I’ve been up and down on finding a whole new level of positivity. This is a whole new journey I am on, and it’s one that did not start off with good news or a positive look for the future.
I would give anything to find my circumnavigation for this nightmare. A way to pull the ultimate trick move and have the final prize be a clean health slate. The ultimate 2nd chance of a lifetime. But this is my reality. I constantly have to remind myself to stay focused mentally. Because right now, unfortunately, if I lose focus for even a few seconds and let the sadness of my health creep in, it will cause such a negative mental health domino effect.
On top of fighting this health battle, I have never felt more worthless than I do currently in my life. I spend all of my time, even when I feel at my worst, waiting on everyone else hand and foot. I am by nature, a natural caregiver. It’s just something I do.
I don’t have a job that pays a paycheck. My life up to this point has been a flop, if I am being completely honest. The only thing I truly have to show for anything I have done in my life, and that I have ever accomplished, is my daughter, who is so incredible, and an incredibly frustrating Criminal Justice degree that did more harm financially in my life than it ever did helping me.
Now that I am not well, I don’t know how I am going to work. I don’t know how I am going to make it. Yesterday, I went to the store to get a rotisserie chicken for dinner and when I got in line to check out, I had forgotten that food stamps (yes I currently have to get food stamps) do not cover hot food from the deli. I then proceeded to have to count $7.00 in change out at the register out of my zip lock bag I had been saving change in, to be able to take the chicken home. Very low moment indeed. It gets better. I then had to drive home, count more change, and go back to the store and pay for tampons and pads with change as well. Because every woman knows that no matter how bad your health already is, your female parts have no boundaries.
I’ve always found a way to make things work. I’ve never felt as though I needed anyone, even when I feel at my most rock bottom times. It’s because I’ve spent the bulk of my life with walls I purposely built around me protecting me.
A lot has changed over the past 5 years however. I really started working on myself and doing a lot of hard work mentally the most. I’ve let more people in than I could have ever dreamed I would have. And in turn, I let people go that had been in my life for what seemed like forever and that I could have never fathomed parting from before. It’s been a trying yet, freeing experience. I have, for the first time ever, began to embrace people and the love that they offer. And I have truly and wholeheartedly learned to love people exactly where they are at. Anyone who knows me knows that I have always been a huge touch-me-not. However, after doing some soul searching, and learning to pick and choose battles in my own life, and with my daughter, who struggles with mental health issues, I learned that some things are just not worth hanging onto. It has taken me years to fully achieve and appreciate the depth of that kind of realization. Now, I love other people’s ability to love. And I have learned to truly love them. Even when it’s hard to.
If I would have known that forgiveness was such a huge cure all for so many things in my life years ago, I could have saved myself so many years of ruination. I’m sure I can get more into that in another entry one day. Most of all, when you get such a life-threatening diagnosis, things you used to think were so important, or pain you had hung onto for so long unwilling to let go of and forgive for, just seems so small now. I am lucky enough to had already been working on forgiveness and loving in my life for a few years now. I had to. If I am being honest, I spent most of my life being so angry. I mean so angry that everything made me angry. I expressed every emotion with anger. And I plowed through years and years, destroying everything in my path. I wish I could go back now. I am free of it. I never, in a million years, would have ever thought I would be able to say it.
Today is one of my bad days as far as my health. In a support group I have recently joined with others who have similar diagnosis’s as mine, they advise that there will be bad days; and that on those days, you should rest so you’ll be prepared to enjoy your next good day. I’m trying. And looking forward to my next good day. I cried today though. I want to walk the driveway. Simple right? No. Not for me, at least not right now. I also cried because I hit a bird on the way taking my daughter to school this morning. I’m honestly quite unpredictable right now lol. But I’m not giving up, and that’s what is most important in my eyes.
I’m fighting for my personal odyssey. My own eventful and adventurous journey. I hope to one day look back and say that I visited this nightmare portion of life, and that it was my sojourn in this time for the greatest of lessons…… humility.
Feeling numb in the way that life is going. I feel like my life is a train, but I am stuck on the caboose, and no one is driving it anymore. I feel used up in a way that is so lonely. And I’m fighting every single day to remain optimistic and faith-filled about how I feel about the future. I just simply want what everyone else wants in the end…..hope.
I am closing my eyes, wading into these unknown waters. You can spend years of your life contemplating what you’re gonna do with each portion of it. Then, out of nowhere, you get news that makes you rethink everything. You question how far ahead you should plan, or if you can plan at all as far as career because of your health. Yet, here I wade, deeper and deeper.
There’s a drive in me. I’ve noticed that it comes and goes, depending on my mood. One minute, I’m unstoppable in my mind with what I plan on accomplishing going forward, no matter the obstacle. Then, all of the sudden, I feel brought down to my knees with mourning for my own self. This sadness comes over me and it becomes everything I can do to not just give up.
My lungs feel as though they are turning to stone. As if I turned a corner and stared straight into the eyes of Medusa herself. Or could it be possible that I have became instantly related to the tin-man? Only as a distant cousin, and there is no oiling up for me…
I have been so many different dark and horrible places in my life. However, this is by far the scariest I have ever felt. I try to focus the most on keeping faith and optimism. But unfortunately, I am still a human. I fear and worry.
When you’re a little younger, you think you have all of this time to stop doing the bad things you’re doing and start taking care of yourself. I call it the “I’ll do it tomorrow” mentality. I am only 36, almost 37. That’s quite young. It matters not however. I’ve been diagnosed with stage 3 COPD this past Friday. Specifically, my doctor informs me that if I don’t quit smoking, within months, I’ll be on fulltime oxygen. And I’ll be on a lung transplant list before I am 40.
The feeling that came over me while that doctor was saying these hard facts gave a new definition to shock in my book. It turns out, there is no time to waste. Having the “I’ll do it tomorrow” mentality can be absolutely life or death.
You begin to look back on each and every opportunity that you had to change your ways, or your situation. Even times when you could feel your body beginning to change in a negative way. Yet, you ignored it. Or you think back on the hundreds of times your grandparents lectured you about certain things, but you just rolled your eyes as you searched for the exit door closest to you.
But, I regress. Thinking back doesn’t change where you’re at now. So, you must focus on the hard work ahead of you. You must not dwell on anything negative. Especially those particular things that will absolutely get in the way and hinder the process towards a possible recovery and/or extension of life.
So, I write, as I always have. And I will continue to. Being as raw and open and honest as I possibly can, sharing my progress and even the rawness of things if they get worse, God forbid. And I won’t give up.