On Friday it will have been 3 months since what was hopefully the last of many brain surgeries.While I am quietly hopeful at the thought of resolution, it is not easy for me to inhabit my skin, this body, or this world with this new news.
While everyone acknowledges alongside me that this will be a long road ahead, for all intents and purposes the people I love have returned to their lives. I am now here, feeling isolated in recovery, struggling to even articulate what that means.
I do many things I genuinely love. I go to work, I come home, I work more, I walk my dogs, every third day I fight against my tired body to go to the gym. By Friday I am so exhausted I am restless. My anxiety beats ferociously below the surface, it steals sleep from me and makes me sweat out even the most simple tasks. While on high alert through the day I manage to seamlessly inhabit the various roles set out for me. No one even knows that anything may be wrong. Yet, with the quiet of night comes an inability to control my mind, my body. My fears that something will go wrong constantly and insidiously simmer below the surface and consume my inner depths, while I outwardly smile as I listen to the stories of the new day to day adventures the folks I love are embarking on in various forms. From new jobs to honeymoons I celebrate, with genuine joy and gratitude, triumphs with people, all along feeling that which I have triumphed at is so very far outside of the realm of the schema everyone I love uses to get through each day. I wonder to myself when my triumphs will take a familiar form, a legible form, or I suppose to myself, I’ll always simply inspire because I was ill.
I feel isolated in my pain and I name that not because I want pity, comfort, or company but because it is true, and naming pain does not mean I am devoid of joy. The trauma therapist I have started seeing asked me what would change if people knew I was in pain. Arguably nothing. I just wish that my triumphs wouldn’t be those met with the quiet trepidation of an uncertain audience that then leaves me to contend with my realities alone. I wish my triumphs were like the ones I get to bear witness to, I wish they were triumphs in love, in life and in seeing the light.
Perhaps the road to resolution, to recovery, to redemption of a life interrupted is one that must be waged independent of anyone else. Perhaps not. I really don’t know. All I do know is that I’ll keep getting up each day, marking my independence with my strength, my grit and my unwillingness to quit, and in time, I will get better.
Keep fighting the good fight, as they say.
Peace and love,