I sat down this morning for a few hours and read most of my blog from the past two years: wow, I’m so whiny! No wonder my husband gets sick of consoling me day-after-day. We get it. Being sick sucks. Move on.
I can’t move on. I can’t move on because I have to stay with whatever I’m experiencing in my life. It’s my story. If you were a professional football player and blogged about your game each week, I’d get it. This is my game. Every week – really, every day – I decide to keep going. I decide to continue trying and building my life despite the frustration of failed fertility cycles and tumor relapse. I whine about it. I try to not whine about it, but I whine about it.
I want to be the type of person people look at and say, “Wow, she is just handling this so well!” You know those comments. “She’s just such a strong and inspirational person. She has such deep faith. I hope I’d handle everything half as well as she does.” I think I’ll be that type of person. But, at some point I just say, “Fuck it, I’ll handle it however I can to stay alive today.” And I do. And it’s not pretty.
But every day, I do decide to go try to have the best day I can. In sobriety circles, we use the term, ‘one day at a time,’ which is something people have repeated to me when facing health challenges. Some days, one day at a time gets me through it. I think, “Yep, the weather is nice. I had a good breakfast. I loved teaching my class. Today is good. One day at a time.”
Some days, or even maybe just a few hours later in the same day, I think, “I could tear my own eyeballs out I’m so fed up with this.” This being my eyeballs, which are swollen and lesioned from my Graves’ Eye Disease. Sometimes ‘this’ is not my eyeballs. Sometimes ‘this’ is my medical bills, or my belly bloat, or the invitation to another baby shower or even (seriously) the invitation to a birthday dinner in my honor. You never know what is going to make you tear your eyeballs out when you’re thyroid toxic and infertile and just too high strung to handle anything rationally.
At those moments, things are really edgy. I can – and do – snap at people and alienate myself. I write mean blog posts then delete them. Sometimes I write mean blog posts and publish them. I shut down and stop talking to my husband. I scream. I really just scream no particular words at all at nothing particular at all, because sometimes screaming feels a little better than not screaming.
On bad days, the screaming wins. On good days, or at good moments, I’m able to take some deep breaths and think.
The thing is: yoga doesn’t ask us to be calm and content ALL the time. It’s not like we wake up one day and say, “From here on out, I’ll never again get frustrated or lonely or anxious or irritated. I will never scream again.” Instead, we simply say, “I’ll choose peace as often as I can.”
Pena Chodron says, “Every day, when things get edgy, we might as ourselves: am I going to practice peace, or am I going to war?”
I go to war a lot. But I do try to practice peace. If you’re angry with yourself for the wars you’ve started today or this month or this year, it’s okay. We all do it. Take a deep breath, and try to practice peace next time. Yoga helps.