I Did A Thing
So I started something a while back. I had actually started something else at the tail end of last year. I spent 40 days doing it, and it was the most amazing experience. It’s important not to miss that part because what I did in the last five and first 35 days of the year was a game-changer for me. It was the final breakthrough for my recovery.
I suddenly had my sense of smell back – it had been almost nonexistent for years. I had the ability to taste flavors again after only really registering salt and sweet and very little else for as long as I’d lost my sense of smell. I was no longer dizzy. My migraines went away. I could think clearly, and it was as if all the parts finally snapped back into place. I felt like me again. I was ready to take on the world!
Despite being an extreme experiment, it worked! A 40 day fast fed my brain all it needed to heal. I finally felt able to put all my energy into something that would change my life and the life of everyone in my family.
A Little Too Giving
And then I did something.
Something that was very me – but a part of me that is not the best me or the best for me.
I put me last.
I put my family last.
I lost focus on what I was being called to do and jumped feet first into the deep end of someone else’s dreams.
But Heather, aren’t you supposed to be self-sacrificing? Aren’t you supposed to do for others? Yes… and no. My problem is, growing up, I learned the yes part really well and not the no. I have a habit of prioritizing everyone else’s problems, needs, and wants over my own – even to my detriment. That is a problem. A BIG problem.
What happened was I got caught up trying to facilitate someone else’s dream. It started well – then my job description kept changing. The time I needed to work on my thing kept getting sucked away, and I ended up giving too much. Like every other time I’ve given too much of myself away, I left the experience feeling used, unappreciated, depleted, and angry. In fact, the whole experience threw me entirely off my game. I had sacrificed my time, my energy, and my family and ended up in a hole.
So, I decided to cut ties completely.
But, in the end, I didn’t just walk away empty-handed – I walked away empty. I’ve been struggling to get what I lost back ever since. Only, you can’t get back time. You can’t jump into the momentum you had – once it’s stopped – you have to get the ball rolling again from a standstill.
And then there are all the hurt feelings clouding your once clear thinking.
When You Know How Hard The Journey Is
When you already know how hard the journey will be, it makes it infinitely more difficult if you have to do it again.
When I was a teenager, I had to have my ankles reconstructed after a series of sports injuries. Unfortunately, they could only be done one at a time. The pain was excruciating. The surgeon drilled through bone took ligaments from my foot and transplanted them into my ankle. I wore a hard cast for 13 weeks and then did extensive physical therapy to regain balance and some movement. I will never be able to turn my ankles again, but I can walk. There is nerve damage and, joy of joys, I discovered that I had terrible reactions to pain medication in recovery. It took about six months to heal enough before I could get the surgery on the other ankle. I was not looking forward to it.
But I did it anyway.
Psyching Yourself Up vs. Grim Determination
There are two ways to approach a decision like this – psyching yourself up for the challenge or grim determination.
I’ve been trying to psych myself up while I continued to slip back on all the progress I’d made.
It didn’t work.
Now I am left with grim determination. But, that’s what got me through the second surgery too. I knew it was gonna be bad. I could still feel the residual pain in my first ankle, so I was intensely aware of the outrageous pain coming my way. But, it needed to be done. I knew getting only one ankle done wouldn’t fix the problem. In fact, it would jeopardize what I had. This time around, I know I need to start again where I started more than eight months ago. I know that it will be challenging. But I also know it needs to be done.
Good grief!! If I have to write another post about starting over, I’ll eat my hat. Maybe not – a hat may be hard to get down. I’m sure this won’t be the last time I have to start over. I’m sure this won’t be the last time I mess up or need to regroup. That’s o.k. – I can. You can too.
LAMENTATIONS 3:22-23 “The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”