These words have been waiting to reach the page for about a week. It isn’t the fear of putting them out there anymore, but rather the timing of life and adulthood, that often prevents me from sharing them.
As I write this post, it is well past 10pm. I’m still in sweaty gym clothes and my latest Netflix binge, The Keepers, is providing a backdrop of sound against my fingers on the keyboard. I may regret staying up a little later when my alarm goes off in the morning, but the freedom of being able to share my words will always be worth any lack of sleep
Life for me over the past few months has been framed by an ongoing struggle of balance between body and soul. As strange or even cliche as that may sound, that is truly what it has been. My soul, my heart, being full steam ahead day in and day out, while my body struggles to keep up and process the demands being placed on it.
The short story is this: for close to a year and a half I have struggled with chronic foot and leg pain that seemingly showed up out of the blue. I brushed it off, as all strong-willed (read: stubborn) people do, for a few months until one day I quite literally could not walk and therefore could not ignore. It was unclear to me whether this pain directly correlated to my Cerebral Palsy diagnosis or if it was simply a byproduct of living a very active lifestyle, or maybe both.
Many doctor’s visits, physical therapy appointments, and recommended surgical interventions later, I have built a team of trustworthy providers around me who respect my desire to stay as active as possible, with the most conservative interventions possible.
A year and a half later, I am in a place of peace and of pain-free living. This space feels uncomfortable. It does not feel like home. I have rested here for approximately three weeks, and compared to a year and a half of the space I’ve been in, three weeks seems like a millisecond. But this space and this uncomfortable feeling is precisely why I knew it was time to write again.
We spend a lot of our days waiting. And in the waiting, we so often miss the joy. As I sat in a follow up appointment with one of my doctors last Friday, his tone got a bit quieter and his facial expressions a little bit softer as I shared that I’d “only” been feeling good for about two weeks now. He spent the better part of ten minutes sharing with me the road we’ve been on, and the plan that is now in fact working. In that moment, what I heard him say was not medical facts, but rather reassurance–as if he was saying “you’re okay, you’re going to be okay”. It might not have been in those words, but it was in his gestures, in the slow and methodical explanations.
In the past five days, I have stopped using the word only to describe my timetable. It tells me that where I am at this moment is not enough. That who I am is inadequate.
In the past five days, I have slowly started to become more active, more alive, the person I know to be me.
In the past five days, I have started to regain a partnership with not just my legs, but my soul again. To not feel damaged or broken.
In the past five days, I have been reminded of the beauty of grace and begun to learn what it feels like when you are not weighed down by waiting for the other shoe to drop, when you begin to believe that you are okay.
There is no more powerful feeling.