People often ask me, “Why haven’t you written in your blog lately?” The short answer is I didn’t have time, and when I did have time, one of my arms was in a cast. The long answer is I don’t know what to say that isn’t whiny. I don’t know if there’s a point in writing about what’s been happening.
I have said for several years now that the summer is always a bad time for me. Something bad always happens. Some are obviously worse than others. Summer 2017 (and the few months following it) was by far the worst.
There was the fall down the stairs resulting in a dislocated elbow and broken wrist, surgery, ending my relationship, trying to find a new place (because my previous residence had become… well, uninhabitable in a way), moving, and identity theft. There were other bumps along the way. My friends and colleagues often laughed bewilderingly, wondering just what mishap would befall me next.
It was chaos. It was a mess. I was trying to let my body heal, but new obstacles came my way constantly. There were few things worse than dealing with a break up with a bum arm, sitting at home alone day after day with no distraction. Then I thought when I moved and started work again, it would be a fresh start until someone stole my identity and sent me on a wild goose chase from bank to bank to car dealership.
I struggle at times like these because I wonder, what is the point in writing about this?
But maybe it’s true that misery loves company? Maybe someone out there is also going through the worst time in their life, and we can commiserate and say, “Well at least we’re in this together.”
Even at the worst of times, I had to find ways to laugh and to see the bright side. With that in mind, here are some lessons I’ve learned through this experience:
- Whatever you do, try not to fall head first down twelve stairs. If you do, call for help instead of trying to just go back to bed.
- Find yourself a best friend that will point out the hot ER doctor, even while you lie in a hospital bed in unspeakable pain.
- If/when you do find yourself with a significant injury, swallow your dang pride and ask for help instead of struggling to do things your body can no longer physically do.
- When you feel bad about your not-so-great credit score, remember that it meant your identity stealer did not get what she was after!
- There are few things that can’t be fixed by a tub of Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream.
- Shark Tank is the greatest show ever invented.
- Bathing with one functional arm is a hilarious task if you take the time to laugh at it.
- It is tempting to flirt with the hot physiotherapist, but remember, it’s an ethical violation for him to date patients.
- Admit your faults and when you miss the mark. People are more understanding than you give them credit for.
- Surgery scars are great conversation starters (except for that one guy who said “Don’t lead with that”).
- Never stop getting excited about your small victories in your healing/recovery. The people who care about you will get excited too.
- Try to remember the good, even if it doesn’t outweigh the bad. Family moments, promotions, and new nieces can remind you it’s not all bad.
- Lean heavily into the people who are there for you, and forgive the ones who aren’t.
I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that laughter is a great defense mechanism, but you need the people you can really fall apart to. I’ve learned more this summer about falling apart than I ever have before, and it’s shown me who is going to be there to help me pick up the pieces.
I’m ready to say goodbye to this portion of my life and move on to something better, brighter, and less stressful. But I’ll always remember this part of my life and the lessons I’ve learned.