Posted by: sistermom1 | December 6, 2010

My Anniversary

This Thanksgiving Day was the third anniversary of the start of this detour.  Three years ago, I left the hospital after a hip replacement operation that ended up launching a major exacerbation of my MS — the impact of which we still are experiencing.

How to commemorate this anniversary?  If this were a marriage, it would call for leather or crystal.   But this isn’t something that I celebrate.  After all, it’s been three years since I last drove my car, since I walked up or down the stairs in my own home, since I could sleep on my right side.  Three years since I could cook in my own kitchen, or go with my kids on a field trip.

This is at minimum a bittersweet time.  The journey continues to be a challenge on so many levels.  It has taken so much longer than I ever expected.  I originally thought that this would be a fairly quick detour, getting back on track within a few months.  As you know if you have been reading this blog, it has not been a quick and easy pathway for me and my family.  

Yet, here we are three years later.  There are times that I feel like I am definitely winning this challenge — like I have been able to bring my own level of happiness to whatever situation I face.  I’ve written a lot about those times recently.  Then there are the other times — the times that are difficult to ignore — when sadness envelopes me and nothing can ease my heart’s deepest tears.  When my situation seems intractable and unending, and all I can see is the next 30 – 40 years spent in exactly the same way that the past three years have been.  When the “story” of my current circumstances takes the air out of the room, and  leaves my spirit completely ravaged like the remains of a wild wolf’s dinner.

When that happens, I turn to my faith, the many encouraging writings and discussions that I have had (and continue to have thanks to so many of my good friends) and I am reminded of something that I have heard many times:

Those of us who have a big dharma (purpose)  get big obstacles.

One good friend recently suggested after reading my blog that she believes that I am in the midst of a major depression, and I need medication.  As understandable as this may be (many people with chronic health conditions like MS must also deal with depression in their lives), I don’t think that is my issue.  This blog, my weekly therapist appointments, my faith and the support I am blessed to receive from many wonderful sisterfriends and my family, all combine to make a picture of my life that is very rich.  Yes, I do get depressed about some aspects of my life and how different it is than what I envisioned.  Does this make me clinically depressed?  I don’t think so.  Maybe realistic – and accepting of the current reality — but not in need of medication. 

If and/or when I do need meds, I will use them, but as I come to the understanding that my oversized obstacles are a custom-designed way for me to learn and grow, and become the absolute best me that I can be, I feel more at ease with the challenges that I am facing.

So, Happy Anniversary — maybe I will celebrate with a leather jacket?

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