Being at home on disability, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on the subject of what I’m good for anymore. It has long bothered me that I can’t work because I am positively allergic to stress, and my life only works because my stress level is relatively low. Very few demands are made on my time, and I do well as long as that holds true. I can’t even commit myself to volunteering; my access to transportation is limited, and even if that weren’t the case I’d be nervous about having people expect things of me. I even washed out of training for the crisis counselor job because I got triggered during a role-play with a suicidal texter.
Lately, however, I’ve been talking with a friend who is going through a crisis because a family member is going through a crisis, and I seem to be helping her. We talk almost daily, not just about her situation but about normal things like marriage and religion and other matters of consequence. We’ve gotten to know each other over a period of a couple years, and though we’ve never met in person, we understand each other. I’m so glad I can be there for her, as she is for me whenever I need a shoulder to cry on. It makes me feel useful, which is something I haven’t felt in a long time. That means a lot.
Then there’s another friend, who also reads this blog religiously and calls it a ministry. I never thought of it that way, especially since I cuss and bitch and moan and I don’t see how that can possibly help anyone else. I do it mainly because it gives me an outlet to get rid of feelings that have nowhere else to go. But she says it does, and if that’s the case, I’m happy. After all, helping people is why I became a nurse, even though that sounds like rainbows and unicorns. That’s all I ever really wanted to do. My maternal grandmother taught me compassion, and while I have become somewhat jaded from almost 60 years of living and 20 of those years in nursing, I still feel the need to give back.
So I’ve decided to try to branch out a little with my writing. I’m going to approach some online resources who are always looking for contributors, such as The Mighty, Healthline, and bphope. I don’t think they pay anything but it would be a great way to get my work out there, and maybe do some good in the bargain. It’s also in line with my goal to become more involved in my faith, which has been more important to me since Will passed away. I have to believe that suffering has a purpose, otherwise what’s the point of it all? There’s got to be something better than this life…not that mine is horrible, because it’s not, but I’ve been through enough to know I’ll be happier in the next.
Not that I’m in any hurry to get there. I enjoy being alive and hope to stick around for a long time, provided I stay reasonably healthy. No nursing home for me! There’s traveling to do, places to see, people to meet, and yes, help to give. I’m coming up on two years since Will died, and as time passes I cherish life more and more. I know he’d want me to go on and be happy, and I like to feel I’m honoring his memory by doing so. I miss him terribly; I’ve been spending a lot of time remembering our years together and it almost takes my breath away to recall the excitement of our wedding and early days of marriage. We were so much in love that it was almost physically painful. I can’t imagine ever loving anyone that way again. But then, I’ll never be that young again, and there are no more honeymoon dreams to be dreamed. I was blessed to have it once, and that’s all anyone can ask for in one lifetime.
In the meantime, it’s Mother’s Day weekend and I just received a huge bouquet of flowers from Mandy and Mike, who are in Florida dealing with Mike’s late father’s estate. That makes me feel really special. And who knows…maybe my kids are my best gift to the world, because they bless everyone who’s lucky enough to know them. Including me. 🙂