Through The Eyes Of Acceptance
Just a short update before I start writing. I have had some medical issues on top of my normal and that is why I have not been writing as regular. Sometimes even thinking is exhausting and I have to choose what I can do for the day.. So please bear with me. Writing is my passion and keeps me focused on the future but when I feel this bad, sleep seems to take over. I hope you all will check out son’s fundraiser on the right side of the page. Part of my extra exhaustion and feeling bad comes from riding in the mini van to doctor appointments etc. The used shuttle bus would certainly help. I have felt so sick lately that thinking of ways to promote it has been beyond me. But patience will win out on this one.
Life is always about choices. Son and I were discussing this the other day as he was in a very grumpy mood and was showing he was to everyone. I told him it was a choice and he could choose to be grumpy but to please take it into another room as I did not want to be on the receiving end. After he had his moments of grumpiness he decided (chose) to be more pleasant and came in smiling as if nothing had ever happened. It is all about choice.
I think we as a society with all the media exposure everything gets, tend to think that everything is instant and want what we want right now. My son did not dubb me “Impatience Marie” for nothing. My health has taught me patience if nothing else but I even have my moments of impatience with life but not near as many moments as I used to in years past. And do not think I achieved that over night. It took me years to learn that things come in their own time and sometimes need a revision on how to achieve them.
I learned that if I spent my life always wanting what I can not have then I would lose the joy of what I did have. I have in the past explained that being chronically ill means coming to terms with your illness and actually grieving what you have lost. And until you do, you never reach that peace that comes with acceptance and are always trying to get back the things you lost that are not going to come back in the same way. Create new ways. My son put a day bed in the living room so that I could lay in there when company was here. We improvise a lot. I learned that fighting against my illnesses and disabilities only exhausted me more and made me relapse more.
Would I rather be traveling and doing things and visiting my other son and grand baby or Mama or family and friends? Of course I would but I can not in the present shape I am in. Coming to terms with my health does not mean that I have given up my dreams. It means I realize that they are “dreams” and may or may not come true. I still dream for dreaming and planning things you always wanted to do is part of the fun. I dream of going back to Italy and looking at pictures of my trip a few years ago fills me with joy and makes me happy. But, again that is a choice. I can lay around and resent that I can not go to Italy or I can enjoy the fun of dreaming of it.
Grieving comes in stages and grieving the loss of our health, our job, our spouse or loved one…etc usually comes with denial and feeling isolated because no one understands, anger, pleading or making deals (if you will just do this God, I will do this), and depression until we get to the last stage which is acceptance. I accept that my life is limited and set out some years ago to create my small world into something that was happy and entertaining and still accommodating to my health needs. And my room is filled with things that make me smile, with gifts from friends around the world that I met on line and in person. And ironically, I irritate the hell out of some people because I am happy and filled with joy in spite of my health and disabilities. And I accept that this comes with the territory and usually those people are still in the anger stage with their health. It is my choice to remain happy and at peace.
I may be alone a lot as son takes care of things at our little church like cleaning it and doing the grounds, things around our house or out in the yard and his job meetings but seldom do I feel lonely because I have learned to entertain myself. One of the lessons I learned through being sick all these years is that far too often people, even those not sick, will depend on others to entertain them, to make them feel good, to nurture them, to take care of things for them and then when no one is there,they are miserable. This was my mother and my Dad would even call my sister and say please come entertain your mother. She is really down. I lived too far away or he would have done that to me. Some people never made the break that comes when we grow up and become adults and have to learn to be independent and take care of ourselves.
I learned that my happiness does not lie in people, places or things. I also learned that I can see and do a lot on the internet here at “command central” that son created for me. The picture is on the right side of the page down the page some if you want to see it. My son is the best at creating handicap accessible ways for me to have greater freedom. It shows the tv and monitors and my hospital bed. I can lay here with the keyboard on a pillow like now and do just about anything I want on the internet. I entertain myself and sometimes son will even come to my door and ask me what I am laughing about as he hears me just giggling up a storm. It is either someone I am talking to, a movie or show I am watching, something I read or my sweet Daisy who is quite the entertainer. He has even learned to recognize the voices of friends on youtube that create videos that I watch and will say things from the kitchen like “Is that Corey’s Mom?” for he recognizes the voice.
Many people think that accepting your illness or disability means you are giving up. No, it does not mean that. I still dream and I still work towards finding ways that help me improve or do other things. I just do not spin my wheels determined to find the cure for what is not curable. Auto immune disorders do not have cures but we can work on ways to make life better. But, that does not mean I give up hope that one day there might be a cure. It means I do not waste precious moments being angry or bitter that I can no longer do many things for every minute I waste feeling that way is lost and can never be gotten back and being angry and frustrated over my health only makes me feel worse. We all have an allotted time on this earth and I do not want to waste any of it. And I do not want my sons or grand baby’s memories of me to be that of someone always whining or complaining about how bad I feel or never seeing the joy in anything. I want them to remember me being a part of their lives even if I have to lay down to do it.
Acceptance and working with what is and not always yearning for what I no longer have makes for a much more serene life. I spent many years fighting and railing against being this sick and the disabilities I have and then my beloved godfather that I miss so much told me a story about the man who kept trying to push this enormous stone up a hill and every time he pushed and struggled and then stopped to rest, it ran over him and he had to start all over again after he got over being run over. It took me a few times to get the point of that message but it was that doing the same things over and over again and getting the same negative results should be teaching me something which was that I had to accept my limitations and find new ways to enjoy life or I would get run over every time.
I love our state park here five miles down the road but going and sitting on the bank to fish was impossible for me. Son talked me into getting the handicap pass last year and he would take me and pull the van up near the water and after removing my power chair to give space, he would fix this pile of pillows where I could sit on the edge of where the sliding door opens and lean back on the pillows with my feet propped on the cooler. I would lay propped up on the pillows behind my seat and take pictures. And I love it and being forced to do it from one place has made me look through new eyes at the wonders around me and see the animals and beauty in nature that I might have missed if I could have walked or been out in my power chair to take those pictures. I could feel the breeze, smell the water, see the birds and other animals and just enjoy being at the park. Acceptance does not mean defeat. Acceptance allows you to look with different eyes and create new ways to do things. As a wise friend once told me, if you do not like the view of your life…change your focus. And I do.
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