I don’t know if I can…
I’ve been planning for my service dog for the past 6 months and now I’m panicking.
Can I do this? Is this the right choice? Am I being selfish? Will Avery be okay? Do I have what it takes? Am I worthy? Will this be a crutch? Will it be worth it? Can I do this?
These questions…constantly swirling in my mind.
This dog could either be a beautiful thing or a horrible mistake. Or is there grey area?
Could it be hard but also worth it? Can I make mistakes but not fail? Will Avery be jealous but still be okay?
Am I doing the right thing? Will I ever know? Is this one of those moments where you say you only live once and take the plunge?
Or do you back out knowing logistically it’s a huge commitment?
How do I know which is the right choice?
Am I a bad person for doing this? And am I also a bad person if I back out of doing this?
Are all of these questions my wise mind or are they coming from my insecurities and fear?
The exhaustion, it’s real, it’s here…
I just want the questions, the doubts, the fears to go away…The anticipation is killing me.
A part of me wants to back out and waste away…ohh the anorexia is so appealing right now. She is calling my name and it sounds so sweet.
Can I do this? Should I do this?
Am I changing my life for the better or am I turning down a path of no return?
It doesn’t scare me.
In fact, pain intrigues me.
This wasn’t always the case.
At 16 years old I was suddenly in such constant, excruciating pain.
I didn’t have a choice but figure out how to deal with it.
After two brain surgeries, five spinal taps, a fractured spine, an infection in my brain, too many needle pricks and IV’s to count, fear was known. I knew pain so well I could practically call him my best friend.
People fear the unknown. Pain was no longer the unknown.
I know that pain will come and go and I know that pain won’t kill me. I know that pain is temporary and relative. I know that pain is more in the mind than of the body.
When in the hospital they show you a chart with smiley faces ranging from 1-10. Number one has a big smile and number ten is grimacing in pain.
Number 10 couldn’t do justice for the pain I experienced as a 16 year old.
But I survived, I lived through it. So what pain that is to come can I not handle?
I know I can handle pain. I know pain. Pain does not scare me.
In fact, I take much pride in my ability to conquer pain, to not fear pain.
Because I know pain.
I think feeling alone has to be one of the hardest feeling for me to handle…
I sit here, in the dark, alone.
So alone that I can’t think of a single person I can reach out to to help ease the pain.
That is terrifying.
And what makes it even worse is that I don’t even know how I got here. How I got to a place of having nobody. Because I certainly used to have plenty.
My life has become a spiral of nothingness. I go to work, through which I find no joy. I go to school, through which I find no joy. And then I sleep. I sleep because I have nothing else to enjoy. I sleep in hope of easing the pain. I sleep because sleep is my only friend. I sleep because I have no other option.
And yet I’m exhausted. I’m tired of having no joy, no hope, no goal to strive toward, no purpose.
It’s an emptiness in my chest that resembles a black hole. So large, so dark, so void of anything that signifies life…
So where do I go from here?
Something has to change, but what? I’m stuck at my job, I go to school online, my options feel so limited.
So here I sit trying to think of a single person I can reach out to as my mind crawls towards the darkest corners of existence…
That’s what it feels like.
Having a sick mind in a recovered body feels even more horrible than having a sick mind in a sick body.
At least having a sick body made me feel like my pain was worth something. At least the pain wasn’t invisible. At least people could see. At least I didn’t feel crazy. At least I was skinny.
Now I live in a recovered body and I’m not dying but my mind is still very much stuck in the sickness, the pain, the torture, the fear, the shame.
Now I’m sick but no one can see. I’m sick but my pain is invisible. I’m sick and I don’t look it. I’m sick and feel crazy. I’m sick and the pain is worth nothing.
I miss my sick body. Some days are worse than others, but lately all the days seem to be horrible.
I want my bones to show again. I want my stomach to be concave again. I want my thighs to be as far apart as the east is from the west again. I want to be fragile again. I want to feel high again. I want people to stare again. I want people to be scared for me again.
I miss my sick body.
And yet, in order to get my sick body back I would have to lose so much. My job. My school. My puppy. My apartment. My friends. My family.
I don’t want to lose those things but sometimes (a lot of the time) I would still rather have my sick body than all of those other wonderful things.
I’m stuck in the prison that is my body.
I am a sick mind living in a recovered body.
Sometimes my sight gets blurry and distorted. Not my actual sight. My eyes work just fine. But the eyes of my soul. The eyes of my heart.
It’s so easy to get swept up in all that is wrong in the world. I’m so quick to get lost in my past, angry about my present, and confused about my future.
I lose sight.
I forget that what I’ve gone through isn’t in vain. I didn’t experience the pain, loss, and fear for nothing.
This life is not about this life. This life is about so much more.
I get caught up. Caught up in the mundane. The drama. The depression. The anxiety. The fear. The repetition. The artificial.
I lose sight.
I find myself falling back into thoughts of self destruction, feelings of self pity, and actions that don’t represent who I want to be.
But I am meant for so much more. My story was given to me for a purpose. To help and to serve. To live and to love. To share and to give.
But as long as I sit still, overcome by this world, my story is in vain. And that is not what it is meant to be.
As hard a fight as it may be I have to keep standing up. I have to keep speaking up. I have to keep taking actions that will progress me towards the person I want to be.
And I want to be someone who serves. Who loves. Who gives. Who fights. Who reaches into the deepest darkest corners of this world to bring hope where there was once despair.
I want to be someone who remembers that every single person is fighting a battle. I want to be someone full of compassion and grace.
I want to be someone who shows the world the heart of God.
I want to bring light.
January 1, 2017 my father cut me from his health insurance.
It’s a moment I’ve been waiting for for quite some time. I have looked forward to severing this last form of connection but I’ve also dreaded it.
With it comes freedom and with it also comes pain.
The pain and fear that I may never connect with my father again pierces my heart.
I feel fragile. I feel broken. I feel the anxiety and the sadness creep up on me inconveniently throughout my days.
It’s a pain I can’t seem to articulate.
It’s a kind of pain that I just want to numb out from.
It’s an exhausting type of pain.
It drives itself deep into my being.
It makes everything ache.
And there is no band-aid or ice pack or medicine that will make it go away…
I miss him..I need a father..or a mother..either would be nice. I just need someone. Someone to tell me it’s going to be alright. Someone I can go to and feel safe to fall apart in front of for just a moment before I have to pull myself together and present strength to the world.
I need family. Something I’ve never really had…
Sometimes I get to thinking about how much I miss treatment.
I say that out loud and realize how crazy that may sound to others. But the reality is that the connections created in and through treatment are unlike anything else. At least for me..
I never had much of a family. Don’t take me wrong, I absolutely adore and love my mom and sister but my family is so filled with disfunction and suffering that the bonds we have always had have been very unhealthy.
Through treatment I found my family. I found people who heard me, listened to me, and understood me. I found people who loved me despite my pain, despite my past, and despite my mistakes. I found people who helped me identify, embrace, and cherish the most beautiful parts of myself. I found people who encouraged me to honor and love the little girl in me who never felt loved as a child. I found people who wanted to help me carry my burdens. People who wanted to be with me at my best and my worst. I found people who would never leave.
So sometimes I find myself daydreaming about the beautiful people who I would have never met had it not been for treatment.
It’s crazy how the most beautiful things in life can also be the most painful. But without the pain meaning is lost.
We can’t appreciate the light without darkness and we can’t endure darkness without the hope of light.
So thank you to my family. I miss every single one of you who has offered me your heart.
My love and gratitude is beyond explanation.