I’m blogging a lot, and I’m probably flooding people’s reading lists, but I just need to write today. I am suddenly understanding Deanna Troi’s character in Star Trek TNG. It must have been a hard life to be an empath. I heard some hard stuff this morning. Stuff that I can’t seem to help but internalize. Stuff that makes me so incredibly grateful for my life and my own problems. And then I feel almost guilty for being so grateful that-wasn’t-me. Why do I feel like thats wrong? Is that what survivor’s guilt is like? I remember when my mom had cancer and was actually doing ok for little bit, she felt that survivor’s guilt when women in her support group weren’t doing so well. Is that what I’m feeling?
For the last 4.5 years, I’ve been taught to be grateful, to make gratitude lists. To remind myself of what I have, rather than dwell on the hard stuff. I started this particular post with the intention of making a gratitude list. I don’t do them hardly at all anymore, because I can’t journal in my notebook, but a blog is like a journal, so I have no excuse anymore. This is how I can do the writing I was taught to do, to keep from falling back into old behaviors, to keep something I work so hard for, my sobriety and my faith.
But after what I heard today, I can’t seem to bring myself to focus on my own good fortunes. I used to want to be a doctor, until I went through cancer with my mom, and saw what those doctors had to deal with, and saw how they became seemingly unfeeling to cope, and I knew I didn’t want to become that way. Maybe they weren’t unfeeling, maybe that was just the disconnect they had to use to function. I don’t think I could ever be a counceler, though I’ve thought about it. I don’t think I could live with hours of hearing stuff. I even quit listening to talk radio and the news because I just couldn’t handle the doom and gloom. Is that running from hardship? Is that not facing the world? Maybe. But its working for me. I have a general idea of what its like out there, its bad. But my life is good. And my psyche is good. I was sick and suffering for so long when I went blind, and I don’t want to fall back into that. So is “running” from the world a bad thing? I mean, I did that for so long with the bottle. Am I repeating it, running to blogs about puppies so as not to face this stuff? Maybe.
I think what I’ve written so far is making me look like I can’t handle reality, and thats not true. I just chose to take it in small doses, rather than listen to it all day on the radio. And I watch really disturbing stuff on Investigation Discovery almost every night. But when its on tv, its fascinating. Forensics and court proceedings. I’m often disturbed, and righteously filled with indignation over the stuff that I hear, but its oh so different hearing it on tv or reading about it. When its there in the room, and you hear and feel the emotion, man. I was ok during it, slipping into “help mode”, trying to draw on my own experiencees, but I don’t have experience to match.
I don’t know where I’m going with this. I guess I needed to write it, to help me process it.
As far as the gratitude list, what I am most grateful for right this very moment is God and my sobriety. Without those two thins, everythng else I have would be gone. I need to remember that. In times like this, I need to keep it simple.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.