Thursday, February 25, 2016

Four years ago...

Four years ago on this day...

My first blog post of 2016 (actually my first post for quite a while) has been prompted by Facebook's 'see your memories' gadget that popped up on my feed earlier today.

I'm very aware this weekend marks 4 years since my first surgery. I have been mentally composing a post, ready to return to my neglected blog. It still feels like I need to recognise it - it's still not 'over' so there is still a rawness of sorts attached to the date. But today's caught me a little early, not quite off-guard, but not far from it. 

A lot has happened in the past few months that I haven't blogged about. I'm not even sure I know how to yet, but looking at my Facebook 'memories' today (did I mention I really hate that thing?! It seems programmed to pick the best *sarcasm* days to 'remind' me about....)

So.... 4 years ago today, these are my 'memories' - indelibly marked in my mind, but brought into glaring reality when staring out at me from my phone. Today, this is what I saw:

We were indeed in Lexington, Kentucky 12(ish) hours later, but little did I know what lay ahead... 

Sometimes, I think I am actually so very grateful for that blissful ignorance. There is so much we can cope with when we have to, I think definitely more than we can really imagine. When something big; something life-changing; something massively challenging happens, there are really two options - figure out how to deal with it, or don't. In other words, you beat it, or it beats you. 

That doesn't necessarily mean you can storm your way through life, stomping down every difficulty thrown at you as if you are superwoman; but it does mean you are in control of how you react to that challenge, looking at the bigger picture.  Dealing with it might still involve crying, screaming, yelling, sleeping, not sleeping -  generally struggling to figure things out; and 'figuring things out' doesn't necessarily involve a eureka moment, an epiphany that provides a working solution that you can just go with. Sometimes it means you just keep trying to figure things out, finding little solutions day by day until a big solution comes along.... or doesn't - sometimes day by day is the solution, and that doesn't mean you're losing, I have learned.  It pretty much means you're human.

(Official video courtesy of YouTube; not mine)

Reading back over that blogpost from 2012, it just feels so naive,  so unsuspecting of what was to come. I remember that feeling. It seemed like so long, from the previous June, and such a battle to actually get to that point - it was a battle!  I just had no idea how long the battle would last. I still don't.  But I genuinely was excited about the surgery. I genuinely thought it was going to fix everything. 

Then last year (apparently) I posted this, another link to this blog:

And it is still true. In a bittersweet way (the beauty of the words being the sweet part), this 'memory' is the one that stood out most. Not really to share on Facebook (hey, what an awesome time I was having a year ago.... because, really, that's supposed to be the point, isn't it? Facebook.... otherwise known as 'my perfect life'... surely we're all over that now?! We know better - right?!).  

Just the words.... they captured so perfectly how I felt, beaten and battered by things entirely outwith my control. Little did I know one year on, that list would have lengthened and I would still feel these words, as if they are living deep within me, flowing through me, as control remains nothing but an illusion; entirely out of my reach.

So, yeah, that all kind of hit me hard today. I was mentally preparing for the weekend - it's silly in a way, it was an arbitrary date, it really just marks another day passing, but at the same time, it does hold significance. I can think about that then.... 

But today, four years ago, we made our FIRST trip to Lexington, full of hope and optimism; and I guess, I need to search for that hope and optimism, and hope that somewhere deep inside, it hides, still there, ready to surface again. And I also need to remember I'm only human - and there are many ways to deal with challenges, and they're all ok, there are no magic solutions. 

 Hope is the thing with feathers 
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all
~ Emily Dickinson ~