Happy Birthday, Dad!

26 Mar

Today is a special day: my father’s birthday. His health is so precarious – and given that my mother has fought her own medical battles over the past year – it is truly a wonder and a blessing that we are all here, together, to celebrate another milestone.

I am so lucky to have a family. I nearly lost them all through paranoia and depression, yet here we are: together. And grateful.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

A Day at the Hospital

25 Mar

I spent my day at the hospital in need of emergency care. In fact, I had to visit two hospitals after the first one told me to go to a more advanced medical facility. I am tired and in pain but resolved to stay calm and unemotional.

In light of this stance, the tears currently burning behind my eyelids, like acid bombs, shall never scald my cheeks. Sadly, their presence is not triggered by the physical pain still assaulting my body: my tears have formed in response to tonight’s experience of being treated as worthless – yet again – by The Forgiven One. He has been so thoughtless in response to a selfless deed on my part, yet I do not feel anger. I am greatly saddened by my own actions and misplaced kindness. I should have known better than to expect any respect.

I should have known better… so why have I allowed myself to be treated in such a manner? Tomorrow, at least, is a new day – even if I cannot ever be a new person. Ah well.

I still believe that everything happens for a reason and we are all on a journey of varying lengths. I recognise that I have arrived at the wrong crossroad upon which The Forgiven One and I should meet, cross paths and safely move forward. There will be other opportunities – of that, I am certain. This is a delay in the journey to an inevitable destination. I am sad to be slowed down but glad to have directional guidance.

Mother’s Day

15 Mar

It’s Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom – a time for celebration, appreciation and worship. I am grateful that my mother has survived the scourge of Cancer to reach this special day and I thank God for our continued blessings.

Naturally, during moments of solitude, I wonder about my future and the poor health which has rendered my body fruitless. There shall come a time when I am all alone; no parents nor children with which to celebrate Mother’s Day. I am not depressed: I am resigned. I cannot change the past… I can only accept the present and adapt to any challenges waiting patiently to present themselves within my future.

I am grateful for all I possess: family, friends, shelter, food and many other basic, yet abundant, riches (they are too plentiful to list nor count). I am undeniably fortunate and, predominantly, happy to be alive.

I am, however, still human…

Upon occasion, particularly on days such as this, I catch myself wondering how the other half live: the mothers, the girlfriends, the wives, the employed, the inspirational… the singular groups which together form that enviable collective of ‘the valued’.

There are many special days in the calendar to celebrate ‘the valued’ – from Valentine’s to Mother’s Day – yet there are none to support nor uplift the disadvantaged, defective or unlovable. We idolise the contribution of ‘the valued’ to mankind. We reward them for being fertile, loved and adored, as if they slogged through hardship and disadvantage to reach such lofty heights. Often, their accomplishments are incidental: we are all supposed to be fertile, loved and adored. Nature designed it as such to continue our species.

Those of us who are treated and perceived to be somehow less than the rest of our species are penalised for being defective, as if we selected our fate and opted to be childless, alone or ridiculed. I cannot help to question how we emerged: are we a fail-safe feature, cunningly engineered by Nature to serve as a covert form of population control? This bleak notion disregards my earlier summation: everyone is meant to be blessed with fertility, love and adulation. Perhaps there are no rogue mutations and, by design and intention, a percentage of the population is required to be shunned. Suddenly, we are all ‘normal’ rather than ‘abnormal’… how refreshing.

It’s an unconventional conclusion, yet it warrants speculation. After all, natural selection has not favoured my being. I am far from healthy, devoid of physical beauty and blighted by genetic limitations. Regardless, I am not bitter, angry – nor even defeated – I am… dare I say it… disappointed.

That must seem ungrateful. In truth, it is. I should be proud of myself at all times. There will never be a special day in the calendar to celebrate nor commemorate my achievements, status or existence so the least I can do is rejoice in my own skin. I confess, I have little success in this endeavour. I have ongoing self-esteem issues which I acknowledge but, thankfully, no longer allow to overcome my emotions.

I can never hope to erase the stain of worthlessness from my soul and I have taken to wearing it like a badge, defiantly embracing that which others choose to reject. I am a victim of scorn and contempt, yet I am still a human being. I have never deserved the cruelty and shame inflicted by others. I do, admittedly, deserve a certain degree of disdain: I am the fool who allowed the aforementioned cruel treatment to continue. It took many anguished months of melancholy and self-loathing to understand the contribution I made to my own downfall. Reaching the pit of despair which finally embodied “rock bottom” was an arduous, prolonged journey. My ascension from its murky bogs was thankfully far more swift and steady.

I am able to appreciate and value occasions such as Mother’s Day and I treasure the joy and emotion displayed by my mum in response to my cards and gifts. I know there will come a time when loneliness shall creep into Mother’s Day yet I shall warmly and fondly recall all those I was blessed to share with my mum. Memories change and fade but love – real love, such as that exchanged between parent and child – has no face nor image to which one can cling. It is a never ending sensation: a wave which never breaks; a journey never finished; a conversation never concluded; a thought never lost; a hug never broken. It perseveres and sustains our souls, soothes our bodies and comforts our minds. It is as necessary as oxygen, water and food: an elixir gifted to the human race by God, Nature, the universe – whichever you choose.

Each beat of my heart pumps love, as well as air, throughout my body and, thus, I cannot help but value Mother’s Day and all other special occasions. The celebration of those we love is a wonderful experience and I treasure every second with my glorious, brave and precious mother. I hope and pray we shall share many more.

Nicely Explained: “The Pain Of Falling For A Guy Who Only ‘Kinda’ Likes You”

23 Feb


Another Miracle

20 Feb

Another miracle occurred today: another reminder of how lucky and blessed I am, even in times of sorrow and loss. There are things in this world which we cannot explain, yet as I continue to experience and bear witness to incredible events, I am suddenly aware of how the extraordinary forms an ordinary part of my everyday existence.

Each day of my life seems to be a sequence of extraordinary coincidences and chances, but there is nothing incidental in any of these events. Every day events serve as a counter-balance and camouflage: the arrival of a letter; the ringing of a doorbell; a thoughtful invitation… none of these are by chance. They slot into extraordinary events – a succession of miracles – like blocks in a game of Tetris. My daily life is a layered wall of never-ending, odd-looking shapes, all of which slot perfectly into one another.

Sometimes We All Need This Reminder…

18 Feb

I have needed reminding of this message many times, particularly following the events of this week:

Sounds Of Blackness feat.Ann Nesby- “Optimist…: http://youtu.be/QEu-5444SGw

Evil Endometriosis

16 Feb

Loss is a long-running narrative in my life; so much so, I am accustomed to its presence and company. I confess, I had even reached a tolerable level of patience with its lingering… until today. I finally snapped, pushed to brittle anger and broken resolve by yet another loss. Endometriosis – the cruel, evil monster gnawing mercilessly at my body – has once again robbed me of what little hopes I had for my immediate future.

I have been banned by the hospital from continuing with the exercise regime I commenced as part of my Swaptober programme for positive change. This means: “no more military fitness sessions”; “no more running”; “no more weight-lifting”; “no more bending”; “no more jumping around”.

No more doing the very things which provide my insignificant life with any form of purpose.

My initial response to this news was not one of stoicism; it was a combination of anger and suffering. I spent much of today feeling bereft, and more than a little lost. I allowed Endometriosis to temporarily overpower my resolve. I couldn’t help myself… I simply couldn’t contain my disappointment, frustration nor anguish. I fell to pieces; a messy collection of ravaged emotions.

I found myself mourning the loss of my humble ambitions with intense hatred. It was such a tiny, fledgling list of dreams: precious goals and actions barely birthed, yet destined to die. I grieved the injustice of their fate… and my own. The intensity of this grief was genuinely shocking, particularly as I cannot profess to being completely surprised to receive unwelcome news…

I went to the hospital for an invasive test specifically requested by myself. I had sensed a deterioration in my condition and the test only served to confirm my fear: I have developed yet another Endometrioma (also known as a “chocolate cyst”). It is growing on my left ovary, digging into the wall of my uterus, and undoubtedly the cause of pain and abnormal bleeding during, and following, exercise.

It was some time before reason returned to subdue my electrified emotions and reinstate an aura of calm. My day – such a tumultuous episode of drama and sorrow – eventually concluded this evening with uplifting thoughts and a strained inner strength (predominantly fuelled by anger and resignation). It took a gargantuan effort to reach the plains of inner peace but, at last, I am here.

I accept that I must adapt and embrace change: it is my only choice. Should I to continue with my beloved Swaptober activities, I risk forcing the weight of the cyst into twisting my ovary. This would not only feel excruciating, it could also cut off the blood supply, leading to the death of my ovary and / or haemorrhage. In any case, emergency surgery would be essential.

It is somewhat ironic that I am expected to sacrifice my dreams to save a defective and useless organ: safeguarding my ovary will not preserve my fertility. I cannot produce any offspring because my ovaries have long been incapable of producing a healthy egg. The injustice of my predicament burns throughout my body as ferociously as the Endometriosis attacking its walls, yet what can I do?

I have another medical appointment next week, no doubt leading to more referrals to yet more specialists, yet more invasive tests and an inevitable recommendation for surgery to remove the Endometrioma should it keep from rupturing and continue to grow. Recovery from such an operation will take at least eight weeks, preventing a speedy return to exercise. It will also prolong my unemployment and restrict any opportunity to generate an income. All aspects of my life will be derailed. Again. Sadly, I am well-acquainted with this drill.

I am distraught but, thankfully, not defeated. I have already begun to formulate back-up plans and alternative actions. I cried my heart out this afternoon, sobbing a tsunami of tears before I could bring myself to accept the irrefutable truth: this is meant to be. This is my path. It has deliberately steered my being towards this particular crossroad and thus I find myself standing in the very place in which I am expected. My emotions have wavered along my journey but my Faith in God, fate and the universe still remains unaltered.

I know I let myself down today: I was wrong to give in to anger, grief and despair. I am relieved to be regaining control, though I am somewhat overwhelmed by a conflicting sense of understanding and surrender. After alternating between pragmatic and inconsolable throughout the day, it is a blessing to finally stop bursting into tears at random intervals. It took several hours to stop weeping, but the flood is over and has not since returned. I am confident that the remainder of my week will be more positive and I am unlikely to endure further attacks of grief.

Endometriosis is an unashamedly cruel and evil tormentor but I intend to fulfil my goals, no matter how long it takes. My Swaptober initiatives are on hold but far from forgotten. I cannot abandon my ambitions because I need them. I need them to force my body out of bed each day; to inspire and motivate my being; to instill a sense of achievement and pride in my own existence. I need to finish all that I have started: Swaptober is an attainable way of life, not a pipe-dream to be smashed and discarded.

I am hurt and feel betrayed by my own body but I have been at rock bottom before and I know I am strong enough to rise up and overcome any obstacle. I spent two years in the depths of the emotional gutter… this setback is nothing compared to that life-changing experience.

I endured a troubling, deeply wounding day but I survived and conquered my negative emotions. That is all that matters. As long as my head is straight, the road forward will align to guide me back to happiness.


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