s been a few weeks since I returned from this adventure. By the time we touched back down in Portland, I wanted nothing more than to curl up with my mom and my cat and cry. The adventure I had so desperately wanted had not gone the way I had wanted it to, at all. I was stressed and sick; I was at my lowest point.
But I’ve started to recover. The medicine I had tried for days in Rome to receive was ready for me at my pharmacy–with names I could pronounce, paid with money I didn’t have to carefully study–three pills a day. I took them. I rested. I dropped bath bombs into a tub that didn’t leak, and I read books. I slept in my own bed. I grew stronger and didn’t feel as strong an urge to tie myself to the bathroom. The colonoscopy I had scheduled before this trip comes ever-closer. And I started my direct sales business; every day now starts with a cup of hot tea, sipped while curled over a book or around my cat.
I knew at the end of my last study abroad that this would not be my first visit to Europe, or even just to London and Rome. There’s so much more to see and do in the world. The diseased gut I call “the dragon” is going to stay with me until science figures out a way to cure it. It’s a fact I’ve come to accept, but the acceptance comes in waves. Opportunities come in waves.
I will return. Whether or not the dragon will be dormant or awake when I do so is yet to be seen. But Europe, this is not the last you’ve seen of me. I swear it.