There’s a big difference between wallowing in your own self pity and using unfortunate events as a catapult to regaining control of your life.
There was a time when wallowing kept me in a state of mind where I felt helpless, useless, and betrayed.
I’ve learned now that the only way to climb out of a hole is to get your own rope, find something secure to attach it to, and pull yourself up and out of it. Bury the hole and move on.
I’m still working on some of these skills.
It helps when the secure object is a family member or close friend. They tend to be more forgiving.
It helps when the rope is tied securely into place. But slippage is inevitable and therefore setbacks are common.
It helps to be physically and mentally strong. A strong body is a better fighter. A strong mind is better equipped to cope.
Much of this post may seem unrelated in subject matter. Sometimes you just write to get things straightened out in your own head.
Why would I want to do this on a Blog though? Why not keep it tucked away in a private log? Feedback. And the chance that I will connect with another person with similar issues. People need people. We need to know that we are not alone in our struggles. We need to understand that it’s OK to ask for help.
THE OIL PLACE
I went and applied for heating assistance yesterday. I collected some more stories while awaiting my turn to fill out the paperwork.
A mother, father, and five year-old little girl were sitting behind me. They didn’t have an appointment. They had no heat and just wanted to have a warm house.
The five year-old told her father that she didn’t think Santa was going to bring him any presents this year. She was surprised that he’d received anything.
Her father stopped coughing long enough to ask her why she thought such a thing. Because you always hit me Daddy, and that’s bad, the little girl said without hesitation.
The father was silent. Mom (knowing that I probably had overheard the conversation) told her that daddy won’t be doing that anymore.
Nowhere to sleep
Another man, middle-aged but looking frail, was trying to find a place to sleep. I overheard him explain that his truck was not warm enough the past couple of nights
We have heat
We are not freezing by any means! We have some electric heaters. The basement has two small rooms that have electric heat. The hot water heater is also electric.
Even so… some very good friends of ours called to say that they had called another common friend and they wanted to buy some oil for us.
I was so touched and thanked him over and over again. I told him it was very thoughtful of them but that help was on the way by mid-week (fingers crossed for good luck).
It’s hard to think of yourself as someone that needs help. It’s harder to except it from friends that have their own finances to worry about.
I can’t imagine what it is like for those that have no support system… nobody to pull on the rope as they try and climb out of the hole.
The biggest problem about having gone through a situation where you are in constant pain is that you get used to it. You sometimes can’t tell if it’s normal for your condition or if you should be concerned.
When the tumor was removed from my ankle in early spring, I knew there was a chance that the pain would never really go away. And I learned to cope with it.
After the two month Xray came back clean, I wasn’t scheduled to have it checked again for another six months.
I didn’t listen to my body closely enough. Three months later my ankle was beginning to feel like it did pre-surgery. But I was busy Aflac-ing and doing everything except training for my next 5K.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY PEOPLE! I waited for the appointment and sure enough the pain was the first indicator that the tumor was back.
At this point I can only wait until my Tuesday appointment with the tumor doc. But the early indications are that it will need surgery again.
From what I remember of my past conversations with the tumor doc, it should be the same type of tumor (but of course they will biopsy it again). The question, I guess, is how much of the bone around my ankle joint has been compromised.
I also remember him saying that there is not an artificial ankle joint that they can just pop in there.
We talked about maybe needing a prosthesis if the tumor remained aggressive and chose the same area to attack again.
I always prepare myself for the worse. That way I’m preparred for whatever happens.
They didn’t listen to me
Those same friends just called me back to say that they are on the way over to drop off the ten year-old and that an oil truck will be showing up tonight.
Wait until I see them. I’m going to hug them until it hurts!