Monday, March 4, 2013

Choices

The Grieving Process

A couple of years ago, I did a short segment on Blogtalk Radio about the five stages of grief and how they relate to chronic pain (my husband also shared his perspective as my spouse and caregiver). At the time I thought I had gone through these stages and had it all figured out. In fact, I listened to the recording while I was typing this and I thought, "Hey, this sounds pretty good!" Yet, here I am, still going back and forth through the stages, like being on some sick teeter totter.

Do you know people who you would consider "victims"? There is no denying they have been through horrible times. At first, you do feel sorry for them. You listen to their story over and over again. At some point you expect them to move on with their life. Unfortunately, for some people, playing the victim has become a way of life, a part of their identity. THAT was the LAST person I wanted to be! Yet, I have seen "that" person play out at various stages of my illnesses.

Talk to the Hand

You are watching a TV show - One character is desperately trying to get the other person to listen. Yet, no matter how compelling the argument, there is absolutely no point in trying to reason with them. Not only have they closed their ears, more importantly -

They have closed their heart!

I can't tell you how many times I have told myself that I accept my fate; that I have embraced it and am moving on with my life (sigh). Yet no sooner does that thought cross my mind that I find myself back in anxiety city, terrified of what my future holds. Today I realized my main stumbling block. While I had accepted the situation in my head -

I have not yet accepted it in my HEART!

The stages of grief make perfect sense in my head. I can understand how it is a very fluid process. In my head I can understand a lot of things. But until it goes from my head to my heart, I might as well be "talking to the hand"! Until I believe it in my heart, it won't become part of who I am!

Memory Without Pain

My mother passed away in December. Even though she had been sick for a long time, it was very hard to let her go. While I still struggle with the fact that she is gone, I am now also able to think of the wonderful visits we had over the years. I am getting better at remembering her without the pain.

My husband and I are still grieving the active life we enjoyed during our first few years together. We are struggling to redefine our lives, both as individuals and as a couple. While we pray that I will eventually recover enough to enjoy some outdoor activities again, we don't know if or when that day will come.

It's Not All Bad News

My husband and I often joke that we have hit all the highlights of our wedding vows -


For richer, for poorer
In sickness and health
In good times and in bad



We have learned a lot about each other through all this. Do we have it all figured out? Not by a long shot, but we are determined to see the glass half full, rather than half empty. We are learning to remember our former lives with fondness instead of pain. We are learning to appreciate every joy-filled moment, no matter how small. This is has been a most unexpected gift.