Thursday, December 11, 2008

It has been challenging confronting this holiday and comparing it to last year. I know in comparison to others, I am lucky. I am making a strong physical recovery, I have a safe and sweet life. I know others may have suffered and are suffering in ways I will never know.

What I do know, is what happened to me. I injured my back after ignoring it for months. There were many signs that something was not quite right in my lower back, I would have severe, painful periodic episodes. Because I had my life to live, children to raise, an emotionally challenging job to tend to, I ignored what I was feeling. I began to ignore what I was seeing as well. Intense emotional exchanges began to litter my life. All of a sudden, I was charged by the insincerity I was witnessing in my workplace. I felt I had to fight for what was clearly plaguing my work environment. After a particularly heated exchange, mostly aimed at me for speaking up, I was speaking with a colleague. She said she was glad I was willing to fight this fight for everyone, that she was thankful I was able to speak up on their behalf. It was in that moment that I realized I was holding something for a group of people that were qualified to fight their own battles. If they did not want to, it was their choice, but I did not have to hold all of this for them. No wonder my back hurt.

The next week, in a silly freak accident, I herniated a disc, in a big way. I awoke at 3am, paralyzed. I could not move my right leg. The pain was excruciating. I had no idea what was happening. I had no idea how badly I was injured. What I did know is that I could not walk or move or get out of bed without suffering. I kept thinking that any day now, I would feel better. I spent the holiday season flat on my back, the only comfortable position was flat, staring at the ceiling. The Christmas Holiday arrived and I thought I would be back to work by the New Year. As I look back, it is hard to imagine how I survived. My children were getting weary from caring for me. I missed the last Christmas with my nephew before he passed in January. I still had no clue to how I would recover, if I would recover.

I became overwhelmed in my dealings with the insurance company. I was slapped in the face with the reality of America's health care. Everything has been a fight, from the largest thing to the smallest thing.

I keep thinking, is this my life? When did I choose this path? Do I require this lesson? Apparently I do. Here I am. I am trying to embrace this part of my journey, find the lessons and leave the rest. Spiritually, I feel spent. I am exhausted from sifting through the rubble that I thought was my life. I thought I was well situated in my career, in my family. I thought I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. Now it has all been shook up form this injury.

I am still trying to reflect and make sense of it all. I hope this season, when the portal to the spiritual world is cracked open, that I will find some light, some hope, some clarity. Has anyone else experienced this kind of deep change at 40? I keep hoping it is a mid-life shake down. I keep hoping that at the end of this, I will hold some talisman that I can carry with me...