The things that don’t kill us are supposed to make us stronger. But do they? Maybe in the long-run yes. Maybe after they’ve been and gone and we have had time to process them. But in the short term, they don’t. In the short term what doesn’t kill us breaks us. Maybe not irreparably. Maybe not forever. Maybe just a teeny tiny bit. Because before something can make you stronger you have to be able to take its weight.
I started this post this morning, when I was dreading what today might hold. I am completing it now, after being momentarily broken, and now I guess… Ok.
I spent most of the morning sat in a hospital specifically for people with broken hearts. Somebody in one of the other clinics had a cardiac arrest, which made a bunch of doctors swarm towards the emergency like ants from a nest that’s been kicked. It put a lot of things into perspective. When your consultant tells you that he wants to carry out a (thankfully minor) surgery on your heart as a matter of urgency, and you know there is somebody without a pulse less than a hundred metres away, you sort of forget to worry about yourself.
When I moved on to the next hospital, and saw one of my other consultants about another issue, I was told that on my upcoming hospital admission they want to put in another PICC line (ask the Internet what that is). She also pointed out that I don’t really have any choice but to go back into hospital, because I am pretty far from healthy right now (which means I am going to have to buy a lot more books)
Initially the combination of all of this was too much for my brain to deal with. I’d sort of seen the heart thing coming, but it still surprised me, as did the urgency with which it needs to be done.
One at a time maybe I could have dealt with everything. But life doesn’t hand out one problem at once. It bombards us with multiple things all at the same time. We try and deal with them all at once and that is when we crumble. Some things are going to make it past the defences you put up to stop them. Sometimes you’re going to miss the mark. In order to win when you’re playing against life, you don’t have to hit every curveball, you just need one home run.
I’m not thrilled about surgery. I didn’t want to spend my summer in a hospital. I’m actually pretty terrified. But I’m also relieved. And I am incredibly lucky, because I could have been told much worse things.
Now my parents are driving me through London, a city that I love, where I’ve been many times with my friends, past the university that I will hopefully be going to in a couple of months time. I’m texting some very amazing and supportive people. And somehow, everything is ok. I’m by no means strong, but I am not broken either.
Step 7 to getting out of a rut in life:
What doesn’t kill you is going to hurt. But the pain is only temporary. It will end. And without knowing how, you will move on, or at least get through it.