I’m in constant pain, I can’t live anything close to what I used to consider a normal life, and my future, physically and financially, is completely unknown. But I’ve had to learn to slow down, to prioritize, and to appreciate the people in my life who care about me. I am unable to multi-task, so every task and every conversation has my full attention. I have been humbled in so many ways, so I never take what I have for granted. I still get frustrated, and I still try to push myself harder than I should (and then pay the price for days), but no longer do I run around like a crazy woman, doing ten (mostly unnecessary) things at once and making snap decisions about important matters. And although there are still people who annoy me, I try my best to be respectful of them, because I don’t know what hidden battles they might be fighting. Only those closest to me can tell if my pain is worse than usual, or that I’m in pain at all.
Losing my job a little over a year ago was such an unexpected and crushing blow to my self-esteem, and I think that has made me more sensitive to the sadness of those around me. I was always a “push through it” sort of person until I hit a wall I simply couldn’t push through, and in my own suffering I found a compassion for others that may have been lacking before. I’m sure there’s a quote or scripture somewhere about good things coming from bad experiences, but I’m too tired to search for it right now. And you know what? That’s okay. If I wake up tomorrow pain-free I’ll hunt for it, and then start my job search. If I wake up in pain (as usual), at least I’ll know what I’ve been through has changed me, and not all the changes are bad.
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