A part of me feels like I write about struggles in life too often. But the thing is, these struggles are what affect me the most. These are the things that I truly look to writing for a sense of understanding and a sense of community when others attest to the same feelings I experience.
Yesterday I had physical therapy like any other Monday. But yesterday marked exactly one month of physical therapy treatments so my PT was assessing my progress. I can’t believe it’s already been a month. That means 7 months until I am supposed to leave for London.
She got this really serious look on her face and asked me to have a seat before I got onto the exam table. She told me she was concerned with my body’s lack of response and lack of progress with the past month’s treatments. I could feel myself start to sweat. I asked her to explain and she noted that because my body is fighting off several different issues, it would be difficult for her to address them all. She is only capable- in her knowledge and line of work- to address a few of the issues. The rest of them still remain a mystery. And unfortunately, the rest of the issues are the ones causing the most problems right now. These are the ones that are greatly affecting how I lead my life and how I feel on a day-to-day basis. And anything less than another surgery, exactly one year later to the day of my previous surgery, has proven ineffective.
I don’t how else to explain my emotions in that moment other than to say I felt completely defeated. I still do. I guess I had it in my head when I first traveled to Mayo Clinic that they would discover my issue(s) and tell me what I could do to fix them. That didn’t happen. But I still had hope because I was going to see a PT. A PT that just so happened to live in Indianapolis and was taking new patients. I was hopeful when she told me there were several things going on with my body. And I was hopeful when, in my 3rd week of therapy, I was forced to leave work early two days in a row due to pain. But now? I’m finding it pretty challenging to stay hopeful.
I never thought I would be 22 and dealing with some of these decisions. I never thought I would have to take every relationship in my life so seriously because of the baggage that I bring to the table. And I never thought, in all of my years, that I would deal with illnesses that so negatively affect my quality of life. But I guess that’s the thing about life. You have to deal with the cards you’re dealt.
Sometimes I wish it were different. Sometimes I wish I could hop on a plane and travel far away and forget about all of this. But I’ve tried that before and the issues followed me.
The thing about life, no matter what kind of challenges you face, is that happiness is something you have to constantly fight for. I suppose that life isn’t really supposed to be easy. Because of my struggles, I find that I appreciate little things in life so much more than I used to.
There are days when I honestly find it difficult to genuinely smile. But I have to fight for the light in my life. It’s ignorant to pretend that I’m not upset about this situation. I am. But the only way to fight the darkness is to turn on a light. I will focus now, more than ever, on the wonderful things in my life…and slowly but surely- the darkness will fade away.
“How does one cope with darkness? Not with one’s fist. You don’t chase darkness out of the room with a broom, you turn on a light. The more you fight darkness, the more real it becomes to you, and the more you exhaust yourself.”
— Anthony de Mello