Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Dance Card Of My Choosing

Last year a series of unfortunate events rocked my world. Normal stuff everyone deals with like hosting a birthday party, surviving the holidays, falling on my face while running my dogs. But something was different. Did I hit my emotional bottom? Maybe the utter lunacy this illness forces one to live with day in and day out pushed me over my tipping point? Perhaps I healed enough from the strokes my true personality started to rear it's impatient head and didn't like what it saw? I can't say it was one thing. More like a paradigm shift of epic proportions enveloped me. I'd had enough. Stop the bus, I need to get off. I couldn't take one more round of the Fibro cycle. That push-crash-push-crash-push-crash nightmare of unmet expectation and constant disappointment. Waking up every morning either flaring or angry, because I knew by the end of the day the other would have taken over.

That funny thing called clarity smacked me upside the head and I knew I couldn't do one more tango on that dance floor. For the first time in my life I took responsibility for even standing in the ballroom in the first place. Yeah maybe others told me to foxtrot, encouraged me to two-step, got mad if I didn't cha-cha with their equal fervor. But ultimately at the end of the day none of that mattered. What was important? How I neglected me, my heart and soul, as penance for getting sick. Repetitively assaulting myself by believing I wasn't worth more than being...a disappointment. 

So I set out to change. I couldn't wave a wand and make my illnesses disappear, but with lifestyle management I sure could minimize their impact on my quality of life. It's hard to change direction when you think you're stuck on a train track barreling full speed ahead. Like everything else in my life since I got sick my efforts were slow, hard, painful and arduous. The only way I saw the possibility of living a successful life was to stop caring about what everyone else thought/expected/wanted. The few principle relationships in my life became my focus and the rest ceased to be more important to me than me. I don't like being unpopular and my new practice wasn't well received, for a bit. Oddly enough they got over it pretty quick. Which was good, but funny, because the whole point was I wasn't supposed to care anymore. 

Day by day I made choices by considering the outcome first. If it sabotaged me, I didn't do it. I felt terribly selfish initially, fueled by progress's biggest aggressor, guilt. It is now, half a year later, so obvious what I needed to do. How I didn't see it sooner mystifies me. Comparing my output and lifestyle with healthy people, or even expecting them to understand my reality, seems completely ridiculous now. And I've discovered that havoc-inducing guilt is but a silly indulgence. See the point wasn't to hole myself up in a cocoon where I could strike out at the attacks of life like a self-absorbed twit. The purpose of all this was to retreat, improve, and come back out again. Able to engage in this thing called life in ways that don't make me sick. And it really does feel that simple. 

Thanks for joining,
Leah 

3 comments:

  1. I just want to say that this is very a very brave thing to do, even though it's the healthiest thing to do. Also, I enjoy your blog very much. Thanks for writing it. ~Willow

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  2. I agree its brave,so many healthy people are traveling through their life on automatic and never stop too assess whats working and what isnt.Its even harder and yet more important for us to do so.
    The first step as you have is to stop travelling mindlessly with the crowd.
    I hope you find things that bring you joy today :)...Hugzzz

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  3. Thank you for sharing this it has got me thinking. I am about to fly close to my own flame. I can only hope I rise form the ashes like a phoenix.Lynne

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