Confession: I have been avoiding this blog like the plague. Why?
The reasons are many and valid, to a point, but in the end completely pointless. So I will forgo the opportunity to fill up this post with a bunch of philosophical reasonings and debates about the wherefores and the howtos and the meaningfulnesses of suffering and confess that I have simply been weary of suffering, period, and buried my head in the sands of discontent and dis-ease…because, frankly, those things are “easier” to bear. As odd as it may seem, it is so much easier and COMFORTABLE to be uncomfortable than it is to actually DO SOMETHING about the things that contribute to suffering in the first place.
When suffering, it is not only easy, but socially acceptable, to say to oneself, “I am suffering. I did not ask for this suffering. I do not deserve this suffering. Therefore, it is unfair.” And so, since the suffering that I am enduring is unfair, that gives me the mental freedom, if you will, of wallowing in that suffering. Many people (myself included) will find their feathers ruffling at the very notion that they actively wallow in suffering. It is far more tolerable to imagine oneself enduring intolerable pain stoically, with an almost regal dignity.
In truth (and I speak for myself only here), at times of great suffering, dignity and grace are usually the farthest things from my mind and heart. Instead, resentment hidden within self-pity peeks over the shoulder of despair, which whispers to hopelessness, who then pokes anger that had been sleeping quietly inside my heart. Throughout the history of my life, my typical reaction had been to avoid and not confront and challenge those feelings. Instead, I would wrap my suffering around me like an icy cold blanket and nurse myself from my bottle of hurts and disappointments and loneliness and grief. Like a babe latched onto its mothers tit, I latched onto feelings of abandonment and isolation and fear, because those were things that had been with me and followed me since birth. And in the familiar, there is comfort.
I could without effort use my words to spin tales of angst and woe in an attempt to illicit emotions of pity and compassion from those who are reading my words…but that would only be a deception of the highest order on my part and I refuse to shield myself from the truth of what I have been doing as of late. And that truth is this: I have been hiding. Hiding from this life of suffering that I must lead. And I have been resenting it like hell.
I have been resenting the restrictions that my illness and isolation and mind-numbing boredom have imposed upon my life.
I have been hating the memories of the good things that I had in my life before this illness took me over and changed me into something and someone who I no longer recognize or relate to. Memories of a husband who I adored (and still love with every fiber of my being) who has been gone from me for almost three years now. The loss of him, above all others, is enough for me to want to curl myself tightly into the memory of him and exist only in a nightmare. I say nightmare because I know that when I open my eyes, he will not be here. But he is NOT HERE, so I must force myself to stay awake and live and not to dream.
I am so very tired of living inside a body that does not work. So very weary of the challenge of existing within a body where everything, including thought, is a monumental effort. Where sleep comes intermittently for only brief periods and I awaken with as much exhaustion (if not more) than I had before I closed my eyes. I sometimes want to weep from the frustration of it all, but ironically, do not have the strength to do so.
WHAT THE HELL? WHAT THE HELL? WHAT THE HELL, I say to myself at times. At times, I say it to God. At times, I say it to the universe. At times, I say it to hell itself. And then I say to myself, “Get up and try it again.”
The moral of this story is this: It takes absolutely no effort at all to use suffering as an excuse. An excuse to not make the hard and healthy choice to alter the ways that I think and behave in order to prevent self-destruction and self-sabotage.
It is far more comfortable and easy to believe that I am no longer useful or loveable or worthwhile because my body does not work and my appearnace has been changed than it is to accept and love myself for who I am right now and work within the limitations that I now have and carve out a new and better identity. However, I choose not to take the easy way out.
As much as I want comfort, I want freedom more. With freedom comes responsibilty. Responsibility will remain mine, whether I avoid it or embrace it.
My past cannot prevent me from living. It influences the way that I choose to live, but it does not determine my life. I do that.
I am not helpless. I am not hopeless. As long as there is life in my body, there are choices that I can make and actions that I can take to make my life better.
I am Cassie. Here me roar.