This quote really struck me a few days ago when I stumbled upon it. It’s kind of a magical life secret that’s easy to forget, isn’t it? We all need people who let us just be ourselves, who take us as we are. The good. The bad. And the ugly. And if you are lucky enough to find those people, well I hope you recognize them and never let them go. Tell them every chance you get.
This journey to healing can sometimes feel like you are going in circles. More often than not, it feels like you constantly meet a closing door. And you are left to look around and hope there is another opening, you know as the saying goes. But when your health is compromised it feels like a lot of doors are locked. No matter how hard you try to shake them ajar or find that missing key, you just can’t seem to locate that elusive door that you just know is going to get you to the other side of all this.
I can’t speak for anyone else but for me personally, I go through a lot to get to each door. I work up the courage to try, running the possibilities through my head, allowing myself to feel hope for answers and clarity and assurance and options. So when someone briefly peeks out that door when you come knocking, seems mmmm rather bored or even annoyed that you are there, and without much thought says “Nothing I can do for you” and sends you on your way all with hardly an exertion of effort or any determination to help you…well it can leave you feeling quite low.
And the truth is, I really strive to stay positive and focus on all the good but I am human. I have moments where I struggle and I fall because when you have been fighting an opponent you can name nonstop for a year now (and for 5 years before you were so intimately acquainted) sometimes you just break down. Those are the moments that are not easy to put into words or open up to others about because for me it is when I feel most vulnerable. I have learned that it is okay to stumble and cry and feel depressed and I know this because of the very special people who allow me the space to do so safely, the people constantly rally around me no matter what is going on in their own lives.
At yesterday’s appointment I had my husband and my mother who took time out of their busy work days to be there to support me. They exchanged looks and we all knew what thoughts were being agreed upon, they asked questions when I was too flustered, they pushed when I felt weak. They comforted me afterwards by just letting me be not okay, by sharing my frustration and reiterating my determination, reigniting the flame when it had blown out.
But the most amazing thing is how many others in my life do the same for me. Friends and family who reach out to offer good luck and warm wishes, those who check in, those who offer all kinds of emotions on my behalf and assure me I am not alone and that they have not forgotten that I am still fighting. And yes I did give myself time to process. I turned my phone off, unplugged, reflected, felt that familiar sting of tears and doubt and fear.
Then I read this quote again and I saw it with a new perspective. How lucky am I? Not because I am without challenge or pain or hardship, because aren’t we all in some way or another? We are all fighting our own war and that is a fact we must not forget.
As the words sunk in, I suddenly felt a flood of good fortune wash over me because while my battle has stolen much, it has also given me something I didn’t have before; the ability to recognize how insanely lucky I am to have people who allow me to weep and still they see me as a warrior. People who have not strayed because this journey is long, and confusing, and illness is very uncomfortable and I am constantly changing as I navigate this road. People who let me be whatever version of me I need or happen to be. And the moment I forget or lose my way, they generously remind me and keep the course. They see me through these glasses so rosy and and sparkly and deeply loving that I start to feel like maybe I am actually a magical unicorn who can indeed do anything I set my shiny pastel colored mind to.
Isn’t that what life is all about? Our relationships. To have people to remember who you are when you forget, to remind you how far you have come, to hope, to fight for you, to see and accept the pieces of you that you are most afraid to show? And if I have that, well I know I have everything I need to stand up again, brush myself off, and keep moving forward. Yes I cry, I feel hopeless and frustrated and robbed and this is really, really hard. But I recognize I am a work in progress and I am doing my best, and there are more doors to try.
And for every door that closes behind me or refuses to open, I have a person in my life who is giving me an outlet to talk to and confide in, taking me to appointments, researching options and answers, just checking in, reminding me I am loved and valued, reading between the lines of what I say so that they can say what I so need to hear, offering their tokens of kindness and compassion, bringing me back to the good & simple joys in life, all to cheer me on to the next door.
That, my sweet friends, is a damn good life. Thank you thank you thank you to you lovely, incredible souls. I share every success in my journey with you, my stone-cold-weirdo glorious tribe. You make a difference in my life. I hope this post lets you know that as you all know who you are and if you are reading this, I hope you go forth with your day and remind all the great people in your life how much you love and appreciate them. Be present, spend time, because nothing we have or want or miss or work for is worth anything without the ability to share it with the souls that make life worth living and fighting for.