Thursday, September 30, 2010

Saying Good Riddance to September and HUZZAH! to October

To be perfectly honest, the last few months in my world have been arduous, a marathon of one challenge after an other. I tried to withstand them with the grace my name suggests, but I failed quite a bit. I even found myself in the childish thought-circle of "why me?" and "what have I done to deserve this?" It is only natural, only human, for us to seek order and reason during Samsara (cycle of earthly suffering), as if understanding the designs of our suffering would lessen the pain (hint: it doesn't.). The two most serious crises recently were health-related, reminding me the importance of caring for my body in times of bounty so the reserves can carry my mind through in times of famine.

At the very beginning of July, I tore a major muscle in my lower back. I was hoping it was only a bad strain and pushed myself to do my regular yoga practice, which had me in tears on the floor. By pushing to do my yoga instead of listening my body and resting, I further inflamed the injury and was functionally immobilized, in agony, for two months. All I could do was wait for the muscle to repair itself and do the most basic stretches when I could manage them. The muscle healed very well, but I lost a lot of strength and I am now slowly building up to 100%. I went two months without Asana (yoga postures), the longest I've ever been without it in the 13 years I've practiced. Suffice to say, it was extremely depressing and my joints still ache from the long Asana drought.

Just as I was regaining the use of my back, my husband was beset by a flare-up of the disease he suffers from, but rears its nasty head rarely, every 1.5 years or so. He suffers from cluster headaches, the grand poobah of all migraines. They are extremely rare and very little is understood about them, besides the expert belief that it may very well be, without exaggeration, the most painful condition known to medical science. When Ben gets them, he is knocked out of life for 4-6 weeks. No work, no friends, no loud noises, no lights, no conversation. Imagine living in dark, boring agony with nothing to distract from mind-breaking pain for a month at a time. I can only speak from my perspective, but as a care-giving wife during "headache season," it's frightening, lonely and sleepless. A deep helplessness and rage grows in me that does not happen when it's just me suffering. Cluster headaches are so strange and mysterious, causing so much terror with no explanation, and there is nothing I can do to make the demon go away. I can only hold his hand, hold down the fort and wait. As is always the case though, just as we both begin to fear that maybe this time the headache won't go away, it does. Tuesday, just as quickly as it came, the headache is gone and my husband is back. Tuesday was also his birthday, so we have many things to celebrate in the following weeks.

All is well and all will be well. I am full to overflowing with gratitude for an end to this particular season of suffering and gratitude also for the lessons taught by pain, like grace, endurance, selflessness and appreciation for victories great and small. In that joy, I feel comfortable setting real goals for October, goals mostly involving a return to joyful normalcy.

For October:
  1. Try ecstatic dance and if I like it, make it a weekly habit
  2. Work back up to an hour a day of Asana
  3. Re-establish a weekly date night with my husband
  4. Work back up to going to the gym 4 days a week
  5. Invest time in my friendships
  6. Become a morning person
Yes, those are a lot of goals, but I'm hungry for health, success and love.

What are your goals for October?

1 comment:

  1. My best friends dad got cluster headaches, so her mom would grate some shrooms onto his food when he started an attack. They also bought an oxygen tank so he wouldn't have to go to the hospital with the blinding florescent lights.

    My goals for October: for university after dropping out 2 years ago
    2.write postcards to friends and family
    3.find a new job
    4.stop being such a bitch.


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