Taking Stock of Positives and Possibilities

Living with chronic illness is an extremely isolating phenomenon. At times. It can also be spirtually empowering…at times. Drawing from the gut. And the soul. But, rebuilding in the wake of it’s realization eventually begins to feel less like Rebuilding, and more like Functioning. More like Survival, and less ‘getting back on track’. Maintaining, rather than shooting for the proverbial moon anymore. But, the good found here lies in your most basal presence. You, in barest form. When all else has been stripped away, everything we know of ourselves, down to the studs…you see and speak with the raw version of yourself. Head on. No airs. No pretense. No false pride. No cover of self talk and lifelong internal scripts or preconception. No walls. No hiding. No bullshit. It is nothing short of a blessing to be challenged in the unflinching manner of this depth.

Your worries and fears still exist. Maybe more now, and maybe less. Simply changed perhaps. We all have them. Only now they are seen tuned through a deeper filter. Sharper and highly discerning. The rubric of importance of those worries and fears has shifted. Forcibly taking an alternate position somewhere on the scale. Every decision, every move, every word, every moment…every breath. Our energy that much more precious. The Present is even more valuable a commodity, if that could be imagined.

We are taught young to impress. To gather. Things and friends. Admiration. Success. The bigger the circle, the more “important” and valuable the person. It’s what we see and it’s what is societally perpetuated. We are taught to celebrate fanfare for fanfare’s sake. And confidence ostentatiously misdirected into arrogance. We root for those most rooted for. This same society that teaches us we are selfish if we draw our scope of vision away from fanfare, and narrow it inward towards concern for ourselves. Our family unit. Our children. “Well, others have it way worse than you”. Indeed they do. “You are not more important than anyone else”. Indeed I am not. This I know. But it is through the latter stark axiom that we learn to keep quiet especially about our physical pain and struggle, lest we be accused of attention seeking…or being a ‘downer’. We learn we are Best when not focusing on ourselves. It really is no wonder there are so many wearing a false face, leaving true healing, physical or otherwise, an impossibility. And suffering silently so that no one else is uncomfortable. So no one rolls their eyes or has something sarcastic to say. So no one disappears. Continue to please and serve the desired purpose and you will be accepted. You will be acknowledged. You will be valued. You will be celebrated. You will be The Same. And all will be well.

But where do we speak when all is not well. How much are we “allowed”. Or is socially acceptable. What happens when you are not The Same. When you can’t pretend you are not hurting. When laughing or talking are now feats of strength. Not just habit. When you can’t force the most perfunctory. When planning takes more time than the plan itself. When each day has to be rewritten before it begins, with a pen at the ready to rewrite that rewrite if need be. When every aspect of your daily reality is altered. When you aren’t dependable…when you feel you aren’t useful. When you can’t count on what you knew, as it seems you can no longer be counted upon. Where do we speak then. Do we.

…We do. Because, there is also a wealth of grace to be found in us through deliverance into the level of humility that comes when our physical privacy and dignity have been sacrificed. When what’s voluntary and involuntary have swapped places and our autonomy of choice is taken, the petty seems to fall away. When we are open about personal darkness, we can find support, support others and stitch up the underlying and often secret cycle of hopelessness. Depression, disability, chronic illness, grief…they are a thief of so much. To so many. We do not need fear of judgment, namecalling or desertion in addition to real pain. We do not need opinion from those who either do not understand the walk, or refuse to see our walk as real to us simply because it does not benefit them.

I am not weak or resigned. I am healing and surviving. I am not attention seeking. I am hurting and not ashamed. I am not selfish. I am a caretaker but that also means myself and my kids. I have lost so much. But I have gained much in it’s place. I am not sad or lonely. I am optimistic and fulfilled in my heart because I have seen what I am capable of, where I truly matter and what brings me joy. I have learned that betraying my personal truths to avoid judgment or sarcasm is betraying acceptance of myself.

I may not be The Same…but my soul remains as it has always been and always will be. Stronger, in many ways, than it once was. And that is the one and only thing in this world that I’ll allow define me.

Be well and speak your truth, Friends

39 thoughts on “Taking Stock of Positives and Possibilities

  1. I love this whole thing but especially this part “I have learned that betraying my personal truths to avoid judgment or sarcasm is betraying acceptance of myself.”
    It’s so freeing when we finally get comfortable in our own skin, not caring if people see the scars, warts or the big pimple on out butts😂

    Being completely torn down to the studs is a sucky, painful thing. But once the dust settles, we get to rebuild ourselves at our pace in the way we want.
    Happy building Sam!🌻💌

    1. Absolutely! And it being at our own pace is the key! Even though in ways, I traded one stress for others, it’s allowed me the reflection, education and rest time…and time to slow the hell down and rebuild as I’m ABLE…not because I was thrown into the fire the next minute! And I have to be just as okay with it and patient with myself as I’d like those around me to be.

      1. Yes. Being patient with ourselves is a big ol battle all by itself🙄 Brain says “stupid body, work like I want you to”…body says”😝nope”…😂💌

  2. May I print out the last two paragraphs and put them on the wall so they are the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing at night?
    Your words and thoughts resonated so deeply.
    Thank you

    1. Aw, of course, Lisa! I’d be honored 🤗🤗🤗 You’re very welcome, friend!

      1. I will do just that when I get home! 😁

  3. 💗💗adapting isn’t key to everything.

    1. While useful as a survival tool, over time adaptation to *everything* can make you forget that that you have a voice!

      1. Agreed. But sometimes you gotta go with the flow

        1. I built a lifetime around going with the flow. I was pretty sure it was my middle name at one point…turns out it’s Dean.

  4. Do you mind if I reblog this AND/or share it on FB. I think it would help others to use your words and actions

    1. Hi there! Thank you so much for this and for asking as well 🤗🤗🤗 I’m not on Facebook so I’m pretty sure my OCD would have a field day with that but by all means a reblog here would be okay with me if you think it could be of value to someone 🤗

  5. Ahhh, the invisibility can both heal and harm. I am grateful for your words. I hope it helps to know that you aren’t alone. And I personally hope you steal away every now and then, even for just a moment, to sync up with the natural world. We are all connected. Don’t forget to breathe … ♡

    1. So true. Sometimes risking alienation actually helps you to find those who *do* understand! Thank you, Bonnie 🤗 Just holding out patiently for spring!

  6. So profoundly written. I revisited this a couple of times throughout this busy and difficult day and it helped me to regroup and ground. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, E 😭😭😭!! I’m so happy you could find value in this. There was soooo much more I wanted to add but made myself reign it back in!!

      1. Can’t wait to read “Taking Stock of Positives and Possibilities, Part II”! 😉

        1. Alienation directly proportionate to vulnerability has been a real hot button for me these last few years!

  7. I understand completely.

  8. Reblogged this on MS Graceful…NOT! and commented:
    Maybe something you needed to hear today

    1. Thank you so much! Absolutely, a reblog would be nice. Thank you for asking and sharing 🤗🤗🤗

      1. Awesome. I’ll put you on this Tuesday. I’m very inspired! Great information. Thank you.

  9. you just beautifully and amazingly accurately what I have been trying to say about Chronic illness for the last 21/2 years. You are an amazing writer and person. Following

    1. 😭Thank you for the beautiful compliment, Billy! Nice to meet you!

      1. I look forward to reading more of your blog

  10. Isn’t it amazing the amount of time it takes for us to unlearn so much of what has been ingrained in us since our earliest, formative years?

    I wish so badly that your lessons had not had to come to you at such physical and emotional expense. But it seems that is the only way any of us truly grow, if we allow it.

    And you have allowed it in astounding and beautiful ways. Your words are so deeply inspiring here, and reassuring to those of us still learning to stop apologizing and hiding parts of our truth.

  11. Sam, this post is so honest, addresses what so many of us deal with, and so well written. Thank you so much for putting your thoughts and feelings in writing. I KNOW your words have helped many of us today. Bless you and thank you 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for showing support on this post 😢 It’s not things I like to talk about often, but also can’t forget about so easily!

  12. So true. We should be able to express all aspects of life without being labelled.

    Beautifully written and so poignant.
    Visiting you from Kim’s blog I tripped over a stone

    1. Thank you so much for reading! 🤗 Labeled is an apt term for sure…the court of public opinion is a hard thing to fight, and we shouldn’t need to!

  13. Logan Creech Rice January 22, 2020 — 7:20 am

    Thank you so much for sharing! These are feelings we all face, and the grace, strength and empowerment of self are truly inspiring. I found your link through I Tripped Over a Stone, so word is definitely spreading 🙂

    1. Oh, thank you so much 🤗 I’m glad you were able to find and relate to the post!

  14. So raw and authentic and from the heart. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Miriam!

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