Tag Archives: health

Closing a Door to Open an Exit

I suppose I’m boarding the bandwagon by looking back at the last twelve months, but there’s a reason it’s a popular pursuit.

We like to quantify our existence through measurable gains or losses. It’s a tool to see where we’ve been and to plot where we’re going. Without some definable roadmap, we tend to wander. One day bleeds into the next, and we’re left looking for the missing months and disappearing days. But I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing.

There’s an argument to be made on both sides. Adhering to an unforgivingly regimented schedule that leaves little or no time for friends, loved ones, or creative pursuits is probably as detrimental as a life spent sinking in the quicksand of financial worry or health concerns.

Money is made and money is lost. The loop of hope and disappointment continues to spin. But what’s the big picture purpose?

I do know that as soon as health is compromised, everything else takes a distant back seat. Whether it’s the physical or mental well-being of those close to us or own bodies rebelling against our neatly-laid plans, there’s no backburner for pain…at least, not the real stuff.

On that note, I can happily report that regular work with my energy healer/acupuncturist, Jennifer, has transformed my life. There were far too many days this past year when death seemed like a viable solution to neutralize the agonizing torture that migraines inflicted on my body and mind. I was yards past the end of my rope, as anyone who had a conversation with me about the topic can attest.

The residual damage of that kind of extended trauma is still there, but every week I move closer to regaining some sense of security and a slightly tighter grip on the leash of this unpredictable beast. Awareness about how we’re wired and why our brains decide to embark on dark excursions of their own design is like a spotlight in the eyes of Gremlins. They prefer to do their work in the shadows, so it’s up to us to bathe them in light.

I will continue to carry a boulder-laden backpack of uncertainty about my overarching path and purpose, but I am finally starting to take that hike without looking for falling rocks at every turn.

One heavy-booted step at a time.

Okay, 2018…I’m ready to walk.

Adolescence Interrupted 

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Twelve Years

12years212 years. 144 months. 624 weeks. 4,380 days.

105,120 hours. 6,307,200 minutes.

These are much more than numbers. With each rotation around the sun, I’m reminded of my station. Every year is a bookmark in a story I never want to finish. These tallies are visual representations of the time spent away from risk, pain, and peril. They are universal stamps of approval, affirming that I made the right decision to carry on with this crazy experiment called life.

It would have been easy to wave that white flag during the downpour. When every ounce of optimism was depleted, when every cell screamed at me to stop, and when the self-inflicted psychological torture far exceeded any physical pain, I could have stepped off the train. I didn’t have to subject my body and brain to an uncertain future on a path laden with land mines.

The impetus to fight instinct came from those hidden recesses we haven’t quite been able to classify. It’s grit and gumption mixed with tireless tenacity, and the sum total of those efforts is twelve years of health, hope, and possibility.

Perspective is a funny thing. A life-or-death seesaw frames the simplest joys as monumental, celebratory occasions. Laughable moments of triumph—like walking unassisted in a hallway or finishing a full meal—demand a chorus of applause. Existence reverts to its most basic form. There is an appreciation for every waking second without pain.

The further we travel from that precarious road, the more comfortable we become taking everything for granted. Health becomes something expected, and pain takes its residence in layers of memory. Stress is assigned to daily worry, future projections, or mundane tasks on infinite checklists. The brain is designed to recover from previous trauma, so it feels easy to forget what is truly important…until we are reminded again.

I rode that boomerang for a long time. As difficult as things have been in this carnivorous city, and as much as my time is occupied by the weight of wonder, there is no comparison to the very real and immediate threat of losing everything.

So I am grateful for all twelve of those planetary revolutions, and I will continue my search for greater peace of mind inside that perspective.

Adolescence Interrupted