Dorothy, the ultimate warrior. Imagine waking up in a different place, no idea of your past, only in your memories, triggered by sights, sounds and smells. There are many moments when a flash goes and I am suddenly confronted with the fact that I am staring down the barrel of 40, shotgun, a mother, with 2 children, no Masters degree and a less than ideal way to earn way less than necessary money. A reality completely bewildering and so far removed from my wildest, sickest nightmares. Even more scary is after each battle, finding yourself blood drenched in the middle of a lake on a boat…trying to decide which way to go after all the wrong turns I’ve made in my life.
Lately I have been bleeding, and as the days go by, I bleed a little more. I have been fighting many battles recently, almost battle after battle and when I am not fighting, I am maintaining a happy home with happy kids. Ever so often, memories invade my consciousness and then the bloodletting begins. My most recent battle began with my finding out I was pregnant at 4 months, history of polycsystic ovarian cysts (PCOS), no periods, birth control, lower level new job with a pay cut (had a goal – remind me to follow up with a blog), pre-eclampsia, hypertension and now thrombocytopenia. The next 6 months of my life would ensue as total chaos, after just finally surviving my daughter’s father. Nurses short of calling me careless as I almost died with delivering my daughter 4 years ago. My brave mother, immediately deciding to stand by me…even though I could see that she was not breathing, and knowing that she feared for my life this time. My boss, a mother of 4 herself, unbothered by my situation, lacking compassion or perhaps understanding of the reality I now faced and rather she now faced. School runs, breakfast, lunch, making no space for my new physical, emotional or mental burden. Doctors taking care of me, chiding me to take care of myself, ignoring the fact that I had so much to do and be, that laying on a hospital bed once, for 7 days could not happen…and certainly not happen again. I had reports to submit, my daughter’s hair needed to be combed and I had to be the one to do them…as a fact, the less I was able to do them was the worse my life would be. Where smoking was no longer an option…for me. A crazy spin, my head constantly reeling. I researched my condition, so much I knew all the technical terms, and conversations with the doctors at Victoria Jubilee became more like consultant conversations in between multiple Betamethasone injections and that one to prevent fitting that burns like hot coal! The curtain drop, where it got real, after days before being told that my chances of not making it out of my surgery were high and real, to finding out that the platets requested for my transfusion to hopefully increase my count, were no longer viable, as a result of being left to thaw for too long. There is something eerily diabolical about that bright light in an operating theatre, I lay there in disbelief attempting to deliver my final diposition on why we should then postpone the surgery in light of questionable viability of a transfusion and the possibility of indeed not waking up due to hemorrhaging. My pleas went unanswered, the last thing I remembered was crying for my daughter, saying how much I loved her. There was nothing more for me to do but cry. This battle was over.
The test of a warrior is not in what he wins, but rather how he wins. In heated battle, we earn scars, some people will stop, mid-fight, so bruised by the scars that they cannot continue the fight, but real warriors care zero about their wounds, they are only focused on winning, on surviving, and only after the battle has been won, will they realize that there is blood, a wound, pain.
No one is immune to tribulations, we all have personal demons praying to god they don’t make it public. When was the last time you took time to feel your wounds, warrior?
Facing our fears – What isn’t named, cannot be confronted.
We would all love for things to remain the same one way…forever. Change is not anyone’s cup of tea, our comfort zone is sameness, that thing we have gotten used to. We all fear change, it brings so much uncertainty, no one can predict what will happen, not one of those spiritual/religious proponents or tools can predict a single thing, their one and only purpose being for comfort and community.
The fact is our greatest fear, change, happens everyday…and is the underbelly of life…change…evolving…moving. The earlier we accept this fact…and develop a strategy to keep moving too is the better for us.
I have always been honest to a fault, regardless of how unpopular or even how dangerous the truth was, I had always been one to fearlessly stand, nonetheless, much to the trepidation of my mother, who conversely, created things to be afraid of, valuing security over happiness.
In my new space as mother, I struggle with my perspectives on risk and security, have different needs and suffer under the realisation that I may not be able to be as brutally honest as I am accustomed to…a new yellow brick avenue.
How have you changed after having your children?
‘The test of a warrior is not in what he wins, but rather how he wins. ‘ – Stacy-ann Jarrett