Welp, two years ago today this crazy road began.
I say began, but I had already been on that road for 20 some years at that point. It just got significantly harder and forced me to realize I was on a road those around me were not.
-These last 6 years have been rough
-These last 2 years have been deadly
-I’m still unsure how I’ve made it through these last 7 months.
There have been many hits… and quite honestly I’m just tired at this point…
I’ve dealt with:
-Tests that backfired and caused more damage;
-Coping methods that are 10 minutes of extreme pain for almost a week of survivability;
-Increased headaches and brain fogs as most of my coping methods have been taken out of my diet;
-Short sighted rumors spread and the backlash that came from them;
-The lifestyle I knew being torn apart.
-Constant pain no matter what I do
A world without a safe zone… a place to relax or think through everything that has happened. It’s honestly been so long since I’ve known what it feels like to…. feel… excitement? Happiness? Relief? Worry, anxiety, exhaustion, and regret have been my closest friends.
After two years of clawing at walls in an attempt to even slow the descent, I stand here fairly battered and bruised. You want the future to come, but there are days you wonder what’s even left to survive?
But then let’s look at what was gained in this time.
Because I may have lost a lot, and feel wiped out…. but the thing about hardships is that it builds our muscles and causes us to grow.
Besides, I never write these things just so I can whine about my life… but for the sake of all those who have told me they can relate.
I’m open and honest about how much it hurts and how weak I am, because there is no shame in admitting you’re weak. You may as well have shame for having two ears or a nose! It kind of comes with who we are.
But there has been growth as well throughout the hardships. Good news amidst the sorrows.
It was finally proven that I didn’t have liver cancer. That is a diagnosis I was more than thankful for.
God not only let me (the kid who was told by counselors he wouldn’t make it past grade 7 for context) graduate with a bachelor’s degree but even managed to gain Summa Cum Laude for getting a 4.0 GPA in every class!
I have had to become a lot more conscientious about things… My exercise, my diet, my finances… Sure this is also a bother. I’d much rather be eating triple patty burgers with pop, sit back, and go to Europe once a year like those around me…. but these aren’t bad skills to learn… and they mean I’ll be able to do more with less when the time comes again.
I lapped the Bible. Read through it once, and now am halfway through on lap two. There’s a lot of things I’ve managed to pick up on through reading it this way as well. I definitely recommend doing it cover to cover at least once in your life.
People are still as loud and obnoxious as ever… and I’d be lying if I didn’t say there are still twinges of bitterness as to those who lied to others about why I lost my last job, why I live at home, the validity of my condition, or have even told my parents to throw me out of the house for my own good and theirs… But at the same time… the world has gotten a lot larger around them as the world they live in has gotten so much smaller.
So much of our world just runs on rails of what is the right way to live our lives. What is expected of us. So many people fall through the cracks of this illusion. There are many people out there who are introverted, highly sensitive, chronic illness, shy, unemployed, in debt, or more… and in spite of what those on rails say; these people are NOT weak all the time! Actually, often times I’d say they have far more strength than those who maintain their illusion of the “Majority”
Speaking of the world not being on rails… I’ve learned how to find the un-walked path a lot better.
You can get into pretty much any industry easily for a lot of effort and $5000.
Want to publish a book? The publisher wants $5000 for professional marketing and editing. Want to get into Voice Over? Well unless you have a $500 demo that only comes after $4000 worth of lessons to go on your $40 website…. no one will ever dream of looking at you! Want to learn a language? Sure! Just spend $5000 on lessons! Streaming? Set up. Sales? Products. Accounting? Certification. Programming? Computer Degree. The list goes on, and each industry will tell you it is the ONLY way in!
Listen… There is NOT only one way forward because the people who founded these paths didn’t have these luxuries to begin them. If you can afford them, take them. It’s much easier to stay on the main road. But don’t let yourself feel trapped because every industry wants $5k just to reach the starting line!
I’ve also learned to do the best I can with what I have. Because I don’t have much. About 10 months ago, I was driving to Toronto with my laptop in my car and it struck me “If I got into an accident right now I’d lose pretty much 100% of the marketable assets I have left!” But do what you can with what you have! Don’t worry about the results! Don’t worry about the end goal! Don’t freeze in place because of how much lies before you! Focus on taking one more step right now! Then do a step after that! A step after that! And a step after that! Move at your own pace! Don’t let others berate you for it!
I’ve learned the importance of rest. There are days I wish I was even half as lazy as people assume I am. Each day, I do physio exercises, I make meals, I apply for jobs, I study language, business, and computer sciences, I read my Bible, I pray, I clean, I try to keep in contact with people from over 12 different countries…. I’ve learned there are days I need to just rest…. and I am not a failure for doing so!
I am not sure who made up the belief that you are ineffective if you take breaks. It was very short sighted and dumb. People are an investment. Not an asset. Give them rest and they will come back more awake, refreshed, and more effective towards you!
A large eye opener for me was when I started taking the nerve blocks and went from a 6-7 to a 4-5 on the normal pain scale…. I saw how much energy I had given back to me… I realized just how lazy those people who said I wasn’t working hard were if they were sitting at a 1-2 and had THAT much energy! I also realized how much I really needed to pace myself and take rest.
One of the big ones I learned was to ask for help. From doctors, from friends, from others. I have never wanted to be a burden to others. I was put into a place where I was forced to be. I was forced to realize it was okay, and to do it more often. We can’t make it through this life on our own. Stop trying!
My relationship with my parents hit a major improvement through these last two years. I think the same way that all kids; usually in their mid teens, though if they’re more responsible usually in their early-mid twenties; hit a point where they realize their parents’ AREN’T right on everything, and they have to decide how much they’ll cling to what they were taught, and how much they’ll decide to do differently that we call “rebellious phase.” I think every parent falls into the trap of believing “I know my kids better than anyone! Even better than they know themselves!” which of course means they stop looking for how you’ve grown and changed and start missing things. These last two years have forced communication to open up again… and it has been incredibly healing.
So here we stand as year three of this all starts…
my mountains seem no smaller, but the world seems a lot bigger. Honestly I don’t know what lies ahead, and if it weren’t for God I’d really see no point in even trying. (Yeesh! I was burnt out November of 2017!) But I remind myself… even though I don’t want to be paying off the debts of these last 2 years until I’m 40. Even though I don’t want to be alone nor living at home. Even though I don’t want to be a burden to my parents who have done so much to help me through all this. I know that if God wants me to stay here then there is nothing I can do to stop it and He will provide through it. I also know that He has taken people from prisoners to second in command of a country over night throughout the Bible. If God wants to… no mountain is too high for Him to topple.
I do however pray that this third year… God just does something ridiculous. Partially for the selfish reason that I am wiped out… emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically exhausted… I don’t have anything more to give unless He gives it.
At the same time though, I want Him to do something ridiculously from Him because I think this world, ESPECIALLY in the church… needs a reminder. We DON’T serve a dead God! It is NOT by OUR works but by what HE does THROUGH us!
“You may say to yourself ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ but remember the Lord your God for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth!” – Deuteronomy 8:17-18
In the end, it is not my place to command God. If it were, He wouldn’t be God! I would be! But I humbly concede that everyone’s success; from the greatest saint to the lowest tyrant; only has success because He has allowed it. And I cling to hope that He is merciful and does all things for our good.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for listening to this broken man’s ramble. I pray that it was encouraging for you, and that you find hope in it. Remember you are not alone!