Some days it feels like I'm treading water. Or maybe it's mud. it certainly feels heavy and confining enough to be mud. It clings and drags and consumes. Treading in my endless muddy water, barely keeping my head above the ripples I create with my ineffectual flailing. Exhausting. Draining. I hate those days, or should I say these days. Because that's what it's felt like of late.
I paint on my smile and put on my Can-Do hat. I do what has to be done and try to live in the moment, rather than the overwhelming notion of tomorrow or the next day. Time never ending is intimidating in it's endless expanse. It swamps me when I try to think about it. When I try to make sense of it. So much is in flux and it's tiring. There is a desperate need to finish something. To have an end to even one small thing. A decision made. A task completed. A symptom to finally reign in. An answer finally bestowed. So that I can dump it and forget it and move onto the next task at hand.
But life isn't like that. Illness isn't like that. Neither care for my need of ends. Flux is hard to deal with. But it seems to define life in all it's permutations. A permanent state of flux. There are no nice neat boxes that I can pack, seal and stack in neat rows. No storage lockers for all the sorted and completed tasks. All labelled and marked. Colour coded to reflect the effort taken and the task overcome. So I can go in at need and reassure myself that those are the burdens I no longer need to bear. A tangible tally of all I have dealt with and completed. To give me the impetus and encouragement to know that today's issue will be sorted. That it will have an end. Nice and crisp.
In my more sanguine moments I know that such dreams are unrealistic. In those moments I can tell myself that this is life. In those moments I am okay with the uncertain nature of life. I can take a deep breath and move on. In those moments I have the reserves to deal with the lack of tangible endings. I can appreciate that uncertainty also has that magical flipside of as yet unknown possibilities. That the future is unwritten and that mystery can sometimes be the most precious gift we can be given.
But today I am going to wallow. I am going to let myself feel the weight and the exhaustion. I'm going to pout and moan and shake my weakened fist at the sky, and scream obscenities at the universe. I'm going to shout about the unfairness of life, the lack of justice in the world. I'm going to sob into my pillow and throw plates at the walls that surround me.
...when the roar is over. When my fury and and sadness is spent. When the venom that is that little voice in the back of my mind, is finally exhausted and silent. I will take a deep breath. I will feel the lightness of my being. I will stand. And I will be ready to accept the possibilities before me once more.
In the words of Maya Angelou (1978)
Still I rise.
This is one of the first of Maya Angelou's works I ever came across back when I was a teenager. I remember feeling the power in the words as I read them on the page, but it wasn't till I was older that I realised the true importance of her work. Hearing it in her own voice sends shivers down my spine. Whether the voices that harangue you are external or internal we can choose to be stronger. We have to believe we are stronger.