All Can Change

FEBRUARy 5, 2020

Everything can change at any given moment, all of the sudden, without warning or apparent reason — it will and it does and it has. I felt horrible last night, passable this morning, okay after my doctor’s appointment today and terrible again right now, facing a surge in excruciating pain and burning which is supposed to pass in a few days. Heightened agony, stress and anxiety mean downturns in ability, functionality, clarity, mood, all. It is not merely the frustration that I CANNOT do, rather that I don’t know if I will be able. So I do what I can with the strength I may possess in that instant — because the same faculties may not be true for me the following day or even the very next minute. Nothing further is promised, perhaps even likely or possible, in the face of burdensome, unresolved and compounding physical and neurological challenges.

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I am intimately aware of the preciousness, precariousness and impermanence of life, of health, of stability. I’m not referring to a realization about savoring the proverbial gift of life, as we hear frequently, but actually about utilizing fleeting time and capacity to do what I so need or desire — before it disappears, diminishes or gets derailed for any reason. Making food, speaking clearly, brushing my hair, taking a shower, going through a simple to-do list, replying to texts, writing on a certain topic, scrolling through Twitter (even RTing or drafting a post!), listening to an audiobook, flipping on the news, finishing a documentary, watching a TV show… sometimes I can do these things, sometimes I cannot — and often don’t know until the precise instant I bring myself to try or am unable to make but an attempt, the consequences or fallout of which can prove devastating. Rules and norms change within minutes; spurts of energy drive me to take on wild activities like daring to open my email inbox, reorganize a closet or plan a dream trip; disappointments if not outright debacles not only hurt me in that moment, but also cause me to second guess my choices, fortitude, progress, resiliency, essence, future.

Things will inevitably shift. And there I will find myself, out of my element, defeated, even incapacitated. Whether tonight, tomorrow, next week, month or year, downturns happen, though never as we think, expect or could possibly prepare for. So I want to have seized each prior moment to do all I could when it seemed feasible. As challenging periods arise, I try to be okay in my inability to do or be or show up or accomplish, by trusting that such limitations are temporary and trying times will not endure forever, difficult as it may be to accept in all-consuming and all too real lows. I can suffer, then thrive, struggle, then achieve, fail, then succeed — as long as I survive. And I need not even always hold on, as letting go, opening up and surrendering to the flow of the universe with its many phases can often be a better option, especially amid tumultuous times, shocking situations or particularly jarring circumstances, like those I am navigating post-trauma. This human journey is a rollercoaster, but it is indeed rollin' and rolls on in mysterious ways, against all odds, sometimes despite the best of our abilities. So right now, I trust, I ask, I plead with life: please keep rolling.

Read more of my journey here

© 2020 Erin Schrode. About Erin. Contact.

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