Monday, July 16, 2012

It's Been Too Long - Finding My Way Out of the Dark

Hey Kittens!

I know, I know.. it's been forever since I've published anything here; and for that I can only offer my heart-filled apologies.  Things over here have been ... shall I say ... difficult.   Most of you know that I have a myriad of health issues that prevent me from living what I consider a "normal's" life.   Now, before you start saying "normal is boring", "normal is a setting on a dryer", etc; that's not exactly what I'm referring to.  You see, dear reader, in the few support groups that I run we classify ourselves as the "sick".  It is by no means a derogatory term; it's simply the truth.  We have terminal illnesses that we face on a daily basis.  Those in our lives that do not have such illnesses are considered "normals".  It's a way for us to differentiate ourselves and others during conversations.  For example "I took my son to the playground today and was reminded how much I miss being a "normal" and having the ability and energy to run around after my kid".   So anyways, it's a lame excuse for not being with you; but I was off feeling sorry for myself and fretting over the hand I've been dealt.

Here's a quick update you if you're interested.  If not, feel free to skip down to get to the good stuff.   After battling a severe kidney stone (took up 1/4 of my one working kidney) and passing a whole lot of stones, I had a rupture in my urinary tract.  So, a quick surgery later ... and boom ... mild heart attack.  It was determined to be directly related to the anesthesia so fortunately it wasn't a spontaneous incident.  Shortly after that it was determined that the only way to get me off dialysis was to stop all the medications; including the anti-rejection medication I'm taking for my bone marrow transplant. So it's continue the meds that may be keeping me alive and stay on dialysis forever .. or stop my meds and take my chances at being a "normal" .. having significantly more energy, the ability to do the things I've missed, etc.  And risk rejecting my bone marrow - again.  Long story short, I have a MAJOR decision to make on how I want to move forward.   This recent chain of events put me in a very dark place, and I've been struggling quite a bit trying to get back into the sunlight.

 I know I'm not the only one who has found themselves is a place so dark that the thoughts they  have keep them up at night; or how you dread going home to an empty house and an emptier bed.  I'm certainly not the first person to be here, and I won't be the last. I sincerely hope it's the last time I'm here; but I'm a realist and the fact of the matter is; I may find myself here again.  Fortunately, I think I've found a dimly lit, poorly paved, difficult way back to the sunlight.  This is actually good news, because if the path were easy or well lit, I wouldn't have the opportunity to learn more about and improve myself.  

So, you may be wondering how it is that I suddenly found this path out of the darkness (at least I hope you're wondering .. because it's something everyone needs to know).  I found someone to talk to.  I'm going to guess right about now you're saying to yourself "Duh .. that's the simplest solution ever".   I'll agree that the concept is simple enough but sometimes no matter who you talk to, it doesn't work.  I'm in several support groups (from a leadership and a participant perspective), have a therapist I see on a regular basis, an amazingly supportive and loving family, friends that would rival the BEST in the universe..and I was still alone and in the dark.  Some of this is my own fault.. I don't really open up easily to people and I rarely show my true emotions.  "You're so strong" is said to me for a reason :).   However, as cold and callous as this might sound, the reason I didn't talk to many people in my life about this is simple: I didn't have the emotional energy or willingness for me to counsel them through the issues.  The issue I have is when I need to talk about something, and I tell someone (not EVERYONE in my life, but once you see a pattern starting you learn quickly) and that someone freaks out .. you're stuck picking up the pieces and reassuring them that everything will be OK.  I wasn't in a place in my  mind where I could reassure others.   Sounds selfish when I put it like that, but it doesn't make it less true.

However, 40 minutes (not nearly long enough in my personal opinion) with someone yesterday and I finally have my mind and soul on the mend.  I was reminded that not only do I matter (I knew that part, but it's nice to be told), that I have a positive impact on the world around me, and that even if I died tomorrow (that is NOT in my plan by the way) that I'm leaving behind a legacy that will not be forgotten.   Without directly saying it, this friend reminded me that I'm here to inspire others to look for the good in life, and make changes in themselves that will better their existence.  I lost that somewhere in the last month or so. Though I was reminded last night that I'm more than my illness and more than I see in the mirror.   Dear Friend .. you've saved me.

I am here to Inspire .. and Inspire I shall.

Until next time, Kittens

Be at peace with yourself and you'll be at peace with the world.  

No comments: