When I was in the hospital in February I so appreciated your warm and supportive comments on my blog, Facebook, etc. It was during that time that I realized just how much your support and encouragement means to me. It is in that realization that I write this post.
I have experienced some of my darkest and most frustrating days and hours in the last couple of weeks. Though I have recovered so much in the past six months, there are still a great many things I cannot do, and deficits that I struggle with regularly.
Over the weekend, I hit my head hard three times in a span of a couple of hours, the last time so hard that I wrenched my neck quite forcefully. The person I was with was stunned, thinking I was being a total moron (as indeed it appeared so) and I had to explain that my sense of proprioception (where my body is in space) is damaged. I have days where I hurt myself in various ways throughout the day.
My feet and legs continue to bother me a great deal. I feel permanently broken, though I realize continued recovery is possible for six more months or so.
Some days speaking is incredibly difficult, not physically, but mentally. I often cannot locate a word I am looking for which is embarrassing and, as you can imagine, quite deeply distressing to me given my chosen professions. Like everything else, this comes and goes, waxes and wanes.
My family went to Cedar Point recently and I think that’s where I realized that, despite appearances, I am more disabled than I look. I could barely get around, even with my cane. We spent less than three hours in the park.
I have also experienced my first twinges of fear and dread in the last few weeks. It is relatively easy to brace yourself for a brief hospital stay and a few months of recovery. It is quite another thing when you realize it may be time to begin saying goodbye to pieces of your life.
Though I know you who love me cannot stay on a permanent state of alert, I just wanted to make this public. It’s a battle I am fighting mostly alone now, and it gets hard because I know I look way healthier than I am. Though I continue to be grateful for what I have recovered, what I have lost weighs heavy on me these days. I often feel this spectre hanging over me that is perhaps best described as a “ruthless hum of dread.” I have not lost hope, I am not in a major depression, and I still experience deep joy in my life. But I notice that hum in the background more days than not. I know even this will in time be redeemed in my life, used to grow me deeper. It will provide ways for me to encourage others, and will finally be taken up into the One in whom I rest assured that everything belongs — where not a tear is wasted, where no suffering is ever in vain, and where even the darkness is as light.
I am confident of this. Still, I must walk through my valleys, and feel the icy press of fear, discouragement, self-pity, anger, and whatever else is to come. I know this, and this is my cross to bear, not yours. But somehow writing it down makes it better, as I refuse to treat my situation like some evil which is so great it dare not be spoken. It isn’t that great and as long as I can type I will continue to speak, both so that I will not fear, and that others may take courage beneath the weight of their own crosses.
Thank you for reading. It is a way of being with me that means more than you know.