These days spent in Rome, I would not say I was anything resembling well. I would get winded walking DOWN one flight of stairs. I was lightheaded after one glass of wine. I vomited up 80% of the food I was forcing myself to eat. My body was shutting down in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

My digestive system was barely doing its job and seemed to instead be sending the food my brain forced my mouth to eat straight out of my body one way or the other. So I was losing weight rapidly (my 23-year old self LOVED all the new bones becoming more and more visible!).

My skin and eyeballs were changing in color, which was very unattractive, paired with how dry my skin, nails and hair had become for some reason. I looked like withering birch wood. Everything browning and curling as it dried out.

My mental health was at its peak.

The text messages and emails had started to slow down by my ninth day in Rome because that’s about how long anybody’s attention span was anymore. They had sent a day or two all-consumed in their worry until a new worrisome event arose and they moved on. As far as I was concerned, it was better this way.

I sent a pretty detailed email to my mom and brother detailing my illness, my decision to move, and how I planned to spend my remaining couple of years. They both responded with anger which seemed like the opposite of an appropriate reaction. I told them both they were certainly welcome to come share my new life with me and then suddenly, so many reasons to stay home. Unlike me, death wasn’t looming for them so they couldn’t abandon all real life elements.

But death is looming for all of us and real life elements are invented. I was losing patience for the whole, “I can’t just pick up everything in my life and run away” mentality.