I know the world tells us we shouldn’t feel sadness, but um, some days, that’s just going to happen. What you don’t need to allow is for anyone to make you feel bad or shameful about being sad. It’s a human emotion and it happens for a reason.
Sometimes, we need to cry things out. Just cry. There’s something therapeutic about letting go.
If you never got sad about anything, I’d wonder if you ever truly cared about anything. I think I’d rather require a crying break once a week than to never care. Sound like you? Well, let’s continue on then.
Endings are sad and scary, but maybe one of the things I should have written a little more about was how endings are exactly what opened the door to some of my most rewarding and exciting things in my life.
Remember that Switchfoot story? A bunch of endings happened within two years of each other to bring me to all of that. It was the loss of a job, a relationship, friendships, my apartment, some friends, some family. That all led me to a new city, a new school, a new job, a new relationship, new friends, and experiences I would have never had otherwise. Of course, there were bad things even in those new beginnings, but I think we all just have to pick a path and walk it. You can’t just stay at the fork forever and call it a life.
I can see now that some of the endings I fought so hard to not be endings would have been where my story stopped if I’d won. The saddest part of that is as my story continued, I would miss the people I thought I’d get to share the wins with.
It’s hard to let go of how you think things should be. Whew. It is so hard. But we have to, or our story will just…end.
So, the heart of this post. You ready?
After almost a year and a half since my hospitalization and subsequent MS diagnosis, I have pushed through life making phone calls, reaching out for help (if you have been following along here, you know that was one of the hardest pieces for me), and basically rallying what now feels like my team.
While everything over that time period has felt like relentless endings, I’m starting to try and shift my focus to the beginnings.
MS is something that affects people differently. I’m still new to this journey, but I can already tell it’s a strange thing. First of all, you have to get through the mental blocks that come with any diagnosis–especially if a neurologist sits across from you and tells you that you need to start taking medication (a medication that has super scary side effects to you) or else it will just progress. He tells you there’s nothing else you can do but not stress out. He tells you there’s not much research out there stating that nutrition and other lifestyle changes can help because there’s no money in that. As scary as those conversations were, me following my intuition is exactly what led him to refer me elsewhere…and that’s exactly where I was supposed to go.
You then have to go through the emotional blocks of thinking about your family, your friends, your work, traveling, your future. It all comes rushing at you like some kind of river when the dam is released.
You have to grieve, and you have to go through all the feelings of realizing how unfair situations can be sometimes. I know it will look like life is just carrying on without you, just leaving you behind, but it’s not. What is meant for you will save your spot for you.
You must take baby steps.
For me, it was assembling the team. In order to do that, you have to get very real with yourself and your limitations.
At the time, I knew I had to start from scratch with taking care of myself. Like most women my age, I hadn’t taken care of myself in almost a decade. Yeah, that’s 90% of what gets us here, so try to not wait a decade, please.
I wanted progress to happen so much faster than it did. I was doing all the right things, in spite of life things I still had to deal with, and yet I hit a plateau.
But I didn’t stop. I just walked instead of continuing to climb.
Now, even though I wouldn’t say the life stuff has gotten out of my way, I have had a lot of progress. I have an upcoming appointment that took me almost a year to get, and I miraculously was referred to another physical therapist that specializes in so many things I will need, and after all this time, my original little team has never left my side.
Getting these two appointments, and having a therapist who is great at her job and who has walked with me through a ton of scary things (both new and old), no matter how scary and sad all of this can feel on days like yesterday, I can still see hope.
Now that things have calmed down a TINY bit because I’m in a waiting period, I feel like everything that has happened is starting to catch up with me. I’m starting to be able to process things I had to shove to the side to survive and keep moving forward and now they are sort of rushing at me. Yesterday, I got scared again about what could lie ahead for me and my health. As we all know, our health is the most important thing we have. It doesn’t matter about anything else if you don’t have that, right? So, my mind started going into a bit of the what ifs. Ugh. Just don’t do it. I don’t recommend it. It left me trying to Google certain things about MS that I should have just waited a few more weeks to ask about. However, I even found some hope in what I was reading.
Every time I start feeling down about the whole MS situation, I stop and I look around. I remind myself that since I have no way of knowing what will happen, then I can just look at what is happening today. Talk about a game changer for me to finally arrive at that place of thinking. I have NEVER been good at that. I’ve always had to be the person who is holding their breath, waiting for the next shoe to drop. Well, if I continue to live like that, I will drop. So, up I go. I have to look around me and take inventory of how I feel, what’s working, and take that energy I would have wasted and purposefully pour it into something I enjoy. Keeping my mind busy on good things really takes the weight off some of the heavier things.
Our mindset is everything. Protect your space. Protect your environment and who you spend your time with. It will make or break you.
When life throws endings at you or the dam gets released again, you need a safe place to hold you while you figure out how to save yourself. It’s not about someone rescuing you, it’s more about having people in your life who care enough about you to give you the tools and the space to save yourself. That’s how they rescue you. They show you that you are not alone. And when you know that you aren’t alone, you can overcome just about anything…with hope.
I’m going to have plenty more sad/scary days. I’m going to have to breathe my way through plenty more endings. However, with each new thing we have to face, we learn a new lesson that helps us get through the next.
If you are in a season of endings, it’s ok. Cry and feel it all. If you are in a season of beginnings, soak it in. Cry and feel it all. I had someone once tell me that time will pass one way or the other.