Starting Over, Again

Me 6/12/20

The world is currently going through a time period that, a year ago, most of us would never have thought possible.  During such a time of uncertainties, I and many people around me are taking a step back and looking at their lives from a different perspective.  So many parts of our current lives are foreign to us and aspects we have come to take for granted no longer exist as we once knew them. 

In the middle of March, when the world around me shut down, I began to scrutinize my personal life.  I would not say what realizations I came to were a complete shock to me or anyone involved in the day to day operations of my life.  I would say rather they were ongoing issues that were magnified under lockdown.  Themes that kept recurring over the past few years could no longer be ignored by the hustle and bustle of daily life.   

Yes, my husband and I are separated and getting a divorce.  It is very hard when it feels like you have to justify all of your life choices to people who do not live your life every day.  My husband is an amazing person, friend, father, and provider.  I am thankful for all he has given me and taught me. So why then is it necessary to make all these drastic changes?  Just because people around you are unaware or choose to ignore issues, does not make them unreal or go away. 

The world of physical disability is very difficult; you try so hard to make everyone around you think you are the same as everyone else, you just don’t walk or your voice sounds a little different.  You get so convincing, you even start buying into your own propaganda.  So you start comparing yourself to all these amazing women around you, who by the way do not have a physical disability, and try to match them in the race of life: “So and So” works full-time, has two children, and cooks from scratch every night for her family.  I started to tell myself if “So and So” can, I can too, plus I’ll, plus I’ll….In reality that is great for “So and So”, but I’m not her.  Quite honestly “So and So” and I did not start on even playing fields.  We are both people with likes and dislikes, true, but I literally have to put in 4 to 5 times the physical and mental effort she does to accomplish remotely the same tasks.  I am not belittling her, but instead, I am saying we can and should not be compared as to our level of productivity. 

One would think that because I do almost every daily task slightly differently from everyone around me, including such mundane tasks as getting dressed or getting into bed. Knowing that other fundamental parts of my life need to be carried out as uniquely.  Whether it is having space more devoted to my needs or a larger basic support system.  There is this blatant double standard impressed on me by society and people around me with this expectation to not only keep up with but surpass the “Joneses”.  At the very same time, I receive no respect as a strong, intelligent woman. I am hung up on, on a weekly basis when trying to make routine phone calls on mine or my sons’ behalf.

 I am not the person I was 8yrs ago or even 3 yrs ago and the person I am becoming is not just a homemaker, a girl who used to walk, used to be skinny, or had endless dreams. I am not totally sure who I am, but I am a woman in her late thirties who stopped living in the moment, so afraid of what the future might bring. I am the person that, as of this July, realized I have been alive more years post-diagnosis than pre-diagnosis and yet somehow I give my life before the knowledge of my disease more weight. I need to embrace who I am now and going forward.

At the same time, it is sad to say goodbye to a powerful segment of your life no matter what the circumstances are.  I have begun to appreciate the need to slow down and stop comparing myself to others as well as my former self. The road of life might be giving you green lights the whole way, but is it really hard to keep your eyes from glancing at your rearview mirror.  I intend to take all that I have learned and incorporate it and expand on it, and see what comes next!

Me spring 2020

2 thoughts on “Starting Over, Again

  1. Your strength is stronger than you realize and I have seen it. I so wish I could say what I would like as eloquently as your do, but I can’t. The easiest way I can say what I would like is……….I think you are an amazing woman inside and out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You got this, Liz! I know you are a strong, amazing woman and mom and I’m proud of you for realizing this big step! Prayers and hugs! We are behind you “rooting” for you!!!!

    Like

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