Reflection Reminds Me That I Can Overcome My Worst Days
“So far, you’ve survived 100% of your worst days.”
I have questioned my strength during so many moments in my life — moments that left me feeling tired, defeated, and hopeless. I questioned how much physical and emotional pain I could handle. During these times, my mind and body tested my strength and willpower. As I wondered, “How much more?” it felt like my mind and body started to take the question as a challenge.
Although it is difficult to recall painful and suppressed memories of the most horrific parts of my life, I am thankful for the time to reflect. Reflection leads me to the realization that I have overcome all of my worst days. I have survived everything I thought I couldn’t. Every time I fought for my life and doubted my strength, my strength never failed me. I overcame every sleepless night of pain, anxiety, and the worst depression I have ever felt. My worst days and my most terrible, unexplainable experiences have shown me that I can get through anything life throws at me.
I started down the path of reflection when Facebook memories reminded me of a picture I took of myself two years ago. In the picture, I look pale, tired, worn-out, and weak. I had oxygen in my nose, dark circles under my eyes, and lips tinted blue. I almost did not recognize myself. I painfully recalled the fatigue that ripped through my body, and I saw the sadness behind my eyes.
The picture was taken at a time when I had lost hope and had completely given up on doctors ever finding a solution or a treatment plan for my declining health. It was a time in my life when I told my parents, family members, and closest friends, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” It hurts to think that I said those words just a few years ago. I’m reminded of the depression and the hopelessness I felt about my future.
Although my body was exhausted and tired of “hanging in there,” my mind was not ready to quit. My mind is a source of a lot of mental and emotional pain, but it is also where I find strength and determination on my darkest days. My mind allows me to remember the times when I questioned how much more I could take. My mind forces me to remember the times when I chose to keep pushing forward, even when it felt impossible.
When I look at myself today and compare the woman in the picture to the woman I see now, I feel so much pride. Although I am not at my physical best, I am not at my worst. Although I am taking medication to manage my pain and to help me sleep until I undergo another major surgery soon, at least there is some type of treatment plan in place. At least there is hope for something better. There are days when I wake up exhausted, but at least I wake up breathing so much better than I was a few years ago.
Sometimes it is hard to reflect on a period of my life that was so painful both physically and emotionally. Lately, reflection has been a good thing. It reminds me of all I am able to overcome and that pain of any kind is relative. I have made it through 100% of my worst days. Here’s to making it through 100% more.
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