I spent the last week at the beach, and in true Glanda fashion, a lot of reflection took place. I always go back to where I was the last time I was in that particular situation whatever it is and try to think through the change that has taken place. How did I feel about certain things? What were my thoughts centered around? What was I thankful for or what details around me did I take notice of? Or what were my anxiety triggers and how in the world do I prevent another embarrassing episode?
The beach is my place (other than Lake Tahoe and the swing in our backyard) but last year’s trip to the beach nearly wrecked me. I had developed fluid behind my macula in my eye and didn’t know it, so I spent most of my trip thinking I had a brain tumor growing and I was losing my vision. Yeah…I know. I also don’t do super well with heat (also an irrational anxiety thing for me) so being on the Florida shores in August ’bout sent me over the edge.
I learned a lot about myself on that trip. It was the trip where I had picked up the book “Battlefield of the Mind” again and got gut-punched by a few things in there. Things like the idea that trying to figure everything out in life is essentially playing God and that somethings just need to be left alone in the hands of God. I learned I’m still quite self-conscious about myself and I endlessly compare myself to others. (Especially on the beach, can I get a good amen?) And I learned that I close up and get quiet when I get insecure.
So as you can imagine, going into this year’s beach trip, I was nervous. We were staying in the same condo we stayed in last year and we generally do the same things every year so I knew a couple of specific circumstances were headed my way that had gone awry last year. And to top it all off my husband was tied up in trial until Thursday, so I was there with my in-laws by myself from Sunday to Thursday to be a totally normal, regular functioning human being.
So, to get to the point, I returned home on Saturday with healthy eyeballs and only a very, very mild anxious moment that passed within about 10 minutes. Victory.
But here’s what that feels like to me…losing my purpose. Normal is the very thing I’ve been striving for since diagnosis and here I am living about as normal as I can and I feel weird about it because I feel like opportunities to share and encourage and educate in a sense have run out.
How can I be relatable when I’m skipping around with glitter in my veins while my heart knows many of you are tormented by your bodies and the disease that has tried to wreck far too many of us? How can I share my heart when it looks too easy over here and you’re experiencing pain and depression?
I don’t know the answers, but what I do know is when my heart needs to share, I’ll be here. And when I feel the Lord lead me to an idea that I recognize may help someone (even if it’s just one) I’ll write it. But most of all, I hope you know that no matter how it looks on the outside in my world, I totally understand and sympathize with the real life things you are feeling and thinking while you wait on your normal to return too.
Onward and upward, until next time…