This past weekend we watched the movie 50/50. It is a sad story built on a comedic foundation about a young man in his 20's who gets cancer. I won't ruin the film for those who wish to see it, for it was a good movie. But the whole thing was an overwhelmingly interesting experience for me, for quite a few different reasons. First off the fact I even watched a movie about something sad, well that is huge. I try to avoid things in life that make me feel, especially pain. I have felt so much already in my mere 35 years that quite some time ago I declared myself shallow and refused to ever watch a heart-wrencher again. Give me a shoot 'em up action flick any day. Interpretive historical movies, sure. Comedy of every variety works. Slapstick, sarcastic or dark, I am not picky there. I will even suffer through a Jennifer Aniston chick-flick if really pressed. But I hated every minute of the movie UP and refused to see Marley And Me on general principal, even if Jennifer Aniston was in it.
There were spots in this movie which were sad and I appropriately shed a few tears. But the marked difference was I moved on as the story did, not dwelling on the sad part which conjured that flood of tearful emotions. And I didn't reach for the Xanax bottle once! This represents both tremendous emotional and cranial growth. For a mere few months ago I would have pushed "stop" and ran from the room wailing at the first sign of a forming tear. Living in pain for years on end and a frazzled system of neuropathways caused by my strokes left me far from capable of dealing with emotions, reality or the general public.
I think I am progressing, folks. I think I am learning how to function in a world full of complexities and surprises again. For what is life if it is not complex and surprising? I would cry at the drop of a hat, or be struck by the lightening bolt of paralyzing anxiety every time the lady at the post office yelled at me, which she seemed to do a lot. But this movie experience showed me how much I have progressed and quite frankly, healed. The big combination of determination and physical repair I have been intent on fostering to get back to being the me I was before all this pain and sickness tried to slip into the drivers seat of my life. It has taken me years. Lots and lots of failed attempts. But I think I have not only reclaimed my position in the drivers seat, I have locked that pesky little bastard who tried to take over my life in the trunk. Now I just have to learn how to drive again...
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