Sometimes, we just need to Fall Apart …

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:


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.

11 comments on “Sometimes, we just need to Fall Apart …

  1. ED – we who know you well understand as best we can your frustration and difficulties with daily life – understanding this fully is not possible without us experiencing what you have to go through every 24 hours! Each time there is a gap of some magnitude in our dealings with each other we fear the next meeting for we are all fearful of what may be a sudden change. So far we are grateful for the ongoing “okness” that you seem to show. None of us would have Reunionised like you did 3 weeks ago if we were in your situation. Your spirit has pulled you this far, defying odds in a way which the CBD would see as “stubborn”. If this was a game of rugby the whistle would have blown a long time ago with you still ahead although under pressure to stay there!!! Hang in there my friend – we all admire your absolute courage and determination……..

  2. Ed, you are an inspiration to me and alot of people, it must be one of the hardest things to live with, especially if your brain is still so active. I would just like you to know, that when I think the world is on my shoulders, I think of people like you and many others, that make me catch a wake up, and be thankful for what I have. Keep your chin up.

    • Hi Rene

      Keep going hey! I have always appreciated your humour and support throughout the school years. Even when the gates come down! LOL = lots of love Ed

  3. Hi Ed. Your message today was meant to reach me. I am not the most spiritual and religious person but it was just what was needed to help me understand with the issues that I am currently havin to face and deal with and given me the strength and conviction to see them thru and that fair justice will be served.

  4. Hi Ed, my name is Carole Aitken and my husband Geoff has MSA and we are in the UK. Can so relate to what you have written unfortunately!! Sending you love, HUGE HUGS and prayers from the UK xxxx

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