I have some medical tests today that will help me understand whether I have, or am likely to contract, the condition which runs in my family. I've taken some time and space to help me deal with the emotional impact of this, but it's been easy to run from until today. I woke up sobbing.
On one level, I'm scared for myself. I'm scared of blipping out of my existence, and of my life not having ever meant anything. I'll have been around for a few decades and then I just won't be. Of course, we all have to deal with that at some point, but I hope to have more time. If I'm going to exist, if I'm going to be on this earth and use resources and take up space that could have gone to someone else, I want it to mean something. Maybe this is futile - it almost certainly is - but it's where I am. It's what I want. And I don't think I'm anywhere near there yet.
But that pales into insignificance compared to the fear I feel for the rest of my family. These beautiful, smart, empathetic, creative, generous people with so much to offer. I don't want them to have to succumb to this terrible thing either. And that's why I was sobbing. That's the thing that keeps me up at night.
It's easy to run away. I wrote a blog post this morning, and tweeted some stuff, and went through my feed reader. On Friday, I'll take a train across the country. But this isn't something I can carry with me forever, whatever happens, and it's not something I can take infinite time to deal with. So: tests, to bring me to a place of certainty. And then, therapy; self-care; and spending time with my wonderful friends and family, these amazing people who I'm lucky enough to have in my life - which is the thing that makes life worth living, after all.
And maybe ice cream.