Last week we celebrated the 237th anniversary of American independence. For some odd reason a key phrase in the preamble of our constitution kept reverberating around my mind. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Actually it was more 'the pursuit of happiness' part I kept dwelling on. Like it was a foreign concept I just learned existed. With a shock of awareness I realized that's exactly what happened. Because I forgot about it. See the pursuit of happiness is a frivolous concept when your basic needs aren't met. It is only after sleep, shelter, safety and food are secured that a being can advance onto the next stages of societal engagement. Unfortunately getting horribly sick when every doctor told me I should be completely healthy violated my safety in a major way. My inability to work or care for myself threatened my procurement of shelter and food. And the illness itself robbed me of my sleep. No wonder I wasn't working towards happy, I was just trying to survive!
Yet it wasn't always like this. In fact after Fibro devastated my life I fought back hard to get the beast managed so I could begin to rebuild my existence. Sure it looked a lot different than before, but it was still good. I accepted, adapted and allowed myself to grow into my new set of circumstances. Funny thing about life, I've found, is one never knows what the next step will bring. My next step was two drastically life threatening strokes and six months of high-dose steroids to treat them. And that is where my happiness went.
Prednisone gave me the energy and lack of pain I had pre-fibro. It was glorious! For the first week. Then "roid rages" took over and I ballooned into the Pillsbury Dough-girl. Since then I have been miserably fighting my way back to the ecstasy of that first week on legalized crack with the tunnel vision of a warrior. Or just to be who I was before I got sick. To have the same capabilities, choices and possibilities. The little taste of healthy I got undid years of therapy, acceptance and meditation. But I refuse to allow my life to be defined as a reactionary victim. I'm actually glad a day of drunken barbecues and exploding fireworks reminded me there is some much needed happiness missing from my life. Everything doesn't have to be perfect to find it again. All that really matters is I start looking.
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