A few chores then Nels and I spent the day on the road with a friend, who bought us a wonderful lunch. When we got home I put in several hours sewing something, the first project I’ve worked on since a little after New Years. Whether due to my bodily pain and fatigue, or some other unnamed and unknown issue, even after this modest day’s activities I am tired and looking forward to sleep.
I’ve had a chronic and irritating pain for several months now; a pain that starts deep in my bicep and extends down the length of my arm. At night, after a day’s worth of work and exercise, I often notice the sensations have extended: across my scapula and into my upper back, and down through my forearm into the hand. My history tells me I have a high tolerance to pain – especially chronic pain – and I also have a tendency to tough it out and wait for it to resolve. In this case, however, I have decided to seek treatment for my arm, because I do not think it is improving on its own. I have been waiting it out a little bit as the new year has started and we will be paying on a deductible. But I don’t know how much longer I can or want to wait.
The day draws to a close; my son bathes and sings in the adjacent bathroom. He can make up songs and sing them for over an hour. His sister, fresh from her shower, sits next to me and sketches. “Mom? Do you have any tips for ____________?” she asks, naming one of the important issues she’s grappling with. (An issue that obviously is remaining private!) In the kitchen Ralph puts away dinner – pierogi and green beans. The dog sleeps beside my bed. Our foster kitty watches Nels in the bath, sneaking up a tiny little peg-like paw now and then and retracting it. Her ears are on point; her bright eyes affixed on droplets of water trembling on the enameled tub.
Yesterday a friend asked me how I gave up drinking; what made me decide to stop, and how I knew I “had a problem”. As much as I think about this I have never been able to figure it out (except for the date, and the way I felt on that date!). I still can’t fully articulate in a logical way how and why I made this change and just exactly how much it has affected me to stay sober. I don’t think about alcohol (or drugs) or miss all that but at the same time, I think a whole heck of a lot more about my feelings, my thoughts, and my conduct than I used to. And I honor my feelings a LOT more than I used to.
Nights like tonight when I am very tired I think of how glad I am to have the life I have and that I don’t need to do anything or take anything to relax, and to sleep a good sleep. I’ve begun to wake up, to see things as they really are – or more so at least, and life is – different. Tonight I know that pain and deprivation have me run a little ragged, but I also know I can get through the day with a little dignity, helping others, and enjoying what the day offers. I am so grateful to have a partner, and children in my home – and pets! – and so many wonderful friends who love me and whom I love very much. At the end of the day I hope I’ve done my part, discharged my duties, had a few laughs and made the world a better place to live.
Tonight I am going to put forth a little prayer. I have these hopes for this and that, a few necessities in life, and it must be confessed a nicety or two as well. But mostly, I know I am at the mercy of the Unverise, and today I am okay with this. I have patience and I have faith and those are some of my best possessions.