I have been hiding. Well, maybe waiting. Or wishing. Or hoping. I guess I hadn’t really quite realized it until a good friend recently said to me, “/this/ is what you should be writing about.” And I realized I hadn’t. Right away I knew all the reasons I had avoided it, but I also knew as I counted up the months in my head… 9…10…11… that those reasons are not showing any sign of stopping, regardless of my waiting. So maybe friend, you’re right; maybe there will be some healing in the unleashing of it all. Or maybe nothing at all, but at least in the telling of it, the twisting, twirling, never quite predictable story that is mine, it will feel more like just that; mine.
I suppose we all have things we hide, or, try to hide, and some of them are easier than others. For a while, I hid well enough that I almost could fool myself. “Fake it ‘till you make it,” right? I suppose without actually formulating a plan, that had become my default strategy somewhere along the way. See, my big secret is that I cannot be my own hero. Who am I kidding… I cannot be anybody’s hero right now. And for a type A, never quit, refuse to fail kind of girl, it has been a hard pill to swallow. A lot of very hard pills to swallow.
Instead of being the pair of boots that lift the weakest to their feet, I am the one dazed to the sound of boots carrying me. Instead of being the reassuring face that will explain things 5 different ways to calm an anxious mind, I am the fearful tangle of unanswered questions. I am the one needing rescue.
I didn’t say anything at first because I supposed it was temporary. I didn’t say anything a little later because I imagined it could be a mistake, or I would wake up from a bad dream. Then it became not saying anything because I refused to accept this story for my life.
That sounds ugly.
I don’t really know how else to put it though. I have been going through these motions of life-fight ignoring that this could be my future, rejecting the very idea of coming to any kind of peace with it, and stubbornly clinging to the absurdity that this just needs to get figured out and everything will go back to normal. That there’s no reason to even explain to anyone, because by the time they find out, I’m going to be back in the saddle; wrangling smiles from my kids, scrambling mountains with my friends, and feeling the siren thrum with the roll of the next due.
Eleven months of being so angry and scared and just, broken. My friend is right. This is my story. It is my story whether I tell it or not.
We are what we show…
But we are also what we hide…
In the scarred and painful exposure of the unknown, I admit I do not have a tidy word to leave here. My body is sick. Every day is fighting a fight that I will selfishly admit would often tempt me to quit. There are days it feels far easier to stay in a ball in bed; to avoid the pills, the pokes, the tubing upon tubing and meticulous regiment that grows monotonous and wearying, especially when I still feel myself fading away in spite of it. It has shaken my life in every way, and taken me far from the home and the me that I once knew. That is where I am; in a strange body, in a strange land, fighting a discouraging and uncertain battle.
Perhaps there will be more of the days that find me with strength and willpower to share the coming pieces here… or perhaps you will know by my silence that I am simply clinging.
Speechless or not, familiar or not, this is my story. One I am still struggling to contend with; I’m not going to feign sainthood and paint you a picture of the peace and assurance I have in accepting whatever new ending is being rewritten for me. No, I am still wrestling. Wrestling hard, wrestling deep and ugly. Some days I come out on top, and some days I’m pinned quick by all the sharp and broken pieces of it all. But that’s the thing I guess… I dreamed my life would be a beautiful mosaic… I suppose that means I have to begin with the pieces.
This may not be the story I would have chosen for myself, but it is the story that will shape me and color the way I view each of my future moments. I have been learning that the sharing of my story brings healing, and hearing the hard stories of people brave enough to share them has made me brave, and I hope that courage will continue to be passed from one to another. We are all broken in some way or another; meeting each other in those broken places provides a safe and healing place to face our deepest, most painful questions together.
What are you hiding from?
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