Not Good or Bad
FEBRUARy 8, 2020
Today is not a good day, though not a bad one either. I am lying in my bed, weak, dizzy and with intense pain across my jaw, front teeth and left arm — but I am reminding myself that such challenges have not ruined my entire day, thus this need not be the defining or even dominant moment. I read poetry aloud to my mother this morning, we shared smoothie and brekkie bowls at a plant-based organic café, and we even got new pairs of matching shoes — which, apart from the Northern California uniform of Birkenstocks, may be a first in our lives — before having to return home such that I could rest and take additional medicine. While I acknowledge the positivity of those experiences, both in the moment and now in retrospect, I try never to place too much emphasis there, knowing full well that all can shift. As I watch day fade to night from my window, I'm working to accept the present physical pains and emotional downturns, which arose without warning, but will also (I trust/pray) pass at some point. I’ve come to expect the ups and downs, inability to rely on much of anything, unknowns of what I’ll feel next. And right now, in the greater scheme of things, I feel pretty okay. My friend asked for a medical update earlier and when I shared a rundown of omnipresent pains and outstanding challenges — those not responding to medicines, tinctures, treatments or doctors’ best approaches thus far — he replied in text, “Holy Shit Erin.” I thought he was reaffirming what I see as major progress! But he was appalled that after five months, I'm still wrestling with so many acute and unresolved health issues. It really is all relative. I am undoubtedly less phased by most medical ailments now than I was prior to my accident — and some may think what I am facing bodily or psychologically is negligible, in contrast to their experiences, lived realities, personal perspective or skewed understanding of my ordeal. Such is human nature. But suffering should never be compared, to another or even to yourself, as what is real for you in that moment and context is REAL for you in that moment and context; no one can tell you otherwise, trivialize or negate your truths. We all see the world through our own eyes, minds, bodies and circumstances. And I am choosing to see today as okay. And hoping it becomes more okay (so that I can eat the squash I smell roasting in the oven, take a soothing hot shower and perhaps play a word game). And that tomorrow is again okay, whatever that comes to mean.