In 2013, I had several surgical procedures done at one time, requiring 6 to 8+ weeks of healing time. The first three weeks, I expected to feel pain and fatigue, but the second three weeks I was a little discouraged expecting to be feeling better by now.
As each day passed, and eager to get back to some sort of normal, it began to seem like it might never happen. I was told by many women that they never regretted having the surgery done and I was looking forward to being free of the limitations I’d had and getting my energy back.
But, as the days went on, I began to feel like I would never be the same. When you are in physical pain, it’s often hard to see beyond that moment. You want to feel better, you expect to feel better, but the pain and weakness persist.
Will my life ever be the same?, I wondered. My muscles were weak, I was tired all the time. And, to make matters worse, I had to return to work. I was anxious, feeling like I wasn’t ready, but they needed me desperately. So, I said a lot of prayers and went off to work.
The first day, I took it easy and walked a little more slowly than my usual fast pace, but I made it through and wasn’t totally exhausted. Over the next few days, I was relieved that I was coping, even though I still felt out of sorts.
Maybe I was just going to have adjust to this new way of being. Maybe I’d just have to accept that this wasn’t going to pass.
It was about half way through my workday one Friday when I realized, with great relief, that I actually felt normal! I was back to my normal pace, with great hope that I would eventually feel even better than before the surgery. A year has passed and I am now in better shape than I’ve been for years.
As I paused to express gratitude, I realized that these same thoughts and feelings can persist for us in a mental or emotional way as well–a loved one dies, your sweet child becomes a mouthy teenager, your spouse leaves you, or you lose your job.
For a time, all you feel is the hurt, the pain. You feel weak and vulnerable. You mourn your loss. It seems nothing will ever be the same again. Every day, you long to feel normal.
Then, one day when you’re least expecting it, it happens. You wake up and go about your day, happily, and suddenly you realize, I feel good. The sun has come out and the clouds have passed. All is well again.
Life is cyclical. Just as the moon rotates around the earth, causing the tides to ebb and flow, so it is with our lives. In the growth cycle, sometimes we feel up, sometimes we feel down. We will always have ebbs and flows. Awareness and acceptance of this fact will bring a different perspective. When we’re in a low cycle, we can acknowledge it without judgment and remember that this, too, will pass and that we’ll soon be feeling good again. Things will get better.
One day, life will be back to “normal” in whatever strange and unique way that is yours to enjoy.