Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's a Dark and Light Thing

I've had my dark days. I know how it is when you feel God has turned His back on you. I think I kind of know how Job must have felt when he was being tested. Of course he didn't realize it was a competition between God and Satan and that Job was the guinea pig. If he had, he probably would have uttered a few choice words. I wouldn't hold him accountable because I might do the same thing. In fact, I have uttered a few words in anger and desperation. In pain and frustration. Some days it just doesn't make sense. I don't try to understand - I don't really want to - I just want the pain to stop. Don't you think as a parent God might have a hard time looking down on His children watching them go through pain that He himself has inflicted or allowed to happen? I'm all for teaching our children a lesson but that doesn't mean I'm going to get them drunk then put them in the car and make them drive. Pardon me but that just seems stupid. It's all part of how it's been for me lately. Of the type of breast cancer I was diagnosed with, 80% of women that get it are over 50 - that leaves me in the 20% of those that get it being under 50. Of those 20%, it turns out to be nothing in 90% of the women - that leaves me in the bottom 10%. I don't need odds like that except when I play the lottery. What was He thinking? Did He think I needed another challenge in my life? All this adds to the anger and frustration and pain you're already in from the physical and emotional toll this disease can take on a human. I'm not alone - you know who you are! It was weighing me down. My smile disappeared. My pep disappeared. I was angry because I couldn't do what I normally did - take care of others. I was also angry when I tried to do normal stuff and then felt I needed a pity party for doing the dishes "after all I've been through." No matter how hard I tried I couldn't look at the bright side. There was no bright side. There was just this shell of a person. All that made me "me" was gone. I couldn't take taekwondo. I couldn't take care of my family. I couldn't handle the incidents of bullying at my daughter's school. I couldn't clean my house. I couldn't work. I couldn't wear many of my clothes. And I couldn't look at myself in the mirror. I was walking down a dark path. I got up. I got dressed. I went about my daily routine when I started feeling better. Putting on a good face helped a little. I think I'm the queen of acting. There are days you'd swear I'd never had a thing wrong in my life because I knew I couldn't pass my pain to others. That part of me was still functioning from deep down inside. I struggled to find humor in my day and rustle up genuine concern and care for others. And that's where my light came from. Part of me wanted to shut down and have someone pity me and take care of me. But the person I am within was defiant. I'm not a dependent person - never have been, never will be. I had to break free of the chains pulling me down. I had to get through it somehow, to work through the pain. I threw myself into working out as soon as I could get away with it. I was happy that work was busy and it filled my day. I found ways to laugh about it (the squished hourglass), and I shared my feelings with friends. But I still needed a push and that came from the recent tournament. Yes, taekwondo. Anyone who knows me knows my life revolves around my family, my job and my TKD academy. I didn't want to compete at first but my reasons were flimsy. I didn't want to give in to that part of me that knew I could do it. I wasn't totally physically ready, but that wasn't the point. I couldn't spar, so my chances of getting a medal were pretty slim. But that wasn't the point either. It wasn't about a medal. It was about me - me - getting out there, doing it, not letting this "thing" keep me from doing something I love. I did it big time with my family and friends there cheering me on. I probably did the best I'd ever done - a personal best - perfect. Regardless of the score, I finished my race. My heart was light again. The heaviness had lifted. I didn't know if it would last. I understood there may be more dark days or moments, but that was ok. It was the push I needed to get over the hump between depression pity parties and the rest of my life. With the help of friends and family I was able to lift myself out of the pit and return to life as I know it. I'm still joking. I'm still smiling. I'm still kicking. And I'm still psyched about burning my bras.

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