I have had a rough couple of days, I know I haven’t been around. More on that in my next post.
That said, I am working on trying to be more positive. Both in therapy on Monday and after reading Rebekah’s post recently at Clarity in Creation called “Lemonade from Lemons” http://clarityincreation.blogspot.com/2010/06/lemonade-from-lemons.html (about seeing the good things even through her fibromyalgia pain and the hard things she is going through), I have been thinking about how proud of myself I am for becoming a much more patient person this year.
I still have A LOT to work on in the patience department. However, I have come a long way.
A year ago, I was the biggest complainer you ever met. I was never satisfied with anything for any second of the day. I worried (and whined) all the time about when I was going to get to go on my run, how I didn’t have a job, how I hated my life, how I had to move back in with my parents, how I didn’t have any money. The thing I remember the most is not even wanting to travel because I didn’t know how I would fit in exercise. (Now I would give ANYTHING just to be able to walk to my flight at the aiport without having to get a wheelchair; to be able to walk around to sight-see without even thinking about it). I was on edge all the time and could never just BE in the present moment.
Then last July, I developed the weird nerve disorder I now still struggle with. I had so much pain in my ankles, starting with the right when I ran, then hitting the left too even months after I stopped all exercise, then in my hands and arms about a month after that. Last summer and fall, I couldn’t even stand long enough to take a shower and I would crawl to the bathroom.
This is the hardest thing I have ever been through, but I don’t see how my life could have gone any other way.
You see, I was under so much mental and physical stress that I can see that my body just had to “break” in order for me to learn some lessons.
My anguish over not being able to exercise, walk, drive, or go through a day without the pain made me suicidal. I ended up as an inpatient in a psychiatric hospital. At the last minute, I asked my sister to take me there. This ordeal forced me to ask for help, which led me to my DBT class that has changed my life in so many ways. I have learned to be patient, to sit for more than two seconds, to be thankful for what I have, to slow down, and what is really important to me in this life.
Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle every day. Sometimes really hard, and I don’t think I will make it. But overall, in each moment, I am better off having been forced to learn to be patient, to see my own strength, and to learn how to fight for myself. At the very least, I am thankful that my body breaking forced me to start on a journey of getting help and advocating for myself. I still need help, I still struggle with managing my nerve pain, fibromyalgia pain, bipolar disorder, and most of all right now, my eating disorder, but I am on the road to getting help for them, help I never would have even asked for before, never would have seen as a possibility, and never even thought I needed.
The hardest thing for me now is enduring my boyfriend’s deployment. With all the way I have come with learning patience, I have so much hope for when he returns. But I continue to feel alone and drowned in my eating disorder while he is away. I hope by the time he gets back I can see the same silver linings about his deployment as I can for my nerve disorder. Maybe I will know that having gotten through all this alone, I can do anything. That is my hope. And that is what I have learned through all of this…to have hope, to have faith that good things will come, that everything will be okay someday. I don’t always have that hope for my eating disorder, but maybe I can. Maybe I can take the hope I have for my future in getting a job, for my body to continue to heal and my pain to improve, and use that hope for other things too. Maybe there are still MORE lessons to be learned from this after all.