Friday, February 24, 2017

Five for Fighting

Five years ago today I had brain surgery to save my life.

It has been the worst five years of my entire life.

I have often been called brave, blessed and lucky.

But in all of my life before that day combined, I have never known such fear, pain, and horrible consequence as I have every single day of the last five years.

I have been told how loved, beautiful and valued I am.

But have never felt as lonely, ugly, or as worthless as I have through every single heartbeat of the last one thousand, eight hundred and twenty-five days.

I have heard overwhelming words of hope, support and promises.

But, I have felt the loss of every dream I dared to dream compounded by soul-shattering abandonment while being decimated by the suffocating weight and retribution of brutalizing poverty.

A decision I made five years ago, which I can't take back, which I can't erase the history of me it set in motion, and which, with ever-weakening resolve, I struggle to survive.

I cling to every whisper of hope offered or merely implied, even as I drown more each day beneath the waves of waiting for help which never comes. 

I endure every treatment recommended, even when they are more debilitating. 

I swallow every ounce of my dignity and my pride, even as the shame and humiliation choke me. 

I beg and borrow to move on to the next little pebble, even as the rock and the hard place crush me.

I push through relentless pain daily, even though the pushes cause additional unrelenting, toll-provoked agony. 

I get up every day, even when every fiber of my being literally begs me to stay down.

Every day... 
for five years.
Every day...
plus, tomorrow.

Breathe Brave.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Broken Hearted

Everyone's heart breaks sometimes, at some point, in some way. It is part of life for everyone.

Survivors of crisis, trauma and illness feel this more acutely than others but not because our hurt is more valid or hurts more than someone else's. 

Instead, it's more intensely damaging, because we are already too damaged. 

We are literally on our knees crawling, trying to pick up all the shattered and scattered pieces of ourselves. So, it's impossible not to be cut far worse by the sharp edges of a broken heart.  Brutally ripping into a preexisting wound.

Struggling to survive takes away the resiliency to bounce back intact, when trying to process new pain. Suffering makes any new wound instantly deeper and heavily salted.

A new bruise compounding on top of an old bruise, turning to dust already broken shards.

On top of this unbearable pain, we can feel guilt, shame, sadness, grief and loss, solely because we do not have the ability to be okay anymore.

We can not explain it to others, because it is not their reality. It can sound selfish or petty, because it is not their reality.

Most people's view is from a place where the breaking happens from an intact whole. A whole self that suffers from the breaking, but still has room to recover and heal. 

However, survivors are already fighting to hold on to the remaining pieces of the whole. When another break comes, we find ourselves without the room to recover or heal. The room is already packed full of broken pieces, the wounds are already torn open, and the heart is already failing to beat strong enough.

Already broken hearts can continue to break, but the tragic truth for survivors is that with each break it becomes harder to fit the pieces back together. Some pieces become so destroyed there is no way to make them ever fit again, and some hearts become so frail they haven't the strength to even try again to rebuild. 

Some broken hearts can not recover.

Sometimes there are not enough band-aids. Sometimes all we can hope for is to someday find enough pieces to attempt to build something else from scratch.