For nearly two weeks I have attempted to sit down at my computer and write this post, each time I try to write it impermanent thoughts race in and out of my mind. I’m not sure how this post is going to turn out but I’m just going to sit down and try and make the best of my fleeting thoughts.
Tomorrow marks two weeks since I last met with my neurologist to check in and discuss another medication option. The appointment went as I expected as my doctor and I discussed how I was feeling and as I asked my questions. One would think that my feelings would be neutral bordering on jubilant. . . .and they were until it came and slapped me right in the face. It being reality. A simple question about memory loss and suddenly a cloud of devastation tinged with anger hung over me; the answer to the simple question was that I will have to relearn the things that I can no longer remember.
The nights I spent at my college library pouring over Art History books or the early morning hours I spent drafting floor plans are but shadowy shards of another woman. Do I even like Art any more? Why is it that I liked it in the first place? I soon found myself going down the one rabbit hole that I have desperately tried, admittedly placing a toe into occasionally, to avoid. The rabbit hole where all my unanswerable questions begin to swirl and flash around me in brilliant neon lighting. I haven’t reached the bottom of this hole yet because I know that the bottom is dark, lonely, and frightening, yet I found myself dangerously close to the tortuous bottom.
Truth be told, I feel like my life pre-stroke is a reflection cloaked in the shadow of what once was. Yes, it is hard not to be able to remember the things that I poured so much energy into. Yes, it is maddening when I start to compare (comparison is the root of so many problems) my life before to my life now. No, I may not ever feel like my old self and no, my headaches and shaking may never go away.
However, you know what the great thing about reflections is? They reflect who we are in the moment. A true honest reflection is not about what you were doing yesterday or how well you were doing it, nor is it about what you hope to accomplish in the future, it’s all about the here and now. Here and now I am a wife, a mother, a stroke survivor, a life survivor, that’s what I am now. I cannot keep demanding that my reflection be the woman who I was before. Right now I have this awesome opportunity to dictate what my reflection will look like. Maybe I’ll find that Art History and Interior Design aren’t my cup of tea anymore, maybe what I’ll end up liking is gardening or field hockey; but it doesn’t really matter what I end up liking because here and now I am Me.
Life is too short to try to grasp at fragmented shadows. Embrace being You. It may not always be easy, in fact, I can promise you that it won’t be. There may be days that you want to go down your dark rabbit hole but don’t do it. The only thing that Alice truly accomplished in the rabbit hole is leaving it behind.