Yesterday for the first time in weeks I woke up with the overwhelming feeling of dread - of how can I mind over matter this thing again. I have accomplished so much more with my health and kept reminding myself of that yesterday, and eased up and just took "another day off". Its really all I could do - and as I was making myself lunch I thought to myself how unconsciously for the past few years I have separated myself into two people - the "sick" person and the "good day" person.
I thoroughly enjoy the "good day" person, that person feels like myself - but this "sick" "bad day" person, I try my best to do everything in my power to separate from. Considering the last five plus years, that part of myself has muscled its way to the front of the line -I must face the fact that I have purposely chosen to separate myself from the prevailing dictator of my day to day life, and I realized this separation must stop. I must despite my kicking and screaming learn how to not hate this person. Because it is impossible to leave oneself, we are the ultimate commitment, in sickness and in health to death do us part.
I guess you could say another layer of acceptance or coping, despite all the strides I have made from my treatment s in Phoenix, they are not sufficient to erase my "better" half. For so long I was so concerned that if I embraced this "sick" self I would become only this entity - its the acute illness - push through mentality that we are all more accustomed to - like its your fault if you succumb to this fatigue it only perpetuates its occurance - I know that is not the case, but it has been a difficult task to believe it.
So, its time that I figured out how to like this part of me that wishing away is not an option. I have to learn how to enjoy the bad days as much as the good days - how to find pleasure in the small accomplishments of emptying the dishwasher, taking a shower, looking out the window, all the things I get so frustrated at doing when I would prefer to be out and about roaming the world the way I always imagined. I have felt the presence of what it would be like again not to be shackled by this illness and remembering the sweetness of fewer burdens is a double edged sword - oh how sharper and deeper it cuts when this crushing half returns.
While I was writing this, the voice inside my head kept hearing Dr. Matin Luther King Jr.'s "I've Been to the Mountaintop" final speech. I couldn't figure out why...what a strange thing to pop in my head...I really had very little recollection of the speech and in fact had forgotten that it was his last and final speech...why, why was this booming voice echoing through my brain. The wonders of google, had me back in that moment, reading the transcript - and how strange, that I really did not remember the body of the work, but it couldn't more accurately describe the conclusion that I had come to regarding living within the moments of this illness. Can you be exactly in this moment in time, despite this moment in time being one of great difficulty, but can you be there because you can taste the freedom that lies ahead..
"But I wouldn't stop there. Strangely enough, I would turn to the Almighty, and say, "If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the twentieth century, I will be happy." Now that's a strange statement to make, because the world is all messed up. The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land. Confusion all around. That's a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars. And I see God working in this period of the twentieth century in a away that men, in some strange way, are responding — something is happening in our world. The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis, Tennessee — the cry is always the same — "We want to be free."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Remembering This is a great article taken from NPR speaking with other's about that day and speech
Full Transcript - Reading this is as powerful as hearing it
Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. MLK, Jr.
I have mentioned so often in these writings the desire to be free. And struggle with the discipline it takes to be free in one's mind when we are not free in our body. That universal concept of freedom spans many of life circumstances. As I read those powerful words of Dr. King, the idea that they were fighting against "separate but equal" - knowing that separate is never equal. And I needed reminding of that lesson, separation of oneself, breaks one down - it does not heal.
Our country is constantly walking that tight rope of when separation heals and when it hurts - as it has for myself, in the beginning it was a necessity to separate these parts of myself to survive, to fight and to understand - but the time has come to learn to be free - no matter which person opens their eyes to the new day - it is of course a new day and that means that anything is possible....