Finding the Strength
Have you ever felt like you’ve failed yourself in some way? Like your mind has failed you, or you body has failed you? You KNOW better than to beat yourself up, but ultimately, it IS YOU who has failed you…and you spiral.
I’ve been spiraling. I try not to cry everyday — ”try” being the keyword. It happens though, and it happens multiple times a day. I just lay in my apartment I wish I’d moved out of years ago, looking around at everything piling around — wishing I could Mary Poppins that shit and just have an immaculate space, wondering why I’m in this position. But I can’t move. I didn’t DO anything to get myself here. I wrote a previous blog about my medical issues, so give it a read. It’s called “A Life of Pain”.
I was shot up with steroids as a toddler. Force-fed steroid pills my entire life…THAT is what got me here. It’s hard, when I’m in the place I’m in, to not be angry. Angry that my parents, then I — as a young adult, were never warned about the joint eating disease I was susceptible to from their practice for kids with asthma.
But I AM angry. I’m angry that I had busted my ass to get strong and healthy. I worked SO hard to get this broken body put back together, and now, I’m angry that I’m going through MORE bullshit with my hip and back. In November, I started feeling excruciating pain in my left hip...the kind of pain that affects every part of your life - your brain, sleep…just being awake and alive. After waiting a couple of months for insurance to kick in, and appointments with surgeons, I finally got some MRIs, and more questions than answers. My hip surgeon thought most of my pain may be originating in my spine. The spinal surgeon said my spine “looks like shit”. So I had a selective nerve block a couple of weeks ago to determine if I need a hip replacement or some crazy back surgery first.
Well, I’m still in pain after the block. I’ve been unable to work for a while. My job is very physical. I lift hundreds of pounds of groceries all day every day, and deliver them to people whose homes I can only imagine were designed by the man who invented stairs. This guy LOVES stairs. Grocery shopping for a living is different in so many ways from an in-office corporate job. The biggest difference — it doesn’t pay when you can’t work. So I lay here everyday in pain (not getting paid) and wait. I wait for the doctors to tell me how to fix this so I can get back up.
I recently summoned all the courage I had, and posted on social media asking for financial help. I’m not just a prideful woman. I’m a woman who has taken care of herself for a VERY long time, so asking for help of ANY kind isn’t easy for me. I won’t say it’s “easy” for anyone to admit they need help. I always tell people there’s strength in asking for help, and to never feel shame for it…but it turns out, it’s not very easy to follow your own advice.
I didn’t expect what came next. I received some donations from people I wouldn’t even think would remember I was alive. With these donations, came little notes…beautiful little notes. People were telling me how something I did or said deeply touched their lives at some point, or that they always thought of me as a good person with a kind heart, and they wanted to help because they could.
Wow…for someone who does a job that is more often thankless (and tipless) than not, having these people who (some of) are now basically strangers to my life, donate whatever amount they could and say these incredible things to me…well, it blew me away. To be so deep in a downward spiral, and receive that level of kindness, was mind altering. It restored my faith in the kindness of humanity. Those are big words, but it’s true. When you don’t think you can sink much lower, and you feel like you’ve failed yourself, to have people come through for you in that way, it gives you a sense of human connection like none other.
It’s such a beautiful thing, kindness. It’s something I feel is missing from this society that is so consumed with appearance and material things. We have to all remember that old saying, “you never know what someone else is going through”. You really don’t. When someone finds the strength to ask for help, how will you show up?