If the Daylight Feels Like It’s A Long Way Off

by Susan Pogorzelski on February 17, 2010 · 7 comments

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.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Akirah February 17, 2010

Well, I’m thanking God you have more yellow than blue! Hang in there, girl.

Reply

Susan Pogorzelski February 19, 2010

I’m late in replying to everyone, but Akirah, thanks so much! Your support is unwavering and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. The week has been filled with yellow days, thank goodness. And I’m looking forward to yellow days ahead. I hope that you find the same!

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Positively Present February 17, 2010

I love the calendar idea. It’s a great way to monitor how you’re feeling. I hope you have tons and tons of yellow days and that you keep holding on to that hope on those blue ones!

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Susan Pogorzelski February 19, 2010

Dani: I think I really needed that visual to remember that it’s never as bad as I might be led to believe. Sometimes when you have blue days, you think that every day after that will be a blue day, too. So when you look back and see this, you’re able to see not only that there’s hope, but how far you’ve come. It’s a comfort to see how far we’ve come. :)

Thanks for the well wishes — they’re a thousand times returned :)

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Mike February 18, 2010

I know what you mean. There are days when I can’t get out of bed, through either pyschal or emotional pain. But on those days that’s when I put on a smile & limp out to see the world. Last summer I devolped an intense pain in my foot. it hurt so much I was walking w/ a cane. But at work I didn’t use the cane, I didn’t limp, I powered through and made each day the same… at least to some people. I’m not saying I go the “right” route. But I’ve always tried to make it so people didn’t realize what was going on so they wouldn’t worry. I know the yellow days, & I know the blue. On blue find your combfort where you can, a hug from a friend, a paw on the hand, those are what makes the blue days better. :-)

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Susan Pogorzelski February 19, 2010

Mike: Thanks so much for your comment (and your friendship these past few months). I’m so sorry to hear what you went through, but I’m glad to see you could tell your yellow days from your blue days — recognizing that and even going so far as to allow yourself to have those blue days, is really important. I love how you say find the comfort where you can…I absolutely believe that — it’s what keeps you hanging on. Thanks, Mike!

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