This week I did something I haven’t done at all in almost 16 months with more ease than I’ve been able to do it in for more than 4 years:
I stood up on my one leg and a prosthetic and I walked.
If you don’t have any major health issues, disability, or problems with mobility, count yourself blessed. Having iffy health and difficulty moving, especially after previously being so healthy, fit, and active, can be life altering not only in the day to day living sense of things but in the way one views oneself and the world.
How do you go from being a ballerina to being wheelchair bound?
How do you go from being a master teacher to not being able to teach?
How do you go from having a fit and active lifestyle to fighting everyday just to live and thanking God each morning that you actually woke to a new day to fight to live once more?
I’m not going to write all about all the things that are wrong in my world or complain. That is not what I’m about tonight. What I am about is this:
When I finally had the opportunity to stand and walk for the first time in so long, there was a moment where I had the choice to reframe my thinking and give myself some much needed perspective.
I see and hear people online and in the real world constantly judging themselves and their situation. Everyone wants everything to be done now, finished now, better now, handled now. They’re somewhere around A or B or possibly C and they want to be somewhere closer to X, Y, or Z so they ask others questions no one has the answer to and they complain:
How long until I am on a prosthetic?
When will this heal?
Why is this happening to me?
I hate that my life was stollen from me!
It’s not fair.
Why isn’t this done?
Why can’t I be better?
So and so has it so much better than me!
I wish this had never happened to me.
I could go on, but to what end? You all know exactly what I’m talking about because if you aren’t just seeing it you may actually be guilty of partaking in it to some degree. I’d like to think I’m not guilty of getting a little bit Eeyore every once in a while, but I’m human and I still fall into the same pitfalls as everyone else.
What I strive to do differently and what I see wildly successful and happy people doing differently, however, is being purposefully mindful with reframing their thinking about issues and giving themselves much needed perspective and grace:
I could be mad about the fact that I had to wait for 16 months to walk while I see guys at PT who are up and walking so well only a couple months after their amputations.
I could be mad that it took almost 2 years of asking before I finally had my amputation in the first place while I struggled daily to be able to do simple chores around the house and work.
I could be mad about the fact that I have multiple conditions that have no cure that will cause me illness and pain for the rest of my life.
I could be sad that my body is less healthy than it once was.
I could be irritated that I actually have to have a service dog for my own safety and well-being, which translates into always being a titch more of a circus sideshow than it already is to be in a wheelchair or walking on a prosthetic.
I could be mad that I’m having to reevaluate the rest of my life from this moment: how I will make ends meet, where I will live, what that life will look like, how I will ensure I have adequate healthcare, everything.
I could be all those things or I could take a step back and remember that a year ago:
I needed to be on oxygen almost 24 hours a day…
I was unable to do almost anything for myself…
I was fighting 5 different antibiotic resistant infections…
I was still recovering from a series of strokes I’d had the year before…
I was trying not to die every day…
And I wasn’t happy.
Are things easy now? No.
Am I going as quickly through this recovery as everyone else? No.
Do I sometimes wish I was going more quickly through this recovery? No…
Perspective has taught me patience.
I’m taking the time to enjoy every step of this recovery. Each part has its purpose.
I’m taking time to write a book ~ pursuing a goal and lifelong dream of being an author ~ that I would never have found the time to write had I not been gifted this time because of my extended recovery.
I’m telling a story that needs to be told, a story that needs to be there in order to start conversations about what we can do better, and a story that validates the experiences of countless spouses whose stories have never been told.
I don’t need to figure out the rest of my life today. I need to live.
Perspective has taught me faith.
Faith isn’t about knowing how you’re going to get from A to Z…
It’s about trusting that the right step through the right door will be there right when it is needed to keep you on the right path to the right future where everything will be alright.
I don’t want to skip all the letters in the middle, not anymore.
I like this walking by faith and not by sight thing.
I’m enjoying this journey and I’m enjoying who I am becoming because I’m on this path.
I don’t know what exactly it is that my future holds, where I will be in a year, and who will be there with me, but I do know Who holds my future.
Originally published 6 September 2018