Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Help


Yesterday I started my third simultaneous arthritis medicine.

I’ve been putting it off for months because I didn’t want to be that person. You know the person dependent on so many drugs. The one with a pharmacy on their bathroom sink. Wasn’t two medicines enough? Plus the prescription folic acid I have to take because of one of those medicines. 

I was doing better after starting the second one. I still had pain but it wasn't as bad as it had been. I told myself it was enough. Other people didn't need to be on so much medicine. But a couple of things happened recently that made me rethink my stance. First, I had a eight month pregnant woman come and sink into a squat next to me at church one day. I can't squat on the best of days, and here she could do it eight months pregnant without any pain, discomfort or inability to get up. A few days later my five year old had to open a jar I couldn't open. It made me wonder how bad I really was. 

It didn't help that recently I had to come off one of my medicines for two weeks while I did a round of antibiotics (thank you very much strep throat) because the two drugs don’t get along. And I remembered what it was like. Not being able to lift up my kids, having to calculate very carefully how much walking I need to do and whether or not it’s worth going up the stairs or if that would mean missing out on walking later. Whether or not I could sit in the chair long enough to write. 

I remembered how much I missed out on. 

So I did it. I jumped in and started the third medicine. I didn’t want to miss out on anything else. I wanted to live normally again. I don't want to have to rely on my five year old to pick up the slack for the things I can't do. It's not fair to him. 

All of these things reminded me that I wasn’t using the medicine as an emotional crutch, it's for my family, my quality of life. And I want to live my life. I don't want just half a life. Same with my writing. I’m not going to write halfway. If there are aids out there to help me write better, blogs, books on writing, crits, feedback, conferences, then I’m going to do them. I’m going to sit down and write and rewrite and rewrite again until my quality of writing is where I want to be. Until I’m good enough to get an agent and a publisher and have people want to read me. I’ll keep working at it, every day, just like I take my medicine every day. Not because I'm not as good as everyone else, but because everyone is different, everyone needs help, and this is where I need help. 

And that's okay.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Guilty



No one is perfect.   

Why we all feel guilty for this I’ll never know. 

When big storms hit a ship out on the sea, the sailors take precautions. They do everything they can to keep the ship and their lives safe. But if the storm is bad enough there comes a point they tie off the wheel and hold on. Are they feeling guilty that they aren’t doing more? No, because there is nothing else they could do. Sometimes life is like that. Sometimes life is a raging storm and all we can do is hold on. Why we feel guilty for not making time for lunch with friends, or crafts for the home, or 100 percent home grown food I’ll never know. We need to hold on, and we need to be grateful that there is something to hold onto. That not every moment of our life is like this. 

Because it isn't. 

We can only do what we can do. And some days that's a lot, and some days that's a little. 

Some days it's all we can do to hold on. And that has to be enough.And that has to be okay. Who would want to read about a character who feels guilty and apologizes for everything? So who would want to live that life?

I hope that in 2015 we can let go of the guilt, and learn to live again. I think that all starts with feeling grateful.Today I am grateful for my kids. They are sick as dogs right now and I didn't sleep at all last night, but this is just an illness, something they can get over quickly, and return to their normal, happy lives. Not every child is that lucky. So I am grateful.