The meme below caught my eye. I initially laughed about it and subsequently thought “you know what this would be great for my Instragram feed!” And so I posted it.
Who would have thought I’d have so many feels about it
In the post itself, I mention the moment the night before where I had woken up in the middle of the night to groan in pain loud enough to wake my hubby, whose first response (bless him) was to ask me if I needed some pain meds. I joke something to the effect of “how DARE I roll over in bed at night?! Of COURSE, I should have known better”. I also reminisced to the time when my family referred to me as “the Amazon”. The physically strongest of my 4 sisters. I was called upon to move furniture, to lift things up, even to open jars of jelly or peanut butter. I was strong, mighty, and tough.
At this point is when my eyes clouded with tears, as they do now. I was proud of my toughness and considered it something of an asset. I didn’t grow up feeling like I was ever weak, or even defenseless.
Today, obviously, I feel differently
Most days, I am tired all of the time. I go to bed exhausted and I drag myself out of bed disappointed at the quality of the night’s sleep, and yes, still very much exhausted. Some days, my hands hurt and I have to palm my mugs, which, in hindsight, is kinda endearing. I still can’t walk long distances without, at some point, having to sit down. The pain in my hips after 6 blocks or so is enough to ground me for the rest of the day or at least for a couple of hours. My back hurts, pretty much all the damn time, especially at night. And there is ALWAYS the impending doom of new symptoms popping up, or old ones rearing their awful faces. Making plans is a joke. I never know how I’m going to feel at a future date.
That’s not to say that I haven’t improved any since moving to Philly. I am SO happy to say I’m doing so much better than I have in a really long time. I haven’t had a full flare up in at least 3 months and that in itself is amazing. I’ve also found great doctors who are caring for me in a way that makes me feel secure in my care.
But still, I’m no longer the Amazon I once was
I’ve heard many people say the whole “5 (or 7 depending on who you ask) stages of grief” thing is cyclical, but I tend to be stuck in the “depression” stage more often than not. I mourn the agility and the strength I used to own. I mourn over the loss of a silly nickname and all of its implications.
I’d like to think I appreciated it when I had it. I even haven’t lost hope in getting it back however unlikely. And there, not the hope itself, but the fact that I have it is what keeps me from completely falling apart and giving up. Even after all the pain and medications, diagnoses, studies, and uncertainty about my future, I can still.find. hope. My body may be eating self alive but my spirit is still here.
I am still here
When I have the energy to I sing and dance and shake the earth with my laughter. I have beautiful curly hair and the creativity to take on any friggin project you can send my way. I am intelligent, I am fierce, and I am loved.
I am strong, mighty, and tough.
I recognized today that my strength has not gone away, it’s just metamorphosed into a new form. I just have to work on remembering that every time I feel broken. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s a job for an Amazon.
Sending you love and many, many hugs