The first... thing I ever heard from an M.D. was, “With the beginning of mental illness comes the death of many dreams.” This echoes Kafka’s comment years ago when he wrote, “At the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.”
When you come to grips with the fact that you are incapable, unsuitable, unfit, and discarded, what do you do?
When every belief you had ever harbored within your soul throughout your tiny life flicker in a small breeze of adversity, what do you do? You begin to question everything from God to your own shoelaces.
Suddenly, life becomes the polar opposite of what you want it to be. Your picture of life is a negative, while the lives of others seem to come out in full, rich, and radiant color.
So, what are you to do in the case that your worst fear becomes a reality? What do you do when the nightmare you have feared all along proves itself to be real and the monster slides out from under the wooden frame of your bed?
You do the only thing you can do. You accept it.
At the very beginning and fresh onset of the revelation, shock sets in. Numbness reigns supreme. Your heart is anesthetized. You are surprised it continued to beat. Maybe you are hoping it would just stop.
When pain becomes unbearable, it is the body’s and brain’s response to check out. Interestingly enough, this is what happens with dissociative disorders. The brain can no longer cope with the horrible agony of real life itself so it burns its way through reality and creates an unreality which can become just every bit as horrible as the real world itself.
The best thing and really the only thing you can do is to learn to accept your situation. This doesn’t always mean coming to peace with it. It doesn’t mean you have to be cheerful about it. It doesn’t mean that you give up on the rest of your life. It simply means that “what will be will be”.
And, no matter how difficult it is, coming to grips with this loss or situation is the best you can do. You must acknowledge it and no longer give in to ideas that things will change.
Life exerts its control over us unrelentingly. God has His will set in heaven. Are you strong enough to go against God’s will for you? Are you strong enough to tear the very fabric of life itself in twain? Of course you are not.
You are simply human and, most of the time, to be human means to suffer, to lose, to fight, and to struggle.
As I have mentioned before, as Frank Herbert wrote, “Kindness is the beginning of cruelty”. You may be asking yourself what that means.
Allow me to explain.
Long term illness of any kind makes you face loss. Many doctors will tell you many things. I once had a doctor who told me he has never seen a case of illness that he did not cure. I suppose that works out well for him since he vacations in the Hamptons.
However, he has not cured me. All he has done is sent me to the emergency room—more than once—with his ineptness. What I am asking is, was that kind of him to say? Was it kind of him to give me false hope? Well, tell me, was it?
If a patient is in the end stages of renal failure or something similar, do doctors go in and lie to her? Do they scoop up the vases of flowers and pluck out one piece of the floral arrangement, stroke back the dying patient’s hair and plant the flower firmly behind her ear? Do they tear back the curtains and let the sunshine flood the room? Do they tell the patient that she has years and years yet to live? Of course they don’t. I believe this would constitute as medical malpractice anywhere apparently except in the state of Alabama.
You need to accept what you can’t change.
Perhaps you can’t change the fact that your life will be lonely. Perhaps you can’t change the fact that you are sick. Perhaps you can’t change the fact that you are dying in a variety of ways (emotionally, physically, mentally) each day.
However, you can change how you accept the problem. This does not mean, in any way, that this will stop the flood of tears and that ever-present ache in your heart.
It does mean that you are simply wise enough to know the truth and adult enough to accept it. It means that you are truly brave to keep on living-- especially if you are living a life you don't want to live.
Copr. M. Allyce Snider 2012
Copyright Megan Snider MMXII