I’ve been encouraged not to stop writing. In fact, I’ve been encouraged to write more. Write a blog, write a book! I LOVE writing so, at the mere suggestion, I begin obsessing over business plans, reading countless articles and learning how I can do this and be successful at it. Truth be told, I’ve done a lot of things in my life where my heart wasn’t in it but the dedication was there and I’ve always been triumphant because of it. I can only imagine setting out on an adventure that involved both dedication and heart… Ironically, underneath the overwhelming sick feelings, anxiety and countless fears, I also feel… Confident? I don’t want to be so bold as to call this feeling “confident” but a lesser version of the word evades me right now so we’ll roll with it. What I’m saying is that I’m not one to give up. I put my mind to something and from that moment on, I am all in. But then… I tell myself that was a past life. My anxiety has reached an all time high and my PTSD has been triggered to the point that I have to repeatedly ask my therapist “Is this really normal?”. I was gun-ho when I was “capable” and… Not broken. That insanely courageous, brave, fight-through-anything type of warrior girl… Well, I worry I’m not that girl anymore. For the longest time, I was convinced I was still that girl and that I just needed to figure out how to function and adjust to my body and then all would be right again. I proclaimed I’d never give up and we just had to find a way to fix me. We (my family and I) just needed the right doctor, the right cure, the right… something. I said I’d never stop researching and finding doctors and I’d see as many as it took to find “the right one”. I was hell bent on finding out what is wrong with me and why I’m not healing. The first six months after surgery was considered “healing time” and I was told maybe I just needed a little extra time to recover from such a major surgery. But it’s been another year and a half. Two years in total. I was told shortly after that I’d never get better. I refuse to believe them and so I’ve remained been a gladiator. But each doctor seems to have a different opinion than the last and as the patient, I have no idea how to determine who is “right”. Research is never ending. There’s a lot of dead ends and questions without answers. The doctors give up, the therapies fail but I keep going… But I’ll be honest, I feel the flame fading. I don’t feel like a gladiator anymore. I feel like a small child in need of a hug. To be told “It’s okay, you tried. You did your best.” To be able to feel that I am enough, as is. For people to stop telling me “You just need to find a job you can do at your pace, from your recliner!” It feels as if I’m being told “Happiness doesn’t matter. You’re in pain ALL THE TIME and you almost died? But you didn’t, so you’re good!” I can’t even keep up with normal house chores and have to plan my days to a T, just to get through them. And even then, everything I have planned for the day ends with a question mark or a maybe, depending on my pain and mobility for the day or the time being. I can’t even fathom trying to work. It makes me sad that even now I don’t attempt things that make me happy like adventures or working in my yard because I know it’ll cause a flare up and I have to be able to make it to the doc the next day. I want to write… I want to be like the authors of the books I read and the inspirational “public figures” I follow on Facebook that make people smile and feel inspired and pumped up! But how can I be that for anyone else if I’m not feeling bright and shiny? I’ve been trying, reading more and watching more TED talks, TRYING desperately to get my fire back but I’m struggling… I guess time will tell.