Wednesday, 20 June 2012

What the world doesn't see

Image by Annak Williams

As sure as the sun rises each morning I make a conscious decision about how my day will roll out. Wake up, open eyes, choose. It is my choice despite circumstances, events or the way people will treat me as the day moves along. My choice.

Some days it is all too hard. Tired, plain exhausted, deflated. Using every ounce of energy to make it positive takes up way too much energy. Every so often I have a day where for once, just once, I would love to hide away from the world and my pain and grief and uncertainty under the refuge of my doona, resurfacing only to gasp for air before submerging again. I don’t. I get up, shower my blues away and cry in the mirror as I apply the smile on my face that the world deserves to see when I walk out my front door. The world doesn’t see my pain, my grief, my uncertainty, I leave that behind in the deep confines of my soul tucked away for another day. The world only sees my smile.

Everyone has their own struggles, I know this all too well. During one of my darkest moments my brother rang me and asked how I was doing, just out of the blue. I don’t often share my sadness, I rather keep it welled up inside revealing itself only to me on those mornings when I least expect it. I mostly hate sharing my self-pity with him, my strong, fearless brother who found himself in a wheelchair, changing life as he knew it for 38 years. How pathetic of me to whine to him about my pain, what would I know about pain? Rationally, I know it is all relative, but I genuinely feel guilty sharing anything but my gratitude for my able-bodied life with him. I do however tell him. He reassures me all will be okay. I believe him.

Some days are just tough, man. Trying to summon the will to see the good in life and to ignore the bad. The bad is always present, but when it festers and manifests in the good parts of the mind it’s hard to see past it. It’s always how we view it, what we choose to focus on. It’s as simple and as painfully complex as that. But if someone was to say that to me as I am clawing around for a glimpse of positivity in my head on those mornings, I wouldn’t see it. On those mornings I want relief, not perspective. I want escape not reality. I want goddamn peace.

Tomorrow is a new day. The sun brings with it a new choice, a new battle. How I choose to live it is still up to me. I will try to ignore the deep-seeded exhaustion from the ever-lingering grief that rears its ugly head and the questions it brings with it. I will try with all my might to exude gratitude for my able-bodied and simple, beautiful life. And as I walk out my front door the world will see nothing but the smile that hides away my pain. Just like it does every other day.

10 comments:

  1. Oh Peggy, your pain and courage shine through in these raw words on this page. This is the courage of getting on with it everyday. Brave heart.

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    1. Thank you Jo for reminding me I am courageous, it's days like this that I in fact feel my weakest. I'll remember your kind words when I am having a day like this again. xo

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  2. Grief is a funny thing. We're all encouraged to grieve and be sad and 'get it out' - but really, no one wants to see it. And that's not because they don't care, it's because they don't know what they should DO with the sad person in front of them. So we keep our sadness and our bad times to ourselves .. for the sake of those around us. And also so we don't feel bad and ungrateful that our bad day is someone elses good day.

    It's hard to own our sadness sometimes :(

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    1. You said it perfectly Kelly, I agree that it is mostly not wanting to impact on someone else's good day with sad feelings. And I guess, in my case, I am mostly positive so facing the world in anything less than a positive approach just doesn't feel right for me. I don't want to bury my ill feelings but at the same time I do think there is a time and place. Some days, snuggling under the covers would be ideal. I feel resentment sometimes that I can't shirk off responsibility to do just that, but it's okay, I guess being brave and facing the world is a good thing.

      Fortunately in the grand scheme of things the sadness is short lived and is more spaced out over time. Understanding it helps, and I guess accepting it is a part of life does too.

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  3. Doona and sleep is a wonderful refuge, and so too as that painted-on smile we wear outside. Sometimes a fake smile feels better than none at all. Thinking of you Peggy, and thank you for your insightful words on my blog xxx

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    1. Sometimes a fake smile can actually convince us we are okay, so you're right Fi, better than no smile at all. I dream about days under the doona, I might actually indulge once I stop working full time. :)

      You're welcome Fi. I wish I had answers for you, I really do. Sending you light and wishing for answers. xo

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  4. Beautifully expressed. You are stronger than you think xx

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    1. Thank you Elisa for dropping by and for leaving me such a kind note. Thank you. :) xo

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  5. My wonderful friend often reminds me we are all beings made up of light & dark, that it is ok to acknowledge the dark times because the light will always come back. I usually then say that I want to sparkle with light everyday & she will tell me I can't because I will blind people with how bright my light is. I love this conversation & I often have it with myself on my dark days. Dark isn't my normal state but I can accept it knowing there is always light just waiting to bust through.
    Some days are tough but one bad day does not make a bad life. Breath through it & know the next day can be different. Allow yourself to grieve. When that wave hits let it swallow you up knowing it'll spit you back out into the light fresh & cleansed xx

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    1. What a beautiful way to put it Reannon. I know allowing the darkness in is temporary and grieving is definitely healthy, I have to learn to just let it take over and hide under the doona instead of trying to be tough and facing the world when I don't really want to.

      Thanks for sharing that insight, I like it. I will remember that next time. xo

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