I remember it like yesterday. “Thank you doc”, I said as he read off my diagnosis and prognosis. Mom, understandably, had burst into tears and was sobbing. I shook his hand and walked out of the room, emotionless.
If only the doctors would teach you how to deal with the news they tell you. I did all that I knew to do, I tucked the news away into the darkness of my mind deciding never to deal with it again.
Sure, once and a while it would inevitably come up. When people asked why I struggled to stand or couldn’t jog but I only let it out of the dark just long enough to explain and then I quickly pushed it back.
Eventually the day came when I knew I needed assistance with getting around. I went to my local MDA Clinic to speak to a doctor about my progression.
Over ten years had passed since that day I had shook the doctors hand. For ten years I had left it in the dark. This was my first doctors visit since.
I was being told to walk, stand, lift, push, and pull so they could measure my progression. A dizzy feeling came over me. The next thing I knew, I was laying on the chair looking up, being told I just had a seizure. A seizure? I thought. How on earth? I’ve never had one!
Pseudo-seizure is what they call it. The body’s way of shutting down when it can’t handle what is going on.
You see, pushing all of that emotion and pain into the dark can never make it go away. It will always come out in another way. My mind had tried so hard to leave my feelings in the dark until the point of literally shutting down.
Anger, bitterness, control, being critical, faultfinding, judgmental, irritable, unloveable….these are the secondary emotions that seep to the surface when you won’t deal with your pain. I had or have become this person that I didn’t like anymore.
As my children have come near the age when I was diagnosed I have felt it impossible to hold it in, to wrestle it into the darkness. I was always taught real men don’t cry, rub some dirt on it, dust it off etc… But it didn’t work anymore.
That’s why I write. I know I am no professional by any means but it’s my release. Writing, talking to a confidant, public speaking, all great ways to shine a light on the darkness.
Darkness is simply the absence of light. The moment even the tiniest flame is lit, the darkness dissipates.
It’s time to shine a light on your pain. It’s time to talk about it. It can only be pushed away so long until you will emotionally throw up.
Find a release. Write, talk, love, serve others. The sooner you do, the better a person you will be. And isn’t that what you want?