It seems like the worst happened and then I realized that of course that’s not true. There is plenty, plenty left to lose… but in terms of material possessions I can say that we lost our most prized possessions – our laptops, and in terms of sheer administrative nightmares – we lost our ID documents, AND in terms of sheer discomfort – I lost my glasses. Stolen to be exact and may the thief suffer. Suffer more than me anyway, as I move about in pain trying to get on with my life.
This isn’t a post about ruminating on what’s lost though, it’s about how we get over losing and how funny humans are that they have the power to go on. It’s about strength in physical pain and it’s about emotional strength too. I cannot say that it’s all me and that I do it alone but I am grateful for all things, circumstances and people that enable to get on. As I struggled to get on with daily life with the limited mobility, I realized that this is my challenge, my marathon. I am not one who can hike for months or climb a mountain; my body will not take that right now, those are not my achievements. My achievements are getting the daily chores done everyday and being optimistic nonetheless.
A book that helped me not only pass the time but also give me purpose and courage is Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I started reading it just in time when this disaster happened and I had nothing else to distract me. I have to say that reading about her physical endurance helped me bear my load too. I too felt strong vicariously going about my challenges, even if they were more of the getting out of bed kind rather than hiking the Pacific Crest Trail kind.
The second thing I learned from it is that we humans are funny in how we can be broken emotionally and how we can let that get in the way of everything else in our lives. Like a virus on a computer we can mess up all our programs without showing any outward signs of damage. It reminds me to be a bit kinder and a bit more understanding towards others. I don’t know if we heal from the death of loved ones but I sure know it’s not enough to just attend a funeral and pay your respects. How do you go on providing and asking for support time after time, year after year?
I remembered that saying about how the worst times in your life show you who your real friends are. I suppose that’s sort of true but as always I will see many sides in to this issue. Mainly, I believe that some people are just better at certain things than others. If you need the kind of help where you just need another pair or hands because you cannot move, only certain kinds of people will provide that. The kind of friend I do find most frustrating is the fair weather friend. They are still friends though, I mean you do need the kind of friends who will always come to your birthday party, or house party, or fondue party. You may well end up forging a bond with them over brunches and shopping and you may fool yourself into thinking that you will be there for each other when really you are the only one who follows up if the other is sick or sad. You can just lie there in your time of need while the friend chooses another party over bringing you some groceries and some entertainment.
I sound bitter about that but really I am not upset. That is just the way some people are and you need all kinds in your life. Some are just pointless in emergencies but some will be surprisingly tough and resilient… like me. 🙂