Every day is a new day to me. Yesterday I felt really sad and really sorry for myself. I listened to my favorite singer, Josh Groban singing “You’ll never walk alone” and I sobbed in my car. Don’t get me wrong, I know I have it better than a lot of people. I don’t have cancer, my children are all healthy, we have a house with a big yard and plenty of beautiful birds in that yard flying around and making music to make me and themselves happy. But yesterday none of it helped. I have a spinal cord injury from a spinal subdural hematoma incurred during a spinal fusion surgery. I have pain and numbness from the waist down plus partial paralysis. I also have scarring on my spinal nerves that I’ve been told will grow and make my bowel, bladder and lower body weaker and more disabled. It’s progressive, there is no cure and the only treatment is nerve and pain pills. This makes me sad and scared and so tired. I’ve changed with the progression for the last 6 years since the surgery and I think I’ve done a pretty damn good job of adjusting over and over depending on what the day brings. It’s an ongoing dance of depression vs. hope. I belong to many groups on Facebook. Pretty much one for every condition I have. Most of them are wonderful and informative and inspiring. Most of them are filled with hopeful people that have bad days like I do but go on and live life to the best of their ability. But there are a few cons in opening yourself up to so many people. The risk of encountering the type of people that post these types of things day in and day out:
“All it takes is a beautiful fake smile to hide an injured soul and they will never notice how broken you really are”
“You asked me what was wrong. I smiled and said nothing. When you turned around a tear came down and I whispered… Everything is…”
“I’m exhausted from trying to be stronger than I feel”
“Why is this only happening to me?”
Really? Well listen, I know what depression is. I’m no stranger to it and I’m honestly not trying to minimize the impact that it has on a person. But I can’t accept that it’s my lot in life. I HAVE to try. I HAVE to have a plan. And when plan A doesn’t work then I have a plan b, c, d, e and so on. Do I have days that I have to sit back and cry? Yes, often. I have times of stress, times where I say, “I hate my life, I hate my life”. But I try my damnest to get past this and move on.
What gets me through the hard days? My kids, my husband, my friends, my dogs and cats, my backyard, the birds, squirrels, chipmunks, trees, the veins in every leaf, a huge cucumber or little baby watermelon growing in the garden and a thousand other things. I let them take me over and fill me up so I can feel the light again. And kindness… Every day I strive to be kind. When the Dalai Lama said his religion was kindess it really spoke to me. I want to make things better for everyone. I need my friends! I need my family! But they need me too. Everyone can have an impact on someone else’s day. That feeling of being needed, the joy that you can give to someone else just by seeing them and acknowledging their goodness is what helps me day to day. And my dreams… I dream constantly. I look at pictures, I listen to songs, I make modge podge birdhouses or picture frames with pictures of my dream places torn out and pasted on or pinned to Pinterest or on my facebook cover photo or on my phone background. I dream and I plan. Mostly it’s about the beach. I love the beach, I love the seagulls, I love the sunset and the sand and the smell of the ocean! I often say I will someday be that old tan lady walking around on the beach with my boobs down to my knees, tattoos on my arms, a tiny little nose ring and a bucket full of seashells. I love my dreams and my plans. I couldn’t live without them. I couldn’t live without the silky feel of my dogs fur beneath my hands or the loud purr of my kitties when they lay next to me and beg me to pet them. The love of animals and nature is a healing presence in my life every day.
What doesn’t help me besides long drawn out pity parties? The following sentiments: “God only gives us what we can handle”, “We are chosen to feel this pain so we can be warriors and we don’t know why but we will know when we get to Heaven”, “There’s a reason for everything”, It’s meant to be”, etc. etc. etc. I can’t deal with that. I don’t know where I am at in my beliefs right now. I only know that I don’t know. I want to believe, I am dying to believe but I don’t know what I can believe. I do think that there has to be an intelligent entity in the world because there is so much beauty and intricacy in everything around us that it can’t just have happened randomly. But is there a God up there that knows me personally? Knows my whole life and knows what has happened and what will happen and is controlling it for some unknown reason? Well Gawd I hope not. And if this is the case, I’m sorry… I don’t want to know that person and I think it’s ridiculous.
Anyway, these are my thoughts on this auspicious occasion of my first blog. I hope someone can identify with me and my struggle. I hope that if I can keep sharing what helps me I can possibly help one person.
Until then, spread kindness. Smile at people every day especially people that look like they really need it. Compliment someone or many someones every day. Make their day and maybe your day will be made. Thanks for listening and peace to you.