For the last five months, I have been happier than I’ve ever been. I have a wonderful man that I fall more and more in love with each day. My heart is full. But my head? My head is full of ‘what if’s’ and doubts.
There is no doubt that I love him, that I want to spend the rest of my life with him. But the universe, ever intent on proliferating stress, has other ideas. As a person who has battled sickness and injuries my whole life, it has turned my life upside down to be on the caretaking side. I was always the one in bed, the one being catered to, the one who couldn’t go or do or be, but in the last few months I have been the carer. I have been the nurse. I have been the provider.
It is not daunting.
It is not depressing.
It is not unfair.
It is humbling.
It is appreciating all those in my life who have taken care of me.
It is love.
The worst place to be in life is limbo–to be waiting. I always go back to The Waiting Place from Oh the Places You’ll Go when I feel like I’m “just waiting.” This time we are waiting on doctors. We are waiting on test results. We are waiting on news that could change the course of our lives.
We are an island, anchored in the sea and fighting the elements, yet we are not alone.
We all are waiting for something. We are waiting for decisions, for answers, for the other shoe to fall. And things are (mostly) out of our control. We cannot control when a decision will come, and furthermore, we cannot control what the decision will be. We cannot control the answers we seek for the questions we have. If you are searching for an answer, are you prepared for what that answer could be? Are you prepared for any possible outcome? And if you think you are, then what is in your control? How can you mitigate an answer or decision that doesn’t play out in your favor?
We are all control freaks to a certain level, trying to plan and prepare and trying to direct our life a certain way, perhaps even will it to be. And yet, what of life is in our control? So much of our lives are things that just happen to us, and we simply cannot control them. We then turn to what we can control.
And the answer, the only answer, is that we can control how we react. We can control how we respond to these decisions and answers and circumstances that keep coming at us, sometimes like a knockdown, drag-out round of boxing that has us on our knees in the ring, bleeding and bruised and broken.
We can fight. We can persevere. We can hope.
And at the end of the day, we must make do with what we have. We must try our hardest, each and every day. We must do our best with what we are handed in life.
Some days it’s easy. Some days it’s impossible. On those impossible days, be gentle with yourself. Recognize that you are struggling and don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to 5-year-old you. Be patient. Be kind. Be forgiving. Allow yourself to lick your wounds, to rest.
But then, after that, you must get back in the ring. You must pick up your sword and shield like the warrior you are and fight back.
It may feel like you fight alone. It may feel like you are adrift in a lifeboat with no rescuers in sight. The key is to find people who will fight with you, who will be in that boxing ring, not in your corner but in the ring with you.
Whatever happens today with the test results and answers that we have been pursuing, we will fight. We will absolutely take time to process, to regroup, but then we will fight. It’s what we have to do to survive life. It’s what makes life worth living. Life is the journey. Life is about adapting and overcoming, simple Darwinian evolution. You must adapt to survive.
Realize that the only thing you can control is you, let the chips fall where they may and walk on, Warrior. You are not alone.