Hope. Denial. Struggle. Conceding. These four words sum up nicely the conflict that was happening within my mind for quite some time. The more I fought against my reality, the more painful it became.
Hope. Hope is necessary for a happy life. It gives you the opportunity to dream and to remain positive in the face of adversity. Hope allows you to believe in something bigger than yourself.
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.”– Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886)
When faced with stressful or challenging situations, hope might be what keeps you going, feeding the optimising engine within. We might cling to hope in the face of sorrow, sadness and grief because facing the truth may be too painful to accept. Is this hope, or is this denial?
Denial will masquerade as hope, and it’s dangerous to live this way. It’s misleading, and in the end, you are left with the same (if not worse). Denial is closing your eyes and sticking your fingers in your ears. Now, you can’t hear it, and you can’t see it, but the truth is, the “bad news” is still there. No matter how hard you try to ignore it, to fight it, your reality is your reality.
Heartbroken and scared. Holding onto what I thought was hope, for a long time kept me angry and stuck. Ha, holding. That’s funny. It was more like a death grip where my arms and legs were wrapped so tight they went completely numb. Clinging on to the past, terrified that I wouldn’t be able to do the same things I was use to doing. Wishing, hoping, pretending that I’ll wake up one day and everything will be okay. Visit after visit, doctor after doctor, they all said the same thing. I’m sure some of them thought I was crazy when I pushed back, fighting what they said. Not wanting to believe it, not able to. If I couldn’t participate in my sport, what was I? What would I become? What would come undone?
Sure, to some this sounds stupid and insignificant. To some people, I should just shut up and “get over it”. It’s. Not. That. Simple.
When you find a passion, sport or “thing” that lights your fire, it is devasting to lose it, even the fear of losing it. You feel as though you’ve lost a part of yourself, part of your identity. This “thing”, this thing is what I sacrificed so much for, I learned so much from, the very thing that saved my life. Without running I would never have gone on meeting some of the most amazing people in my life, had some of the most incredible and life-changing experiences a person could have, nor would I have found what’s within me, the magical essence that makes me who I am.
So, while this is not news that running is something that may not be in my future, at least likely not long distances, I’m finally letting go, realizing accepting this is my truth, my reality. The more this happens, the more space that’s created to try something new. Sure I can continue to hope and do the work that goes with it, and maybe one day in the future things will be different. But what I can’t keep doing, is living with my eyes closed tight and my fingers shoved in my ears. Now that I’ve unplugged my ears, I can hear. With my hands-free, I can cover my eyes because yes there’s still apprehension for what the future holds but now I can peek through my fingers. And I’m starting to see that everything is going to be okay.