Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

I've been silent here a while because they say when you don't have something good to say, keep quiet.
Because I have been feeling as if I am "that" person...

Honestly, if I were to list all the things for which I am grateful, they would be endless.  In EVERY day there are those blessings, starting with the profound one of being able to wake up in the morning anew.

We've had lessons on not taking that for granted these last few weeks.

Last year, I just struggled to feel good, and physically just never did.  I tried many different things beginning with mind over matter.  A good mental boost (read a kick in the pants) is often what I need to motivate myself beyond initial startup.  Towards the end of last year, though, I had enough trouble it began affecting my ability to work my shifts.  My torn meniscus (knee) has never healed, either.  I have felt I'm becoming "that" person...the one with always a reason (excuse??) why I can't do this or that, or having to sideline things I want to do myself (having to ask for help now), or "special accommodations" for what's beginning to see like a dang disability.

I would mentally pep talk myself into How Not to Be a Wimp, and I would try to fulfill beyond my own and my agency's expectations (not to mention my clients) on the days I did work outside the home.  At home, I was so wiped out that things around here just collected dust and did not get maintained by me as I'd like.  In fact a lot of things never got done.  This is the perfect way for me to feel extremely lousy about my contribution to my life and my family's and friends' lives.  I may be harder on myself than anyone else.  Jack certainly never expressed any complaints, but that just made me feel guiltier.

I think the past few weeks have been another lesson in trusting God, and in humility.  Sometimes being humbled is straight-up being brought low.  Sometimes life pulls the plug.  Sometimes we are sidelined.

The ER visit at the end of last year was a costly one, poorly timed...are those things ever timed better?  Shame and panic overwhelmed me.  I pride myself on being dependable and on doing a good job.  Already not operating at optimum (and constantly having to hide it or compensate for the knee, the feeling lousy, etc, w hile maintaining a level of excellence outwardly at work that I did NOT feel inside myself...ugh)...I still took jobs because we needed the money...I needed to push through...something would surely give, right?  And then I just couldn't.  We thought I'd had a heart attack and afterwards I could simply not function, not get out of bed for more than a few hours at a time.  Try explaining that without giving a workplace a reason not to give you future work.  I'm a very private person and DON'T like to give out personal info (which I seem to be doing just now, hmmm...why does the internet still feel more anonymous??)  At any rate, I was grounded.

I hate feeling like "that" person, whoever "that" is...

January was spent in bed.  So were the first weeks on February.  I could not get up for more than a few hours before my body just quit and left me no choice.  There was no inner backup to draw from.  This scared me and really scared Jack.  I cried a lot over  having no choice in the matter.  We investigated  insurances and other options.  We consulted a lot of different knowledgeable people, as we were able. 

In the end, our options are very limited, and I'll leave it at that. I did discover that privacy is very important to us, and that I don't want advice from well meaning sources unrelated to our private lives.  And I will say that healthcare dot gov is not the holy grail that the current administration tries to promote it as, even for those of us who need give it serious consideration.  In the end it's MY CHOICE.  I resent the dangling piano overhead of an IRS penalty if that choice for me does not include mandatory insurance care.  That's all I'll say about that.

I am grateful to have a very good doctor who has worked to have other options available.  It does not equate to  free healthcare nor any burden on the private sector.  I've mentioned it before, but it's called the Epiphany program and it covers a very broad range of healthcare basics.

Anyway, back to life...

My doc did some investigative labwork and chose a few things for us to address.  Then, for the first time since I can remember, Jack and I got the REAL flu.  It was a bad boy.  The fever and ugliness phase lasted a week and the bronchitis phase lasted  another.  We are  now fully Gatoraded and coughdropped.  Thank you, Halls...thank you to my daughter who plied us with cold cures from afar <3 Thank you to Bounty that DOES quicker-pick-you-up when the Kleenex run out... What does a person do when your body quits on you for hours at a time and you can only stay in the bed or on the couch?  Well, we don't have TV and one can watch only so much Netflix or even facebook.

Change has happened inside me as a result of weeks of enforced rest.  I hadn't realized it was time for some changes, and some things I think I 'd been waiting for some indication from God as far as specific direction.  Some things I had to war with myself about...whether to stick with some things or to go a different way.  Some things I had to let go and not understand at all.

I'll write more specifically about those things.  I had to let go of a lot of fear and realize I have little control over things when it comes right down to it.  I got a chance to read a lot, talk to God a lot, and do more listening or just being quiet than anything else.

I think I needed that.  I needed the quiet and to listen.

I hope I'm on the other side of this dark and stormy night.  I'm feeling better enough to feel human, which I hadn't in quite some time.  I've had to let some things go, let some expectations of myself go, and to allow myself to be...well whatever I can in the now, without apologies.  I've had to be honest about some things I just shrugged off as "business as usual" when really deep inside myself I've been troubled at times.

I got to see how some  people treat me when I can't offer them anything or couldn't be of use to them just now, even though I've done nothing but good for them or their business in the past,  And I really appreciate the good friends we have who encourage us in God during those dark times.  Those friends become like family moreso than many of my actual extended family members.  I thank God for them.

Here's to calmness and clarity.  We are all fragile, whether we think so or not.  Life each day is a gift, whether it feels that way or not at the time.  People are to be treasured and respected.  Our own hearts' desires are also to be nurtured and  protected and put gently in God's hands.

I've learned that He is present in the dark nights.  I  knew that from before, and did not doubt it.  But He is my actual actual God who is an actual Father.  I poured out my distresses to Him and in some things I continue to.  Whatever sense that I make of the dark times, or don't, He has never been the one to let me down or let my husband down.  All that we have that is good is from Him and He keeps us during the confusing and frightening times.

If I don't take anything away from this but a realization of His goodness, that is enough.

There is more, and I'll write about it.  But His goodness is dayeinu (enough) overflowing.

Grateful to still be here, be feeling better, have a roof over our heads, have beautiful husband/daughter/friends....

What does today hold, or tomorrow?  I don't know.  But God will be sufficient for it.