Everyday I see people on the street living their lives, and I wonder if they are thankful for what they have.
I saw a woman at the mall yesterday with her arms full with shopping bags, they were literally dragging on the ground, and she was struggling to get a better hold of them. She turned to a man I presume was her husband and was grumbling about something I couldn’t make out. In the end she left her bags at her husband’s feet, took the credit card he pulled from his wallet, and left him sitting there looking exhausted and a bit sad. And I wondered… Was she thankful to have a husband that sat and watched her shopping while she strut all over the mall in search of the perfect stiletto? Was she thankful to live a life in which she was financially able to shop til she dropped? Was she thankful to have a life at all?
I often wonder if people realize how lucky they are to live the lives they have. If they are thankful to be living at all. How often do you really sit back and contemplate your own existence? How often are you thankful for the roof over your head, the food at your dinner table, the air in your lungs?
I think people, society, humans take life for granted. Becoming so accustomed to a certain way of life, we now take it for granted.
I wonder if that woman in the mall has ever known real hunger, or what it feels like to wonder where her next meal would come from? I wonder if the barista from my local coffee shop has ever been homeless? I wonder if any of my doctors have ever experienced real, chronic pain? I wonder how many people out there in the world wake up every day like I do, wondering if they will ever be well again?
I don’t take my life for granted.
I am very aware of how little money I have, and how very much pain I have. I am aware how my roof over my head is an illusion that could be taken from me in a second, and how many meals I have left in my pantry. I know exactly how little true friends I have, and how many not so true there are as well. I am aware of who my real family members are, the ones that support me no matter what and would give everything and anything to help me, and I know the ones who just like the title.
I can’t take things for granted. If I did, I’d be in a very different place than I am now. I’ve learned who I can trust, and who I must be cautious around. I’ve learned exactly how far I can make my food stamps stretch, and how many meals I have til I’ll be hungry again. I’ve learned that you don’t need new clothes, music, and trinkets to be happy; just a $2 used DVD, a pot of hot tea, and two cuddly cats on your lap.
Take some time and have a wonder about it yourself. How thankful are you for the life you’ve been given? And have you said thank you for it?
If you would like to help me in my life please visit my campaign page:
Christine Lilley’s Life Fund
I’ve lived with chronic Rheumatoid pain for two and a half years now. To say that I’m familiar with it would be a gross understatement. It’s a part of my life in the same way that coffee is to a barista. We go hand in hand. Where I go, pain goes. Where pain goes, I follow. That’s probably a weird way of looking at it, but when you’ve been living with that evil twin of yours for so long, it starts to change your outlook.
Everyone who knows me knows how ridiculously optimistic I can be. I’m a glass half full kind of girl. I’m the person that was told she had cancer and promptly asked her mom for a chocolate sundae from McDonald’s. (For those of you who are unaware, McDonald’s hot fudge sundaes make everything seem better.) It’s true that I may internalize a lot of my emotions, and I’ve gotten much better about not playing stovetop jenga. But as stated before I can’t always be strong for everyone. I break down too. Just because you don’t see it happening, doesn’t mean that it’s not. It just means I’m really good at hiding it. And FYI, that doesn’t mean I’m lying, or keeping the truth from you because I’m secretive. It just means that you don’t need to know about every single time I have a sob session in my mom’s car, or when I have an anxiety attack in front of the nurse putting the IV in. That’s really more on a need-to-know basis, and I deem that you need not know.
I’ve been in a lot of pain in the last two months. I’ve been trying really hard to hide it. I put it in a box, then taped it up with duct tape, then painted the entire thing in super glue before wrapping it in several layers of chain mail, and then weighing it down with lead bricks before throwing it into the Mariana Trench. It’s resilient though. There’s a chance it made friends with some deep sea beasties down there and they are helping it come back up Abyss-style…. those bastards.
My therapist told me to bury it. Every one of my friends told me to bury it. And the family members who treat me according to the definition of “family” have told me to bury it. But see.. it’s hard to bury the kind of pain that has haunted you your whole life. No matter how much you tell yourself that you’re better than this, that you deserve better than this, it seeps into your brain anyway.
I made a decision two months ago that I deserved more. I made the decision to be a mature and rational adult. To not let petty tricks and condescending insults ruin my life. I wasn’t going to let degrading words and offensive behaviors have any place in my world.
It was a hard decision.
Because even though I knew those behaviors were wrong, and that no one including me deserved to be treated that way, it’s painful to give up on someone you love.
You shouldn’t have to say goodbye to family if they are still walking the earth. But even more so, you shouldn’t have to have an escape route for being around people who have only ever had words of discouragement for you. You shouldn’t have to pump yourself up to be around someone in case they are in one of their shaming you moods.
So in the end, I don’t know what is more painful for me… The hurt that their words and actions caused, or the fact that I could no longer handle it.
No matter what, no matter if I chose to let it continue or not, I would and will always be in pain because of it. And when I look at my life, my disease, my cancer, and I see what little left I have to be happy about, I get so mad at that pain.
How dare you. How could you cause so much mental pain to someone when all they have ever done was try to make you happy, to impress you, to win your approval. What is so wrong in your life, in your heart, that you see a sick child who’s in pain, real physical pain, ALL THE TIME, and instead of helping, instead of just leaning over and giving a hug, or just one word of hope or encouragement, you instead cut them down? You shame them. You belittle them. You tell them they don’t deserve your trust, your love.
That pain, that overwhelming hurt that I have been feeling for the last two months isn’t radiating from my wrists. My knuckles and purple fingers seem easy to handle. But this pain you delivered to me on purpose, I don’t know if a pill will fix that. I don’t know if a hundred sessions with my therapist would fix it. There’s no remission for this kind of pain.
It’s the pain of knowing you’re not loved. It’s the pain of realizing it after all this time. All these years of lying to myself, hoping you will change, hoping you will wake up one day and remember that I’m here. That I’ve always been here. I just want you to see me. And not insult me and call me names. To not look at me in disgust. To give me a hug when I tell you I have cancer. To come to one chemotherapy session and hold my hand while I’m scared. And not give me some bullshit reason on why you can’t show me your love, or why you won’t support me in my illness because your immature feelings over your 30yr old divorce are keeping you from being a father.
It’s the pain of wanting a Dad, and realizing that I have none.
For those who are willing to help love and support me please visit my donation page. Every little bit helps.