breaking points

The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. – Hunter S. Thompson

The last few weeks have taken me on a detour, on a journey in which the focus have been on lessons far and away from working, striving, reaching and achieving.

For all of last week I was bed-ridden by an infection on my right leg coupled with a twisted and swollen ankle and shin, from falling down the stairs in my house twice in one day. It was a perfect storm and it knocked me down, hard.

I spent the beginning of last week in denial about my situation, convinced I would be back on my feet in no time. But the tears that would come involuntarily as my leg throbbed with pain each time I tried to stand, along with the words “hot mess” that the Peace Corps doctor used to describe it, made me start to realize that I would be out of commission for longer than I had initially thought.

The nature of being a peace corps volunteer is difficult enough in and of itself. There is an underlying feeling of vulnerability and loneliness that come with being put into a community of people who all knew each other before you arrived. Sometimes those feelings are quieted by connections created and relationships built. Other times these insecurities can be magnified by circumstances beyond one’s control.

I’ve been incredibly lucky in my life to have never so much as broken a bone or suffered from any majorly devastating medical concerns. So to be debilitated by these recent health issues was excruciatingly challenging for me. I couldn’t move freely, do any work, or practice yoga. My only job was to rest and heal and to absorb the spiritual and emotional lessons that were the real reasons this had happened to me.

Nothing in this life, or any other, happens at random and lessons are always delivered when they are meant to. My brother Matthew’s birthday was last Monday. He passed away in a freak accident when we were teenagers; he was 15, I was 13. Every year on April 23rd I feel an overwhelming sense of pain and loss on a day that should be filled with happiness and celebration. But this year, on what would have been his 30th birthday, I felt the depths and darkness of a pain and suffering unlike any I’ve experienced since his passing.

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Sometimes I wish I had the ability to shield myself from hurt and sadness, and do realize that on some level I guard with ferocity the most vulnerable parts of my being. But I also know from experience that the heights of true happiness cannot be fully felt without also having learned from the mysteries of sadness and despair. This is the spectrum of the human experience.

And so the journey continues, the healing goes on, and the strong get stronger as I give thanks for the blessings that emerge from the beauty in these lessons, for myself and anyone else also healing themselves from something unimaginably and unspeakably painful…

Because, aren’t we all healing from something?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shannon
    May 03, 2012 @ 20:33:16

    This post brought tears to my eyes, I wish I was there to give you comfort and support you so deserve. Miss you incredibly…


  2. Olivia
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 17:49:33

    You are an incredible writer, I felt your pain, i wish I could pick you up and get you home to your mom. You are one of the bravest persons i know. Get well.


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