I’m determined to try something new every year. I sometimes think I’m going to take up rock climbing. I might be really good at it. Okay, maybe not really good, but I think I would enjoy it anyway.
I want to write about all the incredible things that have happened to me since my last post, how each of those things have represented a new hold. I want to write about how I was blessed with a full schedule of clients almost overnight, how business is growing. I am learning, helping people, and most importantly, working again. I want to write about how our loan modification is being fast tracked for review. Approved or not, I’m over it and ready to move on. I want to write about how my husband got a great job offer, in the place I want to live the most. I want to write about how close we are to finally getting through this foreclosure and moving on with our life.
I want to write about how humble I am for being on the descent, from one of the most difficult climbs ever. I want especially to write about everything I have learned — at my very weakest. I want to write about strength from spaces, from holds, I never expected. I want to write about gratitude.
Instead, I’m processing a very different kind of incredible…and staring at a climb that makes the other one look laughable.
Almost a month ago, I made an appointment to have a small rash on my face looked at. I honestly thought they were going to give me some expensive cream with the word hydro and maybe an x in it and send me along. Instead — they did a biopsy. A week later, blood tests. Another week and I’ve tested positive for lupus, a debilitative autoimmune disease that can affect entire organ systems. It affects different people in different ways. So far, we know it’s attacked my heart.
If my life were a riddle, this diagnosis would be the “AHA” moment, the pinnacle, when everything suddenly makes sense. The rashes, the joint pain, the breathlessness. The heart disease, the tumor, the fatigue. If my life were a riddle, this is the part where I get to laugh a bit.
But I don’t want to laugh. I want to be angry. I want to scream at someone. I want to be scared. I want to cry. I want to tell someone who will listen, that this is not fair — I didn’t ask for this, I didn’t want this. I was so close…didn’t you see me, rappelling down that rock? I’m pretty sure I was smiling, letting the air whip past me, so excited about reaching the bottom.
I want to trade all of this for just one day when I don’t feel like I’m falling.
And then I remember all the skills I’ve learned, all the strength I’ve collected, and I match my hands together and remember to be thankful. Rock climbing will just have to wait until the next time I feel well. For now, the something new? — Is the choice to let gratitude guide me.