In keeping with the theme of answering questions about my illness that started in yesterday’s post, I’m going to answer two blog peep questions I’ve received that were very similar…
1. When you are going through a hard time, do we always know?
2. Are you struggling day-to-day when you write posts that aren’t about your illness/how much do we see of how you are day-to-day?
The answer is no, you don’t see a lot of the daily stuff on here. Other than the straight-forward details about the disease I explained to you yesterday and in an earlier entry, I’d say you probably see about 5% of my daily struggle in my posts.
But here’s the thing, I hate to even call it a struggle. I know that sounds weird because it’s difficult everyday… and everything I do requires thought and effort and energy. But the truth is that it’s just my version of a normal life right now. And that normal is changing all the time.
Not talking about it has absolutely nothing to do with being willing to talk about it, though. I think we’ve covered over the past year that I’m more or less an open book… and am not shy about telling you of my many ridiculous antics. I’m also not shy about talking about my disease or answering questions, so if you have specific questions you should feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to answer you.
The reason I don’t talk about my day-to-day life in the ‘struggling sense’ is simply because I don’t sit around and think about it all the time myself. I just live it. There are moments that are incredibly frustrating, tiring, maddening, sad and exhausting. Everyday. But that doesn’t make my day a frustrating, tiring, maddening one. I reduce them to the moments they are rather than letting them define my whole day. I find that lamenting over all of those things only produces more lamenting. And I don’t want to live in a space that is taken up by the negative. It’s just simply not a fun way to live.
You know by now that I consider all of you who show up everyday to be my friends, and I want you to know that I don’t often talk about my day-to-day struggles with my friends that call me on the phone or stop by to visit, either. I want to spend my time in the joyful things… in hearing about their kids and their outings and their lives. I want to talk though their normal troubles and get lost in real life with them. If they ask me how I am, I tell them… but often not in the little details. It doesn’t change my reality and it does nothing but worry them, so it seems like complaining without purpose.
And that’s kind of how I judge what I talk about here: does it have a purpose? I share with you the ways I’ve struggled, how I’ve worked through different situations or emotions, and being sick is obviously a big part of those discussions. But I don’t want to talk about being sick just for the sake of talking about it… I want to talk about my illness as a way to show you how I have dealt with different situations, and hopefully learned to embrace and accept things. How I’ve learned to trust God with my life and realize that my life isn’t about me and my wants, as much as Him and what He needs from me.
I also have a purpose in updating you on the big things… if I don’t share with you that I can’t leave the house or open a window, then you’re going to be pretty darn confused about why I stay inside all day. :) I want to tell you about the big things because they shape my stories, they alter how I view the world, they help make me who I am. And there have been a couple of times, as there are periodic times with my friends, when I absolutely have to tell you that I am sad or exhausted or just plain fed up. It doesn’t happen often, but there are moments when the only way I can make room for joy is to get rid of the sadness by speaking it out loud. And in those moments, I’m glad my friends or family are on the other end of the phone, and I’m very glad all of you are here.
But the little things… the day-to-day… they are constant and never-ending. If I told you about it every day then this wouldn’t be a real representation of my life. Many years ago, when I made my list of Life Goals, number five was: To spread the joy, not the fear. My physical world is made up of the day-to-day pain and sickness, but my LIFE… my life is made up of joy. And that’s the part of me I want you to take with you everyday. Even when I do talk about the emotions or the physical struggles, I want you to leave knowing that joy can come from the hardest times and the ugliest places. You just have to choose it.
But I’ll talk to you more about that tomorrow. :)