Four years ago today, I had brain surgery for twin aneurysms intertwined around each other.
In these years since, I have born witness and fallen victim to the Four Horseman of My Personal Apocalypse.
The White Horse, the Horse of Conquest and Pestilence -
Four years of illness which has spread out to affect every part of my life, from body to bank to soul. Spreading like a plague into every hidden and exposed niche of a life. Battering all parts od me simultaneously and compounding on itself leading to a overwhelming weight of issues at once.
The Red Horse, the Horse of War -
Fours years of wretching internal and external conflict. Of devastating emotional revolution. Violent division in circumstance and future. War of the flesh, war of the mind, and war against each setback and every obstacle. War against myself and those around me. Wounds without end amid unrelenting, endless waves of onslaught.
The Black Horse, the Horse of Famine -
Fours years of loss of health, loss of finances, loss of support systems, loss of control, and loss of hope. Losing the ability to love and accept love. Loss of being able to recognize love in the minutia of the greater whole. Losing sight of myself and losing dreams of what could be.
And the last Horse, The Pale Horse, the final Horse of Death -
Fours years of hope, love, visions of the future, health, and healing slowly dying. The horse of loss, loneliness, and despair. The horse which takes tomorrows and the dreams that reside in them. The horse hardest to bounce back from. The horse hardest to share and hardest to survive alone.
It is hard to celebrate survival when brutally being stomped on by such a relentless herd.
It is hard to share the losses with others, when the burden has been so great for so long. It is hard to put into words the depth of ongoing struggle in this journey. It is hard for there to be true understanding and to find the support I need. It is hard to need and keep asking.
It is beyond difficult to stop crying and harder to realize the tears are so far from done.
Four years ago I hoped for but couldn't truly imagine reaching this day. Today, I can not believe I dreamed of this.
So much more I wanted to have done, so much more healed I wanted to be, so much more shared than I have gotten to share, and so much more whole than the pieces that are left of me. I wanted to be so much less alone instead of being more alone than ever. I wanted to give love and get love, not fight being so utterly hurt by and numb to it.
I believed in a someday that is today.
But, what happens when that day arrives and nothing you believed in, waited for, and held close is there?
Four years ago, against all odds, I survived.
A year ago today, I started Survivor Jewelry to help myself and others surviving trauma, crisis, and illness.
And today, I find the only thing I can cling to is that somehow I manage still to breathe.
Maybe that in itself is brave enough.
Maybe tomorrow, braver is only a few breaths away.
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