Yes, friends, this has been a very challenging week. I did not, however, give up on making something every day. Even if it was only a sketch or two while I walked miles and miles to dissipate CO2 gas buildup which blew me up to the size of a nine month pregnancy. No exaggeration there. The infection is greatly lessened, the bleeding nearly resolved, the fever gone. While there is still vomiting, for the most part I am well on my way to recovery. It would have helped if I had not caught a cold on top of it all, but that’s the way things go. I’m fairly certain by this time next week I will be back to my old self.
As I have mentioned on many occasions, there is no replacing the feeling I get by creating something. Even at my worst, and this week was the worst post-surgical experience I have ever had, the act of making something improved my life. For those of us with physical problems, we have to find something to get us through the rough crap. For me it’s making stuff.
I don’t know your personal situation. You have very limited information about mine. The truth is there are many, many people who suffer extreme and debilitating physical, spiritual, emotional and mental health problems. Most you will never even hear about-because people who are suffering don’t want your pity, they don’t want your attention, they don’t want your advice-they just want to be like everybody else. Like those who are able to hold down a job and earn money. Those who are able to take care of their families. Those who are able to pay their bills. Those who are able to actually get up everyday and live some sort of life…That’s what the ill want more than anything.
What does it feel like to not have to check your daily calendar for doctor’s and hospital appointments? What does it feel like to have to see your doctor once a year because your insurance requires it? I’m sure I’ve paid for my doctor’s kids college educations, paid off their own personal student loans, maybe even added a new wing to the hospital with all the money I’ve spent on treatments, visits, medications, surgeries, experimental options, unconventional medical treatments, alternative medical treatments, holistic medical treatments, you name it-I’ve done it…You’re getting the picture here…Those of us with “stuff” have to come up with something to get us through it or we might just call it a life and be done with it all.
If you ever feel you’re at that point-you can talk to me. Seriously. Hang on. It will get better because it has to get better. There are times when you can only keep holding on a second at a time…Okay-hold on that second, then hold on the next. Keep holding on until you can hold on for 20 seconds. Then 30. Then, before you know it you’ve made it a whole minute…Cling to that minute. Hang on another 5 seconds. Then 10 more, how about 30 more…Before you know it you’ve made it two minutes…And if you can hold on two minutes, crap-you can hang in there for three. Then if you made it three, you’re nearly to five! Look at you go! You’ve got this! You are stronger than you think, better than you realize and more loved than you know.
How do I know that? Because I know you are, that’s how I know. I have faith in you. You are a person of value and worth and if I were with you right this second I would wrap my arms around you and hold you like I would never let you go-because I wouldn’t. Not until you absorbed enough of my strength to get through the next minute without my arms around you. No matter how long that takes, no matter what you need to make it through the next minute or the next second.
Please don’t give up and don’t give in to it. You are an incredible person with tremendous ability and talent. You are able to make a positive difference in your sphere of influence. You matter more than you will ever know. You have the ability to change the world by a single act of kindness, a smile, a shared look. Don’t ever doubt that. Most of the truly amazing things that happen in the life of a person are those things shared by ordinary people in ordinary places at ordinary times. Don’t forget your power, your strength and your wonderful ability to be the person you were born to be.
Who cares what you look like, what your physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental abilities are? Where you live? How much money you have? What your favorite flavor of ice cream is? These things do not make a person special-it’s what is inside the person that matters. You have everything right this second to be the most successful you you can be.
Now, my dear friend, grab life-in whatever way you are able-and join in! Don’t let the crap beat you down and don’t lose hope. Better times are ahead-because they have to be. (And if you think about all you’ve been through-crap! You are one tough sucker! There is nothing you can’t get through! I am so proud of you! Keep it up! You are my inspiration, my friend. An honest-to-goodness inspiration!
And, yes, I am talking to you.
Prayers and blessings for you all.