Being an adult has a way of creeping up things on you. One moment all I was worried about was how to get my parents’ 6pm curfew to move to 8pm, the next I’m trying to decide which doctor would best meet my health needs. It’s nothing new though. I was never a carefree child. I always worried about the future although most of the bad things I feared would have never really did happen. But now I find myself at an age where things are happening. All sorts of good things but also a number of not so good things.
Having a health condition (any condition) is a series of emotions. The first time you learn about it you feel your life is over. You cry discreetly in the waiting room because the doctor delivered the news like it was no big deal. And so you act like it’s a small deal until you’re seated alone in the waiting room because this is a freaking big deal!! Months later it stops feeling like a disaster and more like a betrayal. Why the hell would your body do this to you? After all that healthy crap you’ve been following! Months and years move on and you’re now in a state of resignation. It’s happening and all you can do is accept it.
But it’s even more confusing when the treatment or “cure” is just as hard as the condition. When the treatment is just as traumatizing to the body if not more than the condition. Then you go through the whole process of emotions all over again. Anger at your body for putting you in this position. Frustration that such an independent person like you has to depend on other people for the everything even simple things like getting out of bed. And the pain, God the pain! The pain that makes you consider that maybe you’re better off dead just to escape it. The weakness that makes everything a chore, even sitting up.
But then your body begins to heal. Your strength slowly returns and the pain lessens. You take your first few unassisted steps. You can seat up for an hour without needing to lay down. Your taste buds slowly return. You are finally starting to eat again. Some days are bad but the good days are more. Your interest in life returns. Your anger and feelings of betrayal dissipate. Weeks turn into months and you are finally healed, or so you think.
I recently traveled to Livingstone a few weeks ago and being there always makes me happy. Travel makes me happy but Livingstone is a personal favorite. So one morning I took a walk in town, looking for a breakfast place. Here’s the thing about unhurried walks, they force you to talk to yourself. This was significant because in the past few months I had been surrounded by people every single moment. I talked to myself about the past few months and I found out the healing wasn’t complete. My body was healed but my soul was not. I was still angry and hurt. I finally found a cafe and had my breakfast.
It was the calmest I had felt in months. I knew I just had to repeat it. So the next morning, I took a walk again to another cafe and had breakfast alone. This time I was the only patron there so it felt even better. The inner conversation continued. I forgave my body and thanked it for healing. It had healed from the trauma and returned to mint condition even faster than the doctor had predicted. I let go of the anger and I was finally grateful to my body and for my body. I know it sounds all hippie but introspection really is like that. And I swear I have never loved my body more than I do now.
So morning walks and solo breakfasts have a special place in my heart now. Because they helped complete my healing.