Roses And Thorns

Every rose has its thorn, but every thorn on that stem also has its rose. You don’t get one without the other. Maybe that matters, and maybe it doesn’t.

I’ve forgotten what I wanted to write about last night. I’d planned to post something, but I was in no fit state to do so. 

Yesterday we walked through some prehistoric caves. It was less than 50m, we walked very slowly and stopped a lot because it was a tour. The whole thing took about 45 minutes. It was amazingly beautiful. But every rose has its thorn. My heart did not like me standing up for that long. It couldn’t deal with me walking up some slopes. I got very dizzy. A dull ache crept into the centre of my chest and curled itself around my left side, up into my shoulder, up into my neck. And it stayed. I’d had a few good days. We hadn’t done much. Walking around Oradour wiped me out and gave me some chest pain for a few hours, which probably should have told me to stop. But I pushed it too far. I didn’t want to hold people back, and I didn’t want to miss out. And also… I was embarrassed.

By the time we made it back to dinner I was so dizzy and weak that I could hardly walk. Eventually I couldn’t really hold my head up. I left most of my dinner (I usually eat a meal for two just to myself, yet I’m still losing a couple of pounds a week) and when everyone else played cards I somehow made it over to a chair and just laid down and listened to them having fun.

This morning I made it downstairs for breakfast, but my heart still wasn’t happy. This time I listened to the ache and the dizziness and I went back to bed and slept for a few hours, because I didn’t have the energy to do anything else. I took an extra heart tablet, to see if that works better, but I’m still dizzy. In fact, I feel kind of drunk, but with a headache and a heartache mixed in. 

Needless to say I’m not well enough to go out. My parents have gone to walk around a medieval village, and I’m staying here watching everyone else swim. It’s boiling hot, which usually makes my heart freak out a bit, so a part of me feels like the fun may only just be beginning. This should probably scare me. But this feeling is nothing new. I feel very lucky to have escaped it for a while, and I am still very glad to be laid by a swimming pool with my family. Plus, this is my own stupid fault, so I have no right to complain. I think we all overestimated my heart a little bit, and there’s nothing I can do to change the consequences of that.

I guess that’s the thorn. But the rose in this metaphor is this week away. 

And that is worth a few scratches. We can’t really have the good without the bad, and if we did, the good would become meaningless (not that any part of this holiday has been bad).

Sometimes we feel like we’re untouchable. We think we can fly. Until we hit the ground. But that will never stop me taking the leap. It’s how we learn what we are capable of. Life is meant for living, not surviving. 

I might have run my body into the ground over the last couple of days, but it was worth it, because for the first time in a long while, I’ve felt alive.

Step 15 to getting out of a rut in life:

If right now you’re just surviving, hold on until you feel alive again. That day will come. And probably when you least expect it to. 


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