Maybe I was built for fighting

Years of battling chronic chronic illness has left me in a permanent mode of ‘fight’, but I want to acquire a taste for happiness. | | #sickelssons #lifelessons #acceptance #spoonies #chronicpain #chronicillness #happiness #hope

Maybe I was built for fighting

I get restless when there’s nothing wrong with the world. I am not used to having peace and quiet in my life. Years of battling devastating surgery one after another have left me in a permanent mode of ‘fight’. When’s the next battle? My mind is on a constant lookout. I anticipate the impact. I don’t know what to do with myself when all is well, it feels like I’m out of a job.

I’ve tried to convince my devious brain that hey, sometimes good things can happen for long periods of time. Hope is a real thing! But the yearly traumas have left me as a wounded animal, licking cuts that will never fully heal. It’s just the way my body works, or rather, doesn’t work.

I am worried when there is too much happiness going on, because my experiences have taught me otherwise. I fear it, because happiness has always come before a huge fall. “You can cut down your medications soon” has led to “you need major heart surgery”. “Your Lupus seems well behaved” has led to “you tested positive for another autoimmune disorder”. So on and so forth.

Recently, when I heard that I had to undergo my fourth surgery to remove cervical polyps, I felt relieved. It felt like a familiar place. A situation I knew how to handle. Emotions that I knew how to deal with. Happiness on the other hand, is a foreign object. What am I supposed to do with it? It leaves a funny taste in my mouth and I can’t decide if I like the flavour. I think I do, but I daren’t have too much of it for fear of wasting the limited supply. Besides, too much of a good thing is never good, right?

Yet something in the back of my mind tells me that it’s okay to take a big bite out of it. To pay attention and savour it, as happiness comes in many flavours. Taste is also something that we can always acquire. A delicacy to a culture is disgusting to another, and appreciation comes with time. Even flaws have their merits, for they indicate character, or unifies identity. We all want to belong, and I don’t want to identify with pain anymore. I want to acquire a taste for happiness. Not the dilute version of material goods and social media likes. I want the real deal, the high quality stuff that never runs dry. It’s not some kind of magic well, I don’t think. More of a self-sustaining source of water that runs deep within our souls, and it’s my responsibility to keep it fresh.

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