Greetings, friends. As per, there are many reasons I could list for why I've been so absent from this site for so long. But to avoid listing them all, I'll summarize very quwell copy before moving to today's actual post. We have been making a lot of changes, some good, some not so great after all that need tweaking, and we are seeing progress in some areas on some days, yet I'm still primarily physically stuck in bed most of the time. I don't have the words (or stamina) to flesh out the mental and spiritual work that I've been doing over the past few months on here just yet, but that work has required a lot of introspection, which generally makes me steer away from things like my blog, much of social media or media in general, and just practice "being."
More on this topic in a variety of ways and on a variety of levels eventually, but for now, I just wanted to explain that the combination of physical symptoms and treatments (physical and mental) have kept me unable to adequately write at all, much less regularly. But the below non-fiction piece is one I intend to include in my memoir as a scene one day, in some form. Please excuse any typos/mistakes; I even tried proofreading, a difficult task for my eye and brain, but can't promise it will be mistake-free.
I sit in our bedroom, blackout curtains pulled together as tightly as possible, door shut, my hands putting pressure simultaneously on my head and right eye. Roger opens the door. "I'm getting ready to call the Internet company, it's the time of the month to pay that bill again, and they've gotten it wrong, again, so I have to call them and get it sorted out. I need to not be bothered for a little while," he says.
He doesn't say it angrily, at least not toward me. And even though he has every right to be annoyed right now, he's not showing it. I know what he means when he says he needs "not to be bothered"–he's been fielding text messages from me, doing things around the house, and performing his 24/7/365.25 job of "Rog, could you please [insert request from me here]" since before the sun said hello.
I hate asking Roger to do things for me. It's not a pride thing–for me, it's an, "if anyone else in the world were in his position they probably would have left long ago because of how demanding my needs are on a constant basis" thing. It's a, "my husband already does so much for me, often without being asked, often at the expense of his own health or rest or relaxation, so much, so often, so often so often so often" thing. It's an, "I want him to see me as his wife, not a burden" thing. It's an, "he doesn't say anything or complain about any of this, but even though I know it's my mind projecting how I think he must feel, the guilt is still there" thing. It's an, "I am a burden, I am not enough, I should be better" thing.
It's a "Lord help me take these thoughts captive and cast them away because they do nothing but harm me, destroy my body image, decimate any sense self-worth I've ever harnessed, and consequentially, hurts my relationship with Roger and my ability to be present in the moments I have with him" thing.
This is something I'm working on now for the first time in my life. No, this is the first time I've worked on this type of change in my life and truly meant it, mind, body, spirit. This is the first time I'm determined to regain not only the existence I've endured for half of my life in many forms, but to reach a place of health and happiness and love–so much love. Love and appreciation for myself and my body and what it can do. Unconditional love both for Roger, and received from Roger, that fills my heart to such an extent I wonder how my heart ever functioned properly without it. And in this moment, above all, overflowing love and gratitude for the blessing of being alive another day and the promise of deliverance.
I don't know if I'm going to be able to fulfill the promise I made to three specific individuals about attending my college's homecoming for a short while today. I don't know if my body can make the trip. I don't know if it were up to the trip, if it would also cooperate and then be able to visit with friends (and family, and a nurse from the student health center) a short while. I don't even know if I simply set my sights too high because of my own human desire, believing I could power through this day. Living in the not-knowing is living in a state of suspension–I sit in a state of mental determination, while everything in my physical body is telling me "NO!" The constant exploding-brain pressure, the sensations of veggie-steak-knives stabbing and twisting in my right eye and a handful of needles being jabbed deep into my right ear canal, the inability to take a full deep breath, the ever-present full body joint and muscle aching and pain, the progressive losses of concentration, train of thought, and strength to type as I write these very words...
It doesn't look like it's going to happen. But that's okay, I can't beat myself up over that. I feel disheartened, I feel like a disappointment, I feel like a failure because I set a very specific goal and already reached out to others proclaiming said goal, spoke it aloud in our home for days, and it's being overpowered and drowned it by the sound of lawn tools outside and my essential oil diffuser, which suddenly seems to be emitting frequencies far beyond ear-splitting level.
I feel like a failure because I didn't, on this very day, reach the goal I set for myself, personally, because I wanted to go and escape from life and visit one of my favorite places on earth. I feel like a failure for feeing like a failure because I know these are merely self-imposed, arbitrary goals.
The individuals I would have seen today, they will be there when my body is able. I'll be able to see them again, one way or another. My college campus isn't going to disapparate (can locations do that?), it will be there for me to visit. My memories are still here–often hard to access amidst life's current battles, but they're still here. And they are good.
So in this moment, when my immediate, habitual instinct is to berate myself intensely, reminding myself I am a failure and am never going to feel physically or mentally better than I do right now–as if I've personally failed not only myself, but also others–I instead choose to applaud myself. Applaud myself for not stopping even though my fingers and wrists are screaming, "set the phone down right now, right this second, stop typing, you can't do it. You can't. You can't. You can't."
The mantra invading my brain.
I know I can't. I know I can't.
And guess what?
Because I know the "I can't" isn't a message just for my body, it's a message from my body–Becca, I can't do this yet, so you can't do this yet, and that's okay. One day you will, but only if you take care of yourself in this moment, on this day, letting yourself feel saddened, and then actively choosing to release that sadness once you have been able to process it in all areas-mind, body, spirit. Doing what is not only best for your optimal health and well-being in all those areas, but also for Roger's, even though he would willingly drive there and back and push you around campus in your wheelchair while you both cough as if (in this current additional bronchitis-ridden state you're both living), there will never be a chance to cough again. We can't do this today, and that is okay.
So against everything deeply ingrained in my human nature, in this moment, on this day, I choose love and health–even though my notoriously toddler-stubborn mind is fighting me on it even now–and I choose not to condemn myself for making that choice. Even if it means missing the mark. Even if it means not reaching my self-imposed goal of going to homecoming this year. Even if it means failing at those things. I choose to love my failures and my can'ts. I choose to embrace them as necessary detours on this journey-road, the comprehensive map, the whole puzzle, the blueprint, the master plan.
The Master's plan.
I choose love, and I choose to thank the Lord for giving me the perfect example–in the form of a pretty wonderful guy sitting in the living room, making calls about bills and doing things to take care of his own health today–of love. I thank the Lord for giving me a life partner who loves me as I am now, as I was five years ago, as I was on our wedding day, and every day since we first exchanged those three powerful words. I thank the Lord for giving me such an example of love to show me it's okay to love myself, and it's okay to love myself where I am in the process, regardless of where that may be at any given moment on my life continuum. It's not easy, I'll be the first to admit that. But since I am working on it for the first time in my life, fully committed, even though it means having to break promised meet-ups and RSVPs...
I choose love.
I choose life.
I choose health.
I choose joy amidst the pain.
I choose love.