There are times in life where you have to decide how you will react to all that is thrown at you. Someone once told me that I can’t control life, only how I react to it. It was then that I decided reacting to my life is half of my problem. I react poorly. Poorly might be an understatement. I tend to let life get me down, in spite of being a perpetual optimist. This sounds like an oxymoron, but just because you are sure things will work out, doesn’t mean you don’t get depressed when things are crappy.
I can’t do anything about my body suddenly deciding to not work anymore. I can’t change having carpal tunnel syndrome or having a second condition called cubital syndrome that compresses the second nerve that runs into my hand. I can’t change that the various treatments we have tried haven’t worked and that I now am facing surgery.
But what I can change is what I tell myself. Instead of saying that life sucks and I can’t believe this is all happening to me, I have given myself a limit of how long my pity parties are allowed to last before I stand up, get out of bed and move about the rest of my life. Sitting in a corner and whining won’t change my fate. So I allow myself a day to feel sorry for myself and move on.
Recently, I have had a lot of other stress on top of my not so awesome surgery news. And goodness knows I’ve hidden in my house for less. But I also have realized the things I am lucky to have. And the list seems longer than I feel it is on many of my pity party days.
I have taught myself to code my own site; I have learned Photoshop and other programs with help from friends and trial and error. After years of having not enough time to blog, I now have more than enough and have used these months to show my husband that writing can be a career for me (albeit low paying ). I have three dogs I adore who love me, and the ability to do more than I thought I could when first diagnosed.
I may be in pain physically, but emotionally I have a lot of love being sent my way via other bloggers, friends, and readers. No one wants to be 30 years old and staring down a permanent disability. No one wants to feel young, yet be facing the loss of use of their hand. No one wants to face having surgery knowing the odds aren’t great that it will work, but have no other options for pain relief. No one wants those things. EVER.
But in this time, I have learned patience because I can’t speed through the tasks of my day anymore. I have learned that I took opening doors for granted and doing the dishes is something I’m ecstatic to say I can do without pain again. I have learned that my house can’t always be clean, I can’t always pick up after my husband and my life won’t end if I can’t be on my computer today. Pain is a great teacher, even if it’s a sucky way to learn.
I am in pain. All the time. Typing these words. I wake up with a numb hand in pain, I can’t open jars because of weakness from the compression of my nerves and I have slow movements that are delayed for the same reason. But all of that aside, good can come from this. I can learn patience, I can learn humility, and I definitely don’t take little parts of my day for granted because I never know if tomorrow will be a bad day where I might lose that function. I’ve learned that virtual friends can be all you need to get by and that, sometimes, reading a good book is all you need because yesterday you couldn’t even hold that book.
There are so many parts of our lives that we take for granted will just always be. But they won’t. No one wants to be barely 30 and facing surgery as a last hope to end the pain. No one wants to be barely 30, in pain, facing a permanent physical ailment. But we can learn from it. My life at my job turned out not to be all that I thought, because it turned out that when I was facing it all, I realized what I really wanted to do with my life and what I was meant to do. So, it sucks, that’s for sure, but worse things have happened to better people than I am. And there is room for me to grow, even when I’m stuck in my house all the time because it hurts to shift gears when I’m driving.