As many of you with chronic pain or the spouses of people with chronic pain will understand, life is not predictable. Most of the time that is part of the fun but it is also what makes my blog sometimes the first thing I set aside. This year has been so tumultuous for our family with amazing developments like our daughter starting school and not so amazing like me having to take some time and switch jobs because the old environment I was at was hurting me. But in the last couple months, as I learned my new position and relearned how to bring balance into our lives, my project of the heart has been ignored. I wanted to write a little post to tell you that I am still here and I am not walking away. I gave myself permission to put down a few things while I carried what was necessary and now I am ready to pick it back up!
I have always liked the phrase Waving Not Drowning because I imagine myself as the water (life’s challenges) gets deeper. I feel it rising around my shoulders and my feet gently lifting off the sand as I keep my head above water. I can feel the power of the ocean around me, capable of whisking me off but I also feel the power within me. My legs are strong and I love the water. If I relax and tread, I can stay here all day, I just have to relax into it and not try to fight every wave that comes my way. For the people on the shore, my loved ones watching, wondering if I got this, let me assure you, I am Waving Not Drowning.
I stayed at the job I was at because I thought I could do it. I tried to convince myself that it was just me. The voice in my head told me to calm down and try to just be myself in the face of what were giant ethical concerns. I went to my supervisors and told them but I was told it was not my job to bring up those ethical concerns. I tried to blame it on the stress of being a Mom and a Wife of a man who has a chronic illness. I blamed everything except the job. At the end of the day, I was so exhausted I could not bear to think of looking for other work and the moment I woke up, my first thought was, “I can’t do this.” I was perilously close to a breakdown but I was too stubborn to see it. Thankfully my body knew better. I began getting headaches so bad I was unable to function. The worse they got, the closer I came to the realization that no amount of a “can-do attitude” was going to fix this. I had to put the shovel down.
I am so happy to report that I really like my new position. I like the company, my team, the people. I am happier at home and the headaches are gone. This change has made all the difference for the whole family. Finally we are Moving Towards Better again. My husband has new treatment options available on the horizon and speaking of teams, his medical team is amazing. We are looking forward to an active, fun and magic-filled Christmas season and I can not wait to get back to writing for you. Thank you to the people in my life who supported me through this, who told me I was not crazy, who talked to me about it when there was nothing in it for them. I hope I can be there for you when your waters are rising. I hope I can swim out, perhaps bring a life ring, maybe a beer. After all, you might just be Waving Not Drowning. We got this.