Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Craving Life


Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain." - Joseph Campbell

I always thought when someone says they are 'craving' something it was food.
I wish right now I was craving 'chocolate' or 'ice cream' or even 'a sandwich filled with ham, jam, cheese and peanut butter'. I wish I was craving something I could physically pick up, devour and then feel satisfied.

But instead my body/mind/spirit my whole being is craving 'freedom from pain'.
A break away from pain, frustration, exhaustion, medication and limitations.

Right now this is my craving for the 'perfect day'. To wake up feeling rested, rejuvenated and fresh. Jump out of bed energised with no restrictions. To shower standing up, get changed in one go and eat breakfast with no effort. In my perfect world I would go off to my job as a social worker and be able to put my four long years of study to use. To sit around at lunchtime and talk with my colleagues about trivial things like how my partner left his towel on the bathroom floor this morning or complain how this new dress I brought didn't fit me anymore. Later I would return home from work put on my 'work out' clothes and go for a run around the block. I would then shower again and create a beautiful dinner that required multiple culinary techniques. Sit down eat dinner then do the dishes leaving my kitchen spotless. I would then finally curl up on the sofa and watch TV then head to bed where I would fall asleep immediately. This would then be repeated five times a week if I wanted to get really greedy!!

To most of you reading this I expect this sounds like your existence, the normal routine weekday. Give and take a few details! One that you often worry about that is 'too boring' or 'too routine'. But to me right now this is what my whole being craves. To have no pain and unlimited amount of energy is a concept my own brain cannot process currently at this time.

I don't like focusing on the negatives but the reality is this is my life at the moment and its hard and painful and every day is a struggle. Currently my biggest achievement is getting up and having a shower without having to go back to bed and sleep from sheer exhaustion. How do you accept that at age twenty three? Should you accept that?

Its frightening when the only relief you can get from the pain is morphine, when crutches become like a second pair of legs and you dread people asking you how you are because the reality is you don't know anymore. But each day you wake up and you fight, you strive to achieve something even if it is a shower. You look for beauty in life's simple pleasures; a hug from a loved one, a genuine smile, a cup of warm tea and the text from a friend who tells you she is thinking of you. The reality is now the small things matter in life and soon these little things will consume your life and help to block out the scary/ painful moments.

 Every day I still do have a choice; do I choose to focus on everything that I cant do, or do I look at all the things I still can do and all the blessings which are right under my nose?
Do I stay in bed in my pjs all day and let my body and mind be consumed by the relentless pain or do I force myself up even through tears to have that warm comforting shower and smile because I achieved something?
Do I focus on the physical pain or do I let emotions and feelings of love, happiness and peace flood my soul?

Every day there is a decision to be made and some days physically, mentally and emotionally no matter how much determination or drive I have my body will have the final say. I am learning to let that be
okay. To not compare myself to what other people my age are able to do because that only causes added pain. Instead to create my own little pieces of 'joy', to stop and smell the roses, put flowers in teapots and drink sweet tea out of beautiful china!
There is always joy some days you just have to stop and wait a bit longer to find it.