© 2020 Erin Schrode. About Erin. Contact.

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Doing The Best I Can

November 19th, 2019

Am I really doing the best I can? If I were, would I still be trapped in this medical hell, passing yet another day in hours of oral procedures, amid a week with over a dozen doctors’ appointments? Everyone seems to tell me that I can be doing more, that I should ‘simply’ try xyz, that I ‘just’ have to change my perspective, that I must ‘merely’ listen to their advice — and then, I will magically heal, dramatically progress or catapult myself further along the journey. Trust me, no one wants that more than me!

But here’s the catch: despite dolling out advice, prescriptions or judgment, people don’t know the full picture, aren’t living my reality, and cannot possibly understand its complexities — even I don’t. And we are all trying earnestly. One of my doctors looked at my exhausted, exasperated expression in listening to more bad news today, and apologized for adding burdens to the medical load taxing my body and brain that even he is just beginning to wrap his head around. He clearly wants what’s best for me, leaving no stone unturned, working every possible angle, layering treatments and seeking expert opinions from specialists.

Maybe I am not doing the very best I could be, but I am DOING — and on some days, that is a miracle in and of itself. I have enough worries, agony and unknowns with compounding physical and emotional turmoil that I need not feel shamed about or forced to defend my path, choices or experiences, even to myself. I have never purported to know it all, have it all or do it all, let alone anywhere remotely near correctly, if such a thing even exists. Constantly trying means exposing unforeseen roadblocks and perpetual failures, but I get back up and recommit to work through whatever is at hand, remaining open to all feedback, broad teachings and useful information, which allow me to do more, to do better.

I am learning, building and growing more aware, wise, brave, empathetic, tenacious, seasoned, tough, discerning — and ever closer to putting into practice whatever my personal best looks like, in that time and place, given a myriad of unpleasant circumstances far beyond my control. I struggle daily and may not ever succeed, but nonetheless refuse to quit, curtail or cease my valiant albeit treacherous efforts to do the best I possibly can with the knowledge, resources, access, time, perspective and energy I can call upon, harness or cultivate.

Read more of my journey here.