Part 3: Thankful for Mental Clarity

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Here is part 3!!

The thing with being sick, mentally and physically, is that you have only a few things to worry about, and the rest of what you used to ‘know’ gets shoved to the back burner. Your social life gets thrown out the window. Relationships fall apart. Hobbies slide out the door. Energy slips out of reach. Academic performance halts and possibly takes a few steps backwards. Priorities change faster than you can blink. The ability to hold a job is next to nothing. Balancing life becomes a seemingly impossible circus act.

The thing about being sick and having your brain be effected is that the amount of control over your life decisions and choices is near zero.

There are things I wish I could remember. There are things I wish I could’ve accomplished. There are things I wish I could’ve learned. There are relationships I wish I could’ve built up, instead of destroyed. There are connections I wish I could’ve continued making, instead of cutting them off. There are passions I wish I could’ve pursued. There are things I wish I could’ve written about. There are places I wish I could’ve gone. There are people who I wish I could’ve cared more about. There are opportunities that I wish I could’ve taken.

Regaining mental clarity is a difficult thing to cope with. I was so numb for so long that I forgot how intense emotions can be. There’s a clarity that hasn’t been felt in months. There’s a film that’s been wiped from my mind. The fog has been lifted, but what remains is raw, and slightly overwhelming.

This reality of being sick is hard to accept. I was numb to the loss, numb to the things I missed out on, numb to the people I hurt, numb to the things I didn’t get to do. There are lots of things (as mentioned above) that I wish I could’ve done; and it’s hard for me to accept that I’m passed those moments, I’m passed those milestones, I’m passed those days.  Accepting that I went through the motions, but was numb to the emotion is difficult. It’s sad. To realize that things happened that I didn’t get to appreciate in their entirety is hard. It’s frustrating.

But to know that I am here, now, awake and alive is something I’m so thankful for.

I will come to accept reality, wholly. I will learn to move on and live each moment fully. I will be gracious in my next steps. I will be flexible with what God presents and I will allow myself to be used completely for His purpose. I will love hard and smile big. I will move forward with an open mind and clear eyes.

This new-found mental clarity is big. It’s a turning point in my recovery. It’s a beautiful reality. It’s my now and I’m so thankful. I am excited to take in each moment without a bulletproof filter. I am eager to overcome the obstacles that I’ve pushed aside. I am so thankful to see clearly again. I know I still have a long ways to go, but this is something that I am so thankful for.. and excited about.

I am thankful for this mental clarity. I am so thankful for alternative medicine. I am thankful for intelligent people. I am thankful for Jesus and his healing ways. I am  thankful for my family and friends who encourage me to keep moving forward. I am thankful for a life worth living. I am thankful for medicine, even if they taste HORRIBLE. I am thankful for God’s creativity. I am thankful for nature – the thing that makes my heart happy.

I am thankful for the people who inspire me on the daily. I am thankful to be breathing and walking. I am thankful to feel reality again. I am thankful for my two dogs who keep me smiling through the roughest of days. I am thankful for various pills that keep my physical pain at bay. I am thankful for God’s grace.

I am thankful for music that inspires me. I am thankful for the things that motivate me. I am thankful for my ability to write. I am thankful for my ability to take photos.  I am thankful for my strength and determination. I am thankful for the teachers who helped me get through my last year and a half of high school. I am thankful for the universities who believed in me and encouraged me to chase my dreams. I am thankful for the admission counselor who supports my decision to defer. I am thankful for the people who are gracious towards me.

I am so thankful.

I hope you can all find something to be thankful for, every day.

Xoxo,
Elise Hendrickson

“She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink.”


 

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