I wish I could control you, but I can’t. You throw curve balls at the absolute worst of times. What lessons do you want me to learn from this tragedy? Answers, please.
The Story Behind the Letter
It happened in the blink of an eye. Literally.
My mom had suffered a submacular hemorrhage in her only good eye. As a result, she was now legally blind.
No more driving. No more e-mails. No more reading without a magnifying glass or a fancy machine.
Game over. Case closed.
At first, I was stunned. I knew her eyes had been failing, but the pace at which this event occurred was unfathomable.
One day she was driving and in control. The next, I was driving her.
Both of our lives had drastically changed in an instant, replaced by life’s full circle. My mother was once my caregiver; and now I was hers.
Try accepting THAT with an anxiety disorder. Let me tell you-it’s scary.
As I often say, when life throws you lemons, make lemonade. But how?
Truth be told, I’ve reflected and reflected on the lessons that “life” wants me to learn.
It’s a vicious cycle. Anger turns from helplessness to acceptance… and then the cycle repeats.
It breaks my heart that she has to go through this. I can’t control it; and neither can she.
But perhaps the lesson is acceptance. Life doesn’t pad itself for those of us who struggle with anxiety. It’s not that simple.
Sure, I can resist. But what good does that do?
With every moment of resistance, I’m missing out on the joy of the moment. Joy, joy, joy.
OK-I know what you’re saying. “Joy? How is there joy in this situation?”
Well, if you really think about it, there is one large gift in this experience. I’m spending more time with my mom than I have in years.
Together, we’re building an entirely new reality. We’re learning how to put our differences aside to work as a team.
I’m the eyes and she’s the know how. It’s nothing short of amazing.
We’re also growing closer. There’s a new type of trust that is being built. We rely on one another in a way that we haven’t since I was a child.
And most of all, we’re learning to work through dual anxiety because we have no other choice. We’re both anxious and terrified, but with every conflict, we learn teamwork to resolve it.
So yes, there can be joy in tragedy. There are many places where we can shut down when anxiety strikes. However, this isn’t one of them.
Things have to be done-with anxiety in tow. And learning how to do that brings me joy at the end of the day.
Honestly, I’m carrying the weight of our family in a way that I thought I never could. But the only reason for this is that I’ve accepted what I cannot change.
I can’t change it, so I have to deal with it. (That’s something that we, as anxiety sufferers, never like to do.)
The moral of the story is that resistance equals persistence. You never know what curve ball life will throw you. However, you can become a better person in any experience.
You walk THROUGH the fear. And when you do, you WILL come out on the other side. I promise.
Remember this story the next time you resist life’s natural path. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
What changes are you resisting–and where do you need to walk through the storm to come out on the other side? (Makes you think, right?)
P.S. Cherish your eyesight. It wasn’t until this event occurred that I realized what a gift it is to be able to see.
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