A loving and caring friend has been helping with important things regarding my health. She does not live near me but she offered to pick me up and drive me to my doctor appointments. I am humbled by her compassionate commitment that she offered to me out of the blue. Especially because I know her life is already happily jam-packed with responsibilities. I pause. I take this all in. I let her love and efforts fill my heavy exhausted body. My gratitude towards her quiets me into a calming stillness. Thank you my friend. . . . In my slow motion haze, I can see she is throwing me a life-preserver each time she arrives at my home. I continue to physically keep pushing my strength to the limit as I continue to tread water in my rough seas another endless day.
During this time in my life, I deeply feel the all-encompassing humbling power of my endless unemployment. For one year and 10 months I humbly fill out on-line application after on-line application. My brain fog deep as I fill out the answers to these ridiculous questions that go along with the application process: “Are you . . . blah blah blah? Check one. Rarely. Sometimes. Most of the time. All of the time.”
Pushing my self to the limit even though I am not feeling 100%. I am like a prairie girl walking across the barren dusty land, thirsty, fighting exhaustion with no end in sight. One foot in front of the other. Month after month my body is turning into a rag doll made of lead. This is not from any kind of weary attitude, this is from fatigue. More and more run down.
Finally I had no choice but to surrender.
My son called me about 2 weeks ago and offered to drive up to my place with his girl friend (who I adore). “When ever you think of anything that we can help you with Mom, write it down and we will do it for you on Saturday.” Thank you. Thank you.
Due to my brain fog, son and his girlfriend filled out the paperwork for me so I may switch from Unemployment to Disability. Son noticed my car was on empty so he filled the gas tank. Then they went to the pet store to buy my beloved Grace more of her special cat food. The blessing of their genuine love for one another filled my heart and my home. Such sweetness in their smiles and laughter. Patience and help so greatly appreciated. I cried tears of gratitude and once more said “thank you” when they hugged me good bye. As they left, I went back into my bed and collapsed as I once more became numb to the world outside. I heard Grace close to me as she purred her unusually loud purr. More sweetness along with my discomfort. A needed and appreciated distraction. Thank you beautiful shiny black cat that I appropriately named Grace when she was a kitten.
Every morning when I just can not do this not-feeling-well-thing another day, I force a reminder to myself that in reality I have done this for another day. Sometimes negative thoughts arrive in my mind before I wake up – this is my alcoholism compiled with my intestinal pain – they both wake up before I do. Crazy sounding I know, but this is my truth. Thank God – literally – this is when I go into auto pilot. As my eyes start to open, no matter how low my hope is running as my rag doll body aches, I begin to pray as I slide out of bed to my knees asking God to please redirect my thoughts. I’ve been saying this prayer every morning for 24 years and 3 months. I ask God to get me through today clean and sober. I ask God what His will is for me. I ask God to please keep leading my way – even if I do not leave my home for another day. I thank Him for all He has done for me. More often than not, through the years I repeat my prayer a few times as I continue to shake off my morning cob webs.
Just as my days are endless, I have seen that my strength is endless as well. I push my strength to the limit. But my strength is limitless because I ask for God’s help, morning, noon and night and in-between times too. No matter what, again I softly say, “Thank you. Thank you God.”
I am hanging in there – sometimes by a thread, sometimes by a long piece of rusty barbed wire. I am determined to hang on until this time passes. Perhaps I have moments of self-pity. Perhaps I am ungraceful. Perhaps my hair is still dirty. Perhaps I am sad. And what’s wrong with all of this? Nothing at all, because my heart tells me that God is leading me to a deeper level of compassion, a greater sense of understanding what I do not yet know, and I am on my way to becoming the best Julie I’ll ever be. New and improved joy is not too far in my future.
I’ve always lived paycheck to paycheck – now I live prayer to prayer. Rich or poor, playing outside or stuck inside, we are still magnificent, strong, capable creative souls – and that is a gift we can not put a price on. God has big plans for me and until then, I will catch my friend’s life-preserver every time she gently tosses it to me. I believe she is an angle on earth that God sent to help me feel vibrantly healthy again. And no matter what, no matter how I feel, I will keep writing my thank you notes to God.