Wednesday, March 26, 2014


​Having had enough time on my hands in the recent past with not much to do, I've been generally pondering.The last few months have taught me to be grateful, sensitive and most importantly, patient. Though the health issue was (is) only a treatable and thankfully controllable condition, it has been a testing time physically, mentally and emotionally. And now is the time for the quiet after the storm - this is the period of recovery and healing.

Everyday activities had become painful events that would take me time and effort. I broke down one day as I struggled to wear my clothes and do up my buttons with my hands shaking uncontrollably.  And I was relieved to find out that most of the problems were due to deficiencies that could be made up for with time. But I was also exposed to a sort of physical pain I had not experienced before which frustrated me because of the way it affected simple activities. It humbled me. Being unable to draw or use my hands much, I was able to get in touch with a totally different side of me - a side which was not constantly working, planning, doing or thinking - a side which needed to simply rest.

I was also touched by the love and support I received in various forms - from surprise visits and gifts to my maid trying to chase evil spirits out of me. 

We do take the small things for granted. I remember how relieved I felt after I discovered I could walk straight, after I discovered that I could write again without making spelling and logical errors. I have really been forced to step back, to relax and to take care of myself. When things get divided into what you can do and what you cant, patience and determination automatically come into play. (Aside: whether you've got balls or not, we all grow them when we need to!) And it seems to me like overnight, I've grown older. 

I think of people around me, people I see on a daily basis, those I've admired for long, those who've fought real, tough battles. And I feel even more humbled. It wasn't from being unwell that I learnt, but more from the overwhelming care I was given. I was able to spend quality time with friends - how are YOU doing? I have all the time in the world to listen. I spoke to a friend after ages recently, for example, and got to know he'd broken his shoulder.

I have found renewed faith - a faith I believe is here to stay, that no one can question or take away from me. It's a quiet presence that is beginning to anchor me.

I've become more focussed, more conservative of my energy and time, and definitely more peaceful. I've rediscovered the me which used to feel so joyful at simple things - watching a plant grow, listening to a favourite song, feeling the early morning chill in summer.

There are things you can control and things you can't. After the alarming diagnosis of a stress disorder,I have realised I need to have my mind-body co-ordination in place first and give them both the rest they deserve.  I have discovered that I can control the palpitations most of the time, that I can move away from what has potential to disturb. That the energy spent in being disturbed can be well channelised somewhere else. That peace of mind can be cultivated in the hardest of circumstances. That when you fall, you fall hard, but it's in your hands to pick yourself up. That only you are responsible for yourself. Do your best, be in control and leave the rest. And, most importantly, in the words of a friend: drop the inessential.

Something has changed within me - hopefully for good.

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