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Chronic Snarkopolist: Life is Risky

Post Published: 07 April 2011
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Category: chronic autoimmune conditions column, Chronic Snarkopolist, Column
This post currently has 4 responses. Leave a comment

Hello my loves!

This has been a difficult yet victorious week for so many people. This has been a week of loss, of pain, of self-discovery and of worry.  I’ve heard stories of frustration, fear, and being dismissed. And mostly, I’ve been amazed at how powerful we all are as we keep on.

Sometimes training for a marathon is the next logical step in our health and sometimes getting out of bed is a victory.  We never know quite where anyone is on our individual paths.

Again and again older people have advised me, “Risk, Melissa, take more risk.  If I could do it again, I would take more risk.”  I never know if they mean emotionally or financially, or with their physical being – but for me, I have lived a low risk life because I have felt so vulnerable in all other areas.  I have plotted and planned out my life.  And now I’m beginning to understand what taking risks means. Reaching out, offering love. And sometimes it gets rejected and hurts. And sometimes it means it gets accepted and feels good. And yes- it means that I myself need to believe that I can heal, as a person, emotionally, and physically. I am looking at what it means to HEAL from the inside out.

I once had a doctor who was formerly an NP who practiced in developing countries.  It changed how he perceived health and wellness.  He was much more likely to see people as whole and healing rather than as simply in need of medication.  When I was feeling low once, he said to me, “You should go into that area of darkness and investigate it. If you are still there in a few months, we can look further into it.”  But he didn’t freak out about a little depression. He allowed for me to FEEL FULLY what I was feeling. To sit with it for a while, have tea with it.

On a similar note, my currently therapist and I were speaking about how down I have been and she said something, “I must ask, are you able to deal with your feelings?” I replied that I can cope, but I simply don’t like to feel so deeply.  Of course, FEELING DEEPLY is exactly what emotional healing is about.  I pointed it out and we agreed that as long as I felt capable of continuing to manage through life, I am making a choice to do so.  This is not a discussion of depression, but of two times in my life where I have walked into healing moments that didn’t FEEL GOOD but where I came out VICTORIOUS.

There are dark times – plenty of them, both in good health and in bad.  When people are chronically ill we remind people of illness and must sometimes deal with THEIR BAGGAGE, but we also deal with our own crap more. We deal with smaller issues being a bigger deal.  Things that might not be such a big deal- like training for a marathon become monumental. And sometimes, things like getting out of bed sometimes feel like scaling a mountain.

When everyday life issues such as emotional health, romantic issues, or financial issues creep up, they ad enormous complexity to our already burdensome physical health issues.  And yet, we much choose to scale the mountain, to train for the marathon. We must decide to get out of bed everyday. We must RISK LIFE.

I would love to know what you think! How do you deal with your life risks? How do you handle your setbacks, your fears, and your pains? How do you handle “real feelings” that arise? Are you more or less high or low risk tolerant because of illness? I would love to know what you do to celebrate your successes and to give yourself gold stars throughout your daily stamina that are everyday living! Tell me! I must know!

I’ll be back same time next week! Kiss kiss!

-Melissa

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4 Responses to “Chronic Snarkopolist: Life is Risky”

  1. This is so great, Melissa. I’m a really risk averse person. I don’t remember a period of my life where I haven’t been risk averse. Cancer hasn’t made me riskier, but it has made me more open to the idea of taking risks. I don’t know if that makes sense or not. I think what I mean is, everything in my body tells me to run from a risky situation, but now I am more likely to think about maybe taking the risk.

    I heard someone recently say, “there is great purification in persecution.” In context, persecution was synonymous with suffering. I think that statement holds a lot of truth. Whether we’re suffering because of our health or whether we’re suffering because we took a risk that didn’t pay off like we were hoping, the fact that we’re suffering means that we’re feeling and living and learning. And that’s purifying.

    I love this and I love you!

    Joanna

    • Melissa Travis says:

      Wow. This is a really powerful statement. “there is great purification in persecution.” – Yes. I totally get that too.

      HUGS. I love you. And I’m so grateful for you and your sharing.
      xo
      Melissa

  2. Schelli says:

    I have dealt with chronic illness since the age of 13. I wouldn’t say I live a risky life, but to date I have done everything in my life that I want to..for now. I always have a plan for the future, but my feet are in the now. (That one was taught to me by my dogs!)Multiple hospitalizations and a few near death experiences taught me that where ever I am RIGHT now, is ok. There are times when my emotions become a symphony, and times I couldn’t dredge up a feeling about something to save my life. It’s all ok. I stopped comparing my successes and failures to the world around me..they don’t live in my body and I am the best judge about whether getting out of bed that morning is a success or not.
    We chose to scale the mountain in my opinion because life is better than the alternative…althouh some days may not feel that way. On those days (as I tell my invisibly ill friends) I choose to make friends with my death..we sit down over a cup of tea and talk. I tell death my fears and dreams and then I shut up and listen for the response. Sounds cheesy but death has also shown me the beauty of geese migrating in perfect unity, the spark of love in someone’s eyes, and the little monuments we leave in the world that may not last forever but say we are HERE, NOW.
    In the last 5 years I have lost my job, lost my ability to dance, lost most of my friends because they didn’t understand, and now we are losing our house and not quite sure where we can afford to live. I should be scared but I’m not..All I can deal with is the now, and as long as I lay down at night and can say I did my best today it is good enough. No one is guaranteed a tomorrow.
    I don’t do anything special to celebrate my success..but I do allow a lot of time for me to be me, whatever state that is at the time!
    Wow..didn’t mean this to be so long..this one really touched a spot in me.

    • Melissa Travis says:

      Wow. Thank you so much Schelli for sharing all this.
      And you are right – NO ONE is guaranteed a tomorrow.

      This was a powerful sentence to me: I tell death my fears and dreams and then I shut up and listen for the response.

      This really touched me — I’m working on it but I”m not always there. I still go through some major “self-pity” time.
      Thank you so much for healing and sharing with me.
      xoxo
      Melissa

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