In honor of the paradox (which I so love, and hate), I will speak to all that is within the world of Kelly.
Starting with this: I truly believe that in some bigger picture, those of us dealing with invisible chronic illness are here to take the human race to the next level of evolution (if we are going to ascribe meaning to something, we might as well choose wisely). The epidemic of these particular struggles is forcing us as individuals, and as a collective to look at and heal all the deepest wounds within ourselves and the trauma that has been passed on for generations. This is not a fun job, nor is it something that anyone would consciously choose; It is a radical opportunity to bring light to, and love, all of the darkest places that most people don’t have access to. I bow down in reverence to all of us on this journey.
A brief *uplifting* update: For a month now (pretty consistently) I have felt more at home in myself, and more at ease as a conscious-breathing being that inhabits this planet then I have in decades, or possibly in the entirety of my life. Sometimes the ‘when it rains it pours’ happens during a drought; a 30 day extension on my living situation+some reprieve in physical and mental symptoms (mainly from eliminating almost all treatments and supplements that cause ANY detox, and adding in a few crucial allies)+incredible support and abundant love =enough stability to hone in on the deepest parts of my being/experience that need attention and healing. With the aid of consistent brain retraining (taken from many modalities, and creating some of my own) my world has opened up in ways I wasn’t sure would be possible. I am playing music again, sleeping with blankets, dating, eating like a queen (with other humans!), wearing new clothes, going inside *a few* places, hugging the shit out of people, making art and processing physical and emotional triggers that would normally take me days or weeks to move through within a matter of minutes or hours. I have (quite suddenly) gained access to my intuitive ability to heal my trauma/wounds/lifelong patterns going all the way back to infancy… all the while reaching a level of self love, acceptance and compassion that feels- RADICAL.
I believe that taking this time for myself (away from the usual mad-scientist-guinea-pig approach to treatment) will eventually lead me to make the right decisions about what treatments to pursue. The desperate choices I have made from fear, obsessive research, and intellectualization have yet to yield many positive results, so it only seems logical to shift my paradigm around how to navigate this. And while I do not have all the answers of how to get well physically or how to be untouched by the extreme emotional tolls chronic illness takes, I have found a potent antidote to almost any opportunity/challenge that comes my way: Literally and genuinely— loving myself the way I would my own child, best friend, or lover.
AT THE SAME TIME:
I have become hesitant to speak of any progress made in regards to my health because of this ‘yet to be broken’ pattern of crashing (to varying degrees) the moment I believe my suffering from illness is OVER. Yet, every time I see improvements that last longer then a few days, it feels near impossible to suppress the blinding optimism in my core that miraculously (or not) has not been crushed by my life experiences. So many times I have called my family and friends telling them (or rather, yelling into the phone): I am getting well! It’s finally happening! I think I have suffered enough and it’s now my time to be well in this world!
Immediately I start devising a plan of how I can go back to work, support myself and dedicate my life to helping others who are traversing the land of chronic illness. I buy surfing gear, running shoes, a gym membership, drop my long-standing disability case and buy foods I will probably never eat. The possibility of my fullest potential expressing itself as an able-minded/able-bodied person is more than I can bear. I want to devour the world and all its offerings. I want to give back and give back and give back all the gifts I so treacherously mined. Then, one week passes….I am back, pain-stricken and on the floor, hopeless, unable to move, with a mountain of defeat (and now shame, debt, and food I will never eat) pinning me down. This scenario feels akin to my years of futile attempts at sobriety; getting a week or two under my belt, announcing to the world my reclaimed life, only to relapse the day after.
Side note- I DID end up getting sober, amongst surviving/breaking out of seemingly hopeless situations and patterns. This blinding optimism and relentless perseverance might yield a miracle. ***cautiously optimistic***
This particular pattern has played out more times than I can count, and it does not show up solely in the realm of physical health, or sobriety, it shows up everywhere within everything. This pattern brings up the very essence of what it means (for me) to be human… this clinging… this grasping to any clarity, to any glimpse of health… this inability to live in the mystery… this desperate search for ground. THIS is what seems to be the ultimate dance of holding on to hope while simultaneously being schooled in the world of surrender. And after years of not understanding the question that was begging to be asked (or lived) I have finally been lead to:
How can I open up fully to any and every situation without getting attached to an outcome? How can I use every opportunity and challenge as a way to deepen my love for myself, for the people around me, and for the world I live in without a conditional clause?
As many of you know, it’s quite a skill to navigate moving forward in life using opposing strategies simultaneously (but what other choice do we have?):
[Braaavooo my evolutionary team]
What I see happening for those of us with chronic illness is just different flavors of the same theme playing out. It seems as though we are all here to master this art of embodying the paradox. I am not sure it is something that one ever truly masters, but it is something we are all forced to (whether we like it or not) get better and better at navigating.
*The golden lining* A mind/body that is physiologically out of balance, (or a life filled with emotionally devastating obstacles completely out of ones control) takes a hell of a lot more depth to evolve, which in my opinion makes it all the more potent. It’s only logical in the grand scheme of things that such ‘out of balance’ physiology or life circumstances forces one to learn the mastery of adaptation, which so beautifully (and painfully) leads us directly to our own personal genius. Up until recently I could not justify or make meaning of what I consider to be ‘experiencing the fullest expression of my own personal hell’. Then it hit me:
While eating dinner in someone’s apartment (for the first time in years) I had a moment of awakening to a gratitude so profound that I believe my soul has been branded permanently, like a fossil. Something as ‘mundane’ as eating dinner inside with another human being felt like the most precious intimate moment of my life. I stopped, closed my eyes and imprinted this awareness into my core, and since then, I access this awareness many times throughout all my days. At any moment, I can contrast my life now to my life a year ago and fully embody the ABSOLUTE FUCKING MIRACLE that my life is. Every little convenience, every intimate encounter, every moment that I am not fighting for my survival in isolation is a gift and a love beyond what words could ever express.
And now, the biggest motivation in my life is to be well enough to help other people. What’s the point of a gift that can’t be given away?
Love to you all!!