You get pretty good handling everything; life, stress, illness, trauma….you sort of learn to smile and deal with your defective body, your screwed up past, the constant and debilitating pain and fatigue and dizziness you have. But then there are some days when things are just too much. Having chronic pain is like wearing a second skin-one made of lead and iron and blades. It is having multiple worlds on your shoulders consecutively which are prone to dislocating. And it is exhausting and some days, usually days between the middle and the end of a flare up, you are too exhausted to pretend life is anything but really hard and really sucky.
When days like these come you may find yourself alone, in bed, crying. Tears streaming down your face. If you are like me, you know these days are inevitable, they are going come. You are going to feel weak and beaten, and you need to know, on these days it is okay. It is okay to cry. It is okay to be tired. And sad. And frustrated. And fed up. It would is more than okay to cry and feel defeated as long as you know you aren’t. It is okay to give up on a moment or a day, even a week, or a month if that is what you need. The only thing that is not at all okay is giving up and not getting up.
On days like this, let yourself cry, there is not one ounce of shame in tears. In fact, it is the opposite, there is immense power in tears. They clean. They heal. Don’t feel bad for having bad days. Don’t tell yourself you are a failure. Instead, be gentle with yourself. As long as you are doing the best you can at any given moment, you are doing everything you should be.
There’s beauty everywhere. There’s a brilliance and wonder to each day, to each breath, to each moment. It’s all around us. This world we live in is filled not only with hardship, suffering and cruelty. It is filled with beauty and majesty and brilliance and love. In all places, in all situations, beauty can be found, love will endure, for those who look hard enough beauty will be found in the most unlikely places.
It is always there, hidden right before you, sometimes right out in the open.
You have to look for it though.
You have to remember to.
You have to believe it.
You have to allow yourself to be open to it.
To accept it.
To accept that beauty and love and brilliance and wonder are still here even in times like these when it feels like hatred and cruelty and fear have permeated and consumed our world.
The beauty is there.
Love is all around us.
It always has been and always will be. It is greater than everything else and you are living proof that this world holds more good than bad.
Even when it breaks you to do so.
And here I am. Alone. Trying to remember pain is not the enemy. That this sudden flare up isn’t going to last forever. That my life isn’t pointless. That it isn’t hopeless.
One mistake, one screw-up doesn’t mean you’ve failed, that you’ve lost. And, more importantly, one step backwards, one lapse in judgement, doesn’t have to negate all the progress that you have made.
Lately things have been better in so many ways…but in other ways they’ve also gotten worse. Now that the antidepressants are out of my system I have gone back to feeling. I’ve rejoined the world. I’ve been able to remember myself. To remember who I am. And everyday I am more grateful for that fact.
Though I wouldn’t change anything about the past few months, getting off cymbalta was the best decision I’ve made in years, this new found sight has also allowed PTSD to come back full force. The reality is almost everyday something ends up triggering me.
For example, a friend, has invited me to stay down at his place, we are both stargazers–though I suspect he is less interested than I am in staring at the stars, and he invited me to stay at his place for the solar eclipse and the preceding meteor shower.
I decided not to go. Then he asked me again. I said I would consider and since that moment I have been in a state of panic and terror. I haven’t had good experiences with men and the last guys house I stayed over at became a living nightmare. To even consider it takes a level of trust I never thought I would ever allow myself to feel again for a guy.
I’ve spent the last hour trying to talk myself down from this edge. Spent the last hour reminding myself that even though I am reliving countless terrors in my mind, I am not who I was. He is nothing like anyone I’ve trusted before and we’ve been friends for awhile now.
He’s suggested that one day when or rather if I am ever ready to we could become more than that. But he’s never pushed me. Never forced me into anything. Never pressured me–except to read Contact by Carl Sagan which he was completely right about, it is an amazing story.
This fear I’m feeling now will end up becoming just something else I’ve overcome, one day. This will get easier. Of that, I am certain.
alone in dealing with this.
Terror and panic say I need to run.
….or at least escape……
And what do they say?
Think happy thoughts and it won’t happen again.
that were once my daily reality.
The ones each one let happen.
We hide from ourselves. We fear not only our own darkness but our light. Our vulnerabilities lead to insecurities and we believe them to be weaknesses. Yet, the secret is they are our greatest untapped strength. Yet, there’s nothing that requires more strength than owning your flawed, imperfect human soul. And don’t let them fill you, nothing requires as much courage as admitting you’re flawed, that you’ve been broken, that you need help. That you’re scared. The greatest kept secret is that we’re all scared and yet vey few of us are brave enough to admit that. No matter where you are in life you do not have all the answers. You can’t. You never will. These things, this fear, our vulnerabilities we don’t talk about. This is something that needs to change. Stop being paralyzed by fear and let it drive you forward.