Monday, September 17, 2012

The Wink of Potential

2012 (c) Amanda Morris Johnson
Seven Months out from surgery today! It seems like forever, but I know it is not really that long in any real perspective. I feel a bit like I’ve gone from newborn to a  seven-month old in terms of the leaps of knowledge that have occurred. I’ve gone from, “I don’t know,” to “I don’t know and that’s all right.” Grin. I know how to smile and laugh and sit up now. Of course, I write metaphorically. I could do those things within coming out of anesthesia in the hospital, but now I seem to understand the reality of what’s going on a bit better.

Here’s the thing: They weren’t kidding when they said it would take a long time to heal. Considering how much better and brighter I felt within weeks of the brain surgery, I did have the hubris to believe that I was all better more than once along the way. What I have learned is that the things I am able to do, and the things I ought to do are not a necessary match in the scope of self-care, and real holistic health. I am able to do pretty much anything I want, even write, but my constant temptation to show this to myself and anyone in my periphery is dangerous to my full recovery. I’ve paid for over-doing time and time again since the beginning of summer time because I am stubborn about my ability and not stubborn about my rest. I am trying, trying to switch this in my thinking and planning, but am really an amateur at knowing what schedule I can really handle and I know there is so much I want to be that rest, meh, seems like a Universal manipulation to undo my ambition to be frank, and yet...

When I do too much, and I write this for anyone recovering from serious surgery, I pay for it. There is no recourse. I am down and out, and it isn’t from major efforts. It is from
efforts I consider normal, like seeing friends, taking on a little more work, and generally expecting myself to be productive. I can’t do that yet. It seems insane to me most of the time to say, “No, thanks, I’m not up for it,” when I feel fine. But just because I feel fine after a good low-down time, does not mean I will feel fine after I do the most mundane things to “catch-up” with one thing or another. In fact, I will be knocked out. I am susceptible to colds and headaches, like everyone else who is overdone, but what I am most susceptible to is exhaustion, and it feels disappointing and pathetic to me sometimes.

I really understand how frustrated babies must feel when they cannot do yet what they want to do. It is just around the bend, so close, but sitting up alone, or standing up at the
coffee table is simply not a solo act yet for them. Eating chewy foods are out of the question. Ah, the life of a babe. It seems from the very start of life we are in a rush to catch up and catch on and perform. Is it even possible, within our nature, to be calm and enjoy being slow, and being where we are at? Maybe only if we are surrounded by folks who are in exactly the same place and that doesn’t happen ever, and I suspect even then we’d compete to see who elevated off the floor first.

How can I limit myself, and admit that I cannot take on a normal life when I want a normal life? It is not possible. I just keep edging forward until I fall. I cry like a big baby at the
feeling of failure. Then I do it again!  I really believe this is the nature of our being and to pretend that I’m going to acquiesce to self-limitation until I am better is like putting a child in a car seat and never unbuckling him. I’m going to fall over and have a few bruises and need some recovery time, but each time my determination enters that recovery time sooner. I remember that my potential for accomplishing my dreams is as important as lying down to lick my wounds.

Today, I am in bed with laryngitis, but lack the interest in staring blankly out the window has caused me to write, when drawing out on the dining room table seems too energetic. I will not last all day here. The person I want to be whispers in my ears constantly, “Get up and see what happens...” like the "Cabaceo" look of a gentleman who'd like to dance with me.