Friday, March 7, 2014

It's not fair . . . to compare

I just reread my last post. Which was almost 11 months ago. Let's just say it's been a very intense year. And maybe sometime I'll post some stories, because they may be useful to other people who are going through challenging things. Maybe when the stories aren't quite so close to home.
For tonight, it's a general, personal reflection. In reading my post from last April, I can see how I was at the beginning of a long health journey that isn't over yet. I wrote of feeling tired and lacking energy. Well, the bad news is that the fatigue hasn't gotten better you. It's worse. So much worse. I have good days and even good weeks, but I also have weeks when I wonder at what point I need to talk to someone at work about cutting my hours back. I go to choir rehearsal and feel exhausted at the thought of doing that for seventeen more years. Some days, there's no energy to be friendly even, I have to save all the energy for myself and my functioning. I can't send it on other people.
And this is hard. It's partly hard because there are no answers yet. I have almost a book of lab results telling me that I am very healthy. I have four hours' worth of MRI scan telling me my brain and spine have no abnormalities. I eat a very clean diet. And yet I feel this way. (I will add that I am continuing to work with a couple of doctors on additional possibilities. I am even a little hopeful right now that I may have some new test results back on Monday that may tell me something). But it's cruddy. It's not who I want to be and it's not who I am. But it's my reality right now.
So sometimes little things can put me over the edge. Sometimes all it takes is a Facebook post from a friend who is elated that they were able to run X miles, bike x miles, lift X amount of weights, or any other kind of challenge. I get mad. I cry. Because it's not fair. It's not fair that I want to do those things so much, and I can't.
and then I cry more, because images of other people come into my mind. People like my mom, who have even less freedom and autonomy than I do. Because when we get down to it, I'm still very mobile. I can still take care of myself. I can still do things and live an okay life. And then I get more mad, because I'm upset at what I can't do, but so many people can do even less than I.
And you know the only way that it doesn't drive me crazy, this train of thought? It's coming around to realize tha I'm right- it's not fair. But what's not fair is the comparison. What's not fair is ranking people in any way like this. And the ranking can go either way- it's possible to be active and energetic and think that makes you better than other people, and it's also possible to be very limited or handicapped and look down on others because they don't know how hard life can be.
And so I work on having a quiet heart. On knowing that no matter where I'm at, no matter where those around me are at, it's not fair to compare. It's never fair and it's never productive.
It's been a good but challenging week. And coming to this realization may be one of the best parts of it. Isn't it interesting how we learn lessons over and over? And yet it's not even fair to compare myself now to myself in the past and what I knew then, because the Maria today is a different person than the Maria then. And isn't it better to re-learn than to never have known at all?

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