It’s time to start again. The forced hiatus we’ve been on while my body healed and recalibrated is hopefully going to be over very soon. Tomorrow, if things go the way they should.
I’ve been fortunate this week to be busy enough not to dwell on the ifs and whens. Fortunate not to be stuck inside my own head with questions that don’t get answers until it’s all over. In the grand scheme of things this process is pretty quick, especially compared to 8 years of waiting. But, in the day to day it is excruciatingly long, and the calendar of meds and appointments overwhelming.
I’ve learned to work through hard stuff one thing at a time -sometimes I’m good at it, sometimes I’m not- but coming back to the process over and over helps. How will I get through the next couple of months? A minute, an hour, a day, a week at a time.
Sometimes in the big and scarey every little minute matters. The minutes when my stomach hurts and churns in anticipation of things I can’t control. My period will start on time and we move forward, or it won’t and we wait. The minutes my head is pounding and diving towards a migraine while I worry if the meds will cause awful side effects, or not work at all. The minutes my throat is choked with tears and the fear that it’s all for nothing drowns me. The minutes I cry out to God to just get me through the next wave and help me keep my head above water while I try to reason with anxiety that can’t be reasoned with. The minutes I take a deep breath and look in the mirror and tell my self this is happening for a reason and I can do it and it’ll get better and just keep going.
All the minutes matter; the hard and scarey ones aren’t for nothing.
I’ll be the first to admit that some days it sounds like complete shit. Because what I want to know is Why? and How? and Please God, are we done yet? and the only being I know with answers isn’t giving them to me. But I also know that a simple act of empathy can make someone else’s struggle a tiny bit easier. And, let’s be real, people, we all struggle with something. This whole big living thing is a give and take. It’s sometimes being the one who borrows strength and sometimes being the one who gives it -more often than you realize it’s doing the two things at once.
Eventually -and oh my word sometimes that feels like forever- those difficult minutes pass and then you know not to take the good minutes for granted. The minutes you’ve forgotten to worry about what might or might not happen in two days or two months or two years because today was full up. The minutes when you are just being; just talking to a friend, just thinking about what you’ll wear on tonight’s date, or writing the grocery list. The minutes when Matthew 6:34 is possible.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
It’s easy to take the good minutes for granted. Easy to forget that those happy minutes are precious and the people that fill them up are blessings. When you spend too much time in the dark you can forget how good the light can be. How much that light that life is worth fighting to get to. The process of hunting for a path back to the light can be just flat out exhausting. It takes courage to keep on going. It takes an awesome depth of strength and perseverance to fight darkness that lives inside your head. It takes a supernatural faith to believe the hard minutes are worth the effort and you are worth the fight.
What I know is this: every little minute can be different, and you do whatever you can to get to the next one.
Sometimes you hit your limit and that was far enough. Say no when you need to. This isn’t a competition. You are allowed to disappoint people and make them mad. The good ones forgive and are waiting when you’re ready, the others aren’t meant to be yours. Knowing when you need to ask for help and focus on self-care is important. Surround yourself with people that value you for who you are and allow your process to be whatever you need.
Sometimes those same people help you push yourself until you’re sure you’ll break. They help you do it scared because they believe in you, and they know you might find out you can do things you thought were impossible. You can do hard things.
I can too.
Thanks for reminding me.