Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Me Update - learning lessons

I didn't feel so great about writing my entry yesterday. When it comes to this illness, I feel like there's just nothing good to write, and all I'm doing is complaining. But I do want to document everything, because it might be useful one day. I've actually looked back at my previous entries during pregnancy to gage how I was doing at different stages.

So while I'll still write now and then about how the earth constantly feels like it's spinning, I also want to include this entry - what this illness has taught me.

This idea occurred to me while reading a great article the other day called "Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done." I love to mark up things that I read, and this article is scribbled upon like no other. This is the thought that jumped out at me:

"Why such terrible tribulations? To what end? For what purpose? As we ask these questions, we realize that the purpose of our life on earth is to grow, develop, and be strengthened through our own experiences."

The question that immediately came to mind was "what is this teaching me? How is this illness helping me grow? What have I learned?" I quickly realized that while I had been enduring this trial, I had not actively been seeking what I might learn from it. (And, to be completely honest, there was a part of me that hoped if I could show I'd learned the lesson, maybe the trial would be lifted!)

Two lessons immediately came to mind.

1) Because of my illness, I now have a deeper passion to wait upon others in their illness, understanding the loneliness and isolation of prolonged sickness. People have taken time to help in many ways, and many of the ways are ones that easily come to mind - helping with the kids, bringing meals, performing tasks. But beyond that, some have served in just being company for me: phoning, emailing and dropping in for visits. Being homebound for 9 months means almost a complete removal from life, friends, events, and social things. I have learned that a simple visit and keeping in touch can be invaluable to someone with long-term illness.

2) Because there is a definite time to my illness (in other words, I cannot hurry the recovery or expect it to come before the nine months is up) I have a greater capacity for daily patience, waiting, and not rushing. For the longest time I just wanted these days to go as fast as possible so that I could get to 16 weeks and start feeling better. Now, I must endure it the entire 9 months. Which means a realignment of my mindset. I cannot do many things. There are things I must do very slowly. There are other things I must do that take every ounce of strength in me to get through while feeling so terrible. But this patience isn't about now. It's a lesson learned for when I am better. It's for when I want to rush through these crazy days as a young mom. It's for when my kids slow me down and I start to feel frustrated. It's to help me in my quest to slow down and simplify.

So that's the positive "me update." I imagine this will be as much (or more) use to me in the future as I reflect back on this time of trial and tribulation.

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