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 which all slot perfectly into one another.
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.
There has been much which I have refrained from recording in writing over recent weeks. It is difficult to capture in words the scale of events which have transpired. It has been a fortnight of highs and lows which would otherwise seem normal were it not for a divine succession of surprises. Miracles keep happening and I find myself in receipt of unyielding protection, love and good fortune.
My life is golden. It truly is.
I have been tested by severe ill health, intense pain, loss, grief and fear throughout the past two weeks yet I have never been so lucky. I asked God for something precise and much needed during prayer and he answered by bestowing upon me exactly that which I requested. I had no doubt that he would deliver; we are forever entwined as family: the creator and father with his creation and child.
When I ponder my history, I cannot ignore a familiar pattern within the tapestry: miracles keep happening at every necessary point. I am blessed to have witnessed, received and participated in so many miracles. I don’t deserve such love yet I cannot deny how inherently lucky, blessed and loved I am and always have been.
Miracles keep happening and I am humbled and thankful to bear witness to their arrival. I wish I had the mental strength to appreciate the volume of blessings I have experienced throughout recent years and I am sorry for allowing the cruelty of others to test and challenge my Faith. If I can rely upon a single constant in my life, it is this: I am protected and guided by forces greater than my own, larger than the universe and more loving than one can ever measure.
The journey of my life has been interwoven with grief, loss and betrayal but always bound resolutely with love, preservation and good fortune. I have seen the light: it is brighter than an eternal supernova and outshines every one of my radiant dreams.
Last week ended with an unbelievable outcome: an attractive entrepreneur, who is young enough to be my son, asked me out on a date. I declined, of course, yet I felt overwhelmingly flattered. I am neither successful nor beautiful, yet this sexy, young man – with a sprawling empire at his heels – found me to be worthy.
He arrived at this conclusion during a work-related meeting (the one and only time we have met). In spite of his youth, he had sufficient wisdom to identify my positive attributes, honing in on my personality traits and humour.
It is a shame this man is so young; had he been older, I would have yielded to his persistent attempts to secure a date. I am not ready for a relationship and I doubt I can ever trust a man with my heart, but I was impressed by his selflessness. This man has the world at his feet and instead of plucking a rose in full bloom, he opted for an ageing, wilting stem, long past its prime. This was both compassionate and insightful: he choose that which would most benefit from a little love and attention.
It is rare to see such behaviour from a rising entrepreneur: most seem to chase supermodels or pumped-and-sucked, surgically-sculpted Barbies. I feel humbled and very grateful for his time and attention. More so, I am impressed: an entrepreneur is skilled at making something from nothing and this requires immense self-belief and confidence. It took courage to ask an older woman for a date and yet more to process a rejection with humour and persistence. This young man has a beautiful wisdom which is reflected in his approach towards success: keep battling; don’t stop trying; always persevere.
Yet, I do not believe it was an extension of his work ethic which stimulated his lust: I was not appraised for sport, as some kind of challenge or conquest akin to a business deal. I believe the positive responses I have attracted in recent months all stem from my current mindset: happy, hopeful and driven. I suspect I am radiating the right beam of light; that shining iridescence with which others associate confidence, fun and adventure. I am enjoying all three, to varying degrees, each slowly maturing under an intensifying beam I have no desire to dim. I am giving off the right signals; a beacon to which others are drawn.
I suspect that my beam will continue to project its light within the periphery of others and my suitors will continue to emerge at surprising intervals. I am not sure how to deal with romantic attention as I am unable to enter into a relationship, however, I am resolved to enjoy and celebrate the attention for what it is: a compliment.
I spent most of my 30s with a man who saw no beauty in my being so it is a gratifying luxury to suddenly find myself both desirable and valued. It is a wonderful outcome, generating so many fresh, unexpected and intense emotions – from bewilderment and nervousness to excitement and glee. I shall savour these sensations for many months to come because I feel not only appreciated, present and included, I feel vindicated. I am not as useless, worthless and ugly as I have been led to believe: I have potential. I have hope.