And if the darkness is to keep us apart,
and if the daylight feels like it’s a long way off…
And if your glass heart should crack,
and for a second you turn back,
Oh, no, be strong…
U2, “Walk On”
Ever since we started finding answers to these health issues, I’ve kept a calendar on my wall at work as a visual. It’s the perfect calendar, actually — a dear friend sent it to me for Christmas, and the month after month of cute puppy pictures never fails to elicit at least the semblance of a smile, if not a tender, affectionate “aww.” It’s a reminder of how I’m cared for and what means the most to me.
And how far I’ve come.
The days are filled with color as I mark how I’m doing — yellow for the good days, blue for the rough ones. Last month, as medicines had their side effect and I hit my lowest point, I pulled out my highlighter and filled in a block of of blue days. Then, suddenly, as new medications took effect and the cloud cleared, I smiled. Then I laughed. Then I felt happy and healthy and full of energy. The days turned yellow. And it remained yellow still.
Until this weekend.
I’m frustrated because I was doing so well, and I’m disappointed because I’m so tired of this sometimes daily struggle. I had a glimpse of myself. I saw the real me among all those yellow-colored days.
This is who I really am! I want to shout to the world. This girl who laughs and smiles and teases; this girl who finds pleasure in helping others, who is chatty and positive and upbeat. This girl who believes in something, who dares and dreams and has enough energy to actually move forward on those dreams. This is me!
That was me…
And yet, this isn’t me.
Every day is a different day. Every morning I wake up wondering how the day will turn out. On the days I feel good, the world is full of life and love and everything in between. On the days I don’t, I withdraw, hiding inwardly among my own thoughts and reflection, my eyes losing their sparkle, friends and colleagues tell me, as I lose my smile.
On these days, emotion is a tidal wave that can’t be controlled or stopped no matter how much I try to control or stop it. I feel like I’m failing my colleagues. I feel like I’m scaring my parents and friends. What’s worse, I feel like I’m failing and scaring myself.
I have no answers and a million questions. I have promises and a thousand excuses. I have dreams and goals and a hundred self-doubts.
And yet, slowly I’m finding answers to those questions; bit by bit, I’m able to hold fast to those promises. Little by little, I’m starting to believe in my dreams again.
On the yellow-colored days, I thrive. On the blue ones, I do what I can to hold onto hope, clinging to whatever strength I can muster as I keep looking to tomorrow.