I'm sure during many times in my life I've been "those people"... those people who walk around all day taking care of themselves, their kids, their home, their lives. When you're one of "those people' you don't even think about what you're doing, because it's normal. It's what we're supposed to do... We don't give it another thought. We may think about how tired we are.. how much we have to do.... where we have to go.... but do we ever stop to think about how lucky we are to just be able to DO those things? The things that make us exhausted and aggravated... the things that we wish we didn't have to do. We should be thankful for those things. Unfortunately no one is really ever thankful for those things until they can't do them anymore. That would be me.
First of all let me say that I am not trying to be all Debbie Downer, and I don't want pity. I'm hoping for some understanding... some understanding for myself as well as all the other people who have also been kidnapped by their own bodies. Kidnapped by my own body..... What does that mean? Well, to me it means that this human shell that possesses my soul and spirit have been hijacked and held prisoner by this body I have.. this body that has pesky old dysautonomia as well as a heart that doesn't get the memo either. This body that traps me... it traps my will. It traps my desires. Sometimes it even traps my hopes and dreams. Let me try to give you a glimpse of what this looks like. When you're trapped in your bed for days on end you see the world existing without you. You see your beloved husband doing all the things you wish you could do for yourself. You're beyond thankful that he does it with such love and grace, but you still wish you were doing it instead of him.You hear your baby and sweet girls playing in the other room, and you also hear your baby calling "Mama", because he doesn't understand where you are. Said beloved husband brings him on many trips to visit the sick room, but he doesn't want to be in there. He gives a kiss or two, but he wants to live in the world with the living.. the doing... the moving. Who doesn't want to live in that living world?
On days one and two I'm generally ok emotionally. I don't LIKE being stuck in the bed, but my body is so exhausted that it overrides my feelings and gives into rest... For me it's not sleep... I can't sleep. I have to just lay there. Lay there and rest. Lay there and let my body try to replenish the lost energy and motion... Let it try to recover from normal everyday living, because somehow ordinary living has pushed me to this state of laying. This state of watching... the state of feeling like I don't exist. I KNOW people love me and care about me. I don't doubt that for a second that my existence matters to them. I know that my existence has a profound effect on their lives and is most of the time a positive addition to their existence.... but then I lay and lay some more.... By days 3 and 4 the depression starts to kick in. I fight it. Oh how I fight it. I talk to Jesus a lot... trying to keep myself on track... I watch good shows on Netfix... I eat too much junk that's not good for my body. I try to stay ME, even though I don't feel like me at all. I feel like a nuisance. I feel like dead weight... I know that Andrew will be so mad at me for saying that I feel like a nuisance to him, because that fabulous man goes out of his way to make sure I know I'm not that to him. I'm his beloved. For some reason he adores me and has no resentment for the time this body steals from our lives.... I pray I would be as good if the situation were reversed. I probably wouldn't. I'm not nearly as good as he is.
IF I hit days 5 and 6 like I did this time I go into the "I'm about to go over the cliff. I'm going over the edge" category... This is when I cry to Andrew about how TIRED I am of this... I complain about how I'm so tired of being sick and tired. I tell him how I don't know if I can take anymore... that I'm going to lose it. I FEEL certain that I'm going to lose it, but somehow I never have. I don't even really know what lose it means... I do get plenty pissed off at my situation, but I don't lose it. I guess I don't lose it, because Jesus has it. I don't stop and ask Him WHY I have this anymore. I don't scream at Him how if He loved me He would take this from me... He would take it away... He would heal me... I don't, because I know how He feels about it. It grieves Him that I am plagued by this. It HURTS Him to see me hurt... lonely... depressed...exhausted... losing hope. He hates that my body has paid part of the price of living in this fallen world, but He doesn't take it from me. Trust me. There are times when He does take it from me... He gives me that extra something to get back up... to function... to live in the land of the living, and I am so thankful for those times. Those times make me appreciate the things that aggravate most of the world (including myself sometimes). We all have our cross to bear.. We all have our "thorns". Our thorns come in all shapes and sizes, but we all have them. We all have something.
As I've gotten to this ending of this episode it becomes clear to me WHAT I need to pray for...WHAT I want... what Jesus wants for me. I want to handle these times with grace and dignity. I want to make it through these episodes finding SOME WAY to be thankful for them, because I trust that He does and will use them for my good. I have to lean on Him and not my own understanding, because most of the time I can't think of one good thing that comes from it... As soon as I type these words He shows me one good thing. Because of this mess I live with I have been able to stay home with these last 3 babies. I have been able to provide what they need from me even in these circumstances. I pray in someway my hurdles can encourage someone to push ahead through theirs... We may not can jump a hurdle, but we can sometimes crawl around it. I want to stay ME. I don’t want to let anything steal my me from me.
Today I want you all to stop what you're doing and just be thankful. Be thankful for the long line at Target, because you're actually able to stand in the line. Be thankful that you can't figure out what to feed your family tonight, because it means that you can cook and prepare something. Be thankful for the loads of laundry, because you can bend over to pick them up and put them in the washer and dryer. Be thankful as you grumble about making up the bed, because the bed is made up, because you're not IN it. Right now I’m thankful that my sheets are IN the washer. :) I want you all to know this is as much for me as it is for you. I have to focus on the good in all moments. I have to take advantage of the moments that He heals me and gives me what I need to live life. I have to be thankful for the aggravations that are really blessings. I WANT to be thankful for irritations and aggravations of just living this life.... I had a bad chest pain the other day. (Don't worry. I'm fine) It was a bad one, and it scared me. It scared me, because I knew in that moment how important I am to all the people who live this life with me. I KNOW how important I am to Jesus, and I know I have work to do for Him. I prayed to Him that I didn't want to leave. I knew I wasn't dying, but I had been feeling nonexistent. I had been feeling like I didn't matter or contribute enough... but He was gracious and reminded me that I DO. I matter. I contribute. I live.
Friends, if you’ve read all this I thank you. You’re always so good and supportive when I go through anything including the dreaded episodes. I love you all more than you can imagine. Stranger, if you’ve stumbled upon this random post I pray it gave you something you needed or maybe something for someone you love. In this moment I am thankful. I am thankful that Anne Pearce is home sick with me today, because I am getting to listen to a crazy story about dinosaurs, cowboys, and the desert. I didn’t miss the story, because I was trapped in my bed. I’m thankful, because I’m sitting up on my couch typing this for you… and for me. I’m thankful to exist and live this life. Do something crazy today… Do something with your body that you can do and never think about. Jump. Run. Stand. Twirl around in your yard. Just do SOMETHING, and thank Him for it. I may not be able to jump and twirl, but I’m about to walk to the washer. And for that I am thankful.