FEBRUARy 15, 2020
It’s never been this hard to be happy in my happy place, yet I’m finding a way. Sitting outside amid the familiar landscape of the north that I love on Shabbat feels abundantly right, even though I can’t join for the walk up the hilly trail or chase after my nephews running freely through the tree-covered rocky terrain. But they’ll soon be back, I remind myself, and we’ll return home to eat tahini-covered everything. My face is scattered with bandages and tape to shield my scars from the sun, whilst my body is bundled up in a coat as I try unsuccessfully to find a comfortable position on this rock, though I am not fearful of falling branches or the wind whipping something into an open wound on my eye or lip anymore, as I have been. I pushed past the brink of panic attack two nights ago, retreating to my bedroom to breathe and ground myself, letting my brother know I was feeling overwhelmed by various things, but fairly confident I could make it through. I haven’t managed to fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning because of persistent pain, though make up for it by lying on the couch and with naps, falling asleep to the soothing sound of my nephews playing. I get dizzy each time I stand, rising slowly in stages as to allow my vision and balance to return fully before proceeding, and this boy is the heaviest thing I’ve lifted in five months (and I could only hold him for but a moment). I cut or mash up food into tiny pieces to avoid my front teeth altogether, savoring each bite despite the pain in my front tooth and aches throughout my jaw. Nothing is remotely easy, but it’s doable — of which I am certain, because I am, in fact, doing.
I’m doing things my way on my timeline based on my emotions, my body and my capacities, as best I can. While I don’t have a complete picture or any certainty about my own situation from day to day, hour to hour even. I know ME and where I stand at any given moment better than anyone else. Whether the choice is to journey to Israel or sit out a hike, large or small, affirmative or negative, pivotal or peripheral, I’m listening to myself — and therein allowing for progress that is comfortable and beneficial for me. Happiness may not be coming with ease, yet right now, for another day, I am doing alright.