George Dawson, “People forget that a picture ain’t made from just one color. Life ain’t all good or all bad. It’s full of everything.”
I didn’t write last Monday. I almost let yesterday (Monday) go without writing as well. My reasoning was “why write when I feel so awful”? Sometimes I feel like I owe my readers and peers the truth… but only if it is pleasant and encouraging. When things are not going so good? Well… I’m less certain about how healthy it is for ME to write about it, and risk losing YOU as “compatriots in the ranks”. Right now, “life ain’t all good”. But because it is also “not all bad” I decided to write anyway.
Some things are changing for me. Not good changes. There are things going on that involve other people, so I cannot discuss it. But there are things going on with “just me” that I DO have the liberty to discuss. So I will. If you tuned in to get a dose of the warm fuzzies – this isn’t the post you want to read.
Tell Tale Signs
I have an incredibly bad habit of ignoring the obvious. Perhaps it is a defense mechanism or a form of denial. When something is scary or unpleasant I will push it down and pretend “it” doesn’t exist. I tell myself what my mother always tells me, “Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill”. Problem is… sometimes it IS a mountain and not a mole hill.
Life can be hard. I have friends who have lost loved ones recently. I have friends who have been diagnosed with scary-sounding diagnosis, some having a good prognosis and some a dire one. I have friends who have close family members battling major health problems. I have friends who are having financial crisis that will change the course of their life and the life of their families. I have friends with children in trouble. I have friends who have been told to plan their funeral. I have friends who have been betrayed and used.
Makes it sound like I have a lot of friends, doesn’t it? (GRIN) One tremendous PLUS of my now, 9-year-old blog, is that I have met a great number of people “virtually”, and literally as a result of my going public with what it is like to live with hearing loss, invisible disabilities, and an incredible canine partner. I have been blessed with guest writers and friendships that have developed as a result of “Hearing Elmo”. You, the reader, have been a source of encouragement to me, a source of advice, and even a source of constructive criticism when I desperately needed it. I am thankful for the sense of “community” the Internet and blogs have given those with disability and invisible illnesses.
Sometimes I ignore tell tale signs in order to “deal with it”. Yes, I know that isn’t healthy but I’m just tellin’ it like it is. Folks who do not have disabilities still live in a body that ages, changes, and may face both minor and catastrophic health problems. However, people with disabilities, those who have learned to be “differently abled”, also sometimes face these same health problems. I’ve often wondered that if certain disabilities make one more prone to health related problems. For example, if you have arthritis, fibromyalgia, or chronic fatigue syndrome, perhaps you’ve put on some weight because you cannot easily exercise or lack the strength and energy to do so. As a result, diabetes or heart disease are now knocking at your door. If you have paralysis or problems with mobility, perhaps you have also developed circulatory problems. I am late-deafened and have Meniere’s disease. I actually hear voices really well in “prime” listening environments, and even do fairly well in really noisy environments with poor acoustics. I fall a lot though. When I do, I normally hit my head. Usually it is just an “ouch” moment where I rub the sore spot and go on about my business.
However, in the last year I have woken up a couple of times now – sprawled out in a heap with my dogs curled up asleep next to me. One time, a matter of hours had to have passed because it was much darker outside by the time I came to. I discuss these things with my husband and um – sort of with my doctor. I have a feeling that I’ve bumped my noggin’ often enough in my adult life, that there may be consequences to that. Thankfully, I’ve learned what a lot of my triggers are and can identify 95% of the time when I need to sit down,
no matter where I’m at
or who may be watching
or what I may be sitting in.
My eye prescription has changed 3 times in the last 11 months. Most mornings I wake up and my extremities are numb. On really bad days, I still cannot hardly feel my fingers well enough to type by my afternoon classes. I’m having all kinds of “female issues”. My balance is worse than it ever has been. Much worse. I have tried to tell myself that I am stumbling more because I’m older. I turn 46-years-old this month. I’m very good at justifying things! Don’t we tend to do that when something is “off”? My doctor is working with me. When classes are over in May I will be busy getting a lot of tests. Fun, fun (rolls eyes).
But Gee… It’s Not Fair
I don’t care who you are. The old adage, “when it rains, it pours” is only positive to a farmer. No one likes change. Nobody likes problems. No one embraces tragedy. We may have a “Bad News Not Welcome” here sign on our house door. Heck… it may be tattooed on your forearm. That doesn’t mean that bad things are not going to happen.
Life is just not fair, is it? I mean… we don’t get what we deserve when we’ve done something right. And dang, if we don’t get what we deserve when we do something WRONG.
Oscar Wilde: “Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.”
Bill Gates: “Life is not fair. Get use to it”.
(Unknown): “Expecting the world to be fair to you because you are a good person is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.”
Matthew 5:45b: “For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Most of you have already learned that life isn’t fair. We deal with it. We have to do so. There are no real alternatives.
We will lose and we will win. Regardless we DO deal with it. That can mean we do so successfully and with pizzazz. It may mean we do so poorly and like a drowning victim, struggle and pull others down with us. We always have choices. Maybe not about what we get to handle, but HOW we will handle it.
Recently while shopping at the mall with my husband, he said, “Do you realize that in 2007 you trained for a hearing dog because you needed one. Now Chloe performs more balance-related tasks for you than she does hearing alerts. What does that mean?”
Well it means that I’m changing. Thankfully, dogs are smart and so are the trainers at Fidos For Freedom. You really can teach an old dog “new tricks” – or skilled tasks.
More Than You Can Handle
Don’t you hate it when you are going through something hard and someone tells you, “God won’t give you more than you can handle”? Seriously? I mean… for most of us determination, will-power, and a fighting attitude gets us through. For those like myself who consider themselves a person of faith, we rest in the knowledge that He’s got this… and He’s with us. That doesn’t mean He’s gonna bail us out and smooth the way.
My cousin, a breast cancer survivor, blogs a great deal. I always look forward to reading her posts when “Google Reader” lets me know something new has been uploaded. Recently, she wrote “A Hard Place”. She quoted from a book called, “Kisses From Katie” by Katie Davis. I wanted to share that excerpt with you:
“Remember, God will never give you more than you can handle.” People repeat this frequently; I heard it when I was growing up and I hear it now. It is meant to be a source of encouragement, and it would be if I believed it were true. But I don’t. I believe that God totally, absolutely, intentionally gives us more than we can handle. Because this is when we surrender to Him and He takes over, proving Himself by doing the impossible in our lives. I have learned to accept it, even ask for it, this “more than I can handle.” Because in these times, God shows Himself victorious. He reminds me that all of this life requires more of Him and less of me. God does give us more than we can handle. Not maliciously, but intentionally, in love, that His glory may be displayed, that we may have no doubt of who is in control, that people may see His grace and faithfulness shining through our lives. And as I surrender these situations to Him, watch Him take over and do the impossible, I am filled with joy and peace–so much more than I can handle.”
I’m not a brave person. I’m not going to ask God to give me more than I can handle.
I’m a chicken.
You don’t have to ask God for ANYTHING though, and you still are going to get a dose of LIFE. And so I’m back around where I started. Life ain’t all good.
But it is not all bad.
And so we carry on…
© 2012 Personal Hearing Loss Journal