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Sour Lemons + Sweet Sugar=Lemonade

Posted Oct 10 2008 2:09pm

“Roots must reach into the darkness that a tree may grow in the light.”   by, Kerry Ryan-Kuhn  

It is easier to share the positive, the “sugar” I find along this journey of living with chronic illness.  It feels vulnerable to say out loud  (to write out loud), I feel sad, angry, lonely, frustrated, lost etc… Yesterday’s piece about loneliness, I found difficult to publish and when I did publish it, I doubted whether I should have. 

I received an email yesterday from a reader of my blog who has a positive attitude in spite of tough circumstances.  The email was encouraging in that it expressed that my blog teaches about chronic illness; that I am still teaching (working) through my blogging.  I felt thankful for those kind words. 

The email also expressed that I should be grateful for what I do have (like an amazing hubby) and “Snap out of it”.  For a moment I felt embarrassed and again doubted my decision to publish the “loneliness” piece.  Then it got me thinking and I remembered my purpose in starting this blog.  I needed reminding.

By the time I’d read the email yesterday, my feelings of loneliness had lightened. Actually I was feeling quite content, I’d had a fun conversation with a friend on the phone and I’d cleaned my kitchen floor .  Some days I am not able to clean, so when my body will do it, I feel happy.  I was feeling lonely, content and grateful for my home and my shiney floor, all at the same time. 

I hadn’t “snapped out” of the loneliness, I’d let it be and it lead me to pick up the phone and the swiffer mop.  Some days when my body keeps me in bed, loneliness might lead me to say a prayer, read a poem, and yes, sometimes to lay there and feel sorry for myself.

It is easier to share that I feel content, or in awe of the beauty of the purple sage in bloom outside the kitchen window right now.  It is easier to write and publish the inspiration I find, the gratitude and love I feel.

Each of those emotions are real and I am grateful to feel them often, but if they were all I shared here, I would not be sharing the reality of living with chronic illness.  It is not possible to be a human being on this earth and not have some tough feelings.

When we deal with loss, whether its death, illness, financial crisis, divorce and the many adversities that people face, we have to go through the difficult emotions to get to comfortable and healing places.  When those of us who are going through similar adversity share those hard feelings, it helps us know we are not alone.  That is a nice feeling!

I started this blog in hopes that it would affirm the feelings (the whole spectrum) that accompany life with chronic illness, as well as share the profound lessons, silver-linings and inner strength that those of us with chronic illness find and experience along the way.

We need both sour lemons and sweet sugar to make lemonade; life gives us all a proportion of each.  Sugar might sit more comfortably on the tongue than sour does, but if left on the tongue too long, we would no longer taste it’s sweetness. 

Wishing you all peace today with whatever emotions pass through you,  Kerry  


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