Day 1915 – Day 1924
I’m trying to get back to a more regular posting schedule, but if you’ve read my last few posts, you will know that I’ve been through hell and back this past year. This summer, I had come to a point of awakening – from what, I do not know – and I was ready to leave 2.5 years of shock and disappointment behind me. It was time to clean up my life and move on. Just as I stepped out to begin to cross the street of my life, I was hit by the truck of medical errors.
Nobody knows what anyone else is going through. Certainly nobody can tell how well you are by looking at you. I know that some of those close to me, or in positions of power over me, think that I should be back to normal following my medical traumas of the late summer. I find there is compassion fatigue in the world. When someone is grieving, for instance, people swarm around and compassionately care, for the initial period of bereavement. After the first few months, and certainly after the initial year, compassion is missing. It seems that this is human nature, in our fast paced and self-focused world.
The same applies to anyone who has been through a traumatic event – medical or otherwise – and who is in the long and gradual period of recovery. In my case, even though I’m up and trying to get back to normal, I look pretty awful, if you have eyes to see. I look forever tired, my post-surgical hernia is bulging above my horizontal incision, and my hair (as expected, given all the anaesthetic) is falling out. Not a vision of wellness, but I am a vision of recovery. I still require at least one more surgery for the post-surgical hernia, and nobody wants me to be fully well again, more than I do.
Other people’s expectations need to wait. I am learning to live with my own waiting: waiting till I’m well again, waiting to make plans, waiting to move on with my life.
I have been humbled, beyond what I thought was possible, this year. I don’t like to talk about most of what’s going on with me, because it brings me down. I am at the mercy of something I cannot control, and the waiting is sometimes nearly unbearable. It leaves me feeling vulnerable, alone, exhausted and powerless.
I always think that there has got to be something of value in every tribulation. I don’t know what the value here will be because I’m still so much in the middle of it. I feel that it is an opportunity and a crossroads and only I can discern what my choices will be, let alone what choice I will take. I am guessing that when one is powerless, vulnerable and alone, the best – if counter intuitive – thing to do is to surrender. And so, I surrender to the state that my life is in, to the fact that there can’t be anywhere out but through, to the fact that the amount of time that this will take is not within my power, and to the fact that my attitude and my choice to have faith are the only things that appear to be in my control.
I get up every morning and give thanks for what I have. It doesn’t make the situation change, but it helps me to navigate what has been the loneliest, most serious and sacred time in my life. Gratitude and my faith have been my companions as I sit alone and I watch and I wait till I have agency once again. What others think of this is really their own business. It is hard to be impervious to what others think, when there is an element of disapproval in it and the person is of importance, in one’s life. But, as Maslow theorized, self actualization requires one to be independent of the ‘good opinion of others.’
For whatever this unbearable period of waiting is teaching me, I am grateful. For the reminder that it is important to be impervious to the opinion of others, I am grateful. For some sage advice on this, I am grateful to my friend, TP.
By choice or not, something deep within my spirit is growing quietly more indomitable from the very experience of waiting, watching, and being watched. As lacerating as it is, I am most grateful for it.