Sunday, September 27
Shadow

Doing Justice While Making Peace With the Past, Part 2

I needed to sort out my thoughts and feelings about the first part of this story before coming back to it. Even though I didn't realize it at the time, I am still living with some of the lies. I've debated how open and honest I want to be about all of this, because I want to seem that I still have it all together--mostly together anyway.

I do use a wheelchair around the house now because of a new diagnosis that has taken the spotlight--Chiari malformation. I get headaches that don't respond to Advil or Tylenol or any of the usual pain relievers. I get dizzy when I stand up, and I can fall if I don't grab onto something and hang on as quickly as possible. Needless to say, I try to stay seated as much as possible. The pressure in my head has affected my vision so that I can no longer wear the glasses I wore three months ago. I can't read books without them. There's a bunch of other symptoms that I have at various times, but these are the ones I live with every day.

I was told that I might not ever walk, I might have a learning disability. or be mentally challenged. The spina bifida and hydrocephalus aren't even my main disabilities. All those were lies.

I still believe that I can pursue my calling, though. That is not a lie. I'm not doomed to a life of second best or "what ifs."

If you feel trapped in a life that you didn't imagine yourself living, it's not too late. It's NEVER too late. You can change one thing about your life.

For instance, when my world fell apart, I went back to writing. I remembered the old me. Even though I wasn't the same person, I learned that I could pull some of the old pieces into the person I had become. Through my writing, I am making peace with the change and loss I have gone through, learning to reach out to others I would never meet, and using my voice  my voice to speak for changes to make the world a better place; I'm starting to be the change I want to see in the world.

I liked my comfortable world, but I like speaking the truth and sometimes pissing people off even better. I'm not a people pleaser anymore, and feeling like I had to be was one of the biggest lies that living with a disability laid on me. I like speaking the truth and sometimes pissing people off. I hope you do too.change

5 Comments

  • I regret that I can only like this once. So please consider this one “Like” as representing precisely 8282636326847483883733635272 likes.

    Especially was the last paragraph right down the scupper and into the powder magazine. I mean, a “smart bomb” / JDAM couldn’t have been more on target. I went through the same transformation from being a “pleaser”, not, in my case, because I was dealing with a physical challenge, but just as part of growing up.

  • It’s a bit different for me – when I say something to piss people off it’s almost always because I’m mad at myself or of my circumstances. So it’s usually a cue to take stock!

    Finding my voice and speaking the truth has been a long journey for me – I give credit in part to my chronic medical condition and in part to getting old, or as Mr Cowles more politely puts it “growing up”.

    I am familiar with Chiari malformation and how difficult it is to find a diagnosis – it’s certainly not the Dx one would want but it is a “relief” to put a name to what you have to cope with every day and night. I know that there is surgery but very dangerous and few doctors perform it.

    I applaud you, I really do.

    • With me, giving myself permission to speak my mind plainly, even to the point of pissing people off, is inseparably connected with the period of severe clinical depression occasioned by my quest for the PhD and later for the MDiv … both in compliance with what I believed at the time was God’s f’king “call” — a word that, like “vocation” or “God’s will”, I have come to passionately hate.

      In the wake of all that, I figured that, between the depression and 2 suicide attempts that almost turned my wife into a WIDOW, I had damn well & truly EARNED the right to call horseshit horseshit and to cease and desist from the practice of gritting my teeth and suffering fools gladly.

      God is love & thank you Jesus!

      • It’s my belief that when we smell something foul we have the free will to walk away before stepping in it and/or identify it objectively and dispassionately while we hold our breath. When I catch myself rubbing someone’s nose in the horseshit it’s my need to be heard, to be right, to be affirmed, not their ignorance.

        I am glad your wife is not a widow.

  • Speaking our truth seems to be one of the most difficult things to do and yet there is nothing else to do. Inauthenticity is such a drag and completely transparent. Who really wants it? I too have arrived at the point of speaking my truth and still find it difficult at times. Yet attempting to be a people-pleaser, to be part of the “in-crowd,” never worked and not only pissed people off, but caused me to feel unhappy with myself.

    The need to belong is so powerful but evolving demands trusting one’s own life which is not an imitation of someone else’s. At least now, by remaining true to myself, I understand that those who get annoyed are most likely not my “in-crowd” anyway. Better to sort it all out sooner rather than later too.

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