Wow… here it is… The tears won’t stop. Trying to deny the reality of the enviable. The body is made up of so many key ingredients. One being the skeleton. The framework that gives each of us our own unique design. Bones are to the body as the chassis is to a car or a hull to a boat. Strength, stability and structure are the essential responsibilities of the bones. Well, mine are no longer cooperating in their intended function. First is the diagnosis, then the warning and ultimately the fracture. Where did these deficiencies come from? When you play by the rules and then get fouled, the frustration is undeniable. Sometimes there is no point in trying to figure it out…
The past is behind me. The future is before me. Today is mine and today I will try to accept my future. (insert fake smiley face here)
Nice try… feelings are too real … the pain of rejection from my own being is unacceptable. Being disappointed in my own body is nothing new. I am quite familiar with my rebellious anatomy. From simple body functions becoming faulty to major organ malfunctions and brain chemistry imperfections, this “little rebel in a shell” can’t ignore the obvious. Our bodies begin to die the moment we take our first breath. We are immortal beings with one opportunity to grace this world with our presence. We must live in harmony with ourselves. We are very complex beings made up of body, mind, soul and spirit. Just like I have come to terms with a body that bore 5 children, grey hair and gravity, I have bravely accepted and actually embrace being bipolar. But this seems different.
I believe the best way to begin each and every day is with faith and a toolbox. I rely on my faith in God, and my toolbox is filled with every imaginable device to be a successful wife, mom, caregiver and mental health warrior. I discovered within my bag of tricks something that was almost a (one size fits all) kind of tool that I began to use almost daily 6 years ago. I became a runner. Running fixed depression, weight gain, high cholesterol, alcoholism, sense of purpose, self-esteem, time with God, and the list goes on. Over the course of 6 years, I developed relationships with other runners and felt as though I belonged to something that was “mine”. The high from completing a 10 mile run or crossing the finish line at a half marathon was more than enough to keep me floating for a long while.
Now on the garage floor of my life, the toolbox has been overturned and spilt out. Among the go-to tools of prayer, yoga, and my hammock and chocolate bars, there is something missing. The Brooks running shoes with the matching singlet and shorts. The bib numbers and victory bells. The timing watch and hydration bottle. All of which are no longer at my disposal. I feel the dark cloud of impending depression slowly creeping in to overpower me. The grief of losing my ability to run is like the death of a not so old friend. I knew I could always count on a few miles to clear my head and help me feel secure in my abilities to conquer my adversities in life. Now what?
Does life stop? Do I crawl into the fetal position and cover my head? Do I scream and rant that life isn’t fair? Do I try to find someone else to blame? No, no I don’t…because I already did all of that and more. It was my grieving process. Now it’s time to pick up what is left in my arsenal and carry on. I wake up in the morning. I gather my scattered devices from my life’s garage floor and put them in my toolbox. I face the day with a bold determination that my life is to be embraced with or without yesterdays paraphernalia and assets. Today could hold the secret to finding the one missing link to my needed survival with mental illness. I approach life with an open mind and heart, ready to go forward and be victorious. I will be up and I will be down and my toolbox will be beside me. My friend will be missed.
Moral of the story….when you find something that works for you, use it. Do not deny yourself daily victories because your toolbox remains closed. Always keep your eyes open and your mind prepared for letting go, embracing the new.
P.S. you got this