Sometimes I feel ok. Those times I think, alright if it is spinal fluid seeping out of your nose all day long, you’ll figure it out. Sometimes I feel sick, physically and that makes me sad and that’s not great but I medicate, literally, and then I feel ok. But mostly I feel sad.
I want to name that sadness here and now so I can claim it, sit with it, learn from it and then deal with it. I also want everyone to know it is okay to be sad. It is also okay to know that being sad does not negate the immense gratitude you feel towards the amazing people around you. It’s important to name our feelings as we have them. Of course other things like physical and emotional therapy will also help and I want to make an important note that while it is scary it is okay to ask for help. I know I need some help tackling this emotional battle and physical battle so I have lined up resources for myself. That being said, I am sad.
I have this pit in my stomach that has grown for days. It is a pit that like the beginnings of an ulcer I ignored while I shoved down pizza. Only in this case pizza was my inability to face my clear contempt for everything that’s happened to me. Ultimately, I am tired. I try through each surgery and recovery period to rally and to smile and to empower the people I have assembled around me to support me. This, this is exhausting. And yes, I agree it is not my job to support my supporters but it is my nature to nurture and I love them all so much. It is difficult though.
I am different from most of my family in a way. I’m sure they all figured that out a long time ago when I transitioned from a squirly, bleeding heart kid to a true activist adult. I am willing to forsake myself for a cause. I constantly battle between my cultural roots and my radical, feminist outlook steeped in a deep knowledge of feminist disability studies. I honor where my family is from and our beliefs with all that I am. I also honor all that is in my heart with all that I am. And anyone out there that has a heart knows that often our hearts are conflicted. These conflicts often become apparent at times of trauma. So when I see the dents and bruises in my support pack, all these people I love, who often don’t know or do know and do not love one another, beginning to give way I want to lift them up, to make them happy, to bring them joy and smiles. I want to protect and take care of the people I love. Often in doing so, I have found I have silenced myself, and maybe unnecessarily so. What do I want? Who do I need by my side? What do I need in this moment to survive? I can’t hear the answers in my head because all I can hear is the deafening desire to make sure everyone I love is okay even as they seem to be cracking and breaking.
I want to fix it. Even though every fiber of my being tells me that our lives do not exist to be fixed I want to fix it. And I cannot. I cannot fix the emotional wounds of past wrongs. I cannot fix my physical wounds, I can only run my hands gently over the scars and hope and hope they heal and teach and inspire my life in some way. I cannot protect or fix the hurt that exists in people. But most of all I can’t hear myself. I can’t hear my voice. I want the chatter in my head that is telling me to fix everyone and everything to stop so I can hear myself.
I can’t hear myself, but I mean, I am completely deaf in one ear (ba dum cha!) Get it? It’s a hearing joke.
Sometimes I feel bad for people who are my friends on social media, because my rants about the state of the world and mostly funny posts have been replaced with health updates and me ruminating selfishly on my illness. And then I tell myself not to feel bad because I don’t need to protect everyone on Facebook from my sadness or anger or humor or politics or whatever. But like everything in my life I have this urge to just make it right. It’s just really hard when I can’t hear myself think so “right” becomes the arbitrary sum of everyone else’s desires.
So much of who I am is tied up in the complex relationships I have. I cherish those. So much of who I am is different from the woman I embody in those relationships. From today forward, in an attempt to quiet the anxiety I feel rising in my heart, I am going to seek my voice.
My voice is beautiful, messy, complicated and maybe unpopular.
My voice is strong in its faith in humanity.
My voice will connect my heart, body, mind and soul to the people around me.
My voice will heal this disconnection with myself.
My voice is beautiful.
My voice will be heard.
And at the end of the day, though a bit overwhelmed with a complicated life in a complex world I am so grateful to my family and friends for showing up for me in droves. I may make a mess of everything in my cooky little head but to me you are all love and to me, you are my heroes.
Peace and love,