I am still sick. For a few days I felt better, and now I'm wracked with pain. I mean, I may go to the ER pain. I have more ornaments I haven't scanned. Bear with me. Meanwhile, I wrote something on Facebook a few days ago I thought a few of you might enjoy.
Be back soon! Much love,
I was a sickly little girl. I had asthma, really bad. But it never occurred to me, as often as I was sick as a child, that I would grow up and have eight, count 'em, eight, problem pregnancies that would, essentially, make me very sick. I would not have imagined depression or bipolar disorder. I would not have dreamed of fibromyalgia syndrome. Fibro is probably the worst thing that has ever happened to me. But even the worst things that happen have blessings. You hurt and find your life diminished. You wonder if you will be completely disabled. You pray for healing. You give up on the idea of being healed. Your prayers become as basic as, "Let me live to see the kids grow up" and "Don't let me ruin life for them." You wish you could be like other moms. You grieve that you are not. You are certain that few people understand how much you really hurt. Body and soul.
My friend was praying for me during the thick of this. Jesus told her, "I have her in my hands." Jesus did not take away my pain. Instead, he showed me how to share in His own suffering. I wrote about some of it in Wounded.
Still, there are days the shame of such a diminished life stings my soul. There are times I'm truly embarrassed. And times I am deeply afraid. And then there are times that I am urged by all that is love in the world to remember that God loved me in this bed. And despite myself, I accomplished something.
In no particular order, this is what I did in the bed:
I stayed alive.
I continued to hope.
I refused to let go of God.
I met people. Thank God for the net!
I got flirted with.
I gave some smack downs.
I received some smack downs.
I reached out to people who didn't have a lot of love, and gave them some.
I inspired writers.
I became a Godmama.
I wrote several novels. Most of those novels were about people who needed love, and somehow, through a rag-tag bunch of misfits, found it.
I cried with people.
I laughed with people.
I made people laugh.
I laughed at their jokes.
I went shopping.
I talked a LOT to my sister Carly.
I talked to my kids when they crawled in bed with me.
I was humbled by their unconditional love.
I felt sad.
I wished I were a better, stronger, more wonderful person.
I watched television with them, and even helped with homework.
I learned way too much about forensic science.
I sat in companionable silence with my family.
I made love with my husband.
I dreamed big dreams with him.
I ate many meals, some of them were good.
I took a lot of pain pills. Many of them did not help.
I went crazy.
I came to my senses again.
I gave in to the necessity of sleep.
I was gentle with myself.
I was hard on myself.
I made an honest living.
I read books.
I made my first zine.
I did endless studies about the Catholic Church. Thank you EWTN!
I told people who didn't think they could that they could.
I learned how to use that ridiculously complicated Christian Prayer Book, and found untold treasures there.
I fell in love with Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, and St. Francis of Assisi, and Mother Theresa.
I fell in love with St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and Therese the little flower.
I experienced the flowering of many friendships, more than I believed was possible.
I came to understand what St. Therese and Mother Theresa meant by doing small things with great love.
I gave up on writing.
I kept writing.
I took business calls.
I did interviews.
I forgave people their faults.
I asked to be forgiven of mine. They are many.
I kept breathing in and out, until I no longer thought about the fact that I was breathing in and out.
I got up out of the bed when I could. And crawled back in it soon after.
I learned what was important.
I discovered the secret of life. It's very simple:
Live and love, with a liberal portion of forgiveness to those who misunderstand you, and for those who outright hurt you, or despise your weakness. When you have so much taken away from you. You have to learn that what those people believe about you just doesn't matter.
I learned to accept my limitations. And do what I do with joy and enthusiasm.
That's what I did in the bed.
tree bed by from slmetalworks.com