28 May 2010: 3 years 8 months on …
The roses do NOT always smell good! The last three days have been difficult for me. Life carries on, with its issues, its duties, its requirements, its challenges. From an “abnormal” health perspective, I am expected (and I try) to continue doing these “normal” things.
It’s not as if I have been ridden over by a bus, or in a hospital, or lying bedridden somewhere or experiencing excruciating pain. If that were the case, I would be treated very differently. The expectations would not be the same.
From the outside, everything looks pretty normal. Daily I’m told, “But you look so good!” Yes, it’s one of the better panel beating jobs you’ve seen done on a wreck
From the inside, I’m slowly falling apart. I can’t do what I used to do. I’m not the same person I was three years ago; in fact, I’m not the same person I was last week Don’t get me wrong – I ‘m not looking for sympathy. Just please understand, I have limitations. I have a brain whirring away in a body that won’t work, like a car stuck in the mud with a screaming engine racing away. But it’s getting nowhere! Every movement I make – to walk, talk, lift, and pick up, even to sign my name or brush my teeth – drains the energy from my body and I am left feeling very tired and very uncomfortable. My hands are like blocks of cement that need so much effort just to lift them.
I am living in the twilight zone. The shadows become longer and longer. I am waiting for darkness to fall – just when that will be, nobody knows. In the meantime, I must make the most of the light that is left.
If my limitations frustrate the people around me, they frustrate me even more. And, some days, like yesterday, things just fall apart. It’s not an excuse, but it happens. It happens to everyone, healthy or ill – after all, we are all human. But for those I hurt in the process, please forgive me, and please remember that I, too, am hurting inside. There’s a poem by Steve Smith I’m not waving but drowning. I feel like that some days.
On my bedroom wall is a poem, the author is unknown. It reads:
… SOMETIMES WE NEED TO FALL APART …
We don’t always have to be strong
Sometimes our strength
is expressed in being vulnerable.
Sometimes we need to fall apart to
Regroup and stay on track.
We all have days when we cannot push
any harder, cannot hold back self-doubt,
cannot stop focusing on fear,
cannot be strong.
There are days when we cannot focus
on being responsible
Sometimes we cry in front of people
We expose our tiredness, irritability,
or anger. Those days are okay.
Part of taking care of ourselves means
we give ourselves permission to “fall apart”
when we need to. We do not need to
be perpetual towers of strength
We ARE strong. We have proven that.
Our strength will continue if we allow
us the courage to feel scared,
weak, and vulnerable when we need
to experience those feelings.
Today, help me to know that it is okay
to allow myself to be human. Help me
not to feel guilty or punish myself
when I need to “fall apart”.
However, after you have fallen apart, the danger is to remain lying in the gutter. The challenge is to pick up the pieces, put them together, however wonky they may be, and to start again.
After the twilight comes the darkness and then the New Dawn and the Light. Tomorrow, the sun will rise again.