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From Empty to Full

Posted Jan 17 2012 1:00am
"Glass half full"

Glass Half FULL

I wanted to share something I have been going through with my readers.  This may in fact be more of a woman thing but I think it really is applicable to my whole readership.

I have been in a bad head and emotional space these last few months.  Totally understandable with Dekker’s one year anniversary (death), my father’s sudden heart-attack and quadruple bypass, the birth of my grandson, a betrayal by someone I considered a friend and the severe relapse I suffered from January to July.

Even though I tried to deal with things as they came along, the reality of life  sometimes has a way becoming so overwhelming … and even difficult … that doing the things I need to do to stay balanced and healthy tends to get pushed onto the back burner.

This past weekend, all of it came to a climax and I broke down in tears.  Interestingly, crying is exactly what I needed to do because I had much unresolved grief to deal with.

I think so often in our lives, the messages we hear day in and day out, such as being positive, staying focused, just keeping moving forward and so on, don’t allow us to have mini-meltdowns which are purifying for our heart, mind and soul.

The friend betrayal and Dekker’s death have been devastating.  Dekker’s death has not only left a whole in my heart but a whole in my life.  No longer am I pouring my love into a companion, have someone who greets me with joy every time, someone else to focus on – especially on bad days, plus someone to spend those long, dreary, must rest a lot today kind of days.

I have been unable to find a way to fill those empty wholes in my schedule without overdoing it nor could I find a way to cope with the wholes in my daily life when Dekker departed.

In addition, the friend betrayal really rocked me to the core.  I am one of those people who opens my whole heart and soul to people.  I choose not to be hidden, closed off or not transparent with my close friends so having someone betray me was devastating.

However, this weekend, after months of neediness, whining, complaining, trying to figure out the why, I realized that my issue wasn’t with my friend, or even Dekker.  It was with me.

I wasn’t doing what I needed to do in order to stay healthy in my mind, body, and soul and it was literally eating me up inside.

So … I had several really good cries and I started forward on a plan to get back to a balance state.

I can tell you today I feel great!  I have decided that the time has come for me to get another pug and I put in the adoption paperwork this weekend.  I decided, for the first time, to rescue a pug and give it a second chance as a symbolic reminder that I got a second chance last year when I was able to get up and out of my bed … and ultimately recover.

In addition, I realized something else.  If I do not take care of me and fill up the voids inside of me with fun, friends, writing, creative projects, church, faith, or whatever, I become empty.

It was interesting to me to watch myself spiral downward.  I didn’t take care of me and then I was looking to those outside of me to fill my needs and when they didn’t or couldn’t (both actually) I became more needy, which led to me becoming more self-critical and even outwardly spiteful.

As an empty person, I could not be in any kind of relationship nor engage in life in a healthy way because I had nothing to give.  When I did find a way to fill  my days, my life with the things that are important to me, with friends who encourage me and fulfill me in a relationship sense, I was suddenly able to embrace life with a postive attitude, determination, hope and confidence.

I am able to be with my friends and the important people in my life in a manner in which I am able to give to them instead of sucking the life out of our relationship because I didn’t take the time to take care of my needs first.

I think this lesson is extremely important to those of us with a chronic illness because so much of our life has been stripped down to nothing.  Despite that, I think we have to find a way to fill the void inside of us, whether it be through faith, creativity, online friendships, IRW (in the real world) relationships, pets, writing, activism, or whatever.

Our lives, no matter how altered and pared down, need to fulfill our own purpose and destiny so that in turn, we can help those around us fulfill thier purpose and destiny.

So today I am choosing to go from empty to full …

Determined to continue forward,

 

 

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