Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Road Back

Heceta Head Lighthouse, Yachats, OR
(Photo Taken By Diana M. Bateman, Sept 2010)

During all of 2006 and most of 2007, I spiraled out of control with my health and my MS started to rear its ugly head. Somewhere in the middle of it all, I stopped caring. 

I stopped wanting to care. Not just about me, nor was it centered on my MS. I simply just didn’t care. I had moments of clarity though. 

During those times I tried to do what I’ve always done when in emotional distress. I wrote. That is when I began this blog actually. It has been very therapeutic for me to articulate my thoughts and feelings in this manner. 

However, my internal attitude was very melancholy for a number of years. I’m sure it was draining for my husband... Just when I thought I was starting to come out of my dark place, many things converged and attempted to drown me even further. 

It was then that I actually hit the lowest point in my life (in 2008). I hated almost every minute of that year. There were so many blessings, but the incessant onslaught and gravity broke me.

In the fall of 2008, the stress had reached a critical point. Not knowing what else to do or where else to turn, I took my aggression out in our unfinished basement/make-shift gym. 

By the time January of 2009 arrived, I had literally sweated my way out of the darkest of it all. The weight loss was nice, but I was still vacant inside. 

It was around this time when I began to witnesses the rapid decline of Don, my father-in-law, from a sudden onset of a very aggressive cancer. 

During one of the early-on evening vigils at Don’s place, I was in a quiet moment where Don was resting on the couch; all others in the house were helping Nan, my bonus-Mom, in some way or another. I felt compelled in spirit and body to sit on the love seat and listen to his rhythmic, labored breathing. I’d seen him struggle and use all his might to be mobile while accepting little assistance. 

That stubborn man was relentless! It was while sitting there that I realized that what I’d been witnessing with him was a polar opposite to my own experience over the last few years. This somehow... unlocked me; I began to unfold right there. Something hit me hard at that moment and I realized I needed to make a change in my heart, my mind, my actions - I was not the person I wanted to be in this life’s journey. 

I was now compelled to internally rise to the occasion of my existence. I had given up on myself in a big, big way. I think some of Don’s determination transferred to me at that moment.

I was immediately compelled to make changes. Somehow a beacon of light turned on amidst the haziness and that light was centered in me. I do not claim to understand it, but something clicked and I knew that, despite my previous inaction, I wanted to live my life to the fullest. I also instantly knew what I needed to do. 

I furiously began making a list of short and long-term goals; forty-one in total. They were organized in order, with the short-term goals designed to help me get to the long-term goals. 

By the time I was done making that list, I was in tears, but smiling from the release... I’d finally let go of myself, so that I could emerge and move on with my life. 

When I was done, I looked up and saw Don looking at me and smirking. I have no idea how long he was watching me, but something told me he knew and could feel the power of the change that had just overcome me. 

He didn’t say anything; he just looked at me, sat up (with labor) and smiled the entire time. He nodded with understanding and the moment left as others came filing back into the room from their tasks.

So far, I’ve achieved twenty-seven of those forty-one goals. In order to see the next goal on the notepad of my iPhone, I have to scroll down the list of goals where “ACHIEVED” is written next to each and every one of those twenty-seven. 

By the time I get to the next goal on the list I am energized, because I’ve just seen repeated proof that the mantra I repeat while running is true and applicable elsewhere in life: I Can, I Have, I Will. 

This experience fills me with a surge akin to the one I had while sitting on the love seat at Don’s. I still feel Don near me in spirit. I feel several people nearby in spirit actually. But it is Don’s presence and light that has been radiating most recently.

1 comment:

  1. You are a very good writer. I can see how this is therapeutic for you.