I’ve found a trend in my writing about letting go of control, and I suppose I thought that meant being totally fine in the face of whatever shit hit me directly in the face. Taking my face-shit contact with a smile. Ta da! There’s that shining good attitude. What I’m realizing now is the grief, loss and dealing with those things are pervasive. These feelings are completely and utterly pervasive. It’s a lonely and isolating experience even when you are completely surrounded by love.
I’ve lost my hearing this year, though I’m pretty sure with the low tones I still have I may be able to make out whatever secrets James Earl Jones tells me in my decorative ear. While day to day activities haven’t changed that much due to this loss, it is something I notice every day. The tinnitus is constant, relentless and variable at the same time. As soon as I adjust to one tone, another begins. When I found out I had an AN my sister, the doctor, told me to mourn the loss of what I thought my life would be like. Not in some drastic way but to recognize that my reasonable assumption that I would be a fully hearing person all my life was a myth that I had to debunk. I made this disability seem less by negating it with all the disabilities I didn’t have. At least the surgery didn’t take my face! At least I am mobile! It could be worse! At least it’s invisible! Because god-forbid anyone know that this temple has a chip in its foundation. I soon realized I never was able to conceive of myself in another way because I’ve always been interpellated by a system of ability and a discourse of overcoming. “What? You run the slowest mile in school???” My high school track coach said to me when I was 15, “Well run faster! Get past it!” I was Most Improved Runner that year. I can overcome almost anything.
If there’s a will there’s a way!
What people don’t realize is that when something is lost, something is gained. And yes, I know that statement too drips with the pedantic language of overcoming one’s challenges and obstacles, but bear with me. With my hearing loss has come an ability to want to understand disability. Whatever that might mean. Is it a shame I had to confront it head-on to take it on as a part of my intersecting analyses of the world? Absolutely. But I’m only human. And I’m trying like hell to be self reflexive, and open minded, and patient with myself and others. What was gained was humanity chipping away at my sarcastic sense of humor that seems to have taken residence in the space Herbert is starting to vacate. I met awesome people and am learning tons. But still, something was lost.
I also lost a great love in my life. The pain from it is absolutely pervasive. And trying to relinquish control of the situation, despite my inner desires, does not mean to a)pretend it didn’t happen and act like he is on a business trip b) act like I’m totally fine and smile endlessly until my jaw aches or c) to try and accept it for what it is because at the end of the day life is the will of the universe. Relinquishing control, instead, has to mean allowing the true emotions to be felt. Something I have failed to do with this whole brain tumor debacle. My motto has been to “act casual,” and sure it works fine when you’re at school or work or at the gym. But when you’re done putting on the facade you have to see where it’s cracked and use those cracks to break it down. Meaning I have to be honest with myself. The feelings of sadness in the face of loss are pervasive. So what do I learn from them. What is gained with this loss? It’s going to take time to know but something will. Whatever you believe about the world and the powers that dictate our lives both human or other worldly, you must recognize you are an active agent in your own life. I am an active agent in my life. I get to write my own story. So relinquishing control? Well it means letting the shit-face contact happen and then taking it and making some kind of shit statue in your own honor and glory. (Ok, ok, maybe too far with the poo thing). In all seriousness to let go I have to recognize that I’ve been passive in my own history. I cant control tumors or love or friendship or health or ability, but I can sit with the feelings that come with them and then I can react to all of it. Walk with me why don’t you? Help me write my own history. Pardon me, Herstory.
Lots has been lost this year. The pain, well it is simply pervasive. But so is the joy and the laughter. That my story is bound to be a comedy in the end will be my salvation. Lots has been lost, and lots stands to be gained.
With peace and with love-